Posts Tagged With: photos

Bring on the new year…

The Christmas season is officially over. You know how you can tell? Because the kids have played with all their toys and are now bored. Commence the bickering! The tree has yet to be packed away. And I don’t care.

I got an extra special gift this year. The flu. Awesome. Parker had it Saturday of last week. Christmas Eve was Alexandra’s turn. But mine was saved for Christmas Day.  At least I didn’t have to cook. We were invited to eat with friends, but I stayed home…holding down the couch.


iPod Touch

She got her iPod Touch but not before I made her suffer a little. I wrapped it in her old cell phone box, then placed that in a box, which I wrapped, and repeated two more times. There was confusion, then tears of joy. Priceless.

Giant sock monkey

Giant sock monkey

Her big sis was responsible for finding this giant sock monkey. The boots are hers. She didn’t need anything else!

Shop til you drop

She’s out for the count

A trip to the mall to spend gift cards and cash…we shopped til we dropped. Which in 7-year-old time is approximately 2 hours. If we are lucky.

I woke from my flu coma on Friday, walked outside to the garage for bottles of water, and spotted these loving sights in the backyard:

Frost on branch

Winter branch

The sunrise shining through sleeping leaves. Today is the day He has made.



Now, bring on the new year!

Categories: December Daily, Holidays, In the Moment Photography, Joy, Life | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment


I can’t think of a clever post title, so whatever.

1st grade fashion

Parker has a fashion all her own. Often she dresses like this for school.

plaster hands

Alex plastering her hand in art class. Her awesome teacher sent me this photo.

puppet show

Parker treating Thor to a puppet show. I am not sure what “The shis” means…


“This is a cup of goodness!” Starbucks has nothing to worry about…we are raising a whole generation to become addicted to their coffee!

Are you tired of seeing pictures of other people’s kids in Halloween costumes yet? Too bad…


Ghost Face and Lady Bug

ghost face

Everyone thought she was a he under this mask.

Halloween Cinnamon Rolls

Breakfast cinnamon rolls on Halloween.


The girls are such nerds…and not just for this Halloween party!

thankful web

Our gratitude web is filling up.


So, that’s it, or whatever.

Categories: Life everyday | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Through the weekend lens

Or should I say “through the weekend iPhone”?

Fall leaves

Text graphic added with Rhonna app

Rock creek pumpkin patch

At Rock Creek Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkin patch

Found: the perfect pumpkin!

Pumpkin patch

They are actually getting along!

Black lab

Thor is a handsome boy…

Toy poodle

Rocco is like a teddy bear…


Found: cicada hanging out on the side of the house.

Categories: Life, Life in Photographs | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

This Week in Photos

sewing pillow cases

The girls finished sewing their pillow cases…

sewing pillow cases

Their sewing instructor, Sherri, embroidered their name on each pillow case.

Elitch Gardens

Elitch Gardens.

Hubby’s brother is in town with his kids. The girls have only met these cousins once. We took a family day and went to Elitch’s. They had so much fun at Elitch Gardens. It was so hot! Like I was melting-hot. We cooled off by riding Shipwreck Falls and Disaster Canyon water rides. The water was freezing…and it was still hot.

We spent the second half of the day at the water park and cool off some more. Parker rode her first…and last (for a while)…water slide. The wave pool was a favorite of everyone. I won’t rant about how expensive food and drinks are there (and you can’t bring in your own food). If you go to a theme park, expect to lay out the cash. That’s all.

learning to ride a bike

Parker learned to ride her bike without training wheels! Wwweeeeee!

learning to ride a bike

I promised to buy her a new bike when she learned to ride…

learning to ride a bike

She learned to ride her bike in 2 days.

learning to ride a bike

I kept my promise of new bikes from Walmart.

learning to ride a bike

Already riding standing up…

learning to ride a bike

Alex got a new 28″ bike too.

learning to ride a bike

It’s got 16 speeds, or something crazy like that.

learning to ride a bike

Yeah, she likes it.

free slurpee day

Free Slurpee Day at 7-Eleven.

We ran around most of the afternoon checking bike prices at 3 stores…then gymnastics…then buying bikes at Walmart, we stopped at 7-Eleven for free Slurpees twice!

Categories: Life everyday | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Lesson in Carnivals


Parker’s fist “roller coaster”: The Caterpillar! (ooh, scary)

merry go round

This merry-go-round is boring…and old!


Carnival Candy


Alex rode the Avalanche 3 times!

ferris wheel

Selfies on the Parker’s first ferris wheel. Only 5 tickets each = $10

ferris wheel

Ferris wheel in black and white


Finally, daddy is smiling because we are leaving!

A tough lesson for my kids at the street carnival: Carnivals are rigged. No, seriously. There is a reason you only see one person walking around with a giant stuffed panda bear. The games are impossible to win. I could have bought a non-flammable stuffed animal at Target for the price Daddy just paid trying knock the milk bottles over with a baseball. John Stossel did a hidden camera show on that once…the milk bottles are weighted and the baseball is not a regular baseball, it’s lighter. But, when you have kids, that’s what you do. You try to win them a giant stuffed panda bear.

Categories: Life everyday | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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