Category: wildlife


Yesterday began just as any other day usually does.  I got up, checked my email, my guest blog on Kristi Gustafson’s Times UnionOn The Edge‘ Blog  and then went out to check the garden and turn on the pool pump.  It was already getting hot, so I decided to mow the lawn.  I knew that we had plans later that night, so I wouldn’t be able to do it after it cooled down.  Today wasn’t looking more promising either.

So, I hop on the mower and cut the grass.  We have an acre, so it takes about an hour to cut it.  After I was done with the riding mower, I grabbed the push mower and did the areas I couldn’t get to with the rider.  When I was done with that, I was pretty hot and was sweating like crazy.  I came in the house and changed into my bathing suit, then headed out to the pool.

I dove off the diving board, and instantly felt much cooler.  As I swam to the shallow end of the pool, something caught my eye.  I looked again and saw a small animal in the skimmer.  At first I thought it was a chipmunk.  I got out of the pool and ripped the cover off the skimmer.  Then, I realized what it was.  It was a little baby bunny.  He was fighting for all he had against the suction of the skimmer.

I ran over to the pump and switched off the power so the suction would stop.  I didn’t know what he would do, so I didn’t just reach in and grab him.  I grabbed the wide mouth net and when he tried to hop up, I grabbed him in the net.  What happened next surprised me quite a bit.

Fresh out of the skimmer

I set the net down on the concrete in the shade, laid out so he could just hop out and be on his way.  He was obviously a little traumatized and out of it, so he stayed put.  I let him sit there for a few minutes while I ran inside and got Rose and some paper towels.  I picked him up and wrapped him in some paper towels.  He didn’t seem phased at all.  He just laid there.  Every now and then, I would check his sides to see if they were moving and he was still breathing.

We used what we had to give him water

As we sat there with him for an hour or two, he dried out and was still very mellow.  Rose would hold him in the paper towel, and if she moved it, he would re-position himself, so we knew he was getting a little better.  We kept him on the paper towel because he has some seriously sharp nails.  He started climbing up my chest at one point and it was a little painful.

After a few calls from friends in the veterinarian field and tons of people on Twitter giving us feedback, we put the bunny on the ground to see if he would hop away.  Eventually he did, but he started going towards the road.  I had to chase him down and catch him, which wasn’t an easy task, but refreshing, as he was moving quickly.

When I grabbed him, he made this crazy squealing noise that we hadn’t heard before.  I guess he was feeling better and that is a noise they make when they are scared.  I picked him up and took him to the other side of the yard where I released him into an overgrown area where we see lots of bunnies.  I hope he has a great life and stays away from the pool.

All dried out

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Yesterday, I had a few of the TCRPMG members join me for a trip to Five Rivers in Delmar, NY.  I have blogged about this place in the past, and each time I go, I find another reason to love it.

This time was no different.  We did our usual walk around the pond and I got some great shots.  As we were getting back to our starting point, one of the members spotted a turkey.  The turkey has 4 or 5 babies with it.  Being a wildlife preserve, the turkey and it’s babies did not seem phased that we were there and even walked within three feet of us while we were shooting them.

I had never seen a baby turkey before.  This was awesome!  I was so happy that we had come to that spot at that particular time.  Here are a few pics I took last night.

As some of you may already know, I currently have some of my photos hanging in a gallery in Kingston, NY.  I received word yesterday that next Saturday will be the gallery reception.

I would like to invite you all to come to Barista’s Espresso Cafe in the Hudson Valley mall on June 26th to view the work Angela and I have on display.  Angela is the co-organizer of my photo group, and a good friend.

For those of you in Albany, I know it is quite a hike to Kingston (about 45 minutes), but I would love to see you there if you can make it.  It would mean a lot to me.  The event is open to the public and children are welcome.

Place: Barista’s Espresso Cafe1300 Ulster Avenue Kingston, NY

Date: June 26

Time: 4-7pm

If you need directions, please do not hesitate to leave a message here or shoot me an email if you have my email address.  I hope to see you there!  See ya soon!

With the first day of summer just about two weeks away, I start to think of why it is my favorite time of year.  I think the warm weather is a bit of a given, but I have a few other reasons why I love it.

The Pool – I’ve been a water rat since I was a toddler.  I also lived close to the ocean in Virginia growing up.  So, I have spent many hours of my life in the water.  I’ve also been pulled out of the pool (over the side) because I couldn’t breathe more times than I care to remember.  That has not stopped me from going back in.  To this day, I still will spent a good portion of the day in the pool.  I love it!

