Cats Wander Plains After Tornado

Madame Curious, feral of flatland. She’s a gorgeously marbled classic tabby:

Madame Curious has bright inquisitive eyes

Madame Curious has bright, inquisitive eyes

Madame Curious was very observant

Madame Curious was very observant

Madame Curious could do the stink-eye

Madame Curious could do the stink-eye

The tall trees all went down in the tornado, on April 27th, 2011 at 5:13 pm. My late Mom’s cat Tiger was terrified; my husband saw him run out of the smashed back rooms, into the debris mass of branches, trunks, and house bits. Details of the tornado story are here:

https://catwoodsporchparty.wordpress.com/2012/04/14/tornado-on-the-ground-tuscaloosa-april-27-2011-3/

In the aftermath we, as well as others, looked for cats living in the hit zone. We safe- trapped shy cats, hoping to catch Tiger, a former feral. We homed kitties who had no people, but we never found Tiger. The streets were full of talkative humans and their loud equipment for a long time; most cats only came out in the evening, or at night. I’d watch them come into view under a street-light, dark cat shapes moving quickly, on cat missions.

We still hope to find Tiger. We took care of and cherished Mom’s other two old cats, Anna and Good Old Boy, after she passed. I’d like to care for Tiger for her, too. Here is an old photo of Tiger in her house:

Tiger in Mom's house

Tiger in Mom’s house

I’m usually the only photographer on this website; but in this post, some of my husband’s pictures will be included.

When the downed trees and wrecked structures were cleared away, we were left with plains. Now when the wind gets up it wuthers – blows hard with a low roar – all around the house; there’s not much left to deflect wind. This isn’t the heath, but it feels lonely and vast, so I’m borrowing ‘wuther’.

Cats appeared in daytime once the noise level went down. The feral I named Madame Curious first appeared in autumn of 2012. She ate the food we put out, but wanted nothing to do with us. She was ear-tipped, so someone in the neighborhood had TNRed her.

She slowly became more accustomed to us. She would follow my husband around as he went about rebuilding, meowing advice to him. She came gradually closer and began to chillax up on the scaffolding. Turns out, she knew all about masonry!

Madame Curious keeps a look-out

Madame Curious keeps a look-out

High on her perch, Madame Curious began to watch him through the window.

We could now watch panoramic sunsets:

November of 2014

Sunset November of 2014

Sunset September 2014

Sunset September 2014

So did Madame the feral cat.

She's a watchful kitty, that Madame Curious

Skywatching Madame Curious

In 2014 another feral appeared, a big floofer we have never been able to trap, who must have had an eye injury in the past. Tanya Mikulas, our friend living in the front part of the house, named the black kitty One-Eyed Jack.

He and Madame Curious appeared to know each other. They walked around together and she always led him to the food. He was much more skittish around us than she was.

Jack and Madame Curious

Jack and Madame Curious

He would amble far away to be a panther in the grasslands once he knew I was watching him.

Jack wants no company

Jack wants no company

We used food to entice Madame into the house.

Madame Curious chows down

Madame Curious chows down

Jack saw Madame Curious climbing the scaffolding, so he climbed it too. They’d camp there together, or Jack would watch his pal while she sat inside. But he wouldn’t go into the house himself. Jack went away in the autumn; we know ferals will always wander off, but we were still sad.

Jack on the heights

Jack on the heights

Jack wonders, is she crazy? She walked right in

Jack wonders, is she crazy? She walked right in there

Meanwhile, another kitty came, a handsome feline adolescent who was friendly to humans. In fact, he was all over us any time we encountered him!

Porch Kitty, speaking out!

Porch Kitty, speaking out!

Porch Cat would sit for portraits

Porch Cat would sit for portraits

Madame did not approve of him; picky picky picky girl! Because of her differing reactions to two tomcats, I thought maybe she and Jack went back a long way, or might have been littermates.

Comfortable Porch Cat

Comfortable Porch Cat

Madame Curious, a tad grumpy

Y’all … really!

When he started taking over her spot on the scaffolding, we had to feed the new guy at the front of the house. Somehow we all took to calling him Porch Cat.

Young lounging Porch Cat

Young, friendly Porch Cat

Porch Cat had style!

Porch Cat had style!

