Pearl and marvelous – Arabic names. Cats. I’ve named them. They adopted me. I’m a free meal ticket. I started with rolls. They are not vegetarian and finicky so they ate sparingly. Then I used canned tuna. I wasn’t sure if they would be back. So I did not invest in cat food.
Cats around here are stray and pretty much abandoned to the whim of people. They are painfully thin and pretty much know how to work a trash bin. There’s not much.
Two nights after I fed them from the tuna can – they licked the empty can – I found three bounding up to me when I opened my door. Pet food is located with the kitchen supplies at the grocery. There is even dog food. They are large (relatively), medium, and small. The little guy runs if I look in its direction. The large – now Badi – and medium, Lulu are braver. Badi let me touch him almost at once and Lulu is pretty ok. She will nip and scratch at me. At this point I have fed them about a week. And they now eat from my hand. They came into the villa for a visit.
Badi is dumb and started to meow and whine and climb through my curtain at the window. He doesn’t get the concept of a door or how to use it to get out. Lulu was in and out without a problem. Girls are smarter.
I finally got pictures of them both. The third guy is still missing. There are other cats lurking about. These three have adopted me. So we are getting to be buddies. I’m teaching them sharing. Everyone eats.
This is a technical point to make about shooting. And it is probably not relevant to the smart phone/iPhone crowd because you don’t have a real camera. Noise is what the purists complain about when the ISO is too high and the image is grainy. And I say, you could not even hope to get an image before digital was in wide use. Right now the cameras are able to get a decent image in virtual darkness. What latitude and opportunity! This image is at ISO 6400. Don’t bother if you don’t know what ISO means. It’s an old film term. And then I let the camera pick its settings. All I did was set the parameter that the minimum shutter speed needed to be at least 1/100 sec. And then I enlarged the image. Yeah, pretty neat! Sometimes I surprise myself. So this image in virtual darkness will not make purists happy. Sure zoom and shoot with flash and so forth. Street photography in the dark is an art. And this cat was not waiting around for me to set up things. Right tool right place, cameras rule!
This one’s name is Elle. She’s extraordinarily shy. In fact I knew about her but had never seen her.
Then I saw her but only for a second at a time. Then I discovered she did not like cameras.
Fish don’t like cameras. I assume a big thing swimming toward them with big bubbles blowing is off putting. But how does a cat know to be inherently skittish.
Nonetheless I find Elle running whenever I approach with a camera. Persistence! And volume! I shoot lots.
Eventually you get a few images. Voila! Gotcha.
Oh, she’s come ‘round. Elle will even nudge me to pet her now. But no photos please! She still runs when I pull the camera out.
Timing. It’s crucial for action shots. You cannot depress the shutter and the motor drive will just get you an actual perfect shot. Nope. It’s done by old fashioned work. Oh, luck too. Ha! Yes, luck too. But mostly it is anticipating the action and then firing the shutter at the precise moment. It’s helps if you visualize and then plan your shot. Or, you just press the shutter and let fly. Didn’t I just tell you that doesn’t work?
I did it. Sure. I’m good. But Jules did too. Ah! She’s as good.
Not me silly, the dog, Molly. We’ve had a dog pretty much Jules’ whole life. And she inherited Molly from her cousin when she could not devote time to Molly and her first born.
So the dog is a prelude to Jules engagement and future family? It’s an interesting circle to begin again. I’m sappy that way. Meanwhile back at the beach…Molly the dog is rambunctious and full of energy so we ran her till she collapsed.
We ran a lot. Molly just did not quit.
No telephoto and it was shady anyway. Jules wouldn’t let me lure the bird by feeding it. So I had to rely on patience. Drat (she says that). I used the fast spiffy see in the low light expensive lens and got a shot. Yes digital is very forgiving. At least I come away with an image most of the time. It’s not up to National Geographic standard, but it’s better than iPhone. And no photo, no blog post.
Happy happy. One pair two pair. Is it fair to say two pair if a couple are a single unit? Most all the other seals were just soaking up the California rays and chillin. But there’s always someone who wants to play around. They tell me it’s not mating. That happens at another time and it is quite noisy and competitive. This time of year everyone’s mellow.
Yes! A big drought is in progress in California right this minute. So the first thing to happen when I arrived; it rained! Poured for a little while; we washed her car. It’s a white car and needed it! And after the rain there were tons of snails on the sidewalk. This is Jules’ shot. Neat, just like shooting the critters in Jeddah. We are good to go.
Snapshots, photos, and others – my categories of images. Images is now the term because it is no longer film. Digital reigns. No more film, long live film. I mostly take snaps with my iPhone. Photos are for my Nikon. Others are more photojournalism. And the lines blur because I don’t consider much; the quality is pretty good. I just press the button. So here’s one crazy cat. He likes water. Cats don’t like water? But Willow comes running whenever the faucet runs. He can do a standing jump to the ledge from about 40 inches. I’m impressed. You should be too. That’s a lot of height for a cat to jump. And then he perches hunched over the sink and tries not to fall in. He licks the drips. I cheated. I wanted an image. So I turned the water on low. Voila!
The fair had a border collie demonstration. These are working dogs. They are trained to herd. And they are very good at their job. They are taught to work together to herd sheep according to command. And the dogs are a whole lot better than my spaniel who would be easily distracted. These dogs were totally focused and followed commands accurately and instantly. The sheep went where they were herded.