Spring Fun with Colors, a Creek, and a Cat

Well I wouldn’t have thought . . .

Heavy rains made the water high and fast. The pictures don’t show how fast it really was. I used a camera setting I’ve never tried before, “parrot”.


I’m trying some new stuff. I don’t know much about adjusting camera settings to available light and using the bells and whistles because I’ve been ill for 25 years. That makes it hard for me to learn new things. The tiny movements that adjust digital cameras on the go are hard for my fine motor impaired fingers. I know my photos have technical flaws. But I have explored using this new (to me) camera setting and hope to investigate more, for fun.

A little spooky

The camera I use has a “parrot” setting that increases color saturation. I’m not sure I like it as what I really want to learn is how to make pictures look more natural, but with deeper hues. I want dark pictures that nevertheless have rich color, and bright pictures with perfect shadow and light balance. Overall I think the focus isn’t as sharp in these “parrot” pictures, although some of that is because these are low res copies. These were taken in afternoon sun.

Our little fluffmuffin Ultraviolet has something to say

(This was taken the old way, then photo edited as usual.)

“The water looks delicious. Why wasn’t I invited?” so says Ultraviolet the cat.

Water waves in pastel

I dared further photo edit one; wee woo hoo, weird!.

“Well you’d be in trouble if you fell in.”

Flowing with purpose

“I’ve never fallen into those artesian ponds you made for me.”

I really should record the sound

(Slightly increased color saturation above.)

“That water was moving fast. And the creek looks small on the screen but it’s way bigger than your water bowls.”

Ultraviolet has an answer for everything!

(Taken with “parrot”, then photo edited. A partially shaded window to our left accounts for the light reflected from her eye. The light is natural, I never use flash with kitties.)

“Ain’t nothing in nature faster than me. I like moving slurps. Very clean.”

Currents with pizazz

The camera always changes the colors and records reflections that aren’t immediately obvious to the eye. When we walk up to the edge the flood water looks brownish gray. Usually the camera catches the blues of the sky, greens of vegetation, and any autumn colors bouncing back from the water. So the appearance of the lavender purple color is a surprise. I think I’ve figured it out, though. Moving water is overflowing the banks and churning the creekbed. So there’s a reddish silt load along for the ride. It’s mixing with the blue reflections from the sky, creating purple. We don’t see it, the camera lens does.

Hey what’s the rush?

You can see from the banks in this picture that our earth is reddish.

On our way

“That would be a great place to walk and sniff and drink at night. I smell the night air coming in around the door and it’s intoxicating. Let’s all go down there tonight.”

Talking water

“Sweetie we don’t walk to the creek anymore at night, it’s too dark. We did when we were younger though.”

Keeping a calm demeanor while scooting along

“Not that dark for me! I know y’all are night blind but I can see into night just fine. I’ll lead us down there. I’ve smelled everything out there, I’ll protect us.”


“You had streetlights in town, this is country night. And how would you know about intoxication?”

Whitecaps reveal haste

“I had myself some good hidey holes in town. I watched those humans kittens at night, saw them when they were studious and watchful like I am, and other times when they frisked around. I learned to intuit their levels of intoxication.”


“Ah, direct observation of student night life.”

Whatever it is, I find it fun


Foliage waves to water

Finding our way

That red leaf on the opposite bank in the first picture is in about the same position as the one I photographed there last autumn. I almost thought it was the same leaf that never faded out, but looking carefully I do think the position is a little different. That doesn’t preclude the fact that it could have been washed there by sloshing waves of rapids water, but it may also be another red leaf from the same tree or undergrowth.

Ultraviolet purring

Ultraviolet makes more sounds now! She’s calling to me in short, breathy musical notes, like soft cat trills. My husband calls them “grunts”. She gets in a “Hmmmmffff,” then settles in and purrs with me. She watches the screen while I sort pictures of her for this post.

I may be slow to answer comments as I’m rather low energy these days. Hoping for better, always.

About Leah

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

64 Responses to Spring Fun with Colors, a Creek, and a Cat

  1. toutparmoi says:

    These colour effects are stunning. Keep ’em coming – when time and energy allow. I’m also fascinated by UV’s vocalizations. During my long life I’ve known super-noisy cats – Siamese, a Havana (originally bred from Siamese) and a tabby who started out quiet but grew to be able to outwail them. And at the other end of the scale there’s been chirpers and silent meowers.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you so much toutparmoi, I’m happy you like the pictures! And I’m glad you are now back to posting. I’ve known some cats who were real virtuoso meowers with astonishing variations, and others who almost never meowed. UV has become a master at trilling and cooing brrrrrrrrrrs and musical oop oop oops.

