Zebra's Child

Living With Common Variable Immune Deficiency and It's Autoimmune Friends

New Archives

I’m embarrassed to admit that two days ago I uploaded pictures from my Nikon D5300 to my computer. Well, that isn’t exactly the embarrassing part. The embarrassing part is that apparently I had never done that in the four years that I’ve had the camera. I honestly thought that I had. And the really embarrassing part is how many pictures were involved. (Long story involving new camera, returned camera, even newer camera…….)

I have now uploaded, ummmmm…… ahem…… almost 2,000 pictures onto my computer. The depressing thought is that I now have to work my way through all of them to delete, keep, edit, etc. Which. of course I can’t do in any sort of short time frame. The exciting news is that I now have access to some pictures that I have been looking forward to editing and posting.

So. I will frequently be posting photos from my archives. As always, the date will be there on the bottom, so you will know which ones are current and which ones are from previous years.

Don’t be fooled by appearances, though. The photo below was actually taken today.

fullsizeoutput_9dd

Fallen Leaves                           Image: Zebras Child 2019

I Just Keep Doing It

The Whole Problem, I tell myself, is that I live across the street from Whole Foods. I can see the outside display from my kitchen window. And the things on their patio this time of year are just, well, too tempting to resist. I also can truthfully say that they are good for my mental health. So I keep buying them, because each month they have different ones, and I feel I need to add to my collection. It’s almost getting out of control, because I don’t have infinite space, given that I live in an apartment and all. But in fact, I think I exert remarkable self control, given how many different varieties there are. But, well, I guess that depends on who is making that judgement.

At any rate, here are of two my newest acquisitions. These Dahlias are annuals, so I need to revel in their short lived beauty.

fullsizeoutput_9ad

Dahlias   Image: Zebras Child 2019

fullsizeoutput_99d

Dahlias   Image: Zebras Child 2019

 

Reference Point

fullsizeoutput_956

Does this image make you a little dizzy? Or perhaps off balance? It should. Yet it is merely a photo of a wrought iron railing. The difference is the reference point. We are used to making solid, constant things our reference points. In this case you would probably not be at all uneasy if I had taken the photo with the building straight on the horizontal and thus made the railing diagonal. That is, after all, how we stand when we look at things. But by making the bottom of the railing horizontal to the bottom of the picture frame (even if it doesn’t appear that way because on the descent of the steps), it makes you feel rather topsy turvy.

I have taken photographs for years. Decades even. But I now find that I have the time and the energy to start learning the craft seriously. Even with much technical skill to learn, however, there is one thing I have always known: that photography, as is true of any art form, must elicit an emotional response from the viewer. It may be awe, discomfort, outrage, sorrow, amazement, a feeling of being drawn in to the photograph, or even that sharp intake of breath that signifies absolute wonder. But a feeling must exist in the viewer or otherwise to them, it is just a picture. Not everyone will necessarily react the same way to the same work of art, or even to the same artist. But if a photograph doesn’t move someone, then it remains an object, not art.

Painters, musicians, writers, potters, photographers, dancers – at a fundamental level, we are all trying to do the same thing. We are all trying to get good enough at our craft to convey what we feel when we encounter the world.

And that is a life long process.

Wordless Wednesday

fullsizeoutput_98c

Image: Zebras Child 2019

Looking Through a Glass Door

PYXltMdKRQSGMc2snzK0SA

Neighborhood: Piedmont Ave, Oakland                Image: Zebras Child 2019

And seeing both the construction site inside and the street reflected behind me.

The Necessity of Taking Dogs Out in the Rain

Here is the fundamental issue: Most dogs do not like to be forced to go out to do their business when it is raining. Even dogs that love to swim and fetch things in water don’t usually appreciated water falling on them from above. It’s a totally different sensation than leaping joyfully into the water for a lovely swim or to retrieve a favorite stick. But neither you nor they really like big messes left on the carpet. They are highly embarrassed because they know it’s against the rules, and they very much want to please you. You, of course, don’t want to clean up the mess. So. They need to go out, but often neither of you are very happy about it. Even when my husband and I were still living in our house, our dog Zoe refused to go potty in the rain even if we forced her out the back door. She would spend her whole time huddling under the eaves for shelter, no matter how long we left her out there. We tried not giving her breakfast until she had gone potty. Even that didn’t work. I would always end up having to put a lead on her and take her out. With the lead on, she didn’t have much choice but to follow me and once outside, she did indeed attend to business. Eventually, after we had had her for awhile, we didn’t even try to force her out into the back yard. I would simply suit up with my rain gear and take her out for a walk.

Years later, as many of you know, my husband and I moved back to the Bay Area of Northern California and into a 22 floor retirement community. All of us in the building who have dogs need to take them for walks both for exercise and to give them the chance to go to the bathroom.  Also, as many of you know, after my husband died, friends in the building who have a labradoodle, and I who have a miniature Schnauzer, started sharing the 3 walks a day of our dogs. (See the 2 preceding posts below.)

