Friday, July 10, 2009

Long time no see

Wow, so you all probably thought I had dropped off the edge of the Earth, huh? It's hard for me to believe it's been so long since I posted a blog! I got my job back a few weeks ago and have been busy trying to organize my time. Hopefully, I've got everything settled and will be posting again much more often.

So, I have some exciting news. A few of our photos were used for a local news story! On the 4th of July we happened to be in a neighborhood where a firework landed in a large bush and caused a fire. The bush was next to an apartment complex and we were all scared it was going to catch on fire. Luckily enough neighbors had hoses and the fire was put out before it spread. The fire department was extremely busy that night and didn't arrive until the fire was almost out.

Here are a few photos from that night.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Elusive Falls

Last weekend we went in search of Jump Creek Waterfall. I woke up excited that we were finally able to visit this small local attraction. After printing the directions from Google Maps (which after the fact we found out were a mistake) we were on our way. Everything was going great until we passed the small town of Marsing and our directions started to make less and less sense. We guessed at what our directions said and took a left hand turn down a highway. We ended up driving to Oregon before we figured out we were going the wrong way! We drove down some dirt roads still searching for the right road without any luck. To make a long story short, we never did find the elusive falls. :P After we got back home, I looked at the map online and found we were only 1-2 miles away from the waterfall!

Soooo. Instead of posting photos of the falls, I will post other two photos from our journey.

We pulled off the highway to take a peek at a scenic overlook and spotted these two guys. The first photo is a Mormon Cricket. According to wikipedia they can get up to 3 inches in length.

We spotted this lizard at the same location.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Time for Foto Friday

In the last blog post I mentioned going to visit a local waterfall. We never made it there, but are hoping to go this weekend instead. Hopefully, time will permit me to post photos of it early next week.

Today's photos were taken during our California vacation last month. We were enjoying the sunset in Santa Cruz, California when we noticed we could see the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in the distance. We decided to snap a few photos and think they turned out really well. The layering and lighting is beautiful. :)

The rollercoaster in the background, named the Big Dipper, opened in 1924 and is currently the U.S.'s 6th oldest coaster! We rode it once earlier in the day. :)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Foto Friday

Happy Friday all!

I've spotted a few ospreys around the Boise area lately and thought I would post a photo of one.

This particular osprey was seen in north Idaho near the small town of Sagle. The photo was snapped just as it was about to land on a nest. We parked the car close to the nest and watched them flying to and from the water hunting for fish.

Any great weekend plans? We might visit a local waterfall. Not sure how impressive it is, but I will post photos if they turn out well.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Foto Friday Returns!

Hello all!

Since this weekend is the really the kick-off of the summer camping season, I am going to post two photos from one of my favorite camping experiences. We went on a three day backpacking trip in the Seven Devils Mountains in Central Idaho.

The lake little lake in the photo below is Lower Cannon Falls, where we camped the first night. One side of the lake is against a talis pile (hillside of loose rock). All day and night long we listened to the pikas scurrying around in the rock. Those little guys are so fast that we never were able to get a clear photo of them, but here is a link to the wikipedia Pika page where you can find a photo.

The second night we hiked 1,000 feet higher and camped at Upper Cannon Falls. We only had to hike a couple miles, but due to the change in elevation and the fact that we didn't follow a trail for most of the day, our hike took most of the day. Once we got to the lake the views were definitely worth it! As we rounded the last bend and the lake came into view, I saw butterflies fluttering above and skimming the top of the lake. Fish were actually jumping out of the water attempting to catch the butterflies! I'd never seen anything like it before!
The photo below is the view from our tent at Upper Cannon Lake.

Friday, May 15, 2009

San Francisco Vacation

Greetings all!

Foto Friday will return next week. :) We've been busy vacationing and playing catch up. Now that things are quieting down again, I have time for a new blog post.
The first few days we were in San Francisco it was foggy, and this was the best shot we could get of the Golden Gate Bridge. We just had to take a photo of it - a trip to San Francisco just isn't complete without one! :)

And of course on our walk, we just had to stop by Fisherman's Wharf to see the barking sea lions. One of the plaques said that there are between 100 and up to 1,000 sea lions at the wharf at all times! Most of them were sleeping, like the ones below, however there were a few that barked non-stop.

This Madagascar Giant Day Gecko was at the California Academy of Sciences in the Golden Gate State Park. I love how vibrant the colors are!

The below photo is of the Palace of Fine Arts. It looks spectacular lit up at night! We're not the only ones that think so either. When we arrived to take this photo, there were about ten other people here taking photos also!

Do any of you have favorite or fun places you like to spend vacations? We would love to hear about your stories. We're always looking for new places to travel to.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Foto Friday

Happy May Day!

