45 In Life

Local Wildlife

I took about 500 pictures this weekend, I think that’s more than I’ve taken in the last nine months! Thank y’all for your kind comments and words of encouragement from the last post. I’m working my way through my pictures and as to not include 100 in this post, I’m just going to touch on a few fun things we’ve experienced so far. We are thankfully not having to work too hard for entertainment, that’s what the library, the pool and Rover are for…. oh, and the local wildlife too!

JM graveya

This is Rover in our faux plant graveyard with one of our recycling trash cans on his head.

I’ve been occasionally waking up early to go walk… this is usually my view when heading east.


This is also along my route…

Fox crossing

And guess what, they’re not kidding! Saturday I saw two foxes on my walk. I even snapped a few pictures of this sly little guy.

Fox 1

Fox 2

Speaking of sly, on Sunday afternoon Justin and the kids were on the dock and Morgan and Paige were catching minnows in nets for Justin to use as bait. They were busy filling up the white bowl {pictured below} with little minnows when our new friend Herry the Great Blue Heron walked on to the dock to have a snack. I was watching from the house and cracking up at him, he knew exactly what he was after.


I yelled down to the dock to inform them that the heron was about to have  a snack so they moved the bowl a little closer and waited.


Then a few minutes later, I was in the house and peeked out the window and saw this and laughed hysterically because it looks like Justin is in the grass about to ambush the bird and the bird was having none of it.


So we fished for some more minnows and gave Herry a little space and sure enough, that smart bird was all about us catching some dinner for him.


John Martin only walked in front of my camera a few times.




The kids added to the minnows and JM brought out his alligator.


And the picture above should have led me on to believe that the Rover was up to no good, little did I know what he was doing. We have tried really hard to instill respect for life and nature in our kids but apparently Rover got a wild hair and decided that his alligator was hungry for a minnow and by the time I realized it, it was too late. {It’s not blood on his teeth, it’s just where the white paint has scratched off… but it undoubtedly adds to the drama of it all.}



Meanwhile, in the background Herry is loading up on freshly caught dinner.




Then I snapped a few pictures of the kids, told Rover I forgave him, and the bird left full and happy.




Our weekend also included a lot of sunscreen and boat time… I’ll be back with more soon!

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  • Amber E
    June 6, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    How funny! This really will be a summer your kids will never forget!

  • JulieJ
    June 6, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    The picture of your husband crouched down in the grass looking at the heron is hysterical! He looks like he’s planning his attack. And little Rover and the minnow made me think of my brother when he was younger. I remember my parents having a similar conversation about respect for life when we went fishing with crickets 🙂 Must be a boy thing! I’m already loving your summer and it’s still only spring! Enjoy the rest of the week with your FINALLY whole family 🙂

  • Jessica
    June 7, 2011 at 12:23 am

    A fox??!! Holy cow! I’m impressed you got a picture of it. I’d surely be running as fast as I could away from it! That picture of Justin cracks me up! He looks like a little midget tucked away in the grass. And I could just eat John Martin up. The pictures you capture of him are adorable! Looks like you are having an amazing start to the Summer!

  • Perfecting Pru
    June 7, 2011 at 2:48 am

    What a great time you look to be having. I am insanely jealous of all that sunshine – how I wish I had a holiday booked to the coast this year.

    Have lots and lots of fun and I can’t wait to see more photos soon.

  • Megan
    June 7, 2011 at 4:54 am

    Those pictures of your Rover are really resembling your father! Not sure if you’ve ever gotten that comment before, and I don’t know your father personally, but the 3rd and 9th pictures from the bottom look so much like him in the eyes! Such a cutie! (Rover, that is…not your dad) Hehe…..

  • Emily
    June 7, 2011 at 6:39 am

    That picture of Justin behind the grass made me crack UP! He looks like a jack-in-the box that just popped up to surprise Hemry the heron…hahahahah! What a sweet family. I hope you’re having a wonderful time together!

  • Serah
    June 7, 2011 at 7:08 am

    What great pictures! The one of Justin in the grass is hilarious and so is the alligator eating the minnow. This is going to be such a magical summer for you guys!

  • Melissa
    June 7, 2011 at 7:22 am

    This summer looks rich enough to make up for all the hardships of the last year. Enjoy!

  • Megan
    June 7, 2011 at 7:33 am

    Those pictures are hysterical, especially the ones of Justin in the bushes and the minnow in the gator’s mouth. Too funny! I had to cover my mouth so I wouldn’t laugh aloud at work. Thanks for sharing!

