Category Archives: Nature

The great outdoors… here we come!

Tomorrow, my daughter and her sixth grade class we’ll be on a camping trip; it’s part of their outdoor learning adventures. You know, taking the class outdoors? I’m all for this type of learning and it’s something that a few of my teachers did regularly when I was in grade school.

Today, after work/school, we’ll be going down the checklist, making last minute preparations before the big day tomorrow. My daughter has three bags packed for three days!¬† She clearly does not need that many bags so I’ll consolidate and cast aside the items she really does not need. Can you tell I’m looking forward to that task? ūüėČ

Raccoon watching; unexpected surprise

“Mom come quickly,” said my daughter standing by the door.

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Raccoon cleaning its paw

 

Here’s what we saw

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Raccoon cleaning its paw

 

We went outside for a closer look. I think this raccoon was sick.

  1. This raccoon was stumbling.
  2. It’s behavior was similar to rabid animals that I’ve observed.
  3. A car came down in our community and the raccoon didn’t move. The car had to move around it or it would have run it over.

We watched it for a while and then eventually went back inside. A few hours later we heard a loud bang. This raccoon was on our neighbors property. He shot him with his shotgun. It was a clean shot and the raccoon died instantly. My daughter was upset, but I reminded her that this raccoon was sick and it didn’t have long to live.

Praying Mantis; Early morning visitor

Last Sunday, while on our way to church, my daughter and I saw this lovely visitor hanging out on our front porch.

Such a lovely critter, I love praying mantises!

I suspect this praying mantis had already laid her eggs (to be hatched next year.) She carefully looked us over, and after determining that we weren’t a threat she continued basking in the early sun rays — while my daughter and I hung out with her for a few moments.

Praying mantises are always a welcome sight in our garden, since they hunt and kill insects that would damage our crops.

I love insects, and praying mantis are one of my favorites so I usually try to make time to marvel at how awesome they are whenever I see them.

The females are generally larger than the male, and if the male isn’t careful he’ll become a meal for his cannibalistic companion shortly after mating. Be happy that human mating customs aren’t so deadly.

Our God is great, and has created out some amazing things, take time to enjoy life — it passes by so quickly.

Curious green anole; lizard

I believe this might be a green anole. 

During our vacation, we spotted this inquisitive little sweetie.

Green anole Lizard 2

While exiting the pool center, I heard a rustling in the shrubs, I stopped and patiently waited, and was rewarded when this lizard clamored onto a bush to get a better view of the chatter. Perhaps we were disturbing its afternoon siesta?

My daughter, four-year old cousin, and my aunt were there also, and so it had a captive audience. Since I’ve read a lot about lizards, I was able to talk about some of their characteristics while I snapped shots. They were a captive audience, and the lizard seemed to bask in the attention. It even was bold enough to crawl closer to get a better view, while it cocked its head, and its eyes rotated to follow us.

Green anole Lizard 1

This lizard, posed for numerous shots, and my only regret is that I didn’t stuff one of my macro lens into my Nikon D80 bag, before we headed to poolside. We reluctantly left, with the lizard still watching us.

I’m in constant awe of the world that God created, and am continuously blessed that I’m here to enjoy it.

Flowers in bloom

Flower 1

I’m completely drawing a blank on what this flower is called? When it comes to me, I’ll update this post. I took this picture, this past Friday which was the same day I captured my neighbors pigs.

Last week was fairly hot here in Maryland. So hot, it got into the 80’s F! Which is unseasonably warm for this time of year. The nights stayed warm enough for us to turn on the air conditioner. Because of the warm weather, it meant I was able to get a lot of gardening (weeding and tilling) completed, between client projects. I had a few aches and pains on Saturday, since I was using muscles in different ways than I normally do when exercising (running, inline skating, or working out in the gym) but it felt great! With the added bonus, that I completed my gardening chores in perfect time, since it rained all day yesterday!

Saturday, the temperature dropped to the 60’s… and it rained all day! Which sets the perfect scene for staying inside, however in the morning my daughter and me were at our Lutheran Church volunteering at their food pantry. Thirteen¬†families arrived between 10:00 and 12:00 to receive grocery bags (filled with food) for their families. ¬†I enjoyed chatting with the families, and the other volunteers.

Today our highest was 51 F. This evening, the temperature will be down to about 36F.

Edited to add The flowers are hyacinths! Karen, pointed that out in the comments section.

Screen shot 2012 03 26 at 11 41 50 AM

 

My furry neighbors; Abner and Ozzy

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Say hello to Abner (white) and Ozzy (black). They’re my neighbors pigs. Since they live next door, my daughter and I don’t have to go far to say hello. Although pigs have poor eyesight, they have an excellent sense of smell. Both pigs love when I gently stroke their snouts.

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These pictures were taken yesterday. Of course I never visit them empty-handed. I come bearing some type of treat¬†(vegetables or fruit). Yesterday they were given apples, that I hand fed to them. In the first picture, they have just eaten their first treat (apples) and are eagerly anticipating the next treat…. belly rubs!

 

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Inspired by nature; Glittering gems

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Dew-covered mums

This past Friday (after dropping my daughter off at school) I snapped this photo from our flower garden.

The camera used was my trusty Nikon D80. Some of my favorite snapshots involve flowers. I especially love taking photos of dewdrops clinging to the petals.

Shortly after taking pictures, I became inspired and sketched a few ideas for jewelry and paper crafts, and so my weekend was spent bonding with my daughter, and turning my ideas into reality.

Inspiration can come from anywhere, seize the opportunity.