This post is going to be very short because we are currently getting ready to leave on vacation! :)
A simple, pink rose - I couldn't think of a more appropriate photo for May Day. Have a wonderful weekend all!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sunrise Sage Grouse Fun

Last weekend we were up early (3 am to be exact!) to join a group outing to a sage grouse lek (mating grounds). I've only seen the sage grouse mating ritual once, and was excited to witness it again. After a hour and a half drive, we made it to the lek just before sunrise. We were able to park within 50 feet of the birds and watch the males strut and perform their mating display. I didn't record their call, however, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has an example posted on their site here:
If you would like to watch the display, this links to a video on -
Sage grouse can use the same mating grounds for hundreds of years! This male wasn't intimidated by the cars at all and came very close to us.

Since it is the end of the mating season, some of the younger males were on the lek. Occasionally they would either be chased off by the older males or fight.

This male is performing the mating display by puffing out air sacs in its chest.

The outing was organized because the Owyhee Initiative just passed protecting a large area of land in southwestern Idaho. If you are interested, more information about the initiative can be found here:

Friday, April 24, 2009

Foto Friday

Happy Friday all!

Yesterday we spotted the first baby geese of the year and will be out with the camera this weekend attempting to get some good photos. Look for those in a future post. I can't wait to see the baby wood ducks, and if the geese are hatching it won't be too much longer until the baby ducks will be hatching too!
Since I have wood ducks on the mind, I'll just go ahead and post a photo of a male wood duck for today's photo. They are one of my favorite ducks. Just look at how colorful they are!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

In celebration of Earth Day I am posting some landscape shots to motivate everyone to go outside and enjoy the outdoors. :) Luckily the weather here in Idaho is perfect for spending time outside today, and I plan on going outside to take advantage of it!

Photo taken during a three day backpacking trip in the Seven Devils Mountain Range in central Idaho. The scenery was breathtaking and well worth all the hiking.

The Sand Dunes National Monument near Alamosa, Colorado. The climb to the top of the dunes is brutal, but completely worth it, as you can see from the view.

Cherry Creek State Park in Denver. I love the sun rays in this one!

This photo was taken in the Grand Canyon during a 3 mile morning hike.

If you did anything fun for Earth Day, I'd love to hear about it!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Waiting for the Hummingbirds

Happy Foto Friday!

The trees are starting to turn green and the tulips are pushing up through the ground. Soon it will be time for the hummingbirds to arrive! I love watching them zip around the garden. Sometimes they are brave enough to fly around my head so close that I can hear the sound of their wings humming. This year I plan to plant a row of flowers that hummingbirds and butterflies are attracted to. Hopefully we will be able to capture more photos like the one below. :) I wish everyone a wonderful weekend! The weather in Idaho will be beautiful and I will be outdoors enjoying every moment!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Road Less Traveled part 2

So, I am finally posting part two of our mini road trip. Took me long enough, right? :)

We were driving through a wooded area, rounded a bend and this was the scene that stood before us. Spectacular!


I like how the desert landscape abruptly ends in the photo below. If you were able to look down from this vantage point, you would see a shear cliff with water at the bottom. The water was so far below us, I was afraid to even get out of the car!

As well as viewing amazing scenery, we were also able to see a number of bird species. When we spotted this little mountain blue bird we stopped the car in the middle of the road to watch it. That's how little traffic there was!

Don't forget to check back tomorrow for Foto Friday!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Foto Friday!!

First off, I have been meaning to post part two of the Road Less Traveled photos. However the flu swept though our household and I didn't get to it. Hopefully, I'll have those photos up in the next few days. I'm really excited to share more of our mini road trip with everyone!

This morning I awoke to gray cloudy skies and rain. A typical spring day. While looking at the clouds, I was reminded of a photo taken last fall while my husband and I were in Alnwick, England. So, guess what? That's the photo I chose for Foto Friday!

This is a photo of the Alnwick Castle in Alnwick, England. The Percy family has called this castle home since 1309!! If you would like to read more about the castle, here is the link. It was an absolutely amazing place to visit!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Foto Friday!

It's Friday! You know what that means, right? Time to welcome the upcoming weekend with a photo.

Ok, so I cheated. I couldn't pick which kestrel photo I liked better, so I am posting two for today's Foto Friday. :)

I think kestrels are such colorful and beautiful birds. They are easily seen on power lines in our area, however sneaking up on them to take a photo close up is impossible. However, the MK Nature Center in downtown Boise has two kestrels that I believe were injured and are not able to be released back into the wild. We occasionally walk to the nature center to see them. The day these photos were taken the lighting was perfect making the cage netting invisible.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Road Less Traveled

I love looking at the map, choosing a road I've never driven down before and just going. That's what we did this past weekend. The road we took started out as pavement in a desert setting, but soon changed to a dirt road winding through the most beautiful scenery. Wildlife abounded. We saw antelope, deer, elk, a mink, golden eagle, bluebirds, marmots, and other birds. The landscape was so beautiful, we pulled the car over numerous time to take some photographs.