  • Christina
    June 7, 2011 at 7:40 am

    Love your photos- I learn so much about photography by studying the Exif data on your flickr shots. I’ve noticed lately you are using an 85mm/2.8 lens. Who makes that, and do you recommend it over your trusty Tamron 17-50mm? I have been saving all spring for one, and I am curious to know if you think the 85mm is better before I spend all my hard earned money! Thanks, Darby!

  • Kristee
    June 7, 2011 at 7:45 am

    I can’t even take that pic of JM staring at you with his gator in-hand. Busted, yet hilarious. Looks like y’all are having a wonderful time and I’m so happy for you.

  • Melanie
    June 7, 2011 at 8:06 am

    awwww-uh! You guys all look so refreshed, rested and sun kissed!

  • rhonda
    June 7, 2011 at 8:14 am

    LOVE IT! And your children will always remember “Herry”…How do I know? well when my girls were about your children’s age- we had “Bob” the bobwhite. Bob figured out that I would frequently “clean” out my car of goldfish/cheerios, etc when I got the girls out of thier car seats by flinging them into the yard. We soon noticed “bob” eagerly awaiting our arrive home. One time, I apparently took too long getting out of the car and he perched on my side window looking at me as if saying “Lady- come ON! I’m hungry here!”….the girls still mention “Bob” occasionally. ENJOY your summer…so glad yall are able to make your memories together now.

  • Lindsey
    June 7, 2011 at 8:27 am

    The picture of Justin in the bushes made me actually laugh out loud! JM seems to be ALL boy, he totally got busted! So glad to see y’all have having such a wonderful summer!!

  • Lizziefitz
    June 7, 2011 at 8:46 am

    It looks like Justin is taking a pee break behind the grass , and he just got caught, lol!!!

  • Missy
    June 7, 2011 at 8:50 am

    I just LOVE your adventures! Your children are adorable!

  • Amanda Wells
    June 7, 2011 at 9:03 am

    How fun! Looks like you guys are having a great time!


  • The Mom
    June 7, 2011 at 9:21 am

    I think your two “boys” are cut from the same mold. One was hiding in the bushes, stalking Herry and the other was feeding his alligator the only acceptable food in sight. Boys will be boys forever. You should see what my grown up sons do when they get together. Our house literally quakes when they run through it as they chase one another. Can you imagine 6’4″ men running through a house? Get the picture?! Some things never change.

  • Lindsay Nicholls
    June 7, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Rover is too funny!!! I love the alligator and minnow pics.

  • Whitney
    June 7, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Don’t little boys keep life interesting! Glad you’ve got your hubby back. You’re a good momma to handle all that by yourself for a while!

  • Katie@ Noodle and Boof
    June 7, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Wild! How fun that y’all are getting to see such beautiful animals. Love the last three shots. Enjoy!

  • Kathy
    June 7, 2011 at 10:58 am

    I absolutely love your sense of humor. Justin just over the grass with the heron is hilarious. I am so happy your family is enjoying the summer. Your children are precious.

  • kathleen
    June 7, 2011 at 11:45 am

    perhaps a live bait basket is needed.

  • kristen
    June 7, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    that made me cry! im so sorry you had to do it on your own all this time! isnt it hard, too, when you cant tell everyone you are so tired and and that your kids will not leave you alone or sleep through the night and you are basically on call every minute of your life??? my husband works overnight for 30 hrs like three nights a week and sleeps in the day (and I have a five yr old and 3 yr old twins)-it is not near as bad as having him gone every singe night, like you, but it def wears on me. yesterday i had to sneak out to cry in my car just to relieve stress and be alone for two minutes!! hahaha! hope your summer is amazing and that you are rejuvenated completely. thanks for always pointing us back to Christ and His strength; it is always encouraging.

  • andrea from Raising Peanut
    June 7, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    I miss my husband like crazy too…. he left us over a year ago. Please keep him in your prayers!

    *** The alligator was awesome. My three year old does that stuff too. I absolutely love it.

    *** A side note: you used to have a reader that visited your blog daily from Hiram, GA…. from here she would come to my blog. She was a daily reader. She hasn’t been by since April 13th… I know there were tornadoes in GA at the end of April. Does she sound familiar? I never knew her name. I have been saying a few prayers for her. It’s odd, I know…. to know of an anonymous readers. It’s just weird that she stopped all of the sudden. Let me know if you know anything… 🙂


  • Serenia
    June 7, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    What wonderful memories you all are making this summer…Looks absolutely heavenly…

  • cousin
    June 7, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Love JM! He looks so mischievious yet completely innocent. He just thought the gator needed some dinner too! Looks like a great time and I’m still hoping we can get down there again to check out the new boat! Justin had already sent George pics by the time I told him about the boat. He knew before me:) Love and miss you all!!

  • kristen
    June 7, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    Gorgeous pictures!!

