Last weekend we visited the Cincinnati Zoo. I am always conflicted when I visit zoos because while I really enjoy seeing animals that would otherwise be foreign to me, it makes me a little sad to see them in such a small enclosure. However, they seemed to be making the most of their situation.
Like this Polar Bear for example. This poor bear must be so hot living in Cincinnati, Ohio in the spring. We watched him/her do this trick over and over again and I tried to shoot the pictures as fast as I could. The bear would start at the top of the pool (where the water filtered in) and jump backwards as it pushed itself into the water, swim a lap around the pool, and then go back to the beginning again. It took 5-10 seconds total.
We got to the zoo in the afternoon and some of the babies had already been put away for a nap. The little penguins were running around in full force, but this one was getting sleepy.
Another one having trouble with the heat. This little guy just looked miserable. He needed a pool as well.
I think Manatees are fantastic. During the summer of ’07, my Mom, Dad and I went on an adventure in a small fishing boat to find the Manatees that were “apparently” spotted in the brackish water of the Mobile Bay. We did not spot any Manatees but we had a good time. I finally got to see one munching on some lettuce at the zoo.
This monkey was looking for something in the water. Two of them were in this enclosure and we were probably ten feet away (on the other side of the water). The monkeys kept turning their faces away from us like they were saying, “Don’t look at me.” They did not like having their picture taken.
This was not at the zoo but a fun animal spotting. My husband’s step-dad built a shelf just for Robins that has been next to the back door for some time. Finally, a Robin decided to make her nest there while we were visiting. She would fly away every time that someone opened the door but I think that she felt protected by the house.
These are a couple 20 minute figure drawings from last Friday night. I have not been able to go all semester and it shows a little. I definitely moved slower than usual! I plan to catch up on some lost time this summer.
This is a page from my sketchbook. I love Steve McCurry’s National Geographic portrait book. I picked it up years ago, while in college. I thought that I would practice with some of his portraits until I can get back to the figure drawing group. These were drawn with my ball-point pen.
This is a watercolor study of my Watercolor 2 student working on her project. I painted this one over 2 class periods and it took about an hour total. Unfortunately we do not have easels in the classroom so the students usually work on a flat surface. Alyona likes to work in serious mode, with her head down, so I had to catch her when she had her head up. Not an easy task. I still think it turned out ok for a study.
The snow started around 2:00 pm on Friday afternoon. We went out for sushi and the streets of Richmond looked like someone had covered them in soft, white….fake snow. It was so gorgeous that it did not look real to me. At around 9:30 pm, I decided that I needed to go out and shoot some photos at Swan Lake, in Byrd Park. Once I lost all feeling in my fingers, I felt that it was time to go. On our way out, we saw a grey fox run across the snow towards Maymont Estate. Unfortunately, my fingers were too frozen to get a picture. These are the ones that I took away from the night. Enjoy!
These shots are behind our house. Snow makes trash look pretty.
All Images © 2013 L.J. Hancock
I try to run at least twice a week and I like to go around the lakes at the local park by our house for a pretty view. These two buddies have been hanging out since August. They caught my eye because they are a unique couple. In the past, I have seen two male mallards or a male and a female mallard hanging out together, but not a male mallard and a white duck. I did a little bit of research and found out that the pekin duck was originally bred from mallards in China, for their meat and eggs. I guess this is why it was so easy for these two to form a bond, because they have a genetic connection. These two are always together and follow each other around the lake. In fact, when I first walked up, the pekin duck was preening while the mallard was 7 – 8 feet away. When the mallard saw that I was either a threat (or had food) he quickly rushed to the pekin’s side to get his attention. The mallard is definitely male because of his coloring and I believe that the pekin is also a male because of his curled tail, although it is difficult to tell between male and female pekins. Even though these two may have come from a similar genetic makeup, I still like seeing two buddies who appear so different in size and coloring, hanging out. They immediately caught my eye and made me happy. On my runs, I carry my iphone and have never been able to get a good photo. Yesterday, after seeing them on a walk with my husband, I decided to go back home to grab my camera so I could get some fun shots.
All Images © 2013 L.J. Hancock