Bunny & Frog

May 18th, 2015 No comments

Yesterday we went to an Animal Expo. Unfortunately most booths were selling snakes, lizards, and frogs, which are cool, but I prefer fluffy potential petss. Two booths had rats for sale but both were meant as snake food, including baby rats who hadn’t even opened their eyes yet. :(

This guy who sells sugar gliders was there, just like several years ago when we attended. I got to hold a baby female sugar glider and an older male one. The male peed on me! But oh were they both soooo soft and fluffy. They are expensive too. Plus they require a ton of interaction. I love playing with my pets but not for several hours a day.

One booth had little rabbits, and this one in particular caught our eye because he was white with black streaking in his fur. I tried finding a photo online to show how unique he looked, but I can’t find any because it was that unusual.

When we circled back to the booth the bunnies were loose on the table and he was sitting with his back legs splayed out just like the dog in the photo of this post. Sooo cute! I carefully started petting him and he didn’t mind. And he was so incredibly soft that I started to melt. When he got up I scooped him up and held him and he still didn’t mind. He just sat in my hands very calmly. It was awesome, and I was so tempted to buy him!

In the end we didn’t get the bunny, for a couple of reasons: 1) If Joe is allergic to cats, there’s a good chance a rabbit could bother him, 2) I don’t have time/room for another pet. Maybe someday. But boy was he cute! I really hope he wasn’t being sold as food too.

Another booth was selling red-eyed tree frogs for only $40 and as tempting as that was, I decided to wait and do some research about their care first to see if I’m up to the challenge. The animal expo is every month so if I decide I want one we’ll just go back next month.

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Saturday Birding

May 16th, 2015 No comments

Pink Flowers

Despite the threat of rain this morning, we headed out to Fabyan Forest Preserve in Geneva anyway, but not before stopping at Jamba Juice to try their new coladas first (they were ok, but not worth the normal price of $4.25 (I had a coupon so they were only $2 each)).

Dandelion

Apparently there was some type of run/walk for cancer at the preserve, so it was a little crowded, but it didn’t stop us from seeing some real cool birds. We even saw an owl! Make that two! We’ve been lamenting for over a year how we never see any owls in the wild so when I spotted a Great Horned Owl way up in a tree we were thrilled. My biggest zoom lens was no match to the distance, and the fact that the sun was behind him, so this was the best I could capture.

Great Horned Owl

As we were scanning the tree-tops for more owls, an Asian man with the biggest zoom lens I’ve ever seen (seriously, it had to be over 1000mm), approached us and pointed out another owl nearby. This one was smaller and brown, which based on my research was likely an Eastern Screech-Owl. He was too far away to photograph, but I used my binoculars to get a look at him.

We also saw several birds we haven’t seen before, including a Barn Swallow, what might have been a Baltimore Oriole (but it moved too much to tell for sure), and a cute Yellow Warbler. Unfortunately I was only able to capture photos of the first one.

Barn Swallow

After our birding adventure we scoped out some garage sales but didn’t buy anything. Going to garage sales always sounds good in theory but I end up getting burnt out on them super quick. They almost never have anything I’m interested in.

For lunch we stopped at Red Robin because we were both craving a burger. I can’t get enough of the Banzai burger and their spicy ketchup is awesome. Honestly, I think it’s just Frank’s RedHot Sweet Chili sauce mixed with regular ketchup. I hope so, because then I can whip it up at home!

We stopped at the library to grab a couple of movies and then the tailor to pick up my jean shorts. When I was going through all my jeans awhile back I put aside two pairs that fit fine in the waist but were just too short. I dropped them off at the tailor on Monday and asked if she could make them into shorts for me. I’ve wanted jean shorts for awhile but it’s so hard to find any that fit me and I do not like the short cut-offs where it feels like my butt cheeks are on display. I’m happy to say the shorts came out perfectly. They fall just below my knee so I can either wear them that way or cuff them twice so they are right above my knee. Having these shorts will make it much easier to choose outfits in the summer since everything goes with jeans but not everything goes with black shorts (my summer staple for several years).

All in all it was a fantastic day!

Categories: Animals, Excursions, Food, Photos Tags:

Photo Weekend w/ New Lens

May 11th, 2015 No comments

Lilacs

Tulips

It was a rather wet weekend here, but Saturday morning it was just overcast so we headed to Lilacia Park to see the tulips and lilacs. It was actually a more comfortable visit than last year because it was only in the 60’s. On top of that, the previous day’s storms left pretty water drops all over the tulips and the lack of harsh sunlight made the photos more evenly lit.

Tulip

Afterward we visited Cosley Zoo so I could test out my new Canon EF-S 55-250mm F4-5.6 IS STM lens I had ordered earlier in the week. I really wanted the 70-300mm lens but the price has been holding steady at $650 for nearly a year now, so I decided to compromise with 50mm lens range for half the price. The lens I got sells for $300 pretty much everywhere, but I ordered it from Buydig.com because they threw in some accessories, including a protective filter for the lens, for free.

Raccoon

I like the reach this lens affords me now. The bobcats are always in the back of their enclosure so I could never get a decent shot of them until buying this lens.

Bobcat

On top of that, the auto-focus on the lens is very quick and the image stabilization works even better than I was anticipating. All my shots came out very sharp even with the added zoom. I’m very excited to use it at other zoos!

Categories: Animals, Excursions, Photos Tags:

American Goldfinches

May 4th, 2015 No comments

Last year we learned that if we put up a finch feeder, they will come. Unlike the hummingbird feeder that attracted nothing but ants.

It took about a week, but the finches started visiting a few days ago.

American Goldfinches

They’re telling their friends too, because I can tell that there are more than two of the same birds visiting throughout the day. I was excited to get a shot of the most colorful one this morning.

American Goldfinch

Now I really can’t wait to get my hands on a longer zoom lens!

Next up: Bluebirds and Baltimore Orioles. So far the mealworms aren’t attracting squat, but I’m hoping adding some orange slices to the platform feeder will draw them in (or maybe we’ll just end up with ants again, haha).

Categories: Animals, Photos Tags:

Sunday Funday With Birds

May 4th, 2015 No comments

Crabapple Lake

We always have the best weekends and this one was no exception. The weather was beautiful until Sunday late afternoon and we definitely took advantage of that. We had breakfast at the arboretum and then drove around and stopped to take photos. I brought my binoculars to help spot birds. We lucked upon these pretty blue Tree Swallows which I’ve never seen before. Joe actually spotted them first and I was lucky enough to be able to get close enough to them to get a decent shot.

Tree Swallows

Tree Swallow

I’m so glad I had my zoom lens with me even though it’s only 135mm. Today’s experience pushed me to just buy a new zoom lens. While ideally I’d like the 70-300mm I just can’t justify spending $650 so I’m going to get the 55-250mm instead which will be either $200 or $300 (depending on which model I choose). That I can stomach. Maybe when I win the lotto I’ll buy the crazy expensive lenses.

I also got some shots of the arboretum’s daffodils. They bloom and then die so quickly that if you blink you’ll miss them.

Daffodil Glade

Daffodil

After the arboretum we went to Herrick Lake to walk around, then ran some errands which included a trip to Home Depot to get flowers for the new planter Joe built last weekend.

New Planter

I love it!

We also moved our creeping phlox into a new planter which looks way better than the crappy one it was in (we inherited it when we moved in and were too lazy to do anything with it until the plastic started cracking and breaking off).

It was a fantastic spring day; I wish we were wealthy so we could just hit up nature areas every morning and then relax in the afternoons.

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