May 31, 2015

10 Things // May 2015

I learned about Mammatus Clouds:
I enjoyed nearly an entire month full of my favorite weather, and took lightning photos for the first time:
I spent a ton of time at the park taking photos of critters like this:
I put a twist on one of my Fun Shoot Friday posts by featuring a Gulf Coast Toad:
 I found this cute little guy , and shared a little photoshoot of him:
Our local water levels have gone up and there's actually lots of water in the creeks and lakes now :)
More water in the lake, means more cute ducky visitors!
Kittens at my moms house!
I got to spend some time with my nephew!

April (and May) showers brought May flowers...and snails :)
More stuff I loved about May:

  • Matthew and I went to see Mad Max, which was SO AWESOME!  (I can't mention a Tom Hardy film without recommending The Drop-it's soooo good!  Definitely check it out!!)
  • My mom volunteered to go see Poltergeist with my little brother and me.  My mom isn't usually into creepy movies, so this was so much fun! dorky cute is Sam Rockwell?!  I love that guy!
  • Penny Dreadful is back!
  • I'm on Vacation!!! 

May 29, 2015

Fun Shoot Friday // 7

 Happy Friday!  I'm so excited about giving Popcorn and Starbucks a vacation from Fun Shoot Friday and bringing you guys a bit of variety!  I've been tossing around ideas for putting together a field kit for this feature so that I can share cuties like this Gulf Coast Toad I found on Memorial Day.  I happened to have a few of my backdrops in my moms house, so I took advantage of the opportunity and decided to see what I could come up with :)
 Are Toads the cutest or what?!  Reptiles and Amphibians have THE most amazing eyes.

I hope you have a lovely weekend!  I'm actually leaving for the coast today for a week long vacation.  I can't even begin to describe how much I've been looking forward to this :)

May 27, 2015

At The Park // I Love Turtles

We're halfway to the weekend you guys, and I'm ultra excited about it because I'm leaving to go on vacation this Friday!  For the past few years, Matthew and I have headed to Rockport, Texas to spend a week relaxing, hiking Gulf Coast trails, and beach-combing at the Padre Island National Seashore.  I. Am. So. Excited!

One of my favorite things to do in Rockport, is feed the turtles at one of the local parks.  I seriously love turtles.  I could literally spend an entire day at that park, and never get tired of taking photos of those little guys :)  Prepare to see an entire post full of turtles when I come back!
In the meantime, here's a little turtle shoot I did at one of the parks here in town :)
Getting a macro shot is becoming a must for me.  I can't help it!  Macro shots are my favorite :)  I know I'm probably sounding like a broken record, because I know I've said it a handful of times...but reptile eyes are amazing!  How pretty is the green of this guys eye!?  He finally got fed up with my lens and high-tailed it into the water.

I hope you're having a great day!

May 26, 2015

Backyard Adventure // Gulf Coast Toad

For all of my American readers, I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! I spent mine visiting family, and it was such a nice trip. My little brother and I were about to go do a bit of herping, and actually found this Gulf Coast Toad as soon as we stepped outside! With all the rain we've been getting, I was expecting to find a ton of frogs (which we did find an abundance of), but it was so exciting to find this Toad. Toads are probably my favorite Amphibian. They're so grumpy looking, but I think that's probably what I find cutest about them :)

What's your favorite Amphibian?

May 18, 2015

At The Park // So Many Mushrooms

After all of the rain we've been getting, I've been spotting more and more of these Ink Cap Mushroom clusters pop up EVERYWHERE.  *Side note-if these aren't ink cap mushrooms-please correct me!*   There's something so charming about mushrooms.  They pop up into the pretty puffy awesomeness that they are seemingly overnight which is pretty fascinating.  I've been watching time lapse videos on YouTube for the past 15 minutes...check them out HERE!

I used to hate eating mushrooms as a kid, but I've grown to love eating them. I've never tried any that I didn't purchase from the grocery store, because I've never given Mycology a serious study and don't know how to properly identify the edible species. I think it would be a really neat project to learn to identify a few edible wild mushrooms, and then share a recipe or two using them!  These particular ones don't look very appetizing, and if they are in fact Ink Cap Mushrooms-I believe they can cause serious harm if ingested within a period of time (up to 5 days I think?) of drinking alcohol.  I don't drink and I won't be trying wild mushrooms anytime soon-so I think I'm safe.

  Have you ever eaten wild mushrooms?
It goes without saying, but never ingest something from nature if you don't know for a fact what it is.  Do your own research.  Know how to make a positive identification of something you plan on eating before you eat it. 

May 15, 2015

Fun Shoot Friday // 6

Have I ever mentioned that Friday is my favorite day of the work week?  It means sleeping in and time to do everything I'm thinking of throughout the week :)  I reeeally wanted to share Popcorn again for this weeks Fun Shoot Friday, but she's just so quick!  She got a LOT of exercise, but I think she and Starbucks talk about Fun Shoot Friday when I'm not looking.  They've decided that he enjoys having his portrait done wayyyy more than she does.  That's okay though, because I never get tired of seeing cute pics of him!  Those eyes are gorgeous and that smile just kills me :)

There's a Reptile Expo in town this weekend, so I'm crossing my fingers that we'll be able to go to it.  Being in a giant room full of scales and tails makes my heart smile :)  Have a great weekend!

