Saturday, February 06, 2016

Quick Quiz

Quick quiz, everybody!  What famous painting does this remind you of?

IMG_6757MagsAndCamMichelangelo

Please leave answers in the comments. Answer tomorrow.

Cammie and Mags

Friday, February 05, 2016

Our Lovely Walk

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie.  Maggie and I have been taking Mom and Dad on some really nice, tranquil walks lately.  It's so good to get out in the cold air, stretch our legs, and enjoy the peacefulness of the morning.  Yesterday, we decided to go on the route that takes us across an undisturbed meadow, through the woods, past the Kansas Ocean, then up the hill to the water tower and home.  Doesn't that sound lovely?  I't's one of our favorite routes.

Here we are at our corner:

IMG_6880MagsCamWalk
"Let's go right here!"
"Please, Mom and Dad!?!?"

They often let us help choose the route, which helps keep our walks more interesting for all of us!

Here we are heading across the meadow, toward the woods:

IMG_6883MagsCamWalk
"Isn't this just peaceful as can be?"
"It sure is, Maggie!"
IMG_6884MagsCamTheLook
"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
"Only one way to make it even more serene!"
IMG_6888MagsCamBOOM
"BOOM!"
"Uffff!"

She was a little faster on the draw than I had expected.  Still - what a great way to enhance our lovely walk!

IMG_6891MagsCamWatertowerPath
"Great times, Cam.  Great times!"
"The best!"

Do you have fun like this on your walks?!?

Cammie!

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Right Here

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  The other day, Cammie had a routine (everything is fine) vet appointment.  I stayed home with Dad and guarded Ao4 Headquarters while she and Mom were gone.  I missed her so much!  She was gone for hours and hours on end!  It was horrible!

OK, maybe it was more like two hours, but I still missed her VERY, very much!  I checked her out from head to toe when she got home to make sure she was OK.  She had to fast before her appointment, and oh, great Balto, did she ever lay a huge guilt trip on Mom!  Anyway, after she had a light meal, she said she was really tired and wanted to take a nap. I was pretty wiped out from worrying about her, so that sounded like a good idea to me, too.

IMG_6879CamMagsSnuggle
"I missed you so much, Cammie!"
"I missed you, too, little one.  Let's get some sleep, now, OK?"
IMG_6878CamMagsSnuggle
"OK, Cam, but I'll be RIGHT HERE if you need anything."
"Zzz..."

I missed her so much!  Do you miss your family members when they're gone, too?

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Our Sunday Adventure

Greetings to all!  It's me, Mags.  As Cammie mentioned, we had a great adventure on Sunday!  The day started pretty normal - breakfast, a nice all-family walk, that kind of stuff - then I heard mention of "Why don't we all go?"  I love those words!

We all got belted into the HR-V (Husky Recreational Vehicle) and headed down I70.  I had called shotgun, so I navigated while Dad drove.  I also was in charge of the radio.  George Thorogood came on just as we were passing Fort Riley.  I like George Thorogood.

IMG_6784MagsHRV
"Marshall Army Air Field!  Are we going to Fort Riley?"

I mean, I was the navigator.  You'd think someone would tell me where we were going, right?

We drove farther west, and just as I was kicking back to some Stevie Ray Vaughn, I saw water and knew where we were going!

IMG_6787MagsHRV
"Milford Lake!"

Mom knows there are a lot of Bald Eagles out there, but really didn't know where to find them.  We did a lot of driving around.  Dad put some kind of news or talk radio or something on and I changed the channel with my nose.  It was awesome.  True story.

Anyway, we passed a Kansas windmill that Mom wanted a couple shots of.  Here's one, right from the iPhone:

IMG_6789KSWindmill

She and Cammie were playing with the iPhone in the backseat and came up with this special effects version of it:

IMG_6804KSWindmillSpecialEffects

Pretty cool, huh?  They were real happy with how it came out.  Sort of Edvard Munch-ish.

Before too long, we headed down a little road and Mom called out, "Wait!  What's that?!?"  Mom got out and walked on, while we waited in the HR-V.  Here's what was down there:

IMG_8206BaldEagle
Bald Eagle!

Needless to say, we were all thrilled.  Well, OK.  Mom and Dad were thrilled; Cam and I were having fun exploring.

Before we headed home, we stopped by the dam to stretch our legs.

IMG_6794MilfordDam
Milford Dam

Even though we only saw one eagle, Mom considered it a smashing success.

