Daily Photo: Before the Snow

black cat and red leaves
Mimi catches a bit of sun and looks so good with red.

Mimi shows us her silhouette and catches the sun on a warm autumn afternoon as we take a little walk around the yard to enjoy the beauty and the weather, set up and adjust bird and squirrel feeders, plant and trim and mulch plants, sweep up leaves and get ready for winter. These photos were taken quite a while before the snowfall we had this week, but we had such a lovely autumn this year, so long and slow-moving, colorful and warm, and the burning bush in front lit up with the late afternoon sun each day until just last week, just as I’d planned it a couple of decades ago when I planted it there to provide some privacy all year and color in autumn.

black cat and red leaves
Mimi features the burning bush.

As Mimi and I explored our yard and I explored the countryside with my camera, while my renewal projects around the house took most of each day, I took so many photos that I’ll be sharing for a while. We are pretty much finished inside, though it’s never really done, and all pretty happy with how things have turned out. You’ll be seeing that here too! Here’s what the burning bush looked like in the sun.

burning bush
What it looks like in the sun.

Our next door neighbor decided to build a garden next to their driveway and so trimmed it back, leaving some open space in the middle. That will eventually fill in and we’ll have solid red again, along with the shade in summer. I planted the river birches and burning bush there in 1998 for shade at that south corner of the house, to have a tree that is relatively small and easy to manage, at least as compared to my older maples and the spruce, and the burning bush at the foot of it for shade as well, and both would provide privacy year round, and autumn color. This year the summer was so dry the river birches dropped leaves early so they didn’t color up at the same time, but they were still beautiful. River birches are in the category of “messy trees”, dropping catkins in spring and leaves all through the summer as well as autumn, and twigs all year round, but that’s what trees do and I have never minded it. We all watch the birds and squirrels enjoy them, and I admire the colors and textures every day of the year.

Mimi strikes a pose in the sun among the plants and decorations.

cat with plants
Mimi in an artsy pose.

 

 

~~~

From Instagram

First, thanks to some friends who visited and helped us get ready for all our changes this autumn. After I had moved a tent full of stuff out of the basement into the tent in my back yard, Denise came to help as I began to prepare the basement for waterproofing by sweeping and sweeping and packing up trash, but I really don’t think the visit was for me. At least if you ask Giuseppe. What a big greeting! And who could resist Giuseppe?

A couple of days later Mary came over to help with moving things as I moved around the basement patching the walls. Earlier this year I helped Mary to move and get set up in her new house so I got to know her kitties too. No, you kitties, Aunt Mary isn’t here to pet you, she’s here to help me waterproof the basement! Please let her go!

woman and cats
They are hard to resist!

Now for catching up with autumn images!

October 18: A cozy, sunny Autumn nap for Mimi in black and white and color, in one of her favorite places, atop the stack of wood for my garden. Mimi doesn’t need a fancy bed.

October 18: “This is going to be soooooo good.” Mewsette enjoys more lemongrass. If you look just above her forehead next to her ear you’ll see a very soft image of Mimi, looking vaguely disapproving.

October 2: Mimi and Sienna have successfully cornered the mouse in my kitchen. I wonder if they’re planning on sending someone a message.

two cats and computer mouse
Mimi and Sienna and the mouse.

 

From the garden and beyond.

Autumn was spectacular this year. For the first time in a few years I could get out to enjoy it with my new hip, and while work and working on my house called me here, also for the first time in years I took the time to appreciate the season and slipped out for a few hours when I could to seek the most beautiful places to photograph. I had wanted to paint en plein air too, but in the end there was so much to see, and such a joy to walk, that I never settled down for that. Still, I have many paintings planned for the coming months.

October 12: The Lichen Tree

autumn trees
The Lichen Tree

Of all the autumn photos I took this year, and those I’ve taken over the years, this has become a favorite.

What treasures we find if we only turn and look.

Is that awesome or what? There are so many colors of leaves in this one small area, but the lichen tree, as I named it, is actually completely dead and bare, is what really makes it for me. The sun had been covered by overcast as I traveled around photographing, so the colors had a special intensity as if they really needed to shine out of the darkness, and the shadows were denser than usual. It lends the scene an air of mystery, as if it’s an entry, or portal.

October 12: A Parking Lot Transformed

autumn wildflowers
A Parking Lot Transformed

A crumbling asphalt parking lot is transformed into an autumn garden by willing wildflowers who spring up through the cracks.

 

October 3: Flying Free at Sunset

doves at sunset
Flying Free at Sunset

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd wind slowly o’er the lea,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness, and to me.
~ from “Elegy Written In A Country Churchyard” by Thomas Gray

The bells of Sts. Peter and Paul rang 7:00 as the sun faded and doves flew in slow circles against the clouds, bringing this favorite old poem to mind.

Sometimes I like to photograph the effect of the sunset on the surrounding landscape rather than the sunset itself.

