Tag Archives: Kansas City

What Does The Fox Say?

After watching this mother fox diligently tend to her young, I think she says “I’m exhausted!”

On and off for many years in the Spring, red foxes have made a den in the rocky ledges of friends’ rural backyard in the Kansas City. This year, there are two adults and six kits. A fox family consists of a male and female adult, plus their offspring, although sometimes a female from the previous litter will help. The gender of the second adult in this family wasn’t clear. The kits (also known as pups or cubs) may be about three weeks old in these photographs, taken April 5, 2014. They are gray and roundish, but are quickly turning red like their parents. Last year when I saw young foxes in early May, they already looked like smaller versions of the adults.

The foxes are very active in this rural neighborhood, and my friend Pat has seen all sorts of behavior, including adults carrying prey, burying it in leaves and then retrieving it; carrying tiny kits in their mouths; nursing the kits; and grooming behavior. Earlier, one of the adult foxes spent about two hours screaming as he ran around the area, possibly as a way to announce his territory. The screaming was so loud that neighbors called out of concern that something terrible was happening, Pat said.
About Foxes.

Click on a photograph to see a full-size version and begin a slideshow with descriptions.

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Filed under Animals, Kansas, Kansas City

The Tektites at The Riot Room

The members of The Tektites played their first show on Friday, February 7, 2014, at The Riot Room in Kansas City, Missouri. Enjoy!

The Riot Room, Kansas City’s premiere Live Music Venue and Beer Emporium. Follow The Tektites on Facebook.

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Filed under Kansas, Kansas City, Music

Don’t Be a Silly Goose! Fly South for the Winter!

Whose idea was it to spend winter here?

Recently, I was walking Loki, the family dog, when I saw a flock of Canada Geese (a gaggle ?) on a frozen pond in my Kansas City area neighborhood. It was a beautiful sight. The low afternoon sun cast a golden glow onto the melting water, reflecting the geese and the yellow foliage of grass and cat tails. If you didn’t look too closely, you wouldn’t see the goose poop scattered artistically across the frozen surface. I took the dog home and returned with my camera. The geese don’t like paparazzi, so they headed to the opposite side of the pond.

These geese like the neighborhood.  After a heavy snow, I saw the geese gathered on a golf course, taking advantage of a lack of golfers.

About Canada Geese.

This golf gallery is a gaggle of geese gawking on a golf green (now white with snow.)

This golf gallery is a gaggle of geese gawking on a golf green (now white with snow.)

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Filed under Animals, Biology, Bird-watching, Birds, Humor, Kansas City, Natural History, Photography

You May Now Photograph The Bride

A bride and groom and their attendants pose for a photograph at the overlook at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, which has a great view of Union Station and downtown Kansas City.

A bride and groom and their attendants pose for a photograph at the overlook at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, which has a great view of Union Station and downtown Kansas City. The four pylons of Bartle Hall are on the left of the skyline.

I love photographing brides, whether they are relatives, friends or strangers. When I saw the beautiful wedding photographs from around the world in “There Goes the Bride!” by Terri and James Vance, I was inspired to look through my photographs of bridal parties. I’ve posted a few of my favorites here. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to take many photographs at my children’s weddings. Too busy! I also apologize to anyone whose view I may have blocked when I was trying to grab the perfect wedding shot. I lose my head when I see a bride.

A bride and groom relax on a bench along the Avon River in Christchurch, New Zealand.

A bride and groom relax on a bench along the Avon River in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Bride in Melbourne

A wedding party gathers for photographs in Fitzroy Gardens in Melbourne, Australia.

This bride laughs as she stops her wind-blown veil with her foot.  She's on her way to a park in Christchurch to get her photograph taken.

This bride laughs as she stops her wind-blown veil with her foot. She’s on her way to a park in Christchurch, New Zealand, to get her photograph taken.

Here's an elegant newlywed pair heading for their limousine after their wintertime wedding ceremony.

Here’s an elegant newlywed pair heading for their limousine after their wintertime wedding ceremony in the Kansas City area.

An English Cocker Spaniel walks down a garden path with her newlywed owners after their garden wedding near Ithaca, New York.