The Grill – I love cooking on the grill.  I do it all year long, but it’s much more pleasant when it isn’t below freezing outside.  This morning I made bacon in a frying pan on the side burner of the grill.  I like to make it outside so it doesn’t smell up the house.  It doesn’t matter if it’s hot dogs or steak, I love cooking out there.  Plus the grill overlooks the pool.  Bonus!

Motorcycles – Riding is a huge passion of mine.  I still do it in some of the colder months, but like other things, it’s much more enjoyable when it’s warm outside.  Being on a motorcycle is such an amazing feeling.  It’s so relaxing.  It also will make you forget all your problems for a while.  Great for clearing your head.

Friends – This one sort of ties into all of the others.  Summer to me is about hanging out with your friends, having a cookout, swimming in the pool and riding.  There’s something about the camaraderie of bikers that makes you proud to be a part of that family.  I’ve met some of the best people while riding or talking about motorcycles.

Photography – This is also a given.  I do have a photography blog and a Photo Group.  The sun, the flowers, nature, cars and waterfalls all make me very happy when I get out with the camera in my hands.  There are a lot of places that I want to shoot this year.  Hopefully this nice weather (well, before this weekend) will continue and I can check more places off my list.

What about summertime makes you happy?

I went back to Five Rivers again yesterday to take some more pictures.  Yeah, twice in three days.  What can i say?  I really like the place!  This time, I did the loop around the pond a few times, and I found a bunch of other trails that I didn’t see the other day.  I followed one and it brought me out near a small river (or brook) with lots of cool stuff to shoot.  At one point, I saw a small black animal swimming in the creek then up on the bank, then back in the creek and so on.  I couldn’t keep track of him after a while, so I didn’t get a shot.

What I did get shots of were a family of geese.  The mother and father had three little goslings that they kept a very close watch of.  A few times when I was shooting them, one of the parents ‘hissed’ at me.  I understand they are very protective of their young, but I wasn’t that close.  I had the 70-300mm lens, so I didn’t have to get too close.  But hey, I was on their turf, so I understand.

The babies were really cute, with their soft yellow and brown fur and tiny little beaks.  I wish I had been able to get a little closer so I could get really good shots of their fur.  It seemed really fine.  You can see how fine in some of the pics I took.  Let me know what you think of them.

I can’t wait to go back.  If you live in the area, you should definitely check it out.  See ya soon!

I went to a local nature conservatory today (Five Rivers) to check it out for a possible meeting spot for my photo group. The place was really nice and I am excited to set up the outing. I knew the weather was supposed to get crappy later in the afternoon, but I went anyway to use up whatever time I could before the rain got here. It was nice, but a pain in the ass, because the sun kept popping in an out and I had to keep changing settings. I didn’t get too many great shots because of it, but I will next time i go.

I kept getting text messages from the the Weather Channel telling me a Severe Thunderstorm watch and eventually a warning was in effect. A little bit later, I noticed the clouds were getting very dark off in the distance, so I started walking back towards the car. At one point, I felt a raindrop, so I got ready to put the camera back in my bag and then I saw it…

There was a bridge on the main road and on the other side of the bridge was a small lake with some incredibly gloomy clouds lingering over it. I quickly swapped the 70-300 for the 18-70 and started firing away. The wind started to pick up a little, so I headed for the car. As I was getting to the car, the wind gusts began. It was crazy. I was driving back out to the main roads and with the way the wind was blowing, I honestly expected to see a tornado forming.

There was debris all over the roads. Sticks, tree branches, even a tree across the road at one point. It was pretty wild, but I had the camera just in case anything crazy happened. Don’t know what i would have done had I seen a tornado, but I would like to hope I was at a safe distance to get some pictures of it. Call me crazy…

Anyway, I wanted some opinions. I greatly over processed the picture I mentioned above using Photoshop CS5’s Merge to HDR Pro and Topaz. I know they are a lot over done, but which one do you like best?

After the storm, the sun came out and it was calm and a little cooler.  I went out back to cook some burgers on the grill and the sun was setting with some amazing colors.  Between flips, I grabbed the camera and snapped off a few pictures of it.  Here’s what I saw…

It was a great day!  See ya soon!

A lonely monkey sits in his cage as people stop by to see him