Monthly Archives: December 2014

Fence & Flare

Black & white image of gravel road, wood fence, winter trees, sun flare.

I’m tempted to say that I picked the wrong year to get my first flu shot—since I’m now two weeks into my yuletide bout with influenza. (I’m finally well on the way to recovery, but it was a pretty miserable haul right through the middle of the holiday.) The CDC says that they missed the most virulent strain this year, although it’s likely that the vaccination afforded some protection from the full brunt of it.

Whatevs. I survived. BARELY. :D

2014 is galloping to a close. It feels like it was yet another transitional year. Not a bad year, but not a year of great strides or accomplishments. I am guardedly optimistic that 2015 will be even more rewarding.

On an image-making note, I’m really enjoying playing with black-and-white using the new camera’s ENORMOUS files with their plethora of detail. This one is from a stroll that Bob and I took in the NC Arboretum in mid-December.

The light is no longer waning: hallelujah!

A Year Ago: The Sun on the Horizon

Sun glints on twigs in winter.So: year’s end…
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Lessons My Cat Has Taught Me—Number 11: Sometimes Yes, Sometimes No

Portrait of a Cat

My last lesson was all about freedom and love. And so, I suppose, is this one.

This is how it usually goes. Loki comes in from his day outdoors between 9 and 10 at night. I give him his yummy wet food for dinner. We go upstairs. I brush my teeth, he drinks from the tap. I finish evening ablutions, he goes and inspects my study. I stretch out on my bed to watch Netflix or read.

And usually—MOST OF THE TIME—after 5 or ten minutes, Loki will hop up on the bed with me, curl up half on my shin or my ankle, and stay there ’til I turn the light out. Sometimes, though, he doesn’t show up. Or, if he does, he goes and makes himself comfortable on the bench by the window. I have no idea why.

Probably he just wants some quiet time to himself inside. Or I don’t smell right. Or it’s too hot.

Who knows?

All I know is that my proximity is not *always* desirable. Sometimes he just wants to be alone. There’s absolutely no use fretting about it or trying to cajole him otherwise. He’ll do what he wants to do, and all the calling and sweet-talking in the world won’t get him to hang out with me if he’s not feeling like it.

And in the end, once I truly grasped this about him, it was a relief. Loki does what he wants. MOSTLY he wants to be near me. And it’s the very rare night when he doesn’t *eventually* come snuggle up to my side when the lights are out and I am nearly or fully asleep. (I do worry a bit if he doesn’t… sometimes it’s a sign he’s not feeling well.) The key thing is: it’s not about me. It’s about that cat. It’s about how Loki feels and what Loki wants, and ultimately that has very little to do what I do or don’t do at any particular moment.

He has moods. Go figure. Don’t we all? (After all, I don’t exactly love it when he wants to suckle my neck and knead my scalp with his little scimitars at 5 in the morning.) Learning how to let my cat be himself has been useful to me in realizing how important it is to let other people be themselves: feel what they feel, want what they want.

And to know that, most of the time it’s not at all about me. Even (especially?) when I love them and they love me.

A Year Ago: Lessons My Cat Has Taught Me: Number 6—Purr

Cat nestled into extended legs.There are many things one can say in praise of cats: they are elegant, fearsome, independent, athletic…
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Exterior Lamp with Shadow

The new camera (and its high-resolution images) is making me want to redesign this blog. I think I’d like to have the images be a larger size on the homepage. It’s not as if I have anything else important to do.

A Year Ago: Metal Beach

Barge interior.There is a tide in the affairs of men…
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Miniature waterfall at Asheville Botanical Garden.

ISO 125, f/5, handheld at 1/10 sec., 20 megapixels.

This is not an image I could ever get out of my iPhone. Or indeed my venerable GF-1 without a tripod.

I wanted the new LX100, a gorgeous, ergonomically excellent camera. In fact, I bought one. But the sensor failed on me after fewer than 50 exposures. Back to Amazon it went. I debated whether I wanted a replacement, but ultimately decided for a camera that would genuinely fit in a pocket—a camera I’d have no excuse not to have on me just about all the time.

Enter the Sony RX100M3.

It’s a new era: I now have a carry-everywhere camera that can handle easily 80% of the kind of images I want to make. The zoom is a 24-70mm FF equivalent. It takes some getting used to having all the controls be menu-driven. That’s not my favorite, for sure. The trade off is that I can make choices with this camera that my iPhone could never offer. And although it was pricey, this is my first real camera purchase in 6 years. Technology moves so fast now, it’s possible that something significantly more compelling will show up sooner than I expect. But for now, I think this will do me nicely.


Corroded barge with markings.All I saw was the tasty corrosion and the artful strip of hanging metal…
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