Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November scenery

Yesterday as I was walking back to catch the bus home, I saw these rocks covered with autumn leaves and a spattering of raindrops. Although I will never be able to duplicate the artistry of some of my favorite blogging friends, especially Hilary over at The Smitten Image, it will not be for lack of trying. If you visit her post (I've linked it), you'll see what I mean. No false modesty here.

Today I walked by the same stones. The leaves turned brown overnight and the scene in the picture is simply gone. I'm glad I caught it when I did. Sometimes you need to take the shot, no matter how inconvenient it might be, since life just keeps right on going by. Photography, however, is one of my favorite things these days: both my own and that of others. The hikes that the Trailblazers made in the High Country this past summer and fall are all preserved in my pictures and posts, and the Chuckanuts now beckon. (Not really; the Low Country hikes are nowhere near as stupendous, but possibilities for arty shots are just as good.) I always have my camera on my backpack's waistband so it's right where I can get at it. My fellow seniors don't like to stop and admire the scenery much; they are out for the exercise.
You know you can click to enlarge, right? :-)
Yesterday I also saw this black squirrel in the blackberry bushes right off the deck of my front porch. The bushes are at least as high as I am, covered with thorns, and extend deep into the vacant lot to the south. I have no idea how he got up on top of the thicket, but there he was, snacking away on the berries. He's not a very big guy, but he's persistent. The five squirrels that sometimes are all on my porch at once (three black, two grey) fight over the scraps dropped by the birds onto the deck, and they will sometimes chase each other away. It's a regular squirrel rumble out here at times.

At the bird store the other day, where I spent too much of my money, I asked the owner what she thinks about feeding the squirrels. She's got squirrel food (corn cobs, peanuts in the shell, etc.) offered for those who want to buy it, but according to her, the squirrels propagate all too often and don't seem to need any help from humans. There would only be more of them, and neither of these varieties are native, I learned. They are immigrants from the Northeast. The only native squirrel around these parts is the Douglas squirrel, which I don't think I've ever seen. They are small and aren't necessarily urban dwellers, and they would be at a real disadvantage around here in competition with the larger squirrels.

But I was happy to capture these two pictures. I'm feeling much better, almost completely over my cold and ready to brave Thursday's Low Country hike that has, according to today's forecast, a 70% chance of rain.


  1. So glad that you are almost over your cold. Your photography has changed since you started blogging.

    Your photos were always interesting and good, but you have a certain good sense for a layout and your photos are clear and amazing scenes now. You moved up a few rungs on the improved photographer ladder and I am way down here watching you and expecting to move up there some day too.

  2. Glad you're nearly over your cold.Love these photos. How interesting that the autumn scene changed so quickly overnight.

  3. I agree with TechnoBabe, your photography has become more dramatic. All of the fabulous scenery has inspired and challenged you, no doubt. I just love that photo of the leaves and rocks. Glad you are feeling better. I've had a miserable cold since Friday night, sigh.

  4. I'm right there with you on the photography! I've almost always got my camera with me in case something catches my eye. What I need to learn now is how to limit the number of shots... I take -and keep!- way too many! The "curse" of digital... didn't happen when I worked with film! :p

  5. I just see a red X in the upper left corner for your second photo. Too bad. Glad your cold is almost over.

  6. i think hilary's is where i first met a black squirrel...so odd looking since we have the greys and mottled browns...that first pic though is pure art djan...the rocks and leaves are awesome together..like ice cream and popcorn...

  7. I love to take photos too and our walks will often take longer because I stop to take photos. I'm one who likes to stop and admire the scenery or notice the things that often go unnoticed.

    I like your photos today...the rocks and autumn leaves make an interesting contrast and that squirrel is so cute! I don't think we get squirrels in Australia but we do enjoy some unique and cute wildlife too.

    Enjoy your week,
    Serena :)

  8. I certainly admire artsy photography. I like yours for the beautiful scenery in your area.
    Many invasive species do well with handouts and compete with the natives. We have black squirrles in Calgary but not in REd Deer.

  9. Love the stones with leaves...I so agree..you gotta take your camera with you all the time, because Mother Nature never fails to provide a show, anytime, anywhere!

  10. I thought both photos were very dramatic. I loved the squirrel perched in the bushes. We have lots of squirrels, which I don't intentionally feed, but they hang around the bird feeders and manage to grab a nibble. The past few months I've caught a chipmunk on occasion. No one believed me at first, as we hadn't seen any before. But, eventually my husband and younger daughter also saw him. (At least I think it's the same one!)

