Monday, October 1, 2012

Nashville Zoo at Grassmere

Take a walk on the wild side at Grassmere Zoo in Nashville, Tennessee...

Exotic Birds welcomed me as I entered the zoo to reassure me that I'd chosen a great place to spend time off from work.
I hadn't been to the zoo in years and decided to go by myself on this trip. I debated leaving my house to venture through
Grassmere alone, as I don't normally go on such an adventure without the companionship of family or friends. 
I felt a bit strange when I stood in line to purchase one adult ticket 
but I was determined not to turn back.

Just because everyone I knew had to work on my random non-working weekday
did not mean I had to miss out on re-visiting one of my favorite places in Nashville. 
I crossed paths with a few visitors who had also braved their trip alone, 
but most people traveled in packs.

 A lone wolf, armed with an iPad and iPhone, arrived at this spot without 
the accompaniment of others. Much to our wolf's surprise, she found that 
she could enjoy a trip to the zoo by herself. 

Taking more time to observe the animals of her own choosing, 
she paused here and there to document her adventure, in photos.


I arrived to witness this primate in action! I may have missed this if it had not been for the commotion of excitement nearby. 

I stayed and watched for quite some time, deciding that my trip alone to the zoo had already been worth it! 

Since I'm a new iPhone user, I have more to learn about good video apps that have a zoom feature. Still, I think this one turned out well and I was definitely entertained by this swinging monkey.

Merekats are quite possibly the cutest things in the world...ever. These little guys were actively bustling about and their adorable factor drew a crowd in no time! 

Much to my dismay, my phone died in the middle of a film that would have been the most rare footage I've ever captured on camera. 

If I had only charged my phone...

I sulked later on during this day after realizing that my video had not been saved. I invested an extensive amount of time to lean over a glass barrier to film two of these critters while they fought and played in the dirt, making mere-catty noises of awesomeness. 

Next time, I WILL have a full battery to visually document the only time I've seen these guys in action. 

I have no idea why a canoe has been abandoned in one of the bird exhibits if more reasons exist beyond zoo decor. 

I guess this relic could be used by zookeepers, should they ever decide to drift around in this bird's dwelling. Subtle adornments such as this one may be missed if one is in too big a hurry! I noticed more detail at each animal exhibit and this canoe was a favorite artifact that I'd always previously missed.

Even when I wasn't watching animals, I was impressed by scenic views like this one!

Thank you, iPad.

I have affectionately named my iPad, who is a better companion than Mr. Stylus, my ex-camera.

Patty has a retina display. She's great and I have gotten incredible shots like this one since my husband gave her to me for my birthday. I had thought for some time that people who used iPads were of a sort that I could never understand...

'Yuppies', I had called them. "They think they're soooo great, walking around everywhere with that crazy computer-wannabe-mouseless-contraption, I had said.

 I'd also said that iPads were far too expensive. They probably wouldn't even take good pictures. I had thought these things  as I jealously watched the yuppies play with their gadgets, secretly wishing I could be one of them, athough never admitting any aspirations of the sort. 

I became the owner of an iPad and an iPhone this year, meeting two prerequisites of yuppie-ism. Patty and Lil' Pat are the most productive and entertaining devices I have ever known. They work in partnership to sync photos, edit photos, and display photos with more clarity than I'd ever imagined. 

 Miss Patty took the photo above. She kept going after Lil' Pat failed to document my mere-cats video. The battery-life on the 'Pats' is ridiculously long-lasting. I am one bewilderingly satisfied Apple product consumer, despite my initial resistance to cave in to their powers of attraction. 

Patty and Lil' Pat are probably going to take over the world someday. Siri is more than likely conspiring a plan to conquer our country. You can resist the urge to join them- but not for long. Go ahead, buy an iPad or iPhone and join the rest of we know you want to...

Then, take those toys to the zoo and see for yourself what the craze is all about. 

I've got a new thing I do, whenever the opportunity arises. Whenever I see one of these quarter-for-a-view devices, I have to take a picture of it against whatever background it affords. 

I don't know why I like these contraptions so much- I suppose it's because they have a nostalgic quality that reminds me of fond childhood memories when I used to ask my parents for quarters to look through the lenses of this machine. 

One of my favorite shots like this one is in my Gatlinburg Skylift post, for those of you who are new to my blog. This photo above, however, rivals my other looking-lens-themed photos' coolness factor, since a zebra increases appeal by at least 50%, according to my calculations. 

Taken at Grassmere Zoo, where I had no need to look through this lens to see this zebra!

Shel Silverstein

“I asked the Zebra,
are you black with white stripes?
Or white with black stripes?
And the zebra asked me,
Are you good with bad habits?
Or are you bad with good habits?
Are you noisy with quiet times?
Or are you quiet with noisy times?
Are you happy with some sad days?
Or are you sad with some happy days?
Are you neat with some sloppy ways?
Or are you sloppy with some neat ways?
And on and on and on and on and on and on he went.
I’ll never ask a zebra about stripes...again.” 

- Shel Silverstein


On my sole-traveler trip, I was able to spend more time at relaxing scenes like this one. 

Normally, when with a group, I pass these places by, without stopping to admire their beauty. Lots of people rush through the zoo, in pursuit of animal sightings rather than scenery. 

While rushing to see tigers and elephants is perfectly understandable, I prefer spending time looking at more than just the animals. Grassmere is beautifully landscaped and I am grateful to have taken some extra time to notice this during my visit!

