Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day for Cats

Leo is hanging around the house a lot more since his shave and dental work.  He and fuzzy kitty will play for hours, or until Leo has had enough.  Like most adults, he tires of the play before the little one does.  I've captured a few moments of these two together, plus fuzzy kitty showing us some new ways to truly relax at the bottom.  He is incredibly relaxed and trusting - really craves human interaction and, amazingly enough for a cat, loves to have his belly scratched (no claws)!  With him around, you need no other entertainment ever.
Fuzzy loves to hang out with both Leo and Murphy.  We woke up this morning to find him on the floor sleeping next to Murph!
As you can see, fuzzy has developed relaxing to a very high art - don't you wish you could relax and sleep like this??

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday Uinta visit

Murph and I went up Mill Hollow road fairly early this morning.  To get there you go through Kamas, and then Frances.  The Sandhill cranes were eating out in a field in Frances - just there!  The universe provides and you need to listen.
Young buck running up a hollow; Murphy in the mass of wildflowers, streams and light and shadow - and vastness all around, more than the mind can take in.  Here we go!!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Leo's ordeal!

So, say you are the biggest, meanest cat around the neighborhood. Then one day your parents do something and all of a sudden you look pretty silly.  They say it is for your own good, but who can believe them!! 
Leo lost 10 teeth during his dental cleaning - but kept his canines.  Dr said he had to be miserable with all the abscesses and decay in the teeth.  So perhaps he will be a kinder, gentler Leo?????  We also had him shaved, because his long hair was so matted we could not take care of it.  Doc said that she thought there were some things growing in those matts :-)
So here he is - recovered very quickly and is off doing his normal things, but seems (very subjective) gentler.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Other views

Sometimes color can be overwhelming to me, and I want to just see the forms.  Then I switch to B&W or sepia of some type.  Sometimes I want to capture the simpler things, not quite so dramatic as the day lily's can be so I look for the raspberries.  Sometimes drama is the way to go - color against a dark background.  And finally, the saturation of being surrounded with a color like green - soothing and cool on a hot summer day.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lion in tree!

Who needs to go to Africa when the lion climbs the tree in your own backyard?  Frankie is getting very adventurous and he climbed this six foot tall young willow yesterday.  Once at the top, he had no idea of how to get down!
The branches are all interlaced and drooping, but are very thin.  So he wiggled back and forth until I picked him up.  Then he did it one more time, and I let him struggle for a while before picking him up.  Now he only goes about a foot up the trunk and turns around :-)

Wonder what he will be up to next?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Cinammon Bear!

We drove Hell's Backbone Trail yesterday - finally after 20+ years completed a journey begun quite a while ago and aborted due to slushy, muddy roads in July that had us sliding towards the edge!  Much wonderful scenery and places to stop and relax, including the Blue Spruce campground.  But the highlight of the trip was spotting the above cinnamon bear!
Although only traveling about 25mph, trying to stop quickly on a gravel road while reaching for my camera and keeping and eye on the bear taxed my multi-tasking capabilities!  The shot above was the only head shot he/she allowed - the others were of the butt, ears and feet.
The bear looks small in the photo's but we both approximated his weight around 200lbs.  Very cute and an incredible treat for our trip!

Look at his cool paw pad in the picture on the right!  And in both pictures his ears are back focused on listening to us!

The ears - love them.  He looked cuddly but not, I'm sure.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Road Trip

Diana, Murphy and I are on a 4 day road trip – wandering through parts of Utah that we haven’t been to or that we love!  Friday we stayed at a very eclectic inn in Sterling, UT.  The kids that stay there call it the Haunted House!  It was perfect for Murph, tho’, as our place was separate and he could run around and wallow in the stream to his heart’s content.  We caught the sunset over the west and the sun reflections on the eastern hills.

The next morning we had breakfast, then took a hike partway around a reservoir just a little ways away.  The horses below watched us come and a couple walked over to the fence but we did not have treats for them ;-(

The water along the shore had this wonderful green tinge to it – very mysterious and beautiful. 

