Seeing Things in the Creek; Commentary by Bud the Cat

Once you see this a certain way ...

Once I see this a certain way …

The un-retouched photos from a walk on the creek reveal how we might “see things” there. This shadow always looks humanoid, and comes festooned with riffles, dazzles and leaves. Who all’s out there? Who or what?

The longer view

The longer view

Casual personification along the creek. Oops. That’s what the brain does, seeing patterns in clouds or water, especially human faces and forms. I come by it naturally, as they say.



And I’m not done with last fall either, we’re looking back to November here. Every angle, every instant, means another switcheroo. What’s in that water, anyway?

Most pictures just tell of the stream, the rocky stream bed, the sky, the light, the forest. We’re cool that way, too:

Currents weaving leaves

Currents weaving, using leaves

I think I know where this was

I think I know where this was

Rapids in repose

Rapids in repose

Step back:

Going somewhere?

Going somewhere?

“They’re out there,” says Bud my Editing Cat. “What did I tell you?! I hear a cacophony of critters around us all the time. From that sector I also hear rushing and trickling sounds with voices like yours! So that’s what they look like! Let me loose down that way, I’ll get ’em!”

Fun at the creekbank

Fun at the creekbank

“Um, no, not what you hear, Buddy, it’s running water, the harmonics sound like voices; nothing’s there; the rustles and squeaks are rodents, raccoons, possums. You can’t go …. Let’s look at something else.”:

Cowcumber tree leaf, aka Broadleaf Magnolia

Leaf from Cowcumber Tree, aka Broadleaf Magnolia

Detail of leaf pack

Detail of leaf pack

Leaf pack detail, another angle

Leaf pack detail, another angle

A giant leaf and its companions.

“I just want to chase them. Snort, chuff ….”

The pleasing way leaves float

The pleasing way leaves float

“You know that’s not actual size you see on the computer screen, don’t cha? They look to be mouse-sized but they’re bigger than you, and me.”

How does this happen?

How does this happen?

“A swamp thing!”

Autumn centerpiece, just add water

Autumn centerpiece, just add water

“No …”

Now we see it ....

Now we see it ….

“Then they’re sea nymphs! Maybe they’ll bring me tuna, really fresh tuna straight outta the drink …. ”

Large magnolia leaves traveling together

Large magnolia leaves traveling together

Just flow, in a very rocky creekbed

Just flowing, in a very rocky creek bed

Irresistable flow

Irresistible flow

” … Purrrrrr. You see, they’re back!”

“Um … ”



A short time later and it’s all breaking up, going downstream. It’s fun to see them emerge, grab our imaginations, then flee.

“I just personify everything, Buddy, I’m shameless that way. They’re gone.”

Trees near the creek play their part

Trees near the creek play their part

“Aren’t you personifying me? Anthropomorphizing me? I’m still here.”

A sneak preview of forest posts to come. I must now vanish for a time to work on getting my book out, but we had exceptional light in our forest last fall and I’m not done posting it:

Faraway treetop

Not so faraway treetop

“Uh …”

Bud turns and strolls away to sulk, flipping his tail at me.

I was busy indoors, too. This is photo edited, just a little:

Our bright-eyed feral cat, Jim

Our bright-eyed feral cat in town, Jim

I didn’t hear Bud pad up. “RAWR at all that color! Did you slip out while I was napping and go to Mardi Gras? And who’s the Othercat? That’s not me.”

“That’s Jim, a wandering feral, like you once were. And those aren’t Mardi Gras colors, those would be green, gold, and purple. How do you know about Mardi Gras, anyway?”

“Snort, chuff.”

“But you’ll probably like your editor’s portrait this time.”

Bud, the grand editing cat

Bud, the ever-vigilant editing cat

“Ah, I’m cool with that picture. We’ll close with purrrrr.”

For another creek post where Bud and I discuss what’s out there, see this:

About Leah

I'm Leah T. Alford, a writer fascinated by the natural world and animals, especially cats.
This entry was posted in Cats, Creeks, Nature and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to Seeing Things in the Creek; Commentary by Bud the Cat

  1. Claudia says:

    I’m impressed by Bud — he used the word cacophony — I have to look that one up! Are you sure he wasn’t the one taking all the pictures?

    • Catwoods says:

      LOL Claudia, he may well have slipped out and taken a few of those pics! He was a street cat we took in who constantly surprised me with his vast knowledge on any subject.

  2. Tom Merriman says:

    Fabulous post! I’m always seeing faces or creatures within leaves etc. Spirits I call them!

  3. Catwoods says:

    I’m very happy you enjoyed the post about our walk at the creek, azgsgirl! Bud and I thank you for your kind words. I really enjoy your posts and your adventures, and the photos of the beautiful scenery that I’ve never experienced myself!

  4. azgsgirl says:

    I just love these posts, Leah. I keep coming back to them to enjoy the beauty. Thanks for sharing your vision!

  5. We enjoyed the walk by the creek and seeing various monsters and fairies. Thank you.

    Shoko and Kali

  6. says:

    Great photos of the stream!

  7. What a magical place! It makes me want to come out for a visit. Beautiful photos and prose.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you, CatLadyintheCanyon, for your kind words! We do live in a pretty, but very rugged, place. And while we are tied up with book editing and health matters for the foreseeable future, maybe one day, after a year or two, we’ll be able to make the area easier to access for visitors.

