Kansas City Zoo Photo Club Meeting Minutes

April 21, 2003


Dan Paulsen was not in attendance tonight, so Marie Bohndorf called the meeting to order around 7:10 p.m.

 Marie asked if anyone had any old business before we start the program.

Carol Mitchell mentioned Savanahland, the small animal park we are planning to go to on May 24.  The cost is $10.50.  Carol will bring maps to the next meeting.  We need about 20 people to go, and right now we have about 20 people who have committed.

Marie said another option is the two sunset safaris the zoo has planned for this summer.  We could do walk-throughs on those evenings.  The scheduled dates are May 30 and June 27, from 5 to 8 p.m.  These are on Fridays.

This Saturday (April 26) is Party for the Planet at the zoo.  Also, SpongeBob SquarePants will be here on May 24; there will be activities for the kids on that day.

Marie said these events came from the zoo calendar of events on the zoo’s Web site.

June 14 and 15 are the dates for a classic car show at the zoo, as well.

Steve Brewer was asked about the progress on the Camera Club Web site.  He said the site is supposed to be up next month, but Steve is still waiting for some revamped photos from Jim Rendina.  We will transfer to EarthLink as our ISP in May.  If you have pictures for the Web site, please send them to Jim and he will get them resized.  We would like to have all new pictures on the Web site when we unveil the updated version.

Marie explained that our program next month would be presented by some representatives from Wolf Camera.

Sarah O’Brien, our zoo representative, said she could bring some flyers about the zoo’s annual photo contest to the next meeting.  You can submit photos from June to August.

An interesting exhibit is on display at Powell Gardens until May 11.  It shows the interior of a house furnished by plant materials.  This includes lots of orchids and other flowers.

Wayne Hickox told about a place in Topeka where you can photograph tulips.  It is called Binkley Gardens.  These private gardens were open this year from April 11-21.  On three and a half acres, there are about 30,000 tulips.

The group discussed walk-throughs again.  Sarah said she would check with the staff about good Saturdays in June and would report back to us at the next meeting.

Wayne said he will have a photo exhibit at the Prairie Village City Hall from May 1 to 31.  It is located at 7700 Mission Road.  The reception is May 9 from 6:30-7:30 p.m.  Wayne invited us to come out and have cookies and punch at the reception.

Tracy Goodrich said she brought a guest to the meeting, John Voiles.  John introduced himself to the group and expressed an interest in photography, which he is rekindling.  Marie welcomed him and invited him to come back, check us out again, and join if he likes the group.

Marie introduced the speaker for the evening, club member Linda Hanley.  Linda asked that we hold questions until the end of her talk if possible.  Linda’s slide show was on a trip to New Zealand she and her husband took over a year ago from mid-January to mid-February.

They started in Christchurch and spent two weeks on their own, and then spent another two weeks with a hiking tour group they had traveled with before.  For the first two weeks, they stayed mostly in youth hostels.  They took a train across South Island to Greymouth – the Tranz Scenic Railroad.  It had enclosed cars plus open cars for taking pictures.

Linda’s slides depicted sights she saw on the trip, including a view of the Ankle Biter Café; lots of flowers, which Linda found amazing; some of the beautiful fountains in Christchurch; and the landscape – dairy farming is a big industry there.  Linda explained that the climate is kind of like Seattle’s – it is moist and cool, but warm enough to be comfortable.

They went rafting on the Rangitaiki River.  It includes some class 3 and 4 rivers.  The raft tipped on the first class 4.  Linda found it exciting.

Oamaru was a beautiful town with a man-made harbor.  She saw lots of flowers in greenhouses, including begonias.  She showed images of people playing croquet, ducks on the pond, and formal gardens.  The statues there were neat – nymphs, bunnies, and others.

They stayed in a basic cabin near Moeraki, with a wonderful view of the coast.  They saw a lighthouse, sea lions, and yellow-eyed penguins, which are about three feet tall – one of the largest penguins.  They also saw the Moeraki Boulders, which are concretions that have split over the eons into very interesting formations.

They saw Taieri Gorge from the train, which is a rugged gorge with thin soil.  They saw a few horses and cattle grazing there.  They stopped at Middlemarch Station and at Dunedin.  There they visited the Royal Albatross Center to see the great albatross.  It has a seven-foot wing span.  They are hard to get pictures of, though Linda got some shots of them on nests through tinted glass.  In addition, she shot shags (in the cormorant family) on the nearby cliffs.

They also saw blue penguins, which in contrast to the yellow-eyed penguins, are only about ten inches tall.  They use burrows.

Inland, they found that Alexandra was a fruit-growing area, with lots of cherries and peaches.  They saw a house that had thousands of flowers and beautiful landscaping, and got some pictures of the gardens and the owner.  Linda noted that it is a perfect climate there.

They stayed at a modern hostel in Wanaka.  Linda went parasailing there on the return part of the trip.

Her images included some of sheep in the roadway – they have the right of way.  She also included slides of Mount Aspiring, which is a 10,000-foot mountain.  They went up the side of the mountain to a ski area and to the top of the mountain, which is above the tree line.  In the last three years, the government has banned grazing, and the plants, such as ground orchids, are starting to come back as a result.  It was a tundra-like environment at the top of the mountain.  She saw borage and lupine among other flowers.  They visited the Church of the Good Shepherd, which is in a beautiful setting.

They moved on up north to see Mount Cook, Lake Pukaki, and Lake Tekapo.  She got pictures in the evening and at sunrise.  They were able to see the mountain!  At 12,500 feet, it is the highest point in New Zealand and is often obscured by clouds.

They saw many monuments to the sheep dog or collie dog there.  There is still a lot of farming in the region.

