Bugging Critters

Since it’s summer, I have been spending some time outside sitting in our front porch. In fact, that’s where I prefer to read as I prepare for my Boards (read previous post). I am taking advantage of the warm season while it last.

But while I am studying, I have been distracted by some critters, and I cannot help but take photos of them.

One morning, I was bugged by this little bunny (above photo). I thought I heard it say, “Hey, what’s up doc?” Maybe it was only in my head as I was thinking of another famous “bugs” bunny.

Moments later, another rabbit passed by the driveway and he seems to be exchanging stories with the squirrel (photo below). Maybe they were discussing what they want for breakfast: “I crave for a 24-carrot delight,” said one. “I go wild for nuts!” said the other.

There were also lots of birds, and they were noisily chirping around as if they were intentionally disturbing me. It was alright by me for I can’t hush them anyway. “Ssshhh, this is a study area.”

Here’s a cardinal at the bird bath. He seems to be contemplating if the water is cold and if he should take a bath. “To bathe or not to bathe.” But he did eventually.

Below is a mother deer and her fawn. The fawn was taking a drink at the bird bath, “Mmmm, taste like a cardinal punch.” “Oh, don’t drink that!” warns her mother.

I took the photo before I got out to the front porch, but they scurried away the moment I opened the door.

Lastly, there were other critters that were buzzing around me, including bugs that bite. Bzzzzz….”Ooohh, happy meal!” They left their marks on my legs, which I am annoyingly scratching now.

Damn critters!

Capturing the Evasive

Photography is both an art and a science that requires skills, practice and patience. But I will say that add to that, it also requires luck. Sheer luck. Especially if you are trying to capture an ephemeral and fleeting subjects.

For real photo enthusiasts, they always lug their camera with them wherever they go, just in case something interesting comes along. And so they are ready to capture those moments. However for the real artists, they don’t wait for that “interesting” moments or subjects to come along. Instead they create them through the mastery of light and their lenses.

Nowadays, with the advent of camera phones, everybody becomes a photographer. Our camera is always handy and ready to catch even the most quick and passing subjects.

Here are some of my wife’s recent photo captures.

there’s a shy creature hiding in the bushes

it’s a bunny!

I was amazed my wife just shoot it with the camera and not with a gun, knowing that she finally came face to face with the perpetrator who is eating her flowers. We have only water gun anyway.

Then while she was taking pictures of the rabbit, she heard a buzzing sound. It sounds like a bee, but it was slightly bigger, and definitely more alluring. It was hovering a few feet from her. It was a hummingbird!

hummingbird in our front porch

taking a sip in our hummingbird feeder

With our crazy Iowa weather, we have sunny day in one minute and then a sudden thunderstorms in the next. Though it can be really scary at times, a lightning storm I will say, is a tremendous light show.

dark angry clouds full of electric potential

Maybe next time we will capture a photo glimpse of the evasive and legendary pot of gold at the end of the evanescent rainbow. I hope we can keep it too! I mean the pot of gold, not just the photo.

(*all photos taken with i-Phone 4S)

Kuneho, Jueteng at Tikoy

Ngayong araw na ito ay simula ng Chinese New Year. Mula mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Binondo, at sa iba’t iba pang Chinatown sa buong mundo, ay magkakaroon ng mga selebrasyon, parada, fireworks, at sari-saring pagdiriwang.

Sangayon sa kalendaryo ng Intsik, ang taon na ito, ay Taon ng Kuneho. Suwerte raw ang kuneho, pero para sa aking misis ito ay peste, dahil kinakain nila ang kanyang mga tanim na halaman at bulaklak. Siguro’y lalong maglilipana ang mga kunehong nakatira sa ilalim ng aking deck at ilalim ng puno sa aming bakuran. Alam kaya nila na taon nila ngayon?

Noong ako ay nasa Pilipinas pa, ay may mga kapit-bahay kaming mga Intsik. Kadalasan ay nagsisindi pa sila ng mga paputok at kuwitis sa aming kalsada tuwing New Year nila. Hindi ko na kailangan pang pumunta sa Ongpin o Binondo para maranasan ang Chinese New Year. Maraming ring mga kaibigan at mga katrabaho ang tatay ko na Intsik. Kaya’t sa mga panahong gaya nito ay laging may nagbibigay sa amin ng tikoy. Nakatatanggap din kami ng kalendaryo nila.

Maraming impluwensiya ang mga Intsik sa kultura nating mga Pilipino. Sila ay masinop, matinik sa matematika at magaling sa negosyo. Hindi naman siguro kaila sa lahat, na maraming mayayaman sa Pilipinas ay may lahing Tsino. Pati sa ating araw-araw na suot, gaya ng camisa de chino at tsinelas ay galing sa kanila. Marami rin sa ating mga salita ay galing sa kanilang salita, tulad ng siyansi, tawsi, at liempo. Malaki rin ang impluwensiya nila sa ating katutubong pagkain, tulad ng pansit at lumpia. Sa kanila rin galing ang jueteng at mahjong. Marami naman tayong pwedeng gawing pampalipas oras, gaya ng kung-fu, kung bakit sa jueteng pa tayo nalugmo?

Kahit ako ay walang dugong-Tsino (wala nga ba? pero ninong ko’y Instik) ay hindi nangangahulugang hindi ko nami-miss ang mga bagay na may kaugnayan sa kanila. Tulad ng Ma Mon Luk, Chowking at Kowloon House. Kumalam tuloy ang aking sikmura sa mga pagkaing Instik tulad ng canton, mami, siopao, siomai, hopia, champoy, kiamoy at siyempre tikoy.


Ano kaya ang kapalaran na hatid ng Taon ng Kuneho? Kapalaran ko kayang matikman ulit ang tikoy? (Sa mga kaibigan kong dugong-Tsino, hindi ako nagpaparinig.) At kahit pa sabihing swerte ang taong ito, wala pa rin akong balak tumaya sa Jueteng.

(*photos from internet)