Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Wildcat Sanctuary

Yesterday, a friend and I took the long drive out to the Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone MN. I was really looking forward to visiting the facility on its 10th anniversary.

I prepared by buying a cap with a long bill to keep from getting my nose sunburned (as it is prone to do). I bought a big tube of sun blocker, plus water and snacks. Most important of all, I bought new batteries for my digital camera so I could take lots of pictures of my favorite animals, the cougars. I dearly love cougars (or mountain lions, if you prefer).

I was very impressed with the beautiful place they have created for all the rescued cats that have been treated so badly. The cats, born in captivity can't be returned to the wild so the Sanctuary provides habitat as close as possible. Many of them arrive at the Sanctuary sick or injured, distressed and hating humans. Some spent their lives confined in garages or basements, some were housed in cramped filthy cages and rarely fed. But with kindness and good care, they eventually begin to experience the joy of sprawling in the warm sun or in the shade of a tree, they can experience the fun of splashing in a pool or opening an "enrichment package" to stimulate their senses.

I really want to take some good pictures of the cougars. We were guided into the section called Cougar Cove which is still under construction. It's going to be fabulous when it's finished!

I was all ready to take lots of pictures to post on my blog. Well, as it turns out, digital camera screens are totally washed out by full sunlight. I couldn't see if I was aiming correctly, or if I needed to zoom in or if the subject was even in the picture. The pictures I wound up with were useless.

I think I had better luck using cheap "throw-away" cameras. At least, you had a view finder you could see through to snap a picture. I resorted to going on the Wildcat Sanctuary website and using some of their pictures for this posting.


Olde Dame Penniwig said...

Ms Sparrow, on most digital cameras, there is also a viewfinder up and to the left that, while not optimal, will let you frame your pictures the old-fashioned way. I have had to use it in bright sun, too. I think the cameras ought to come with a little pull-out "hood" for that screen on back.

Those poor wildcats. Some people are so uncaring and trashy that it's just a pity. I'd like to see owning wild animals as pets outlawed or very very tightly controlled.

Ms Sparrow said...

Penniwig, I took a good look an my inexpensive digital camera and it has no viewfinder (darn!). Minnesota passed a law last year prohibiting owning big cats going forward, but people who already had them could keep them. Very few people are caring or intelligent enough to provide a decent home for exotic animals. I'm glad this law will help put a stop to it.

Ms Sparrow said...

By the way, Penniwig, your site has been rejecting my comments again. But, I'll keep trying!