Fall Colors Soothe Us; Cat Frisks Around

Where were we?

Yep, that’s last November. We’re freezing now, though we don’t have it nearly so bad as other regions. Perfect time to backtrack and indulge in fall colors. Franklin Thunderpaws gallops up and down the hall whenever it’s cold. But if we humans tried that, I don’t think it would work out so well. I’d best sit, tracking past leaves and sun, while the cat does the frisking around. (I did enhance that picture.)

Travelers over murk

(This one wasn’t photo edited.)

Franklin in an easy moment

Franklin is bulking up into a bristling, healthy young catboy!

Particles

I enhanced this one. It’s similar to the scene below, but with more color. I usually like more color, but not always.

The old dark

Complications

Streaming

Water Spectrum

Tangles

The above four were color enhanced.

Shy leaves take a dip

(Not enhanced, I like the darker images too.)

The forest:

We’ve been here before

Sweet skies

Franklin, crouching house panther

Second November trip to the creek, when it was golden:

Currents at play

Freaky-streaky

The forest floor:

Crunchy path

Pine straw has a part in this, too

I recognize sweetgum and tulip tree

Stay tuned! That creek’s always busy. And Franklin’s got a thing or two to meow.

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Posted in Cats, Creeks, Nature | Tagged , , , , | 64 Comments

Not Done With Fall Yet; Cat Growth Spurt

Creek running high in early December

It’s January, but here we can have all four seasons in one week. We have two tornado seasons a year, the first in spring, and a second November-December season. A few days back we had warm weather with severe storms possible; there were several warnings in the state. At least one location had serious damage. Now the temperature’s dropping below freezing. So if weather is out of sequence, I’ll just be that way too! While it’s snowy everywhere else, I’m posting fall creek pictures from early December, when heavy rains swelled the creek. Bwahahaha I’ll do worse, I’ll even go backwards to November in the next post or so. After all, there’s that paraphrase of something William Faulkner said, “The past isn’t over, it isn’t even past.”

Mmmmm, colors!

More water, more silt, more sunshine changes everything.

Our bright-eyed Franklin boy!

Franklin is getting longer and leggier. We think he’s going to be a big cat! His recent growth spurt suggests he’s younger than we thought he was.

Enchanting branches

(This photo has been edited to increase color saturation.)

Franklin has let us know that even though he’s having a blast climbing shelves, kitchen counters, and bookcases, he’d really like to get his paws and claws on those real-deal trees. He could attain greater heights and even catch some squirrels, he imagines. He can see and smell these enticing specimens from a front window. (He won’t be allowed outside.)

Sweetgum is fun!

Sweetgum is right outside and is, according to Franklin, one of his favorites.

Orange can be a surprising hue!

High water travels fast

Red leaf viewpoint

Noisy water with no time to chat!

Franklin the Cat on Alert

Franklin informs us he too can hear and smell the creek from inside the house, especially when the water is roaring and even we mere humans can hear it. He’d like to hunt near the water on these cold nights when the air is denser and scents are stronger. We’re trying to keep him distracted with toy mice.

Looking towards the bend, there’s that holly

Dark and delectable ground cover near creek

To be a little more in keeping with the season, the following late December pics are more like the colors and water levels we’re seeing this fall/winter. Cloudy gray days, fast torrential waves, new sand deposited on the banks. I also bumped up the color ’cause it’s just so drab!:

Dreary day!

Rough water

Neither picture shows the water really well but no way was I going any closer. Those were powerful currents.

This next pic was taken on the solstice, December 21 at 4:23 pm. It shows the sort of color we mostly have in winter, very dreary. So hang on, I have more bright fall color for the next post or so, to help get through the gray winter!

Moody winter solstice picture

Franklin meows that he would climb any of those trees — rain, cloud, or shine.

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

Cat and Creek and Merry Christmas!

Red leaves stopping by

Here’s one of my favorite pictures from the November 3rd trek to the creek this year. I love that this creek is complicated and messy, full of old tree trunks and branches that are fallen, or reaching. Stories that began way before I arrived on these banks.

Imagine what might be up there

I used different camera setting here than I used in the post just prior to this one. We always go to the creek on sunny days, so both posts were done in strong sunlight; the exact afternoon times for each picture do vary. On November 3rd I put the light-dark setting farther towards dark, and bumped the vivid setting more towards neutral in most of the pictures. I believe the focus is better and the colors appear richer. The over-glare look is slightly, (not completely though) tamped down. But many of the pictures are too dark – where is my sunny day?

Franklin the smoothie says ho-hum to editing

Franklin is not very interested in editing at this point. He’s a teenager, he likes to run thunderpaws all through the house. When he gives out of steam and settles on a blankie, that’s when I get a photo.

Streaming across

Some shadows in this picture are too dark, it could have a sunnier look.

The theatrics of shadow and reflection:

Epic creekside jam session

Along the way

Your everyday reflecting creek

Leaf matter

Leaves on a spree

The forest:

Slow autumn

Merry Christmas!

