Friday, July 18, 2008

Three Silver Tabby Cats

"There has never been a cat who couldn't calm me down by walking slowly past my chair."

-Rod McKuen

I spotted these three silver tabby cats the other day, while I was out doing errands. They are more then likely feral, which makes me a little sad, because they look like beautiful, wonderful cats. I had a silver tabby when I was a young girl, her name was Chloe, and I loved her very much. She was my constant companion when I needed a non-human friend the most. I would come home from work, dead tired, and there would be Chloe to sit on the tops of my tired feet.

Chloe had a strange quirk, as most cats do, she liked to pick at my hair, when I got out of the shower, while it was still wet and uncombed. As I styled my hair, Chloe would sit on the back of the chair and pick through my hair as if she were styling it. LOL. It was a fun routine. Sometimes I would talk to her about whatever the latest hairstyle was and ask her opinion. I don't know... I know it sounds strange, but even to this day I run my worries and concerns past Elvis. Cats have gotten a bad reputation of being creatures detachment. That's not always the case, you get out of a relationship what you put into it, and that's true of a relationship with a cat as well.

My various pets all taught me something. An animal doesn't have the same prejudices that humans do. They don't feel sorry for themselves, and they don't hesitate to try, because failure is not the point. When Elvis was diagnosed with diabetes, I fell apart, while he showed amazing patience with me, while I learned to give him injections. He had to change his diet to something he would have rather done without, but he never took his condition, or the changes in his life out on us. I truly believe that on some level, he had a greater understanding on life then I did, and I really did learn from him.

When I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, just a few months after he was, I felt really sad, but I couldn't look my cat in the eye, and not try my best to take care of myself because of his example. A year later, I am kicking the ass of Type 2 diabetes, and taking no prisoners. I have a great support system in my fur baby. He sees me through the rough patches in life, by doing what he loves to do the most, which is care giving. I am convinced Elvis was a nurse or maybe a teacher in a past life. LOL. He is an amazing cat, and if you could meet him, you would understand what I mean. Folks who have just barely met him, remark on his demeanor and politeness, and more then one person I know has fallen in love with him.

I wonder what these little homeless kitties might have had to offer a potential human friend? Do they possess a sense of humor that would have made this difficult life much easier to live in? Are they compassionate and understanding? Would they have fiercely protected their owner as well as any guard dog? It will never be known. They never had the chance to know what life was like for cats on the right side of the fence. Looking at their outer beauty reminds me of Chloe, and how I spotted her at the Animal Shelter where I adopted her from.

I was holding her sister, a beautiful silver cat, when Chloe poked her head out of the cage, and extended her neck really long to get my attention. The sister cat curled into my shoulder and cuddled me, but Chloe just seemed to have a look on her face that said, "Hey, what about me, I'm a nice girl." It was as if I could just hear the words. Chloe wasn't as pretty as the other cat, she had a strange orange spot on her nose, but she had an inner beauty that I couldn't look away from. I adopted her that day, and she was my companion for 10 years until her death. She wasn't just a cat, she was my family.

I know one thing, after Elvis is gone, and I have had a chance to grieve for him, I will adopt a new little one to take care of, and who will once again fill my life with all the love in the world. That's what they do. It won't be a transitional cat, to help me take the loss of Elvis easier, theres nothing that will ever make that easier. Elvis is the pet you don't get over. The new cat will be a new friend to go adventures with. Someone who will continue to teach me new things about life. A cat in their own right.

"Three Silver Tabby Cats"
San Leandro, California
July 15th, 2008
Late Afternoon

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Martha's A-Z Photo Challenge: "I" Is For Ice Cream

"Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos."

-Don Kardong

It's time for the letter "I" in Martha's A-Z Photo Challenge. It was hot outside last week... really hot... so Alan and I decided to go out for a little ice cream. I don't indulge in the cool, sugary stuff very often. I try to be a good little diabetic, but my blood glucose numbers have been amazingly good lately, so what the heck, a good girl does not live by fresh fruit alone, especially when fresh strawberries are so good as ice cream. Of course it doesn't hurt to ask for fat-free or sugar-free chocolate fudge and whipped cream to keep the naughtiness to a minimum. LOL.

Go see Martha's "I" entry, and play along, it's fun! :)

"I Is For Ice Cream"
Knudsen's Ice Creamery
Castro Valley, California
July, 2008
Early Evening

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ladies In White Dresses

"In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary."

-Aaron Rose

While out with the camera lately, I have experiencing some wonderful lighting opportunities. Last week I was especially focused on playing with light because of our last Round Robin topic, "Morning, Noon and Night." Our assignment was to photograph an object as it moves through the different times of day. I chose to photograph a stationary object, and let the natural light of the sun illustrate how the object's appearance changed. It was a fun little challenge. I am constantly learning new things about creativity from those challenges, and the nice thing is that I think I have brought some new elements to my photography because of it.

Last Wednesday Alan and I visited the butterfly exhibit at the Conservatory of Flowers, and again lighting and opportunity presented themselves. There was a nice variety of butterflies this past week, but the one that kept catching my eye was the Great Southern White. As they floated by, I kept seeing a slight pink to the wings, and then at times, I thought I was seeing a yellow to it. It is a fairly active butterfly, so it is at times a challenge to capture one sitting with it's wings open. But as I said in yesterday's entry about the Black Swallowtail, the underside of a butterfly often contains colors not seen when it's wings are fully open, so I just had to wait it out.

