It is Tuesday in our part of the world and we are excited to join Frizztext’s A-Z Photo Challenge. Letter this week is Q, and our featured photographer, Blanche Berzamin-Acabado has chosen the theme Quack said the Duck [and other Animals] as she shares her photographs and stories with us today.
“If we could talk to the animals, just imagine it
Chatting to a chimp in chimpanzee
Imagine talking to a tiger, chatting to a cheetah
What a neat achievement that would be!”
Bobby Darin (Dr. Doolitle, 1967)
I’m not exactly what you would call an animal-lover. Sure, I like a few dogs here and there and I think birds look majestic and I’ve always enjoyed watching a dolphin show or two; but aside from watching animal features on National Geographic or Animal Planet, I’ve never really thought much about having a pet or committing to one of those save-an-animal programs. I guess you could call me a passive animal-lover.
Then, my son came along. And like most things when you become a parent, what seemed trite and ordinary before suddenly becomes fun, interesting, and even exciting. Jared loves the zoo and the aquarium. We had year-passes for the Honolulu Zoo and the Waikiki Aquarium when we lived in Hawaii. During a trip to California, we made time to see the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach and the Sea Life Aquarium in San Diego. In the Philippines, we went to see the Manila Aquarium, Avalon Zoo in Ortigas and Ocean Adventure in Subic. Here in Guam, we took him to Underwater World.
Thanks to these trips, I have taken hundreds of animal pictures. Maybe it’s because of Jared’s fascination with animals that somehow made me see how beautiful these animals really are. Here are some of my most favorite animal pictures. I know Jared loved seeing these animals and I loved taking their pictures. I hope you will enjoy them, too!
Lorikeet at Aquarium of the Pacific, CA
The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California is home to one of the best Lorikeet sanctuary in the US. The first thing you will notice when you get inside their habitat is the burst of colors. Their bright colors make them look so happy and alive! While most of them tend to shy away from people, this particular Lorikeet caught my attention because despite so many people trying to get its attention, it was just right there on its perch ignoring everybody. I call this bird, The Snob One.
Sea Urchins at Aquarium of the Pacific, CA
I have always been afraid of sea urchins. Can you blame me? I remember a beach holiday when I was younger when one of my cousins stepped on a sea urchin and though he claimed it wasn’t really that painful, I refused to believe him because it wasn’t easy getting that spiky thing off him. Anyway, ever since that event, I’ve always been wary of these spiky water creatures – which is why it is such a treat for me to watch them safely with at least 2 inches of glass between us. Aside from the safety issue, these urchins caught my attention because they are just too cute! I mean, I’m used to sea urchins being black and round and spiky. Then I see these and I just loved looking at them – with a barrier between us, of course.
Mandarin Duck at Honolulu Zoo, HI
As you enter the Honolulu Zoo, there is a duck pond on the left side of the entrance. Obviously, this pond is home to the different ducks that live in the zoo. There are several different kinds of ducks and my favorite one was this, the Mandarin duck. I like it because its bright green head made it stand out among the rest of the other ducks and also because while the other ducks were either hiding from the people or swimming in the pond, this Mandarin duck was just sitting there on the grass sunbathing.
Flamingos at Honolulu Zoo, HI
My son Jared’s favorite color is pink. This is probably why among all the animals at the Honolulu Zoo, his favorite are the flamingos. The flamingos are so beautiful, with their bright colors and their seemingly gentle stance. I think it is apt that they are the very first things you will see when you enter the zoo. Their colors give off a happy and positive start to what will surely be a great adventure in the zoo.
Jellyfish at Waikiki Aquarium, HI
The jellyfish is another one of Jared’s favorites. The Jellyfish Exhibit at the Waikiki Aquarium hosts a lot of different jellyfish species but these jellies are Jared’s absolute favorites. These things are so cute – they are only about one-inch big! I remember having a hard time trying to convince Jared that no, we cannot bring them home and place them in little fishbowls.
Seahorses at Waikiki Aquarium, HI
Did you know that male seahorses are the ones that lay eggs and not the females? If you knew that, good for you. If not, don’t feel too bad. I just found out this summer. Ha-ha. Anyway, I’ve always liked seahorses because I think they look interesting. When I saw them at the Waikiki Aquarium, I was more amazed at them because I thought that it was interesting how they curl their tails around the water plants. This picture only shows two seahorses curled on a plant, but I saw as much as four or five seahorses curled on one plant. I wonder they do that. I should remember to Google that.
Lionfish at Underwater World, GU
I first saw a picture of a lionfish when I was about eight or nine years old in one of my encyclopedias at home. Even then I thought it was really beautiful. When we went to Underwater World, that was actually the first time I’ve seen a live one and yes, it is even more beautiful than a picture in a book. I heard some of the kids say it looks scary, but for me, I think it’s lovely and I think it looks more like a butterfly than a lion. Apparently, though, the beautiful lionfish is very poisonous. Guess where I got that information from. No, not Google. I heard it from one of my favorite TV shows, Bones.