Tag: animals

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The Cats of University Heights: Squint

I processed this portrait soon after capturing it, on Sept. 4, 2019, using Leica Q. I cropped, desaturated, and otherwise tweaked the Featured Image—the hope being to create mood that could compensate for shooting situation. Angle to the subject, from the street, and exterior environment looked unbecoming in color and as shot. I then stepped back several months and returned with fresh eyes to decide whether or not to publish. So here we are.

My wife and I walked along Adams around Mississippi, when she spotted the tabby, window warming morning sunshine. Squinty eyes, hence the nickname, is what compelled me to include the cat in the series, despite my misgivings about his (or her) portrait. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 8:43 a.m. PDT.

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The Cats of University Heights: Savvy

I first observed this beauty sometime in late February or early March 2019—and a fair number of times since but more frequently during the past month, when being accustomed to my presence she started approaching for pats as I walked by. On November 6, I carried along Fujifilm GFX 50R and Fujinon GF63mmF2.8 R WR lens, which I sold nine days ago. Vitals for the Featured Image, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/160 sec, 63mm; 8:40 a.m. PST.

Because she sits before a building’s street number, I won’t identify the street—for her safety and privacy of whomever the owner might be—other than that she lives somewhere on the West side of Park Blvd. (That’s a sizable number of possible apartments or homes. Don’t bother being a sleuth.) The frisky feline earns nickname Savvy for apparently being—and let’s hope that she is—street smart.

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The Cats of University Heights: Dash

I can’t recall exactly where in the neighborhood lives this tabby. Maybe Madison, approaching The Point, but there is no record, which typically would be a phone photo to GPS-identify location. There isn’t one. The feisty, focused feline moved along too quickly pursuing something. Many months later, my memory fades. I do recall passing posting a profile, in hopes of a better portrait and identification (from collar and name tag). Waiting is over.

I captured the Featured Image (warning: 18MB file) on June 23, 2019 using Fujifilm GFX 50R and Fujinon GF63mmF2.8 R WR lens, which I sold last week. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/150 sec, 63mm; 12:19 p.m. PDT. The cat earns nickname Dash, for his (or her) speedy departure and chase—given the foliage and time of day, lizard likely.

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The Cats of University Heights: Meadow

Happy Thanksgiving! Our series returns with a many months-old portrait that is outdated. The kitten is an adult now—still quite frisky, quick-footed, and playful enough that I can’t capture a moment better than this one. So here we are, near the end of November, presenting a Featured Image from Feb. 25, 2019.

The feline frolics around where can be found Blue, Blue Two, Chub, and Valentine. The kitty earns nickname Meadow, for the lush greenery that surrounds it. The photo comes from Fujifilm GFX 50R and Fujinon GF63mmF2.8 R WR lens, which I sold last week. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/105 sec, 63mm; 11:09 a.m. PST.

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The Cats of University Heights: Spunky

I can’t say why—because the composition, presented as shot, demands recropping—but this portrait appeals to me as is; oh-kay, I tweaked highlights and brilliance, but little else. Something from the backlog of unpublished profiles should go first, and I typically wait to get the real name when the beastie wears collar and tag. For now, I’ll call the kitty Spunky and move him (or her) to front of queue.

We briefly crossed paths on Oct. 9, 2019 along Lincoln, where it parallels Washington, which the Vermont Bridge crosses over. Along the same street stretch, which is a boundary between the neighborhood and another (Hillcrest), you might also see: CoolDainty, Glass, KittyLittle Miss, or Sky. The Featured Image comes from iPhone XS. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/144 sec, 52mm; 3:55 p.m. PDT.

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The Cats of University Heights: Chums

Among the 298 profiles in the series, nine others feature multiple animals. This one should show three beasties, but I only snatched shots of two. Barely. On June 18, 2019. The group hasn’t presented since, so after long delay—and dashed hopes of getting names from their tags as well as better portraits—here we are.

They’re preceded by (listed alphabetically, rather than chronologically):  Bonded Pair, BuddiesFerals, FriendsGazers, Georgia TwainMates, Siamese Twins, and Twain.

