Category: Photography

Holiday Enrichments at NW Trek

Holiday Enrichments at NW Trek

The Sunday following Christmas, Thom and I decided to head to a wildlife park about an hour away called Northwest Trek. This weekend, they were celebrating the holidays in the park by giving the animals their holiday enrichments. Every day, animals in zoos and wildlife parks get what’s called enrichments – treats or toys that allow them to act or play as they would in the wild. Sometimes the keepers hide treats to be sniffed out and dug up, or hang things in trees so the animals can climb to get them, or occasionally it’s just a special themed treat to celebrate something. In this case, they were celebrating the holidays.

I must admit, the main reason I wanted to go was to see the wolves with their holiday treats. Of course. This wouldn’t be the whimsikal wolf if I only went to see the elk! And of course, seeing the wolves playing and enjoying their treats made me a little trigger happy with my camera. Overall during our visit in the park I took over 700 photos, more than 400 of which were just with the wolves! Now of course, I did take photos of some of the other animals, but the wolves were definitely where we spent most of our time. Trying to decide which photos to share with all of you was difficult to say the least, but here’s a few that I absolutely love.

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It was so hard to narrow down the photos so I didn’t flood this post with hundreds of pictures of the wolves. They were being so adorable with their treats. We went to a couple of keeper talks where they had the skunk and the opossum out enjoying mini christmas trees with carrots dangling like ornaments and marshmallow tipped branches, and little stars made out of pineapple! These animals sure do get spoiled for the holidays. There were many more animals that got treats that I attempted to get photos of, but alas, my photography skills are still on the uphill and many of those photos came out way too blurry to be “artistic” haha. However, I am very happy with how the wolf photos came out.

Overall we had a really great time. It was a little cold, but at least the rain held off the whole time we were there. Luckily for us, it wasn’t that busy either. A few families and couples, but nothing like the crowds can normally get on the weekends. We even had a nice encounter with a couple who was asking about my photos! I wrote down the blog URL for them and told them to check in a couple days. ( Hello ^_^ ) The guy had an awesome Tardis hat that reminded me we hadn’t watched the Christmas episode yet! Which Thom and I watched a couple nights ago (it was so good!).

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If you live in the area, I definitely recommend checking out Northwest Trek at some point, especially with the family. The park is huge, and includes a free roaming area for a lot of the herbivores where you can ride on a slow moving tram through the area to see the animals in their natural habitat. How cool is that?! Thom isn’t much of a fan of zoos, but he even enjoys coming here. It’s definitely a must see stop for those of you in the western Washington area.

I hope you all enjoyed the pictures. I greatly enjoyed taking them. Only one post left for the rest of 2015 before we head straight into 2016. I have high hopes and goals for the coming year, especially in growing and developing my blog. See you guys again tomorrow!

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Owyn’s Adventures ~ Candy Mountain

Owyn’s Adventures ~ Candy Mountain

Owyn is getting in the holiday spirit! We decided to make a bunch of holiday goodies last weekend, and little Owyn wanted to lend a helping trunk. (Don’t worry, he was thoroughly washed before he went stomping around!) Most things he wasn’t able to help me with, but when it came to rolling up the little balls of dough, he did great! They all needed to be almost as big as he was, but little Owyn was very much up to the task. In the end, we made some amazing little cookie dough truffles, which I’m sure I’ll be sharing with you in another post.

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Foxy Leaf

Foxy Leaf

Foxy Leaf
D5200 w/ 18-55mm kit lens on the “Beach/Snow” setting

On a recent walk through the woods, I almost ran face first into this foxy looking leaf. At first, I almost mistook this innocent leaf for a woodland creature. I took a back step and another glance at this leaf that was at perfect eye level with me and admired the secret beauty of it, completely mystified by this leaf that had to of fallen on it’s own from a nearby tree and landed on this branch to display itself as a foxy sort of creature. Like a mask hidden in the forest.

The remainder of the hike, I walked slower and looked around a lot more, trying to find other magical gifts from the forest. Sometimes it takes a little bit of a reminder from the woods to slow down and admire the view.

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Owyn’s Adventures ~ Icy Wonderland

Owyn’s Adventures ~ Icy Wonderland

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Ice and frost do very little to get in the way of humans, but for little Owyn, it poses quite the obstacle. On a recent hike out with Thom and I, Owyn found himself trudging through arctic tundras all the way up to his trunk! Tiny towers of icicles on a table are suddenly enormous ice stacks as far as the eye can see. But his tiny little legs melted them so easily after being curled up in my warm pocket.

It’s barely the start of the cold season and Owyn is already excited for snow. But for now, he’s content with the icy areas we find from time to time while out and about.

