Saturday, April 30, 2011

Nose to nose with Pattycake, a Western Lowland Gorilla

I highly recommend pretending it's summer so you can take summer hours and happily visit one of your favorite places. Mine is the Bronx Zoo where I was literally the only person in the vast zoo other than the zookeepers and other staff. Headed off to the Congo Exhibit for a family reunion of sorts where I camped out with my camera and watched the antics of the gorillas (my hairier relatives) who didn't seem to mind my company. In fact, based on some of the images I got, quite the contrary. Pattycake was playing with one of her teen boys when she noticed me and came over. And just looked at me. I almost didn't want to raise the camera to take a picture because of the connection I felt.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Another day, another Houston Street Romeo hittin' on all the Soho chicks

Ahh, Spring when love is in the air and a young hustler's fancy turns to divas and dreamgirls

twitter: @alansphotos

Monday, April 18, 2011

Scaling mountains in miniature

My house has some lovely old stone walls surrounding the property and over the course of the years, all sorts of lovely things have found refuge and started to grow amonst the nook and crannies.

One of my Harry Lauder Walking Stick trees up close

I have a number of these growing on my property. All contorted and gnarled. I am now taking orders for canes. Anyone? John? Nigel? Michael? Jeff? Andy?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Skepticism and Curiosity

Skepticism and Curiosity, originally uploaded by ashapiro515.
These are Wolf's Mona Monkeys: My unofficial official mascots. I am really taken by their expressiveness. Pity they don't seem to feel the same way about me.

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you

Growing up, I had this poem by Rudyard Kipling framed and resting on a shelf above my desk in my room... a gift from my father to his very young son.

I saw this scene today in Manhattan and flashed to the poem (and while it's nowhere near as macho as I would like, it somehow spoke to me of trials, tribulations and staying the course.)
So, to any of my guy friends on Flickr who feel the need to mock me: just shut up and deal.


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

Keeping it simple

Keeping it simple, originally uploaded by ashapiro515.

Head on

Head on, originally uploaded by ashapiro515.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Another day, another grownup looking to recapture the best part of his youth

Andrew is a good friend and altogether way too serious person.
So I prodded, and pushed and cajoled him into this. If you look really, really carefully, you can see how much he's enjoying himself

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Lucy, a gorgeous female Orangutan

Lucy is one of the female Orangutans at the Smithsonian Institute's National Zoo in Washington DC. She is charming and incredibly expressive.

Forsythia thavoring the warmth of the thetting thun.

Thorry. Couldn't resistht

Friday, April 8, 2011

Another red-headed stepchild

I don't have scientific (yet) proof but I am fairly certain that the amount of freckles on a young man's face are in direct proportion to his troublemaking skills and acumen.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Babatunde, originally uploaded by ashapiro515.

A moment of perfect connection that will stay with me forever. I took one picture and then just stopped to look into her eyes wondering if she felt the same connection that I did.

A convention of Black-eyed Susans (or is it a herd? A troupe? Or gaggle?)

When a bunch of Black-eyed Susans come together, what are they called?
A herd...
A troupe...
A gaggle...
A plethora...
An invasion...

My favorite: A cacaphony

I screwed up with this image because there were acres of them and all I shot was this. Musta had stuff on my mind. Damn. This is a mistake I'm not keen on celebrating. (So consider this a cautionary tale)

Monday, April 4, 2011

An amazing moment between a mother and daughter. A time for joy. A reminder: hug your kids.

An amazing moment between a mother and daughter. A time for joy. A reminder: hug your kids.

sorry for the lack of sharpness but was really caught up in the tender moment. At the same time, Shanna, the crazy aggressive Sheepdog was inches from me, barking furiously, worried about her charges.

Yes, the baby was absolutely smiling. What's not to smile about.

My Magic Tree

My Magic Tree, originally uploaded by ashapiro515.
I think everyone should have one... a magic tree that is: hundreds of years old, enormous, commanding in its singularity, stunning in every season and home to many, many wishes made by my kids and I under the sweeping branches

Thinking crazy thoughts...

Thinking crazy thoughts..., originally uploaded by ashapiro515.
Thinking crazy thoughts...

about a shower
a bed
a real meal
a warm, dry place in a storm
a real conversation with people who care.

about so many, many things
but most of all,
about why.

Mistakes Happen. Let's make it a holiday and global day of celebration.

A Mistake, originally uploaded by ashapiro515.
Mistakes Happen. A lot. But I for one wish they'd happen even more often. It's how we learn. And grow. And explore. Mistakes shouldn't stop us or slow us down. They should be celebrated. Lauded. Shown off and bragged about. In fact, I propose that there should be at least one day (a year, a quarter, a month) reserved for going out and spending the day making mistakes. Who knows what wonderful magic will happen. Who's with me?

Did I mention the parade? (Going the wrong way and getting lost)
With floats (that don't float)
And concerts (although each musician will be playing something different)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Another day, another world's strongest man candidate sidelined after powerlifting too many Twinkies and blowing out his knee

Paul swears he can lift a Volkswagen with one arm while chugging from a keg of beer held in the other.
He can pull an 18 wheeler harnessed to his back up a hill.
He can run a lap around a track with two husky guys hanging from his outstretched biceps.
At least he could until his knee blew out.
Now he teaches middle school gym.
And his wife says the most sensitive and tender man she's ever met.

A King Vulture wondering if I shall die soon so she can pick at me and see if I am as tasty as I look.

A Gibbon in need of a Prozac

A Gibbon in need of a Prozac, originally uploaded by ashapiro515.

Everytime I look at this image, it tugs at my heart. Gibbons are solitary creatures but still...doesn't it seem like she could use a hug?

Monochrome Peacock in profile

Peacock in profile, originally uploaded by ashapiro515.
I was staring at this fellow and got to thinking that I'd never seen a peacock shot in monochrome. Got me inspired.
Surprisingly, he was quite cooperative and allowed me to maneuver him against a dark backdrop

Polar Bear mistaking me for a baby seal (EXPLORED 3-31)

Nah. More like a really well-fed walrus.