Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spring is here!

Tiny buds open up slowly,
As the first butterfly of the season floats out of its cocoon
The skies resonate with the sounds of vagrant birds returning home
The fragrance of cherry blossoms sits lightly in the air
The harsh spell of a long, cold winter is suddenly broken
By the warm beams of sunshine that swallow up the blue sky
Slowly, the world awakens out of its deep slumber
Afresh. Anew.

~vagabond~ © 2009

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Her deep blue eyes stare into my own, as she locks into them against my own will. She holds my gaze into hers as her piercing eyes penetrate deep into the crevices of my soul, searching and investigating the mystery of my being. The secrets of my past and present unravel involuntarily in the presence of her strong gaze and the truth of who I am stands before her, unguarded and vulnerable amidst her powerful aura.

And then just as quickly as she had cast it, she breaks the spell. She blinks and walks away from me, head held high, swooshing her tail majestically, bored by how ordinary and mundane I am amidst her extraordinary presence. She stretches lazily, taking in the warmth of the sunshine on a cool spring day, frolicking playfully before settling down for a nap on the cool ground.

Ivory. The white bengal tiger.

These photos were taken at the Potawatomi zoo, an AZA (American Zoo and Aquarium Association) accreditated zoo in South Bend, Indiana.
While the idea of a wild animal in captivity always saddens me, I do realize the important role that accredited zoos play as learning centers in educating and spreading awareness of wildlife conservation. Animals held captive in zoos are often valuable resources to conservation biologists studying the habitat requirement, animal behavior or other aspects of the ecology of an endangered species aimed at the restoration or reintroduction of the population in the wild.
By putting up photos of wild animals clicked at my local zoo, I am not necessarily advocating zoos. While the Potawatomi zoo is an active participant of the species survival plan coordinated by the AZA and is involved in many conservation and education efforts, not all zoos are equally conservation oriented. I feel a conflicted sympathy for the animal held in captivity in an accredited zoo because while it as an individual has lost its right to freedom, a greater benefit to the conservation of its species is often gained out of its captivity. By putting up these photos, I do not necessarily want to get into the argument of "good zoos" versus "bad zoos", I simply want to convey my love and fascination for these wild animals to anyone else that is captivated by their beauty.

~vagabond~ © 2009