Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #225 Wildlife Close to Home

Anne (Slow Shutter Speed) challenges me to look for non-domestic animals that live in my neighborhood. I live in Fair Oaks and much of the surrounding wildlife preserves and nature centers Anne has done a wonderful job describing. So I will look in my backyard, mostly.

Squirrels

This little guy (not sure of the gender) loved to eat the cactus that I called “Bob & Bea”. Bob and Bea were neighbors who lived across the street and gifted us this plant. One late, late evening I got a call that I had to come right away. I rushed right over for this emergency. This cactus blooms once at night and they didn’t want me to miss it. In my backyard, this plant bloomed over and over. Oh, back to the squirrel. He/she would come every day and eat just a little. Until there was no more plant. At the time I didn’t mind the company.

In my current house, my neighbor’s trees host many squirrels. There is an oak tree, a blackberry bush, and many other tidbits to munch on. But here in my yard, these industrious workers look for places to bury their acorns. My flower pots with their lovely soft soil are perfect. Not so cute when the dirt is dumped out of the pot, or the plants are uprooted. My dog Moxie is fascinated by squirrels. She doesn’t chase them away, she watches them quietly.

Birds

This summer a pair of Spotted Towee birds built a nest in my oleander bushes. I learned to recognize their particular bird call. While enjoying some of the berries I captured this image with my new iPhone 13 Pro.

While looking out my window this turkey surprised me.

Insects

Using my Fuji 80mm macro lens I was able to shoot some visitors to my garden. This dragonfly showed up for his photo shoot on time.

This fly knew it was better to settle outside on my succulent than in my house.

Green Acres Nursery opened up a short distance from my house. Sometimes I will visit with my camera, and sometimes I visit with Moxie. Both are welcome there.

Not quite wild, but unexpected

While visiting a local park with my grandson we came across some goats. Goats are used here to clear fields to prevent fires.

Thanks for checking out the local wildlife found in my Fair Oaks backyard and surrounding areas. What animals can you find in your local area if you stop, look and listen? Do any of my animals specifically capture your attention?

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #214 Favorite Finds

Anne-Christine is the host this week. She challenges me to find something surprising in my archive of photographs. She is sure I have something hidden in my archives that once surprised me or filled me with awe… I hope you enjoy my finds this week! And, perhaps the story that goes with it.

This is not an easy challenge, and with all that is going on around me, I need to make some quick decisions. Shall I go with the natural world? Shall I look to look to my collection that tells a story (ie: street photography and candids)? Shall I look at my many photos of household items? Public art? Hmmm?

Decision made. I will combine my collection that tells a story with public art. The 32nd Annual Chalk It Up! Chalk Art & Music Festival this Labor Day Weekend!  I have attended this event and these images of the people and their art were taken then. I’m hoping to get down to Fremont Park this very hot weekend.

Then there are the artists creating art for sale. I found these artists in Old Sac, the Las Vegas strip, and on San Francisco’s Embarcadero.

Art sculptures found at airports

Mural created during “Wide Open Walls”
Found this creation at Half Moon Bay, Ca.
Art found in hotel

Around Sacramento

Street Musician
Clever street art

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #150 Let’s Get Wild

For this week’s Lens-Artists Photography Challenge, let’s get wild!  Dianne is talking about Mother Nature untouched and untrammelled, allowed to get on with her work without human help or hindrance.

Looking through my images I am more inclined to capture images with human interactions. My travels haven’t taken me far from home.

Squirrels take up residence in the trees.
And a dragonfly lands on a bush in my backyard!

I did manage to take a trip to the Island of Kauai with some of my photo friends.

Beautiful Kauai
Nene, official Hawaiian bird
Turkeys strutting their stuff
An Egret returning to the nest
Youngsters following along!
A wild discovery at Effie Yeaw Nature Center in Carmichael, Ca.
Finding nectar in the wilds of Kauai
Northern California coastal fog

Sorry, this wild blog may seem a bit scattered. My very special doodle, Charlie is in the hospital. His liver is not working to its best. The doctors are trying to figure this out. HIs numbers are quite unexpected for a such a young dog. Think good thoughts that Charlie will be home with me soon. We have never been apart.

How to train Charlie?

Charlie finished his 6-week Baxter & Bella Online Puppy Training. After a brief break we are enrolled in Intermediate Training. When in training mode, he is right there. After 1 hour he is tuckered out. He becomes a wild pup, and need a time out before he takes his afternoon nap. I feel so bad when he looks at me and barks. I know he is saying something. They are not just random barks. I think he is saying now make my time with you exciting or I’ll zoom around, jump in the air, and make trouble. Funny, how a cute puppy can make you feel like you’re just boring. After more time with Charlie I now think I am experiencing a puppy version of an overtired toddler having a tantrum. So maybe I am not boring.

When I say “Settle” he gives me his smooch-face!

Group classes are still not widely available. Not being sure I was able to change some of Charlie’s less than desirable habits I searched out help. Albree Dog Training and Alan Miller was recommended by a friend. After spending over an hour I am more confused. All my reading, training, and practice were discounted by this trainer. We were not a good fit. I guess I’m not ready to go the chokehold route. So this week I am returning to my Baxter & Bella zoom Intermediate class and I’ll keep on practicing.

Like a growing toddler, my Charlie grew out of his small plastic crate. I thought I would take him out to Petco and pick up a larger crate. I am trying to expand his world. Well, with all the smells, other dogs, and friendly employees I thought this would be a positive experience. Nope. A loud noise in the parking lot changed his mind, and he wanted to get back in the car. Not to be deterred I encouraged Charlie to enter the store. His mind would not be changed, and when we were in the middle of the store he pulled his leash out of my hand and took off for the front of the store. I followed and saw that the automatic doors were wide open. Out he went, and ran right over to my car, and sat down and waited for me to catch up. My heart was pounding, Charlie jumped right into the car, and that was the end of our shopping trip. Now I know he is smart, but I didn’t think he would be able to recognize my Subaru Outback from other cars in a parking lot. Go figure.

We just got past a double whammy. Ten days of record-breaking heatwave (110+ degrees) and fires breaking out all over California. Not much outdoor time, and certainly no long, leisurely walks. When the asphalt gets hot, I have to remember that my Charlie is walking along in his bare paws. This is the west coast version of being snowed in. So I have to be patient with my training and Charlie’s lack of socialization. It will happen, just a bit slower than I would have liked.

Charlie is always ready to fetch a ball!

Trying to stay focused on positive experiences!