Porch Cat wants to enter the residence

Porch Cat wants to enter the residence!

He talked, he lounged about the porch, he came strutting right up to us. He wanted to come inside!

Long-story-short, Tanya worked closely with Madame Curious, and became able to pet her; they bonded strongly and Madame became a contented housecat. She also took in Porch Cat, (who needed no coaxing) and other homeless cats who roamed the wreckage and fields. She and her cats moved away after her graduation.

Jack turns around, rather quickly

Jack turns around, rather quickly

Jack returned late in 2015; he’s again extremely shy, without Madame Curious to mentor him. Here’s a shot of his tail as he turns to walk away from me. Maybe one day he’ll warm up to us; some ferals sweeten; others remain wild, and wander.

I long for the inhabited forest this neighborhood used to be. I hate and fear the slightest whooshing and wuthering of wind. I wish Tiger would come back. It’s the 5th anniversary of the tornado on April 27th. I’m not over it, never will be. Adding to the gloom, April 20th is the 6th anniversary of the Gulf oil deluge.

Bud the Patient Editing Cat

Bud the Patient Editing Cat

Bud the Editing Cat likes the general feline focus, but he’s showing me how this post could be improved by replacing pictures of those other cats with pictures of Bud.

Some excellent photos of the post-tornado zone by our friend Tanya at this link:

2012 Full Moon Emerging Artist Tornado Photo Gallery

Posted in black cats, Cat Topics, Cats, Feral Cats, Tornadoes | Tagged , , , , | 78 Comments

Bud Meows at Foster Cat Chats

But the Editing Cat likes to show off

But the Editing Cat likes to show off

Bud’s looking pleased with himself because today, he’s featured as a guest on Foster Cat Chats at this link:

https://quirkycatsblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/31/guest-post-thursday-bud-the-feline-book-editor/

Buddy Foster is the handsome host cat who posts engaging articles with feline flair.

After reading Bud’s own take on his favorite topic, Bud, everyone should check out Buddy Foster’s fascinating website!

Buddy’s person Brenda also has a blog called Wonderful Words Blog, devoted to all things of interest to writers, readers, and their cats. Together, Brenda and Buddy are doing some impressive posting at two websites! Check it out here:

https://wonderfulwordsblog.wordpress.com/category/wonderful-wordsday/

It’s been a joy to meet with Brenda and Buddy online, and today Bud and I celebrate being in this wonderful community of writers, artists, photographers, bloggers!

 

Posted in Cat Topics, Cats, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 40 Comments

Enough About the Creek, Already!

So says my disgruntled Editing Cat, Bud. But Budster, I’ve gone back and worked out a geography of highlights in the 2015 autumn pictures. Phsssst! (That’s what he’s thinking.)

Watery theater of wonders

Watery theater of wonders

Starring details of prior posts are seen within, or close by, this creekside view. Just right of center you see a branch midstream, holding trapped leaves, water sloshing over them; Detail #1. I snapped away at these mad colors and currents. I thought the branch had drifted there during prior high water events, but when this closer scrutiny revealed so many downed branches in the vicinity, I felt that maybe a small tree fell near the creek. You see a long pole up on the shore, resting beside the base of the tree that splits into two trunks and always casts the large, provocative shadows on the water. The oblique shadow of the fallen trunk or branch, which wasn’t there in 2014, extends to the left of the picture. Those shadows and surrounding water wrinkles are Detail #2, which I snapped and cropped extensively. Detail # 3 is along a slightly curving line from Detail #1 towards the right, somewhere within the leaf thatch over the stony proximal bank. There was a spot where the sun glared ferociously off ripples and nearby trapped leaves. The water was low this year, so I was able to walk out on the semi-moist rocks amidst the leaves, and reel in the glitter. To the left, outside the frame of this picture, not far away there was a leaf clump including bright reds against the bank, Detail # 4; which includes riffles set beautifully aglow in the slanting afternoon sun.

This small area provided four locations of high interest, along with other scenes I chose for 2015’s first fall creek post, here:

https://catwoodsporchparty.wordpress.com/2015/11/08/the-heartbreak-light-of-autumn-part-1-the-creek-with-cat/

Nice leaf catch!

Nice leaf catch!

Detail # 1, a mid-range view of the very fine underwater leaf patch, appeared in the “Heartbreak 1” link.

