Friday, July 30, 2010

happy birthday jake!

uncle yake (yes, yake), engineering the perfect bubble with miss sophie

happy birthday jake! i hope you had a fabulous day today and are surprised beyond imagination tonight--you are so loved!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

wild kingdom on the patio!

marlin perkins, where are ye when i needs ya?

living in iowa has afforded me many opportunities for personal growth, *ahem* some of which were unwanted...but it has also provided some of the best backyard animal sightings imaginable. and while i know i should be exhibiting texas pictures, i've just gotta share this today instead. i've posted before about the eagles in winter--they are truly magnificent--and i love me some barred owls, but yesterday i caught a brand-new, never-before-seen-by-me animal traipsing through the forest...

this guy. meet urocyon cinereoargenteus, also known as the grey fox. and he was carrying a dead chipmunk in his mouth.

(not like this, although that'd be a welcome sight, too)

more like this, sans the freaky orange eye thing.

i was looking out our big south-facing wall o' windows, watching a white-tailed deer who was lying down, having a rest, in the ravine. that was odd in itself. next to her i saw something move--a black-tipped, red, bushy tail sticking up from the tall weeds--then out popped a grey fox carrying a dead chipmunk. he looked at the deer in the ravine; she looked back. she got up slowly, waddled towards the fox; he stepped onto our back patio then both of them took off into the woods, splitting up after they were undercover of the trees.

sadly, this is usually how you see grey foxes...

or like this...

or this (even the model looks disgusted at wearing this fur)...

or this. yikes. he's available for $800.

amazingly, that wasn't the end of the sightings: a couple of hours later, while i was on the phone with rich telling him of all this animal-y goodness, i watched out the same window as a juvenile bald eagle jumped out of a tree where it had been picking critters from a squirrel's nest, then swooped down right over me and landed on top of the roof of my house.


what's next?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

a really bizarre story, as told by gus

i'm taking a quick break from photos to relay a very odd experience that happened to rich and gus this past weekend. gus is still talking about it.

a really bizarre story, as told by gus

dad and i went to bruegger's bagels, leaving paco in the car, to go and have breakfast for like 20 minutes. we were having a nice time, playing checkers, and then this old woman who had been in the store walked outside and then came right back in and yelled, "who has the dog in the car?!" so dad raises his hand and goes, "i do," and then the old woman starts saying "you're cooking your dog!" dad says, "the windows are open, he's just fine." she said, "you're a son of a B!" (but didn't say B) and "you're abusing your dog!" and dad says, "well, you're a person abuser because you're using profanity," and then she REALLY started cursing at dad. dad just ignored her after that and did this "go away" hand waving thing, then she stormed out of the bagel place. all the bagel people started laughing after she left. dad explained that you automatically lose an argument if you just start cussing at whoever you are arguing with; he also thought there was probably no one at her home willing to put up with her.

ten minutes later we left bruegger's and found a note on our car with "dog abuser call 911" written on it. why would we call 911 on ourselves? we were a little worried she was crazy enough to try and steal paco or smash the windshield, but we decided she wasn't strong enough to do that. she was totally crazy. by the way, paco was fine.

(FYI: temperature in iowa city the morning they went to bruegger's--71 degrees. hot flash, perchance?)

Monday, July 26, 2010

trip to texas picturepalooza! (part 1)

on the road again--sophie's like "drive the damn car, woman!" while gus knows that i'll just keep trying to take the picture so he'd better just smile and make it a good one now...

welcome to the veritable picturepalooza that represents our trip to texas! i somehow managed to shoot over 1000 images while we were traveling and adventuring...and i need to edit them rather desperately. here's round one--the trip there, via eureka springs, arkansas. enjoy!

humpty dumpty, pre-fall, and kiddos in eureka springs

the train station is always a big hit

conductor (coal/wood shoveler?) gus

sophie negotiating the tracks of the turntable

inside quigley's castle with some goldfish and happy african violets

me and a bunny in an upstairs bedroom--i think this is the only picture of me on my camera...

gus showing me his favorite stone on quigley's castle, which was a marble

and sophie showing me hers (just before trying to pry it loose, which she got in trouble for)

gus, clearly overwhelmed by quigley's castle gardens

sophie, clearly overwhelmed by quigley's castle gardens

up the road from quigley's castle...turpentine creek! it's a big cat rescue; we LOVE this place.


and tigers!

and bears, oh my! oooh, that's bad...


and zeus' siblings xena and ziggy--these cages with concrete floors are only temporary areas for the cats; the majority of them are in permanent habitats with grass, trees, pools and tons of space (more pictures at the end of the trip)

sleepy bobcat

athena the tiger

gorgeous, majestic lion who took no notice of us...

...unlike this guy who spotted the tasty morsel that is sophie straight away

and for my dear friend cindy, meet your namesake, the cougar. cindy's a cougar, get it? get it?? oooh, that's bad, too!

after turpentine creek and a day's drive through arkansas (which included mining for diamonds) we were reunited with la familia de texas!

more pix to come...

Friday, July 16, 2010

we're back from texas...

...and arkansas! gus, sophie and i had a grand 5-week long adventure with rich joining us for the last week. i have about eleventy billion images to go through but i will start getting them up here soon.

(p.s. did anyone catch animal planet's "monsters inside me" wednesday night...?)

Monday, July 5, 2010

even more stolen camp pics!

cheesey dog + swimming + fireworks = good times on the 4th of july at camp longhorn for mr. gus!