I have always loved photographing this boy. He has incredibly expressive eyes that always tell a story.
Timber and his brother Zipper turned 10 in October and officially joined the double-digit gang. For senior, large breed dogs they are doing remarkably well. Maybe a little stiffness here and there, but really pretty good.
Last Tuesday, Jan. 12 Karen had just dropped him off at the groomers when he had a grand mal seizure. There wasn’t anything remarkable in his blood work and we’ll repeat in a month. He’s had seven good days so we’re hoping it was just a weird one-off thing, somehow related to the car ride because he gets so stinking car sick.
The new studio is awesome
This felt like one more perfect opportunity to play in our newly remodeled Rustic Studio.
The bare cedar wall makes such beautiful and unique backdrop.
Winter in the garden
Winter really is an awesome time for outdoor pet photography. There is just something about the light that makes it special.
After a quick few photos in the studio, we headed out to the bamboo forest. The bamboo forest is such a peaceful place to just hang. And I must admit, he looks pretty spectacular out there.
I pulled just a couple of his first photos as my Model T. Enjoy!
In the beginning
Timber started out as my Model T very early on after his arrival. He was so sick and so skinny, but still a most beautiful dog to me.
Going out to the beach at sunset was always my very favorite time to photograph Timber. He is a handsome specimen.
And my very favorite photo of the big red dawg. I’m so glad I have been diligent about taking photos all these years. I never really realized how snowy his face got.
2020 definitely looked different in 2020, but I still had fun taking photos once the lock-down was lifted. Some of my favorites have been bengal kittens. They have been so much fun. Well, kittens… of course they were fun.
The auction winner
Gracie is the recipient of an auction for Oregon Weimaraner Rescue that I gifted a certificate to. She came with her little sisters, a dachshund and terrier mix and they were so stinking cute together.
Gracie is a Great Dane and Weimaraner cross and she was drop dead gorgeous. She totally rocked the goofy personalities of a dane and a weimie even though she looks so stately here.
My new co-worker
Since March the college where I do my day job went to remote working. It’s been such a joy to be home with the dogs and goats and chickens. Zip will forever be a constant companion.
And yes, I do find his eyes swoon-worthy.
I’ve been taking photos of Daisy for a really long time, but this was her first time in my studio. Daisy is one of the those dogs that is more human than dog.
We got many great photos of her that day and I loved this one because to me, she looks more human than dog.
Puppies in a buggy
I always squeal with delight when I get a call for a puppy. At the very least, I get to pull out my antique buggies reserved for puppies and kittens. The best part of all is playing with puppies.
Hanging out in the garden
Cove and Lillian had a winter session in the garden and I really love the what the winter gardens has to offer. The stark beauty is so different from the fullness and color of the other seasons.
Gotta love the happy pills
The goats will forever be my happy pills. I love wandering down to the barnyard for a nudge and a nibble. Gravy is a very friendly boy and is quick to get in line for his daily carrot.
He’s not so little anymore and I don’t think he’d fit in their snack bucket anymore.
Ready for the holidays
We had a great time doing short holiday sessions in December. They were perfect for people that just wanted an 8 x 10″ portrait of their pets for the holidays. Sunny and Nikko graciously came with their own neckwear and it was perfect.
Racing through the gardens
Cooder was one of my favorite sessions. A few weeks earlier he suffered a grand Mal seizure and was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He came to my studio for a celebration session, to celebrate his spirit, his beauty and his love for life.
This happy boy racing across the acre is Cooder. His family held his paw as he crossed to the rainbow bridge a few weeks later.
My very favorite of photo of the year. There is just something about Piper’s look that brings me right in.
We printed this one large, 20 x 24″ with a two inch matte and a two inch frame and it is stunning.
What is your process for getting a bird ready for adoption?
When looking for a bird for your family there’s a LOT to consider. Smaller birds like parakeets and canaries can live up to 15 years. Medium and large birds can live 25–60+. Are you willing to make that kind of permanent commitment?
Regarding housing and care, birds require large cages, play areas, a variety of foods, specialized vet care (often harder to find) and many hours of attention. Here are a few of the concerns that come up: asthma, smoking habits, household cleaners, and types of cookware help determine whether or not your household is a good fit for a bird. Those are just the environmental, we have a complete checklist we go over.
A good bird owner must have the patience of a saint! You can’t live in fear that the birds are going to bite you. Because they will. No question! Haha We try to talk people through the expectations and help them determine what species might suite them best. Just because you want a big loud cockatoo doesn’t mean you’re ready for one, trust me!
How can we help you succeed?
Rescues of course always need funds to aid what we do to cover the high costs of bird care, donations are always appreciated! My birthday is this month and I am doing a fundraiser on Facebook.
Other ways to help a rescues are to become a foster parent, watch for volunteer opportunities, and to even share social media posts.
To succeed as a bird rescue in the community we need to get people talking about birds. Know the resources in your area, just being aware even if you’re not a bird owner!
What is one piece of advice for someone that wants their first parakeet?