Afternoon glimmer

Afternoon glimmer

Closer view of Detail #1 and Detail #2 above shows how close they really are.

Closing in on the unknown

Zooming in on the unknown

Detail # 2, Just what’s in this creek, anyway? Characters seem to be immersed in the shallows, maybe creeping from under the far bank? Formerly landscapes, now ripe for pictorial invention … the stuff of animated legends about the woods … a mental leap almost like my old mixed media process, in which I used to put down color and then find the figures there, coax them out. Shown in this link:

https://catwoodsporchparty.wordpress.com/2013/09/23/cat-inspected-art/

Except here I have less control … Whoa:

Weird emergence

Weird emergence

Come closer

Come closer

A few steps back ...

A few steps back …

Whew! It’s only the combination of rocky creekbed with shadows, changing as light slants through water …

Detail # 3, not shown in this post, is in both the “Heartbreak 1” link above, and in “Creek Walks” at this link:

https://catwoodsporchparty.wordpress.com/2016/01/19/creek-walks-years-end-surprise-frog-helpful-cat/

Detail #4, also not shown in this post, is heavily featured in “Creek Walks”.

So we’ve mapped our loci of distinction for Fall 2015. I couldn’t have identified these with precision before I went back and studied the long shots. When shooting pictures, I work fast. I’ve got a limited amount of stamina, a short time I can stand up, and walk. I pay no attention to where I am, except to sort what’s beneath my feet, either land (we’re cool) or water (oops we’ve splashed in). I have a tremor and if I’m lucky, I’ll be able to keep still enough for the second it takes the camera to grab a shot.

But wait, here comes …  Here’s the creek after only one of the big rains we’ve had since October, taken December 28, 2015. Wash, rinse, repeat, reset. Enough of my fall highlight chart, already! So much for my handy guide:

High water

High water December 28, 2015

On February 6, 2016:

Relatively calm waters

Calmer waters but more flow than October

All leaves are gone, along with the downed limb that held the bright bouquet. The water is down from gully-washing level, but up higher than it was in October. The big pole by the tree, with the slanting shadow, is still there. The mischievous shadow cast by the tree is still dancin’ …

In a small area of creek and banks, every cubic foot was packed with tantalizing visual treats. What else could I have snapped if I’d walked further downstream? What if I could scramble down embankments like I used to? Further on, the bank rises above the creek and you can’t get really close for a time unless you can slide and step down the steep slope. I’ve never even been across the the creek in the location I’m photographing, to check out the view from the other side. What further adventures are out there!? Imagine the treasures on any of Earth’s zillion creeks!

Natural free-flowing creeks keep us in photo ops and mood boosts. Humans will also like the clean water we’ll be able to keep on using if we turn our attention towards preservation. Here’s my environmental essay about that:

https://catwoodsporchparty.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/tributary-becoming-green-warriors-of-the-red-earth-country/

Phsssst. I’m waiting, I’m watching:

Bud, large and opinionated Editing Cat

Bud, large and opinionated Editing Cat

I thank the editor for his forbearance while I’ve gone on about the creek! He’ll be purring when we get back to feline topics. Just don’t tell him he won’t be the only cat in the posts!

Posted in Art, Cats, Creeks, Nature, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 49 Comments

Creek Walks, Year’s End, Surprise Frog, Helpful Cat

Dream Creek

Dream Creek

Seeking the last autumn brightness, I looked back at October 2015 pictures. I wanted to feast on prismatic waters and bent sunrays. Instead of posting only December pics here, first we’ll go back to some peak leaf radiance to help us get through winter grays! We’ll check out ‘special effects’ we left out of the last creek post.

Bud in deep contemplation

Bud in deep editing contemplation

Stopping the presses to thank the editor for his thoughtful and everlasting suggestions. He’s wondering when we’ll get back to all-cat articles. Soon Buddy, soon.

Leafway

Leafway

One leaf rides high in the float.

Water twists light

Water twists light

Here’s where it gets weird. This is a cropped detail of the water rippling near the opposite bank. What’s lurking there? Only a phenomenon of light and color? I love the multi-color, the flashes of blue, reflected from the sky, riding on the dark shadow spaces. We always think we hear things in the water’s sound. Are we seeing things too? (Yeah I know it’s refraction, the camera picks up stuff the human eye doesn’t see, and mine is set to be a tad extra sensitive to blue. Just having a little fun. Wee woo hoo!)

