Wildlife in Suburbia


I finally got a new camera! After a lot of research I decided on the Canon Rebel T5i. I wanted to stick with canon so I could use the same lenses for my aging 20D and any future canon cameras. I chose the Rebel over the more expensive 60D / 70D or the 6D or the 7D. They are essentially the same cameras and have the same sensor it's only the build quality, the speed of the shutter, and some other features that differentiates them. I thought that I could get a couple extra lenses for the same price as the body alone for one of the more higher end versions.

I got a 50mm "Macro" lens and the upgraded EF-S 18-55 IS STM lens. The Macro can take pictures as close as .8' although while it tries to focus it sounds like a tractor or something - it's very loud. Surprisingly the animals I've been taking pictures of don't seem to mind and actually appear to like the attention and pose. That could be more of my animalistic superpowers though. The STM lens on the other hand is so quiet that you can't even hear it focus, at all. It's more for taking videos with as you don't want the sound of the focusing to interfere. That's why I got the new camera so I'm definitely glad I went for the STM and the 50mm is just as fun to play around with.

I've had this idea to write a blog post about all the different kinds of animals that can be found within a mile radius of my house. I live in an interesting area in that it's very suburban (Next to one of the biggest freeways in the world) but also has a lot of green areas. "Lake Forest" quite literally as I live between a Lake (Man Made) and a Forest.

When I was testing out my new camera and trying the new lenses I had an idea! I am going to keep track of and take pictures of all the different kinds of animals that I can find within a mile from my house. I think it will be a fun project to help me brush back up on my photography skills and get me out of the house and explore the "wild" life that lives within the suburbs. I really like the idea of taking pictures of the animals in a city as if they were the same as being in the real wild - cause what's the difference? It's also interesting to see how many animals have adapted to live with and around humans.

I'm trying to give the photos a feel of "Wow I finally got a picture of the ever allusive and majestic grasshopper!" so that even though many of these animals are common place and are rarely even noticed, I want to pretend that they are rare and special. Cause they are to me!

I'll include a list of different animals I have already seen but haven't gotten a photo of. Then go about trying to get a picture of them.

Butterfly - there are lots of these kinds. 

A green grass hopper. This one was eaten by a Lizard later in the day. 





This dead bee had a ant pulling on it's tongue. 

A baby Blue-Bellied Lizard hanging out on a cement sidewalk. 

When they are this little they are very tame and will pretty much just jump up on your hand. "Gimme Five!"

I think this is the same one but there are at least 3 other babies in the backyard.



Someone got flowers. Someone else thought they were for em and started to eat them late at night. 

This is a crazy looking crab-like spider that was hanging from an umbrella. It's interesting because the black lines make it seem like it has big eyes but it's eyes are really those tine spots in the front. 

This guy totally knew I was taking a picture of him!


  • Coyote
  • Skunk
  • Possum
  • Raccoon
  • Hummingbird
  • Crow
  • Raven
  • Carp
  • Rabbit
  • Lots of birds
  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • Snakes
  • Lizards
  • Lots of Insects
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