There’s a pine tree across the creek and that’s our Christmas tree this year, right where it is. At least Franklin can’t climb this one since he doesn’t go outside! All this color is gone now, leaves knocked off trees by the rain; everything’s bleak and gray. Experimental photo editing went wild here, and I’m not completely satisfied with it.

Franklin as panther

Franklin has the panther-slouch-over-a-tree-branch down. You know he’d climb any Christmas tree he got his paws on!

A fern moment

The forest floor has perks, too.

Upstream – super shadowy version

Here’s what I mean about too dark . . . I like it actually, in a way, but . . .

Lightened up version

For the first time ever, I used some ‘fill light’ in Picasa to brighten a picture.

Edgy but pleasant

A little added fill light helped this one, I think, though I’m not totally happy.

A chat at green’s threshold

This spot close to where the above pictures were taken needed no added light.

Downstream

I believe this creek has been quarried somewhere in this general area, although I don’t know for sure. If you look closely in the middle foreground, you’ll see a stone that has a straight edge and while it’s not easy to see in the picture, the adjoining edge is at a right angle and also straight, which makes me think the rock was being cut into squares. And I know there was a building nearby that had features built of stone from this creek.

Y’all, I have too many pictures for one post! These are just a couple from the November 18th creek visit. I’ll have to make another post soon! Maybe before Christmas, maybe not.

We’ll stop here for a spell

Late afternoon gold

As usual I’ll try to get back and answer comments and greetings as fast as I can but I can’t guarantee it will be soon.

Meanwhile, Merry Christmas!! Happy Holidays to all who have celebrations this time of year!

 

Posted in black cats, Cats, Creeks, Nature | Tagged , , , , | 71 Comments

Creek, Late October

The mystery of the early red leaves

Sometimes one leaf will grab you.

The shallows ripple with casual flair

Unexpected

The water twists rays from both canopy and sky overhead, while downed leaves float around and onward. There’s plenty of color because we still have major green out there although some leaves have started to turn. Green, red, yellow, and blue show up in the currents.

Tilting towards blue

Wild water on a mild afternoon

Once the rapids get going the water moves fast, like cats do.

Just another creek with brilliance

Every twist and turn

The shadow changes when you’re not looking

So now I’m fiddlin’ with settings on the camera like never before . . .  because time, fatigue, being busy, always kept me from deeper exploration. I got the color too jazzed this time! But I figured something out while shooting these and seeing them afterwards, and the next creek post’s pictures will be better, er, well, different. But meanwhile, this way too bright color might make ya dizzy but it’s fun . . .

Feast

Fall usually comes on slowly here and this year it’s at a crawl. Some leaves began to change while others persisted, content to stay green. What factors trigger each individual species I don’t know. After the first wave of turning that you see here, taken October 28th, we got a whale of a lot of rain. The Tulip Tree leaves were changing and some had fallen in the creek. The red leaves of a vine that usually speckle the canopy views of pine made an early, less prominent appearance this year, and then vanished.

Yeah, this is the place. Fall has arrived! LOL

Here’s the Tulip Tree!

The view upstream

Now in late November lots of leaves have been downed by the rains, but the Sweetgum yellows are going gangbusters.  In the last few days there’s been a new wave of color, oranges and yellows, only a few reds; but I still see lots of green outside, too. It’s not so peculiar because the sequences have differed slightly over the last several autumn seasons. I bet it’s possible to trace the causation and someone out there would know how to explain the interplay of elements: weather patterns, the off-beat rhythms some plants go into, the particular sort of tree mix in the particular surrounding forest. In the next post I’ll not only be doing something different with the camera, the forest and the creek will have moved along, too.

Ultraviolet, glorious and sweet

Still miss this catgirl Ultraviolet and the way we used to mull over the creek together.

Franklin settling in the first day

We do have a new sleek little cat guy.

Instant abstraction

Looking close and quick

Until next time

Trees galore!

The canopy soars

Hoping to post more pictures later!

This is the comment I left on the previous post about my hospital stay and still ongoing recovery:

Thanks y’all so much for all the kind and encouraging words! I’m so sorry I haven’t been able to answer your comments individually, but please know they have made a real difference and they mean a lot to me. Recovery has been gradual and I don’t think I’ll get back to being even as energetic as I was before. So with less “juice” to go around, I’ve been crazy busy, but I don’t accomplish much per day because I work in super slo-mo. I’ve enjoyed keeping up with everyone’s blogs and websites and I hope to get around more in the future.

 

Posted in Cats, Creeks, Nature | Tagged , , , , | 41 Comments

Street Kitty Comes to Live With Us!

Franklin is a little smoothie!

“I have a black cat for you,” said the friend on the phone. (The sound of the universe making other plans.) That was the same friend who found our late sweetie Ultraviolet amongst ferals, and homed her with us. Friends all know we have a soft spot for black kitties.

