Sunday, November 23, 2014

In the Right Light

All of these photos were taken in September and early October. The lake looks nothing like this right now. In fact it's frozen over, snow-covered and melting into icky slush with today's rain. It looked much prettier a couple of months back so I figured I'd pull some of those pics for you instead. I hope you enjoy them. 

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

They say that photography is all about shadow and light. Of course it is. It's also about opportunity, equipment and a huge dose of luck. But just for the sake of being agreeable, this post is all about light and its ever-present shadows.

brief sunlight across the bay5
This was a very overcast day. I know, it doesn't look all that gloomy but it was dark just moments before and moments after this photo was snapped. The clouds parted ever so briefly, allowing the sun to shine its light - creating vibrant colours and a few dark shadows. The contrast just makes everything come alive.

On a different day, it rained off and on throughout the daylight hours. We counted no fewer than 4 different rainbows between us. Only a bit of this one showed up but it was rather vibrant, and you can see the rain falling from the clouds above where that lovely sunshine fell.

edged cloud
One evening, the clouds seemed to be lit from the side creating a soft pink edge - like an illuminated shelf of cloud.

sunset boat
Sunset on our bay is rarely full of deep, saturated colours because we face east. Behind us is where the real colour is happening but that's blocked by the hills which lie west of us. Every now and then, there's a sunset that must explode with such intensity for those facing west, that its bounce and reflection paints the sky and water of our eastern view. And we're not complaining for one itty bitty moment.

sunset moonrise3
Please indulge me. I can not resist taking image after image when the sky is like this. I'm only going to show you a few. Note how the moon had already risen on this lovely evening in early September.

sunset moonrise6
One more showing the wavelets forming from a passing boat.

sunset moonrise5
Incoming ripples and the moon reflecting on the water.

sunset ripples
And a final close up of the colours on the lake's rolling surface. You can add your own sound effects.

sunset moonrise2
Oh just one more - I couldn't resist. A bird flying through a pink sky while wispy clouds kiss the moon's cheek in passing.

moon2 oct 9 2014
We're oh so incredibly lucky that full moons happen to rise over the lake, directly in front of our door. Here's that lovely glowing orb just before it cleared the treetops across the bay. This was actually the night after the full moon - but close enough.

hazy moon rising7
And here it was the night before, sliding in and out of subtle colours of the clouds. What shall it wear tonight to make its October début?

With a bit of luck, shadow and light can go a long way.

More photos coming up soon.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Creature Feature

Animals, it would seem, are the photographic subject we have most of around here. Whether they're our own pets or one of the birds or mammals which look to us for daily feedings, or those which will have nothing to do with us at all, there is no shortage of creatures around here. Hence this creature feature. I hope you enjoy our critters as much as we do.

Zephyr nose
My beautiful Zephyr. He (along with his brother Skitty) is fifteen and truly hasn't changed much since the day I brought him home at 10 weeks. He's fearful (mostly of that killer vacuum cleaner, unexpected sounds, strangers, a cough, his shadow, his thoughts and just about anything else), gentle, loving and sweet. We won't get into his IQ, but let's just say that his tender heart more than makes up for what might be lacking in that department. This is his kissable nose.

white throat sparrow juvenile2
This little cutie is a juvenile white throat sparrow. He was hanging out on the decorative (lichen covered) bird house outside of our kitchen window. It was through that window that I snapped this photo several weeks ago.

rufie baby
Oh yes, I know. You've met him before. Our sweet little red squirrel ex-regular, Rufous. He pretty much believed that he owned the place. He kind of did. We've not seen him for quite a few weeks now but Noivus (a very nervous red squirrel) and Sprout (or Little Red as Frank calls him) have taken his place.

growing families
Every now and then, through the summer and early autumn, a couple of families of geese would wander by our dock. Sometimes they'd hop onto the shore and nibble on grass. Other times they just peacefully paddle past our place. The young ones were growing nicely. They've all moved on now because that lake is now frozen over (at least in our bay) and it carries a few inches of snow on top. Winter happened very quickly around here. Much quicker than I was able to get these photos out to you in a timely fashion.

hungry jay
The always-present blue jay, snacking on some seed. They're a handsome but very noisy bird. Last winter, they were quite destructive - picking and eating the finish off of our house, in search of the calcium citrate found in paint. This year, we're ready for them with cooked, crushed egg shells.

Benny on the dock
Benny semi-recently got a new collar and he's proudly modelling it for you. Doesn't he look fetching? Oops, did I say fetching? He'll be running off in search a stick now.

The sweet, little red-breasted nuthatch has been a regular visitor to our feeders all summer. They are truly a joy to watch. Even with the snow, they've stuck around and have recently been joined by the larger white-breasted nuthatch.

hey bub
I think I caught this chipmunk in mid-chew. He reminds me of Buddy Hackett in this photo. And you might have to be bordering on old to know who he was.

hunter atop cupboards3
This is Hunter, my son's beautiful trouble maker. You wouldn't think by looking at those innocent green eyes that he has caused my old guys such stress and angst and frequent emptying of bladders throughout the house - but he has. And yet, despite it all, I love the beast and miss him terribly now that he's moved on to Jeffrey's Dad's place where he is the only feline and gets all of the attention he loves and needs - without causing trouble. It would have been so much easier to see him go if he wasn't also such a sweet cuddler and purr machine. In this image, he was lounging atop the kitchen cupboards. He thinks he's a wild cat - see those furry ear tips? Just like a lynx. If he was here right now,  he would be hiding behind my monitor and attacking my hands as they move around the keyboard. My cats do not miss him, however. They are much more relaxed, not fearing surprise attacks, eating better, not afraid of using the litter box and not peeing inappropriately any more. It was the right move but I still miss you, Hunter.

sweet little phoebe
I believe this was a young phoebe preening itself on our front deck a few months back.

flying squirrel cutie
Most nights, we get visits from not one, not two but up to seven flying squirrels. We once believed they were a family - some of them are considerably smaller than the others. Now, I'm coming to realize that the larger, more friendly squirrels are of the Northern variety. The shyer, smaller cuties are Southern flying squirrels which have been making their way up north through the years. They're all quite sociable with one another. This image was taken with a flash and I have re-darkened the eyes in Photoshop.

brotherly love2
And last, but not least, my two boys together, lounging on the kitchen island. Zephyr is enjoying his kitty massage. Skitty is happy to preen his brother. Can't you just hear the purring?

That's all for this post. I'll have more photos for you before too much longer.