Even the light posts had an alluring quality that prompted more picture-taking. I wonder where I can find and buy a lantern like this....hmmm...

Slanted angle of a lantern I'd love to have...

Alligators have replaced the otter exhibit that used to be here in this tank. Now there are shows where visitors can watch zookeepers feed this monster. 

I did not attend such a show, for I was too bummed out that my cute otters had been replaced by a far less adorable creature. Maybe next time I'll watch this fearsome gator eat lunch. Still, I think otters were more fun to watch as they swam around playfully in the water. 

I didn't visit this gator on one of his active days but I got a few pictures taken from below his resting place. I'm sure visitors enjoy watching the feeding shows, but I'm not big on huge reptiles who are inclined to eat me. Otters are far less threatening!

Oh no! 
Turn back, little fishy and swim for your life! 

I hope this scaly little dude made it out of here, but I didn't stick around to watch. I'm afraid I don't have high hopes of seeing both creatures in this tank together next time. 

Poor fishy...
poor, poor, stupid fishy. 

This fish is luckier than the one that became gator bait.

These fish must be fed often! They swarmed near me and jumped out of the water. 
Unfortunately for them, I had no crumbs to toss into their pond. 
I didn't expect to get a picture like this. I wish it were more clear 
but those leaping fish were too fast for my camera to focus! 
I need to look into getting more photography apps 
so as not to miss an opportunity like this again.

Although these fish are less wild than other animals at Grassmere, I still enjoyed watching them leap up out of the water!

These flamingos look fake, but I assure you they're the real deal. I don't remember ever watching flamingos and I thought these were lawn ornaments at first glance.

I could just punch myself for not getting this in a video. First, I missed catching the merecats rolling around, then I missed one of the
most amazing things I've ever seen an animal do. Here's how it went down...

There was this big (and by big, I mean tall), really mean bully-type flamingo who kept trying to pick fights with his um...herd.
The others got tired of his disregard for personal space and one of them finally decided to put the class bully in his place.
 Squawking and screeching in a tone I'd never heard before, one brave little flamingo shoved the bully towards the water.
Mean flamingo FLEW across the water, for he had been frightened by the unexpected defiance he'd been shown.
 Granted, this flight did not last more than five seconds, nor did it display an advanced height from the water below...


Meanie 'mingo allowed feet to dangle barely above water as he flew the entire length of his habitat. 

I freaked out. You would, too. You probably don't believe me. I wouldn't believe me either, had I not witnessed what I once
thought was impossible!

There's a new leader of the stand because he bravely took a stand against bullying.

According to, a stand the proper way to describe a group of flamingos. Oh, the things the internet teaches us! I will no longer refer to a group of flamingos as a herd, flock, or gaggle. I'll also pride myself on the double meaning usage of the word in a sentence. :)

They are real. I promise, these aren't decorations. Go to the zoo if you still don't believe me. You have to admit, that flying flamingo picture would be hard for me to fake!

Taken through glass, of a little frog who lives in the reptile house.

This little guy is cute, but I'm fairly certain he is deadly. Big things come in small packages, my friend.

I think that iguanas are the ugliest creatures. Nevertheless, I needed to take a picture that re-affirmed this.

No offense to iguana owners out there, but you should probably come to terms with the fact that your pet is hideous.

Photo-editing fun with this picture! Taken in the birdhouse portion of Grassmere, which is located near the reptile house of horrors. Sorry snake lovers and friends of froggies, but I prefer pretty flowers!

At last, one of my favorite animals. Well, two of them. I mean, two of the same favorite animal. You get what I mean. The elephants have the largest area to roam out of all other zoo captives. Makes sense since they are ginormous!


“It is the little bits of things that fret and worry us, we can dodge an elephant, but we can't a fly” - Josh Billings



“Nature's great masterpiece, an elephant - the only harmless great thing.” - John Donne


“When elephant steps on a trap, no more trap” - African Proverb

And now, a few of my FAVORITES. This is definitely one of them! I like taking pictures through branches, but didn't ever have the opportunity to feature an elephant until now. I'll be making more trips to the zoo to get more shots like this one. 

I was impressed by the clarity of the water in the elephant habitat. 
I don't know how they keep it so pristine but I owe Grassmere
a big THANK YOU for contributing to this photo's sharpness. 
I'm sure the elephants would thank them, too. 

I vote this one my best for this zoo visit trip. I may even have to frame it. Glad I caught this elephant at the right time!

Giraffes have a weirdness/awesomeness combo that other animals lack. What other animal can entertain visitors just by eating their lunch? Oh yeah, the alligator, I guess. Still, not as cool as the giraffe, in my opinion.

I think they may need more trees soon...or longer necks.

Yeah, I'd rather watch this giraffe than watch the alligator. Especially 
since giraffes prefer eating healthy leaves to munching human flesh.

 I'm not sure how I looked when I snapped pictures of this elephant's behind. 
Other people standing near me waited for a picture opportunity that would not show a big booty.

 Those people probably thought I was a weirdo as I clicked away on my iPad, regardless of the elephant's pose. I'd already gotten one shot of his front, so what's the big deal? 

Oh yeah, there it is. His butt. 

Maybe he got photo shy when he noticed a bright light that had reflected from Miss Patty's screen. I had no idea I'd aimed refracted sunlight at this animal, but he let me know what he thought about it!

Monkey-see, Monkey-do, 
I had a fun day at the zoo.
 Don't like my rhyme? I won't feel blue. 
Write your own at Grassmere ZOO! :)

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