Currents

Currents

The rest of the picture I took the above cropped pic from.

Last of October 2015, blue speckled leaves

Last of October 2015, blue speckled leaves and pinestraw

The leaves and pine needles are soaked and that moisture reflects the blue of the sky; the deeper water is reflecting the remaining green foliage.

A small tributary, only a part of something much larger

A small tributary, only a part of something much larger

I cropped in closer on this one, intending to examine the mysterious underbank. This was taken right before the picture with all the upper left side color; that’s how fast the light flickers, fades, brightens.

Fading light, mysteries

Fading light, mysteries

Going into the corner of this photo, there really are some mysterious, near-spooky shapes gliding around in that water by land’s edge! It’s only shadows …

Pine straw over leaves

Pine straw over leaves

Sky and trees actually included

Sky and trees actually included

Red accents

Crimson and vermillion accents

Driven to abstraction by sunken leaves.

Shimmer

Shimmer

Excitement

Excitement

Becalmed

Becalmed

 

Looking upstream

The view upstream

All this changed by December 19th, when the husband said, “Let’s go to the creek.” I agreed right away. Bad weather was ahead, and we knew we were seeing one of the last warm, calm days.

December 19th long view, creek

December 19th long view, creek

Under a shifting, partly cloudy sky, the color scheme is blunted but still retains play.

Frog

Frog

Frog, top view

Frog, top view

The frog is camped on a mossy flat rock that has become muddy.

Yellow garnish remains

Yellow garnish remains

Warm December Day

Warm December Day

Last leaves

Last leaves

On December 23 a severe weather watch was projected to last all night and into the next day. That means warm air, with an unsettled feel. Early evening, we watched fast-moving clouds moving in all directions. No one slept much. Everyone stayed on social media late into the night, edgy and restless. There’d been at least one tornado in Mississippi, we knew that much. On December 24th we learned that there had been several, involving many states; one long-track EF4 resulted in deaths, injuries, and shredded homes. Only a few degrees temperature difference in the upper atmosphere, a last minute change, had kept Alabama from having the same factors of tornado-producing turbulence overhead as Mississippi did that night.

So there was a breather on the 24th, and part of the 25th; then another watch was on for the evening and night hours. About the same time we were driving into town, there was an EF0 about five or six miles from our home.  AFAIK so far, it caused only tree damage. Zero doesn’t sound very impressive, but that’s still a 75 mph rotating wind. While on the road I saw a line between dark and light slanting down from sky to ground, but the rest of the sky next to it was darkly cloudy with no defined line on the other side to suggest a vortex. Still … tornadoes are difficult to see in this region. Not long after, an EF2 hit Midfield, Alabama, an area on the outskirts of Birmingham. Thankfully no lives were lost, but many, many homes were heavily damaged and/or destroyed. My Christmas spirit just fizzled away, I have to admit.

High water from the downpours of these weather systems caused terrible flooding over several states. We had no flooding impact, but the few last autumn leaves were no doubt washed down the creek. I haven’t seen it yet. My sustenance comes from nature as is evident from my posts, but there are also times it scares and saddens me.

Photos from the October creek walk are also here:

https://catwoodsporchparty.wordpress.com/2015/11/08/the-heartbreak-light-of-autumn-part-1-the-creek-with-cat/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Cats, Creeks, Nature, Tornadoes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 72 Comments

Blue Skies in December; Sweetgum, Pine, Cat

Sweetgum ready for its close-up

Sweetgum ready for its close-up

A few colorful leaves stayed on, and warm days lingered; a long-lasting autumn actually isn’t unusual at our southeastern US latitude. We had all the outdoor decorations we needed. The forest would not let me go, the treetops kept me zooming.

A whirl of branches, leaves

Swirling

Spot the seedpod

Spot the seedpod

The sweetgum fruits remained high on the trees; most are still up there as of early January. In the “Heartbreak Light” post they were greenish but they are now a ripe ruddy brown. Sweetgum generally isn’t a popular tree, but ours have been lighting up the place over the last few months. The green in the background is pine.

