Tag: San Diego

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The Cats of University Heights: Puss

How surprising: I am seeing some new kitties along North, where it intersects Madison, or in the alley between Campus. Four appeared today, but two vanished before I could close the distance for photos (you’ll see them soon). I encountered the series‘ newest addition, nicknamed Puss, for no particular reason, on Oct. 30, 2020. The Featured Image comes from iPhone XS. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 40, 1/122 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 9:16 a.m. PDT.

Somebody’s outdoor space is luxury. Look at the cat trees and surrounding plants. In perennially sunny San Diego, the cat can have indoor furniture outside for much of the year. What a habitat! My question: Does he (or she) spend time within the caretaker’s residence, too?

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The Cats of University Heights: Sadie

Meet the fifty-fourth meow-meow looking out from behind window or door. Sadie is a sweetie, living a less lonely life than in her previous residence. Sickness took Sadie’s owner away, and she stayed alone inside the house for about a year—tended to and fed twice daily by kindly neighbors. Eventually, he passed away, which is how she came to be taken into a new home not long later by a friend of the cat’s caretaker.

A few days ago, I got the full story from the friendly woman with whom Sadie now lives. But the Featured Image, captured along Madison beyond the West side of Cleveland, is from Sept. 28, 2020. I used Leica Q2 to make the moment. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/8, ISO 100, 1/320 sec, 28mm; 8:37 a.m. PDT.

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The Cats of University Heights: Prowler

Like Spirit, this fine feline appeared in the alley between Cleveland and Maryland on one side of Meade—not far from our old apartment, actually. Our long, lost Maine Coon-mix Kuma hung out in the same area, favoring his ledge. Real name unknown, I dub the shorthair Prowler, for its cunning, slinky movements.

Unfortunately, I carried along iPhone XS and not trusty Leica Q2. The Featured Image, which is cropped a little more than 100-percent, is good enough from the smartphone but would be great from the camera. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/489 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 9:15 a.m. PDT; Oct. 5, 2020.

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Look What Parked Next to Me at Costco

For cultural reasons that I don’t understand, Halloween is a big holiday in San Diego. Decorations are everywhere adorning homes and lawns. That’s not enough for some people, as this grim ghoulmobile demonstrates.

The thing spooked from the space adjacent to mine in the Mission Valley Costco parking lot. Proximity made no good way to photograph the entire machine. So I fumbled for composition and ambience, using iPhone XS.

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The Cats of University Heights: Spirit

The main intersection on the neighborhood’s west side is a four-way with stop-signs at Cleveland and Meade. I meandered upon this kitty and the next one profiled on either side of Meade in the alley between Cleveland and Maryland—directions south and north, respectively.

I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image on Oct. 17, 2020. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/213 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 10:21 a.m. PDT. Coincidentally, the day marked the series‘ fourth anniversary.

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Delivery Door Art?

Surely you’ve come across something and wondered: “How long has that been there?” That is the question I asked on Oct. 6, 2020, while walking down the alley behind Kairoa Brewing Co., which is located along the main commercial area of San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood. The Featured Image is what I saw on the establishment’s rear door, where I presume supplies are unloaded. What does that image bring to your mind?

For me, the goats (or are they rams) immediately flash subliminal recollection, but not something precisely recalled. Looking at the beasts—bathed in blood red, so to speak, with their pointy horns—elicits creepy feeling that I have seen them before. In a horror movie perhaps—something like a “Constantine” or one of the three original “The Omen” films (1976, 1978, 1981). But somewhere. You do know that, biblically and mythologically, goats are associated with symbols of the devil?

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The Cats of University Heights: Sundown

Four years ago today, I started this series with a presumed stray, sighted only once, that I call Scruffy. Three-hundred-fifty-eight profiles later, the number of furballs to photograph is seemingly inexhaustible. At the start, I expected the series to progress a month, maybe a little longer. Foolish me. In autumn 2016, as explained in post “Why Cats?“, I worked with new eyes, so to speak, following multifocal intraocular lens replacement for cataracts and also ongoing treatment for macular edema—the latter of which is mostly now resolved. Feline field photography acted as a kind of visual therapy.

That brings us to our celebratory kitty, seen in the yard of the home where once lived Giotto and next-door to where you can find Petri (well, until his family moves sometime before Dec. 1, 2020). That makes the black the fifty-seventh putty-tat from Alabama between boundaries Adams and Lincoln. No other street comes close, and I cannot fathom why.

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The Cats of University Heights: Pepto

On the same block where lives Daniel Tiger, whom I visited with today, incidentally, resides newcomer Pepto—and, yes, that’s his real name. Within furball spitting distance, you also could encounter: Fluffy, Darth Mew, Ginger, Huck, JediMilo, and Princess Leia—or Snow and Stripe, looking out windows. The block bustles with frisky felines, and it’s a wonder they all tolerate one another so well.

I first saw two-year-old Pepto in early August 2020 and used iPhone XS to shoot a dozen portraits—none of which I would use unless compelled by lack of having anything better. Opportunity presented on September 8, when I lugged Leica Q2, seeking the orange and white for the umpteenth time. The Featured Image is a close crop. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 4:54 p.m. PDT.

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Mona

Among the 355 other profiles in this series, seven were seen or live beyond the neighborhood’s designated boundaries. Mona—and that’s her real name—makes eight. She joins special members: BuddiesChill, EnvyMoophie, Ninja, Promise, and Sammy. My wife and I met the kitty and her owner while walking home from Smart and Final on Sept. 22, 2020—along Mississippi, before Lincoln leaves behind North Park.

I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image, at 9:39 a.m. PDT. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/177 sec, 52mm (film equivalent).

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The Cats of University Heights: Houdini

Today, while driving home from Costco Business Center, I encountered an animal control vehicle pulled over in my lane by Alice Birney Elementary School, along Meade. I U-turned and circled back wondering if someone had come to (gulp) take away the remains of the ginger that had been mysteriously hanging out along the grass-way and among the parked cars. Mysteriously, because the facility is closed in response to SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—also known as COVID-19—and there are no homes along that side of the stretch of street. So why would the shorthair make its home territory there?

As I approached again, the kitty could be seen sitting in the grass along the side of the building—that is until being approached by the cat catcher. The beast tried to flee as I drove past. Was he caught? I was just relieved that he hadn’t been run over, like another ginger near the same location a few weeks earlier. Curiosity moved me to action, and I walked back to the school expecting to find nothing more than a fleeting feline memory. But no! The beastie was there, returned to the grass, head turned away from me, licking legion or, more likely, wound—from the capture-attempt, perhaps?

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The Cats of University Heights: Charger

The fourth anniversary of this series is in 11 days, and like last year I consider closing up. So as the seventeenth approaches, expect to see a rush release of kitties photographed but not yet profiled. We continue with the second consecutive alley cat. Spur was the first, sighted behind Alabama and Florida. Another black shorthair, in the alley along Alabama and Mississippi, is next—earning nickname Charger. Sigh, if only the feline had allowed me to read the ID tag.

I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image on Sept. 17, 2020 at 8:33 a.m. PDT. Vitals: f/24, ISO 16, 1/84 sec, 52mm (film equivalent). The portrait is converted to black and white, which diminishes delightful, but distracting, plants and shrubs.