Fall Creek, Trees, and Cat, Part 3

November 17, 2019 Wait, there’s more!

I’ve bumped up the colors but hey, fall is the time to par-tay!

Ever watchful Franklin

The sweet house beast enjoys those slanty autumn rays.

What’s out there in the water? Can we know?

Afternoon forest fling, streamside

A look back to November 6, 2019

We are leafier on the 17th!

The water’s of a mind to dazzle today

Pine meets swirl

Oops, this one is out of sequence and was taken on November 19, 2019.

A view to the creekbed

Sunny and bright

Show-off forest


Trees on November 17th, 2019

On November 18th we had gray skies

November 19th, 2019

On November 19th we were there after a medical trip, later in the afternoon than usual, drawn by the golden light.

Evening things up, late on a fall evening

Convolution of light and dark

Gained in reflection

I wish I had more pictures from this time, from this day, but we were losing the light. It’s tricky to pin down the right moments in the moving tilt of autumn light.

Trees on the next day, November 20th.


Sky show

Leaf feast

Branches keepin’ the beat

Oak trees rock

Franklin has become more of an editor and I’ve had to reach over him to do much of this post. Although his usual contribution is “Stop twitching, would you just keep still!? I was comfortable, then you moved!”

There may be another creek visit in the camera, but I’m not sure. Windy nights quickly took down leaves, rainy and/or gray days plus my need to pace myself slowly, kept us from going to the creek since those last times in November.

Now it’s December so it’s time to say, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Solstice, and whatever holidays anyone celebrates at this season of home, light, and change.

My book makes a great gift any time of year but even more so on a holiday, so here is an easily clickable link to Amazon again. Amazon works for international orders, too, but if you don’t care for Amazon, the site of the publisher, Ernest and Hadley, can also take international orders, and the book is on Barnes and Noble and many online booksellers. Check the pages bar under the banner for the online bookseller page.

Catwoods, Stories and Studies of Our Feline Companions


Posted in black cats, Cats, Creeks, Nature | Tagged , , , , , | 52 Comments

Fall Trees, Creek, and Cat, Part 2

November 6, 2019. Leaves!

On November 6 we trekked to the creek and found the leaves had made their appearance, big time. It was all like, Tree Parts Department, what can we help you with today?

Franklin throws a glance my way while on a nature investigation of his own

Tulip tree leaf bops on

Better act fast, we’re moving along!

Traces of forest, as seen on the creek surface

Trees at the house a day before this creek walk

Stay with us, we will have an important environmental message at the end of this post.

Bigleaf magnolia leaf scoots along

Lookalikes in the water

All these colors are gone now. I have a limited activity capacity and I’m slow to do everything. I’m always out of sync!

Some leaves stay at the edges

Ritzy fall colors adorn the creek

We’re on our way

Bright sunshine brings out color on a November day

All water, no solids here

Stones we can step on. Sometimes they shift a little.

I can’t resist the wild, found abstracts

Unreal, but . . .

The trees, around November 11 and 12. One of those afternoons was so bright and sunny it would have made a good creek day but it was so bitter cold I didn’t go that day. I did go later in November and I’ll make another creek post, hopefully next week.

We waited for this!

Sweetgum turning

They changed late, we welcome them

Oak leaf jam session

For Curtis

Happy Holidays to all as those days draw near. Don’t forget that my book Catwoods would make a great gift! We now have more feral cats to feed and TNR, (their photos and stories will be posted in the future). And, the book includes nature and coloration in nature, animals other than cats, some details about art groups, cats, and lots of different stuff! Here is the link to Amazon, and the page with several online booksellers is in the header bar:

Catwoods, Stories and Studies of Our Feline Companions at Amazon

Almost all the leaves are off the trees now. Two windy nights brought them down, along with the seasonal creep towards winter. Everything changes.

I have fun making and posting these pictures, but I also want to show everyone the beauty of the creeks, forests and wilderness near the southernmost end of the Appalachians. Lately I’m concerned as to whether I will always be able to protect this sweet creek. I’m not in good health, my husband and I are aging, friends are becoming seriously ill; and friends in our age group and even younger have died in recent years. Will I be able to make these autumn excursions next year? And, deforestation is happening in some areas around us.

Beyond this small place that I know well, we have so much freshwater biodiversity in our state, and it needs protection. The US southeast has a multitude of rivers, creeks, wetlands, and other waters. Our creek flows into a larger creek, which flows into a river. The Mobile-Tensaw Delta is known as “America’s Amazon”. We have people who are actively looking out for those natural spaces and resources here. We also have many who want to protect them. We may be not always be highly visible outside this region, but we are here, we do exist.

The International Waterkeepers Alliance protects water worldwide.

We have so many Waterkeepers for so many waterways in Alabama I can only list a few:

Hurricane Creekkeeper‘s website with beautiful fall pictures of another creek I know. My own favorite! Check it out!

Black Warrior Riverkeeper

Cahaba Riverkeeper

Mobile Baykeeper

Little River Waterkeeper

All these Waterkeepers and others not listed have Facebook pages, too. Check them out!

So if advocacy for natural spaces is something any readers are into, I just want y’all to know that we are here and would love to be recognized! We too want a clean natural environment, and if you’d like to help us in any way we would so welcome you!

Stay tuned for more pictures, I still have more from this fall!

Posted in black cats, Cats, Creeks, environment, Feral Cats, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , | 52 Comments

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 , , , , , , , | 56 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 , , , | 65 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