May 13, 2015

Amazing Nature // Mammatus Clouds

Since sharing my most recent post of photos from a recent lightning storm, I couldn't help but share these photos.  The wet weather disappeared for a day, but it's on it's way back and it looks like we'll be getting lots more of it for the next week.  I stepped outside the other day, and when I looked up-I was just stunned for a moment.  I had never seen clouds that looked like this before.  I quickly snapped a few photos, and stood outside for a while just marveling over how incredible nature is.  After doing a bit of research, I discovered that these particular clouds are called "Mammatus Clouds".  They typically indicate a strong storm and/or tornado...which turned out to be the case exactly.  We had a particularly strong storm that evening, and if you've been watching the weather news-tornado's have been making quite a stir here in North Texas.

The next time I see these clouds, I'll know what they are and what they mean.  Yay for learning new things!

May 11, 2015

Nature Photography // Stormy Weather

I don't know about you, but here in north Texas, we've been getting hammered with stormy weather for the past week.  Considering that it's my favorite kind of weather though, I've been on cloud 9 about all of it ;)  The radar is probably the one thing I've looked at more than anything else lately hahaha!  We actually ended up having a tornado while I was at work last week!  Just look at the size of hail we got!

Saturday night I sat outside and watched an incredibly active lightning storm, and tried my hand at capturing it on camera.  I seriously want to start learning more about nighttime photography now.

If any of you have any experience or tips for nighttime or storm photography, pretty please will you share them with me?  I've started a Pinterest Board of inspiration and tips if you'd like to check it out!  Just click here!

May 8, 2015

Fun Shoot Friday // 5

It's Friday again, which means it's time for Fun Shoot Friday!  I missed doing one of these shoots last week because I opted to do my monthly goals post instead, but I'm so glad to get back into the swing of things with this cute dino shoot!  Popcorn and Starbucks were both a bit unstoppable during this shoot and I couldn't get them to slow down much.  Popcorn was nearly impossible to capture, so I decided to share the ones of Starbucks instead:

And a little bonus shot of Popcorn, because although she was all about slithering her way away from the camera-I do love the way this shot of her hanging around on that dino's neck turned out :)  If you've missed any of the previous Fun Shoot Friday posts, you can see them all HERE!

Have a great weekend!

May 6, 2015

The Time I Met Jeff Corwin

Let me begin by saying that I have been a fan of Jeff Corwin and his work since I was 13.  I obsessively watched his shows, he became my Herpetology idol, and as a teenager I had the biggest crush on him of course :)

Fast forward to 2008.  At 22 years old, I was still a huge fan, and had read his first book, Living on the Edge, so many times that the corners had started to wear down!  When I heard that he was going to be doing a book-signing and presentation at the University of Missouri in Columbia, I knew I had to go.  It just so happened that I had family in Columbia, and we arranged to fly up and stay with them.  I was going to meet Jeff Corwin!  I seriously can't even explain how ecstatic I was about the whole thing.

We arrived early enough to be near the very front of the book-signing line, and because I didn't want him to see how ragged my original four year old copy had become-I went ahead and bought a crisp brand new one.  I got interviewed by a journalism student, and ended up in the photo they used for their paper!  You can read the article HERE if you like!  I have an incredibly embarrassing confession that I must share because it's part of the story.  Myspace was my social media outlet of choice at that time, and if you remember-there was a place on there to mention "Who I'd Like To Meet"?  I'm pretty sure mine always said "Jeff Corwin-I wanna have his babies".  So immature, I know...but that's what it said.  My sister forced me into the embarrassment of telling the journalism student that if I didn't tell him what it said-then she would.  So I told him.  Ughhh it was so embarrassing.  He and the lady behind us in line had a good laugh at that one :)  

When he finally came out to sit at the table he would be signing at, and I saw him...I got so nervous!  I'm a very shy person to begin with, and you can only imagine how nervously excited I was to know that I would soon have to tell him hello and offer my book for signing.  I just knew I'd make the situation socially awkward by stumbling over my words or saying something completely silly.  But guess what...I handled it like a champ!  Book in hand, I approached him with a handshake and a smile.  I was even so bold as to ask him to sign it "Happy Herping"!  If you knew me at the time...that was a major accomplishment for me.  Speaking to strangers is something I've always had a difficult time with-so to ask my idol to sign a little something extra was a big deal for me haha!  He was so nice and let my sister take a photo of us:
The journalism student that interviewed us before the book-signing was standing nearby and gave me a two thumbs up as I walked away from the table.  I was so giddy for the rest of the day....scratch that....the rest of the week!  We had lunch at Shakespeare's Pizza afterwards and then headed back to the University to take our seats for the Conservation presentation he was scheduled to give.  Being in a University auditorium listening to a presentation given by someone I had admired for such a long time was icing on the cake.  It was seriously one of the most exciting days ever.  Both of my copies of Living on the Edge are kept side by side on a shelf in my room.  The pair of them are one of my most cherished possessions :)

May 4, 2015

At The Park // Toads and Spiders

I'm not sure there's anything i find cuter right now, that teeny tiny toads!  Matthew and I had planned on going to one of our favorite trails for a morning hike, but ended up sleeping in a bit later than planned.  We headed to one of the local parks instead, and wandered off into the trees for a little exploring.  The water level of the creek and lake have risen because of all of the rain we've been getting, and there were soooo many of these teeny tiny baby American Toads hopping about near the water!  They were all about the size of my fingernail!
Something else we found an abundance of?  Spiders!  I'm not the biggest fan of spiders, but I do enjoy looking at them up close once I've spotted them.  And the webs.  I will admit that I love spider webs...well, except when I unknowingly walk into them of course :)  I also find that they make excellent photography subjects!  They typically aren't quick to scurry off, and I've always had luck with them sitting still until I've gotten a few good shots.

Aside from the abundance of baby toads and arachnids, we came across a few Little Brown Skinks, mating Dragonflies, and an adorable pair of ducks.
Is that Duck's do the cutest or what?!

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