Showing posts with label Cat Photographs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cat Photographs. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Winter Came Early . . .

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Just a few days later
After photographing the chinese lanterns
For the first time (in previous post)
After discovering their existence
The snows came
To give them white coverings
While I lamented
The passing of autumn
Before its time
But even the cold crystaline snow
Could not put out their fire
So they shall be my emblem
In the coming cold months
These glowing magic lanterns
With a halo of snow
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Even on the smallest place of purchase
The snow crystals piled up improbably
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We hadn't had time to prune the hortensias
As we do carefully every fall
But the fall has fallen into the cold dark abyss
Of long winter nights
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A cold green steel fence caught the snow
Where I left our garden
And wandered off into the woods
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In the woods there were magical visions
Of snow barely clinging
To leaves not yet gone brown
A cruel winter who comes before her time
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I wandered further into the woods
On the winding path the wild boars use
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One red leaf hung on hopefully to thoughts of fall glory
Blazing reds and golds now buried in ice
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Despite some of your generous offers for Noisette's fur from the last post, as she huddled on the porch in the cold afternoon, she decided she would rather put it to good use herself . . . staying warm. Even the carnations here in the foreground were caught by surprise in the snow, almost ready for one last late bloom... frozen in the bud.
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Monday, December 6, 2010

The Fall . . .

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Just a few short weeks ago I was taken by some small splashes of color in our garden, and thought I'd try taking a few pictures, in view of putting together a little celebration of Autumn. Sometimes one doesn't have to go far or seek out exotic subjects in order to have little fun with a camera, so my own back yard was as good a place as any to start. I thought I had plenty of time to get them posted while Autumn was still in the air. Little did I know that Winter was going to start a month early this year.
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At the end of October there were still some tomatoes on the vines which had somehow escaped being harvested.
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The last of the lavender . . .
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Trumpeting orange glory to the heavens . . .
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Funny how tomatoes go wrinkled after just a few weeks, while with people it takes 50 or 60 years for it to happen.
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Noisette was pretending not to notice she was modeling her fur to an international audience.
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But the biggest surprise of the day was the discovery that a Chinese Lantern plant had somehow managed to seed itself in the side yard, and prosper there ! I can assure you we had no hand in helping it arrive here. It appeared as if by magic. What better botanic mascot to have show up unbidden on a blog named the Magic Lantern Show than a Chinese Lantern plant? A magical coincidence if there ever was one. What a crazy plant too. I'd never seen one so close up before.
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And like tomatoes, they start out green before going bright orange. Astonishing that nature could produce such a bright pigment.
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I was quite fascinated by the lantern plant . . . couldn't help but keep clicking away from all angles.
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Friday, December 3, 2010

Black Cat Blues . . .

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Am going to return to Père Lachaise Cemetery again here, hope these graveyard blues won't get too old for you all, but it is such an amazingly rich and fertile ground for photographers. One cannot help but notice all the visible photography gear people are carrying in there on any given day, and understandably so. In any case, with James, of Weekend Reflections, I was wandering in Père Lachaise of an October Sunday afternoon, when James saw this black cat sitting on a grave. We both took turns doing portraits of it, as it studiously ignored us. I was especially taken with the reflection it was casting on the grey marble stone, wet with the rain that had been falling.
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A moment later I spotted the same cat crossing our path ahead, and so I turned aside so as not to be cursed with bad luck, as it hadn't actually crossed my path, given that my path had taken a new direction... or was it too late for that ? But what am I saying, I'm not the superstitious type at all. Well, not often. Are you ?
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Just when I thought I'd lost him, and could proceed in peace, he popped out from behind a stone, and looked reproachfully at me. You can see by his green eyes that he's the same one as the one we caught sitting on that tombstone. Life is strange sometimes !
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And somehow, he even found his way into this video ! ! ! He really gets around !
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Monday, November 15, 2010

From An Incurable Cataholic . . .

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Posting the picture of the kitten in the post below this one reminded me that I had heard a few more meows from the archives, echoes of meows perhaps, as these cats were photographed back in 1991, and are probably resting in cat heaven right now. But looking down approvingly at being remembered here. And as the previous post was rather alot of reading material, I think I'll just let you chill out with the kits here today. Just don't get catatonic on me.
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Oh, and I'd like to say "thank you" to the one who showed me how to simulate old film effects, they seemed appropriate here. I am most grateful.
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Hey, what going on here ? Looks like this place is going to the cats ! That won't do !
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Grrrr, those cats, they make me so mad, hogging the limelight like that...
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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Two Cents Worth . . .

