Something Fury Comes This Way

That loud collective sigh of relieve you just heard was a result of finally getting through all the hard work that goes into putting on our annual Halloween party. Probably logged less than 8 hours of sleep during the last three days. Thanks for both my brothers and numerous friends from work .. .and of course Linda, we managed to get it all pulled together in the nick of time. Once again, I broke my promise to Linda and failed to get everything set up on the haunted trail before guests started arriving. Luckily everyone chipped in to finish getting all the batteries loaded and a few tweaks to the linkages on some of this year’s new creations. Everything went well until the last guests departed and then the skies let loose with a steady shower for the rest of the night. Will take some time getting everything dried out and stored away for next year. With the party worry over, I can focus on the next crisis…

Squirrels in Kentucky April 2015

pissed off squirrels!! No, just kidding, Squirrels are too cute to be pissed off. Honestly, have you ever seen an angry Squirrel? Every time I see them they are busy chasing each other around the backyard or wandering around digging holes in random spots trying to remember where they left their prize nut. My pressing crisis is the fact it is the end of the month (Ron’s birthday as a matter of fact) and I’m short on my personal blogging quota. That is why I’m at the keyboard at the moment and not dreaming about sugarplum fairies or next year’s Halloween props.

Squirrels at Starved Rock May 2015

As a change of pace, thought it would be fun to feature something with fur instead of feathers. These first shot comes to you courtesy of a birding trip to Kentucky back in April 2015. Unfortunately, I am not up on all my Squirrel species. Thanks to growing up in the Heart of Illinois, I spent much of my years up until college thinking there was just one type of Squirrel. That would be the Eastern Grey Squirrel. When I started branching out into the world, I noticed there are actually more than one species, yet all cute as can be. The shot above came from Starved Rock and based on my untrained eye, looks to be the same Eastern Gray variety.

Hit he jump to see a couple more varieties captured on our birding escapades.

Continue reading Something Fury Comes This Way

Little Furries

Ever have one of those days… err, one of those weeks…err, one of those months that you can’t seem to get everything you want to get done actually done!?!  That is exactly my situation this month.  It seems like every time I get a few steps ahead, something happens and the next thing I’m looking at that previous advances from two leaps back.  I tell you this as a prelude to an apology.  Remember that whole epic month thing I was striving for?  Well, I have to save the rest of those for future months and go with some other topics.  The good news is I was able to spend yesterday birding with my brother.  We scored around 55 unique species for the day and at least 90% of them have proof in the tin.  Pretty much assured now there is enough blog fodder to take me into 2019.

With that, I better get to some posting (more pictures, less babbling) Today’s alternative feature are those cute furry critters that roam our country.  Let’s start with the cutest one of them all.

American Pika from Rocky Mountain National Park

This little furball was taken near the peaks of the Rocky Mountain National Park.  In case these are new to you, they are called Pikas.  They kind of look like a hamster on steroids.  It also happens to be one of the favorite photography subjects for our friends Dr. Giselle and David (note, I’m jealous they get to visit Yellowstone and take pictures of these cuties whenever they want!)

The next specimen is the Prairie Dog.  This happens to be one of those mammals that you love to watch and photograph in places OTHER than your property.  Wow, can these furries be destructive.  However, if you can get over that, they happen to be great fodder for the camera.  They are very social and naturally tend to provide excellent poses for the glass.

Prairie Dog

This one was taken at the Indianapolis Zoo in their Desert Biodome exhibit.

Hit the jump to see some more furries!

Continue reading Little Furries

The Cute and the Pissed

My apologies, this post was suppose to go out yesterday – you know, the whole Valentine’s Day and the “Cute” theme.  Unfortunately, some unplanned issues came up that required me to spend extra time on the phone discussing  flight schedules from Florida.  For the record, I can’t believe the price of air travel these days.  So basically you get to be treated as public enemy #1  and have the pleasure of paying a premium for it. (To keep my spirits up during air travel I mentally replay Tracy Morgan’s SNL skit on profiling.)  Figured it would be prudent to get this post out while there was some free time.

This set of pictures  is from our Yellowstone vacation (assuming you were not surprised about that) but they were not actually taken at the park.  Instead, they were shot at a stop off on our way there and another one on our way back.  Need to make the most of the photo opportunities when you are heading out West.  Since the VDay theme doesn’t really apply anymore, let’s start with the “Pissed”.  Spearfish south Dakota is a favorite stopping point for us when we are heading to Yellowstone.  Beyond the cool name, this small little town has some gorgeous waterfalls in relatively easy walking distance from parking lots.  Linda’s nature photography specialty are the “silks” and she once again produced some very nice shots – guessing she will be putting these head to head with my wildlife shots during the competition season.  While she is off playing with the shutter speeds, I generally entertain myself by stalking the local wildlife.

Well, to be honest the word stalking is better served by “annoying the living crap out them” in this case.  Imagine the insane racket reserved for raccoons protecting it’s young packaged up in a large golden brown hamster with a long fuzzy tale.  Rather than simply state displeasure and carry on with the comfy life of a forest rat, this squirrel would come running at me (in full rant of course) and take up a defiant posture in the nearest tree.  10 seconds later it would scamper off into the trees only to repeat the cycle as I continued walking along a trail.  Thanks to confidence from earning 2nd degree black belts in multiple martial arts discipline I stood my ground against this upset furball.

Hit the jump to view the rest of the pictures… and commentary

Continue reading The Cute and the Pissed