Category: Photo

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Bunny Beware

I invested considerably longer time than typical editing and recomposing the Featured Image. The foreground lawn was flush with sunlight, while the bunny sat stilly in the shadows. The crop puts the rabbit lower in the frame than my preference but better presents ambient lighting—that is within my arguably limited Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic skills.

The portrait comes from Leica Q2, today, along Mississippi Street between Adams and Madison in San Diego’s University Heights district. During our previous 13 years living here, cottontail sightings were rare occurrences. But something is different in 2021—my wife or I see the little hoppers fairly frequently and not at expected early or late day. Surprising timestamp for the photo: 9:24 a.m. PDT. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/200 sec, 28mm.

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Cactus Blooms

I don’t recall where in University Heights—along Campus, perhaps—is this prickly bouquet. The Featured Image, and only shot taken, comes from Leica Q2 on June 28, 2021. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/1000 […]

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The Cats of University Heights: Honcho

When first approaching this kitty, I thought he might be Ginger, who was profiled in the series three years ago. Both appeared along Louisiana Street on either side of Meade—towards El Cajon for the newcomer and closer to Monroe for the other. While the faces bear some similarity, fur markings and tails differ enough for separate identification.

The feline walked uncharacteristically slow—sign of older age—but with sure-footed commanding charisma and presence. That’s why I chose nickname Honcho. I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image, today, at 10:57 a.m. PDT. After he swaggered past, Honcho ducked between a hedge and cottage exterior wall. I returned just after six this evening, when many cats would be out and about as sunset approached. He surprised by being still huddled up in the same safe spot. I wouldn’t have seen him if not knowing to look.

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Return to Sender

I couldn’t expect this. The Postal Convenience Center, located at the corner of El Cajon and Louisiana in San Diego’s University Heights district, is closed—looks like forever. I made the discovery when out for a leisurely walk this afternoon. Signs posted in the windows state: “We Have Moved” and directs customers to 4075 Park Blvd, where their mail will be forwarded. The location is a UPS Store.

A second-hand source says this: The proprietors learned last month that the block of properties has new owners, who will redevelop it. Efforts to continue operations of a business reportedly opened in 1987 ran aground; I don’t know specifics but can guess costs of relocation and starting over on short notice. Postal Convenience Center served locals—many of them likely lost in any lengthy restart. The establishment hasn’t moved, if I am rightly informed. It’s gone for good. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Posy

The sixty-eighth Alabama Street kitty—this one between Howard and Polk—is also the seventy-second seen behind door or window. The Featured Image and companion won’t win awards for composition, but, hey, you work with what you got—and I had seconds to shoot both portraits because of parking cars. Vitals, same for both, aperture manually set: f/4.5, ISO 100, 1/640 sec, 28mm; 9:50 a.m. PDT, June 30, 2021. I captured a photo of Noir, hours later, along the parallel Florida.

This fine feline earns nickname Posy for the natural bouquet of flowers running up the side of the apartment building. The first crop shows off them more, while the other gives greater attention to Posy. Both come from Leica Q2.

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The Cats of University Heights: Noir

Perhaps on some future day, when I walk down Florida between Meade and Mission, this black shorthair will present for better portrait than the Featured Image. None of the four shots, taken at different approaching distances, is truly sharp. Besides, all the clutter distracts from the subject so much that this edit is 100-percent desaturated.

The portrait disappointingly comes from Leica Q2, which I shouldn’t expect to make up for my shooter shortcomings every time. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/8, ISO 500, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 4:38 p.m. PDT, June 30, 2021. This fine feline earns nickname Noir because of its classic posture (befitting monochrome) and for fur color; the word is French for black.

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Grapes, Anyone?

Walking about my San Diego neighborhood, I see food growing everywhere—on personal property and in public places. Take your pick: Apples, avocados, grapefruits, lemons, lettuce, oranges, pomegranates, pumpkins, squash, tomatoes, and watermelons—to name a few. Yesterday’s grape sighting adds to the list, but with surprise. I frequently walk by the location, several times a week for at least 10 years. How could I possibly have missed seeing clusters during past growing seasons?

I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image—and companions that are presented to provide some locational context. Vitals for the first, aperture manually set for all: f/4, ISO 100, 1/400 sec, 28mm; 1:04 p.m. PDT, yesterday. You really want to click the link and zoom in.

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An Independence Day Reflection

I can’t attest to other San Diego neighborhoods, but University Heights has undergone dramatic, observable changes since start of the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns in mid-March 2020. Many of the older, long-time residents sold their homes during the bubble boom and much younger folks—many of them couples with small children—moved in; more new renters can be seen than buyers, and a good number of the arrivals are Northern California escapees.

The question: How much does the demographic shift affect observable patriotic behavior—and, perhaps, installation of a more liberal administration in Washington, D.C. diminishing Donald Trump’s brand of rah-rah Americanism? I ask because this Fourth of July noticeably differs from every other seen since our first here in 2008. Most notable: The significantly smaller number of U.S. flags hanging from houses or multi-unit dwellings and absence from Park Blvd, which is the main business street. Other reasons may include progressives’ success spotlighting the country’s racial wrongs. Dunno, but I can say that this year’s celebration is muted—more so than even during pandemic lockdowns. Also observed: A surge in rainbow flags, which considerably outnumber the Stars and Stripes—that, too, diverges from all previous years.

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The Cats of University Heights: Romper

Happy Caturday! On June 27, 2021, my wife joined me walking by where I had seen Husky nine days earlier. Annie would enjoy visiting the ginger, and I hoped for daylight, rather than twilight, portrait. Instead, a lively kitten, wearing a bell collar, frolicked from under a parked car. He was most energetic and, as such, proved to be a photographic challenge.

The rascal divided his attention between us and two bags of food garbage that somebody left on the sidewalk beside a nearby dumpster. He played, rather than rummaged, about them—upon which he rolled about marking his scent. But he also appeared interested in something, which could have been bugs lured to the refuse. Cats hunt.