When it’s not raining, I walk the dogs anywhere from 0.5 – 1.5 miles in the afternoon. That gives them plenty of time to do their business. When it’s raining I tend to stay close to the apartment so I can get home quickly if needed, but I still need to give the dogs enough time for multiple chances to go potty. Taking some photos along the way keeps us all moving a little, which also helps.

The particular afternoon of yesterday (see post below), it had been raining for hours with no signs of letting up, and my phone said it was going to continue to rain for at least 120 more minutes. About 4:00 I finally figured there was no sense in waiting any longer, especially since at the moment it wasn’t raining terribly hard. The dogs and I went out. We stayed out about 15 minutes. I took some photos, they did what they were supposed to do. We all came home and dried off,

And no more than 15 minutes later? You guessed it: the sun came out in all its glory. The dogs, of course, being inside, didn’t realize that the rain had stopped so soon after our walk. Which was probably a good thing, as they are both very good at looking at me reproachfully. Also, thank goodness, dogs tend to live in the moment, so they probably wouldn’t have had something to say about it. But still………

Sigh. At least I got some good photos. (For more photos from the walk, see yesterday’s post below.)

fullsizeoutput_987

Neighborhood: Adams Point, Oakland        Image: Zebras Child 2019

It’s Still Raining

And the dogs were definitely not happy on our afternoon walk. I couldn’t capture anything not on the ground or anchored down since the wind was gusting quite lustily. So I settled for photographing such things as fallen leaves, mostly on the wet pavement. I hope you enjoy seeing them more than the dogs enjoyed the whole process. Although that wouldn’t be very difficult.

Click on any image to enlarge.

All Images: Zebras Child 2019

Photography and Dogs in the Rain

I am, perhaps, unusual in that I like taking pictures in the rain. The rain water on objects, in addition to the light that is peculiar to rain storms, seems to intensify the colors. More importantly, I suppose, is that I don’t mind going out in the rain. I have the necessary rain gear due to my love of hiking and the necessity of walking dogs, so I only get rather damp.

The dogs, however, have a different opinion of going out in the rain and of me stopping every minute or two to take a photo. They sit there, only somewhat patiently, with their heads down, sneaking a pleading look upwards every once in awhile that says, “Would you please, for God’s sake, take me home where it is warm and dry.

*Disclosure: I actually only own one dog, a Miniature Schnauzer. Good friends in the building own a Labradoodle. We share the walking of the dogs (three people, three walks/day = one walk per day per person). We also share the dogs in other respects, such as loving them both. And they behave as if they are littler mates. It’s a great system.

 

fullsizeoutput_951

A picture of Teddy, the Labradoodle. and Zoe, the Miniature Schnauzer. Teddy doesn’t actually like the rain, but he doesn’t mind it too much. Zoe, on the other hand definitely doesn’t not, I repeat, not, like rain. It probably has to do with the fact that Teddy has enough oil in his fur that the rain drops mostly sit on the surface of his coat and he simply shakes them off. Zoe, on the other hand. has hair, not fur, and the rain soaks immediately right down to her skin. She looks rather like a drowned rat and is about as cheerful as one as well.

*Further discloser: I did not have them with me the other day when I took these photos of an old lamp post on Piedmont Ave in Oakland. The lamp posts, by the way, are over 100 years old.

I especially love how the rust shows its colors where the paint has worn off.

fullsizeoutput_943

fullsizeoutput_945

Images: Zebras Child 2019

 

I Will Move Mountains……….

Well, not really, but it sounds good.

I was on the phone today with a company that makes clothes for people who work outdoors. Their clothing promises to be both comfortable to move in, yet tough and durable. I explained that I am a (amateur) photographer who has been known to climb into bushes,  scrape up against rough walls and kneel down in muck to get the shot that I want. Often while walking two dogs. And I needed a pair of pants that would stand up to all that.

This photo is a case in point. I was squeezed between a bush that was taller than I am and a rough old brick wall, all the while holding on to the the dogs’ leads. They weren’t crazy enough to try to follow me into the small space. But they waited patiently.

fullsizeoutput_949

Image: Zebras Child 2019

Don’t know about the pants yet. I’ll see when they arrive.

Strange Weather

It’s raining today in the East Bay and in San Francisco. In May. This is not usual. At all. Below is a photo that I took back in March, but it nonetheless shows what it looks like outside today.

If you look closely, you will see that the center of the plant in the foreground is a little hazy. That’s because the vent (also in the foreground) is discharging steam from a dryer. It’s fantastic to look at it as a live shot or a loop, but my site doesn’t support motion. So use your imagination to picture the waves of steam billowing forth. And enjoy the image on this rainy day.

fullsizeoutput_93d

Neighborhood: Adams Point, Oakland                     Image: Zebras Child 2019