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COVID California: No School or Anything Else for You

Yesterday, which was when I captured the Featured Image, Los Angeles and San Diego school districts announced that students would not return to classrooms next month as previously planned. Kids will study online instead, as they had been since late March when Governor Gavin Newsom essentially closed California in response to the so-called pandemic. Also yesterday, he issued new orders that start a second statewide shutdown. Most indoor activities are prohibited; no more church services, shopping mall extravaganzas, zoo visits, gym exercising, barber haircutting, restaurant eating, or bar hoping—among many other activities and the business operations providing them.

There is nothing like the art of understatement. From the LA-SD joint statement: “This announcement represents a significant disappointment for the many thousands of teachers, administrators, and support staff, who were looking forward to welcoming students back in August. It is obviously an even greater disappointment to the many parents who are anxious for their students to resume their education. Most of all, this decision will impact our students in ways that researchers will take years to understand”.

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The Urban Pumpkin

Now here’s something you don’t see every day: A pumpkin growing among the decorative greenery-space separating sidewalk and street. My wife and I first came upon the thing sometime last week, while walking home from the grocery store (Smart and Final). Making the same journey today, we were surprised to see the odd round of orange undisturbed. Amazing.

What may not be apparent from the Featured Image (warning: 24MB file), which I captured using Leica Q2: The pumpkin grows precariously close to the street and entrance to a parking lot—on Alabama Street across from the Blvd North Park, which is really located in the less-trendy San Diego neighborhood of University Heights. But, hey, anyone living nearby Smart and Finally can claim to rightly be in North Park. Blvd is real-estate marketing fiction.

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The Cats of University Heights: Hope

SInce shooting the Featured Image and its companion on Oct. 3, 2017, I have long considered adding the tabby to the series but refrained. The mesh on the patio that turned it into a catio obscured too much, particularly given distance away. But like Candor, the kitty earns a place, on reconsideration; he (or she) is the third presented catio cat (King and Jester are the others).

The furball earns nickname Hope, for longing look and my hoping that the beastie still lives in the apartment (unlikely), which is along Carmelina Drive and behind Old Trolley Barn Park. I used Leica Q and iPhone 7 Plus to capture both portraits, respectively. Vitals for the first: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/250 sec, 28mm; 10:08 a.m. PDT. The other: f/2.8, ISO 20, 1/297 sec, 6.6mm; 10:04 a.m.

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Flickr a Week 27c: ‘Lost’

If you don’t know where you’re going, neither does she. Linus Ho presents self-titled “Lost“, which he captured on July 25, 2012 using Canon EOS 5D Mark II and EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens. Vitals: f/22, ISO 250, 1/60 sec, 17mmm.

Many of his photos are composites, and I cannot say whether or not this one is an authentic moment. But the elements (such as lantern and seagull), composition, and storytelling make the posed portrait a keeper.

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The Cats of University Heights: Candor

To the present, we bring the past—and a portrait taken about three-and-a-half months after the series began, in October 2016. I am reviewing and reconsidering discarded kitty pics. The Featured Image, captured on Jan. 31, 2017 using iPhone 7 Plus, is among them. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 20, 1/1808 sec, 6.6mm; 1:31 p.m. PST.

I saw the feline, nicknamed Candor for no particular reason, once and never again—along Madison between Campus and North. He (or she) is the fifty-second profiled furball seen behind either window or door.