Fall Creek, Trees, and Cat, Part 1

Forest, November 2

We went to the creek on November 1 but the above picture is from November 2. Notice that the reflections are mainly blue sky and green foliage.

Franklin, staying comfy while on alert

Franklin stays busy making himself comfortable but he’s ever watchful too.

November 3, reflecting

On November 3, fall tree color was beginning to show in the water.

November 1, beguiling edges

The shimmers

We were there on November 1, when most of the action was at the edges. The creek was running high and silty from several gully-washer rain events. It was reflecting, just not at full tilt. Parts of the canopy looked like this:

Reds were there, a few speckles in mostly green canopies

Glorious Sourwood

. . . and the ground looked like this:

Loud, and unclear

And the water was like this:

First November day of 2019 in the US southeast

Ruffled travels

Even fast and murky, it was haunting:

One of my favorite haunts, keeps haunting me

The next two days we had:

Pond of sky

Drifters meet

Floaters wait

Raccoon tracks were revealed on sandy edges:

Evidence of critters

Frankie the explorer

“Y’all have to see tracks to know those raccoons are out there? Just sniff for ’em, that’s how I know they’re around.”

“You have a better sense of smell than we do.”

“Snort! Yeah I knew that!”

Just looking into the water, on November 2 and 3 we could make abstract art of whatever image fragments were being tossed up from the depths:

Currents we’ve witnessed

Tossed spectrum

Rays twisting through slow waves

Tranquil pine as we left the creekside:

Longleaf-pine-green will stick with us through the winter

Y’all, I have a gazillion autumn creek and tree pictures this year. I can make posts of these for some time. Our crawling autumn drags special effects along its way to winter. Stay tuned because a few days after these were taken, around November 5th or 6th, we walked to the creek and saw this glowing up at us, which means a bunch of even wilder and weirder pictures are within and around this scene:

Glitter fest bodes well

Franklin wants to remind everyone that “our” book – now he feels he had a paw in seeing it through to publication – would make a great holiday present! Here’s the Amazon link, for other online booksellers see the “Order Catwoods The Book Online” page under the banner above.

Catwoods, Stories and Studies of Our Feline Companions


Posted in black cats, Cats, Creeks, environment, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

News from the Cat Writers’ Association and University Art Department

Franklin is cool, calm, and collected

In the last few days two exciting events have lifted my spirits! I learned I am now a member of an organization of cat writers and artists working in various media, the Cat Writers Association, Woo Hoo! Check out the spiffy new badge over to the right! Check out their CWA website! They are also on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

And The University of Alabama Department of Art and Art History published the following link about my book! Woo Hoo!

Alumna Publishes Memoir of Life with Cats

UA’s always had a great Art Department and still does!

A big shout out to everyone who made these two events happen! Both really mean a lot to me and I don’t have words to say how excited I am!

None of this fazes Franklin, who remains astonishingly calm about it all.

In other news, we’ve actually had fall! The pictures are in still in the camera and I’ll get them out one day and post. So stay tuned!

Don’t forget that the Catwoods book will make a great holiday gift!

Posted in black cats, Book topics, Cats | Tagged , , , | 63 Comments

Fall Creeps Along, Cat and I Wait

Sunny and wild

We have red leaves! Got ’em in October!

Franklin wants a word

“I’m not impressed,” says Franklin.

“Cats don’t see reds that well.”

There’s still lots of green, even now.

Currents mess with reflections

“Well I sure hear better, those raccoons really rocked out last night! While y’all humans slept I was on guard, makin’ sure that loud raccoon party stayed out in the woods.”

Today we have a sneak preview of creek pictures. I’m waiting on good working time and more colorful leaves in both the treetops and the creek.