Bud is a skilled supervisor

Bud is a skilled supervisor and editor

Bud the editing cat wants his byline moved towards the top of the post. Here he supervises the sending of Christmas greetings. He has a beef because another cat appears on one of the cards. “Meow, that’s NOT me. Meow.”

Very far up at the top of a pine tree

Sunny day in the canopy

Pine cones came on strong this year! After perusing nature guides and Internet sources, I think this is Longleaf Pine. But LOL, pine identities can be perplexing, so don’t hold me to that!

About 50 feet up

About 50 feet up

The sky - a detail

The sky – a detail

Trees are close together.

In a gold light

In a gold light

Sweetgum spheres still up there.

Abundance

Abundance

Blue invaded by wispy clouds

Blue invaded by wispy clouds

Partly cloudy changes everything about the light!

Darkening and softening

Darkening and softening

Forever green

Forever green

Bright sun lights the leaves

Bright sun highlights red leaves

In January, leaves are now gone, pods are – still clinging to the upper story! I actually found one on the ground yesterday. Pine cones are staying attached to pinetops. Birds and squirrels are partaking of them. I found one pine cone on the path that looked to be chewed up.

Into and beyond the branches

Beyond the branches

I can imagine stepping onto the branches, if I was small enough. I love the density, the thicketness, the branch criss-crossings so tricky to sort, the complicated visual feast. I don’t know if the pictures appeal, or if it’s only my fancy, I just know the sights grab my glance and I’m lost, staring and searching, every time.

Moulting in style

Moulting in style

Flashy ending #1

Adrift in blue, with a light wind

Adrift in blue, with a light wind

Flashy ending #2

Leaves will crinkle and fall

Leaves will crinkle and fall

Well then, flashy ending #3

Leaves take their leave, eventually

Leaves take their leave, eventually

OK flashy ending #4

Beguiling autumn

Beguiling autumn

Stop …

Reds look redder when the sun is brighter

Reds look redder when the sun is brighter

I can’t …

The creek pictures would have made this post too long so there will be a second December post, coming soon. Then I do have to get back to the book …

 

.

Posted in Cats, Nature, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

The Heartbreak Light of Autumn, Part 2; Trees, Cats, Critters

Sweetgum Afternoon

Illuminated Sweetgum

Sweetgum in the Sky, October. More sweetgum later, but first we move back in time. There’s no photo editing in this post, not even the cat pictures.

The light actually changes sometime in August, while we’re still all summery. We’re not watching for it, but one day, it’s amber outside. Very pleasant, but it also feels eerie.

American Beauty Berry

American Beauty Berry

Beauty Berries in September, with a few crinkled leaves.

Pokeweed in August

Pokeweed in the Sky

In town, Pokeweed in the Sky; back in August when the strange light begins. We somehow overlooked a plant, resulting in a 15 foot tall monster. Made some nice weird pictures, but it was freakin’ Rappaccini’s Garden out there. Seriously, don’t go near pokeweed, the entire plant is toxic! I zoomed to take the pictures because even touching it can be harmful. Only birds can eat the berries. We’ll be looking to dig up that taproot, wearing gloves, over the winter.

Density of Pokeweed

Pokeweed

Leaves starting to wither, light glowing gold, shadows deepening. Creeping autumn, in late summer.

Astute Mockingbird

Astute Mockingbird

Unexpected mockingbird, September, about to take a plunge.

Mocker fill up on berries

Mocker fills up on berries

The astute Mockingbird dove right in and dined on pokeberries. The bird will spread the seeds via pooping.

Forest in odd light

Forest in odd light

Photos don’t show just how odd the light really is.

September leaf color

September leaf color

These leaves got an early start.

I named the feral cat in town Madame Curious: I loved her from afar, and always hoped to bring her inside with us eventually. She was becoming tamer, staying inside more, but I wasn’t there often enough to get her used to me; she would follow my husband around meowing instructions. We’ve seen ferals turn sweet before, after a time. I was wondering how I’d manage with a wildcat in the house; I figured I wouldn’t be as fleet and skilled as I used to be if she darted out the door or had a tiff with Bud. Meanwhile, after she became an indoor cat, she bonded strongly with a friend of ours, becoming a lap cat! Here’s she is as a house kitty:

Madame Curious, feral house kitty!

Madame Curious, feral house kitty!

