Category Archives: Photography

Goal #52: My one-month photo challenge (Part 4)

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This is the last post of pics from my August photo challenge. Hope you’ve enjoyed it so far 🙂

Day 22_Necessity (hehehe)

Day 22_Necessity (hehehe)

Yes, I realise that picture deserves a post of its own! Don’t worry, that’s in the pipeline 😉

But for now, here are the rest of the photos from my challenge…

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Goal #52: My one-month photo challenge (Part 3)

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This is my third post on the August photo challenge I did.

Day 15_Perspective (a rat's-eye-view of the kitchen!)

Day 15_Perspective (a rat’s-eye-view of the kitchen!)

Further pics here…

Goal #52: My one-month photo challenge (Part 2)

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This is Part 2 of my photo challenge posts. Part 1 is here.

Day 8_Small

Day 8_Small

More pics here…

Goal #52: My one-month photo challenge (Part 1)

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Note: this would be such a pic-heavy post if I loaded all 31 pics at once, so I’ve split the post into a few parts 🙂

These are the keywords I chose for the August photo challenge that I’ve just completed:

Aug challenge

And here are the pics… Keep on reading…

Mishka’s mad method

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When we treated our boys to leftover prawns, I got a few shots of Mishka’s mad method of eating the seafood without holding it in his hands:

Step 1: Grab a prawn

Step 1: Grab a prawn

Step 2: Taste the yummyness without touching it

Step 3: Chase the prawn across the cage (because you refuse to dirty your paws)

Step 3: Chase the prawn across the cage (because you refuse to dirty your paws)

Step 4: Somehow, use this method to slowly, carefully clean the shells

Step 4: Somehow, use this method to slowly, carefully clean the shells

Step 5: Sneak up to the bowl...

Step 5: Sneak up to the bowl…

Step 6: ... and bounce off with another piece (while managing to look like an utterly adorable clown!)

Step 6: … and bounce off with another piece (while managing to look like an utterly adorable clown!)

Step 7: Start the hands-free licking process as before

Step 7: Start the hands-free licking process as before

Hehehe. Ah man this rat melts my heart! 🙂

Quick pics

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Hello there! It feels like an age since I last posted here… life’s been getting in the way a bit lately 😉 Summer has hit Johannesburg at last and the heatwave has been surprisingly draining. Ninja and I have been very busy with everything from work to trying to get fit for my first 5km run. My to-do list is overflowing, and often that’s meant that blogging drops down a rung or two. Sigh. I do miss my days at home when I was a full-time blogger, baker and bookworm!

Anyway, for now I have a moment to share a few recent pics of our ratties. They’ve been here for almost a month now and they’ve taken over the home :mrgreen:

Open that cage door and a mass exodus ensues

Open that cage door and a mass escape is inevitable

I’ve tried taking a few nice photos of them and have entered a few into a competition hosted by our rat club – which means I can cross off Goal #64: Send in a photograph to a contest 🙂 Would be so great if one of my shots got picked! But for the most part I have dozens of not-quite-awesome-yet-still-quite-cute pics…

Knight greeting Robert the Rat

Knight greeting Robert the Rat

It’s not easy getting good pictures when the rats are on the go all the time, so I also try to catch them unawares for sweet sleeping shots. Here are some of my favourites:

Moon and Knight: heads hanging over the edge of the cage level

Moon and Knight: heads hanging over the edge of the cage level

Moon: rolled into a ball

Moon: rolled into a ball

Knight: absolute innocence

Knight: absolute innocence

So far it seems our first impressions of the boys were pretty accurate. Their personalities are quite distinct and a joy to discover.

Moon (nicknamed Rover) is still the curious adventurer, who’s often awake when the other three are asleep and vice versa. He’s gentle and fast but in some cases still a little unsure of his place. You know how in big families you often find the one quiet kid who’s easily overlooked in the mayhem? Sometimes I think Moon is that kid, though his odd circadian rhythms do make it easier for us to give him special attention 🙂

Knight (nicknamed Tiny) is still very sweet; he’s bold with his brothers but gentle and trusting with humans. He only has one fault: he is sooooo squeaky!! He squeaks for anything and everything, be it a thorough grooming from his brothers or an unexpected poke from a playful human. It’s definitely not pain related – it’s all attitude and noisy protest from the baby of the bunch 😛

Mishka and Vodka with rawhide shoes

Mishka and Vodka with rawhide shoes

Vodka (nicknamed Voddy – I know, it’s lame, but sometimes the good nicks only come after a while) is the bright spark: I’ve been teaching the rats to leap from the open cage onto my shoulders when I ask them to, and Vodka was the first to catch on and make the jump. All the boys know two commands already: ‘Up’ for standing on their hind legs to receive a treat, and ‘Jump’ for leaping onto me or whichever surface I tap.

Mishka with a banana chippie

Mishka with a banana chippie

Of all our lovely rats, Mishka consistently steals the show. Not only is he the biggest and boldest; he’s also the only dumbo so he keeps catching our eye with expressions we’re not used to after our succession of standard-eared ratties. My friends go all mushy when meeting him and even Ninja admits there’s no denying Mishka’s charisma.