An English Cocker Spaniel walks down a garden path with her newlywed owners after their garden wedding near Ithaca, New York.

A bride and groom walk on a beach in St. John, Virgin Islands, which is a favorite for destination weddings.

A bride and groom walk on a beach in St. John, Virgin Islands, which is a favorite for destination weddings.

Newlyweds walk under a pergola at the Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden in Kansas City, a popular spot for weddings.

Newlyweds walk under a pergola at the Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden in Kansas City, a popular spot for weddings.

Every guest seems to have a camera to capture the bride and groom as they walk down the rose-strewn aisle in this Napa Valley, California, wedding.

Every guest seems to have a camera to capture the bride and groom as they walk down the rose-strewn aisle in this Napa Valley, California, wedding.

Bridal parties appear regularly at the Nelson-Museum of Art in Kansas City.  I saw at least two bridal groups swarming the shuttlecocks on this day.

Bridal parties appear regularly at the Nelson-Museum of Art in Kansas City. I saw at least two bridal groups swarming the shuttlecocks on this day.

Brides and grooms love to get their photographs taken in front of one of the shuttlecocks at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City.  A Kansas City Star photographer was shooting this bride and groom for a feature on the shuttlecocks when I took this photograph. They weren’t the only wedding party there that day being photographed in front of a shuttlecock. There are four of these shuttlecock sculptures at the museum, designed by sculptors Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.

Brides and grooms love to get their photographs taken in front of one of the shuttlecocks at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. A Kansas City Star photographer was shooting this bride and groom for a feature on the shuttlecocks when I took this photograph. They weren’t the only wedding party there that day being photographed in front of a shuttlecock. There are four of these shuttlecock sculptures at the museum, designed by sculptors Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.

UPDATE: My husband took this photo on Signal Hill, Cape Town, South Africa, which we visited in January 2013. Photographing brides must be contagious!

My husband took this photo while I was looking elsewhere and didn't see this bride and groom.  I think my husband might have been bitten briefly by the bride photo bug.  Here, a bride and groom consult with their photographer on Signal Hill in Cape Town, South Africa.  Signal Hill provides a spectacular view of Table Bay and the city of Cape Town and makes a lovely spot for a wedding photo.

My husband took this photo while I was looking elsewhere and didn’t see this bride and groom. I think my husband might have been bitten briefly by the bride photo bug. Here, a bride and groom consult with their photographer on Signal Hill in Cape Town, South Africa. Signal Hill provides a spectacular view of Table Bay and the city of Cape Town and makes a lovely spot for a wedding photo.

To see larger versions of these photographs, click on the thumbnails below.

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Filed under Kansas City, Photography

Sam Bush playing “Billy Bob” Marley’s “One Love”

When Sam Bush and his band started to play this bluegrass-reggae fusion of “One Love” by Bob Marley (or “Billy Bob” Marley as Sam Bush called him) I fumbled with my new camera to start recording. I missed the first minute or two, but still captured almost ten minutes. My son-in-law has played bass in reggae bands so I wanted him to hear this. He and my daughter have seen Sam Bush with us in this concert series in the past. As an unexpected bonus, the bass guitarist played a solo.

Sam Bush 2011, Olathe Free Summer Concert series.

Sam Bush 2011, Olathe Free Summer Concert series.

This is the fifth year we’ve seen Sam Bush play in the Olathe Free Concert Series, which is in its 14th year.  Sam Bush performed this year on June 7th. (2013) I noticed as I looked at my photos from previous years that there’s at least one person in front of the stage wearing the same shirt each time.  See if you can find him.  You’ll see him in the video, too.

From the Olathe Website: “The Olathe FREE Summer Concert series began in 2000. Each year it showcases top quality, cutting edge artists featuring a variety of family friendly genres of music. Thanks to the support from the population at large and our generous sponsors, we are accomplishing that goal. Over the past 14 years the Olathe Parks and Recreation Department has presented local, regional, national and international performers. Some of these artists are in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, have won numerous Grammy Awards, have written #1 Hits on the Billboard charts, won Blues Music Awards, Country Music Awards and are in the Kansas Music Hall of Fame.
The series brings not only music to Olathe, but community giving. Each show a local charity is recognized and concert goers are encouraged to make donations. In the last 8 years more than $127,000 has been given back by the more than 15,000 a year attendees.”