They then moved across the plains from Christchurch.  These were wonderful plains with hedgerows 20 to 30 feet tall.  White-tail deer are raised there for meat and for the velvet on the antlers, which is considered an aphrodisiac in the Asian market.

They went inland, following the river valley, on their way to whale watching at Kaikoura.  She saw an unexpected pod of orcas, which was a treat.  They were really looking for sperm whale.  These whales fish very deep and stay down for about an hour or so.  Linda was able to get some nice tail shots.

You also could walk up to the sea lions, and she got some close-ups of them.  She also saw more shags.  They visited a historic whaling station that was built on foundation piers of whale bone.  In addition, they saw a sheep-shearing demonstration.

They went up the coast to a seal colony and north to Picton.  They went there to see the Edwin Fox, a slave ship that later became a cargo ship.  It was built in 1853.  Scarph joints were used in its construction, so the timbers wouldn’t slip and break.

Next, they kayaked across Marlborough Sound.  They put in at Broughton Bay.  They were in a double kayak.  They saw floats used for green mussel farms; the mussels grow on the cables suspended from the floats.

Linda decided to go skydiving, in tandem with an instructor.  Wow!  She said she wasn’t nervous, at least in the plane, anyway.

At this point, they met their hiking group, Knapsack Tours.  They stayed at nicer hotels rather then the hostels that Linda and her husband had stayed in.  They were in the Nelson area, which is the geographic center of New Zealand.

They went hiking in Abel Tasman National Park.  She saw tree ferns there, which is one of her favorite plants.  They had views of white sand beaches and saw apple and kiwi orchards in the northern part of South Island.  Down the west coast, they came to an area called Pancake Rocks.

They saw black sand and rock beaches.  They hiked to see Fox Glacier, but it had receded about a mile from the visitor center, so it was quite a hike to get to it.  You have to go up the side of the valley to reach it, and they have cut stairs into the side of the glacier so you can get onto it.  They have to recut it as it melts.  It is a rough area to slide around in; they were hiking around and through crevices that were sometimes quite deep, so they wore crampons for traction.  Linda did slip once.  Luckily she is still with us!

She got some beautiful glacier pictures.  They spent about a half-day there on the glaciers.  It was warm in the sunshine but cold when it was cloudy.

At Lake Matheson, they had lunch on the beach and walked the boardwalk inland to a marsh area.

Back in Wanaka, Linda went parasailing.  Then she hiked at Rob Roy Valley, which had beautiful flowers and glacier waterfalls.  Some folks went to an air museum, where they saw old fighter planes on exhibit.

At Kawerau Bridge, they saw people bungee jumping.  This is one extreme sport that Linda didn’t try.

They did some hiking at Routeburn Track, which was truly a rainforest.  They saw the Homer Tunnel, which narrows to one lane; Linda wondered how they navigate if two cars enter from opposite directions.

They were at Milford Sound on a crystal-clear day, which is unusual and lucky.  The fjords there are glacial in origin, with trademark U-shaped valleys.  They saw sea lions on the rocks there.

At Queenstown, they rode jet boats on the Shotover River.  She also went hot-air ballooning, and got some shots with the marvelous early light and long shadows.  It ended with a champagne breakfast.  Next, Linda went hang gliding!

They went to North Island for a very short time (one night).  They went black water rafting while there.  They actually went through a cave on the water.  If you turned your lights off, you could see glow worms about half an inch long hanging from the ceiling!  They were beautiful.

Taupo Volcanic Zone is similar to Yellowstone Park.  It is a unique area with a sulfur cave, hot pots, and green lakes.  Frosting on the rocks and ground is a mineral coating.

They went on a mandala tour.  A group of Tibetan monks were creating a sand mandala.  It was made by hand by the monks, and was beautiful and very colorful.  When they have finished with it, they sweep it up and put it in the lake; this is done to symbolize impermanence.

Marie asked what kind of film Linda uses.  Linda said she usually uses Kodak 100VS, but sometimes Fuji F400 if it is dark.

After Linda’s very interesting presentation, the group moved on to discuss more new business.

Sarah passed out a list of photos the zoo needs for its Adopt a Wild Child program.  The zoo prefers digital images or slides for this.

Crystal Nederman said we can use more pictures for the Deja Zoo wall.  We need to keep the stock rotated there.  If you do sell something, don’t forget to give a ten percent contribution to FOTZ.  If we don’t do this, they will pull our stuff from the wall there and we won’t be able to display or sell our work.  Our ten percent has been going to Adopt a Wild Child enrichment items for the animals and for new exhibits.

Chris also asked if anyone was willing to take over the responsibility of maintaining the Deja Zoo wall.  No volunteers stepped forward yet.

Marie asked Sarah if she could bring some TV equipment to the next meeting for digital slide show purposes.  Sarah agreed she could do this.

Mickey Norton moved that since Steve has gone above and beyond in taking on the updates to our Web site, we should give him a free membership for the next year.  Terry Fretz seconded the motion.  The motion passed.

Bill Pasek discussed the suggestion raised at an earlier meeting that the zoo give camera club members free FOTZ memberships.  He said he felt this was inappropriate, since our role is to support the zoo.  This issue was discussed.  Sarah explained that the zoo is really not in a position right now to give us free memberships.  It could give a discount such as $5 off FOTZ memberships, however.  She said she could bring the information to the next meeting and get our cards processed.  The group generally agreed that this sounded fair.

Also, if we have any special invitations or recognition about the club, we can put a blurb in the FOTZ newsletter, which comes out quarterly, to drum up interest in the club.

Carol Mitchell provided cookies as our treat for the night.  Tracy Goodrich moved and Bill seconded that the meeting be adjourned.

The meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.  The next meeting is on May 19 at 7 p.m.

                            -- Tracy Goodrich