Today, I went to the zoo! I always try to go on Labor Day because it's usually not crowded. It was a little more crowded than in past Labor Days, but still not as crowded as on regular summer weekends.
Today was the last day the butterfly house was open to the public, so I had to go take a ton of photos. :)
This was the first time I'd made it to see the butterflies this year. I was really happy to see that they have updated their identification sheets to include some species that they just didn't even have on the old sheet! It's downloadable as a PDF HERE
On my way out of the Butterfly House I spent some time talking to Cale, the staff member on duty. Very nice guy and very knowledgeable about the butterflies. There was one species that they hadn't been able to get from their regular sources and all the ones they had in the exhibit were actually ones he'd brought in from his home caterpillar farming.
We talked about the crowds in there (4 times the attendance of previous years. The fact that there was no additional fee this year combined with the overall attendance increase at the zoo). We talked about the ID sheet. I'd told him it was a huge improvement over the one from the last few years. He had some ideas for changes to it next year too that he asked me my opinion on. I also offered my opinion that if there are going to be design changes, that it would be nice if there were pictures of both sexes in the species that have sexual dimorphism.
As I was about to leave it came up somehow that his specialty was actually spiders. I just happened to have a picture of the really cool huge spider that has a web on the side of our house. I knew it would be pretty easy to id, I just hadn't yet. Before I could even zoom in on the pic he had it id'd as a Golden Orb Weaver. Then our talk of spiders led to talk about the spider exhibit hellbob & I had seen at the Seattle Zoo. He was bummed that he hadn't known about it since he was in Portland at that time and would have driven up to see it.
While in the butterfly house I was also talking photo-geek with a couple other people in there with their nice Canon cameras & nice lenses.
I didn't take my Moo cards with me since I was going alone. Figures that there were people it would have made sense for me to give them to!
For going to the zoo by myself it turned out to be quite the social day. Besides talking to all those people I didn't know, I also ran into some I did.
davidkingsley & kditzy were there. I talked to them for a little while about what they've been up to. I also saw camel0t's friend Leif. And, of course, kafilipi was there, with KafilipiDad.
I got a pile of pictures to go through, but I'll leave you with one of one of the Amur Leopards. I love these guys!