I recently visited the Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium, and was able to get a few good shots of a beautiful, colorful turtle: Kemp's ridley (ridley is a kind of turtle). Enjoy my artistic renderings...they are fairly close to the originals, but enhance detail and color and seem to give the images more life and energy. The Kemp's ridley is in the brand new 4th aquarium building, which is full of fascinating sea creatures. "These turtles change color as they mature. As hatchlings, they are almost entirely a dark gray-black, but mature adults have a yellow-green or white plastron and a grey-green carapace," says Wikipedia. I have added some links if you're interested in learning more about this sweet little creature. Wikipedia NOAA Fisheries US Fish and Wildlife Service
This past week I visited the Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium in Litchfield Park, AZ. I've been visiting for at least 20 years, and each time I leave I am impressed with the changes from the previous visit. Always well thought out to delight the public, and children of all ages. On this visit, I saw many new completed projects and postings of new features to come. Loved Dragon World. Often-dangerous subjects: a photographer's dream. Meaning many exotic creatures, like a 28-foot-long Reticulated Python, separated from the viewers by thick glass. Watched probably the longest snake move from a long thin line into a relaxed, curled up position. My brother took a video of it. The ever-so-slow movement itself was fascinating, and so was the amazing design. Wikipedia says, "Like all pythons, they are nonvenomous constrictors and normally not considered dangerous to humans." Yeah. Right. We spent three hours photographing many exhibits, but were too tired (and hungry) to continue on to the aquarium area, which is simply humongous. And fascinating. Next week, perhaps.
This week, Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium won the Chairman's Award from Westmarc, a nonprofit that recognizes outstanding contributions to the image, lifestyle, and economic development of the West Valley. The zoo is home to Arizona's largest collection of exotic wildlife, with more than 3,000 animals representing nearly 600 species. The aquarium features 75 indoor exhibits with fish, mammals, birds, invertebrates, and reptiles in three buildings. I am among the more than 500,000 people who visit the zoo annually. I have a membership, and love to go out there and see what's new. Things are ever changing. The new aquarium is the only public aquarium between Albuquerque and San Diego. It is delightful. I love to photographs its amazing fish and use them to illustrate cards and websites. If you plan to visit the Greater Phoenix area, and like a rough and ready zoo, with several beautiful aquarium buildings and a fabulous Mexican restaurant, do consider visiting Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium.
My brother, David Crook, joined me and Martha Retallick of Tucson as we spent several hours at the Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium. We had Sunday Brunch there, and it was fabulous. I love it when great food and a casual atmosphere blend. It means I can eat my bacon with my fingers. Here are just a few of my shots, mostly redigitized, which I love to do.