Educating is a big part of prevention! Lastly, I’d like to say that my biggest philosophy regarding birds is to keep your expectations reasonable, your heart open, and patience at the forefront of everything you do. It takes a certain kind person to keep birds. While they may have some things in common with cats and dogs, parrots are truly unlike any other pet and can share a deep meaningful connection with their owner for one of the longest lifespans of any pet. Consider a parrot to join your family! If you have questions talk to a rescue! Relinquishment to the rescue means you’re giving us the opportunity to get to know your bird, determine its long term needs, and help guide the bird into a knowledgeable new owners care. It sounds so simple when you write it down but a lot goes into adjusting a bird into a new environment. Some birds will pull their feathers in the wrong home out or even become terrified and try to bite. Finding the right fit can actually take a long time due to the special needs of some of the birds we take in.
What would you tell someone wanting their first bird like a parakeet?
Parakeets (actually should be called Budgerigar) are often considered a “starter bird” as they are small and easy to care for.
What are five things to consider when getting a bird?
1. Parakeets may be small but they can have lifespans up to 15 years. Be prepared for the commitment. They can also get lonely as single pets and may need a friend to keep them company.
2. Parakeet cages at pet stores are way too small. Decades ago, tiny round cages hung from the ceiling were often how birds were contained. New knowledge has shown their lifespans dramatically decrease when they are unable to fly and interact socially!
3. Vet care is expensive. (This is regarding all birds) But even a $25 parakeet from a pet store deserves the same vet care and attention of a bird that costs $2000.
4. Their needs are the same of larger parrots. You can’t use candles, scented products, non stick pans, or chemicals in your home without the risk of poisoning their tiny lungs.
5. Socializing parakeets takes time. You’re hands are 3x the size of their entire body! Offer them food and bribery to convince them to step up onto your hand. The more they trust you the more they will open up. A really well cared for parakeet can also learn to talk!
It just so happens, we have a bird rescue here in Salem. Check out Hey Cute Bird on Facebook. I visited Kari in her home this week to meet her charming and delightful birds.
How did you get involved rescuing birds?
“We decided to rescue birds because not only are they in just as much need as other animals, but they require a specialized type of care that requires extra effort and education. Birds are commonly neglected due to their complex needs. There was no resource in Salem to help these guys out.”
Which bird prompted you to start a bird rescue?
“Our first Rescue was our bird Pickle! He is a green Quaker with quite the vocabulary, he was found in the woods in southern Oregon and had clearly been lost or let go. We fostered and eventually adopted him. He is namesake for our rescue. He will say “hey cute bird” over and over again, so the name just felt like it was meant to be!”
Tell us a little bit about your rescue
“Hey Cute Bird Rescue is a small family rescue. My husband and I are the sole proprietors and work with people in our community. This year we hope to be a resource and outlet for people needing to re-home birds safely. We plan to post, share and help screen applicants before the owners see the applications. It’s more work, but I truly believe it helps the owners, the birds, and it’s safer.”
A day in the life
“Everyday we wake up the household, feed fresh veggie breakfasts (usually better than what I eat) and make sure everyone gets social interaction time, training time, and flight time. Cleaning is a whole different story!”
What types of birds do you rescue?
“As for types of birds we rescue it’s pretty much all parrot species, as well as doves, pigeons, and small birds like canaries, finches. We have had tiny finches, all the way to a large blue and gold macaw come through our doors.”
Tell us about your best experience
“One of my best rescue experiences over all was our big macaw guy Titan. He kind of just dropped into our laps one day and he was quite a character. He was naked from his legs to his chest and needed a lot of socializing and care.
Our community was hugely supportive of Titan and since we were not prepared for such a big guy we received big toys, big snacks and someone even helped us find a large cage. I love working with everyone in our bird community to support the birds.
I am so happy I could be the person who helped guide Titan along to his new home. He now lives in Idaho as an only child and very spoiled!”
Learn more about Kari and her birds
“Hey Cute Bird is an awesome resource for new bird owners, experienced bird owners or even if you just have a question.
We met Hal wandering through Saturday Market window shopping when we strolled passed his booth, stopping dead in our tracks when we saw his bird houses. Never a finer wood craftsman have we met.
If you have been to our gardens, I’m sure you’ve seen the bird houses that grace every corner of the acre.
When I decided Santa Paws just had to have a sleigh this year, Hal was my first call. He asked me how big and I said about two of his butts wide. He laughed took it from there and the sleigh is made to perfection.
First step, unhide the ceiling
The garage had a drop ceiling that was just this side of horrible and so unsightly. We hired another friend of ours that is a house painter by trade and he pulled the drop ceiling and sealed the boards. I am so in love with the lines of that roof.
Once the ceiling was complete, Hal had the cedar paneling ordered and he and his side kick Bella moved in lock, stock and barrel. Who knew there was a tool for everything?
And he’s off
Hal’s talent knows no end. In the past he has shared images of his delightful tiny homes and one day it occurred to me that it really was time for a studio makeover and with any luck, it could resemble the look of one of his tiny homes.
Our house is nestled on an acre of gardens and was built in the mid 50s. I lovingly joke that they built the house one board and one nail as they could afford it, but truth be told, I love our little house. She’s has character and love and we feel her hugs every day.
True to the house, the garage is not without challenges. A cut-out here to accommodate something that doesn’t make sense, a build out there to cover-up other nonsensical wall pieces parts.
Hal is a master craftsman and takes it all in stride.
I absolutely can’t imagine the mind that it takes to create and build like does. I must admit I admire his craftsmanship.
Bella is Hal’s side kick and boy oh boy does she love him. I am looking forward to having both of them around for a couple of days.