IMG_6796MikeMagsCam
"Did you two have fun?"
"Oh, yeah, Dad.  No more talk radio on the way home, though - OK?"
"BIRDIES!"

Oh.  There was a big flock of ducks down in the water - that's what Cam was looking at!  They were mighty far away, but we could hear them quacking!

It was a great adventure!  We're hoping to go back again soon!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Monday, February 01, 2016

Still Feeling It

Greetings to all - it's me, Maggie!  Did you see all the birdie pictures Cam put up yesterday?  They still have us feeling like this:

IMG_6753MagsCamSnuggle
"Zzz..."
"Zzz..."


We'll add more eagle photos to our Flickr album later, but for now, let's get all snuggled in ...

IMG_6709CamMagsSnuggleBall
Me and Cam.  Double honey bun pose!

Yep. Still feeling the serenity. ...especially since we went on a nice, long, active walk this morning!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Serene Scenery Sunday

Hello, everyone!  We hope all of you are having a wonderful Sunday!  Mom was finally able to get out and do some birding this weekend and we have lots of birdie photos to show you!  Grab a bowl of water and some snacks ... and come birding with us!  (That's RIGHT!  We got to go on today's outing!)

Anyway, Mom and our friend Beth went out to Tuttle Creek State Park yesterday - a gloomy-looking day.  They made the most of it and Mom took some sort of "ambient" type of shots like this:

IMG_7615HoodedMerganser
Hooded Merganser
IMG_7678GreatBlueHeron
Great Blue Heron
...or at least a pretty good one

That one never gets old!  Anyway, bad lighting and they were all the way across the river.  Mom decided to go for closer, more cooperative birds.

IMG_7697NorthernCardinal
Northern Cardinal
IMG_7706WhiteBreastedNuthatch
White Breasted Nuthatch

Mom and Beth moved on to one of the beaver ponds where some ducks (and lots of geese) are known to hang out.  Mom saw one of her favorites - the tiny Green Winged Teal!

IMG_7766GreenWingedTealsMallard
Green Winged Teals - and a Mallard

You can tell how small they are by comparing them to the Mallard in the background!  Speaking of Mallards, Mom likes how this shot came out:

IMG_7710MallardCanandaGeese
Mallard - ready to swim right through the goal posts!

Mom said the light kept changing and she was having a hard time adjusting her camera fast enough.  She was fast enough to see who had been hiding along the shore of the pond, though!  Check it out!

IMG_7838GreatBlueHeronInFlight
Another Great Blue Heron!

After the heron flew by and the ducks swam away or flew off, Mom went back to shooting small birdies.

IMG_7907BlueJay
Blue Jay

They moved over to the river bank, and Mom saw this tiny woodpecker dancing around in a tree:

IMG_7857DowneyWoodpecker
Downey Woodpecker

Mom and Beth stood by the river, bemoaning the light and the lack of anything "exciting" -- i.e., close, cooperative birds --- preferably eagles.  They were watching this gull eat a fishie ...

IMG_7913RingBilledGullWithFish
Ring Billed Gull with fishie
... when he was photo-bombed by a female Common Merganser.

IMG_7920RingBilledGullWithFishCommonMerganser
"Oops.  Sorry!  Coming through!"

Mom started laughing, looked away, then looked up and saw this!!!

IMG_7946BaldEagleInFlight
BALD EAGLE!

That's right - a Bald Eagle, doing a fly-by!  If they hadn't stood there watching the gull, they would have missed her!  They watched her fly, then land over on the other side of the river.  Beth thought they could drive over MUCH closer without disturbing her, so they ran to their vehicles and drove over to where she had perched.  Much to their delight, she was not only still there, but she didn't mind posing for a while!  Here are some of the 87 million shots Mom took of her:

IMG_8148BaldEagle
Bald Eagle
IMG_8039BaldEagle
She doesn't have adult plumage yet, so she's probably 2-3 years old

Mom got closer and closer, taking shot after shot.  Before she knew it, the Eagle had spotted something interesting down river and took off.

IMG_8152BaldEagleTakeOff
Ooh.  Gotta be quick, Mom!
And not quite so zoomed in!

Anyway, she's still processing her photos, but you can see more at this link, if you're interested.  She'll be adding more within the next few days.

We did think you'd like to see at least one of the photos from today, when we went out to Milford Lake!  We'll close with this one:

IMG_8237BaldEagle
Adult Bald Eagle

Isn't he handsome?!? Oh, how we love seeing the Bald Eagles!

We hope you feel nice and serene now!

Cammie!