I saw some blogger friends’ entries for this photo challenge, and I thought I would join in and see what I can do. Patti Moed of Creative Exploration In Words And Pictures, in her Lens Artist Challenge, challenges us to choose a color and select photos of things in that color ranged from large to small.
Red is considered a warm color, but many of the red things in this post will cool you down, a nice thought in the heat I’ve been experiencing lately.
The above photo was taken at Applegate Farms in Montclair, New Jersey, a great place for ice cream made on the premises. I went there earlier in the pandemic in company with a French bulldog friend.
The above photo doesn’t give you much sense of size, but these baby ducklings were in a red plastic tub large enough to hold this small cockapoo doggy and his stylish red hoodie, with room to spare.
This refreshing cranberry spritzer was served to me at The Committed Pig Burger and Pancake House in Summit, New Jersey. I thought it looked so pretty in its Mason jar, but I am debating in my mind whether it is larger or smaller than the next item.
This peony from my garden was fairly large — larger or smaller than a cranberry spritzer? It’s hard to say as their shapes were so different and difficult to compare, and, of course, I never saw them side by side. Perhaps, if the peony was a cup, it would hold the spritzer.
And, now, we’re back to cool and refreshing things. The frozen dessert below was purchased at Sonny’s in Cedar Grove, New Jersey. It is a self-serve frozen dessert bar. You can find frozen yogurt, frozen custard, Italian ice or gelato you can swirl yourself into a cup. You can layer flavors and add toppings from a variety of syrups, candies, nuts, fruits and (one of my favorites) these popping boba that burst fruit juices into your mouth. The desserts are sold by weight. Any of the red things in this photo — the strawberries, raspberries, popping boba or red plastic spoon — are smaller than my peony for sure.
I’ve been splurging on Dunkin Donuts iced coffee (not pictured) this weekend, but the mug above, even though it doesn’t belong to me, represents two doggy friends that I was watching over the weekend.
My weekend was a really full one. I don’t think I could have squeezed much more in if I tried. I’m joining Natalie the Traveler and friends with her Weekend Coffee Share and jumping on a couple more applicable linky wagons. (Is “linky wagon” even a phrase? If it’s not, I think I just coined it.) I’m pinging Restless Jo and her Monday Walks, because my weekend involved a beautiful walk with friends in nature and Lisa Coleman of Birds Weekly because I got some photos of a swan and peacock in the park.
I watch French bulldogs, Theo and Remy, in their home from time to time. They are lovable doggies. Theo, though he looks so peaceful in this photo (and often is), is a little more exuberant and goofy.
His Frenchie housemate, Remy, is just a little lady. I was noticing just by the way she prances through the grass in the backyard that she carries herself like a lady. Where Theo will tackle me with doggy kisses, Remy will just quietly look at me as I sit on the couch to tell me, “Pardon me, I would like uppies please. Give me a boost?”
They are good doggies. One of their owners told me once that she loves this breed, because Frenchies are lazy and snuggly. That certainly describes these two lovies.
I’ve also been dropping in to take care of a cat named Shultz, (a female in spite of the name.) She is a Scottish fold cat, and that breed is new to me. You can notice that her ears fold forward. Her owner told me that there is a Scottish straight breed and a Scottish fold breed that are closely related. They don’t know until kittens are born if they will have the fold or not. According to petfinder.com, it was discovered that “Any cat possessing one copy of the fold gene produced about fifty percent of Fold kittens.”
Saturday, I went out and explored a relatively new smoothie place, Market 509 in Cedar Grove, New Jersey. One of the employees told me that they have been there since November 2020, but I only became aware of it a few weeks ago.
The unique shop is hard to define. They serve smoothies, ice cream, juice and bubble tea, but they also sell refrigerated vegetarian foods, Japanese snack foods, teas, tea sets and mugs and Japanese kawaii merchandise.
Some cutesy “kawaii” merchandise …
I tried an açai bowl for the first time. Well, previously, I tried a Dole brand version from the frozen food aisle, but it wasn’t quite the same experience. Açai berries are one of those trendy superfoods that have a lot of health benefits. They have a lot of antioxidants, fatty acids similar to olive oil, anthocyanins that can help lower cholesterol, Vitamin C and phytochemicals that can fight the growth of cancer cells.
I have never seen fresh açai berries sold in the U.S. My smoothie bowl was a mixture of berries and banana with açai powder added to it. There were two choices of açai bowls, Berry Blast and Pacific Twist. With it, you could choose four toppings and a drizzle. I ordered the Berry Blast with a mixture of banana, blueberry, blackberry, strawberry, apple juice and açai powder. For my toppings, I chose strawberries, bananas, coconut flakes and mochi. Mochi, for those who might not be familiar, is a sweet Japanese snack made from glutinous rice. I thought mine had the look and texture of marshmallow. I chose Nutella as my drizzle.
