Rain? What Rain?

Two DucksSome of our local residents don’t really mind that it rains here 8-9 months out of the year. My personal flock of Mallard ducks stay in our apartment complex year round. We get to see new additions in May and watch them grow to adulthood. Everyone feeds them so they are more pets than wild birds. If you’re in the back yard where we have 3 large ponds they will see you coming. If you even remotely look like you could be packing food they fly, swim & run at you en-mass. It’s a funny sight if you’re a visitor to the complex.

Bottoms Up

Working Doggies

Puppy 1I was visiting Multnomah Falls one weekend when I happened to come across a Rescue Team Convention being held there. With all the mountains we have in Oregon Rescue Teams play a vital part in saving lives of travelers, hikers, campers & climbers. We salute them in their efforts to save lives.

An important part of their team are the bloodhounds that find these wayward souls. In case of an avalanche they can sniff their way through deep snow to find folks in dire need. There were two such dogs at the Multnomah convention, belonging to two separate teams. I photographed both dogs and then located their handlers online so I could send them their dog’s portraits. The handlers responded quickly, asking for permission to use these photos in brochures and safety publications. Of course I gave my permission & support.

Soft & cuddly these dogs became beloved pets at the home of their handlers. They are beautiful animals, friendly and open to a myriad of visitors at the Rescue Convention. Little kids loved to wrap their arms around the dog’s necks, applying huge hugs. It was quite a happening.

Puppy 2These dogs were easy to photograph. Their handlers had them under tents set up to cover the Rescue Teams at the convention. You may have heard that it rains a lot in Oregon. That’s an understatement. The doggies were kept nice & dry, as were the visitors talking to the rescue team’s members.

Zawadi – Painting Effect

Zawadi 8

I really like this photograph of Zawadi, Portland’s male lion. It looks ready for a mat & frame. I processed the photo in an effort to make it look more like a painting that just a photograph. I used my newest camera, a Nikon D800, with a Nikkor 24-70mm F/2.8 lens aboard. That’s quite a combination that I enjoy for its incredible sharpness and wide exposure range. I had intended to capture photos of our zoo’s newest member, Lily, a baby Indian elephant. I forgot that the school kids are off for the holidays so they were in attendance in mass quantities. The zoo is only showing the public the baby from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. each day and allowing two people at a time 5 minutes to look and go. The line to accomplish this extended a city block and wasn’t worth the effort. I’ll just wait until the school age kids are back at school & try again.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise II

Lily With SurpriseI saw this challenge posted today and a photo I took immediately came to mind. I love the beauty of nature as it’s a tough act to beat. Just a block from my apartment complex I found these lilies growing in front of a church. When I processed my first close-up there was a gem of a water droplet shining in the sunlight. I nailed the focus on this shot as that droplet looked amazingly like a precious stone.

Remembered in Passing 2012

I caught the NBC Nightly News tonight and watched their video dedication to those known personalities who passed away this last year. My goodness, there were so many beloved, famous people who left us this year. I thought I’d show a YouTube video compilation available for your viewing. Credits go to talldarkmusic.

The Sniff Test

Smelling Your CoffeeWarren was really happy to receive a package of custom coffee from his folks. Portlanders take their coffee very serious as they do their beer.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Your 2012 Best People or Animals

Cee's Fun Foto ChallengeI’m really getting to love Cee’s Challenges as it allows me, as in this case, to look back through the year’s catches. It should be obvious to those that follow my blog that I love animal photography. Being a prolific zoo member I’ve made dozens of visits there in 2012. I didn’t see a number of photos so I’ll start with my favorite and work my way down from there.

 

 

 

 

#1 – Favorite

Seeking A Higher Power

Favorite #2

Male Lion Standing

#3 Favorite

Polar Bear Reflection

Christmas With The Stubblefields’

Christmas 01I can’t believe it’s all over. I had a great Christmas Day with the Stubblefields. Warren fetched me from the parking lot around 9:20, knowing I’d be early as usual. I had actually dozed off in my SmartCar with the rain creating just the right amount of white noise to lull me under. We ate a bit of a snack before heading to Sherri’s to pick up the prepared meal Warren had ordered. Turkey, ham and all the fixings were on the menu.

We spent a few hours listening to traditional Christmas music and watching YouTube videos before Warren’s parents, Richard & Micheline, arrived. Warren & his parents are originally from Canada. I get to try out my terrible French that I took 45 years ago. I remember enough to sound ridiculous but I imagine, stranded in a French speaking country, I could make do & survive. The American method of dealing with foreigners is to just yell English louder. LOL

Warren really did a great job as our host this year. He completely redecorated his condo to provide plenty of seating  for 6-10 people, making them feel quite comfortable. Warren’s mom, Micheline, brought lots of baked goodies and other dishes she’d prepared at home in Salem, Oregon. Miche is a great cook.

We started the festivities with the opening of gifts that included special toys for Jack the Cat. Jack was so very thrilled with his realistic squirrel tail and squeaky mouse toys. He gathered in his old ZuZu I’d given him for Christmas two years ago and just played himself into a nap, with his three toys closely tucked under him. What a special time!

Jack Playing With Toys

I acquired special treasures from Warren, Richard & Micheline. Warren knows I’m a diabetic so I was given a large quantity of dark chocolates from See’s Candies. Miche always bakes me low sugar treats like Pumpkin and Zucchini bread. She is so sweet and again, one great cook.

Richard & MichelineWarren managed to contact a few of his other friends and invite them to stop by and join the festivities. There was a great deal of delicious food still available along with super Pumpkin pies from Sherri’s and home made whipped cream topping Miche had made and transported from home. Yum!

It was a memorable holiday and especially loving with my good friends, the Stubblefields’ making me feel like one of the family. I thank them dearly.

The Tree

Warren's Tree 2012Warren & I had a quiet day at his condo wrapping presents and taking pictures in an attempt to be ready for Christmas Day. His parents, Micheline & Richard, would be arriving from Salem, Oregon on Christmas morning. I love to visit my best friend simply because we have similarly laid back personalities. Watching YouTube videos & eating peanuts was the highlight of the day. Warren had already decorated his tree for the holiday so I snapped a picture. It isn’t sharp but it is the tree for 2012 so it’s relevant, just as it is. Merry Christmas to All! – Bob, Warren & Jack the Cat