Official Sam Bush Website.

Here’s a blog post I wrote about Asleep at the Wheel, which performed at the Olathe Free Summer Concert Series in 2010.

Sam Bush 2010, Olathe Free Summer Concert series.

Sam Bush 2010, Olathe Free Summer Concert series.

 

Sam Bush 2012, Olathe Free Concert Series.

Sam Bush 2012, Olathe Free Concert Series.

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Filed under Entertainment, Kansas, Music

Sixth Annual Strawberry Photograph

These are the first strawberries to ripen in my garden this year (2013).  This is more than two weeks later than usual.

These are the first strawberries to ripen in my garden this year (2013). This is more than two weeks later than usual.


This year’s (2013) first strawberries to ripen were the latest since I planted them more than six years ago. This year, I picked my first strawberries on June 6th. Usually I start picking in mid-May and by the end of the first week of June, the strawberries are done. In the Kansas City area, we had a cold, wet winter, and it’s wet and cool now. In May, we got 8.70 inches of rain. The average is 5.41 inches.

The rain has really helped to produce lush foliage, even if all of the plants are late to develop. Our neighborhood butterfly garden is prospering. Now, all we need are butterflies!

Click here to see last year’s post, a photograph and recipe for a strawberry walnut and blue cheese salad with balsamic vinegar dressing. Fifth Annual Strawberry Photograph.

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Filed under Gardening, Photography

Jackson Galaxy, the Cat Daddy, Comes to Kansas City

Jackson Galaxy Signing my Book Bag

Jackson Galaxy is signing the book bag I won in a drawing at his talk in Kansas City on May 8, 2013.  The first book I put inside was Galaxy’s Cat Daddy: What the World’s Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love, and Coming Clean, which he also signed.

Is your cat mojo working? I got my mojo revved up last night when Jackson Galaxy came to town in a Rainy Day Books event.

Jackson Galaxy’s “cat mojo” approach to cat behavior helps people to understand why their cats act the way they do. Galaxy, a cat behaviorist, spoke to a large, very enthusiastic crowd at Unity Temple on the Kansas City Plaza on Wednesday, May 8, as his first stop on a book tour for his book “Cat Daddy: What the World’s Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love, and Coming Clean.”Signed Jackson Galaxy Book and Book Bag

Galaxy, known as the Cat Daddy, is the star of Animal Planet’s popular television show “My Cat from Hell.” My cats have all been little sweethearts, but even purr-fect cats can use a little mojo.

Many of the attendees were volunteers and staff members at Kansas City area no-kill shelters, such as Wayside Waifs, where I volunteer. In fact, many of these dedicated animal lovers helped to organize the event, including a reception. While on his book tour, Galaxy, a life-long shelter worker, has a great appreciation for shelter workers. At a shelter where he worked, Galaxy developed his cat mojo methods to help misbehaving cats become adoptable. Galaxy is also devoted to reducing to zero the number of animals that are killed in shelters. While that might seem an impossible goal, the number of animals euthanized has dropped dramatically in recent years. Spread the gospel of the joys of being a cat or dog guardian! Spay and neuter, too.

At Wayside Waifs, I’ve marveled to see scared and unhappy cats become loving companions with the love and devotion of the staff and volunteers. (Who wouldn’t be mad after what some of these cats have experienced?)   If you understand the needs of cats — food, territory, the need to hunt and explore, some companionship and physical contact — you can guide a cat to better behavior and enjoy meow-velous companionship. Looking at this list of feline needs, I see cats and humans are not so different after all!

Jackson Galaxy, Cat Daddy, in Kansas City

Cat Men
When a woman in the audience asked whether most cat lovers were women, scores of men stood up to announce that they were “cat men.”

After his talk in Kansas City, Jackson Galaxy signed copies of his book "Cat Daddy: What the World's Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love, and Coming Clean."

After his talk in kansas City, Jackson Galaxy signed copies of his book “Cat Daddy: What the World’s Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love, and Coming Clean.”

Jackson Galaxy Website, including links to his Twitter feed (#TeamCatMojo) and Facebook page.

