Posts Tagged With: photography

Pass the whine…

You know what is a real let down? Finally getting a date night with hubby, then eating a bad meal. Seriously. We eat out so little that when we finally do get a date night the meal should effing fantastic, but it wasn’t, and that sucks. I know. Boo-hoo.

Okay, enough whining…

This weekend we mustered the energy to check off one of our Christmas traditions…Holiday Lights! Last year we went to Golden, Colorado to check out their river walk lights. The girls were so impressed with the huge pine tree completely wrapped in lights that we had to share it with friends this year.

Golden Lights

Standing under the pine tree wrapped in lights

Golden Light

Under the tree of lights

Each branch is wrapped in strands of lights. I wonder if they leave the lights on all year…hum.


Another tradition…stop at Starbucks to warm up

Golden Light 3

Along the walk

Golden Lights 4

Fence post lining the river wrapped in lights

house lights

Our house with lights

Our home: It may be old and worn. It may have stained carpets and pet hair. It may need a fresh coat of paint on the inside, not to mention new windows. There is not a pretty decorated Pinterest worthy fireplace mantle. Very few people I know would have house-envy upon walking into our house, but it is OUR HOME. It is full of love and happiness. And, that is all I can really ask for.

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Colorado Gold


Colorado Gold

This weekend: Guanella Pass for aspen spotting. It’s a fall must-do if you live in Colorado (in my humble opinion).


Aspen Forest

Pure Joy: Walking through this aspen forest I made a wrong step and twisted my ankle. Don’t worry because I made a quick recovery with a Jason Bourne-style shoulder roll to the ground. It wasn’t graceful but at least I saved myself a trip to the ER with a broken ankle.

Guanell Pass aspens

Aspens at Guanella Pass

clear lake

Clear Lake

Throwing rocks in Clear Lake.

Mountain Flowers

Yellow Mountain Flower

Mountain Flowers: A little mountain flower.

guanella pass

At Clear Lake


Watch your step! Trust me.

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Echo Lake Picnic

echo lakeLast week we threw some sandwiches and drinks in a cooler and headed to the mountains. I really needed my mountains-fix.

echo lake

Mountain duck taking a dip in the lake

mt. evans

The girls getting along…for now

scoripion pose

Alexandra’s scorpion pose

mountain flowers

Purple mountain flower

mountain flowers

Blue mountain flowers

On the way down the mountain we stopped at my favorite place to explore near Mt. Evans. This river, with its many little waterfalls, is just off the main road on the Idaho Springs side.

mt evans road

Love this to be my backyard

heart in nature

Heart bark

scorpion pose

Another scorpion pose

mt. evans

Portrait near a fall

mt evans road

They really wanted to take their shoes off…later they did

mt evans

The water is so cold

I feel truly blessed that in under one hour I can be in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. This is why I live here.

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The gross, the beautiful, and the 1980s

WARNING! This is kinda gross. I have yet to catch a squirrel eating at my new Slinky feeder. I know they are eating the peanuts because I have refilled it twice in one week. But now I have to remove it from the backyard.

Our little toy poodle, Rocco, has been eating the peanuts the squirrels drop on the ground. Or, maybe he is eating the shells, because it seems the squirrels are cracking the peanuts right there at the feeder; leaving the shells on the ground below.

In either case, Rocco had diarrhea in the house twice from eating the peanuts/shells. And when he has diarrhea she squirts it all over the walls. He doesn’t hunch to poop, he backs himself up to a wall and sprays! He lets loose a cannon of poop. Think paint ball with poop.

Glenn lost his breakfast cleaning up his latest “accident”, but was kind enough to leave some for me to clean up. It was nice and dried up, and stuck to the trim too.

Bet you wish you had my life at that moment…


He looks like he is carved out of wood.


Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly likes the petunias.


The peonies have come and gone.


Peonies still wet after a quick rain shower.


30 minute lightning show…


…presented by an awesome God.

You know you’re old when you are watching Back to the Future with your 11 and 6-year-old and have to explain:

  1. the StarTrek and Star Wars references;
  2. who Edward Van Halen is;
  3. who Chuck Berry is, and how Marty changed the future when he played Johnny B Goode at the Enchantment Under The Sea dance;
  4. that Ronald Regan really was an actor before becoming president;
  5. that the audition band judge who tells Marty, “I’m afraid you’re just too darn loud,” is Huey Lewis and why it is funny.
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7 Tips for Photographing Urban Wildlife

tips for photographing wildlife

For everyone with a camera.

Whether you live in the city, or the suburbs, wildlife is plentiful—and you don’t have to look further than your own backyard to find it. Your backyard is the perfect setting to hone your wildlife photography skills.

