Tag: Leica Q2

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The Cats of University Heights: Snuggles

For reasons only guessed, I don’t see many putty-tats along Mission Avenue (in this instance near Florida). Among them: Calm, Carl, Digger, Domino, Joy, Luna, Rebel, and Serenity. On Aug. 6, 2021, I spotted another for the first time; he (or she) joins the series as the seventy-fourth feline seen behind door or window.

It’s nickname time: Snuggles, for cozying up to the late-day sun. I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image, at 5:41 p.m. PDT. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/500 sec, 28mm.

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A Splendid Spectacle

Along Georgia, my wife and I walked on the opposite side of the street from where we would normally go when looking for Reddy or Zero—both of which are profiled in my “Cats of University Heights” series. A canopy of green greeted us; one of our neighbors is growing grapes and extended the vines over the sidewalk. What a treat.

The Featured Image shows the vantage as we first saw the splendid spectacle of San Diego gardening. Vitals, aperture manually set for this one and its companion: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/250 sec, 28mm; 4:02 p.m. PDT, today.

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Why We Gave Up the Zoo

When my wife and I last visited San Diego Zoo, on July 21, 2020, we debated about whether or not to renew our residential membership before it expired. With much of California locked down in response to SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19—and closures returning—we decided to wait. Had we anticipated a forthcoming price increase, maybe our decision would have been different.

Our 2-adult annual pass during 2018 was $112, if I rightly recall, and either $129 or $149 when renewed. We could have re-upped for $160, with an offer that expired 10 days after our last walkabout among the critters. Since then, the animal refuge switched to individual-only pricing. For comparable benefits as before, which include no blackout dates, our combined renewal rate would be $218, which by my math is a 36-percent increase over our last renewal offer and 95-percent more than our 12-month pass purchased three years ago.

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The Cats of University Heights: Silver

We celebrate International Cat Day with a shorthair sighted in the same yard where was the fourth feline profiled (Skull) in October 2016. Black-colored Monarch appeared on the same property two years later. I can’t say that either belonged there but express confidence about the newcomer: The home’s front door was open for the kitty to come and go; kids could be heard playing inside.

Silver seems so appropriate nickname—for gradients in the fur. Leica Q2 produced the Featured Image, which underwent unusual amount of post-production tweaking—and nothing to my satisfaction. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 250, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 10:43 a.m. PDT, Aug. 1, 2021.

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Lettuce Grow for You

Perhaps you remember “Carport Lettuce” from July 2020. The grower, located in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights, is preparing to take his hydroponic garden to one of the area’s farmers markets—and possibly to several. My wife chatted with him yesterday, and we returned to his mobile grower today.

The Featured Image and companions come from Leica Q2, and I scold myself for not rushing to get the shots. When Annie and I ventured out on a late-morning walk, the sky was overcast. By the time I remembered the lettuce cart, the sun had come out, casting hard shadows. Diffuse light would have made for better photos. First of the set is cropped to remove, from down the street, two cars with visible license plates. Vitals, aperture preset for all: f/8, ISO 100, 1/200 sec, 28mm; 12:34 p.m. PDT.

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The Cats of University Heights: Proudfoot

Only for the second time—Sentinel being the first nearly three years ago—since the series‘ start in October 2016 have I seen a feline along Park Blvd in downtown University Heights. Meet the lonely shorthair that earns nickname Proudfoot. My wife and I met the kitty apparently waiting for someone or something on July 27, 2021.

I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/200 sec, 28mm; 9:20 a.m. PDT.

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How `Bout a Bunch?

The grapes I shared with you one month ago are not the green variety that they appeared to be—as can be seen by their rapid ripening. To reiterate: the cluster is positioned between sidewalk and street, not on someone’s property, along Meade between Cleveland and Maryland in the San Diego neighborhood of University Heights.

Leica Q2 is equipped with a dedicated Macro mode that is enabled by turning a ring around the lens. I used the mechanism to capture the Featured Image and companion. Vitals for the first, aperture manually set for both: f/4, ISO 200, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 9:26 a.m. PDT.

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Garbage In, Garbage Out

Yesterday, a homeless dude slept on this sofa when I walked by. Today, somebody surely seems determined to discourage his return. That is, unless he stacked up the recyclable refuse to protect his siesta spot. I observed the jacket with him when sauntering past and respectively choosing not to take his photo.

Best I can do is the Featured Image, and companion, both captured using Leica Q2. Vitals, aperture manually set for both: f/8, ISO 400, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 9:13 a.m. PDT.

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‘It’s California’

Days ago, the pet grass display disappeared from the local Ralph’s supermarket. I couldn’t accept that the popular item had been forever removed and so, this morning, I walked from our University Heights apartment to the outer edges of adjacent Hillcrest for another look. The grocer is located in a plaza called The Hub, where also is a condominium complex.

Coming across the Vermont Street Bridge, I observed a woman placing an Open House sign. Real estate is costlier than ever in San Diego, with home values rising 24.7 percent year over year in May, according to S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices data released on July 27, 2021. Only the Phoenix-metro posted higher gains (25.9 percent). Approaching the realtor, as she adjusted the sign, I asked: “But is it cut-off-arm-and-leg prices”. She answered: “It’s California”—with a wry grin!

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The Cats of University Heights: Gracious

Late yesterday afternoon, my wife and I walked down the alley separating Louisiana and Texas, where Darth Mew and Princess Leia appeared recently. We hoped to encounter one or the other and expected neither. About half-way down the block, I spotted a pretty Tortoiseshell behind a screen and stopped for a few portraits. Right then, the 87-year-old property owner came out the back gate, and we started chatting. Annie and I met him many moons ago when we toured one of his apartments (which we might have rented had there been more sunlight coming into the bedrooms).

Raised in Michigan farm country, John arrived in San Diego at age 17 and never left. He is fit, with all his wits—meaning sharp and spry in all the ways that matter. While we talked about the shortcomings of modern education—writing proficiently of 1940’s eighth graders compared to high school graduates today—I heard what sounded like a meowing kitty. As we continued, sound increased in volume and intensity until, quite surprisingly, Darth Mew ambled over a six-foot-high fence. Without any elucidation, John said the cat’s mother is buried on his property (but the black longhair lives elsewhere).

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Hoops, Anyone?

The Featured Image exists because I wanted to provide context for the companion shot—both of which come from Leica Q2, today. I walked along Panorama Drive in San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood, trying to recover from a night robbed of some hours sleep. My daughter got herself into a mess, and I stayed up late securing her a motel room after other plans unexpectedly collapsed.

Something about the hoop seems so idyllic, pulled to the side of the street, sitting before lush greenery and palms and the homes behind. I cropped to remove two license plates, unfortunately. Vitals, aperture manually set for both: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/500 sec, 28mm; 10:16 a.m. PDT.