This first photo was taken near a small town, too small to even be on the map, called Prairie.

This photo was taken near Arrowrock Dam. I love all the different types of landscape that can be seen here - snowy mountains, brown buttes, the green of the river banks, and the desert-like foreground with sagebrush.

More photos to come later. Stay tuned.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Foto Friday

I thought it would be a fun idea to post a photo every Friday to welcome the weekend.

There are a group of squirrels near our place that always seem to find treats. On this particular morning we came by to see this little guy eating some toast for breakfast and couldn't pass up the opportunity to take a photo.

Hope everyone has a great weekend! Anyone have fun plans made?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Search for the snow goose

It's that time of year again - time for the geese migrations. We were hoping to spot a large group of snow geese this last weekend at the Fort Boise Wildlife Management Area. As soon as we arrived we could hear hundreds of geese honking and squeaking, but couldn't see any. Turns out they were all in a pond that had a big dirt berm and tall grass around the edges. Sneaky geese..... We decided to wait and see if they would fly up. Eventually they did! It was such an amazing site!

While we were waiting for the elusive geese to come out of hiding, we spotted these little sparrows in the brush.

Maybe next time we'll have better luck and spot the geese closer up.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring is on the way!

The weather is finally warming up here, making it feel like spring is just around the corner. The grass is just starting to green, and I saw the first daffodil of the year blooming today! I'm still waiting for the trees to bloom, bees to start buzzing, and more flowers to appear. Here are some of the sights I am anticipating.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Etsy Banner

I spent most of the morning yesterday designing an Etsy banner for our shop, and came up with two banners that I liked.

I would love some feedback on the banners. Which one do you like better?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Thousand Springs

The past month I had been stuck at home mostly because I was sick, so I absolutely had to get out of Boise last weekend! Destination: 1000 Springs Hot Springs near Hagerman, Idaho. I know it's not really that far away from Boise, only about an hour and a half, but it was far enough to appease my travel bug (for the moment anyway).

The hot springs were extremely crowded, but it was nice to do a little swimming. It made me feel like summer was just that much closer. :)

The hot springs lie along the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway, which has a thousand (maybe?) waterfalls pouring down the canyon walls along the opposite side of the Snake River. Here are some photos of a few of the falls to enjoy! I'll definitely have to go back later in the spring or fall when the hillsides are green and photograph some more of the falls.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Snowy Silence

The past week has been spent nursing a horrible cold, which means no journeying out with the camera. :( Don't be worried, there are plenty of good quality photos that have yet to be posted! :)

This morning I awoke to snow gently falling and blanketing the world in a soft and white stillness. Alas, I had somewhere to be or I would have whipped out the camera and snapped some photos of how the snow was so perfectly sticking to all the tree branches. Instead, I will delight your eyes with a different snowy scene. :)

During the middle of December a snowstorm came through the Boise area and dumped a few inches of snow. My husband and I decided to take a walk and came across this scene at Julia Davis Park in Boise. I love how serene and peaceful the photo is.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Feisty Garter Snake

Since we haven't been out to take any new photos lately, I thought I would post some older photos. Around Christmas, a garter snake was found near my parent's house in Meridian, Idaho. It was originally going to be kept as a pet, but escaped a few days later!

Here is a photo of the snake right after it was caught, it was rather calm at this point.

The next morning we got the snake out of its temporary cage and it was a bit more feisty! It must have been starving because it tried to make a meal out of my sister-in-law's hand! Ouch!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Bald Eagle Days

Saturday was a cold and dark day, but we were determined to not let the weather dampen our mood, so we headed outdoors to stop by the Bald Eagle Days celebration at the Shakespeare Festival facilities in Boise. Bald Eagle Days is an annual celebration which raises awareness and support for the Boise River and the wildlife living there. When we first arrived, we noticed the local Audubon society had a few spotting scopes set up for the public to use. One of the scopes was pointed at a sleeping great horned owl across the Boise River! Whoever spotted that owl had a sharp eye; she blended right in amidst the bramble.

Liberty, a captive bald eagle, was out with her handler. Unfortunately we didn't get any photos of Liberty because she had been in the cold for over half an hour and was taken back inside soon after we arrived.

However, our disappointment was short-lived because we soon noticed two captive owls out with their handler. One was a great horned owl that was hit by a car and suffered brain damage, and the other was a short eared owl. We were able to get close enough to see the detailing in the owl's plumage!

We've never seen a short eared owl before, but found out they do live in southern Idaho. We'll have to make it a goal to spot one this year! Hope you enjoy the photos!