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There is so much I wish to share with you, I hardly know where to start. The continuing problem is time. I've got hundreds and hundreds of photographs all lined up, waiting in the wings, each one has been rehearsing its story, ready to spill the beans to you, but it is just a question of finding time to blog. Around working for a living at the straightjacket factory (and I can assure you, this is one sector where business is booming...) and just trying to keep house and home together, spend some time with daughters who are growing up fast, with la Grenouille, who after 18 years of my company still insists that I speak with her once in a while (that's a joke :-) (see Ralph Fiennes in "The Duchess" if you wish to see a truly terrifying husband model), and all the other time-saving conveniences of modern life which are all conspiring to ensure we have no free time. The poem written the other day about scars is the first I've written in rather too long. "If only I had more time", he lamented !
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Well, time waits for no man. Day before yesterday was the 11th of November, which is Armistice Day in France. The end of World War One. Four long years of pure hell. Hard to believe it has already been a year since I went and spent one week walking and exploring the area around Verdun. Verdun, a name that still strikes people dumb with the horror of what happened there.
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One reason I love living in France is how visible the history is here. In graveyards one can see traces of the past that tell stories, poignant stories which often leave me speechless. Let us remember those who fell.
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PS . . There was a bit of a reflection in that first photo, which thus qualifies this post for a link to James excellent Reflections Weekend series. Happy travelling James...
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For some reason I get the feeling it is going to be a long, cold winter. Just as a few posts down I offered you chopped firewood by the roadside and a nice green truck to deliver it in, here I'm hoping you have a good supply of wood already neatly stacked away in your back shed... just like this :
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And while you are curled up by the fireplace, enjoying the warm glow of embers, I'd like to share with you one of the finest pieces of writing I've come across of late. This blog is not a politically oriented blog, far from it, but every once in a blue moon, there are some words and ideas that are worth fighting for, even if just to paste them to a public wall where someone might perchance read them.
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These next several paragraphs were written by my good old friend Bob, who has figured in a few previous posts in these pages which you can find by clicking here if you're curious. (I just learned today that "curious" in Finnish is "utelias", so now I am one word in to learning Finnish) The below artical is not about Finland however, where I know nothing of their politics either, it is about the United States of America, which for inexplicable reasons continues to monopolize the world's attention to a worrisome degree.
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But back to Bob Wreck ; he e-mailed me this piece a couple of days ago, and it certainly crystallizes, as good writing should, many thoughts that had been occurring to me over the past few months, but which are spoken in the voice that is uniquely Bob's... without further ado :
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Wake Up & Smell the Coffee
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Politicians should stop endlessly regurgitating the new soundbite "The American people" (i.e. "the American people have spoken… ") as if to imply that this recent election was a mandate, which it was not; just a reactionary temper-tantrum from the fringe, which is spreading like the plague because our entrenched national problems have not been solved in two years—problems which have grown from ideological seeds planted during the "Reagan Revolution"; and whose rotting fruits are now being hurled at President Obama. This administration is not responsible for creating the mess we're in, and has been fighting diligently against the ‘army of no’ to reverse the thirty year drift toward a flawed right-leaning ideology. No president—democrat, republican or independent, could get us out of the mess in two years—period.
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I am appalled at the vitriol and contempt aimed at the President from an impetuous, ungrateful and small-minded sector of our electorate which increasingly seems to view any taxation, engaged government, corporate responsiblity and regulation as the four deadly sins—and yet at the same time lament the decline of a vibrant middle-class existence in a civil society. There is a confounding disconnect here.
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And yes, there is also a thinly veiled xenophobic, if not racist, element among the right which has treated President Obama like a janitor called in to clean up the big mess after the eight-year republican bash at the Country Club (on the national credit card) —and then have the gall to blame him for not sweeping up the champagne bottles and cigar butts fast enough. It's a disgusting and shameful spectacle.
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"Tea-party" types who are still employed should be thankful their livelihoods even exist at all. The economic stimulus is no magic bullet, but if the stimulus policies had not been enacted, many of those railing about the "socialist government" would be in line at a soup-kitchen, instead of sitting on the sofa at home frothing over FOX news. Where was the “tea-party” from 2000-2008 when the Clinton era surplus turned into an ATM machine at the Bush White House? Probably not drinking tea.
