Sometimes…

Sometimes… when one sets out to take photos of the birds in one’s backyard things don’t go as planned.

Sometimes… there just aren’t many birds to be seen.

birds in tree IMG_6188

Sometimes… the birds that are around just don’t want to have their photo taken.

finch in tree IMG_6275

Sometimes…. one must find other ways to amuse one’s self… such as pointing the lens at other subjects.

tree and clouds IMG_6300

Sometimes… just about anything will do.

jet IMG_6281

Sometimes… even one’s trusty assistant must find other subjects to amuse herself with.

cat fence bella IMG_6230

And sometimes… one must take another break from their blog… I’ll be away from the blog for a few days… I am scheduled to have a little surgery done… although I should only be in the surgical hospital for one night I think the recovery time may take a few days… I plan to spend those few days napping on the couch! No need to worry it is nothing too horrible and I’ll be back in a few days… maybe a week if I get really comfy on that couch! I’m sure I’ll check in over at FB from time to time just to see what everyone is up to… See ya soon!

Devastation

We have lived in this same small town for several years and looking back I can count on one hand the number of homes that have burned.

I can’t imagine, or maybe I just don’t want to imagine, the horrors those families must have gone through.

Most of those homes have been torn down now and the lots cleaned up. You can hardly tell that anyone ever lived there. One of those lots have long since been sold and a brand new home now stands there.

One of those homes however is still standing.

Last summer fun and games and fireworks went out of control and a home burned.

Such devastation.

What’s left of this house still stands.

blogIMG_6342

I was walking Bella dog today and stopped on the sidewalk by this house to take a picture. I’ve wanted to do so for a while but was worried about the reaction I might get.

I shouldn’t have worried. While I was shooting I met a family member of the home owner. She was kind enough to allow me to take these photos and told me how the fire started and the hardships they have gone through to clean up this devastation.  I had no idea how difficult it could be to take down a home, but she seemed to be very positive, and even mentioned that there just may be enough left to allow them to rebuild.

blogIMG_6344

I wish them good fortune and hope that they will rebuild and be able to move on soon.

***Thank you so much for allowing me to take these photos. I hope you found the disc with your copies.

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A note to everyone who uses fireworks… no matter how small or how big they are please remember that they are explosives… Please keep a close eye on your children while they use them… And please please please be safe.

 

Hey Beautiful – Look My Way!

Sometimes the critters in the zoo seem to be very interested in what we are doing.

That’s a good thing; it gets them to stop and look our way.

Here’s a few shots of some beautiful critters who took the time to look my way.

1/100 - f/5.6 - ISO 400 - 187mm

1/100 – f/5.6 – ISO 400 – 187mm

Tragopan

1/250 - f/10 - ISO 400 - 250mm

1/250 – f/10 – ISO 400 – 250mm

Scarlet Macaw

1/250 - f/10 - ISO 400 - 250mm

1/250 – f/10 – ISO 400 – 250mm

Mallard

1/250 - f/16 - ISO 400 - 250mm

1/250 – f/16 – ISO 400 – 250mm

Indian Fruit Bat

1/250 - f/5.6 - ISO 400 - 250mm

1/250 – f/5.6 – ISO 400 – 250mm

Hamerkop

*as always click on the photos to view a larger image – all photos at KKHPhotos.com are available as prints, on gift items, or as digital downloads*

 

Big Cats

 

1/250 - f/16 - ISO 400 - 208mm  3/23/2014  shot through dirty viewing window

1/250 – f/16 – ISO 400 – 208mm
3/23/2014
shot through dirty viewing window

 

 

A few more shots of the big cats at the Topeka Zoo!

 

1/200 - f/5.6 - ISO 400 - 250mm  3/21/2014  shot through dirty viewing window

1/200 – f/5.6 – ISO 400 – 250mm
3/21/2014
shot through dirty viewing window

1/250 - f/5 - ISO 400 - 131mm  3/21/2014  shot through dirty viewing window

1/250 – f/5 – ISO 400 – 131mm
3/21/2014
shot through dirty viewing window

 

I just heard that the Sumatran Tigers in the Topeka Zoo are expecting! Two and maybe three cubs are due next month; it will be a few months before the public is allowed to see them. Maybe this fall I’ll have a few tiger cub photos to share; if I’m lucky!

 

1/250 - f/9 - ISO 400 - 232mm  3/23/2014  shot through fence

1/250 – f/9 – ISO 400 – 232mm
3/23/2014
shot through fence

 

*as always click on the photos to view a larger image – all photos at KKHPhotos.com are available as prints, on gift items, or as digital downloads*

Creepy Crawlers And Heebie Jeebies

Don’t all of those little creepy crawlers just give you the heebie jeebies?

No; I’m not talking about the toy that lets kids make slimy little bugs and such. I’m talking about the real creepy crawlers, those nasty ugly bugs, especially roaches. YUCK!

What is it about them that creeps us out? After all they are so small we could just step on them; no big deal.

Most of them are small.

But some are a bit bigger than others; like the Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches at the Topeka Zoo.

I thought that those orangutans, in their dimly lit indoor area, behind the thick glass posed a bit of a challenge to shoot. Well shooting insects in glass aquariums and/or terrariums have all those challenges and more. The weather was cool that day so the glass on these warm moist little environments was pretty steamy; and they are dark little areas too. After all I think that’s what most creepy crawlers like… warm, damp, and dark.

To read a few basic tips on capturing photos of animals through glass check out my post; Do As I Say…Not As I Did from a few days ago. The added difficulties of the insect zoo are the steamy glass and dark room. You need to focus your lens past that steamy drippy glass and onto your subject [unless you want to include the steamy glass in your image]; and you need a good slow shutter to let in what light is available.

1/12 - f/4.0 - ISO 400 - 55mm - 3/23/2014

1/12 – f/4.0 – ISO 400 – 55mm – 3/23/2014

I didn’t take my tripod to the zoo with me and, although sometimes I do, I hadn’t carried my monopod along this day either. That meant everything I shot, including these creepy guys, was done hand held.

Now that’s a challenge! [At least it is for me!] Holding a heavy 55mm – 250mm zoom steady with shutter settings like 1/12 and 1/8.

1/8 - f/5.0 - ISO 400 - 135mm - 3/23/2014

1/8 – f/5.0 – ISO 400 – 135mm – 3/23/2014

But I guess I didn’t do to badly. You can tell that these are nasty, ugly, creepy, crawly, roaches; can’t you?

Oh, and Thank You Topeka Zoo, for the extra creepy factor of the “watch for hitchhikers” sign at the exit from the insect zoo. I didn’t really need to have the feeling that there could be a creepy crawler or two catching a ride to the next exhibit.

Happy Kitty Sleepy Kitty

More images from the zoo!

No; I didn’t do well with the orangutan family. Still mad at myself for that one!

But doesn’t this big guy look lovely?

I went to visit him on a Friday afternoon and he was laying, all stretched out, in a sunny spot enjoying the springtime weather. As I tried to think of a creative way to capture an image of a sleeping lion he rolled over, belly up, as if to say “how about this angle?”.

afternoon nap lion _5668

I went back to visit him again on Sunday and he was having a good time up on top of his big rock. It was “bone day” at the zoo and he had been given a big one! Oh the sounds he made as he crunched on that thing!

bone day lion _5999

Don’t you just want to scratch him behind the ears?

Soft kitty, Warm kitty, Little ball of fur. Happy kitty, Sleepy kitty, Purr Purr Purr.