I’ve waited all year to see scenes like this again

Sourwood provides us with most of the reds this year

I had to change cameras after the last one got sprayed by a rogue garden hose. I’m trying one that has a few more bells and whistles but too many may not be a good idea! I know my pictures lack technical finesse; they’re just fun for me, as well as a way to show others the astonishing natural beauty that exists in this area of the country. I never learned the traditional ways of controlling the exposure and depth of field, etc. I’m still mainly pointing and shooting. Learning new things isn’t easy for me.

I was a painter and mixed media artist until I became ill; I like Fauvist and psychedelic color. I see photos that have that quality but I can’t seem to make those myself. I also admire dark pictures taken on gray days or at twilight that have rich color. I want to have more natural light in pictures, and I have the color saturation cranked up in the camera, but I still have to stick them in an ancient photoshop program and twist and slide until they’re bright enough.

The following series of 3 may show what I mean:

Upstream, gray day

The above is right out of the camera on a cloudy day. I’m not sure but I think I had color saturation turned up for this. Anyway this first picture doesn’t look natural either.

Tweaked creek, gray day

I worked on the above photo not only by turning the color saturation up, but by going into color balance and making it bluer. The reflected tree trunks stood out much more after I adjusted towards blue. I like it better but it still doesn’t look natural, not like what I saw.

Gray and extra spooky

Here I’ve made it darker and I like it, the leaf colors really pop, but it’s a fantasy world and nowhere near the light level I saw.

Clouds meet forest

This gray day picture is closer to what I want although not quite there. I still had to bump up the color sat and the light in post processing. Photo editing, along with the slow, creeping pace of autumn in this region, is part of why it takes me so long to post fall pictures.

Here are the red leaves on a gray day but I still had to increase the saturation:

Patient forest

Stay tuned, we will get it done, more fall pictures are on the way!

I have book news! The book now has three Amazon reviews! Click this link and find out what three exceptional writers have to say about Catwoods, Stories and Studies of Our Feline Companions! Mollie Hunt, author of the intriguing Crazy Cat Lady Mystery Series, is the latest one. Do check out her books as well as mine!

Amazon link for Catwoods, Stories and Studies of Our Feline Companions

Posted in black cats, Cats, Creeks, Nature | Tagged , , , , , | 53 Comments

Franklin’s Actual Gotcha Day

Franklin is a confident and self-composed cat guy

We celebrated early in the last post but today, October 25th, is Franklin’s actual Gotcha Day! We’ve had him one year today!

Franklin and our Catwoods Book!

Franklin says, What book? But we know he’s secretly hoping it’ll do well so we can come out with Volume 2, which includes the most memorable event a feline-centric memoir could ever have, his Gotcha Day!

Here are links where you can get it! Links to order Catwoods Book

A lovely card by Meezer’s Mews and Terrieristical Woofs for Franklin’s Gotcha Day celebration

A big shout out goes to Meezer’s Mews and Terrieristical Woofs for making us this card!! We appreciate it!

Stay tuned, the fall color is starting to come in! We’ve been to the creek, and we’ll go again soon! Pics are in progress!

Posted in black cats, Cat Topics, Feral Cats | Tagged , , , | 57 Comments

Franklin the Cat’s October Gotcha! Day

Welcome, Franklin!

Franklin’s Gotcha! Day was October 25, 2018. We were fortunate to be able to adopt a black cat that time of year, right before Halloween. Some rescues and shelters don’t adopt black cats out in October; others say that with strong vetting criteria for potential adopters, this time of year is no different. In this case he was given to us by a friend who had known us for 40 years, a fellow black cat enthusiast. Living in one place for many years can feel limiting, but it also has its perks.

(Black cats, black dogs and other animals, should be kept inside and safe during October; in fact, I would advise that for animals of any color.)

Franklin was an ear-tipped former feral who was friendly. The picture was taken the first day as he checked us out from couch, using the arm as a sort of shield on one side. What a savvy, bright-eyed little guy!

Franklin the Smoothie

Franklin soon got used to comfy surfaces, a reliable food source, and two humans to blink at and meow to!

Franklin with Blue

Franklin prefers to sleep on higher places at times. It might be a holdover from living outdoors, where trees and roofs are safer sleeping spots.