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President Bush himself, after his second inaugural, stated in a press conference "I earned some capital after this election, and I intend to spend it". Those clamoring to "take our country back", and who reminisce about the prosperous American economy of the 50's & 60’s might want to look again at the American tax structure of that "golden” period (when the wealthy actually paid their proportionate share). Instead of blaming a mexican worker, or a black president for our nations woes, maybe they should re-consider the notion that a fair distribution of wealth is what makes a civilized society possible. Marie Antoinette might have an interesting postmortem on that one.
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If you are one of those who believes you could succeed in your own private, well-armed bubble—disconnected from the larger society, away from the long arm of the IRS and those pesky mexican laborers, perhaps a tour of Somalia or Afghanistan would open your eyes to the anarchy you seem to be encouraging. It’s not a new American Revolution you are embracing—its civil war. My guess is that this marriage of convenience between those of you with the Smith & Wesson’s, and those with the Swiss bank accounts will soon end up in a nasty divorce.
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In your race to the bottom, don’t forget to close the bunker door on the way down. Despite another divisive war (from which apparently no lessons were learned), there was a great national pride in 1969 when American astronauts landed on the moon. I'll bet most Americans who were alive remember exactly where they were the moment it happened. Well, chalk one up for NASA—a government agency—your taxes.
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Forty-one years later, instead of making a "Giant Leap for Mankind", our national mission in 2010 was mopping up the petroleum cesspool in the the Gulf of Mexico caused by a corporate cowboys cut loose from all reasonable regulation, thanks to Dick Cheney & the free-marketeers. One giant step backward for mankind.
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And make no mistake—despite BP's debt of financial & environmental restitution, thirty years of deregulation now translates into your tax dollars being spent on the cleanup and investigation of this unprecedented disaster caused by private enterprise and unrestrained free-market capitalism— tax dollars which should be used for education or infrastructure. Talk about wasteful spending.
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Angry about the bank bailout and all the other corporate welfare queens? Me too—furious. But I won't blame the doctor for my lung cancer if I still have a pack of cigarettes in my shirt pocket.
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In this age of the global economy, the "trickle-down" economic theory has become a "trickle-out" economic reality—it’s a leaky economic faucet. It may have been a believable model for a different era in the U.S. when the economy was a closed loop, but it's turned into a Chinese water torture for the American middle-class. Without that closed economic loop, or tighter regulation of corporate money, power and influence, the extreme free-market philosophy is a joke that only the wealthiest five percent of americans are laughing at—all the way to the bailed-out bank.
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But the joke's on you and me.
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We have been indoctrinated from youth with this notion that unrestrained free-market competition offers more choice and options at a better price. Hmmm… well, now we have no choice and just one option: bail the bastards out, regardless of the price—or face total economic meltdown. A devil's bargain in which no American president from either party would dare risk a worldwide depression (just watch all the republicans rant & rave —and then fall into line when they vote to raise the debt ceiling next year). We are being held hostage by a false economic model which sounds kinda’ like… extortion.
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I would like to see the words government "tax", and the more benign free-market "price" interchangeable. Money is money. For many of us who are self-employed, health care premiums have risen between 15-18 % every year for the past eight years. If that was a "tax" and not a "price increase" in this age of the ‘tea-party’, there would be blood on the streets in this country. A boycott perhaps? Sounds almost quaint. The equivalent of throwing a beer bottle at a tank. Executives would just roll over the dead on their way to work.
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Even acknowledging the government inefficiencies which need correction, nothing could be less efficient than the "free-market" health care system we currently have. If we pride ourselves as such great leaders in business information, technology and efficiency—then why are our doctor's and dentist's offices still lined with metal file cabinets stuffed with manilla folders full of archaic paper forms—all on different systems? Siamese cats could run a single payer, single operating system more efficiently, and less costly than the "price" of the our current health care system.
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The reality is that extreme capitalism, just like its estranged cousin communism, may end up in the boneyard with the Brontosaurus if there is no willingness to to budge from the ideological bunker.
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Time to wake up & smell the coffee.
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Like it or not, WE ARE the government. You and me. And we all need to take a long, hard look in the mirror.
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Yep, it's us alright— and we get what we deserve.
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R.E.K.
November 10, 2010
© REK 2010
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It is getting harder and harder for us kittens to find our way in this confusing world . . . but find our way we must.
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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Another Dog Day Afternoon . . . Or... Remedy for Heat Wave

