Kitty

Kitty's Bath 6486
Kitty passed away this week. That was her name, just Kitty. 14 years ago she walked into my brother’s family’s life when she showed up at their doorstep. Perhaps she knew that they would give her a good home, even though they were really dog people and also had a yellow lab.
Sure enough, she became a part of the family but still kept her independence. She seemed to be as comfortable outdoors as indoors. She gave happiness to those who enjoyed stroking her and making her purr and received happiness in return.
Kitty seemed to be a very smart cat. One of the things my brother liked about her was that she learned a lesson just once. They had a special relationship, this dog person and Kitty, but the whole family loved her.
When my brother and sister-in-law learned she was sick they did what they could to make her last days as comfortable and happy as possible.
This is one of my favorite pictures of Kitty with my brother and Molly, their yellow lab, in the background.
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One Year Ago Today

Flower Bee

Bee on flower

What did I do on February 22, 2010? I went for a walk in a nice neighborhood on the other side of town. I only know this because I have the pictures to remind me. Sometimes my photo catalog is like a diary of what I did and where I went each day. I snapped photos of plants in people’s yards and the one above is from that day.

There are many pictures on my hard drive that I’ve only looked at once. I enjoy walking and snapping pictures but I just don’t have time to process through and edit them all, or even the cream of the crop sometimes. (Not that there’s a lot of cream… it’s mostly milk.) Occasionally I’ll go back and look at some photos I took several months ago and discover something I like. I thought a “One Year Ago Today” post every now and then could highlight an older picture, perhaps a rediscovered one.

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Learning to Say “No”

1798 Stop in Your Tracks
My son says I’m too nice. That’s part of my problem. I want to help out others and have a hard time saying, “no.” Last night I did say “no” and still feel bad about it. It’s a project that I’ve done for a few years off and on (the layout of an event program book).¬† I enjoy doing the layout and am proud to be able to do a good job with it, but the job also comes with frustrations. One of the biggest issues is the stress that grows as I have less and less time to work on it as I’d like.

I’d really like to help out but know that it would not be good for me in the long run. I wish I had the time and resources to be able to volunteer my time for many organizations. Since I don’t, I have to say no to some of them, even though I’d enjoy the work. I think most of us have a part of us that wants to please others. We feel good if we’re able to help someone out. Volunteering our time can do as much for us as it does for the recipient, unless it gets to be a burden. So we have learn when to draw the line.
The photo above was taken a few years ago near my work. The stop sign had been planted in the middle of some unused railroad tracks. I’m sure it was a warning in case a train accidentally ended up on those tracks. Notice the tracks behind the sign.

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Calm Ocean at Dana Point

Calm Ocean

Small fishing and sport boats can be seen on the ocean just off Dana Point, California. We were there in January on an especially warm weekend. I almost feel bad showing this while thinking of the folks dealing with blizzards in most parts of the country this week. I love California!
The sea was so calm and flat that day – rather unusual, even for California.

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Christmas Dogs

dogs

Christmas dogs

These are the dogs at my workplace: Dutch, Chloe, Buster, and Lexi. We love ’em!

(This is a composite from three shots. Boy! It’s tough to photograph a group of lively dogs!)

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Lunar Eclipse on the Winter Solstice

moon

Moon partially eclipsed

I’ve seen quite a few lunar eclipses, but this was the first that also coincided with the winter solstice. Not that they really have much to do with each other, but they’re both “astronomical” events, I suppose.

I didn’t expect to see it as we’d had predictions of rain and cloud cover for some time. When I left my clogging class in San Jose for home, the clouds were very thin and we could see the full moon through them. By the time I got home there was a nice big hole in the clouds and the eclipse had started.

So I hauled all my stuff into the house and grabbed my camera, 200mm lens, tripod, and heavy coat to spend some time outside. One nice thing about a lunar eclipse is that it can usually be viewed from your own back¬† yard. It’s nice to have a warm house with other comforts close by on a cold night.

lunar eclipse

Lunar eclipse in totality.

Back to the photography… The 200mm lens really isn’t long enough to fill the frame with the moon so these shots have been cropped considerably. It can be hard to focus at night but I recently learned a cool trick. I turn on my camera’s live view, enlarge the image, and then fine tune the focus manually. It works really well! These moon shots still aren’t as sharp as I’d like, but I think that’s more a limitation of my optics. Still, it’s nice to have some of my own pictures of the eclipse.

During a lunar eclipse, the moon appears red because the light is reflected from the earth and must pass through our atmosphere, particles and all.

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Colors of the Season

Colorful tree

Multicolored tree

It’s autumn. That means the trees are showing some of their best colors. Although I live in an area that isn’t known for spectacular fall colors like in the east, we still get to enjoy some. This year I’ve noticed a bit more color for some reason. Perhaps I’m just more observant.

The tree above is near my work place and I’ve been watching it for some time. I haven’t been able to get a picture of it with the light just right, but this one, taken on a partly overcast day, at least shows the variety of color. It tickles me that one tree can have every color from green, yellow, and orange to red in the leaves. The next couple of trees next to this one haven’t been nearly as spectacular. The picture was taken about 10 days ago, and it already looks much sadder with half the leaves left on it.

Fallen Leaves
Here’s where most of the leaves end up – on the ground. These are from a different tree. I loved the glossiness of these leaves, and they weren’t even wet.

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