Tuesday, June 30, 2015

365: 3/4 of week 22

Flying the boys in Eagle Pass.

Elise and I went out for milkshakes; the perfect summer dinner.

Someone at work got me a donut!

SO THE BEST THING EVER HAPPENED: we found baby possums!! We were doing hurricane prep (we've got a tropical storm on its way) and were setting up an area for Sonora the coati to hang out in away from the wind and rain. We looked inside her heat box to find seven pairs of eyes staring back at us. The mother was nowhere to be found, and since there was a storm coming, we took them to a safe place and will be giving them to rehabbers once the storm passes.

Tropical Storm Bill sends his regards.

I've been sick lately so this is all I can muster :( I have several more photos to upload and edit, I just haven't gotten to it yet. For now, more tea, Gilmore Girls, and bed rest.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

365: week 21

My BFFL Megan created a program for her camps this summer called "Nature's Superheroes". She asked if I would be able to make illustrations for it and I said YES! When it's all said and done, we're going to try to maybe get it published as a children's book!

I LOVE watermelon, I have been eating at least one a week (the personal-sized ones) since June started. They are the quintessential summer fruit.

Cleo (Swainson's Hawk), despite being approximately one million years old (aka 23), laid a perfect egg. Last summer she became egg bound and the egg literally rotted inside of her, so we were worried about her egg laying tendency this year. Luckily, this seems to be her last one.

I love the greenhouse down the street. Ever since I adopted a little plant to put in my planter from Spain, I've visited every couple of weeks to just be around so many green things; it's an instant mood lifter.

I am moving next month to a new apartment complex and the area is GORGEOUS! It's right on the bay with a small wooded area next to it. As I explored, this beautiful butterfly landed on a patch of flowers in front of me. I then spent the next couple of minutes stalking it, trying to get a good picture.

My new favorite snack.

Andie recently got back from Germany and brought us Kinder surprise eggs. For those of you not in the know, they are chocolate eggs with plastic toys inside of them. I got this little purple hedgehog creature, who now resides on my windowsill.

My first hurricane season was cake, we had no hint of a hurricane or even a tropical storm. However, this hurricane season has started off with a bang. We got word that a tropical depression was hovering, gaining strength over the Atlantic ocean. I FREAKED. OUT. We had no supplies at our house and no where to go if we were evacuated. Fortunately, I had a lot of people assuaging my fears and my amazing roommate went out and got us some supplies. And then, AFTER ALL THAT HYPE, today was totally fine. There are still some rains heading our way, but the storm moved more north and will instead be affecting Galveston/Houston. I do hope that the flooding won't be too bad for Houston though, especially since just a couple weeks ago there was so much water. Here's to surviving Tropical Storm Bill, Texas friends.

remnants of spain

I still have a couple more of my favorite photos I took in Spain to share, now almost halfway through the year. A lot of these last shots are of the little things that I enjoy, I miss, or I just plain am enamored with.

Christmas is Here">

I love the narrow streets flanked with tall buildings on either side. Vertical space is important here; they fill the otherwise empty space with rainbow lights, vestiges of Christmas or Navidad, and tenants above shops lean over the balconies to watch the passerby on the sidewalks below

Alley Cat

On New Year's Eve day we travelled on a bullet train to Toledo. The entire city was beautiful: cobblestone streets, towering rickety apartments lining tiny roads, courtyards filled with beautiful turquoise vespas, and this lone cat sauntering away from us up the alley.

real laughter

Toledo was at first slightly irritating, we were hungry and cranky and tired, but we soon found a market where they were giving out free soup and wine. We ate our fill, explored the many levels of the mercado and ate fresh jamón, cheese, eggs and chorizo, and drank. Drank A LOT. We explored the rest of Toledo's brick-laden exterior with our beer-goggles on (more like rum/wine goggles) and at one point decided we all really needed to pee. Like really bad. So Dad and I all chose different corners of a courtyard and did our business while Mom, being too classy for such shenanigans, kept watch. Gabe decided at the last second that he needed to go, too, so we left him to it while we started walking away. Suddenly, a young couple crossed our path and started to head toward the courtyard. In a panic, I shrieked, "CACAW CACAW!" hoping to signal to Gabe that people were coming. Dad LOST IT. I love this photo I snapped of him so much, because it reminds me of that fantastic adventure with my family and my Dad's true laugh

this face
I love that face. Taffy will forever be my little marshmallow fluffernutter girl

And my other baby, Mr. Winston. I fell in love with him immediately when I saw him at the adoption event and knew we made a good choice when he ran into our legs countless times his first walk, drunk with affection. Now he lives in Spain with a dapper haircut and a smart, striped sweater (that matches the couch, no less). Here's to my little protector with his big-boy bark and his teddy bear face

Café con leche a staple for this trip and a testament to the little sleep I got in my explorations and jet-lag

50 Shades of Taffy
My parents live in an adorable apartment above a shop that sells hip hop inspired clothing. It possesses modern architecture along with some of the original wooden load-bearing posts and archways. I love it, especially since they decorated it minimally with colorful woven mats (to shelter bare feet from the freezing cold floors), framed Charlie Harper postcards, and a couple of treasured trinkets

