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Monday, October 31, 2011

Zoo Boo.

Haunted Hideaway.

Yesterday, we attended Zoo Boo at the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium. In addition to the usual creatures on the display, the zoo invites over some creatures of the night to celebrate Halloween.

Kitty and her knights.

Her highness Miss Kitty was joined by two gallant knights. It just so happens that the son of our old friends is in Lauren's class this year, so we made plans to attend with them and their older son.


These gargoyles are mainstays at the zoo, but they really add to the mood this time of year. Inside the tent was an awesome haunted house. I wish I could've gotten photos of the inside, but it was just too dark. Suffice to say, the zoo put a lot of effort into it.

Meet the Wolfman.

 Hmm...I didn't know the zoo added a wolf display.

Hello, Wolfman.

Lauren - didn't you see the sign that says, "Don't pet the animals"?

 Sleepy bear.

The weather was quite chilly yesterday. The animals that remained in the outdoor displays spent their time napping, like this little brown bear.

Sleepy lionesses.

And these two lionesses. Sadly, their mate passed away earlier this year.

Bitty tiger peering at the ducks.

This little tiger, however, was wide awake and fascinated by the ducks.

Witch gazing at the elephant.

Even witches like elephants.

Kitty enjoying the the elephants.

Miss Kitty gets a better look with a boost from Daddy.

Scuba pumpkin carving.

In the aquarium, they were carving pumpkins under water. Most impressive - pumpkins are hard enough to carve on dry land! Check out the little scuba diver observing from outside the tank.

Modelling clown noses.

The kids trick-or-treated throughout the zoo. One of the radio stations gave away clown noses from Ringling Brothers Circus.

My little kitty cat.

But the best treat of all was when Miss Kitty agreed to pose for pic.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

This is Halloween.

Open at your own risk.

I've been taking a break from photography and blogging in order to focus on some other things. We have two home improvement projects underway and the demands of managing the life of a 6 year old continue to increase. Nonetheless, I can't let October slip by without some Halloween themed posts! Lauren picked out this caution tape to decorate her room for Halloween. Since there was a lot left over, I put some on our front door. We use the back door as the main entrance to our house and keep the front door weather sealed. It never fails that ever year, of the very few trick-or-treaters that visit us, at least one decides to come knocking on the front door. Hopefully this year, they'll take a hint.

Jack o'mantle.

Since our dining room has now become the storage area for all of our utencils, dishes, pots and pans until the kitchen is re-do is complete, I had to move my annual Halloween mantle display into the living room. Each year, the blog gets many, many hits from folks searching for fall mantle decorating ideas, so I can't let those people down!

Halloween mantle scarf.

This jack o'lantern mantle scarf came from Target. I absolutely adore it and need one for every holiday. This shot would make a great blog banner, but I guess it's a little too late for that.

Treats for the taking.

Lauren and I spent sometime yesterday making treat bags for her classroom's Halloween party. I thought the bags looked like tufts of hair sticking out of the pumpkins. Today we spent an exhausting but fun day at the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium for their annual Zoo Boo. I'm in the process of editing the pics, and hope to have those up tomorrow morning. I'll be taking the day off tomorrow to help out at Lauren's class party, and then of course there will be tricks or treats tomorrow evening. Lots of Halloween fun to come!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl.

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl.

"The bull is my masterpiece." ~ The Artist

(View large to see the drawings better.)

This photo cost me a trip to the dollar store. I thought people were supposed to pay photographers to take their photos and not the other way around.

Lauren was really proud to have her pictures hanging on the wall, so she made even more. Now the gallery contains 27(!) pieces. Good things happen when I take a vacation day.

The Artist and a very special guest star.

Daisy couldn't help but check out the gallery opening. She's always been a patron of the arts, kinda like a Medici, only with a tail and a cold nose.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Smash your TV and have adventure.

 Lead the way.

The weather has been gorgeous over the last couple of days, and today was no exception. We didn't have any plans, so we were just hanging around the house. As I sat and watched a football game on TV, I thought that days like this are numbered, and it would be a shame to spend it in the house. So off we went to take a hike at our favorite place, Fall Run Park.

Golden castoffs.

Of course, I took my camera along in hopes of capturing some fall foliage. I was surprised and disappointed to see that many of the trees had already shed their leaves.

Can't let go.

This one caught my eye because it looked like it was clinging for dear life.

Stream bed.

Unlike when we visited in the spring with the Girl Scouts, the creek beds were relatively dry.

Skipping stones.

But that didn't stop Lauren from skipping stones.

Season of color.

Even the weeds were taking on seasonal colors.

God is other people.

The park had recently replaced some of the benches along the trail, and it didn't take long for passersbys to christen them with graffiti. Unlike the usual initials and smutty sayings, the graffiti on the bench at the top of the waterfall actually had some style to it.

Smash your TV and have adventure.

I have to hand it to the artist responsible for this one. Not only is the art wonderful (I love owls!), but the sentiment is perfect, and coincidentally, what led us to the park in the first place. So go on - You don't have to actually smash your TV. Just pretend it's broken. And go have adventure.

An epic adventure.

Homecoming 2011:  Epic Adventure

Yesterday, we participated once again in our school district's homecoming parade. This year's theme was "Epic Adventure." And it was an epic adventure alright - the unseasonably warm weather must have increased attendance by tenfold. The crowd was enormous!

Given that this was her second year at school and she seems to know all of her classmates, I thought Lauren would have been more excited to participate in the parade. However, when we arrived at the meeting area, she was just as grumpy as she was last year. That is, until her BFF arrived.

Homecoming 2011:  BFF

Then there was this.

Homecoming 2011: Holding hands.

And lots of this.

Once again, Mark gets credit for taking these marvelous photos, as I was too busy marching to play photojournalist.

Homecoming 2011:  Class of 1936.

Do the math. These alumni are approximately NINETY-THREE YEARS OLD. How awesome is that?!

Homecoming 2011:  Prior classes.

More "senior" alumni.

Homecoming 2011:  Shriners.

Apparently, the Shriners drive some really small vehicles.

Homecoming 2011:  Cowpokes.

The horses did very well this year, as we didn't have to dodge any landmines as we marched down main street.

Homecoming 2011:  Astronaut float.

A float commemorating the most epic adventure of all.

Homecoming 2011:  Here comes the band!

Here's the band looking extra spiffy. I much prefer their navy blue uniforms to the white ones that they wore last year.

Homecoming 2011:  High stepping girls.

Mark was most proud of this shot of some high steppin' girls.

Homecoming 2011:  Me at ground zero.

Lastly, here I am among the crowds. It's so great to live in a community that comes out in such large numbers to support it's schools. I'm already looking forward to next year!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sorry. I didn't have time to bake you a cake.

Sorry. I didn't have time to bake you a cake.

I've been so busy this past week. Our Girl Scout year has finally started, so I've been spending much of my time attending meetings, emailing and just general planning.  Things should calm down a little bit on that front now that we've kicked things off.

And here it is only October 3rd, and I think I'm already suffering from winter depression. After a week of not even touching my camera, I finally had an idea for a challenge (Today's topic was "Glass."), but by the time we cleaned up after dinner and finished homework, the precious window light was already gone. So I dragged out my tripod and strobe with the intent of creating some window light of my own.

Thankfully, the weather is supposed to turn gorgeous mid-week, and I mean to take advantage of it. This blog is in desperate need of a new banner!