This was the work of art that was delivered to me.
And it came on a cute little tray …
This was my Saturday lunch. It was refreshing in the hot weather, full of nutrition and, very likely, had enough calories in it to make it a meal.
On Sunday, I fit in a lot and did a lot of driving all over creation (or, at least, parts of New Jersey.) I took care of doggy breakfast, pills and potty time back at the house where I was staying, drove about 20 minutes to take care of Miss Shultz and get her breakfast and then drove almost an hour (normally a half hour drive) to Sunday morning church. I thought I would be late, but I was actually early. 😛
My friend Adrienne planned a picnic lunch with friends at the James A McFaul Environmental Center in Wyckoff, New Jersey. Although this park is in the vicinity of church, first, I had to drive back to the doggies, give them some lunch, another potty break and bye bye kisses and then pack up my things, as the owners were due home that afternoon.
I was on a bit of a tight schedule, so I had half of my picnic lunch at the house. I thought I would be too late to picnic and might just join friends for the walk afterwards. It wasn’t too convenient to do “home-made” while house sitting, so I picked up some things at the Kings Supermarket: a tomato, mozzarella and basil sandwich on ficelle bread (I would have called it a baguette,) some Stacy’s pita chips and a Mash soda made with natural pomegranate and blueberry juices.
It turns out friends were still picnicking when I arrived. There were six of us girls altogether: Adrienne, Sabrina, Iris, Jin, Cindy and me. I ate half my sandwich there, some cantaloupe that my friend Iris brought and a frozen snack from Adrienne, a blob of vanilla ice cream encased in strawberry mochi. It was a bit of a challenge to eat as the ice cream was melted, but I managed.
The James A. McFaul Environmental Center is a lovely park that has 81 acres of land with walking trails, a pond and observation deck overlooking it, various gardens, a picnic area, a few animal enclosures and a building with educational nature exhibits. The building was closed, but we were able to enjoy the trails, observation deck, picnic area and more.
I saw this lovely peacock in an enclosure.
Before we even hit the trail, we saw this beautiful swan in the pond right outside the picnic pavilion.
I liked the looks of this foot bridge.
I ended up getting a few shots of my friend Cindy on the trail, because we were leading the pack.
I enjoyed these log borders on the walking path. For a bit, Cindy and I tried balancing on the logs just like we would have done as kids.
I noticed several trees with tangled jumbles of roots.
Cindy identified these interesting plants in the foreground as skunk cabbages. The area is sometimes swampy.
After we walked the loop, we took this boardwalk up to the observation deck overlooking the pond.
We got some more views of our swan friend.
Sorry, Lisa. I missed the photo op to capture the swan along with ducks and geese in one photo. I guess the point of the challenge was to capture birds of different species together. Just as I was ready to do that, my phone announced that my storage was full.
Human friends are important too. We had a rest from the heat at the top of the observation deck.
So my phone storage was up to capacity at the end of our time there, and I missed the opportunity to photograph an adorable fawn on our way back. Thankfully, my buddy Sabrina did not have the same problem.
15 Different YouTube Channels to Enjoy for Cute and Funny Dogs, Cats, Birds, Hamsters and More.
Watching pets on Youtube can be relaxing and peaceful whether you are a pet owner or not. It’s one way to enjoy some very endearing animals. It wouldn’t be practical for most of us to own one of each of the animals featured below, but Youtube brings us closer to observing all of their funny antics.
These videos are good therapy if you need relaxation. I have used them to unwind when I have headache or have trouble sleeping. Some of these videos are real life adventures with pets and owners while others are pure fantasy — creative stories with animals doing “human” things. Others offer good information for pet owners. A few of these channels have varied content that don’t all fall into one of those categories, although the examples I selected are entertaining.
The videos are of varying length, some short and some a bit longer. You may want to save some to watch later or create a playlist.
Crusoe the Dachshund
Crusoe the Dachshund is involved in a lot of story episodes with his sidekicks, sister Daphne and cousin Oakley. Voice actors speak for the doggos as they go about some very human activities. In this episode, Oakley has a date with a Yorkie and gets a little dating advice from Crusoe and Daphne.
Other episodes include some parodies of movies like Home Alone, Jurassic Park and Ghostbusters, police and crime adventures, hobby fun, obstacle courses, birthday celebrations and more creative content than I can name.
This channel combines miniature making and fun with hamsters. First, you watch as the Youtuber creates cardboard miniature sets and then enjoy as his hamster interacts with and has fun exploring the set. In this episode, the little hamster has fun on a cardboard playground equipped with seesaws, swings and motorized merry go round, with plenty of hamster snacks sprinkled here and there. In other episodes, the hamster visits a miniature hotel, Tom and Jerry style house, sushi bar and more.