Franklin looks spiffy with orange

Franklin relaxes in style

Franklin does the panther stretch!

Early Spring Franklin

By spring Franklin had gained some weight, and grown up a bit – he was a youngster, a teen-aged cat, when we got him.

Frankie may have some Siamese ancestry

So it’s a little early but Happy Gotcha! Day, Frankie!

Here is a lovely card made by Meezer’s Mews and Terrieristical Woofs for Franklin:

Franklin gotcha day card

Franklin and I say, Thank you so much!

Frankie says, click this link and order our Catwoods book, Volume 1, so we can go on to publish the important Volume 2, in which Frankie arrives!

Order Catwoods the Book Online

Posted in black cats, Cat Topics, Feral Cats | Tagged , , , , , | 98 Comments

Fall Arrives in Patches; Cats Unfazed

Franklin chillin’

Fall is usually brindled here anyway. Now it’s starting, but only in patches. The weather’s still hot and Franklin stays cool on smooth surfaces.

Lonesome yellow

Small areas are changing.

Delightfully violet

Purple Mist Flowers are blooming on schedule.

Determined Shelley

Our friend’s beautiful Shelley, who is quite the patchy girl herself, keeps busy by applying fur to clothing and shoes.

Scattered, flighty autumn

Fall’s there, you just have to look for it.

Excitement galore!

We even have red!

Deep and glorious

The thing is, all these red leaves quickly crinkled up and fell. Weather persons promise rain soon. I’m cautiously optimistic, even though . . .

Leaf fest with Beautyberries

Not long ago the forest looked like this. Now most of the Beautyberries are gone, so something’s happening.

Luscious lavender

Meanwhile I enjoy these Purple Mist Flowers so much, even with the addition of the hubs’ cables of unknown purpose in the yard.

Frankie lounges

The dominant color is still, well, you know.

Franklin with my Catwoods book

Franklin is a Non-Editing Cat but he wants our Catwoods Vol. 1 book to be a success. That would mean we could go on to publish Volume 2, which continues to the times when he came along. He’s pleased that in editing this photo, I chose to make his beautiful panthery fur stand out more versus getting true color in the book cover. (I’m not all that good at photos and editing them.) He has gained weight and looks a tad chunky but the angle and the way he’s sitting make him look bigger than he actually is. He accepts that explanation.

The book cover, with truer colors, is visible in the upper right hand corner of the page. It’s available on many online booksellers. See our new page (page links are directly under the banner) with links to your choice of three online venues.

Posted in black cats, Book topics, Cats, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , , | 72 Comments

Cat Presents: Green Fall Equinox

Franklin regards us

Franklin says, it’s technically the first day of fall, and we are . . . not there. We are . . . still green. Memes on social media show fall pictures with the qualification, “offer not available in (our state)”.

I would say, still green

Skies are vivid blue

We have some bright purples, thanks to the American Beautyberries.

American Beautyberries got a late start this year

Beautyberries have grown more lush since this was taken

Walk back a few steps, look up, and . . .

Pine Dreams

We did have a few leaves that turned slightly reddish late in late August. I had to really crank the saturation up in photo editing to show the redness seen here. That was likely due to dry weather, they turned early and then just crinkled up. Curious timing this year, for sure.

Dry pine needles and a few reddish spots

To see anything that looks remotely like fall forest color right now, we probably have to leave the forest and go look at our friend’s cat, Shelley.

Shelley the astonishing tortie

“Hey hey hey . . . ” says Franklin.

Frankie lounges

“Relax Frankie, you’re the star, you have more pictures than she does today.”

Pine lagniappe.

Evergreen veil

Don’t forget, our book, Catwoods: Stories and Studies of Our Feline Companions, is out now. Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other online venues. In the upper right hand corner there’s a direct link to Amazon.

Stay tuned, autumn is on the way!

Posted in black cats, Cats, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , | 60 Comments