This mat was clearly an amazing backdrop for both of the puppies

A walk in the winter
This trip was peppered with dog walks, since the parentals live in Madrid and the dogs gotta do what the dogs gotta do. I loved the walks, it was a great way to explore the neighborhood and take photos of everyday Spanish life

My ginger-bearded, mountain man of a brother

Christmas markets are a popular fare in Madrid during the month of December. This carousel was center of one such market just up the street from the apartment. If you know me, you know I'm a sucker for carnival rides lit up at night

The rooftops on the sectionals of wall surrounding the ancient city of Avila were overgrown with moss, lichen, and other greenery. I absolutely adored it, the textures and colors were amazing


Moon guardians

I can't wait to go back. Or go explore somewhere else ♥

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

365: week 20

Raindrops on a hibiscus (from the previously mentioned storms); I love the little droplets on the stem!

Something green

Something blue

Something purple (I'm combining indigo and violet because I clearly am quite bad at this rainbow prompt in a week thing)

My majestic unicorn on the beach. I've been making the beach a weekly thing now; it's so healing to be able to float in the sea and let the troubles of the week dissolve into sea foam

I tried taking some impromptu portraits of myself with the hood of my car acting as a tripod. I look sort of like a be-sundressed bigfoot running off into her ocean home (which maybe I kind of am)

Earth is turning six this next week, so in celebration I shot a photoshoot of her and Elise together! I really like how a lot of them turned out; we shot during golden hour and the lighting was AMAZING! Also she tied this adorable bow around her neck!

I am a week behind again! AGH WHY! A couple of updates on life: a) we got a new trainer and are slowly training him up so we can be fully staffed again, hurray! b) summer show schedules are rough and we have done a ton of physical activity out in the 100 degree heat index, which has been super tiring c) I am trying really hard to cook at home more, as well as create more elaborate meals with vegetables and protein d) I found a new place to live along with my new roommate! In July we will be moving to an AMAZING apartment complex right on the bay and I am so SO excited!

Those are the biggest pieces of news! Other fun things include going to a new brewery and playing bean bags, going dancing with the girls (where a Jamaican man complimented my skills), I'm almost done with the book illustrations I started painting for Megan's Nature's Superheroes program, I did a lot of online shopping, and I saw Mad Max! OH MY GOD THAT MOVIE WAS SO SO GOOD!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

may snapshots

I want to get back into the habit of sharing everyday photos on this blog (and not just my 365 project, which has already done so much to get me back into photography and blogging). Here are a couple of snapshots from the entire month of May.












  • A new puppy at the dog park. Her name is Toby
  • Man-of-War washed up on the beach. A family was gathered around it and I warned them not to touch it, as there are even nematocysts in the head
  • One of our new Lionfish, given to us as an anonymous gift. Other facilities have been so kind in the wake of our disaster
  • Laura mixing some cookie-dough
  • Beach Koda
  • We've started going to trivia again. I love spring evenings
  • Earth eyes
  • Sometimes a day calls for donuts (and iced coffee)
  • Drawing with sidewalk chalk is definitely on my list of summer activities, even with mosquitos and humidity trying to force me inside
  • A beautiful candle set-up in the jellyfish exhibit during our putt-putt fundraiser event
  • A couple of old-school golfers. I felt pretty sassy in my plaid shots, argyle socks, and my name tag reading "Arnold" (Sean was Palmer)

365: week 19

I am obsessed with all things tiny, so the prospect of taking photos of Felix with miniature items SUPER appealed to me. Unfortunately, he was either scared or uninterested in all tiny items I presented him with. I only got him to interact with this little grocery bag (briefly) because I stuffed some food in there.

There is a "fever" of Cownosed Rays in the Isles of Steel exhibit, soaring through the water in a perfectly synchronized flight.

Something red.

Something orange.

Went to the beach with the dogs! Koda and I went swimming, I threw the ball for him until he decided he was bored and let it drift down the beach, I tried to write in my journal but Koda kept drooling on it, and drank some vodka lemonade in the sun. It was fantastic.

Something yellow.

There have been so many storms in Texas, lately.

You might be able to tell, but I tried to start a "rainbow week" photo prompt. There are sporadic pictures of colors mingling with the photos of everyday life, but I think I'm okay with that. I would rather have a full life than one where I have to seek out a specific color to photograph. I mean, I still want to do that, but I'm okay with it not being in a row :) I just finished housesitting for Andie and Geoff and am now able to sleep in my own bed, play with my birds, and catch up on real-life (aka cleaning and chores and grown-up things, WHATEVER). I am currently illustrating a book that Megan wrote for her upcoming summer camps, so I'm up to my ears in watercolors. And I'm okay with it! I've been drinking a lot of iced coffee, painting, and am currently in the process of trying to revamp how I eat. It's tough, and it's gonna get tougher, but I have faith! Summer is a great time for eating delicious salads and fruit, so hopefully that helps out.