Think big, and small, when photographing urban wildlife. Birds, squirrels, humming birds, butterflies, bugs and bees are all excellent subjects.

Here are my 7 tips for photographing urban wildlife in your own backyard:

photographing wildlife

Give them what they want.
{Sony a290 DSLR, 110mm, f/4.5, ISO 100, 1/200 sec)

  1. BAIT AND HOOK. Create an inviting environment in your backyard to attract critters you want to photograph. Stock bird feeders with seeds to attract common birds in your region. Create a hummingbird garden by planting fragrant flowers and hang a nectar feeder to lure these colorful birds. By doing this, you get a two-for-one advantage. Butterflies are also attracted to fragrant and colorful flowers, as well as rotted fruit. Water is essential to all animals—consider installing a bird bath in your garden. Don’t be afraid to get close to bees collecting pollen from flowers. (I have never been stung by a bee that I was photographing…I may have just cursed myself!) And, to attract squirrels, lots of seeds, peanuts, and dried corn on the cobs are excellent “bait”.


    Patience, patience, patience.
    {Sony a290 DSLR, 200mm, f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/320 sec}

  2. PATIENCE GRASSHOPPER. Sometimes you get lucky. You have your camera in your hand and the opportunity to shoot a bird or other critter strikes. Ah, perfection. But, most times, patience and persistence is what wins the game. Set up an opportunity to shoot urban wildlife, and wait for the subject to come to you.


    Stay still and quiet.
    {Taken with Canon Power Shot a570 point-and-shoot camera}

  3. LAY LOW. Wildlife, especially birds, can be skittish around humans, so hiding out of sight, or just sitting still and quiet is essential. Camouflage couldn’t hurt. I purposely hung my bird feeder off the back patio within sight vantages of two windows in my house. I can easily shoot from the windows with minimal interference of the birds and squirrels.


    {Taken with Canon Power Shot a570 point-and-shoot camera}

  4. ROCK YOUR CAMERA. Don’t think you need expensive and fancy camera equipment to shoot amazing photos. Whether you have a point-and-shoot camera or a DSLR it is essential that you know how to use your camera. I have shot many critters with my point-and-shoot camera and the photos have turned out spectacular. That’s because I have learned the capabilities of that camera and know how to use them to my advantage. (The bee on the flower above was shot with a point-and-shoot, and I was really close to that bee!) Now, if you have a DSLR camera, a wise investment is a telephoto lens. This will allow you to keep your distance from your subject, isolate your subject through framing, and still achieve sharp focus.

    photographing wildlife in your backyard

    Look ’em in the eye.
    {Song a290 DSLR, 200mm, f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/320 sec)

  5. FOCAL POINT. Focus on the eyes of your subject—always. This is a golden rule, not just when photographing animals but humans as well.

    praying mantis

    Praying Mantis on side of house.

  6. SHOOT FAST AND OFTEN. Wildlife moves fast, so should you. What I mean by that is you should shoot fast and often, but avoid sudden movement as not to scare your subject. Don’t be afraid to take the shot because you may think it is not be “good enough”. If your camera has a continuous shooting mode, use it. You never know what shot will become your prize winner!
    focal point before

    Original Shot.

    cropped photo

    Cropped version of above photo in post production.

  7. COMPOSITION. Remember to apply the composition rules, such as rules of thirds. Great composition is what takes a photo from an average snapshot to a visual statement. Pay attention to the background. Try to avoid distracting backgrounds that will take away from your subject. Although, sometimes the background can’t be helped…it is what it is. Take the shot anyway. Don’t discount cropping in post production. The top original photo applies the rules of thirds and is good composition wise; but the bottom cropped photo is more interesting and detailed. This can transform a good photo to one that will impress your friends and make you look like a photographic genius. It will be our little secret.


    Have fun and be curious. Cicada found in backyard.

BONUS #8 FINAL TIP: Look, you can Google this subject and get more than 7 million results. I gave you my seven tips above, but there really is one more thing you should always do…HAVE FUN! Because if you’re not having fun behind your camera then why do it?

Got some amazing urban wildlife shots? I’d love to see them. Leave me a link in the comment section and I’ll stop by your blog. Happy Shooting.


Please remember: Unless otherwise noted, all photos and designs are created by me. Pin it if you like it, but please do not copy it. All rights reserved. Photos ©Jeri Stunkard.

Categories: Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Joy | Bird Watching


bird watching

bird watching

bird watching

bird watching

What is joy?

It is a bird
That we all want to catch
It is the same bird
That we all love to see flying

– Sri Chinmoy


Check back on June 5 for7 Tips for Photographing Urban Wildlife

Linked up on: homework

Categories: Joy, Photography | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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