Spooky

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This is the only actual Halloween shot I’ve taken this year. I thought the birds would be more responsive to getting a treat by doing a trick for me but…wrong. Just this guy, one time…at least while I was watching and waiting.

So I had to find some older photos that might seem a little spooky or creepy…hope you don’t get too scared.

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dsc_1381ExoSKELETONS

bones-on-ballDem Bones

dsc_0001-cropCreepy Mausoleum

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dsc_2426Lalo Cota mural

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lalo-cropped-squareLalo Cota painting

ants-dhr_edited-1Emerging from the depths of the earth…

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Boo!

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The Magic Tunnel, etc.

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I went to Dreamy Draw Recreation Area again the other day, part of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve (past posts of mine from there 1, 2, 3). Dreamy Draw is the site of a purported 1947 UFO crash and it is said the dam was built to cover up the evidence. That may be urban legend but it is true that this area was full of mercury mines in the early 1900s and got its name from the “dreamy” miners who were affected by the toxins. At any rate, the place always gives me the slight creeps…

The tunnel goes under the freeway so hikers can easily get to the other part of the park. What you see on the other side is a dilapidated house in downtown Phoenix, a few miles away and a few years ago. I guess the mercury vapors are still floating around…or maybe it was the magic of Photoshop…

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This is the dam, above.

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Metal Contraption

Spaceship debris?

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Blurry Fence

This is an interesting article on the lore of Dreamy Draw.

Do you ever have a bunch of stray photos sitting on your desktop that don’t really go with anything else? I do and I’m trying to organize my photos today so I need to file these away.

NORFOLK ISLAND

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This is not my photo. It’s a drone shot that my friend, Cynthia, sent me, taken on Norfolk Island in the South Pacific, home of the Norfolk Pine, where she lives. It’s a very small island, owned by Australia, and 600 miles away from New Zealand. It’s where many of the Bounty mutineers settled and half of the current residents are their descendants. It also has a rich history of being a penal colony. Anyway, if you click on the photo, you can see her house on the left hand side with the red peaked roof. I wish I had a drone…

SAHUARO RANCH

The following photos were taken in January, when my friend, Regina, who lives in Pittsburgh, was visiting Arizona. We had not seen each other in 40 years, since college days. I’ve posted photos from Sahuaro Ranch before (1, 2) but, on this particular day, I didn’t take many photos since Regina and I were catching up.

Peacock

There are over 100 peacocks on the property as well as citrus orchards, a rose garden, chickens, and historic buildings. It’s a working farm, to some extent.

Tractor

Siamese Orange

This park is owned by the City of Glendale. There are many feral cats on the property who are all neutered and fed and cared for by volunteers.

Palm Holes

Feather on Concrete

Brown Bunny

Bunnies, too.

Black Cat

 

Rainy Day Pastimes

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Thanks to El Niño, we had 5 days of solid gloom and rain. Instead of using the time to do all the things I need to do, I played around with some photos…and the minutes turned into hours and the hours into days. They each can tell a little story, I think.

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Nikon Camera HawkShootin’ Film

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Window Cat_edited-1Looking Out/Looking In

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I had seen this 5 minute award-winning animated film short the night before and that’s what “inspired” me to make these…not the message of the film (which is kind of sappy although true) but the visual beauty of it. I love all the layers upon layers in it…not that I can do anything very complex but it was fun trying.

 

 

Halloween Cats

Page_1_edited-1Our 10 cats are busily preparing for Halloween. They haven’t been featured here much lately so they want to reintroduce themselves. All of our cats, except one, showed up in our yard as strays or ferals and all have been neutered. From the top, and then L to R:

Svengali is an outdoor cat who acts as neighborhood ambassador. He comes and greets anyone who comes to our door and supervises all activities among cats and humans alike.

Marbles is 17 and a half, still full of energy, and likes sunshine, fresh air, and food. Google is a sweet, chatty, interactive cat who was just diagnosed with diabetes although he is only 7.5 years old. He’s now on insulin but he lost a lot of weight so we are working on regulating his dose. He seems to be improving. Jessi used to live outside but now lives inside; she is devoted to her dad and tolerates me.

The triplets are also 7.5 years old, born to a feral mom, Isabella, who is no longer with us. Ebony is huge, fluffy, timid, extremely sweet, and loves to be brushed. Ivory has catitude, likes our neighbor’s roof, and does what she wants. Edie, unlike her siblings, remains feral but does meow at us.

Stripey is 5.5 years old, and was also born to Isabella. She’s a very sweet, stay-at-home girl who also likes to bully other girl cats at times. Winky is technically our cat but she likes our neighbor and his dog more and spends most of her free time with them, coming over here for meals. It takes a village to raise a cat. Lilki showed up about 2 months ago as a very tiny kitten but her left ear was already tipped, meaning someone spayed and released her. How she got here is anyone’s guess. She likes climbing trees and spends her days avoiding Stripey who feels a need to torment her. She needs to get bigger so she can get even.

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The following are animated gifs I’ve made through the years. If you don’t see the animation, click on them.

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My Home Park

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The European Starlings were decorating their cactus the other day at Granada Park, which I am now considering my “home park.” It’s the closest city park with a lake (2 of them) to our house and it also has trails leading out into the desert foothills of Piestewa Peak, part of the Phoenix  Mountain Preserve.

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“I refuse to be outdone by those Starlings!”

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So it has both desert and water habitats and the resulting wildlife. I go there at least once a week with my camera. A lot of my photos in the last few months were taken there.

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Bird Feeders

There’s a little hidden area where someone keeps the bird feeders stocked. Unfortunately, the birds hear me coming and fly away before I can get any good shots of them.

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Northern Mockingbird

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Inca Dove

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House Finch

Flock

Although there are currently migrating Mallards, American Wigeons, American Coots, and Ring-Necked Ducks there, these are some of the year-round regulars that are basically just hybirds and domestic ducks (“City Park Specials”) but I think they are handsome, nevertheless.

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I love this guy, above, who looks like he is posing for me. He hangs out with a couple of the big white ducks and geese most of the time.

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And a few fun-loving Mallards to finish it off:

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*Certain Photoshopped elements courtesy of Obsidian Dawn.