Vlog After College (with Corgi Gatsby)
Gatsby the Corgi has more real life adventures with his owner Ryen. In fact, Ryen’s vlogs can contain all kinds of content like cooking and recipes, ukulele playing and fitness. Still, Gatsby is a big part of each vlog, and you can enjoy watching these two play in a park or at home, go on walking adventures, go shopping for dog toys, even cooking dog-friendly meals or enjoying a burger splurge.
Aaron’s Animals seems to be creative stories told with real animals but with the help of some special effects and animation. Videos feature cats, a pug dog, ducklings and a mouse. The stories are pretty varied from “A dog and cat road trip” to a cat cooking show and many more fun episodes.
Emma Massingale (With Mini Ponies)
Below is one of the more whimsical videos on Emma Massingale’s channel, where two dogs, a cat, a pig and a miniature pony get the spa treatment, including nail treatments, facial masks and hot stone massage. Emma has more content along this line but also features more down-to-earth adventures with her animals like hiking with her mini ponies or rafting while pulled by black stallions.
Topi the Corgi
Topi the Corgi does a variety of human activities on his channel. These might include acting as a lifeguard or a surgeon, working in construction or as a police officer. His occasional sidekicks are these two little long-haired chihuahuas who join him in the camping fun below.
This golden retriever’s videos are all captioned hilariously with the new dog lingo of the Internet. On this channel, you can watch as he tries new foods and treats, interacts with new toys or does quirky behavior (like trying to climb in the bath tub with his owner.) Reading his inner commentary is half the fun. In the episode below, I enjoyed seeing him interact with a mechanical toy roach where it seems he can’t decide whether he wants to attack it or run away from it.
The Secret Life of My Hamster
The “dangerous” hamster maze in the video below might look suspiciously like animal cruelty at first glance, but this contraption with all its traps is made from harmless cardboard. Other videos from this channel feature creative mazes, obstacle courses, races and even a parkour course for hamsters. A few of these have gaming themes like Minecraft and Super Mario Brothers.
Griffin the Frenchie
Griffin the Frenchie and his sister Haru have a variety of interesting experiences with their owners. They try out different snacks, show off how well trained they are as well as their behavior quirks, try out strange gadgets for dogs or explore a 24 hour dog grooming cafe, among other things. They also try intellectual puzzles and obstacle courses. In the video below, the two Frenchies enjoy a kiddie pool, some bubbles and watermelon.
Erin has a lot of adorable animals in her care including guinea pigs (about 11 of them,) skinny pigs, bunnies, gerbils, hamsters, a dog and a cat. That might sound like animal hoarding, but Erin lives on a farm, and all of her animals have quality hutches and homes, lots of space and plenty of tender loving care. Erin has some informative videos for owners of small animals, but I find it peaceful to watch her go about her routine with the animals, feeding all of them or making changes to their abodes.
There have been several parrots of different varieties on this channel, but the star seems to be Bowie, the Indian ringneck parakeet. He has a voice just like Elmo, and one of his favorite phrases is “Tickle, tickle,” because that’s what his owner tells him when she scratches his head. The doggy of the household, Pai Mei, has his own channel.
What About Bunny
This amazing sheepadoodle named Bunny has been trained to use buttons to communicate. The buttons are from Fluent Pet and pronounce words when they are pressed. They are arranged in interlocking tiles on the floor. There are other video examples that better introduce the system, but I thought this particular video below gives pretty good evidence that Bunny understands what she is communicating.
Major Hamster and Friends
Major Hamster and Friends is another channel that combines ingenious contraptions, story telling and animals. In this one, Major Hamster runs in his wheel, sending out marble missiles against the tank army of his frenemy, the cat. Videos show a variety of challenges for Major Hamster and his friends with mazes, obstacle courses, remote control cars and contraptions involving dominoes and marbles with adventures themed after dinosaurs, robots, zombies, volcanoes and more. Major Hamster’s friends include a cat, dog, chinchilla, rat and bunny.
Tiny Hamster Official
One of the major themes on this channel is tiny food. You can watch this hamster feasting on tiny burritos, tiny barbecue or in this video, tiny tiki party fare, and in fun, miniature settings. Although “hamster” is the only animal listed in the channel’s title, you will find a few others here including bunnies, a chameleon and a hedgehog.
Bini the Bunny
Bini the Bunny has been trained to do a number of cool tricks like paint, play basketball with a small ball and net, work a dustbuster style vacuum cleaner or a small vending machine that dispenses carrots. You can also watch the channel for helpful information on keeping a bunny as a pet.
I hope I have introduced you to some fun animal viewing on Youtube. Please, tell me which of these is your favorite.