Slow and Steady

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For my 30th birthday last year, I was lucky enough to be given a 100mm Macro lens from my family. I never thought I’d fall for an inanimate object, but well… I may just love this lens. It is fantastic. I had been pining after a lens for macro photography for quite some time, so it was almost a dream come true. I am still refining my skills, and a flash would be a handy addition to the kit, but I am certainly enjoying getting up close and personal with some of natures smallest.

You can imagine my excitement after some rain when this little fellow appeared in our garden. I sat and watched him (or her) for a while, with my sons watching on eagerly as it emerged from the shell. Of course, it didn’t stay out for long with two noisy boys hanging around, but I kind of like the peering out from under the shell look we got.

The last three are all the same photo, just processed different ways. I couldn’t decide which I liked most, so I’m sharing them all.

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Seeking Love and Friendship

Searching for the perfect companions. Someone who enjoys play time, long walks, and sloppy kisses. Someone who is looking for unconditional love, and is not afraid of commitment. Someone who understands.

There are so many animals dumped, or lost, at local council pounds every single week. Some of these animals are lucky enough to be adopted by a fantastic family, or saved by a rescue group and put into foster care while they wait to find their perfect home. Some of these animals have had an awful existence prior to being dumped; and some aren’t lucky enough to be rescued. Unfortunately, council run animal shelters only have limited resources and are sometimes forced to euthanasie animals who are not claimed or rescued.

Thankfully there are wonderful people who commit their time, energy, and finances to saving these poor souls; and finding them the perfect home. Locally, there are several rescues with quite a large number of cats and dogs looking for their new families. Some of them are left in such a state that they are afraid of people; some are on the brink of death. These wonderful volunteers spend time nursing the animals back to good health, and help them learn to trust again. Some of these dogs and cats have been waiting for their perfect people for longer than they deserve to.

A few weeks ago I had reached a point where I felt confident enough to approach a few local rescues about taking photos for the profiles of the dogs, and cats, they have in their care. I decided back when we adopted Presley that it was something I would love to do, I just had to build the confidence and skills that would allow me to actually put myself out there. I’m so glad I did, and I don’t want to stop meeting these amazing people doing such awesome work.

http://www.petrescue.com.au/listings/235599

Skeeter
Skeeter is thought to be a little Jack Russel Terrier. He is so relaxed and quiet, and follows his foster carers happily. He is quite the little poser, and would make the perfect lap dog.

Skeeter

Skeeter
Skeeter is thought to be a little Jack Russel Terrier. He is so relaxed and quiet, and follows his foster carers happily. He is quite the little poser, and would make the perfect lap dog.

Sadie

Sadie
Sadie is a Staghound x Labrador, and will grow to be a large dog. She is only around four months old at the moment, and look at those paws! She absolutely loves to play, and is the first one to come up for cuddles.

Sadie

Sadie
Sadie is a Staghound x Labrador, and will grow to be a large dog. She is only around four months old at the moment, and look at those paws! She absolutely loves to play, and is the first one to come up for cuddles.

JellyBean

JellyBean
JellyBean is Sadies sister, she has a beautiful nature and loves to sit at your feet. Her entire body moves when she wags her tail, she is just that happy. Like Sadie, JellyBean will probably grow to be a large dog; they both have paws that need growing into.

JellyBean

JellyBean
JellyBean is Sadies sister, she has a beautiful nature and loves to sit at your feet. Her entire body moves when she wags her tail, she is just that happy. Like Sadie, JellyBean will probably grow to be a large dog; they both have paws that need growing into.

If you are looking for the perfect addition to your family, if you have unconditional love to give, and a lot of understanding, please consider adopting a pet from a rescue organisation. It doesn’t even have to be local, most of the adoptions from the local rescues have been from interstate. Check out Best Friends Pet Rescue, R.A.D.A.R., S.M.A.R.T., Needy Paws Dog Rescue, and Blue Plus Animal Rescue. Or you could get lost on the PetRescue site, where most of the animal rescue organisations upload adoption profiles for the animals in their care; be prepared to fall in love on every page.

Restyled

Earlier today I share a couple of photos of our new kitten, Pepper. I took them a couple of days ago while she was sitting on our window sill in the sunshine. Probably not the best light for photos, but I couldn’t resist.

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Before applying the ‘Nashville’ edits, where I finished processing last time.

After I posted the blog, I also shared one of the photos on Instagram. I cropped it into the square and added a filter, Nashville, that gave it a little something more. I fell in love with the end result, and decided I had to learn how to try and emulate that look in Photoshop. Unfortunately, I don’t yet have the full suite of Photoshop, I just use Elements 10, so I couldn’t do the last step – which is a curves adjustment. I tried to get the right look at the end, but I’m not sure I quite got there without that last step. I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out.

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With a different crop and the edits from the tutorial, with a little tweaking at the end for Elements.

Something New

We have a new member to our extended furry family. She’s been here almost three weeks now, and Sienna is not impressed. Being a 13 year old cat who used to spend a lot of time outside makes one grumpy. Apparently.