  8. felineopines says:

    Hello BudCat<
    I always appreciate when felines wax eloquent about nature. We live in a house built into a hill and one side of the house is pretty much windows. We watch birds, squirrels, raccoons, skunks and even the occasional bear. I think we felines have a wonderful purrrrspective on nature.
    Your Friend,
    Alberto from The Tribe of Five

    • Catwoods says:

      Hello Alberto, and the entire Tribe of Five!
      Wow, I, Bud, enjoyed your description of your house with all the windows; we need more windows, I always tell the humans. Bears, eh? Now they would stand my furs on end! I agree, we felines know much more about nature, and what’s out there in the woods, and at the creek, than the humans do, and I will never stop trying to alert and educate them!
      Best wishes from me, the Budster!

  9. Catwoods says:

    LOL, Bud and I thank you Roxie and Claremary! We’re glad you enjoyed the pictures. I really enjoyed your tour of Rhode Island today, it was just charming! All the best wishes.

  10. Roxie and I loved this. Thank you, Bud. It’s so colorful and Roxie wanted me to find out where the party was. I told her under the water. She’s infatuated!

  11. RMW says:

    Love the combinations of leaves and reflections… so many possibilities of things to “see”… And why is Bud complaining about you anthropomorphizing him? It’s his opportunity to be in the blog post, doesn’t he want the attention?

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you RMW, I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures! LOL, Bud is a cranky sort, who thinks having a voice on the Internet is only his due, and I’m actually just his translator. And, I’m he thinks I’m off a ways, the portrayal isn’t feline enough. LOL πŸ™‚

  12. Catwoods says:

    I have to agree with that, lulu, it’s a good way to weather reality, as well as to keep the mind busy and engaged. Thank you for visiting and commenting!

  13. lulu says:

    I like what we think we see, sometimes better than the reality.

  14. Mary Rowen says:

    Wow! Amazing pictures.

  15. We loved the colours and shapes in the water. The girls would be sticking their paws into the water and trying to catch the monsters that wiggle when the water is touched.

    Thank you for the fantastic water pictures that I am still seeing different shapes in the water. It’s fun.

    Jean, Shoko and Kali

    • Catwoods says:

      Bud and I are so glad you all enjoyed the pictures, and watching for what may turn up in the water, Canadian Cats! I find it great fun also, sort of like cloud gazing.
      Thank you for visiting! Bud sends Meows!

  16. Hahahaha Bud is such a cheeky chappy 😁

  17. chattykerry says:

    I could definitely see the nymphs, wasn’t there a couple of fairies fluttering about too? Happy New Year, Leah!

    • Catwoods says:

      I think you are right about the nymphs and fairies, Kerry! Thank you for visiting and for your good wishes. A very Happy New Year to you and yours!

  18. inesephoto says:

    Beautiful post, and a gorgeous editor πŸ™‚ Have a wonderful and happy New Year!

  19. Deziz World says:

    Meowllo gawjus Bud. We luv every foto of you. Dat 3rd shadow looks like a donkey. We know some humans act dat way, but we fur sure see a donkey. MOL And those green leaves look like a turtle, not leaves. All in all, we find da crick purretty innerestin’. Have fun and big hugs to all.

    Luv ya’

    Dezi and Raena

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you Dezi and Raena, Bud and I are happy to hear your kind words. It’s also interesting to read what you see in the creek, it’s shadows and leaves. Like cloud gazing, everyone sees things differently, in water gazing, and in life; the differences make things fascinating. Hugs, best wishes, and a Happy New Year to you and yours!

  20. catsworking says:

    As always, like taking a walk through the loveliest woods. The highlight of my day.

  21. ^ says:

    Saying it once again, but you definitely have the artist’s eye behind the lens, Leah. Love these photographs! I could look at these lush photos of nature all day – so relaxing, and affirming. And that Bud! Quite the editor. πŸ™‚ And what a handsome boy Jim is! Did I tell you we adopted a TNR kitty? (I think I did.) We found her while canvassing for a friend who was running for office. Kenzie (our kitty) is turning out to be just the sweetest little girl, and she’s blending in so well with our other fur babies. We have 5 cats now! Chuck, of course, thinks he’s part feline. πŸ™‚

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you Deb, I ‘m so glad you like the photos! Bud does sound off, all this imaginary conversation is based somewhat on his actual attitude. You did tell me about the TNR kitty, that is so cool! Some ferals we’ve taken have turned into really sweet cats. We did have five at one time for a few years, and it worked really well. A 5-way balance of feline power … Chuck is doing really well to co-exist with so many cats! He’s such a cutie!

  22. weggieboy says:

    WOW! What a beautiful selection of photos. Well done, Bud, the editing cat!

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words, weggieboy! I’m enjoying your site and your kitties every day. Bud and I are happy you enjoyed our photos!

  23. niasunset says:

    So beautiful photographs you captured, they are all standing so inspirational. Colours fascinated me. And yes, cats, you know how much I love them πŸ™‚ Thank you, Happy New Year and have a nice winter days, Love, nia

    • Catwoods says:

      Nia, thank you so much! Bud and I are happy that you liked the photos! Happy to enjoy cats along with you. Have a Happy New Years in this winter season, and always!

  24. Lauren says:

    I don’t know, Leah, but as far as spotting lifeforms, I think I would be so overwhelmed by the colors, that I would see only trout flickering about. . . .

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