Howdy everyone! It seems the world is under a bit of stress as of a late that quite frankly is making everyone batshit crazy. I was thinking to myself that the world just needs to relax a bit, take a deep breath and get their vitals back under control. It’s times like this the US.. if not the world, should be coming together. Instead we have the lamestream media lathering everyone up and politicians using the virus as a soapbox for whatever ax they feel they need to grind. If only we took this much national interest in stopping childhood cancer or helping veterans integrate back into our communities – but we don’t. Instead we run around calling everyone a racist if they call out Wuhan while being perfectly okay with Ebola. Toilet paper may be in short supply, but stupidity appears to be in abundance. I feel sorry for those on the front lines – the doctors willing to risk exposure to alleviate the symptoms of others, the truckers who drive tirelessly to deliver TP and other essentials to our local stores, the retail clerks who put the product on the shelves and those who continue to make product to keep society going. Countless others of course making it happen – to those I salute you.

Decided we need something to cheer us all up. So, for the next couple of posts I’m going to focus on things that will hopefully put a smile on your face and maybe warm your heart a bit. Not much, but at this point – maybe every little bit helps. Will probably be light on words, but heavy on cute things like …

Bunny at Clinton Lake, June 2014

There, any chance that made you smile … just a bit. That’s a Clinton Lake IL Bunny and I just want to grab it up and cuddle it. Although, before I did that I’d take that nasty tick off it (just below the ear in the neckline). Thought I’d point that out in case Ron saw it without warning and he jolted back in terror – not a fan of ticks that Ron ha!

IL Bunnies, not your thing? Well, how about a Rocky Mountain National Park Bunny!?!

Bunny taken at Rocky Mountain Park, Estes Park, CO May 2014

Hit the jump, there might a few more smiles under there!

Continue reading Coronatherapy

Hey, We’re not in Wisconsin

Sorry for the long delay between posts!  I was feeling bad having given you so many consecutive bird posts and wanted to give you a break.  Problem is.. to do that I have to find some topics that are … well, not more birds.  That translates into finally digging into the backlog again and seeing what’s available.  Figured the Yellowstone National Park trip back in 2013 was just the ticket.  Technically, it was the ticket for a ton of posts, so the good news is I’m now set for all kinds of posts (Yellowstone trips have a habit of doing that).  I should also mention I had an excellent opportunity to do some birding with my brother Ron over the weekend at Chain O’ Lakes.  Let’s just say that day turned out awesome and looking forward to getting those processed.  I’m likely to jump the queue a bit to keep those fresh.  Eager to get those out, but right now, let’s enjoy today’s featured animal.

Badger in Yellowstone National Park

How cool is that!  This is the first time I’ve ever encountered a Badger in the wild.  If you recall I was able to witness one at Wildlife Prairie Park (link here and here), but that doesn’t really compare to the experience to seeing one out in it’s natural setting.  I was actually scanning the fields looking for some birds (imagine that) while Linda was off taking pictures of a rather stunning sunset on a nearby pond – reminds me I need to check if she got around to processing those yet.   For a better vantage point I was standing on a large boulder about 40 feet or so off the edge of the road scanning the field in hopes of seeing some ground birds (a serious hole in my birding life list).  Unfortunately, not much was moving at all.  Bummed I looked down to judge the jump off the rock when I noticed a rather large hole dug with some serious effort right next to the rock.  Not sure how this escaped me when getting up there in the first place.  Noting how thankful not to have broken a foot off in it, opted to exit on the other side only to find ANOTHER larger hole on that side as well.  What the hell, I’ve walked directly into some devious rodent trap!  Now curious, the fields were given a second viewing.  That is when my eye caught this Badger meandering through the brush.

Badger in Yellowstone National Park

hit the jump to read the rest of the Badger post

Continue reading Hey, We’re not in Wisconsin

What Big Claws You Have

It’s April and that can only mean one thing.  That’s right, the post counter has been reset.  Figured tonight was a good night to start seeing as how I’d rather be sitting for an hour rather than working on a project.  This is due to having started my 50th round of rehab on the body.  This time I finally broke down and opted for the complete overhaul of my running mechanics combined with professional recovery and rebuilding of the body.  The constant injuries was definitely a catalyst for this decision – figured if I’m ever going to get in any condition to potentially tackle a marathon I better make sure the foundation is correctly built.  What I wasn’t expecting is how hard this was going to be.  After my gait assessment this week I have a LOT of changes to make.  Words of wisdom for you runners out there, when you manage to damage yourself pretty good.. take time off to get it fixed.  Apparently my body decided it would start compensating for its stupid owner which is likely the root of the problem.  Coupled with that is some serious torture they cleverly disguise by calling it message therapy.  Let me tell you, what it really means is warming up your leg with ultrasound (which actually feels good) and then digging the hell out of your leg to break up a 3.5″ band of scar tissue imbedded in your hamstring – god please don’t let me cry in public!  I got to thinking about this torture and immediately thought of the perfect post to compliment it.

Let us all welcome a new animal to the blog.  Just in case you prefer to hang out in the urban jungle, this here is a Badger.  While I was looking for the set of pictures that was supposed to be April’s theme, I discovered a shoot at Wildlife Prairie Park taken back in May ’12.  Somehow this had slipped through the crack on my post processing.  As the Yang and the Um goes, the bad of being unable to locate the original post has allowed for the discovery of an entirely new set for your pleasure.  The other set has been found, but we’ll get to those after a few posts from our favorite local wildlife sanctuary.

We have been visiting Wildlife Prairie Park since the day we both arrived in Peoria (when we were just two wide eyed kids out on a secret date).   From those initial visits up to this one I can’t remember a single time that this Badger ever showed itself.  The Badger enclosure is somewhat off on its own and has a few clay drainage pipes situated throughout giving it ample places to hide.   Based on the number of holes this boar (or sow) had dug it must spend sometime in the open.  To say I was surprised to see both of their Badgers out and about is an understatement.  Immediately the shutter was in full snap.

Hit the jump to read more about this interesting creature!

Continue reading What Big Claws You Have