I need some help deciding between two images. Please, decide for me. Send your friends over to tell me what sucks and what doesn’t. Send your dentist. Send your dogs, cats, ferrets, pigs, and personal chefs! Really, I just need help deciding between the two images. Which one do you prefer?
Okay, maybe we weren’t really washed away by all the rain, but it has been very rainy and it’s been lovely. California needs the rain and I happen to like it immensely.
I’ve been doing my best to try to get over the holidays and focus on getting something, anything done. A photo project? I’ve been working on gathering supplies for that, but whilst doing so I lost my studio space as the spare bedroom has become filled with stuff. Stuff that can’t fit anywhere else in the house. Stuff that just doesn’t need to be there…or here…or really anywhere. In other words, if we can’t actually use it and it has no real value, do we really need to keep it? It’s for King Arthur to decide. In the meantime, I don’t know where I can set up a studio. That means no photo project. Vicious cycle, really.
We spent the evening at KA’s daughter’s. Had pizza and salad for dinner. Played with
Baby Toddler Emma. She’s such a delight! Silly, smart, sweet.
Been gradually adding photos to 500px.com as I’ve decided Flickr is a junk heap. Half the time the site won’t display photos (you get an error message) and when it does manage to work I find myself less than pleased with the quality of work on there. As well, they did away with subscriptions and, to me, that says they don’t much care anymore about the quality or type of work that’s uploaded to the site. It’s just a repository for anything and everything from everybody. 500px is proving to be a much nicer environment for what I’d like to do with my photography. The feedback I’ve received in the past couple months has been encouraging. Not only that, but people actually take the time to seek out other artists and discover new work. That alone is enough for me to want to upload my own images there.
Oh, something else I did this weekend: I finally watched some of the Veterans Day documentaries I’d recorded. The Last Patrol was my favorite. I wept at times, cheered at other times, and spent even more time contemplating the world and the men featured in the doco. If you haven’t seen it (or a trailer), I won’t spoil it for you by interjecting my thoughts other than to encourage you to see it by whatever means available to you. Here’s an article on Guillermo Cervera to [hopefully] pique your interest.
Time for me to go try to trim more of Celia’s matted fur. I’m tellin’ you, this cat is full of dreadlocks! I spent an hour carefully cutting away bits and pieces of matted fluff. It was a bit harrowing, but we survived and there’s still more to do. It calls me.
Yes, I did promise long ago to post these photos after the birds had gone (thereby ensuring I wasn’t jinxing their ability to do so). As you know, one baby hummer didn’t make it. The other, though, did. The nest has been empty for a couple weeks. Mom is gone, too. I’m sure she’s around somewhere, it’s just not…here.
Anyhow, without further ado, the nest.
We’ll start with the first fuzzy shot because it’s mom and the babies and it’s feeding time. It sucks, but it serves a purpose.
Of course, we have to see where the nest is. It’s on the leg of the carport. It’s about 6 feet up, which is hard to see from the ground (and why I missed it the first time), but was at the perfect height for us to spy on from the den window.
And now we see (with some clarity) what all the fuss is about.
Birds. Because that’s what this is all about. That and my not-so-excellent spy skills. Seriously, shooting through the blinds is hard, y’all.
And here is the shot from just below the nest. I actually went outside to get this one and got yelled at by the neighbor. She was afraid I was going to disrupt the birds’ lives with my big ol’ camera, my big ol’ lens, and my big ol’ self. First, the birds didn’t see me, I don’t think. Second, mom wasn’t around. Third, it wasn’t like I was trying to touch them (I wasn’t; I wouldn’t). Fourth, the “glare” the neighbor was (supposedly) worried about was non-existent (from the lens, but in full stink-eye mode from BEHIND the camera). Fifth, she made more noise and was more intrusive with her yammering than I was with my camera and my quiet self. Some people just have to be in charge of everything, I guess. Too bad she wasn’t around to save the one bird from its “help, I’m being eaten by a stray cat” fate.
While I had intended to include a photo of the lone survivor, I decided against it. It makes me too sad to look at that shot and see just the one, all alone in the nest. Yes, I understand that nature has its own rules and part of letting nature take its course means sometimes bad things happen and I shouldn’t get all upset about it. BUT I CAN’T HELP IT! So, it turns out one of my own weird rules is to go with my gut and not post an image that makes me sad and blah blah blah.
Was it worth your wait? Probably not. But, really, it kind of was just to see a nest of baby hummingbirds, right?
When I heard the news the other morning that Tony Gwynn had died, it felt like a little piece of all the goodness in the world was lost. Tony was truly one of the Good Guys. He was a talented ball player, that much everyone knows. But what they may not know is his amazing attitude wasn’t just for show; the man was simply a good-hearted man on and off the field. Instead of ending up in the newspaper embroiled in some scandal or for bad behavior, stories about him usually involved his kindness and generosity within his community.