2013-05-31-Sienna_small 2013-05-31-Sienna-2_smallThe correct way to introduce a new cat to an existing cat includes isolating the new cat in their own little area until existing cat is used to the new scent; usually when they stop reacting negatively to it as they pass the door, or after you’ve been in to play with the new cat. The idea is to gradually introduce them, reducing the initial impact of the newcomer and allowing them to suss each other out without coming to blows. They say it usually takes around two weeks, but it’s taking Sienna a little longer.

We had considered adopting an older kitten from a local rescue organisation, but I’m not sure Sienna would have accepted a more mature cat at all; especially considering how unhappy she has been about a kitten joining the ranks. We have kept them apart as much as we possibly can in our little house, which is hard with no spare bedrooms and five people needing access to the bathroom, but Sienna is still not happy. She doesn’t hiss just at the smell anymore, but she still isn’t happy if she spies the little cat.

Alright, enough of calling her little cat. The kids named her Pepper.

2013-07-11-At Home-Pepper-001_small 2013-07-11-At Home-Pepper-002_smallI had to take Pepper to the vet on Monday because Pepper’s eye looked a little sore, he found an injury on the outside of her cornea that probably came from Sienna swiping at her through the door. The only upside is that Sienna was a little more interested in Pepper on return from the vet. So we are hoping it won’t take too much longer for Sienna to settle into the idea of having a little sister, she has certainly been entertaining her playful side more often since the new addition.

Fluff and Feathers

I’ve previously shared with you some photos from our regular visits to the Botanic Gardens, but I have so many photos of the animals there that have just been sitting, waiting to be shared. So I thought it would be a nice way to brighten a dreary day, at least it’s dreary where I am.

I always see people calling them Botanical Gardens, though I’m 100% sure the sign to ours says botanic and not botanical, and have often wondered which was correct usage, and couldn’t start this post until I knew (stupid brain); so I turned to trusty Google to find out. It didn’t really help. The Wikipedia entry is for Botanical Gardens, but most of the following results (on the first page at least) were for particular Botanic Gardens around the country. Except for Tasmania, theirs is a Botanical Garden. So obviously it doesn’t really matter which you choose to use.

2013-05-25-Botanic Gardens-Donkey_small 2013-05-23-Botanic Gardens-Goose_small2013-04-13-Pigs-2_small 2013-04-13-Pigs_smallAll the animals up there have their own interesting personalities, and most of them love seeing people come through. Especially when we visited after some recent rain and cooler weather. The geese are so obnoxious, honking and hissing as they follow you begging for some food. They actually scare the kids a little because they’re so pushy and noisy. For some reason donkeys always sound like they’re sad, but always look like they’re smiling about something. The emus are scary as all get out, and I think they know they freak me out. One started leaning over the fence during our last visit, they can extend those necks a fairly long way; although they do make some amazing throaty sounds – almost like a didgeridoo.

Who knew pigs grew so fast? Well, I did, but some people may not. It was only about two months ago that the two photos of all three pigs were taken, and now they’re massive. I’m not sure what happens to the pigs when they get too big for the pen in the farm area, one was quite possibly the roast we had the other night. They would be perfect for crackling; I doubt they get much exercise to build muscle and make them all tough and gamey.

2013-05-25-Botanic Gardens-Pig_small 2013-05-25-Botanic Gardens-Alpaca_small 2013-05-23-Botanic Gardens-Donkey_small 2013-05-23-Botanic Gardens-Peacocks_small2013-04-16-Botanic Gardens-Emu_smallAlright, I had better save some for another time. I do enjoy taking the kids up there, but I’m not really sure how often we will visit over the colder months. I turn into a bit of a hermit over winter. Do you have any Winter activity suggestions?

Visiting The Gardens

We live about a two minute drive from the local Botanic Gardens, and the kids just love heading there for a play, ride on the miniature trains, and to visit the animals in the ‘zoo’. I know, I know… any place that houses animals can be called a zoo; but it is a pretty low key zoo. The cafe there sells bags of food for 60 centrs each. They’re just animal pellets, heaps of people bring their own bread to feed the animals with. There is too much there to include in one post, so expect some more from our numerous visits to The Gardens.

Today I am going to share a couple of photos from one of our recent visits. We go so often that it’s hard to keep up, so these are a couple of weeks old. We were accosted by hungry rude geese, I didn’t get a photo of them because the kids were a little worried at their honking and hissing. Going up early morning or late afternoon is best, especially during the warmer months; the animals are more active and looking to be fed. Well, the goats come over at any time of day. They’re a bit greedy.

This visit was a little bit exciting, when we got around to where the Donkeys are we noticed there was a new addition. A very new addition. The little foal was still wobbly on his legs when he stood up, then let out the cutest bray ever! Mum is also very protective of him, very interested in us while we were standing there. So freaking cute!

As we walked around we saw some other baby animals too. There was a goat kid, and a peachick. Well, I lie. We noticed the peachick on a later visit. The kid was hilarious, following the boys around and trying to butt Phillip.They have definitely made the walk around the zoo a little more exciting.

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The Emus were grunting and pecking at us over the fence. I had to stand on my toes to get this, I’m a bit short.

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Emu feet make me think of dinosaurs. Definitely wouldn’t be messing with those suckers.

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This guy sat up in the tree and watched as we fed the ducks. Very curious cockatoo.

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There’s a two seat spinny thing in one of the playgrounds at The Gardens. This is one of my favourite things to try on it.

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The kids like to help me with this one.