Click on “My Cat From Hell” to see episodes.

Tony (he’s on the back of the motorcycle here), is one of the cats featured in “My Cat From Hell. ”  Tony, with his friend Bud, is a star of greeting cards, designed by Tony’s guardian, Betty Matsumoto-Schuch. Click on the card to see more.

The episode featuring Tony: My Cat From Hell — Tony’s Follow-up

To see Screen-Size versions of these photographs, click on the thumbnails:

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Filed under Animals, Cats, Education, Entertainment, Humor

Birds on a Snowy Day

 Whenever it snows, birds of all kinds flock to our bird feeder.  Most of the birds wait on the nearby trees for a spot on the feeder. Our two cats love the snow, because it's excellent bird-watching.  They seem to know that there's no chance of catching any birds, but they are vigilant anyway.

Whenever it snows, birds of all kinds flock to our bird feeder. Most of the birds wait on the nearby trees for a spot on the feeder. Our two cats love the snow, because it’s excellent bird-watching. They seem to know that there’s no chance of catching any birds, but they are vigilant anyway.

I hate snow, but our cats love it.  It’s great for bird watching.  We got about a foot of snow today in the Kansas City area, and the forecast calls for more.  The crowds at the bird feeder were huge today. I saw five pairs of cardinals, black-capped chickadees, blue jays, doves, nuthatches, a red-bellied woodpeckers and some birds I didn’t recognize. Click on the photos for a better view.

When the snow was falling hard, birds mobbed the feeder and filled the nearby trees as they waited their turn.  When the snow stopped, the traffic thinned out.  In the bottom photo, a cardinal leisurely eats his meal.

When the snow was falling hard, birds mobbed the feeder and filled the nearby trees as they waited their turn. When the snow stopped, the traffic thinned out. In the bottom photo, a cardinal leisurely eats his meal.

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Filed under Animals, Bird-watching, Birds, Photography

Kansas City Street Scene

I love this view of one section of Kansas City’s Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, juxtaposed between an unrelated mural on the left and the Denny’s sign on the right. I took this photo from my car window while stopped at a red light in June 2012. We were on our way to a wedding reception in the nearby Crossroads District of Kansas City. The Kauffman Center offers two performance venues.

The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri, is an artwork in itself. This photo only shows the west shell (wing) of the building, but the east shell looks similar. Shell seems like the right word for the wings, because the building does have a creature-like appearance. I thought of an armadillo when I first saw it. When my husband stopped at a red light as we drove near it on our way to a wedding reception in June, I quickly took the photo. Sometimes, long red lights are a good thing! My friend Jan and I had recently driven past the Center when she visited from Los Angeles, so Jan, here’s another view!

The two wings (Muriel Kauffman Theatre and Helzberg Hall) are designed for the needs of opera, dance and musical performances. The Kansas City Symphony, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and the Kansas City Ballet perform in the Center.

The Kauffman Center opened in September 2011, and a month later, friends invited my husband and me to a performance of “Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis” in the glorious Kauffman Center. It’s time we went back!

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts Website.

Wikipedia on the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

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Filed under Kansas City, Photography

MEGA-MATCH-A-THON PET ADOPTION WEEKEND

This weekend, March 30 through April 1, 2012, three Kansas City shelters are joining 57 shelters across the nation in a Mega-Match-a-Thon pet adoption event to send as many homeless animals as possible into new, loving, safe, forever homes. All adoptions will be $25, and all animals will be spayed or neutered, microchipped and vaccinated.

The three Kansas City area shelter are Wayside Waifs, Heartland SPCA and KC Pet Project.  Bring home a furry friend this weekend or find a no-kill shelter in your area. Don’t miss this MEGA Match event!

Click here for information about Wayside Waifs.

UPDATE: 706 shelter pets found their forever homes during the KC Megamatch event at Heartland SPCA, KC Pet Project and Wayside Waifs!

Here are some of the beautiful cats I've recently photographed at Wayside Waifs. These cats and more, plus lots of dogs, will all be available for adoption this weekend (March 30-April 1, 2012) in a Mega Adopt-o-than.

Success!

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Filed under Animals