As for me, well… this boy is rapidly achieving ‘heart rat’ status. I always said Muesli was my heart rat, as he was my first, but I’m learning that the heart is big enough to hold more than one special furry object of affection 😀

I think what gets me about Mishka is that he has different sides to his personality. Ninety percent of the time he’s the big forceful alpha rat who ‘power grooms’ his cagemates and shoves human hands aside to get to what he wants. But then there are those odd moments when he suddenly turns sensitive. He’s really earned his nickname of Teddy Bear.

Mishka's heart-melting look

Mishka’s heart-melting look

The pic above was taken after I’d disciplined Mishka for nipping my fingers instead of taking the food from them. From the look on his face you’d swear I’d whipped him with a cane or something! All I did was squeak at him and tap him on the nose (trying to mimic a ratty way of saying ‘That’s enough!’)

Well, it crushed him. He backed up immediately and shot me this devastated look. Flattening his ears against his head, he dashed upstairs and leapt into his Sputnik. And there he stayed, refusing to be comforted or bribed with treats; just giving me the ‘Mommy how could you?’ look for over an hour. Oh my goodness! How to make a rat mommy feel like rubbish! LOL

So that’s the kind of thing that’s been keeping me busy… but I do hope to have more opportunities to blog more regularly. I’m itching to bake something new or take a day trip or do something creative again. As soon as I do, you can be sure I’ll share it here 🙂

Cherry on top

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I just had to share this series of shots from a cute moment during Flea’s birthday party. She went for the cherry on top of the biscuit, but didn’t use her hands to grab the biscuit… 🙂

Cherry 1

Cherry 2

Cherry 3

Cherry 4

Cherry 5

Cherry 6

Cherry 7

Cherry 8

Happy birthday Flea!

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Party 8

Our dear fluffy Flea turned 2 years old today – or 60 years old in rat years! She’s our first ratty to live this long (though hopefully not the last), so it’s a special day for us. Wish her adorable sister Coffee could have shared the party too.

In time for her birthday we took Flea to the vet a few days ago, to get her teeth trimmed and to give her a vitamin B complex and multivitamin shot. Her teeth needed trimming because she’s slowly stopped eating hard foods (can’t hold them so well in her hands anymore), and as you may know, rats’ teeth never stop growing.

It made our spines crawl to hear her teeth being clipped down with one loud click (just thinking about it reminds me of the feeling you get when you drag your nails on a chalkboard… ugh!), but the vet was super and it was quick and painless. Flea did squeak when she was jabbed for the vitamin injection, but that too was over in seconds, and she seems to have perked up quite a bit since that dose.

Anyway, here are a few pics from her birthday party 🙂

Breakfast: porridge with Ensure and dried blueberries

Breakfast: porridge with Ensure and dried blueberries

This morning before church I whipped up Flea’s delicious breakfast: baby porridge with vanilla Ensure (a complete nutritional supplement) and dried blueberries (which she carefully ate around, the fusspot!).

Then later this afternoon I set up a sunny spot for her birthday photoshoot. Since she doesn’t eat huge portions anymore I limited the treats to scattered candied sunflower seeds and some coconut biscuits baked by Flea’s granny AKA my mom 😉

The birthday girl arrives

The birthday girl arrives

Party 3Party 4Party 5Party 6Party 7

Flea nommed happily on that biscuit for ages, especially when we moistened it a bit and held it up for her. What a feast! :mrgreen:

Ninja and I spoiling our ratty

Ninja and I spoiling our ratty

Happy birthday sweet furball… you’re a blessing from the Lord and we enjoy your company every day 🙂

A tog in training

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Tog as in photog. As in photographer. Okay, okay, never mind… 🙂

Here are some of the practice pics I’ve been snapping lately as I bond with my beastie!

Meringue with strawberries and cream

I can’t take credit for the cooking on this one: my mom treated me to this meringue with strawberries and cream when I visited her the other day. Yum, I love my mom! 🙂

Aloe

Aloe

Classic South African flora: a flowering aloe plant.

Robin

Robin

This wild Cape robin-chat has ‘trained’ my parents to feed him whenever he sings at their kitchen door… and he does this about seven times a day! Adorable free pet 🙂

New fur for Flea

New fur for Flea

And speaking of pets, here’s our fuzzbutt Flea. Can you see how her fur has grown back pitch black in that patch under her arm?

The sweetest face

The sweetest face

I also have a bit of amazing news to share: I’ve been asked to extend my current contract of office work until the end of the year, instead of wrapping up in August.

This offer from my boss came as a major blessing and a big relief to Ninja and I, as it means I’ll be getting a few extra salaries this year above what we’d planned for… which of course also means that our budget will quickly recover from the knock it took with my camera. The Lord has been so generous to provide this ‘safety net’ – and all that after I’d taken the leap of faith to get my camera!

Anyway, that’s all from me for today. Hope it’s sunny where you are :mrgreen: