Spring Moves Fast, Like A Cat

Violet Intensity

All these violets are gone now.

Rained on flowers

We’ve had plenty of rain, cloudy skies, and severe weather watches.

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Glorious Franklin

On scarce days the sun lights Franklin.

Early on

Occasional violets quickly became . . .

Well look at this

Profusions.

Everyday purple

I love the bursting messiness of the forest floor. I’m partial to violets!

Dandy Lion

Out in the forest our one dandelion is now also gone.

Beginning of spiderwort takeover

The first spiderwort in town, a few weeks back. At present the yard takeover is ongoing, which is the way I like things. I prefer the wildflowers to the cultivars.

Where’d the sky go?

Out where we live, the crabapple tree jammed the sky with blooms this year.

Here we come!

They pop out anywhere amidst last year’s dry leaves, they don’t care!

All floaty and springy

Scheming colors make any sort of combo, old or new!

Green scheme

The greens were on their way, even a few weeks ago.

Mr. Cardinal

I finally got his picture! Mrs. Cardinal wasn’t around, at least not that I could see. I’ll bet she’s sitting on eggs somewhere.

Dogwood Emergence

Dogwoods joined the party, too.

Tall dogwood trees decorate the sky

Violets, dandelions, and crabapple flowers are all gone now. Leaves came back and suddenly, sprong! Green everywhere.

Sleepy Franklin

Franklin’s having a snooze! He’ll feel nice and refreshed later while he’s getting into everything.

Wisteria was slower this year, those pictures are still in the camera. They won’t be quite like past wisteria:

Wowza wild wisteria, 2015

Again I’m sorry to have not gotten around to comment on other blogs as much as I’d like to. I haven’t been too well. There have been so many severe weather watches! They drain my time and energy because I have to make preparations, shut down the computer due to electrical storms, keep up with changing weather conditions at every moment, and try to alert others through social media. Spring is beautiful but . . . I feel rained on.

Anyways, Happy Earth Day! Coming up, more Franklin and spring; now with iris, the current wave of wisteria, and oh my, all that green!

Posted in black cats, Cats, Nature | Tagged , , , , , | 48 Comments

We Have Spring! And Before That . . .

Crabby Apples (not really)

Spring’s here . . . and has been for awhile. I first noticed these blooms on February 27th. The tree is a crabapple as near as I can tell. The flowers change after the initial magenta buds open and they’re staying for a long time this year, through wind and cold. These pictures were taken March 5th.

They have the right idea!

It’s always the first tree to bloom but still, this crept up on us. I’d have expected them about late March-April-ish.

Angling in on the Violet

We saw the first violet on February 27th too, but these pictures were taken in early March.

Violets have many tricks

Wild violets are some of my favorites.

Suddenly, more!

First dandelion

First and only dandelion, seen on March 8th. This was in the middle of the road; we don’t usually see them in the woods. We’d love to have more, they’re good for bees!

Visitor bird

To give a sense of what happened on February 10th using very bad pictures, about fifty Cedar Waxwings came for the berries. They were fluttering and tweeting throughout the trees for just one day.

So nice visiting with these birdies!

Two cardinals, a male and a female, showed up later in February. The pictures I took of them were even worse than these, lol. We see flashes of them through the leaves, which are slowly sneaking back. The two cardinals may be nesting, another sign of spring!

Trees in February:

Looking up

Sky antics

Trees in January:

There’s more coming soon!

Your everyday winter pine

Frankie, suave and long-legged

Non-editing cat Franklin. He’s a good kitty boy, he just doesn’t edit.

Water’s up quite a bit!

And, there it goes!

After lots of rain in January, a slight flood with more turbulence than you see in the pictures.

And, don’t tell anyone but I forgot to include this in my last autumn post. Seems like we were just here yesterday, time moves so much faster than I do now:

Busy light

The woods looked like this during that long-ago season that doesn’t even feel distant to me yet:

Spots of brightness in the canopy

Stay tuned, we’re only in the beginning phase of spring and it’s changing fast.

Posted in Cats, Creeks, Nature | Tagged , , , , | 65 Comments

Franklin’s All Cat Post

Franklin the Magnificent

Looking mightily pleased with himself, climbing expert Franklin easily ascends to the top of an old speaker. He was inspired in this quest by squirrels on the roof.

Hey there Franklin!

He’s just packed with energy, the most active young cat we’ve ever encountered, and we’ve known a few. He’s getting into everything and he’s scary smart. One night after turning in, I heard cellophane rattling all over the kitchen floor. I had no doubt it was propelled by Franklin, so I got up, took an individually wrapped biscuit away from him, and stashed it away. I’m not sure he really wanted to eat it, since the ingredients were wheat and two kinds of nuts, but a few minutes later I heard the same sound. Getting up again, I took yet another biscuit from him. Now I knew he had a source, so I walked towards the computer table, where I expected my husband might have left the open box. I heard Franklin’s paw sounds making a fast dash to the place he’d knocked it to the floor; he knew exactly where he’d left his goodies and had come to prevent me from taking them. He’d also known to wait until we turned in before snagging these. Smooth! Opposable thumbs saved us from a night of noisy, crackling plastic. The cat did look crestfallen, and I felt bad about spoiling his fun. He has plenty of toy mice, though.

Franklin stretching and rolling

Frankie’s a twisty kitty! When we first got him in off the streets he was really thin. Now, still lithe and limber, he’s gaining weight fast.

Franklin replies, “Well how do ya think I got up here?!”

Franklin and his shadow survey his realm.

Frankie cools his heels after a day of vigorous exploration

Franklin has cattitude galore!

Franklin keeps track

Even when resting, Franklin always knows what’s going on around him!

Franklin at rest, sort of

Franklin flexes that long, strong foreleg. It might be okay to settle down for a moment, he’s thinking.

Sweet Ultraviolet

I still miss this little Ultraviolet sprite, now at the Rainbow Bridge, so much.

“Snort! That ain’t me! It’s my solo post! RAWR!” says Franklin.

Lanky Frankie the panther

“It’s called a cameo appearance. I’ll explain later. And here’s another of you.”

“OK purrrrr. I think.”

Posted in black cats, Cats | Tagged , | 76 Comments

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.

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