At one point in my life, I lived practically around the corner and down the street from him. His home wasn’t surrounded by ten-foot-tall privacy walls or guarded by beefy security guys. No, he and his family were just another family in the neighborhood. My mom’s best friend at the time actually was one of his neighbors and she often remarked what a nice guy he was. No pretense. No “please don’t come over here, I’m famous…and therefore too busy to deal with you.” He’d wave. He’d offer to help you take your trash cans up your drive.
While other teammates were getting all sorts of press for refusing autographs unless you paid them or for swearing up a storm or throwing a temper tantrum (on field, off field, at nightclubs, at stores) or getting arrested for domestic violence, disturbing the peace, drunk driving, or drugs, Tony was smiling and laughing and doing things that made the world a better place. He remembered names; always took time to acknowledge friends, neighbors, fans, strangers; spent time helping a kid throw a ball properly; leading by example to teach others about the rewards of hard work and loyalty.
One of the best pieces I’ve read about Tony Gwynn was over on Deadspin by David Johnson. If you need a feel-good story for your day, this is the one. It also serves as a great reminder to each and every single one of us that being a decent human being isn’t just a concept, it’s something we should all endeavor to achieve.
Rest in peace, Tony Gwynn. Hope you got a comfy seat in the dugout!
Three very stupid men are sitting in jail because they did not heed the red flag warning in effect for most of L.A. and Orange Counties this week.
“They were tossing papers into [a] campfire and a breeze reportedly kicked up and set this fire,” Staab said, adding that one of the men “has admitted to setting this fire.”
Apparently, they set up camp and decided they needed a fire during the worst time possible for one. Super low humidity and gusting winds plus fire = BAD.
I can’t decide whether these guys were just desperate for attention or are just extremely EXTREMELY stupid. Or both. All I know is that I hate fires and this one could have been prevented. $20,000 for bail isn’t nearly enough. I hope to hell they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and that we never hear their names spoken again.
We just has a freaky little earthquake here. It was very wobbly and it went on a bit longer than I’d like. Currently bracing for aftershocks because earthquakes usually bring a friend.
It was less than 40 miles away. 01:35. 4.4 magnitude.
Too close for comfort
Don’t fall for that ol’ pile of donkey dung and spend more than you have on holiday gifts. No need to get super deep in debt this year. Look what happened to this guy who got in over his head.
This Black Friday crap kills me. There’s really no need to spend an arm and a leg on gifts. Small, meaningful presents are where it’s at.
Not exactly the sort of hitchhiker I’d pick up.
Found him at the flea market 10 days ago and took a photo of the unusual mode of transportation he chose. Personally, if I saw a spider THAT BIG wanting a ride, I’d put pedal to the metal and get the hell away from him.
I should not let computer issues and a missing DVD ruin my good day, but guess what? Yeah. That happened.
Can’t find my Hurricane on the Bayou DVD. I have the case, but no DVD.
And now I’m attempting to transfer all my backup files from my external hard drive to my computer and the way this thing set itself up is ridiculous. Then, I was trying to burn a CD for a friend and I can’t get the flipping files to go where they need to go.
Grumble grumble, mutiny mutiny.
Other than that, and losing a game of Zips, it’s been a great day! I actually.went.outside. For most of the day. We went to the flea market and I did most of my Christmas shopping. Still have a bit to go, but the majority is done. (Yay!)
Also, took a LOT of photos and met some truly amazing people. I dig that kinda stuff.
Okay, back to figure out what the hell is going on with the external. Grrrr.
I am HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY!
We have a nice cool break before we get hit again with THE HEAT.
To celebrate, here you go:
It looks like it’s fallen to me to be the official opossum spotter in the neighborhood. Seems like anytime I go outside at night, I see one. That and finding every freakin’ mosquito in SoCal. I could live without one of these duties.
Also, next to the Muslim center up the street is a store called Vapor Bombz. Does anyone else find that kind of ironic?
“Also also wik” – LD is now a junior in high school. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? Where’s the wonderfully touching mother & son montage?
I fell in love with this sweet caramel-colored cow. She was my first find at the Fair. Her gaze fixed upon me, full of sweetness and curiosity. I was compelled…compelled to meet her and photograph her. And pet her. Just adorable and soft and gentle. Plus she had that sweet cow smell. (Most don’t find it as appealing as I do, but really, I love the way horses and cows smell.)
I hope she was sold for a good price. I’m fairly certain (see what I did there?) whoever bought her will have the sweetest beef on their table.
Because this is what I get when I go out in the backyard.
I know I’ve posted photos of the oranges I picked before and this looks like I’m just bragging, but C’MON! These are like sunshine you can touch and taste.