  • Heather
    June 8, 2011 at 7:46 am

    I love that you are getting to enjoy your photography passion once again. I am not shocked about the minnow incident. My girl is almost 3 and about half the time she realizes her toy dolls and animals are not “real” and the other half she is convinced they are real and they need food! Your boy is pretty clever!

  • Brittaney
    June 8, 2011 at 11:14 am

    The Herry pictures are hilarious. And aren’t the foxes down there amazing? When my husband & I were down there with our wedding party for our wedding, the guys discovered a fox on the beach late one night. Typical boys- instead of watching the fox, they chased it down the beach. They were determined they were going to catch it! Alcohol may or may not have been involved in their escapade.

  • Margaret
    June 8, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    I swear, your Rover and my Max would be bffs if they met…this week alone, I have found a paci, cookies and goldfish in the mouth of a dinosaur he has in his room. Max is also naked about 90% of the time we are at home and doesn’t understand why he can’t just take his shirt off when we go to the park or the grocery store 🙂 That picture of your husband behind the grass is seriously cracking me up!

  • Grace
    June 8, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    You have the most beautiful children! They are precious!

  • Dianne
    June 8, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Oh what fun you are having! This is exactly how I grew up and my kids too since we live on the NC coast. I am enjoying all your antics.
    I am also painting a lot. Thank you Darby!!!!
    xoxo Dianne

  • Amy D
    June 8, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Justin in the grass looks like Adam behind the bushes in our “My First Bible”….let’s hope he doesn’t do anything to get banished from the garden forever!!!!

  • Brittny Hemphill
    June 8, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    I just caught up on blogs I haven’t had time to read and I wanted to tell you thank you for the last post! My husband is about to leave us for a year for work and it was encouraging to read that you and Justin have been apart and you survived. I had no idea he was gone!! (Probably because you never told us, but if you did, I missed it!) The kids and I are moving back to where the grandparents are because we were up for a move anyway, but this was not the reason we thought we’d be moving. Thank you for your encouraging words and I look forward to seeing what your family is up to over the summer! God bless!!!

  • Michelle @ Lifewithacrazypup
    June 8, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Darby, it looks like you are going to have such a magical summer. I’m sure you’ll always look back on this summer with a big smile on your face. I can only imagine the stories that you will have for your children’s future spouses. Enjoy it!! I’m excited to follow you along the whole way!

  • Rebecca
    June 8, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    I’m a lurker and never before commenter and I love, love, love your blog! I hope you won’t be offended but I just wanted to let you know that it is very dangerous for children to suck on hosepipes. Apparently they can harbor a bacteria that causes amoebic meningitis. I live in Australia where this is well known, but apparently it’s not commonly known elsewhere in the world.

    Anyway, your summer looks idyllic. Have a wonderful time.

  • Regina
    June 8, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    the minnow in the alligator’s mouth is hilarious! Such is life with boys… all winter I have been washing out any food jars I am finished with in preparation for all of the collectings by youngest son will do this summer- then I am ready when he runs in the house with his hands clasped and asking, “do you have something I can put this in?”

    The place you guys are staying at for the summer looks wonderful, and you guys deserve it after the difficult time this last year! All of you pictures are amazing as usual!

  • Ashley Winstead
    June 9, 2011 at 8:19 am

    Wow! I can’t believe that bird let you get sooo close! Once again, beautiful photos! What kind of camera do you use??

  • Becky
    June 9, 2011 at 8:22 am

    OMG, Justin looks NUDE in that picture! It’s like every little kid’s Bible where it talks about Adam hiding from God in the garden because he knows he’s naked! How funny!

  • sarah
    June 9, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Such a darling family! Cherish this time, they grow up SO fast. Happy summer.

  • mel
    June 9, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Hello, I am a fellow Alabamian. My family and I plan on heading down to the Gulf the end of July/early August for our last vacay before school starts. Do you have any suggestions on places to stay. We would like to be on the beach. Love your blog!!!!

  • Anna
    June 9, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Darby-As always, I love reading your blog and seeing what amazing things are going on in your family’s life. I have a silly question…. Back in May you posted a link to a friend’s blog on their before and after pictures of their home renovations (I think it was the McMasters). I loved some of the things they did and wanted to look back at that post and it is not up anymore. Do you know if their blog address has changed? Thank you for sharing your encouraging and authentic life with all of us! You are such an inspiration for young, Christian moms.

  • Julia
    June 9, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    I love the faux plant graveyard pic!

    The alligator pictures are very dramatic!

  • Jennifer
    June 9, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Hysterical~I laughed out loud at your hubby lurking in the bushes! And little JM, well, he is just so much like a little one at my house…you never know what’s next!