We’d thought we might look for an older settled girl kitty, after a time; this was a young boy kitty. (Creaks and squeaks as mental machinery went, “New info! Please stand by while we do a reset.”)

“Um, well hmmm, okay,” we’re discussing when the phone rings again: “He’s used the litterbox!”

So we laughed, and the next day we brought home the new young cat guy. He’s a live wire and loves to climb! You’ll notice the tipped ear. Somehow Franklin (named for Ben Franklin) had been TNRed. He showed up suddenly and wanted to enter our friend’s house. He was friendly, enjoyed being petted, and would sleep on a lap. He’s still a tad skittish about some things, especially noises, so maybe that’s why he was taken for a feral. He’d been living on the streets and was really thin when taken in, but he’s eating well and gaining weight. The vet also said his slimness and general slinkiness is partly due to some Siamese ancestry.

Franklin is less than a year old, I’d say and so did the vet, so he moves a lot and it’s hard to get a good photo of him. He’s chilling out and making himself comfortable.

Catching Franklin at rest is the only time to take a picture!

I’m still heartbroken about losing this one, I miss her so much:

Our sweetie Ultraviolet, always in our hearts.

Even the cat advocates doing TNR can’t always tell which cats are feral and which are socialized to humans. This will be the subject of a future post about feral cats, and the friendly and abandoned cats they hang out with, like Franklin and Ultraviolet. I’ll probably get to that next year.

Meanwhile, stay tuned. Next up will be autumn creek pictures.

Posted in black cats, Cat Topics, Cats, Feral Cats | Tagged , , , | 68 Comments

Being Away, and My Sweet Bridge Angel

8247UVgrumpy5 copy

Sweet Ultraviolet. Grumpy, or Introspective?

Here is my sweet girl looking a little grumpy. I feel a bit that way myself as I’ve been away. I just spent eleven days in the hospital. I’m home now and glad to be there (although missing my kitty something terrible) and I still have a ways to go before I get back to where I was. Back to abnormal.

While in the hospital I couldn’t ‘like’ anyone’s posts, because on my phone, the wordpress reader just wouldn’t let me ‘like’ stuff. If someone posted a link on facebook, I could get to your blogs that way, if I saw it. I was limited in how much I could do each day.

I’m still limited, and I’m trying to catch up but it’s not going fast. Just wanted y’all to know, I haven’t been avoiding your blogs. I will also be slow to respond to any comments.

Hope to be visiting soon!

Posted in black cats, Cats | Tagged , , | 40 Comments

Goodbye Little Ultraviolet

Our beautiful black kitty Ultraviolet (Little Girl)

We have lost our beautiful black kitty Ultraviolet, also known as Little Girl. I called her Sweetheart, most of the time. We’re heartbroken.

I knew she wasn’t young. Even so, I thought we’d have her longer. Two vets estimated her age to be about 10 last year in August, when we took her in off the streets. So this year I thought she was 11. Many of our cats lived to 16 or 17, and one even lived to 19 and a half. She could be older than 11, my husband said. Still, I felt hopeful because she had a hearty appetite and she was affectionate and cheerful. Her vet check up last year had been good. So was her recent checkup a few weeks ago.

Suddenly without warning she had a severe episode like a seizure, a stroke, a heart attack, or all three. Afterwards she was unresponsive for a time. She miraculously revived and chirruped and purred, coming to us to be snuggled. We hoped this meant she could recover; we made plans to have her tested for various ailments, but then during a sleep that seemed normal, she slipped away.

I don’t think we’ve ever had a sweeter kitty. All day and all evening she would go from one of us to the other, making little “urrrp oop eep” sounds of greeting. “Come up Sweetheart,” I’d answer. She’d jump up, sometimes with a little help from us, and settle in for pets and purrs. I miss her soft chirrups. And, of course, her editing.

Ultraviolet with a knowing look, helping me edit

As sad as we are, I would take an older cat again. I’m happy we could give her snuggles, her favorite tasty foods, toys, comfy blankies, and a safe home in her last year. I just wish we could have had more time with her.

She was so loving and had such cuteness and whimsey about her.

For the last few months I’ve been trying to get the first volume of my book ready for publication. I’m getting closer, but am not there yet. It’s taking a long time, partly because I haven’t been too well myself. I have a very limited time span each day when I’m capable of stringing a sentence together.

So I haven’t had much energy left over to go out and about and comment on the sites of others. I’m so sorry and hope to do better in the future! I do read and enjoy everyone’s websites, and I mean it when I ‘like’. I think of it as leaving a pictorial calling card; I sort of like that idea. But my plans are still to comment more in the future. I also meant to start doing book reviews and I’ve had to delay that too. There is so much more to the book publishing process than I had anticipated!

Once I actually have the book out I think it’ll be fun. But I always thought Ultraviolet would be here with us for that festive time.

Posted in Book topics, Cat Topics | Tagged , , | 108 Comments