I have been staking out in Keira's bedroom all week trying unsuccessfully to get pictures of the goldfinches eating my sunflowers (they are right outside Keira's window). But the birds are either hidden by leaves and I can't get them or if I do manage to get a shot, I'm too far away and once I crop the photo, it gets blurry. Even with my 55-200 zoom. Ugh!
But today I was outside grilling supper (corn on the cob and turkey burgers, in case you were wondering :) and they remarkably didn't fly away when I approached them. In fact, this female looks like she's giving me attitude. Like, "what are you looking at?!" :) But when I tried to get a little closer, they all flew away. I'm going to keep trying to photograph them as long as we have sunflowers to feed them. One of these days, I will get the shot I'm after.
We spent the day at Moraine State Park today. Keira and the boys had a blast playing in the lake. And I'm a bit crispy this evening. Even sitting in the shade of my newly purchased beach umbrella with #50 SPF sunscreen on. Yoy! :)
Typically bunnies in our garden make us very unhappy, but this cute little baby bunny was in our garden tonight. And yes, I was this close. I only had my 18-55 zoom lens on and it let me get this close to it. The kids wanted to catch it so they could pet it. Of course, we didn't let them try. Oh, and yes, we know our garden needs some serious weeding! :)
Tired of my bug pictures yet? :) I just cleaned the caterpillars' box and thought I'd get a few more pics of them before they move on to the next stage. (And, yes, I know this isn't a great pic). Soon they will be forming a "J" from the ceiling, shedding their skins, and beginning to weave their chrysalis. Hopefully I will be able to get photos of their different stages.
This caterpillar thing has been a bit of a roller coaster ride of emotions for me. I posted the other day that the little baby died. :( But then we found 2 more big ones. :) Well, the wind gusted yesterday and knocked the box down (again!) and we lost 2 more caterpillars. :( Literally lost them. We looked all over and were unable to find them. But Nick found another big caterpillar today. :) Perhaps it was one of the ones we lost? I doubt it though. Anyway, now we have 4 big ones (pictured here) and one smaller one who is living alone in another container.
I was reading online that monarch caterpillars in the wild have about a 10% chance of becoming butterflies, but in captivity they have about a 90% chance. Of course, that isn't taking into account kids at the Vensel household. :)
How cool is this guy?! I think it is a dragonfly (as opposed to a damselfly). We went for a walk this afternoon down to our neighbors pond and this guy was checking me out. He was nice enough to pose for me on this weed. I only adjusted the contrast and cropped. No color adjustments were made.
Finding a toad or a bug is pretty much an everyday occurrence around here. (Boys, ya know). Nick has been "discovering" this particular HUGE toad for a couple weeks now. I believe he is getting tired of being discovered. :)
Our monarch caterpillars are getting big! All they do is eat and poop. :) And can you see the little baby one on the left? We discovered it and another one, a little bigger, today! So now we're up to five! Can't wait to see them turn into butterflies!
Nicholas found a couple Monarch caterpillars today! We had 4 given to us a few years ago and we raised them into butterflies, so I was excited to see these! They are just babies ... only about 1 inch long. I am looking forward to watching them progress into butterflies. EDITED TO ADD: We actually have 3 caterpillars! Another one showed itself a little while ago! He must have been sleeping under a leaf. :)
Nicholas got these "glasses" at a birthday party today so he decided to dress up like a little old lady. He had on an apron and put this white blanket over his head so he could have white hair. He kept walking around hunched over. He's so funny sometimes! He will probably be voted "class clown" his senior year of high school!
Tonight's supper. I usually put everything in separate bowls, but in an effort to have less dishes to wash, I made a platter instead. We were supposed to have fruit and spinach salad, but the kids wanted to forgo the spinach and just have fruit. :) It was yummy!
I took 30 (yes, 30!) photos of the kids on this swing today trying to get a good picture ... and this is the best one. Seriously. Keira kept making goofy faces and Nick refused to smile. In the one or two that he did smile, Keira was making an even goofier face.
Also I played in manual mode on my camera while at the park. This was taken at:
ISO 400; 1/125; f/5.0
The only adjustment I did on the computer was to adjust the contrast a little and a little cropping.
Not great, but still not bad. I have a lot to learn!