    I think all of your photos are great!

    Glad to hear you're feeling better!

  11. Really glad you are nearly over your misery making cold. The black squirrel seemed very exotic to me - and I love your photos for the entry into a different life they provide. Thank you, and please keep them coming.

  12. I really liked the photo of the rocks and leaves. Isn't it cool to see beauty in simple, everyday pathways that we travel everyday? Thanks for sharing your eye of wonder with us today.

  13. I'm glad you're feeling better; cold season is a misery.

    I would agree that you're photos have improved, and it's clear you enjoy taking pictures. I love to see them all! You're right about needing to stop and take pictures of scenes that strike us because they do change so quickly. I am always particularly thankful that I've taken the time to shoot a picture when I go by the next day and see that's it's gone or that the lighting is completely different and the scene looks like a different place.

    I'm like CrazyCris in that I take a lot of pictures and keep far more than I need. With the kids I keep nearly everything because even when the picture is crap it usually captures a moment or an expression that I want to save. This doesn't explain why I keep a gazillion shots of the same flower or landscape or whatever when only a couple are any good. I'm sure at some point I'll purge some of that stuff...
    I take my camera with me all the time but am trying to make sure I come out from behind it so that I'm experiencing all these fabulous moments in my life and in the lives of my children instead of just documenting them.

    I've been in that part of the country before but still don't think I've ever seen a black squirrel so it's nice to see him in your picture!

  14. I have never seen a black squirrel!! How incredible. And you are right: sometimes you just have to take the shot, no matter how it turns out. I think that is true in life AND in photography!!!

  15. Love the photo of the bright leaf in the rocks. That's a winner! Oops! I forgot to go look at Hilary's link. I will, though.

    I absolutely love squirrels...and chipmunks! The only place I saw lots of black squirrels (thrilled me such a creature existed) was when I briefly ran away to Canada with a couple of draft dodgers and a pregnant girl in 1969. I can never see a black squirrel without remembering sitting in a vast green park under a huge tree in Toronto listening to guitars strumming and people singing while I watched the black squirrels play.

    Ahhh! Memories. Thanks, Djan!! ;)

  16. Those are two very excellent photos. You don't often see a black squirrel! I love the colors of the fall leaves among those beautiful rocks. What a beautiful time of year.

  17. Glad to hear you are recovering from the cold. I love the rocks and red leaves, that is a cool shot. You're right about grabbing a shot when you see it, going back later rarely works out.

    The squirrel is so cute. Those little guys can go anywhere. The black ones are cute, they are a variety of the grays from what I understand. I use to see a lot of Douglas squirrels when we lived in Portland/Vancouver, we also saw them up and down the coast. The Fox squirrels we have here are not native either.

    Hope you get to do the hike on Thursday but it looks like we are all going to get wet.

  18. DJan .. so much to say here. First, thank you so much. You're always very encouraging to me and your kind words both here on your blog and in your comments on my own blog are so incredibly appreciated. Thank you for that, my bloggie friend.

    Your photos are just lovely. The artistic composition of the colourful leaves and rocks, with just a spot of green is beautiful as is your capture of the squirrel. I totally agree with TechnoBabe and others who said how your photography skills have evolved. You're a natural as I believe many nature-lovers are, and your attention to improvement is indeed working for you.

    Your black squirrel is an Eastern Grey squirrel. The black and the grey are one and the same species. They just happen to be different colours. They're very common here in southern Ontario and are found together in a single litter. Frank's sister Theresa raises and releases orphaned litters and there are often a couple of black amid the grey. They are always a delight to handle and to watch them mature.

    Thank you again, DJan. You're a true gem. Keep on snapping!

  19. I like to see the variety of photos of the seasons that others post.You have a great eye for interesting compositions. Enjoy the hike.

  20. We also have a black squirrel on our block. And of course I've taken a photo of him.

  21. The black squirrel is very cute. Your yard sounds like its own microcosm of life! :)

  22. glad you're feeling better :)

    I love the stones and leaves, and while you are right about how talented Hilary is I think your photos are lovely as well
    you always capture the mountains so beautifully

    Happy Trails
    Hope sends hugs

  23. Go happy to hear that you are feeling better!

    Both are great photos..you have an eye for a great shot.
    I love the squirrel..We have a few black ones here in our area. I had one at the museum but he didn't stick around long enough for me to get a photo.

    Those Blackberries look pretty good to me..:)


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