The friend wanted to keep her, and we felt this was a great outcome for our wild feline because our friend’s other cats were well-kept, beautifully taken care of. As sorrowful as it was to let Madame Curious go with anyone else, we knew she was with the right person. They had to move several states away though, so now I feel alone under that peculiar fall daylight, in the yard of a house that had been hit by a tornado a few years back, with another friend moved off and not even a little wild cat to anchor me! I will adopt another cat one day, one who is acclimated to humans from the getgo. I can easily care for lovebug cats.

Beginning colors

Beginning colors

Trees are in a showy skid from lush and bright to sparse and grayed; I’m happy my feral girl’s in a good place but sad, missing her.

Now, terrible world events have broken my heart even further.

Last year's grackles

Last year’s grackles

Back out at the land in September of 2014, a one-day visit from a flock of grackles. They wished to remain unseen, and made sly use of existing cover. I had to hide and shoot from a distance, so the picture is enlarged and unsharp. I saw one on the ground with a berry in its beak and an attitude in its strut. I’m so taken with their iridescent coloration.

Elegance of a thicket

Elegance of a thicket

The lighting of wildest dreams.

Strong branches

Strong branches

I love looking into the thickets of leaves, seeing how deep, how jam-packed this forest really is.

Brightness

Brightness

Brighter than I would’ve imagined.

The catwoods on a quiet day

The catwoods on a sunny day

Party in the catwoods

Party in the catwoods

On a warm day, a leftover lizard choosing the wrong backdrop:

Lizard turning colors as I watch

Green anole lizard greened up as I watched

Sweetgum radiant

Sweetgum radiant

The hottest reds

The hottest reds

Crimson jumps out

Crimson jumps out

Sad that pretty leaves crisp up

Pretty leaves crisp up

The spectrum bounces everywhere

Bounce of the spectrum

Packed leaves of all descriptions

Dense growth in the midstory

Intricate tricks

Sweetgum leaves turn red and yellow

Sweetgum with seedpod

Sweetgum with seedpod

Sweetgum burst

Sweetgum extravaganza

High in the canopy

High in the canopy

 

I zoomed up to the canopy here, saw tiny pine cones, then swooped in closer by cropping to enlarge them. The spiky sweetgum spheres are there too, but hard to see; they were still greenish at the time.

A passing cloud, a quieter scene

Partly cloudy

We saw mostly yellow sweetgum leaves with a few red, sometimes a leaf would have both colors and some green. Now in November, one sweetgum treetop has shed its yellow leaves and is dotted with seedpods turned rich brown. We used to paint those silver and gold for Christmas decorations, and pine cones too. On lower branches green leaves persist, tinged on the edges with bright red. More pictures than I can possibly post are still in the camera.

Back to the creek:

October evening

Ethereal October evening

Leaf pack meets water

Leaf pack meets water

Call me crazy but I like the ways these colors and shapes distort at various magnifications. A week or so after I took these pictures, we had a frog-strangler of a rain. Now the creek is raging, washing leaves pictured here downstream.

Magic reflecting creek

Traveling ripples

Y’all please go back and check out part one of this series:

https://catwoodsporchparty.wordpress.com/2015/11/08/the-heartbreak-light-of-autumn-part-1-the-creek-with-cat/

Budcat at rest

Budcat at rest

The editor takes a much-deserved break.

The forest gets all the credit for taking off by itself this year, nudging me into posting two more posts than I’d intended. This might be my last post for an unspecified while. I have to work on other things over the next several months, including getting my book on cats and nature published. Here’s a link to a description:

https://catwoodsporchparty.wordpress.com/2012/10/17/announcing-my-cat-book-meowyall-a-feline-centric-memoir/

 

 

 

Posted in Cats, Creeks, Feral Cats, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 109 Comments

The Heartbreak Light of Autumn, Part 1; The Creek, with Cat

Leaves and sweet waters

Leaves and sweet waters

Currents cannot dislodge these leaves

Present currents cannot dislodge these leaves

The branch may have floated to this spot when the water was higher

The branch may have floated to this spot when the water was higher

Some of my favorite creek pictures this year were of the snagged leaves above. All creek and forest pics are straight out of the camera, no editing; only the cat picture is doctored, although the cat did help edit the overall post. I have autumnal picture overflow this year, so I’ll try for one or two other fall posts later. They’ll be non-linear, out of sequence time-wise. We’ll go back and forth, in and out, of this light-haunted season in the southeast US. Mainly the astonishing creek now; next, mainly forest.

