Low Tide 1

A few weeks ago I was walking the dogs part way around Lake Merritt at low tide. I’m always excited when that happens in good weather because I can get some really beautiful photographs.

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Reflections at Low Tide         Image: Zebras Child 2019
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Colors at Low Tide         Image: Zebras Child 2019

And some humorous ones.

SG #1  “Ah, FINALLY a sunny day at low tide.”

SG #2  “Yeah, did you hear The Gull on the weather report? He said there would be sunshine all day!”

SG #3  “Eh, that guy is such a bird brain! You can’t trust anything he says.”

SG #1  “Quick, everyone keep an eye on the sky. Let out a cry when you see the first rain cloud.”

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Three Seagulls On a Fountain        Image: Zebras Child 2019

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.)

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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.

 

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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.

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Images: Zebras Child 2019

 

A New (or perhaps old) Take on Street Art

Over the last few decades, the term Street Art has come to refer to a very specific, stylized, and quite professional form of art which is painted in common spaces such as fences, walls, and freeway underpasses.

Late Sunday afternoon, however, as I was returning home from the walk with the dogs, I came upon these delightful chalk drawings outside an apartment house just up the block. I suspect it was drawn by a child as a present to her or his mother for Mother’s Day. I remember making similar chalk pictures on the driveway or the sidewalk when I was a child. We all did. Perhaps this is actually the original Street Art here in the States.

In Honor of Mothers

Here in the States it is Mother’s Day. But I want to expand the definition of what it is to be a mother. You fulfill a mothering role if

  • You are the beloved Aunt or Grandmother helping to raise a child
  • You are that favorite teacher to whom a child turns when their home life is in chaos
  • You are a foster mother, adoptive, or step mother

I want to especially wish a Happy Mother’s Day to those whose

  • Children are far flung and none of them are able to spend time with you today or call
  • Children have predeceased you, and people are afraid to wish you a happy Mother’s Day because they don’t want to bring up painful memories

I want also to acknowledge mothers whose children are critically ill.

And I want to add to this list perhaps the most forgotten category

  • Mothers whose child was born still, died shortly after birth, or was born too early to survive. To you, especially, I want to acknowledge that you, also, are mothers.

I want to honor each of you, wish you the best, and offer a collage of virtual bouquets.

 

All Images were taken at our wonderful local flower shop on Grand Avenue in Oakland, California. It is an oasis of calm, and has the comforting feel of a French flower shop.

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All above images: Zebras Child 2019