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?

Kauai – Looking for Water on the Coconut Coast

The last time I visited the Garden Isle I spent much time at the beach visiting my son and daughter-in-law. This time photography pushed us to explore, explore, explore. There are 4 distinct areas to visit. West Side: Waimea Canyon and Hanapepe, North Shore: Kiluea, Hanalei and Princeville, East Side: Coconut Coast – Lihu’e, Wailua and Kapa’a, and South Shore: Koloa, and sunny Po’ipu.

Surrounded by ocean, with waterfalls and rivers interspersed there is no shortage of water. Landscapes full of green provide much appreciated photo opportunities. Especially when you travel from California after a summer of drought.

Opaika’a Falls enhanced by cloud cover
Looking for a closer view, a longer and heavier lens might do!

Our trusty Nissan rental provided our only means of transportation. Maybe if I return I may plan a trip down the river by boat. Not being able to get close to the waterfall kind of took away some of the excitement for me.

Wailua River found on the other side of Opaika’a Falls.

On to our next waterfall of the morning.

Beginning of a muddy trail to find the Secret Waterfalls
Meeting a much younger and experience hikers returning, I decide the Secret Waterfalls will remain as such. My friends and I enjoy the jungle atmosphere.
Looking out from the jungle path is a clearing with goats and bird friends.
Muddy, broken flip flops abandoned by a more adventurous hiker.

Lunch in Kapa’a at Bubba’s Burgers and a quick stop at Kapa’a Beach. Ocean

Plenty of wait time. Amusing signs always capture my attention.
Wild ocean waves on Kapa’a Beach

Last stop of the day is the Wailua Waterfalls. Picturesque, but did not get my heart thumping like Niagara Falls. What can I say.

Wailua Waterfalls
Amused to watch selfies be taken.
I guess this sign does not apply to the lizard attached!

This ends the exploration of the Coconut Coast. Didn’t photograph any coconuts. I understand that this side of the Island has groves of coconuts. Something to see, next time?