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Hello December

Hello December

Nikon D5200 w/18-55mm kit lens on the "Beach/Snow" setting
Nikon D5200 w/18-55mm kit lens on the “Beach/Snow” setting

It’s December already. Where has the year gone?! While winter hasn’t quite set in yet, the cold sure has. But we’re still seeing those sunny days that shine on the ice and hints of the snows to come. Going on a hike in the morning time will yield lots of frost and beautiful scenes to admire as you make your way through the cold woods. That’s where this photo came from.

With the cold weather settling in, I’m not letting that stop me from being able to get out with my camera and my husband to be able to enjoy all this state has to offer. There’s so much to see and do at all times of the year. Many say that this time of year is one of the most gorgeous, with all the lights and snow and festive places all around. There’s a little something for everyone, if you just take the time to look.

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Sleepy Kitty

Sleepy Kitty

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Lilly loves to curl up in the comfy spots in the house. The end of the bed, the computer chair (which has fuzzy blankets on it), or in front of the heater when it’s on. She always looks so peaceful when she’s all curled up and sleepy. That’s usually the best time I can get photos of her as well. She’ll sit so patiently, only barely flicking the end of her tail occasionally. She’s so lovely.

Normally, I would put a photo of her in color to show the contrast of her blue eyes to her white and cream fur. But as she was laying there on the bed looking at me with that sleepy kitty face, it just seemed more like a black and white kind of photo. I’m usually all about the colors, but who doesn’t love a good black and white?

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Hello Mr. Beaver

Hello Mr. Beaver

Nikon D5200 w/55-200mm lens
Nikon D5200 w/55-200mm lens

I love the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge. There are so many different species of things to observe during your time there, and you never know just who you’re going to see. In the many times that I’ve visited, I’ve heard tell of a beaver that can be seen in one of the lakes. An elusive beaver that I was never able to see during any of the trips that I had taken. One fellow park goer mentioned that it’s best to go as close to dawn as possible to see him.

So the next morning I woke up at 4 am and got ready to finally see this beaver.

Outside of a zoo, I’ve never seen a real beaver. I’ve caught glimpses on a couple of rare occasions at what may have been the beaver at the refuge, but I was never for certain. But that day that I woke up dead tired at 4 am was the day I finally got to see him.

I got so giddy with excitement when I saw him, just sitting there cleaning himself as the sun rose for the day. I took well over a hundred photos of him that day. It was well worth it to wake up as early as I did.

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Owyn’s Adventures ~ Through the Woods

Owyn’s Adventures ~ Through the Woods

Nikon D5200 W/18-55mm kit lens
Nikon D5200 W/18-55mm kit lens

Owyn has always been an adventurous soul. From the moment we picked him up from that little shop in Dublin, he’s been going on adventures that his tiny little leliphant legs could never take him on before. I mean, how many elephants do you see riding commercial airplanes?

Along the trail to Lake 22 in Granite Falls, Wa, there’s a little place perfect for little Owyn and his tiny, adventurous self. Hidden among the day to day of normal hikers, this small alcove is a delightful gem for someone like Owyn. A place where he can feel big like the rest of his family, with tall trees and huge mushrooms.

His own little slice of Nirvana.

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Owyn’s Adventures – Crab Slayer

Owyn’s Adventures – Crab Slayer

Nikon D5200 w/ 18-55mm kit lens
Nikon D5200 w/ 18-55mm kit lens

One of the first trips Thom and I went on after he got here was to the Dash Point State Park in Federal Way. A small little beach park on a cloudy day. Just somewhere to go to get out of the house and enjoy a peaceful walk in nature. During the drive there, the rain was very come and go. We weren’t sure what to expect for the time while we were there, but thankfully had brought coats with us just in case.

And of course, we brought Owyn as well. There was much for little Owyn to see on the beach and we got many pictures. We stumbled upon this crab shell on our walk along the beach and it was the perfect size for him to stand next to and get a cute little photo op. Our adventurous little leliphant.

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Scary Pumpkin

Scary Pumpkin

Nikon D5200 w/18-55mm lens
Nikon D5200 w/18-55mm lens

I have to admit that I didn’t find this little pumpkin like this. While out at the pumpkin patch the other day, we came across this tiny little beanie among the mini pumpkins. The regular patch seemed to be almost completely bare, but the mini patch was still abundant and colorful. While looking around, we saw this child sized beanie and I just had to get a picture.

Things have been really hectic lately. I greatly apologize for the lack of posts lately. Hopefully I’ll have much more coming your way. Thank you all for following and being patient with me as I grow this site and gather my life together. More details on everything soon.

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