  2. Chandra Lynn says:

    Hi there, I nominated you for a blog challenge. It’s an easy one. 3 days, 3 quotes. See my blog for details.I hope you’ll join in. I’m actually a little intrigued by what you might come up with! 🙂

    • Catwoods says:

      Hi Chandra Lynn, thank you so much for thinking of me! I feel greatly honored! As you may have read on your site today, I am sorry I just can’t do this right now. I work in super slow motion anyway and have a lot of demands on my limited strength right now. I think it would be fun for the future, though!

  3. College Mate says:

    Ultraviolet is adorable! 😄

  4. Those pictures with the saturation look awesome – kinda like a painting. Would make for great painting fodder!!

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you Milly, I’m happy that you like the pictures! I agree about the painterly aspects but unfortunately I’m not able to paint any more. So I keep trying to learn to take better photos and do better editing, it’s all fun.

  5. We love the pictures, Ultraviolet, they look even better coloured than in realtime, and you just steal the show. You look amazing with the green surroundings 😀 Pawkisses for a Happy Weekend 🙂 ❤

    • Catwoods says:

      Oh thank you angelwhisper2011, Ultraviolet is very pleased with your kind words, as am I. Purrs and head bonks going out! ❤

  6. RMW says:

    I never heard of a “parrot” setting but I think it suits your photos perfectly. What fun! And Ultraviolet is lookin’ good!

    • Catwoods says:

      Ultraviolet and I thank you so much, RMW, I’m happy you enjoyed the pictures ! I wouldn’t have expected the parrot setting either. A friend told me the camera had it, and several years later I went looking for it – that’s how fast I do things, lol.

  7. You did a great job with the pictures. Will you use the new setting again? If so how much do you think it’ll get used?

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you Crystal And Daisy Mae, I’m glad you liked the pictures! I have many more pictures taken with the ‘parrot’ setting and I will use it again. It will be awhile before I can concentrate on this in depth, but I will try to learn more camera options to adjust the pictures and will use this setting along with others. I’ll be adjusting to scenes and light and etc. so I can’t say exactly how much I’ll use this or any other setting.

  8. chattykerry says:

    UltraViolet is looking very healthy and is her coat a little darker? I love when my cats trill and make happy little noises. The stream looks so peaceful despite its fast pace.

    • Catwoods says:

      I love those trilling little noises too, Kerry! UV does shorter and softer ones that usual, a sort of musical “oop, oop”. I think I’ve probably photo edited her a little darker this time so she will show up well without looking too red. She can look completely black and then walk into light and look almost all reddish!

  9. Lavinia Ross says:

    Those are beautiful photos, Catwoods, especially Ultraviolet! 🙂 That is a beautiful area where you live. All my best to you and the family.

  10. Charles Huss says:

    I think the parrot effect makes for some interesting looking photos.

  11. What a lovely post. It’s fascinating to see this wonderful slice of nature outside your house. And Ultraviolet of course

  12. greenpete58 says:

    Back in the day we drove through Alabama on our way to Destin, FL, and I remember the bright red earth. It seemed to get redder the further south we got. Great photos, as always!

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you greenpete58, I’m glad you enjoyed the photos! The red earth does indeed seem to stand out more and more to me. I’m sure it has an impact on the type and life cycles of plants that grow in it but I’m a little rusty (lol) at the moment on exactly what those are.

  13. Beautiful. I can hear the creek!

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you Sharony, I’m happy you liked it! Maybe one day I’ll be feeling adventurous and actually try recording a video and sound.

  14. niasunset says:

    The waves and the actions of the water colours are amazing, I loved them dear Leah, camera and you did amazing images of the creek. They are a painting of an artist…. What a beautiful post you did, I felt myself there with you and sure with your lovely cat, seems so lovely, Blessing and Happiness to you all there, Thank you so much sharing and being with us dear Leah, Good Morning and Have a nice day, Love, nia

    • Catwoods says:

      Nia, thank you so much, I’m happy you enjoyed the pictures and got a sense of being here. That’s what your pictures do for me every day, they take me to the places! Many good wishes and happiness to you also, have a wonderful day!

  15. These are great pictures. I use my iPhone primarily for my photography and there are not the number of settings for editing that your digital camera has. Wish it did ’cause you have done some neat things with your water photos.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words, that little voice! I actually get lots of pictures I don’t think are good with the camera and I’ve never gotten any I like much with the phone. Learning one electronic thingie at a time, lol.

  16. I love the pastel colors in the water, and the motion you have caught! So pretty for spring.
    And are Ultraviolet’s eyes really that green as in the last shot?

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you TextileRanger, I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures! Ultraviolet’s eyes are actually mostly gold but this new setting kind of tilted them towards green. When I photo edit they move towards green too, unless I outline them on a different layer and fill them with gold. That sometimes works well and sometimes doesn’t look quite right either but, I’m learning.

  17. DS Levy says:

    Leah, I’m really “diggin’” these photos! Love those colors — so surreal, yet warm and almost mystical. And I enjoyed —and learned so much from — your post here. You know, I’ve been thinking a lot about buying a small but quality camera and starting to take photos of nature; for one thing, nature is so beautiful, but also because I think photography would help me to focus more carefully on the subject. Your descriptions, explanations demonstrate that to me. Of course, UV is a beautiful girl, and a smart one, too!

