The most important part of any shoot is a good assistant. You might recognize this guy from my post about photographing the terrible twos….
I don’t know if photographing a newborn is any easier than a two year old, actually, but they are equally adorable.
Could he be any cuter?
You’re driving through the the Everglades and you see a sign that says, “Skunk Ape Research Facility.” Do you stop, or do you keep going thinking, “What kind of person goes there?” The answer to that question is, “I do!!!” You are missing out if you don’t. The research facility is on hwy 41 in the middle of the Everglades. If you’re road-tripping down to the Keys, it’s the perfect place to stop for some leg stretching.
For those that don’t know, which is most of us, the Skunk Ape is the Everglades version of Bigfoot. It’s a large primate type thing, that allegedly lives up in the trees, feasting on deer liver and beans. I can promise you that I’m not advising you to stop to see a bunch of hazy pictures of grown men running around in ape suits. What you will see, though, is a lot of really cool animals and exceptionally helpful staff.
That nice gentleman is the main caretaker for all of the animals. He will happily stand there and tell you about each individual creature’s personalities, quirks and preferences. He will also feed many of those large birds dozens of cashews right out of his mouth. His immune system must be impressive.
We went through the whole animal tour without even a slight mention of the Skunk Ape. That was until I walked outside and asked a group of locals, “So who knows about the Skunk Ape?” Apparently, the world’s leading skunk ape expert was one of the men standing there when I asked. I got the full skunk ape tour complete with YouTube video clips, a book, personal stories of encounters from the man himself and more information than I could have ever wanted about a creature that almost certainly doesn’t exist. It was an adventure. I would recommend the stop 100%. Admission is only $5 and it’s worth every penny!
I spent my Memorial Day at Sun City Stables and I have the sunburn to prove it! They have horseback riding or a petting zoo if riding isn’t really your thing. Time is of the essence though, because right now they have the CUTEST little baby horse! Meet Milo…
He has absolutely no fears and will happily walk over and chew on your arm, face, camera… whatever. He’s not picky. The sheep are shameless as well.
In their defense, I did enter the pen with a bag of chips. If you are around sheep, or goats for that matter, with a bag of chips they really can’t be held responsible for their actions.
On top of the goats, sheep and horses, there are also llamas, an alpaca, an ostrich and a couple guinea pigs… and maybe some other things that I have forgotten. It’s only $5 for the petting zoo, which is nothing, so go check it out! The riding trails are lovely, the people are friendly and the animals are great. 🙂