Sunday 1 December 2013


After the strong winds on Wednesday, which were actually Calima (blowing sand in from the Africa/Sahara Desert) , Thursday was calm, warm but cloudy.  We had friends round in the morning/lunchtime so took things easy.  

On Friday we went to the Zoo, just the second visit in our 9 years here.  We went on the free bus at 9am in the morning and back at 6pm (approx 90 mins journey).

We had a lovely day and I took an embarrassingly large number of photos which I've whittled down to a couple of hundred  LOL.   so lots of reference material for future artwork.  That does include pictures taken in the adjoining cactus botanic gardens and at the birds of prey exhibition.

I haven't really sorted all the pics yet but here are some random photos from the zoo

Who can't love these little Meerkats?

and mongoose ... which I understand are same family as Meerkats

The mongoose(s) were more fun though, they were hidden from sight when we first looked into their enclosure but later in the afternoon (when we were the only spectators)  they were out in force, about 8 of them chasing each other around and play/fighting, chasing their tails like kittens.   They were more amusing than the meerkats

The otters are such fun as well ...

We hand fed ringtailed lemurs.  My hand

David's hand

The zoo has a fantastic giraffe enclosure with viewing platforms at ground level and giraffe head-height so its possible to really get up close.   In this case maybe a tad too close.   Watch the tail end of David's ice-cream cone

Now you see it ...

Now you don't ... note the long black tongue.  Not sure giraffes should eat ice-cream but its too late now ..

This little (if you can call a baby giraffe little) chap was desperate to share the adult's lunch - but his neck just isn't long enough yet

I took lots of zebra pictures too ... their stripes fascinate me

These two seemed to be best of mates ... despite the fact there were lots of other llamas and ostrich/rheas in the enclosure they seemed to have formed a friendship

and there's always someone who lowers the tone isn't there ...

will stop there as uploading photos is painfully slow on this travel computer.    But as I have sooooo many photos I'm sure I'll be showing more in future posts,

Yesterday afternoon we had a long walk round town and stopped for a glass of wine at a beach front bar and just people watched.   The wind had totally disappeared and the sea was dead calm then David spotted a strange regular black movement/wave out to sea.  

It was a Giant Ray.   The Spanish common name is Manta Ray, the British common name is Giant Devil Ray.   I tried to get some photos but without much success.  We know that the giant rays are seen regularly close to shore but this is our first sighting.

Its not clear from this photo but what we were looking at was approx 12ft - 15ft wide. 

OK got to go now ....


  1. Oh what lovely pics you have. I can see many masterpieces coming up.

  2. Loved the pix. I have always loved meerkats, didn't know the mongoose was a relative, they are cute too. Haven't been to a zoo in years, not much good walking. That first picture of the lemur looks like its saying "You expect me to eat that?".

    How exciting to see the Manta Ray, always remember pix years ago from a diver who caught one giving birth, at the time it was considered a fantastic shot because no-one had ever seen it before.

    In Malta the desert wind is the Sirocco.

  3. Thanks Polly. I do get carried away with the camera but as I'm 'no David Bailey' I like to take lots of pics in the hope of getting a dozen good shots LOL

    Must say I'm really irritated with peeps using Ipads to take photos. In restricted spaces waving the equivalent of a small TV screen round is very obtrusive. Get a life, get a camera LOL

  4. Hi Jo
    I didn't know about the family link either. But when looking at the photos I could see a resemblance, particularly when the mongoose stood upright in traditional Meerkat pose. Just Googled it and found they are same family.
    The Manta ray was huge - you'd need to be in a boat, or scuba diving to get good pics but this one stayed in the same spot for a good 30 minutes and kept breaking the surface with its 'wings'

  5. great pics :D

    I call them Manta Rays, havent seen one tho :(

    love when you can get so close to the giraffes, love them :)

  6. Hi Jennifer.
    the giraffes are great characters but I was surprised at how wiry/rough their muzzles/faces are. I stroked a couple and they weren't soft like horses.

  7. Beautiful photo's Sue, I hope you are having a wonderful time away from the miserable British weather ;)

  8. Hi Chrissy 'long time no see'

    Yep we are having a lovely time. weather isn't fantastic but its much, much warmer than in England so no complaints from me.

  9. Wonderful that you got some good photos but have to say that lemurs and especially the meerkats give me the willies for some reason.

    Love the giraffes though - I take it David accidently on purpose let the giraffe have his ice cream cone?!!!!

  10. OMGosh,Sue...these photos are incredible... I want your camera!! LOL... such clear pictures. I hope to see some of these in paintings...(gorgeous zebra)

  11. Hi Jan
    Well I think he was teasing the giraffe a litte, but didn't really expect the ice-cream to disappear. He was caught out by the length of that tongue I think LOL

    Thank you Hilda. Problem is I have hundreds of photos in my 'to do' files and still struggle to decide on suitable refs when starting a new drawing .. spoiled for choice methinks


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