~~~

You can find these and others on my photography website, Today.

 

From around this date in past years

Hard to Tell, 2019

Hard to tell what's going on.
Hard to tell what’s going on.

They do these things, and it’s hard to tell. They are smashed together in the limited space on my desk, twisted around each other, heads tucked in and over each other, tails in faces. The desk lights are on and are warm, and I am there and if they are in my way there is always the chance of being petted. What else is a bunch of kitties to do on a cold winter day?

~~~

Photos from previous years…

Afternoon Bed, 2018

Mariposa and the big lump under the covers.
Mariposa and the big lump under the covers.

Mariposa pauses in her bath and contemplates the Giuseppe-shaped lump under the quilt in front of her. A great way to spend a dark, cold, drizzly day.

And from the weekend

Ceiling fan

Part of her is uncertain what it is. Another part of her wants to stalk and kill it.

Mariposa and the ceiling fan.
Mariposa and the ceiling fan.

Squirrel!

Squirrel! Apparently squirrel watching is only for the three longhairs this morning, Hamlet, Mariposa and Basil, as they watch the squirrels chasing each other through the trees in the back yard. They also happen to be formerly feral rescued cats who are now watching for fun instead of for breakfast on a cold morning. No wet and dirty paws for these three!

Hamlet, Mariposa and Basil.
Hamlet, Mariposa and Basil.

. . . . . . .

What other photos did I post on or around this date?

.

Pretty Flower, 2017
Just another pretty flower.
Just another pretty flower.

I think Basil is stalking the squirrel running up and down the tree out front, acting just just another pretty flower on the geranium, which is inside. Don’t tell me cats don’t have an imagination.

. . . . . . .

What other photos did I post on or around this date?

.

Sunshine on Sunshine, 2015
Mr. Sunshine in the sun.
Mr. Sunshine in the sun.

“Look, this is my spot of sunshine, and it’s your job to make sure those kittens don’t get in my the way of my enjoying it,” he said.

After all, it has his name on it, for real!

Spots of sunshine have been rare this month, but so far things have been peaceful.

 

. . . . . . .

What other photos did I post on or around this date?

.

Wordless Wednesday: Smokie Silhouette, 2014
long-haired black cat silhouette
Smokie Silhouette

Of course, this is Basil, back when he was a little Smokie guy. It’s the first time I saw his face beginning to mature and lose that soft rounded kitty nose. What a handsome kitty he’s become!

. . . . . . .

Four Thankful Kittens, 2-14
four tabby kittens
Four thankful kittens!

They may be in a litterbox, and they may not think they are in a good place right now, but these four “hissy kittens” were saved from euthanasia by the rescue group I work with. I picked them up at the shelter yesterday and transported them to their foster home.

Open door shelters have limits on the number of animals they can take in, and if they are full and an animal is acting out and needs socialization, they often don’t have the means to handle that. Many now have foster programs, but with the number of cats, especially, who are surrendered right off the street, foster homes fill quickly.

I am grateful for the person in our group who contacted the shelter and convinced them to work with our rescue, which is what saved the lives of these four cats. They were hissy, combative, frightened, and certainly not adoptable. So was Smokie back in August, and look at him now! Likewise many other kittens I and others have transported to foster homes.

Our group representative was contacted on Monday that a litter of three 14-week-old “hissy” kittens had been surrendered and she immediately sought a foster home from among the volunteers in the group—generally, we only have until the end of the day, possibly through the following day, to secure a foster and transportation. I offered to transport if a foster home was found.

A woman named Mindy offered, and we made arrangements for the next day. In the meantime, a fourth kitten about the same age was surrendered, and included in the rescue.

