Yesterday was really crazy. Like tear your hair out, wish you could dramatically throw a lamp across the room crazy. Hopefully, I’ll have a better blog post later. For now, here are two photos from the Wild Africa Trek I took on Saturday. One is of a crocodile under the bridge we had to cross. The other is of another croc in the same area (but taken from the ground).
The other day, I was walking to my car. As I approached my vehicle, I heard a splat. Then another. I looked around. It wasn’t raining. Nothing seemed to be falling that I could see. Yet, the splatting sounds continued. Then, I looked up.
Above me was a flock of birds. Actually, flock is too weak of a word. There were several HUNDRED crows flying overhead. They were following each other high in the sky and many of them had obviously decided that the spot I was standing on was a restroom. I quickly opened my car door and dove inside. My car had been hit twice, but, luckily, I escaped unharmed.
The next day, I brought my camera in to work to attempt to capture this crow swarm. And capture it I did (though there seemed to be less crows this time).
Have you ever witnessed a swarm of birds like this?
Reminder: Don’t forget to enter my $25 EdenFantasys giveaway!
Disclaimer: The image above, crow flying down, was obtained from OpenClipArt.org.
The day after Yom Kippur, we were deciding what to do with the boys. NHL had off from Hebrew School, so this was a rare opportunity to do something fun the whole day. We started it off by going apple picking. Perhaps it was the Irene and Lee rains or perhaps it was the freakish 80 degree day (resulting in shorts instead of our usual apple picking pants), but we didn’t have as much fun. The apples didn’t look as good and we got tired quicker. After much complaining, we called it a day and headed out. Of course, being hot and tired didn’t stop us from picking 39 pounds of apples. Yes, THIRTY NINE POUNDS! Much slow cooker apple sauce will be made.
(As usual, click on the photos to enlarge them.)
After apple picking, the boys were tired and thirsty. We considered going for ice cream, but every place was too crowded. Besides, the apple orchard had affected B’s breathing. (Which was already impacted from recovering from being sick.) We needed a nice spot to relax for a few hours and B’s parents’ house got chosen.
After a short rest, NHL wanted to do something. B and I considered it and we came up with going on a leaf-photography trip together. First, we went home and dropped off the apples. (This is when I weighed them too.) I got NHL’s camera and off we went.
First stop was back to B’s parents’ house to drop off the car. Then, we began walking. As we walked, we talked and occasionally took photos of interesting things that we saw.
Despite the warm weather, there was no denying fall was in the air.
Eventually, we reached our destination: A local pond. As I had guessed, the ducks were spending some time by the shore.
NHL spotted a small playground nearby and I let him play there for a bit. Then, we went back to taking photos.
It was nice spending some quiet time bonding with NHL and he did me proud by spotting some nice shots.
Before long, though, a mistake I made prior to us leaving caught up with us. I had forgotten to get NHL to go to the bathroom. We had no car, there was no bathroom at the pond and we had a good 10 minute walk back to B’s parents’ house. NHL held it in and didn’t complain much as we walked back.
Along the way, we spotted landmarks, like the stairs where we saw a chipmunk hop by as we had walked to the pond.
As we got closer, NHL was definitely slowing down more and getting a bit more cranky (as any tired, potty-emergency-stricken kid might be). Still, he had moments when he’d ask me to take a photo. Like of this tree that he thought looked like a monster.
In the end, we made it back. We had a great time, made some great memories, and have some great photos to boot. I need to take more of these walking trips with NHL before the snow begins to fall.
One of my favorite “rides” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Kilimanjaro Safari. I use “ride” in quotes because, despite the “chase the poachers” storyline at the end, it feels more like an actual African safari than a ride.
Of course, a big reason why I like it is taking photos of the animals. This can be a bit frustrating, though. The car you’re riding in goes over bumps and doesn’t always stop for every animal. Some animals might be right in the clear, giving you the perfect shot.
“Who says I need a bath? Want to come closer and say that?” *sharpens nose-horn*
Other animals hang back and make you use your camera’s zoom to the fullest… and then make you wish you had an ultra-super-mega zoom lens you could attach.
I promise there’s an animal in there. Lying down. No, really, there is.
Of course, when you go on safari, you never quite know what to expect. One trip can be a washout for elephant sightings while another one can have the most unexpected cuteness around!
Yes, that’s Mommy and Baby Elephant walking to the pond. Isn’t Baby Elephant so cute?!!! Lots of awwww’s were uttered, I assure you.
The big things (like elephants) are great, but it’s the small touches that turn this from a “ride through a glorified zoo” into “African safari moved into Florida.” Small things like these termite mounds.
Given Disney’s quest for realism, we’re left wondering if that’s a fake termite mound or if they imported actual African termites. I’m leaning towards fake only because real termites would be tricky to keep confined. They’d tend to get out and munch on other sources of wood. Pretty soon you’d have these mounds popping up all over Disney World and that wouldn’t look too good. As a side note, while impressive, I’d *hate* to see one of these pop up in my yard. I think I’d just wave a white flag and surrender my house to the wood-munchers at that point. Those things can clearly out-build me!
If you find yourself in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, whatever you do, don’t miss the Kilimanjaro Safari! But before you get on, make sure your camera is ready. You’ll need it!
Today, I took the boys to the park for some play time (and also to give B some time by herself to get some writing done). As we piled into my car, I noticed a bug atop my car. Nothing odd there. It’s spring, the weather has gotten warmer and the bugs are out. I looked closer and noticed it was a bee. Two bees, in fact. One atop the other.
The boys were already in the car so my first instinct was to send a TwitPic of the situation. After that was done, I was going to go in the car and drive off, but then I stopped. I had my DSLR with me to take photos of the boys at the playground. Why not put it to a macro test?
So out came my camera and I began snapping away. I’ve taken bee macro photos before so I know how to do it safely. I’ve learned that you can get pretty close to bees without bothering them. They tend to try to fly away from you first. But if they start buzzing angrily and dive bombing you, it’s time to move away fast.
Anyway, I got as close as I felt I could safely get and let my zoom lens do the rest. A few clicks of the shutter later and…
You can click that to magnify the photo, but here’s a cropped version from the full resolution original.
After I was done photographing, I went in the car and started it up. NHL was curious about what was happening. I told him that there were some bees up there that wouldn’t be happy that I was moving the car. He asked why. I danced around the facts and told him that they were happy with the car where it was and wouldn’t like for it to move.
As we drove off, he said he was sad for the bees because they might get blown off. I told him that we started slowly and they probably got the hint before we went so fast that they would be blown off. I really hope that’s the case. Sorry about the interruption, bees!