Lest anyone think otherwise, this bad boy owns the road when he gets on it. And – you guessed it – this is from Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, where the bison frequently take to the road and get really irritated by stupid touron drivers really quickly. I think Yellowstone is one of my favorite places in the entire US – certainly in my Top 10 list and probably in my Top 5 list. To me, a visit there always gives me a fresh shot in the arm of all things related to the American West – wood bison, gray wolves, grizzly bears, black bears, bald eagles, badgers, elk, deer, geysers, mountains, fumaroles, glass mountains (obsidian), stupendous waterfalls, amazing canyons, on and on.
We always go when it’s best to avoid crowds, so we generally aren’t impacted by buffalo-jams and the like. Sometimes we even have the place pretty much to ourselves, which is just a matter of knowing where to go and when to do so.
Photo info: American wood bison (Bison bison athabascae) Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming May 2021 Apple iPhone 12 Pro
It seems hard to believe, but our two little scamps are now almost 5-½ years old. The throwback photo above was taken about a month after we first brought them home from the breeder, back in March 2016. They’re both from the same litter, so they’re sisters – pure bred Maine Coon cats. We picked up the darker one, Autumn, first – and she and Cindy hit it off from the very beginning. Then we made a second trip and collected the ginger, Terracatta (Terra for short), about a week later – initially intending to give her to Cindy’s mother as a companion pet. However, we quickly realized that an active kitten underfoot was not a good match for an elderly person with bad balance and early dementia, so I ended up claiming Terra as my own – and I’m so glad that I did.
We had read before getting them that Maine Coon cats are quite big and sociable, and ours have very much lived up to their reputation. Having had cats around me for most of my life, I thought I knew what we were getting into, but they have proven me wrong many times over. I’ve never known cats to be such wonderful, companionable creatures as these two have been. Autumn is very much still a kitten and loves to play, while Terra is much more regal and mature. Terra also loves being a shoulder cat, as you can see below.
Photo info: Terra and Autumn Poolesville, Maryland March 2016 Sony RX1R II digicam
Photo info: Terra on my shoulders Poolesville, Maryland March 2021 Apple iPhone SE2
Photo info: Autumn Poolesville, Maryland February 2021 Apple iPhone 12 Pro
Spring is not only the time for blooms, but also for critters of all sizes — including spiders. Now I’m not a spider guy… if they get on me, it’s every man for himself — as I wildly flail about and go berserk, trying to get it off of me. However, I’m selective about the spiders that I react to; for instance, I love jumping spiders and always go out of my way to treat them well. The same applies to wolf spiders, the bigger the better. And I also treat crab spiders nicely, because they’re just so cool looking.
For this particular image, I had previously planted some Grandpa Ott Morning Glory seeds, which grew like crazy and produced some of the most intensely purple blooms that you can imagine. I loved those blooms so much that I’d go out each and every morning before work to see the latest additions, and was stunned to see this yellow crab spider all crouched down and ready to spring on some unsuspecting prey.
I have to wonder, though… Did the spider not realize just how visible it was to birds that like to eat spiders?
Nevertheless, I was able to take many shots of it, and this one is my favorite of the bunch.
Image info: Crab spider (Thomisidae) on a morning glory blossom Poolesville, Maryland August 2004 Canon PowerShot G3 digicam