Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Squirrel Hangout

Sometimes I wonder if I should just make this a squirrel photo blog since squirrels seem to be the only thing I take pictures of. Hopefully though as the weather gets nicer I'll have other subjects.

I enjoyed watching this guy in the tree yesterday. I'm really not quite sure why the squirrels like chewing on the trees so much, but thats the life of a squirrel I guess.

Hanging Out

This photo didn't turn out so great since I was getting a reflection off the window, but I rarely get a shot of the blue jay (I think they have ESP and know exactly when I'm going to snap the photo so they leave) that I decided I like it.

Blue Jay

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

More Deer

Another trip out to see the deer. Part of the forest preserve was closed off from the snow still. Maybe next week it will be open all the way.

Looking Ahead

Deer Profile

A Cool Drink

Monday, February 14, 2011



Art is the unceasing effort to compete with the beauty of flowers - and never succeeding. - Gian Carlo Menotti

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Help Out Your Furry Friends

Squirrel after the Blizzard

For wildlife, snow and cold can mean disaster or opportunity

For squirrels, the blizzard came at a delicate time: the heart of their first mating season, which usually is from the last week of January through the first few weeks of February.

"This is the time of year they're feeling frisky," said Joel Brown, a biological sciences professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Squirrels, like quails, will be most affected by prolonged snow cover and an inability to find their widely dispersed, buried food caches. People can tell squirrels are desperate if they start eating tree bark, Brown said.

Younger, smaller squirrels will die in larger numbers, with those born last fall the first to go in a harsh winter.

"They're young, and they're too late," Brown said. "They get the smallest food caches and have the least body fat and don't have the experience of adults."

Because of the blizzard, squirrel mortality will be more concentrated rather than spread over several weeks.

Squirrels face additional danger when they dig for food in the snow because they are more exposed to predators like hawks and eagles, Brown said.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

We Survived Snowtorious B.I.G.

I had intended to write about the Blizzard last week, but I never got around to it. We survived the Blizzard of 2011, and so my animal friends. In fact I was up somewhat early on Wednesday watching the last of the snow blow in and what was out there blow around and the squirrel showed up at my window looking for some breakfast.

I pretty much stayed in for most of the week after the storm, I didn't have anything to go out to do and its hard moving around out there even with pathways shoveled because there is so much snow piled up. And now the cold has really set in, and I really like to stay in as much as I can stand.

Mama Cardinal
Momma Cardinal out looking for some food after the storm.

Morning Snow
Before anyone got outside to shovel the snow or dig out their cars.

Rolling in the SnowSnowface
Coco enjoying the snow

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The January Blues

January always seems like a hard month to get to the end of. The first week or two you're glad that its quiet, you need the time to relax after the excitement and busyness of the Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Years holidays. Then January drags on, it gets colder, snowier, and grayer. The coziness and warmth of the holidays seems like a distant memory and the new life of spring seems unbearably distant.

Yes, I have the January blues.

We're forecast this week to get significant snow, but I always say that I'll believe it when I see it because the forecast is often wrong. While a beautiful snow is exciting, clean, and brings a unique enjoyment and memories of snowdays as a child (as long as you don't have to drive in it), the ache for spring is here.

Some friends have been posting videos and photos of flowers to chase away these winter blues, and that seems like a good idea. I took this photo in the backyard after a rain in June 2008. It satisfies some of my craving for color and flowers.

Pink Rose After Rain

Monday, January 24, 2011

Hungry Deer

The weather wasn't too bad today, a dusting of snow in the morning, and it was cold but not frigid so it seemed like a good day to get out and take some pictures. We went over to one of the forest preserves that we know the deer frequent and took some shots. It seems like a lot of people come there to view the deer and many bring food for the animals to eat. As you will see in the one shot a woman was feeding the deer by hand and petting them. Even though I was in a car they were looking at me with the same eyes that the squirrel gets when he wants something to eat and the same look my dogs give me when they want a treat.

Bread for Lunch


Walking Through the Woods


A Doe

A Deer

A Female Deer

Lady Feeding the Deer


Friday, January 21, 2011

Froggy Rock Star

I've really been wanting to go out to take photos, but its just too cold and I have no desire to go out for no real reason. Today we had sub-zero temperatures, so I'm staying inside as much as I can.

I did catch this shot of one of my African Dwarf Frogs floating above the little rock in their tank. I actually have a new tank to move them into, I just keep putting off doing it because I'm afraid I'll kill them by doing it. But I don't really want to leave them in the tiny tank they're in either. One day I'll get the courage to move them to their nice new home.

Rock Chair

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Gram's View

I spent Friday afternoon visiting Grandma. One of the neatest things about her place is that if you look out one window on a clear day you can see downtown Chicago and all the skyscrapers, out another window you can watch the planes coming into O'Hare, and out a third you will see this building. This is St. Joseph the Betrothed Ukrainian Catholic Church. Funny enough I once received an email showing 10 unique churches in the world and this was one of them, I was surprised because I've seen this church my whole life. Maybe when the weather is better I can get a nice photo of it, and I'd love to go inside sometime.

St. Joseph Ukrainian Catholic Church

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Enough With the Squirrels

Clearly I need to get out more, even I'm getting tired of taking pictures of the squirrel, especially because they aren't very different from each other.

Here's Looking At You

Squirrel in the Tree

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Answer to His Prayers

It snowed a bit in Chicagoland today and that meant my squirrel friend was back asking for snacks. We put out on the window ledge today some peanuts and a few Triscuits which he gobbled up. Admittedly in this picture he's just eating the peanut, but I thought it looked like he was praying for a treat.

Praying Squirrel

The answer to his prayers.



A woodpecker also stopped by.

Woodpecker in the Snow

Sunday, January 9, 2011


I'm not sure why I took a picture of the Comcast guy when he was working in the alley the other day. I'm usually uncomfortable taking photos of people I don't know or who aren't expecting it (I usually make someone else do it - ha!). After I took it I thought about just deleting it, but there is something about the picture I kind of like, so here it is.

Comcast Man

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Emotional End of Christmas

Liturgically speaking, the season of Christmas begins on Christmas Day and continues through the Baptism of Our Lord, January 9th. Even though there is still a few more days of Christmas left officially for us Catholics, there is something about seeing the Christmas tree out in the street, and hearing the zap as the city workers turn that magical tree that once sheltered many a wrapped present into a pile of mulch that sort of ends it all emotionally.

End of Christmas

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


The world was conspiring against me today in terms of photography. I could hear the birds outside the window so I went and got some peanuts to give them. I put them out on the ledge and within minutes observed a beautiful blue jay in the tree scoping out the area. I grabbed my camera, turned it on, and it came up with a memory card error... twice. By the time I got it fixed the blue jay flew away, never to return. The squirrel walked by, but didn't stop and his presence scared off most of the birds for the afternoon. The dogs made sure that any birds that might have thought about coming by wouldn't. I did get a couple pictures of a chickadee before he flew off, which meant my afternoon wasn't a complete waste, just mostly a waste.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Acrobat

I'm not quite sure what kind of treat he managed to find, but its bigger than his head.

Mega Treat


Sunday, January 2, 2011