Lest anyone forget… (did you ever know)… I miss my ol’ dog. I’ve got cats now. I hate cats. Don’t laugh. I do love them. But, not as much as Nellie. I once told my kids I liked her better (than them). She was the screensaver pic on my phone… till I got a new love (human). Cats are grand. They don’t need to be walked and they are easy to care for. They (cats) don’t come when I whistle. Okay! There are pros and cons. I still love that ol’ dog! This is a young picture of Nellie. How do I know? I don’t. But she looks like a young dog in this picture. Not a puppy, but…
Don’t mention dogs. Now that I have seven cats, they remind me every day why I love cats. I think.
I found it curious that the gull sat on the sign. He let me take his picture. So, I did. It was a beautiful sunny day. I’m glad to see the gulls are following the rules.
Newly hatched – barn swallows. They made a nest of mud and straw and sticks against the eve over my garage door. Daily I would check upon them. They hatched. Of course they did. I continued to photograph the nest and the babies. Finally, I got a shot. Well, I got more than one. There were four hungry mouths. It’s awesome. I got a shot. I’d have liked a shot in flight. I got that done – sort of. The lighting was not great, hence the noise in the image. But hey! I got the open mouth view. It’s as good as you can do and still not be OCD. Happy! That’s me.
Flying? My best shot was with the iPhone. Not intentionally, but, I intended to message the image. And? Then I (nearly) couldn’t the image again because I don’t usually look to the phone for “keeper” images.
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.