Bob’s Personal Zoo

One more animal was added to the menagerie that lives right outside my front door. I spotted a bunny leisurely munching away on the plentiful clover that grows in our yard. It’s nothing to see 3-4 different species sharing this bounty on any given day. Now all we need is a frog and deer to join the fun! 🙂

Critters 01

Nothing Much For Ya

I haven’t gotten out of my apartment for days on end. I could blame the hot, dry weather but in all honestly I’m just being lazy. I sure wish it would rain tonight or tomorrow. There’s only a slight chance of that happening. We got a brief shower yesterday but we need 10x more than that. Either way I have just two unseen photos remaining and there’s nothing unusual about either.

The Pansy seen below was living in a hanging planter in my backyard. Al didn’t even know they were pansies. I think he just buys baskets of whatever local stores have out front.

Pansy 01


Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: 2016 Week 26

The photo below is a leftover from one of my Southwick Zoo visits. Like my collection of bench photos I also have a collection of door pictures. I love wood so I seek out opportunities to photograph the most weathered, rustic doorways I come across. I have no idea where this double doorway leads to. Maybe on a future visit I can explore that avenue.

There are actually three doorways pictured here, the two wooden ones and the tiny crack in the bottom right hand corner of the door on the right where chipmunks enter and leave. 🙂

Rustic Doors 01


Share Your World – 2016 Week 26

What’s your most memorable (good or bad) airplane flight?

That would have to be the one that moved me from Portland, OR to Boston, MA. 3100 miles of hell as I was squashed between two other passengers on a 757. It was a 5 hour flight, non-stop, without any snacks, food or water. Economy flights don’t pamper you, not even a pillow for your head. Priceline will get you a cheap fare but the airline makes you pay in ways they don’t tell you about.

How many bones, if any, have you broken?

I believe I broke my arm as a child but I’m not sure. It’s just been too long ago.

If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be? (guest can be dead, alive, famous or someone you just know)

Red Skelton, Vincent Price & Pope Francis. I think all three would keep the audience very entertained.

Make a Current List: What are you reading, watching, listening to, eating, needing, wanting, and missing right now?

It’s midnight here now so the only thing I’m listening to is my fan struggling to keep me cool in bed. My housing unit has no air conditioning as the heat and humidity of the previous day lingers. I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos on woodworking lately, picking up an education on the latest techniques and tools. I want payday to arrive this coming Friday. I ran out of money nearly two weeks ago and the cupboards are nearly bare. I’m not going to starve but I must remain creative. It’s pancakes for breakfast and a small bag of beef tips frozen until today for lunch. I ate the last of the Spam yesterday. I’m missing my friends back in Portland, OR. I lead an almost hermit like existence here. I miss cooler, wetter weather. We might get a few showers today & tomorrow. We need rain.

Three Old Farts

It was good to hear from three of my old friends today as they had a get together at a local bowling alley in South Carolina. I received two different phone calls before finally making a live connection. Marion, in the middle, said he was emailing me a special picture, the one seen below. The guys are Jack, Marion & Sam. We used to ride together decades ago and Jack & I worked in the same instrument shop. Jack was on duty the night of the horrible train wreck in Graniteville where a chlorine tanker ruptured killing a bunch of people and destroying a number of textile plants. I was intensive care for congestive heart failure that night and Jack was on duty on midnight shift. It was the last time either of us smoked a cigarette and Jack’s last day at that textile mill. His lungs were ruined by inhaling chlorine gas. He settled with the train company for a 6 figure amount and retired.

It’s good to see that the three are still kicking and doing alright in their senior years. Jack, a Vietnam vet, still rides his Harley Heritage 100th Anniversary Classic. He reminds me of a ZZ Top band member. LOL


How To Photograph Chipmunks

The answer: Very Carefully! LOL I only recently discovered chipmunks. I photographed one back in Oregon but I thought they were rare and kept out of sight. Here in Massachusetts that’s the furthest thing from the truth. There are chipmunks everywhere, and I do mean everywhere. They skitter across the local roads so be wary of them and don’t have an accident trying not to hit them. If you aim for them they’ll be out of the way by the time you get there.

As far as photographing them you’ve got to be ready and a bit lucky because they’re nonstop movement. I suppose that’s a natural trait being they are such appetizing prey for so many larger animals. The chipmunks here are not much bigger than a big mouse with a fuzzy tail. Not everyone loves chipmunks as I do either. They tear up gardens, especially flower gardens. They are so tiny and fast forget trying to keep them out.

As I walk the paths at the Southwick Zoo chipmunk photos are grab shots of opportunity. The forests of Mendon are their home, their turf and they skitter everywhere. I’ve gotten used to snapping pictures of them when they stop long enough for me to capture them in an inquisitive pose. I love these little guys but then I’m not growing a flower garden. 🙂


Would You Eat Me Mr. Alligator?

I’m reminded of the tragic loss of a toddler a few weeks ago in Florida. The little baby alligator pictured below will grow up big enough to be a real threat to prey if given the chance. It’s in it’s nature to hunt. This closeup she’s the animal watching me as much as I am keeping an eye on it. The detail in his eye fascinates me, making me wonder what It’s thinking as I click the shutter?

American Alligator 02

Her Sunday Finest

African Crowned Crane 09

African Crowned Crane 08Each time I pass by the African Crowned Cranes I have to stop and say hello. Nobody else actually talks to the animals as I do. The kids scream and talk loudly amongst themselves but I talk directly to the animals. They listen intently and look squarely at me. I have their undivided attention.

In the photos above the closeup reminds me of someone going to church wearing their Sunday bonnet. The crane in question looks so proud as he/she poses for the picture.


Female House Sparrow

The other day I posted photos of a male house sparrow that lives in my backyard. One of my followers, Martin Fine, educated me on the differences between a house sparrow and a chipping sparrow. Wikipedia went further showing me that male house sparrows have a black throat. They also showed the female variety doesn’t.

Yesterday, while sitting in my favorite outdoor chair, I was capturing images of the birds in my yard. I have a prolific collection because everyone who lives here puts out food for the animals including feeders and birdhouses.

I must be patient, camera in hand, for birds to land within range of my lens, a 55-200mm zoom. I finally caught a couple of good, stable shots of what turned out to be a female house sparrow. I double checked Wikipedia to make sure. 🙂

Female House Sparrow 01

Female House Sparrow 02

Caring For Babies

Below is a young zoo worker caring for a baby kangaroo complete with diaper. The worker explained that diaper wasn’t just for show as kangaroos babies can be quite messy. 🙂

Baby Kangaroo 01