We’re in Boulder now, staying at Boulder mountain inn, a favorite of ours.  It is a very relaxing place, with dinner last night at Hell’s Backbone Grill, accompanied by Jezebel, the resident kitty.  So we got our kitty fix a little with her.  We eat out on the deck, she sits on the railing next to our table and we listen to the water dripping in the fountains.  Bliss.

Took Murph for a walk last night and caught a couple of sunset-cloud-sky shots.  Lots of mosquitos – reminds me of Minnesota.  Male and female bluebirds flew around us – hard to catch with the camera as they don’t want to sit still. 

Will probably drive Hell’s Backbone trail today – take a picnic lunch and hang out.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Within the frame

Part of my process of learning to take photographs, is to practice what I have been taught.  In this case, it was from a film photographer (since echoed in many other readings), who stated that you, as the photographer, are totally responsible for everything in the frame/viewfinder/picture.  This includes all the extraneous stuff that often we do not see until looking at the picture on the screen, and sometimes not even then.
Working with this theme, I present two pictures of the same subject below.  One has the extraneous and - for me - distracting grasses that were present in the frame.  The grasses have been removed from the second, allowing the focus to be entirely on the subject and it's play with light. 

I hadn't been aware of the impact that the distraction has until I put these two side by side.  I felt my eyes continuing to wander to the light colored grass in the first one; but they rested peacefully on the flowers in the right one.

So much to learn and experience - what an incredible trip this is.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Color, color, color

Surrounded by an unrelenting richness of color, our yard is full of opportunities.  

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The big and the little

Murphy is 5 + years old and weighs about 92 pounds.  Frankie is about 9 weeks old and weighs maybe a pound.  Here's how they look together - and Frankie is fearless.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Frankie and Leo

We get lots of questions regarding how Leo, the older and bigger cat, and Frankie coexist.  The answer is, quite well. From a human perspective, it seems that Leo has taken the role of big brother, and, in addition to playing with Frankie as the pictures below show, he will let Frankie cut in front of him at the food dish. Never thought I would see that!  Leo often comes in about 3 or 4am and Frankie will get up and play with him, then come back to bed when Leo leaves.
The little guy is fearless - and very fast.  Leo doesn't even try to catch him, probably cause he knows that Frankie will be coming back to attack him at any moment.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


I really hate to post again when the day lily pictures are so wonderful; BUT I happened to see some activity in the plum tree so took my 80-400 and went out to see.  Here's the results - a momma house finch feeding a young one!  What a treat to capture! Then of course, the ubiquitous Frankie, checking out Murph as they hung out on the deck.

Day Lilies Rule!

The season of day lily's is upon us and the magnificence of these flowers just takes my breath away.  The lighter ones come out first, followed by the orange and then the multi-colored or deeper colors. Of course, that could be due to where they are planted, but I like the mystery!
Here's some of the flowers as of today, along with a humming bird feeding.
All of these were taken with the 50mm f/1.8 lens.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A morning of kitten play

Friday is my day off and we spent the morning hanging out on the deck and in the garden, and Frankie was there and everywhere!  So precious and adorable, and yet you have to let him learn for himself.  Murph seems to watch over him at times, as does Leo.  But mostly he is just running around, much too fast for any of the other creatures in the household to catch him!
The day starts early, about 5:30am, and he is up and running about.  Often Leo comes in about that time and they play together without bothering us.  But then Frankie gets back up on the bed and he loves hanging out with his Mom (and she with him).

Since he zips around so much many of my shots are blurry, but so they should be.

He explored the garden quite a bit but had an overseer for some of his journey..and at one point became the one-eyed garden monster!

Then, around 10 or 10:30, he disappears and after a little we go looking for him.  Sometimes we can't find him, but when we can he looks like this - completely sacked out, resting up for some more hours of fun!