I searched everywhere for this image. I was sure I had taken it. I had briefly seen it after I took it. Nope! Nada! Couldn’t find it for beans. Darn! Hmmm?! Finally! It was on my iPhone. Who’d have guessed? I’m not an iPhone photographer. I use it mostly to document or to remind me. Yeah yeah, I know. It’s really a decent camera. Not me. I like a real camera. And I was photographing the new barn swallows with both – my camera and the iPhone. Ok, I was fooled. But I found it. Good shot. It’s darned hard to get a freeze action shot of birds flying. Believe me! I tried and tried. For a while I thought I had only imagined that I had this shot. Nope, it’s not old age, just too many images and too little time.
My cats like to curl up and sleep in our game boxes. Geez, the boxes are small. They don’t really fit. Why? It’s a puzzle to me. Ha ha, a game maybe. Anyway, I don’t have a ready image of the cats at hand. They also sleep in our baskets. Any available basket is fair game. I came across this slide of Nellie. She’s curled up in a Christmas box. Content. Oh! The top is why I thought of the title for this post. Contrived. Which? I miss that dog! But then there are seven crazy cats in my life now.
What do you do? What can I do? What did I/we do? The Pet Stop is where we get the cat food. It’s local and we try to support local business instead of the big box stores. The local pet rescue lady leaves cats for adoption. They wait right beside the door and this pair grabbed me just like the sisters did about a year ago. A pair of boys, bonded, and wanting to go home with me. They plead their case successfully. Oh boy! Oh my! Oh gosh! Yup! Just like the last time, Elle hissed, and now Feather hissed. They will have to get over it. The twins are staying. Yes, and so too will the rest of the merry band. The “boys” are mellow and just sniffed. They know their rations will not be cut. The kittens are still adjusting. I’ve never dealt with kittens. So this is new. I guess it’s my opportunity to imprint them properly. Can cats fly?
Ray – we named him after Mike (real name Ray) since he will feed when we are away. After all it helps to bribe the help you need.
Nibbles – he bites your hand gently…. no!! Nutley! This cat is simply nuts! Too numerous to count!
Yeah, with a face like this, who could resist? Just like the sisters – Spice and Feather, this pair started in the bathroom sink. They were there for a few days. Then they quickly assimilated into the routine of the house. Yeah! Seven and counting. I must be nuts. I am nuts. The antics are entertaining. And, like kids, you never have a moments peace. We have three sets of twins now.
We have a fence around the deck. There’s a staircase to the yard. The cats can walk between the stiles. One leapt to the railing and slid down the bannister to the ground below. That was hilarious. Free! Nope! Gotcha! I got him back and he (cat) never tried that stunt again. Meanwhile two of our adventurers were out and through the stiles earlier today. I almost missed the breakout. I watch. But like kids, they move fast and are stealthy. And they don’t shout, “Free!” I caught them. They were each at the bottom of the steps at one point. Dammit! They don’t understand that I would miss them. Chicken net! I had some in the garage. Stapler. Done. They discovered the change immediately. There were hurt looks all around. I will see them go over the fence. What’s next? Tunneling is out of the question. I feel like I’m watching the “Great Escape.” I’m trying for peace and serenity. The cats want to discover the “new world.” I’m a brain surgeon. Surely I can out maneuver a few cats.
Epilogue: There are new cats! Yeah, I havn’t gotten around to the new portraits… yet. Coming soon…. and one of the new kittens? Yup! Jailbreak! Leapt over the gate and down the stairs… not once… twice! Dammit! Rediscovering the wheel is tiresome! Like any good parent, you keep an eye on your book, and the other is on the cat about to go over the fence…
A pair of barn swallows built a nest beneath the eve of my garage. They were devilishly difficult to photograph. My best effort got their open mouths as mom flitted in for a brief moment. They did not appreciate my presence. I could only get a shot or two. Otherwise the parents stayed away. They were more patient than I. I gave up and left a good image for another day. The kids got to eat in peace.
Baby ospreys? There are a lot of nesting pairs along the road. They perch in high isolated nests. Traffic passes and they don’t seem to mind.
History? History – looking back. This was among my first efforts at Photoshop experimentation. There are experts who are light years beyond my expertise. I simply removed the bars of the fence. It’s not too good. But it is enough to fool the viewer (mostly). I’m lazy. These days I don’t do too much image manipulation. Mostly, what comes out of the camera is what I use and post. I have gotten a bit better at preprocessing my image. But, one must know what can be done. It’s part of the toolbox. It’s way better to point and shoot. My laziness comes from my dread of time spent processing in Photoshop. Lightroom? I will ‘develop’ as long as it takes for my attention to wane… not long at all. But then again… everyone has to edit and cull.
They’re cute. I think they are cute if you are sheep yourself. Otherwise, one looks the same to me as another. Except – I can tell you that the sheep with a haircut to its neck is a blue faced Leicester. Imagine that! They come that way – no wool on their head to the neck. At least I can recognize one! Ha ha, someone I know also thought a sheep was a sheep and that there was just one sheep. I have come to know that you have long and short hair, coarse and fine hair, and clean (coated) or dirty (uncoated). Yes, they really do keep the sheep covered in coats. They are pretty messy if they sleep in grass, straw, and dirt. I look at a sheep and see all the stuff (straw, dirt, shit) in the fleece and dream about cleaning (picking) it. Cute? Well, if you are the end user – scarf, sweater, blanket – well, yeah! Otherwise I can now appreciate why they can sell stuff for so much.
When do you see geese on a rooftop? It was unusual for us to comment. Backlit, I wasn’t getting a good shot. But there is the benefit of having one goose open his mouth and lift his leg. That at least added some interest. But, the original question remains. Why were they on the rooftop? The one on the left honked and his companion landed beside him. They flew off a few moments later. It was a nice little rendezvous.
I plant tall ornamental grass in containers. The cats think it’s just for them. They eat it. I guess they need roughage. Chomp! They can’t seem to get enough. I’ve got newly mown grass. Ha! They won’t eat the chives. There is catnip. Nope. It’s the tall grass or nothin’
Red grass, green grass, no matter. They make me laugh. I shall depend upon something else to be the focal point in my containers. I’m so pleased they like my garden.
Okay! So, read your manual. Or my manual. Duh! Don’t laugh. I neglected to do so. I was lazy and haven’t refreshed myself since I got the camera. Digital is like a computer. You can unlock a lot of secrets by reading the built-in tricks in the software. Geez! I did some hand wringing recently. My images were not in sharp focus. So, after some adjustment I think I’ve got the problem less worse. I shot a bunch of tests. There were still a high percentage of duds. But I was trying to test the camera. Nikon D610. It’s spiffy and I am supposed to be able to make it do what I want. To that degree, it does. I’ve been shooting way more with my point and shoot Canon G7 so I got out of the habit of looking in a viewfinder.
I have an array of cameras at hand. The iPhone is always in my pocket. A point and shoot G7 goes with me wherever. The big Nikon and it’s big glass is available. The happy medium? I don’t like the tiny iPhone lens. Yes, it’s good but not as much as my Canon point and shoot. I have a smaller Canon S100 too. And a Canon G12. But I prefer the larger lens and image size on the G7. Underwater photography convinced me of the merit of a point and shoot over the potential for heart breaking loss of a big rig DSLR. Bottom line: My point and shoot Canon G7 is about 90% of my shooting these days. TMI!