Tag: photography

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Happy Halloween!

This morning, I walked up Meade Ave. past Birney Elementary just as the students arrived—the majority accompanied by adults, presumably parent(s). The Schoolhouse is still “in escrow”, and I begin to wonder if anyone will ever buy the place. That the staging furniture remains within can’t be good indication. I say now, for the first time, that the property is across from Birney, and therefore helluva attractive location for families.

Passing each escorted kid, I could feel the vibrant enthusiasm effusing from their little bodies. It’s Halloween! Trick-or-Treat is hours away, and surely teachers will celebrate somehow. So the wait will be short before sugary delights find them. 

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The Busker

Like the Sirens’ call, festive, rambunctious live music beckoned as I left Trader Joe’s this evening. I walked to the car, set in my groceries, and returned to see who could be the player. Approaching, I pulled out 2 bucks to drop in his instrument case.

I snapped the Featured Image, at 6:08 p.m. PDT, using iPhone 7 Plus, opting for the second lens that acts as optical zoom. The choice allowed me to keep distance while shooting and clear way for other passersby to likewise show their appreciation.

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Cali Squirrel Watches

I was mistaken when stating, before we moved into our new apartment, that cats Cali and Neko wouldn’t have as much to eyeball compared to the vantage down the alley from our previous second-floor view. They spend more time at the windows watching birds and other wildlife and less demanding our attention as relief from boredom.

In the front room, along the wrap-around windows, three Katris sets make a cat walk where Cali fixates over a squirrel that lives in a tree just outside. I could reach out and touch the leaves if not for the screen being there (thankfully). The view from my office looks out onto the same street. There sits my Belham Living Everett Mission Writing Desk, which hutch makes a great perch for the animals. Cali will run between rooms when the squirrel moves. She’s a smart one. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Captain Blackbeard

One year ago today, I started this series with grainy photo of a presumed stray I nicknamed Scruffy. The plan was to post pics I had recently taken, and to add a few more, before wrapping up within a few weeks or as long as a month. I had no concept of the number of kitties that there were, or are, around the neighborhood—more than 100 featured so far.

We celebrate the anniversary with Captain Blackbeard, who yesterday evening relaxed on house steps below a sweet, 6-month old girl and her friendly dad. “He came with the name”, the gent said about his pet, observing that the beard is more white. The feline spends more time indoors, but gets occasional outside romps, and he has been with the family for about 3 months. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Tiger

Alabama, along a two-block stretch, delivers yet another friendly feline. These sightings surprise because the street, like a few others in the neighborhood, has no utility poles. Their absence immensely diminishes the presence of birds, which would otherwise perch on the wires. If there is so little prey, why are there so many predators? Even well-fed cats hunt and kill. It’s their nature. (Update: Not only are there birds but more squirrels than is typical; asked and answered.)

On no other street to either side of Park Blvd. have I seen more furballs than Alabama. Among the recent sightings: Goldie, GreyItchy Valentino (yes, real name), and Nine. In the alley behind: Spry. Several others will join the series when I get better portraits of them. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Smokey

Seven minutes after sunset, 6:32 p.m. PDT, on Oct. 7, 2017, I encountered yet another feline on Alabama, close to Meade. The kitty isn’t the first smokey grey in the series, but he is distinguished by having the color as name.

Mystery: The increasing number of cats recently seen on or around that street. Why here? Also from Alabama: Goldie, Itchy Valentino (yes, real name), and Nine. In the alley behind: Spry. On Meade or Monroe, respectively, close to the cross-street: Amanda and Loyal.

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The Cats of University Heights: Dancer

Yesterday, while walking up Mission Ave. towards Park Blvd., I watched a lanky tortoiseshell cross Georgia and gracefully go into an apartment complex parking lot. Her pace was slow and precise, and slim shape and long legs reminded me of a human dancer. Hence, the nickname she receives.

By the time I reached the parking spaces, the shorthair had gone into the building’s courtyard. As I knelt down with the Leica Q, she turned to see me and then strolled back. I almost gave this kitty nickname Kneady, or Kneedy. She received pats and attention for more than 10 minutes; when twice I knelt down on a knee, she stepped in close, put her front paws on my thigh, and kneaded. I got the sense she could be a real lap cat. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Mittens

Texas Street, which leads down into Mission Valley, demarcates one of my neighborhood’s major borders. A few homes back from the throughway, as I walked to Pizza Hut along Meade, a pretty tuxedo kitty greeted me on Oct. 2, 2017. She was so friendly that getting good portraits was next to impossible. Hence the odd selection presented.

We visited for a few minutes before I crossed Texas and started strutting up the steep incline beyond. Then I changed my mind and aborted plans to fetch a $6 three-topping medium pie special. I walked back towards the furball, who had remained on the sidewalk. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Seeker

When I saw this lonesome feline looking out a window, I assumed he must be either of the furballs nicknamed Jumper or Stride. All three were spotted on Campus Ave—this one closer to Madison than Monroe. Obviously, he is another.

I captured the Featured Image on Sept. 18, 2017 at 6:37 p.m. PDT, using the iPhone 7 Plus second camera as a pseudo-2x optical zoom. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 80, 1/60 sec, 6.6mm. He is the seventh window watcher of the series. The others are: CoolGlassKitStar, Still, and Watcher. I chose this kitty’s nickname based on the presumption that he seeks to go outside.

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The Cats of University Heights: Crystal

Around the neighborhood, there are numerous nook-and-crany streets that dead into one of the canyons. Last night, I walked down several of them, for the first time in months, seeing a meandering, slow-moving siamese in one of the yards along Proctor Place.

The kitty approached me, initially. But when kneeling down to shoot, over a low-lying brick wall, I inadvertently nudged a green grated-metal door, which creaked. The furball stopped, but did not rush away. Rather, the kitty slowly strolled across the yard to an open security door and vanished.