Magic reflecting creek

Magic reflecting creek

One of a zillion scenes

One of a zillion scenes

Tricks of the slanting light

Tricks of the slanting light

IMG_0886-001

The water travels on

We walk to the small, wild, Appalachian creek; my range-around strength is limited, yet I find a zillion scenes I want to snapshoot. As a painter, I’ll often consider the colors included when I frame a shot. I’ll go for the definitive but also for the abstract; if I zoom beyond focus, if I bypass reality, I’ll take that.

Some softer blends

Some quiet color blends

More softer blends

More quiet blends

Sunlight zigging and zagging

Sunlight zigging and zagging

Light becomes all slanty, oblique, in autumn. We can see the difference, and feel it too. It sparks feelings of longing, sadness; for the summer we see slipping away, for all those we have lost. Family, and so many friends, have passed on. So much ability lost. I could not walk as far downstream on one walk this year. The illumination on failing leaves is so beautiful, I step out to take pictures five times every day. Down here at the creek, the reflective water bounces the light and makes merry. Fall’s a festival, a bittersweet one, but we savor all we can and get a mood boost from watery harmonies, both visual and auditory.

Water sound is light and airy but the dazzle is set on ‘brass band’:

Serious dazzle

Serious dazzle

Sweetgum leaf takes a ride

Sweetgum leaf travels solo

Closing in, chasing the shimmer

Closing in, chasing the shimmer

Borderline abstract when enlarging the dazzles

Borderline abstraction when dazzles are enlarged

I admit to infrequently moving a pine cone or a sweetgum seedpod to compose a forest scene on the ground. But I never mess with the views on the water. I witnessed my husband pulling an entire two-foot broad-leaf magnolia leaf out of a leaf dam to stage his creek scenes! I caught him yellow-orange handed! His photos will make a philosophical point, and I think it’s funny, but I’m never going to do this. I like my creek pics unrehearsed. Long ago I found the tree the big leaf came from, on the opposite bank. I’ve also seen the sweetgum trees that are shedding into the creek. But the tulip tree leaves, I haven’t located that tree yet.

Blue sky highlights in the water this evening

Blue sky highlights in the water this evening

Fallen leaves, pine straw, on blue

Fallen leaves, pine straw, on blue

Featuring: Seriously green dazzle, just out of my grasp:

Electric Green channel

Electric Green channel

Closing in on green

Closing in on green

The underwater and on top of the water, abstracts and semi-abstracts:

Serenity

Serenity

Bliss

Bliss

Contentment

Contentment

Am I dreaming?

Am I dreaming?

You see where we're losing shapes, here

Strong ripples still seen, but you see where we’re losing shapes here

Plain ole sunken leaves:

Creekbed matted with leaves

Creekbed matted with leaves

I see at least two Tulip Tree leaves in the above picture.

While I hope we’ll have many more years, I know we won’t always be here to watch out for this creek. I hope there will always be those who will keep it safe. For my environmental essay about this tributary, and all tributaries, click here:

https://catwoodsporchparty.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/tributary-becoming-green-warriors-of-the-red-earth-country/

Downed leaves courtesy of the forest and its trees:

Our forest is sprinkled with colors in fall

Our forest seen as a whole looks sprinkled with colors in fall

Just glorious

Just glorious

One plant, many hues

Colors of just one plant

Sweetgum leaf with pine straw

Sweetgum leaf with pine straw

Sweetgum leaves can can be found in several autumn colors, and sometimes combinations of colors. Mostly we see either all yellow, or all red. Here, with a tinge of leftover green, the leaf shows off its versatility.

Acknowledgements:

The Bud cat waits to edit on the computer desk. I only painted out the computer to show him off better, not to downplay his role in the posting process. This reassurance helps to keep him purring!

Bud the editing cat

Bud the editing cat

Part 2 at this link:

https://catwoodsporchparty.wordpress.com/2015/11/20/the-heartbreak-light-of-autumn-part-2-trees-cats-critters/

Posted in Cats, Creeks, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 69 Comments