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Out for a walk just the other afternoon, admiring the primroses on the Place du Chateau, and looking a little dubiously at the rather green water, wondering if green water is suitable for reflections, given that it is almost Friday and will soon be time for James' Reflections weekend . . . There was indeed a bit of a green around the gills reflection. . .
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But then I suddenly realized that not only was the water a rather brilliant green, but that it was inhabited with life, and the life in the water was swimming toward me. . .
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And it wasn't alone !
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What could be more thoroughly serious than, "Stick... get the stick ! Swim at same time, but get the stick !" ? Total concentration on that furrowed brow . . .
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Talk about making a splash !
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Our cat Amande just shook her head when she saw these photos . . . and went off in a huff . . .
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Thursday, June 24, 2010

The End of a TV . . .

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By special request, a photo of our cat Amande who was peering in the window in wonder at the bottles I'd emptied in a short afternoon of blogging . . .
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Now, although this blog is certainly not a blog about football, or soccer as it is known in some countries, and in general I'm fairly well disgusted with all the hundreds of millions of dollars and massive hullaballoo around this thing known as the WC going on at present, aptly initialed, I couldn't help but wonder if there are perhaps quite a few television sets looking like this one being put out on sidewalks here in France this week for the trash collectors, after having been murdered in fits of rage by their passionate football fan owners, after the French team was sent home in disgrace from South Africa. What a sad circus . . .
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And if refresshments are needed while pondering the fate of that television above, perhaps there's still a cold bottle of cola in this cooler ?
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Friday, October 30, 2009

The Year of the Cats . . .

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The feline with those clear blue eyes posing by the deep blue shutters on her house (see post below this one) was photographed this past August one day which I spent strolling around the town of Morlaix, Brittany. From near the train station there is a flight of stairs which descends the steep valleyside toward the center of town. Going down those stairs, I stopped to photograph this aging stretch of wall (for the texture Loulou and Desi !), before going just a few steps further along where I was sizing up those blue shutters for photographic potential, when the owner of the house stepped out on the windowsill to see who the stranger was . . .
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And back by popular demand, as there were so many of you who said you liked the adorable blue eyed purring sweetheart from the photo in the post just below this one, here she is again, . . .
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And while celebrating the color blue, this boat was photographed just a few hours later the same day, in the tiny little port town of Dourduff, just downriver a ways from Morlaix, where the river turns into a bay . . .
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A very short distance down the stairs from the abode of the blue-eyed cat was this very black cat, proudly proclaiming ownership of the wall on which he holds court, looking askance through narrowed eyes at the interloper with a camera . . . "Who does he think he is, that horrid human, daring to take my picture without my permission and not even a single mouse in offering . . . ! ! !"
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Right across the descending alleyway was another alley cat, peering cautiously from behind his well protected wall fortress . . .
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Continuing down that same feline inhabited alleyway, I found this flight of ancient, well worn stone stairs going back up the hillside. I could not resist a side trip to see where they went . . .
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Going up those stairs a way took me to the level of the local rooftops, and I was surprised to find that they were inhabited ! This curious fellow seemed to be the chief, he came up close to check my credentials . . .
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In fact, there was a whole crowd of cats up on those rooftops, and these are just a few who deigned to sit still to be photographed . . .
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There were wilder sorts of cats in the neighborhood too . . .
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The only dog in town just didn't seem up to the task of keeping all those cats in line . . .
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And what better piece of music to go with all these alley and rooftop aristocats than this piece from one of my favorite musicians . . .
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

An Invitation to the Blues . . .

The cat with pale blue eyes was peering out from some deep blue shutters in Morlaix, Brittany this past August.
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These next two are hot off the press, taken late this afternoon on a little ramble around the countryside near here. Something about the intense blue in the sky just after sunset reminded me of the blue shutters, and the two conspired to provide an invitation to the blues
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And what song could go better with shades of blue like those but . . .
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