Saturday, 31 December 2011

Memories, Dreams & Reflections...

It doesn't seem twelve months since I was putting together last year's M,D & R!  The time has flown.

Me and Ben
I'm the one who doesn't have the cute nose and long ears.

I love you...
Hamlet the play - my favourite.  And a mention
for the husband is needed as well :O)
(Kudos to David for being game when I suggest he dress
as the Prince of Denmark and stand in the garden at night for
a photo shoot).

Still Laughing... #1
I couldn't breathe for laughing when I was taking this.
Cath could not get the timing right on the jump, hence
she was going down when Helen was going up!

Still Laughing... #2
Not a lot I can say about this really :O))
(Cath, I'm sorry, but if you're going to bend over
like that in the vicinity of someone who is
carrying a camera then you're
asking for trouble!!)

Winter Wonderland...
If only!  I'm disgusted to report there has been
a distinct lack of the white stuff this year.
This is the Swan Fountain in Stratford last December.

Cath and Helen made
the year a lot more insane :O)

This is a pic of Pepper's birthday treat
and fake birthday cakes.

Rudbeckias in the rain

I was Inspired...
Many, many things inspire me, a mood, the way the light
falls, a colour. The top shot was inspired by
an idea in a photography magazine, and the bottom one by a prompt from
Kat Eye Studio to create a square image.

Spring Fever...
Well actually it's a ladybird on a pansy - 
I couldn't think of anything else!

Trentham Gardens

Trentham Estate Gardens
It was only an hour or so to drive there from home,
but Trentham Gardens was a revelation, like stepping
into Italy.

Lavender Landscapre

Sunlight on Lavender
Summer Days...
Taken at Snowshill Lavender Farm in the Cotswolds.
Beautiful place, beautiful day.

A Day in My Life...
It usually starts with me in the kitchen, dealing
with a cat or four, maybe taking a photo, writing a list to remember what
I have to do/get for dinner that night, and eating breakfast on the run.
That's before I go to work.
(I have no knowledge of that bottle of wine in the background!).

Coffee Break...
All smiles...
Cath happy to have an extremely large cappuccino.

Hay Bales
Autumn Harvest...
Getting a photo of Hay Bales
became a bit of an obsession this year.
I was much taken to giving David nervous breakdowns by 
suddenly yelling 'Stop the car!'
when passing likely looking locations.

Cross with leaves
... and another Autumnal shot.
I love those colours and textures.

Family or Home...
David and Posky (Posky here standing in for all four cats
who are too temperamental to sit for a group portrait).

Pepper the prize-winner!
This is Pepper and this photo of her
won a first prize in a local photo competition.
Catnip all around!

Snow Leopards
Let's do it Again...
Go see the Snow Leopards.
Absolutely gorgeous animals. Love the
way it's trying to play with its food here :O))

Ben and the pumpkins
I Miss You...
Little Ben the bunny who died at Halloween,
(which David says does show a certain style).

Raindrops on my Acer...

... and trees in the mist.

Dress Up...
Who could forget Charlie and Posky in their 'Bad Boy' vests?
Or Posky and Pepper going trick or treating in their Halloween capes?
(Do you realise how much this type of photo costs me
in cat treats?!?).

Colour version of raindrops on a chive
Raindrops on a chive
(not defying gravity - I turned it 90 degrees to puzzle people) :O)

Christmas Pumpkins
Nothing says Christmas like a pumpkin with a hat on :O)

Christmas cups and candy canes
... or the famous Christmas mugs complete with candy canes.
(After I bought those canes I discovered that they weren't suitable
for veggies so had to give them to Helen.
How that woman has a tooth left in her head is a bit of a mystery!).

Merry Christmas
How about dressing up your camera for Christmas?
This is my old 400D, which came in handy when the 7D
had to be rushed to camera ER and have an emergency op.
I like to think that someone who looks like George Cloony
tenderly ministered to it :O))

Paw and bauble
My Favourite...
I find it very hard to judge my own photos after
having looked at them for so long.  Quite often it won't be
the best shot technically that I like, but the one that suggests a mood
or atmosphere. I've already
shared quite a few 'faves' above so here are a few more.
This is Mrs P and her bauble.

Mrs Pod - black and white version
... and looking a bit dramatic.

Outside the RST
Deserted cafe on a cold Autumn morning.

Statue and cobweb
Graveyard angel with cobweb...

Church at Batsford
...the Church at Batsford.

Dawn Dandelion Seed
... and a weed at dawn!

Just Because... So There!
He's Posky, he's my boy, and this makes me smile :O)

Hopes & Dreams...

Article in Hinckley Times
Photographically it's been a good year - a charity used my image for 
their Christmas card, and some of my cat photos won prizes.
My pic of the dandelion was an Editor's choice,
I took part in the Photobox24 Live! challenge
(which was brilliant and I heartily recommend it), and our local paper
asked to use some of my photos in an article.
So I'd just like to build on that really, do the best I can
and have fun with it.

A happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous 2012 to all - and thanks for all the lovely comments. xx

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Snow Leopards!

Whilst taking Posky for his acupuncture yesterday morning, I learned from Linda the Vet that I HAD to take my camera and visit Twycross Zoo to see the Snow Leopards.  Now I'm not a fan of zoos - although I do realise that the best ones are a necessary evil due to the way humans have endangered many animals and their habitats.  Tycross is involved with breeding programmes for endangered species and also their conservation in the wild (including Snow Leopards).  Their pair had cubs in the summer and they are just gorgeous - they have an enormous enclosure to live in and what is brilliant is that the Visitor Centre is built onto the side of this, with windows looking directly into it - a gift to anyone with a camera.  Here are some of the photos I took.

Snow Leopards
'Stealth - I haz it...'
Here's one of the cubs trying to sneak up on his Mum.

Snow Leopards
... playing with a stick he found

Snow Leopards
... and having a tussle with his sibling.

Snow Leopards
This is Mum having a well-earned break from cub watch.

Snow Leopards
'Fee fi fo fum, I smell the blood of human nom...'
Here's Mum again - looking at the strange
human animals.

Snow Leopards
The low winter sun was a bit tricky, but did mean you could get some
nice silhouettes.

Want to adopt a Snow Leopard? (Not literally! - Although it might help keep certain small cats in order... mentioning no names but you know who you are).  Twycross has an animal adoption scheme that helps them with their conservation work.  Click here for more info.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Cats on Tuesday...

Not a lot to report on the cat front over Christmas... they awoke briefly to eat then went to sleep again.  Pepper was prodded into wakefulness long enough to have her photo taken with some of their new toys, and Charlie was 'persuaded; to have his photo taken with David (ha!)'.

Pepper 'the paw' strikes again...
The red and white stripey toys were made by Sandra for the cats.
Janet bought them the catnip mice.

David and Charlie take part in the age-old Boxing Day tradition
of 'Cat Wrestling'.
(The cat usually wins).
Anyone else reminded of that cartoon,
'I will hug him and pet him, and I will call him George'?!?

Charlie and the bookcase
Charlie can't believe
that Laurie said yesterday that
Pepper was her favourite cat...

Charlie in b&w
... and here he is hoping that Penny
will be along soon to mollify his feelings.

For more post-Christmas kitties visit Gattina's Cats on Tuesday.


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