The foster home is some distance south of here and I finally got to the shelter yesterday, Wednesday, and drove the kittens to their foster home.

Mindy has a house full of rescued cats, and as soon as we brought the kittens inside she was handling them in their foster room.

Each of the kittens scurried into the corner where there was a litterbox under the table, and gathered there, feeling safe. Happily, the lone kitten, though completely unrelated to the other three, cuddled in with them, all gray and black tabbies.

Below, six of Mindy’s cats line up for attention. I’m looking forward to seeing these four “hissy” kittens in a month or so!

Six of Mindy's cats.
Six of Mindy’s cats.

I am thankful for this group of wonderful people who saved their lives! And this is the best reason of all to donate gift cards, food, litter, toys, beds and even cash to help us save cats every day of the year—read about it in Holiday Cheer for Rescued Cats!

. . . . . . .

How Do I Get Anything Done? 2014
black cat
Mr. Sunshine gazes at me until I notice him.

Sunshine is determined to make my workday both beautiful and fun, all with his own unique abilities. He positions himself on my desk with part of himself overlapping my keyboard and mousepad so I’m sure to notice him, then he makes sure I get a close look at those dazzling peridot eyes. That might be enough for some cats, but not for Mr. Sunshine.

black cat
Then he curls himself into impossible cuteness until I am totally preoccupied with him.

His next move at enhancing my enjoyment of my day is to slowly roll back and forth a few times and wave his paws. Eventually, he knows, I will rub his belly.

black cat
Then he begs for a belly rub.

Then he rolls over on his back and while I’m distracted and incapacitated by my camera he hits a few keys on my keyboard.

black cat
Then he rolls even farther and makes sure he hits the keyboard a few times.

As you can see, there was a period of time when I got no work done, but it was time well-spent.

. . . . . . .

I Think We’ve Been Discovered, 2013
“We’ve been discovered.”
“We’ve been discovered.”

Giuseppe went ahead to scout the food situation in Emeraude’s bathroom, opening the door just enough to get in, as Sunshine and Bean waited outside. He was a little surprised to find me in there, and Emeraude gave him a withering look when he inquired into the availability of her food.

. . . . . . .

2012: Through the Looking Glass, and What Mimi Found There
Through the Looking Glass, and What Mimi Found There
Through the Looking Glass, and What Mimi Found There

This is a reflection of a reflection, with a reflection of reality as well.

Indeed it does look as if Mimi is ready to step into the looking glass; that mirror is at an angle in the corner next to the window and the reflections are uniquely angled and difficult to achieve.

But this photo, backward from the way it is seen in life, is of a reflection—in a mirror across the room from the window! I have a full-length mirror on one panel of the bathroom bi-fold door so that I can see myself from top to bottom before I face the world, and to give the bathroom the feel of a little more space. In the reflection in that mirror I can see an angle I’d never be able to achieve otherwise, at least not without also seeing myself in that mirror. But that also explains the odd greenish cast and the random light and dark blurry spots; the mirror on the door is rather old, like many other things around here.

Either way, Mimi and I both had an adventure with this photo shoot today.

This image was in Compositions in Black and Green 2013, and another from the series was in the 2014 calendar.

 


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Bernadette

From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

2 thoughts on “Daily Photo: Before the Snow

  • December 3, 2020 at 12:51 pm
    Permalink

    Mimi looks great, so your yard is 🙂

    Reply
    • December 3, 2020 at 3:24 pm
      Permalink

      For being 17, she is awesome, and we totally love being out there!

      Reply

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