    No need to worry about getting back to me here on WP, Leah. I know how hard commenting can be. I’m just hoping your putting your energy into your book! Plus, I owe you an email — I thank you so much for yours! I’ll be in touch soon. I’ve been traveling around a bit, and I was teaching but now (thank heavens) that’s over. So I’ll be getting back to you soon!

    • Catwoods says:

      That’s a great idea to get a camera, DS, I’ve always enjoyed the photos you take! I’m happy you enjoyed the post! It’s good you’ve been keeping busy, and there are no worries and no urgency about getting back with me. I’ve worked on the book but I’ve slacked off some too. Got to work on other projects for the next week or so.

      • DS Levy says:

        Great post, Leah! Say, quick question: What kind of camera do you have? I’m sort of shopping around, know the names — Nikon, Cannon, etc. I’m going to get something that’s fairly easy to use (I’m about as low-tech as they come! LOL).

        • Catwoods says:

          The camera I use is a Canon Power Shot SX260 HS. A friend who used to be a pro photog recommended it. It’s small and lightweight. I haven’t explored all its features and I may be yearning for pictures now that can only be taken with a little more sophisticated picture box, I don’t know. I’ve been happy with it for 5 years but now I’m wondering if maybe the sensor isn’t working properly. There are a few things I don’t like about it, one is that the flash mechanism raises on the upper left corner, which is where I need to grip because I have a tremor. It’s easy to turn the flash off but you have to be careful to make sure it’s off. Otherwise you better have your fingers out of the way when the flash doohickey raises and flashes. Tech and I aren’t well acquainted at all. I think this is fairly easy to use but you just have to become familiar with which places to press bring which options to the screen, etc.

          • DS Levy says:

            Hi, Leah! Darn if I don’t forget to check my WP Notifications regularly, otherwise I’d have gotten back to you sooner — sorry! I’m glad to hear you have a Canon because that’s the model I’ve been thinking of getting. Funny you say about the flash button—I often get my fingers “in the photo” when I’m using my iPhone! LOL I, too, am not on the best terms with tech, which is why I’m sort of stalling about getting a new camera—I don’t want to get something that I don’t feel comfortable using and therefore will sit on the shelf. I do so love the photos you’re taking and would love to get out in our woods up north and see if I could capture some good nature moments. You know, we have a black bear running around up there—I’ll send you a photo via email—and I’d love to get a pic of it! 🙂

            • Catwoods says:

              Wow, a bear! That would be a sight to see! Pictures would be great but please be careful, use zoom through the window of a sturdy building! I’ve enjoyed your pictures from the woods up north before and I look forward to more whenever you do get around to it.

  18. Chandra Lynn says:

    I love the parrot setting! Great photos!

  19. Cate says:

    Hoping for better right alongside you, Leah! “Parrot” is as bright and eye-catching as the name (evoking the bird) suggests. It IS fun to play with the settings and effects possible with even simpler digital cameras these days; it wasn’t so long ago that I was a film holdout, but I am now fully converted. Thanks for the cool post — whatever the setting, your images of your beautiful creek are always magical — and compliments to Ultraviolet.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you so much for your kind comments, Cate, I’m happy you enjoyed the pictures and post. I sort of long for the old film myself, ever since photo editing an old picture and getting much more detail than I expected. Ultraviolet sends purrs!

  20. Lauren says:

    Leah, this is just so wonderful—the photos, the color, and the narrative from cutie UV!

  21. Timothy Price says:

    I love your photos in “Parrot” mode, and Ultraviolet’s views, Leah. Digital cameras and automatic settings give people access to create wonderful images, and have fun with the technicalities without getting caught up in the technical issues dealing with manual settings. Ultraviolet is such a pretty kitty.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you so much for your kind comments, I’m happy you liked the photos! I do enjoy the digital features, but also miss film sometimes. Ultraviolet is very pleased, she loves to be told she’s pretty!

      • Timothy Price says:

        There are elements of magic and craftsmanship with developing film and making prints that is very satisfying. But digital allows you to have a lot of fun manipulating images without having to deal with all the chemistry. I hope you tell Ultraviolet that she is pretty everyday if not multiple times a day. We tell all our kitties how pretty and beautiful they are several times a day. They love it.

        • Catwoods says:

          I never got into the art of making pictures from film but I always admired it. My husband was into that while I was painting and drawing. I recently photo edited a picture from my old film camera and was stunned at the detail from my old basic point and shoot camera. Oh yes we do tell UV she is gorgeous often, and we have made that a practice with all our cats in the past. I’m happy to hear that you praise your kitties also, I know they do love hearing that. Here comes UV to add an approving “oop” and purr!

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