Grand kitties! (aka disruptors)



The kitties came for a weekend visit over Memorial Day. Since Ash was out of town and Ryan's ex-roommate was staying with us, Ryan decided to stay here and bring the kitties with him. All I can say is "What a riot!" Our cats (especially Moogie) were not at all amused.

In case you don't know the story, approximately 6 months before Ryan and Ash got married Diane saw information and YouTube video of bengal cats (domesticated cats approximately 3 generations removed from the wild). One day when the kids were at the house, she called them in to the computer room and showed them the cute kitties she had found. She jokingly asked them, "Wouldn't it be funny if we got ya'll those for a wedding present?" At which point the kids were like, "coooool!" And so it came to be...Once the wedding was over, we took possession of two bengal kitties and gave them to our son and new daughter-in-law.

Their names are Azriel and Remiel - after two archangels, but the kids call them Aza and Remi. Once they got a little acclimated to the house they would run around disturbing everything. Ryan would play with them using a feather on a stick. They easily jump (fly) 4+ feet off the ground - and land with a noticeable "thud". Ryan says they work together to get stuff and mimic supposed raptor behavior. I watched several times as one would move up on something while the other circled from behind. It was spooky! They are also particularly fond of red straws - like the ones you get from Sonic. In fact, they will try to take yours from your drink if you're not watching carefully.

Beauregard (one of our cats) would just growl at them when they came near. Moogie stayed out the room. She was never pleased with them. I went to bed on Saturday night and they came in to see what was going on. Moogie was by my side and kept hissing. Eventually she moved up to the headboard and watched them from afar. I think she slept up there all night.

Now that it's late afternoon on Monday, the grand kitties have gone back to their own house. My cats are sleeping better and seem to have calmed down. I think I finally see what they mean about how wonderful it is to be a grand parent!

Pluots



Diane and I went to the Gucci HEB one day during the summer and I ran across this display of pluots. I really liked the different colors and ended up taking a few shots. This was taken during the first few weeks of having my camera so I probably would change a couple of things now but I still like the way it ended up.

Mountain Laurel - March 2008



I took this picture of a mountain laurel while at the Botanical Gardens on March 21st. When I took it, I didn't have my tripod and ended up shaking a little bit. This seemed to ruin the picture but I saved it anyway. When I got home I decided to try using some Photoshop effects on it. I finally hit upon the "watercolor" effect and decided this wasn't so bad after all!

Chicago Trip in 2002



I took this shot while Diane, the boys and I visited Chicago in the summer of 2002. We spent four solid days walking and eating. Unfortunately for me, my legs weren't ready for all the walking we were doing so I frequently found myself lagging way behind everyone else. Hence this shot of the family ahead of me. I especially like the picture because it conveys to me a sense of the "largeness" of Chicago and the buildings we were looking at. At the time, the camera I had was my Olympus C3000. Not a "great" camera but adequate for my needs. I probably need to adjust the sky color a bit but with my color blindness, it's hard for me to do that kind of thing and get it realistic.

Cemetery Markers



There is something about old cemeteries that I find fascinating. I joke about that fact that I have a family member in nearly every cemetery in San Antonio...a testament to the size of my family, how long we have lived here and (I guess) life itself.

I took this shot in New Braunfels about 3 weeks after I got my camera. I got up early on Saturday morning and drove to the Weilbacher plot outside of Garden Ridge on Hwy 3009. After taking a couple of shots there I wound my way around until I got to New Braunfels and the cemetery there. I took several shots and may end up posting a couple more of them later. This, however, is my current favorite of that trip.

I'm sure I could do a much better job with this picture, today. But then I was still practicing with all the knobs and dials.

Hibiscus - Pink, double



About a week after I found the lizard I went out to our backyard and happened upon this hibiscus bloom. These are some of my most favorite plants and this variety is especially hardy. I was especially pleased with the depth of field I was getting compared to the Olympus C-3000 I had before this.

I have never been too much of an "artist." I think my color blindness gets in the way of some of that. Plus it's very easy for me to develop an attitude of "Life is a wave and I'm just floating with it." But I have noticed that when I carry my camera around I tend to see a lot more than I when I don't have it. The mere possession of a camera forces me to look for things to photograph.

I want to be more artistic. I want to take better pictures. So I carry my camera everywhere. Oh, and it drives my youngest son nuts - all the better!

Lizard



This is one of the first pictures I took with my new Olympus E-500. I received the camera on a Wednesday in July and the following Saturday morning I made a point of going out to the San Antonio Botanical Gardens for some test shots. I saw this little guy while in the area showing water resistant plants. I just love the difference in colors!

Opening Post



Ok, this is my starting post. I'm setting this blog up to showcase some of my photography and also so the family can check out where I've been when I go out and take pictures. For the next few weeks you will be getting pictures I've recently taken and a bit of the plans we have for our trip to Europe. In case you haven't heard, Diane and I are taking 28 days this summer to travel in Europe (mostly southern Germany). We already have our plane tickets to London and I'm in the process of finding a place to stay there. After 4 days we will travel on to Stuttgart and stay with Michelle. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the practice shots and will stay tuned to my little travel blog.

The shot I'm posting with this article is one I took this past December. It includes Diane and Jordan as they were watering plants in the back yard. I thought the smile on his face was priceless.