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The Cats of University Heights: Kitty (Oh, Boy)

The house,  editorial style for this series is one animal name, single-use only. But that approach stumbles when repeats appear—owner-given, not something I made up when not knowing the real one. Consider Charlies One, Two, Three, and Four as nomenclature nightmare examples. That brings us to our second Kitty, and gender switcheroo—the other being female.

I met Kitty and his owner on Sept. 9, 2019, while walking along Lincoln, between Maryland and Vermont, from the grocery store. He has been with her for about three years—and, if I rightly recall, the Tuxedo was abandoned by someone (or some family) who moved out of the neighborhood. Funny how these cat sightings are: I began this series around the same time the owner started caring for Kitty, and I have walked by the property many dozens of times since without seeing him. No wonder the number of furballs is seemingly constant.

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The Cats of University Heights: Namaste

On Sept. 11, 2019, setting out for a reminiscent walk recollecting the national calamity 18 years earlier, I consciously chose to leave behind a digital camera. The decision meant unexpectedly using iPhone XS to take portraits of Namaste, stretched out and shaded under a car. Grumble. I have returned since, several times, but the kitty hasn’t re-presented for better-quality shot.

According to Wikipedia, Namaste is a Hindu greeting, meaning: “I bow to the divine in you”. And, yes, that is the kitty’s real name, as reported by the owner who put the animal’s age at about one year. Namaste lives along Adams Ave., nearby E.T. and the now-deceased Alfredo and Shadow. Vitals for the Featured Image: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/489 sec, 52mm; 9:34 a.m. PDT. Other is the same, except for 1/484 sec.

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The Cats of University Heights: Pedro

Few felines in this series are as naturally, muscularly large as Pedro (real name). Peso is another. The forty-fifth Alabama kitty among the 295 profiles posted since the series start three years ago, Pedro lives in the same apartment complex as Penny. I am aware of five other furballs residing there—none featured. Yet.

Some late afternoons, Pedro’s owner lets the shorthair romp supervised about the building’s center courtyard, up the steps, and along the second-floor walkway. I captured the Featured Image and companion on Aug. 31, 2019, using iPhone XS. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/72 sec, 52mm; 4:57 p.m. PDT. The second is same but 1/96 sec and 5 p.m.

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The Cats of University Heights: Jedi

Amassing a backlog of unpublished kitty pics isn’t all bad. Delay posting the Featured Image generated opportunity to add some unexpected, and opportune, companions—all captured using iPhone XS. Vitals for the first, from July 3, 2019: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/197 sec, 52mm; 5:30 p.m. PDT. (Metadata records 6mm, but I now state film equivalent.)

Initially, I thought the black and white might be Boss, who lives on the same block of Louisiana. Fleeting sightings followed before one quite unexpected on September 3. As my wife and I walked along, Darth Mew ambled up purring and demanding attention. Presumably, he is companion to Princess Leia, who also resides on the street. He left us and moved unthreateningly into the driveway of the apartment building where lives the shorthair beastie, who hissed at the intruder.

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The Cats of University Heights: Steppy

Way, way, way behind with photographed furballs, my slow catchup begins with a Tuxedo sighted in the alley between Louisiana and Mississippi on Aug. 17, 2019. I haven’t seen the beastie since, but there is plenty of evidence: Cat scratcher put out in the morning and food/water dishes in the afternoon. As acceptable as the iPhone XS-snapped Featured Image is, a camera-captured portrait should be so much better. So I will keep looking.

I nickname the kitty Steppy, for location seen. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/165 sec, 52mm; 5:39 p.m. PDT. Metadata records 6mm, but I henceforth will state film-equivalent for Apple device shots.

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The Cats of University Heights: Zephyr

Later the same day—Aug. 11, 2019—that I met Dragon, another black and white presented, but blocks away, along Monroe between Campus and North. Zephyr (real name) is a friendly, seven year-old shorthair that I hadn’t seen before that sunny Sunday afternoon.

The Featured Image, and its companion, come from iPhone XS, which increasingly gets more usage than ever did Google Pixel 3 XL when I owned one. I carry a real camera less often, too. Vitals for the first portrait, using the secondary lens: f/2.4, ISO 40, 1/122 sec, 6mm; 4:14 p.m. PDT. The other: f/1.8, ISO 25, 1/1916 sec, 4.25mm; 4:13 p.m. Both pics are cropped 3:2.