Thursday, May 27, 2010

Titus vs. Butterfly

Just a silly video from this morning.  Are you guys getting sick of these yet?  I think it's entertaining watching Titus discover TX wildlife.
A word of warning: if you like butterflies, don't watch the last 15 seconds!  I stopped taping before the worst of it, but you still might not like it.  It's survival of the fittest around here!
Titus vs. Butterfly

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Favorite sandals

This blog is nothing new or exciting, just something I felt like sharing.
I HATE SHOES!  This is a problem because I work in a lab and should be wearing close-toed shoes all the time.  Well, that's just not happening right now.  I got a cute pedicure a couple of weeks ago, and I refuse to wear socks. (Don't worry, Adam, there will be no toe pictures in this post.  My brother has bare feet issues.  When I first started driving, he convinced me that driving in sandals was illegal.  I think he just didn't want to see my feet.  Too bad.  I love sandals.)
Anyway, when I was in college, I fell in love with Tevas.  My brother was working in a Foot Locker-type store and I thought I should buy something from him.  Well, name brand athletic shoes sold in a mall are too expensive, so I settled on a pair of Teva flip flops.  Little did I know how wonderful they would be.  I still have them, but they nearly have holes worn through the soles now.
Last year, I used some birthday money to buy these:

Teva Mandalyn Wedge Flip Flops.  I love them- very much.  I have the brown pair on today.  Size 8 fits me oh-so-perfect.  I think the wedge makes them a little cuter.  I added 2 more pair to my Amazon wish list today.  They now have a style that looks like the blue pair above, but the straps are actually 2 skinny straps.  Wonderful!  I have another blue pair that are strapy like the brown pair, but don't have a wedge.  I think I'm addicted.
My feet are happy and I just thought you should know.  Have a great day!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Our weekend

Saturday was a lot of fun because we spent most of it outside.  We watched a soccer game and then headed out to Lake Abilene with our canoe.  It's been 2 years since we've been canoeing, so it was long overdue.  It was a windy day which made for some hard rowing, but it was worth it. 

Taking a short break

Titus' favorite activity

Titus trying to pull a live tree into the canoe

Titus is sad because his "stick" won't budge.

After canoeing, we went to check out the flowers at Fort Phantom Hill again.  This time my favorite flower was in full bloom everywhere!  They are Indian Blankets (not to be confused with Indian Paintbrushes) and they are the state flower of OK.  They are the red and yellow sunflower-type plants in the pictures.

The weekend wouldn't be complete without some seriously goofy videos of Titus.  I was out in the backyard yesterday and noticed Titus staring at the ground.  I'm still paranoid about Titus and snakes, so anytime he focuses on something that hard I have to investigate.  This time it was...

a caterpillar.  Check out these videos:
Titus vs. Caterpillar, part 1
Titus vs. Caterpillar, part 2

Then last night while we were watching TV, Titus starting growling in the other room.  This is rare for him, and when I went to check it out I found him disturbed by...

a toad.  It was right outside our sliding glass door and Titus somehow knew it was there even though it was dark outside.  He didn't like it being there and thought it should know how he felt.  Sorry for the dark videos.
Titus and toad, part 1
I told Titus to go outside and get the toad.  Here's what happened:
Titus and toad, part 2
Poor Titus, even the toad doesn't take his bark seriously.  The toad never budged and it took quite some time to get Titus to forget about it and move on with his life.  He better get used to these toads because we are seeing them all the time now. 
Hope this made you laugh today.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bufo woodhousii (Woodhouse's Toad)

Titus found an adult frog last night.  We haven't had a good look at any adults yet, so we were pretty excited.  After doing a little research, it looks like it's actually a toad- Woodhouse's Toad.  We've had lots of rain lately and started hearing croaking again.  The croaking is different this time, so we're pretty sure we have at least 2 different species out there.  I'm not sure what species the babies are yet because the croaking we're hearing now is from the Woodhouse Toad.  Earlier croaking (which probably produced the babies we're seeing now) was very different.  Anyway, you probably don't care that much about our toads, but as biologists, we're quite interested in them.  Here are a couple of pictures of our Woodhouse Toad.  He was about 3 inches in diameter.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Nickel frogs and snake skins

So the frogs that were croaking in our pond several weeks ago were quite successful in their mating attempts.  We now have tons of little frogs hopping all over our yard.  They are about the size of nickels right now, some are even smaller.  So stinkin' cute!  I'm sure most of them will get eaten by birds, Titus, or the lawn mower, but I bet a good number of them will survive and bless us with their croaking in the future.  These little guys move quickly and are hard to get pictures of, but I got a couple of good ones last night. 

A short video of 2 baby frogs

On another note- when we got home yesterday and went outside, we found a snake skin by our back door.  Evidently our porch is a good place for molting.  Titus wasn't quite sure what to do about the snake skin.  Josh put it on his dog house, but he wanted it back on the ground. 
Here's the video:  Titus and snake skin

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Windy Observations

Since moving back to Abilene, we've heard several people say things like "Lubbock is in town today" or "I can taste Lubbock outside today" or "Lubbock just blew in."  What they mean is "It's so windy that all the dirt from Lubbock (2.5 hours away) is in Abilene."  Well, yesterday I blew in with Lubbock, the rest of west TX and Eastern NM.  My drive back to Abilene from Albuquerque was crazy windy.  I don't think I've ever driven in so much wind before.  Luckily, most of it was behind me, but it made for a VERY brown drive. 
Here are some observations about wind:
1.  Given enough wind... you will see small ponds white cap like the ocean
2.  Given enough wind... power lines will snap in half and you will see electric crews fixing them
3.  Given enough wind... you will be attacked by an army of tumbleweeds as far as you can see- you may even get all the way home with them stuck on your headlights and muffler.
4.  Given enough wind... you can add 10+ miles per gallon to your trip!
5.  Given enough wind... you have brown outs- worse visibility than fog or blowing snow at times
6.  Given enough wind... you will literally have to hang on to the gas pump or risk falling over- that is, if you can force your way out of your car to begin with!
7.  Given enough wind... the water your dog is drinking will get half of your car wet (don't ask)
8.  Given enough wind... your dog will soak one rear leg while lifting the other and you'll have to wash that leg before letting him back in the car
9.  Given enough wind (and the right direction)... you CAN avoid smelling cows, oil, and skunks for 7.5 hours
10.  Given enough wind... you will get pictures like these (you would normally see a beautiful blue sky)

A couple of windy videos:
Car disappearing
Limited visability

Other than the drive home, my 4 day weekend in NM was great. 
Happy belated Mother's Day to all of you moms out there!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Josh's new toys

I'll let the pictures do the talking.  Let's just say Josh is pretty happy...

More pictures (and video) on our flickr page.