homeschooling Archive - Redding, CA Photographer | Amy McMaster Photography

Category: homeschooling

blue belly mama | life. right now. | a 365 project | nineteen

May 12, 2011

i know seeing pictures of children and pretty pretties is…well…


but sometimes i like to see other things through my lens.

we rescue a lot of alligator and blue bellies (western fence lizards)

from an outdoor cat that adopted us.

he eats them. *shivers*

but not if we can help it.

this little blue belly was pregnant and i didn’t think she would even survive her injuries.

but she did. and 2 days later started laying eggs-

in my rescue tank. eek!

i truly had no idea what to do. so i panicked and called Petco’s herp department.

they told me to call 365-wild.

i did. and some nice lady wanted to take Nahla (what i named lizzie mama) off my hands.

get her well and try to incubate any eggs that might survive.

i thought that was cool. :)

her eggs looked like round corn. weirrrrd. :)

and although i used to be terrified of them (lizards in general)-

i quite respect them and no longer fear them.

they are very fascinating.


see the blue on her belly?

little factoids for my homeschooling buddies:

blue bellies are really western fence lizards.

males have a brilliant deep rich blue on their bellies with a thick black stripe on either side down the middle

plus two scales under a bulge under their tails.

females bellies are not quite as blue (sometimes no blue) and the bulge and 2 small scales under the tail are absent.

homeschooling rocks! 😀

my 9, 7 and 5 year old can all tell genders on the blue bellies themselves now.


  • Cassie Sheridan · Posted May 12, 2011 at 9:59 pm · Link · Reply

    The pictures are beautiful. I have always been terrified of lizards of any kind. My cats are always catching them in the sunroom. Gracee caught one yesterday and my husband had to catch it and put it outside before she killed it. I don’t know why I am like this. I grew up in the country so it’s not that I am a city girl. I am just terrified of lizards and snakes. By the way, I just love your photos. You always inspire me to practice and learn more. Thanks.

  • Amy Beth · Posted May 12, 2011 at 10:38 pm · Link · Reply

    Cassie- I was terrified of them too! I still am a little bit apprehensive of the alligator lizards because they are kinda bitey- mostly the males are though. But the lizards – like the ones in these pictures – aren’t biters by nature. They don’t have fangs or anything so if you are bitten it feels like a sandpaper pinch. I still try not to get bitten. I’ve never been bitten by a blue belly. And I think their ‘kindness’ is what helped me put away my fear. That and my kids. They catch like 5 a day. No joke! Even my 5 year old daughter is fearless. Not fair! haha Holding them progressed to even holding small snakes- which I can do now. I am so proud of me! And now I want to adopt a Bearded Dragon for a pet. 😀 Baby steps! And taking pictures and seeing them up close through the pictures helped (since a picture can’t bite you). Photography as fear therapy! 😀

  • Kristi Ahrens · Posted June 5, 2011 at 1:32 pm · Link · Reply

    Cool post! Milo and I actually saw one very similar to this yesterday on a tree in our back yard. It had LONG fingernail things and blue under it’s belly and neck.

  • Kim Peterson · Posted January 30, 2012 at 8:47 am · Link · Reply

    I just discovered you and your blog/store yesterday, and I’m really glad I did. I’m enjoying your tutorials, photos, and products (I won a 75% off last night and downloaded the Lightroom Squeaky Clean presets – thank you). I am just learning photography and all that goes along with it – processing, etc. – and I found you through Amanda Padgett and Everyday Elements. I homeschooled my kiddos through the 6th grade, then Christian Junior High, and finally public high school (we did it all based on a year by year evaluation of where we felt led to go). My oldest is now graduated college and my youngest is a senior in high school. I wish I had started my photography hobby back then, but am enjoying it very much now and especially enjoy all your tips. I am sure you must be extremely busy, but I am wondering if I sent you a photo I took recently whether you would be able to process it for me using the Squeaky Clean presets/brushes in Lightroom 3 and give me any tips about how to process it. I also have PSE 9 and can do follow up in that after Lightroom. I’m just trying to figure out this whole workflow thing. I could also send you a processed version by me just to give you an idea of what I know (or don’t know) how to do. I would also appreciate any recommendations from you about which of your other products might most benefit me. I will totally understand if you do not have time to help me so please do not feel any obligation.

    Thanks for your blog and shoppe!
    God Bless,
    Kim Peterson

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Homeschooling…reviewing things they already know. {my world}

May 18, 2010

Sometimes we visit places we have already been. The review is good for them.


  • Nikki Painter · Posted May 18, 2010 at 11:12 pm · Link · Reply

    Love these! We homeschool too!

  • Rebecca · Posted May 18, 2010 at 11:51 pm · Link · Reply

    Oh my goodness just lovely! I had planned to homeschool my kiddos but I was a single working mama at the time and I didn’t get too :( I often think about yanking mine right out and homeschooling them.

  • Amy Beth · Posted May 19, 2010 at 7:47 am · Link · Reply

    Nikki- yay a fellow homeschooler! That’s always awesome to stumble upon!

    Rebecca- (hugs) It’s never too late! <3 😀

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