Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

Ducks n’ Geese

This weekend we took the boys to visit their grandparents, and we fed some ducks:

Ducks on the Pond

Hope you enjoyed your weekend.

Slow and Steady

We haven’t seen this guy in a while:

"Our" Turtle

I guess the rain prompted him to come out for a visit.

Summer Beauty

OK, I have been a blog slacker. So sorry to the two of you who read this. But I have taken a slew of pictures and I’m sharing:

Life on the Sunflower, Backlit

One of the best things we did this summer was to plant flowers.

We did it for the boys, especially for the Monkey since he loves science and green things and seeing how things work, so seeing a seed turn into a plant and then to bloom was a nice educational treat for him. And believe me, the beauties I photographed are BIG ya’ll.

We planted sunflowers (three varieties, I think), zinnias, marigolds, poppies and asters (all have bloomed but the asters). BHE also bought a hibiscus for me for Mother’s Day (fully grown, not from a seed) – Monkey helped choose that one. Throughout the summer I have seen all manner of butterflies and moths, bees, bumblebees, and hummingbirds. Our backyard might not be landscaped in the traditional sense, but I think it’s beautiful. And it has been such a pleasure to photograph. If you’re going to garden for photography, definitely go with the sunflowers and larger wildflowers. Zinnias work rather well too, and I can’t say enough about the hibiscus – don’t know how well it’s going to do inside this winter, but it’s gorgeous.

And gardening for kids? Again, you can’t beat the sunflowers – they get HUGE! And the marigolds have been hearty, prolific, and have a nice variety of color.

Meet Elvis.

So today was the day…the day Monkey got his gecko.

A crested gecko, to be specific. We prepared last Thursday, by hitting Petco in Hendersonville and getting the setup together. Here’s a pic if you want to see. BHE gets pretty much all the credit for setting this up.

After church and lunch today, we called Aquatic Critter, as we wanted to go with a reputable reptile dealer and we’ve seen their store and they seem to know what they’re doing. If you ever have some free time, go and check them out on Nolensville Road – it’s quite a sight. Unfortunately for us, they did not have crested geckos today (well, they had two very expensive adults). So we stopped by Superpetz and Petsmart, both in Rivergate – neither had crested geckos, and honestly, I was a bit OK with that as I wanted to “go local” with a good dealer for our first reptile acquisition.

So we called Emerald Bay in Bellevue – quite the haul for us, but lo and behold they had TWO flame crested geckos. After getting lost on the way down there (we discovered that Old Hickory on the north side dead ends into the Cumberland River, taking us at least 30 minutes out of our way), we finally found it. It’s a smaller store than Aquatic Critter, but the reptile selection is pretty good (if you’re going for the fish though, Aquatic Critter has a lot more selection and for us the distance is about the same). We had a good buying experience and brought our new little guy home – meet Elvis:

Meet Elvis

He’s all settled in. We haven’t really handled him as that’s not recommended for the first three days. We did feed him crickets (gag) tonight and that was hilarious. He snapped them right up. We do need to figure out a better cricket delivery system because I am not holding crickets and I think BHE’s system is the hard way – I’m off to do some research on a better cricket setup.

Caught in the act…

So, BHE set up a bird feeder in a nice tree next to our house. We’re trying to keep the redbirds and their friends happy, especially since the redbirds have set up a nest in our rosebushes. We appreciate their company. Anyway, BHE has noticed that a LOT of birdseed has been consumed regularly…I blamed the squirrels, to which BHE said “there’s NO WAY that a squirrel would eat a half gallon of food!”.


Caught in the Act


Meet the latest addition to our family – here’s Duke:


Ain’t he cute? We adopted him last weekend. We were told he’s a miniature pinscher/rat terrier mix, and we think that’s probably about right. He’s VERY sweet. Unfortunately, he doesn’t appear to be totally housetrained yet, or in the very least we just have him quite off schedule. Oh, and our other dog, Annie, doesn’t like him, which is most unfortunate. She’s gradually warming up – but by warming up, I mean going from Polar-Icecap-Cold to a nice Minnesota winter…he plays like a pup should, and that’s a lot of her issues…not to mention I suspect she’s a bit jealous.

But – he’s sweet and he’s great with the boys. Monkey LOVES Duke…and Duke immediately took to him, and the Bear too. He curls up with Monkey at bedtime to read stories…he’s basically interested in everything the Monkey does.

And who else in Tennessee enjoyed the weather the past couple of days? We spent a ton of time outside – I hope everyone else enjoyed the weather as much as we did!

And THIS is where I draw the line:

Monkey loves animals.

He obviously loves dogs – we plan to expand our canine family Saturday if all works out to plan, by adopting a miniature pinscher/rat terrier mix (we already have Annie, a rat terrier mix).

He loves our fish, especially the tiger barbs. Right now we have a ten gallon tank housing an opaline gourami (the tank bully), a betta (very pretty – dark blue body and red/pink tail), 3 tiger barbs, a few neon tetra (they hide, so I’m guessing we have around 4-6), and a rainbow shark.

He likes birds (today at the pet store saying “when I get bigger, I can get a bird like that” Me, thinking “no” – I like birds but from what I have seen, as pets they’re kinda nasty.

But Monkey is most fascinated by reptiles. Especially snakes. We’re not squeamish about snakes – BHE is disgusted by all rodents (an animal grouping Monkey does not care for at all) and that’s part of the hangup there. However, if Monkey wants one when he’s older we will consider it, frozen mice and all.

We’re willing to concede to a gecko at some point in the near (within the next year or so type of near) future. We like the leopard geckos and the crested geckosReptile Channel is a great resource on all reptiles and amphibians (herps, as they say) and I’d thoroughly recommend that as a starting point for anyone. The geckos look freakin’ cool as pets, I must say. If we buy one, we’ll probably end up making a trip to the Aquatic Critter in Nashville – we visited there a couple of weeks ago with the boys and they had everything, including Savannah Monitors like the ones featured in the below clip. I gotta tell you, we are NOT going to reach this level of reptile ownership:

Never – I mean never – taunt a tiger…

A teenage boy died in S.F. due to being mauled by a tiger. They’re thinking the tiger might have been taunted and escaped from its enclosure by climbing/jumping the wall.

BHE and I used to go to the Knoxville Zoo a lot when we were first dating in college. He had season passes (yearly Christmas  gift), so it was free entertainment, we both loved seeing the animals, and since we were both in college we could avoid the peak crowds.

Not too long before I graduated – on one of our last visits to the zoo before moving back to Middle Tennessee – I remember approaching the tiger area of the zoo. I should mention that the tigers were behind chain-link fencing, with visitors behind a much smaller fence and several feet of land between the tigers and human onlookers. That day, as we approached I quickly noticed that some dumb redneck had scaled the fencing around the tiger and was approaching the chain-linked fencing area where the tiger resided.

The tiger instantly lept out of the water in which it was lounging and made for the fence, and never have I seen a redneck move so fast – not even on Cops.

So ya’ll, never ever ever taunt a tiger.