Saturday, October 18, 2014

Critters and Creative Play

I am posting to Eileen's Saturday's Critters this morning, with many thanks to her for hosting. She comments faithfully and is out and about regularly, seeking and recording critters many of us would miss, were it not for her extraordinary energy and photography. Whether you have critters you would like to share, or whether you would just like to be inspired by someone who lives life to the full, I recommend a visit to her blog.

I saved a couple of photos from our racoon and otter encounter in Stanley Park on Tuesday.  Though many have correctly noted that feeding the racoons is a very poor idea (Bill and I never do), it was interesting to observe that, after taking food from the gentleman, the racoons were fastidious about washing their paws.
This one took some food, left for a dip in the pond, washed his/her paws thoroughly, and then returned for more food.  Dirty "hands" are not acceptable, even for a few moments.
 As for the otters, 
 it was hard to resist..
the "cute" factor.
 This was the only time they lined up for a forward-facing shot.
 They were constantly on the move,
though they also relaxed for a second or two between grooming activity.
 I am convinced they were enjoying the day and their time together.
 Bye-bye.  See ya next time.
 Phew!  That was exhausting.
 The rest of the critter photos here were taken yesterday.  Young cormorants, happy to have had a successful landing on this False Creek sculpture, dried their wings, and then..
 flew off, perhaps in search..
 of more food.
As I stood watching the cormorants, these two little dogs entertained themselves,
while their humans talked about their beloved pets.  I overheard the girl with the Papillon (?).. 
 say that this was the highest energy dog she had ever known..
 and I smiled.  There is a dog that lives in my building that looks very much like this one, and I've heard people call her the "energizer bunny" several times.
The Pug had lots of energy as well, so these two had a fine time.
 I left the False Creek walkway, and crossed the street, all the while followed by this crow.  I'm pretty sure this one is the offspring of a crow that we named Cory.  Cory has disappeared, perhaps in an effort to encourage her "children" to begin to fend for themselves.  
Black Jack was with me, but the crow landed at my feet.  I talked quietly to him/her (don't laugh), explaining that I wasn't going to be able to feed treats as we had his/her mother.  S/he cocked her head, listening carefully, and didn't dive-bomb as had been happening a few days earlier.  She finally flew off, and I felt hopeful that we had an understanding.  We will not make the mistake of feeding crows again.  A sad but necessary decision.  
 This is Black Jack's suave "Elvis" look.  In fact, she wasn't impressed.  She prefers to stay..
 indoors on rainy days.
 She has two coats, this one quite well-designed for rain, but she doesn't appreciate it very much at all.  She did finally agree to walk outdoors with us (this photo was taken inside the garage door of our building) but kept trying to lead us into the shops along the street.
Once we made it to Harrison Galleries, she was back to her happy self, delighted to admire the art from the vantage point of Bill's lap.

That is the end of my critter photos, so if critters are your reason for stopping by, it's time to head on over to Eileen's meme.  Once more, my fervent thanks to her.

I'll call the rest of this post yesterday's "creative play" efforts.  This shot is straight out of the camera.  Hard to believe the brilliance of this tree along the False Creek walkway.  Even in the rain, it glowed.
Here's the bigger picture, showing the walkway, the bike lane and a small section of the tree.
On Thursday, I noticed a gentleman taking photos of a glass partition by our apartment building and asked him what had caught his interest.  We talked and he said that he has been studying photoshop seriously for the past six months.  His words inspired me to stretch my limits a bit further than usual yesterday, though I have never owned a photoshop program.  My editing efforts have mostly been to add definition when the focus is off, or to lighten through shadow reduction when the exposure setting is too dark.  That is easily done in iphoto.  There is a part of me that feels nature shots, correctly photographed, are most successful when they accurately reflect the view as seen with the natural eye.  But, the gentleman gave me his email, and I'm hoping to see some of his work.  Passion for the arts, no matter the form, is something I admire and love to see.  I'm hoping I'll be able to see a few of this gentleman's photos and perhaps learn something about photoshop along the way.

In the mean time, here are a few of the "artsy" shots I attempted yesterday.  This one was too light, so I used highlight reduction.
 This one was overexposed, but just to show those lamp standards straight up :)
There were lots of raindrops..
 on flowers in gardens bordering the apartment buildings on my street. (No editing on these.) 
 Here's that glass partition the gentleman was photographing.  (unedited)
Leaves in the laneway (unedited)
Remember that glass partition?  Well, as I moved around it, I noticed the light behind it changed.  I added definition, sharpness, saturation and contrast to these..
 four shots..
 and couldn't believe how that brought out..
 some great patterns and textures.
The last three shots were taken in Harrison Galleries.  I loved that wooden chest, and the.. 
 reflection of a painting above it that showed in the glass table.
 Bill actually used the words, "I'm rather proud of us.." yesterday as we finished a particularly challenging crossword.  He is a man of few words (most of the time) and i was thrilled that he felt so good about the crossword.  I was feeling pretty happy with our effort as well.  I wanted to record the moment, and threw the crossword onto the table, hoping it would land right in the middle of the reflection.  Instead, it slipped to the edge of the table and almost fell off.  So, my final "artsy" shot of the day was inspired by Bill's satisfaction, a creative gentleman and my poor aim :)  Thank you so much for stopping by.  Have a wonderful Saturday!


  1. nice glass shots! 'elvis' is cute. :) loved the otters and event he naughty raccoons. :)

    eileen is an amazing blogger - she works full time, has a husband, travels AND blogs and comments each day.

  2. Hello Carol, you are so nice, I love your sweet comments about me and my blog. I love the otters, they are an awesome sightings. The two pups playing together are cute and of course I always love your BlackJack.. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

  3. Love all the critters shots as well as the red trees, the two cute dogs playing. BlackJack looked very smart in his coat. Love seeing familiar sights of Vancouver. I lived there for 23 years.

  4. Lovely photos! The raccoons and otters are so cute.

  5. There is so much variety in this wonderful post i don't know what to mention. Fantastic fall shots and the otters are fabulous. Black Jack is always great. Have a great week.

  6. Extraordinary Autumn colors!! Wow...absolutely breathtaking. Got to smile at the antics of those puppies. Those otter teeth look a bit menacing. But fun, cute pictures of all your critters!!! Raccoons are so comical to watch from a distance...I'd hate to have one mad at me. They CAN bite, I know.

  7. Yes, those wonderful photos with clear glass, are beautiful abstract, I congratulate you!

  8. So many cute critters here, but Black Jack in her raincoat takes the cake!