Category Archives: animals

Leapin’ Lizards (er, Dogs)!

Yes, Solar IS upside down!

Yes, Solar IS upside down!

It may not be a dog-eat-dog world, but it’s definitely been a dogs-dogs-dogs week on this blog.

When I returned to the Paws in the Park event in Pearland last Sunday, I was in for a treat: I got to enjoy (and, of course, shoot) the Ashley Whippet Invitational’s freestyle competition, which I had never seen before.

Solar leaps over Andrew.

Solar leaps over Andrew.

Freestyle involves the handlers and dogs performing judged, short routines choreographed to music. The pups jump over their human pals . . .

Psych balances on Pennie.

Psych balances on Pennie.

. . . on them . . .

Kirby is a springboard for Torch.

Kirby is a springboard for Torch.

. . . and off them!

Top dog!

Top dog!

It results in lots of energy and what looks like fun for both canines and their companions. It definitely was a blast to watch!

Psych eyes the disc while on Pennie.

Psych eyes the disc while on Pennie.

Naturally, there was plenty of disc tossing and catching.

Got it!

Got it!

Wide receivers and tight ends ain’t got nothing on these critters!

Solar zooms past Andrew.

Solar zooms past Andrew.

Of course, the performances also involved abundant high-flying action.

Torch flies through the air with the greatest of ease.

Torch flies through the air with the greatest of ease.

It’s easy to see that this is a sport that can grow by leaps and bounds.

Each contest ended with the dog in the handler’s arms. A fitting conclusion!

Each contest usually ends with the dog in the handler’s arms. A fitting conclusion!

Especially leaps!

A High-Flying Good Time

I posed with Rob and his special disc.

Posing with Rob and his special disc last Saturday.

Last year I blogged about having a photo in the “Guinness Book of World Records,” my mini claim to fame.

Know where the pic also is?

Very cool!

Very cool!

On this disc! Rob McLeod, Davy Whippet’s talented thrower, had the frisbee made to commemorate the world record (check out Davy’s “pawtograph!”). Last Saturday Rob e-mailed me that he would be in nearby Pearland that day and the next competing in a Quadruped, which features long-distance throw-and-catch events (there also were timed contests and freestyle). He wanted to get together so he could give me this gift.

I was so honored!

Naturally, I toted along my Nikon D610 and Nikon 70-200mm lens in anticipation of some good action photo ops.

Open wide!

Open wide!

There were plenty!

Bones, Rob’s other pup, lays out for the catch.

Bones, Rob’s other pup, is on his way back to the ground.

As with all good sports shots, the key is timing. However, there were several unknowns to consider:

Got it!

Got it!

Where are the disc and the dog going? Will the throw be good? Will the catch be made?

Got a bead on the disc

The disc is within reach.

All of which made it hard to keep the canine and frisbee in focus. What a challenge!

Caught!

Caught!

Fortunately, I had enough keepers to make it a worthwhile, fun shooting experience.

Davy makes the catch look easy.

Davy makes the catch look easy.

Plus I got to see Davy again. He’s an amazing athlete—so fast and so good at catching the disc. It helps that he and Rob are really in sync.

I’ll always remember this high-flying team whenever I look at my frisbee. Thanks again, Rob!

One-Word Wednesday

This mediterranean house gecko is a freeloader on our clothes hamper.

This Mediterranean house gecko on our clothes hamper is a freeloader.

Gecko!

I named him Petey. Hope he either starts paying rent or leaves!

I named him Petey. Hope he either starts paying rent or leaves!

One-Word Wednesday

A grumpy squirrel on our roof refused to back down.

A grumpy squirrel on our roof refused to back down.

Stare!

One-Word Wednesday

These black vultures blocked my path Saturday morning; they creep me out!

These black vultures blocked my path Saturday morning; they creep me out!

Buzz-off!

Diving Dining

A tern soars above the water.

A tern soars above the water.

The lake that’s next to the path I run on in our neighboring master-planned community is actually a restaurant. Need proof?

This is the spot!

This is the spot!

Last week dozens of Forster’s Terns were above, on, and briefly in the water. One of them was kind enough to descend while I had my Nikon D700 focused on him.

Looks like a tasty snack.

Looks like a tasty snack.

The amount of time it takes for these birds to dive in and come up with the bug of their choice? Mere seconds.

Bye bye, birdie!

Bye bye, birdie!

Talk about your avian fast food!

 

Musical Musings

An egret sits quietly on a railing as I approached during yesterday’s run.

An egret sits quietly on a railing as I approached during yesterday’s chilly run.

Bye bye . . .

Guess I got too close for comfort.

Guess I got too close for comfort.

. . . birdie!

Birds on the Brain

Lots of white feathers here

Lots of white feathers here

Last week a bunch of ibises settled in a patch of water in the creek that runs alongside our community’s walking path. This was their idea of eating out . . . literally.

Gotta love their beaks!

A snowy egret makes his own ripples among the long-beaked gang.

There must have been lots of great bugs in this area. The ibises’ long, curved beaks were immersed in the water most of the time.

Gotta love those beaks!

Gotta love those reflections!

It was interesting how well all the birds, which included a couple of snowy egrets, got along. I guess it’s true that birds of a feather flock together.

”Get out of here!“

”Get out of here!“

Except when one is annoying another. Reminds me of a couple boys I know!

Bucolic Disc Golf

Such a restful setting for a basket during an oft-stress-filled game

Such a restful setting for a basket during an oft-stressful game

Usually the most-scenic parts of disc golf courses are trees and lakes. But River Pointe Church’s land also features a fenced-off cow pasture. Players whose discs go off-line have to recover them from this out-of-bounds area.

Most of the time, the toughest aspect of that retrieval is trying not to get hung up on the barbed-wire fence; we rarely see any animals near by. However, during last Tuesday’s Southwest Handicap Mini finale, some of the four-legged clientele were up close and personal with one of the baskets.

The kid ignores the background.

The kid ignores the animal background.

At first when I was walking towards the basket from across the course, it actually looked like the cows were on the wrong side of the fence! What a relief to see that wasn’t the case. I sure didn’t want them messing with my beloved baby boy (as well as the Mister, who would have been the one rescuing him while I snapped photos)!

A great putt!

A great putt!

Despite all the chain clanging, the bovine peanut gallery paid udderly no attention to the players. Even Hiral’s stunning birdie putt turned no heads.

Talk about your tough crowd!

Another Squirrelly Tale—Pint-Size Division

This was how far he could climb the oak tree.

This was how far he could climb up our oak tree.

It’s been well-documented in this blog how much birds, animals and insects are drawn to our front door (as well as to my home office and our garage and backyard . . . shudder!). Nature seems to be constantly knocking, probably because it often horrifies me.

Opposites do attract, unfortunately for me.

This past Monday it happened again. The day before, the Mister and I had seen the tiniest of squirrels down the street. It wasn’t a baby, but it wasn’t close to full grown. And it wasn’t afraid of humans. It tried to follow us, but, fortunately, it finally scampered towards a neighbor’s backyard.

It was a short-lived break.

Hey there, hi there, ho there!

Hey there, hi there, ho there!

About 24 hours later, the little guy was in our front yard. As I was snapping pics of him from the front door, he headed my way. Of course. Naturally, I shut it, but I changed lenses (from my Nikon 70-200mm to my Nikon 105mm) and kept shooting through the windows.

Oh oh!

Oh oh!

Before long he was climbing up the door jamb! What is it with that area that’s so attractive to nature’s beasts? Fortunately, he quickly gave up and pondered the situation for awhile.

Hello and goodbye!

Hello and goodbye!

I definitely need to get rid of that welcome mat!