The conservatory is all windows. So, lots of light comes into the building on most days, accept for days when there is a lot of low clouds and fog. Last Wednesday was really hot, but there was a good bit of natural filtering through that inevitable fog. The ocean is just off the park, so on any given day, a cool breeze will bring it right on through. As I fixed my camera on the butterfly, the sun broke through the mist and a nice beam came down through the room, which caught the butterfly's wings in it's path. I was amazed at the opalescence of the closed wings. The wings which appeared all white when open, except for a thin line of gray/black on the tips, actually contained other colors as well, which are easier to see with it's wings closed. It was pleasant to be able to photograph her and all her colors.

A little later on, in another part of the park, I saw a young couple posing for their wedding photos. You see that a lot in Golden Gate Park, and at the various landmark areas in the city. I love having the opportunity to photograph these moments. The couples are always so happy. It's always a pleasant way to spend the day, and like with the butterflies, it's always a nice surprise to encounter one. I chose to photograph the bride in black and white to specifically avoid the ambient colors of her surroundings. I think the lack of color gives the photo an added feel of emotion. A beautiful simplicity. There is nothing to distract from the raw moment.

Both subjects, butterflies and candid moments, take some patience, but that is a good thing I think. I could take a photo of a stationary object and probably do okay with it, but I enjoy movement and natural energy of the butterflies, and the very limited time allowance that comes with finding a candid moment. Both conditions make me think on my feet, and that is a good thing because sometimes I just enjoy using instinct, as opposed to over thinking my creativity. Sometimes a better picture comes from looking beyond the immediate of the here and now, and into the possibility of what could be.

"Natural Beauty"
Conservatory of Flowers
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California
July, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Monday Photo Shoot #29: Black is the Color

"Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions."

-Pablo Picasso

New Monday Photo Shoot #29: Photograph something in black. That's it. The absence of color. It's actually a little tricky, because black things tend to appear gray or dark blue or really dark brown, or reflect other colors.

-Karen Funk Blocher, of the blog, Outpost Mavarin

Meet the Black Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio Polyxenes). Lovely it is, especially when you consider that the underside of the wings of this butterfly are so colorful. But that is always the nice surprise with butterflies, the fact that their markings on the front and back are so varied, it's as if they are wearing a two layers of clothing. :)

Here we have an unusual orchid. The black orchid is a fairly rare plant according to what I have read about them, so as you can imagine, I was thrilled to be able to see one in full bloom at the Conservatory of Flowers this past spring! You can read a little information about them here.


Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Conservatory Of Flowers, GGP, San Francisco

Spring, 2008

Monday, July 14, 2008

Patrick's Sunday Seven on Monday

"A good film is when the price of dinner, the theater admission and the babysitter were worth it."

-Alfred Hitchcock

Have you ever played along with one of my friend Patrick's weekly memes? On the weekends he hosts the Saturday Six and the Sunday Seven. Two Internet memes I have been playing fairly regularly since my days on AOL. In fact, Patrick is one of a handful of my AOL friends who still visits and links to me. It's nice to know I still have a some friends from the old days, can you believe Ellipsis will turn 5 years old next month?

Anyway, this Sunday's edition of the Sunday Seven is a fun one. The idea is to name your seven favorite movie endings! Here's what Patrick says...

How many times have you watched a movie, only to be frustrated by a lousy ending? Maybe it’s time we celebrate a few titles that didn’t end badly.

Here’s a list of, Top 20 Movie Endings, as compiled by UK’s Times Online.

For your answers, all you have to do is list the title of the picture, but you can explain why you like the ending so much if you like.

This week's question:

Name your seven favorite movie endings.

Either answer the question in a comment or answer it in your journal and include the link in a comment. (To be considered “first to play,” a link must be to the specific entry in which you answered the question.) You may include this link in the URL space when leaving your comment, or in the comment itself. As long as it’s there in one spot or the other.

-Patrick K. Phillips, of the blog, Patrick's Place

Here's mine...

1. Psycho

It was a masterfully done, creepy ending that gave me chills the first time I saw it! And every time after that!

2. When Harry Met Sally

Ok, yeah, a little predictable, but sweet all the same. :)

3. Dick

Tee Hee. I loved that banner the girls crated that read, "You Suck Dick," created as a statement for Richard "Dick" Nixon! Don't think for a moment I haven't considered doing one for our current "DICK" Dick Cheney!

4. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

It was a great ending to a great movie, that didn't make up a "what probably came next" ending!

5. The Birds

I don't have to say the obvious... right?

6. The Ghost and Mr. Chicken

"Way to go Luther!" LOL.

7. Breakfast at Tiffany's

Poor old cat without a name... sigh... .

Ok, I know, not too many of my answers came from the list that was compiled, but I have a long, long list of movies that I just loved, and nearly all of them had strong endings. I just had to throw in a few off beat choices! LOL. That was fun Patrick! You have had some really great topics recently, and playing along has been a nice way to finish off my weekend. :)


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Those Summer Days...

"The followed that beautiful season... summer... Filled was the air with that dreamy, magical light; and the landscape lay as if new created in the freshness of childhood."

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Some summer days, have wonderful summer moments...

"Summer is the time when one sheds one's tension with one's clothes, and the right time of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all is right with the world."

-Ada Louise Huxtable

"Montara In Summer"
Montara, California
August 9th, 2006
Late Afternoon