Day 334—My Darlin’ Clementine

Today’s challenge is “The End.” My response to the “Sign” challenge several days ago would have been perfect for this challenge but I didn’t think it was fair to use that sign again. As I contemplated what I might photograph to represent “the end,” I savored a sweet Clementine mandarin orange, tossing the skin onto a plate. Since they’re tiny, I’d taken two out of the fridge. I stared at the plate and realized that I was looking at the stem end of the fruit, one interpretation of “the end,” and the actual demise of the other fruit, (a grim and forbidding interpretation of “the end”) represented by the strewn pieces of peel. Perfect.

Focal Length 35mm
ISO 100
WB set to Tungsten

Day 332—I Am . . . A Bird Lover

That should come as no surprise to my friends and family. Today’s challenge is “I am . . .[fill in the blank]” and these days, besides photographer, I think ‘bird lover’ best describes me. I live with an Amazon parrot, I seek out birds to photograph wherever I am, and I volunteer for a raptor rescue organization, not only as a photographer and newsletter editor, but as a rescuer. Late this afternoon, I got a call to pick up an injured ‘barn owl’ which turned out to be a screech owl. This little guy was already in a box when I arrived so there was really no rescuing involved, just transporting. But it’s part of the volunteer experience and it’s always exhilarating for me to try to get help for these injured creatures. He was napping peacefully in his box when I arrived and seems to have an injured eye but no other major injuries. I took a few photos of him in his box, not the best vantage point for a photo but I didn’t want to disturb him. He was lifting his foot to scratch his chin when I took this photo. Then I put him in my car and drove him to the clinic for help.

Focal Length 62mm
ISO 2000

Day 331 Part 2—The Eagle Has Landed

I was talking to a friend about the eagle I photographed Sunday on Lake Shasta and told him he had to go to Facebook to see the photos because I hadn’t posted them on my blog. I woke up this morning (Wednesday, Nov. 30) and realized that finding an eagle on Lake Shasta has been my quest for years. It is beyond me why I didn’t post those pictures on this blog then. So, three days late (although I backdated the post) here they are.

On Sunday, my eagle spotter was Don, a friend who is Nez Perce and, it turns out, a great eagle spotter. We saw juveniles and adults (I argued with him about the identity of the juvenile briefly, but that was before I knew he was Nez Perce and had lived on the reservation in Idaho for a few years as a child—of course he knows what an eagle looks like). I had to contend with a bobbing boat and distance but these were the best of the many I took before the eagle took flight. I cropped them and added a curves adjustment. The last is very out of focus as the eagle took flight.

Day 330—Rainbow Clouds

I spent a fabulous day on Lake Shasta with my brother Arthur, sister-in-law Susan, and Mady, the Golden Retriever. Bobo had to stay at home. The sun was out, the water was smooth, and the temperature was perfect for a fall day on the water. Every time I come to Redding, my brother assures me we’ll see bald eagles on Lake Shasta but until today, we had never seen any and to add insult to injury, whenever I’ve been along, he has not even caught a fish. Today, all that changed. Arthur spotted the first bald eagle flying toward us as I was fiddling with my camera attached to the tripod. While I frantically tried to extricate the camera from the tripod, the camera strap got caught on the tripod and I was left not only without photos, but without even seeing the eagle. I did finally manage to get a few photos when the eagle took off from the tree in which it had perched but when I finally got him in focus, he was flying into the sun. We later saw a family group of four eagles soaring high over head but they were so far away, I got nothing. Shortly after, Arthur caught a beautiful sixteen inch, one and a half pound rainbow trout. But, since I still had my 70-300mm lens attached, I was too close to get any decent photos of the fish. So, although we saw eagles and Arthur caught a fish, I have nothing to show for it.

So, today’s photo is neither an eagle nor a rainbow trout. It is a rainbow cloud, a weather phenomenon that occurs when the clouds, made of tiny ice crystals, are at the right angle to the sun, and the crystals refract the sunlight (much like a prism) into the colors of the rainbow.

Focal Length 200mm
ISO 100
Curves Adjustment

Day 329—Redding

Today’s challenge is “my favorite time of the day.” Since I have been learning photography, my favorite time of day is whatever time of day I can take a picture. Today, my sister-in-law and I walked the Sacramento River Trail at Turtle Bay and I loved the photos I took as the sun dipped below the horizon.

Focal Length 105mm
ISO 100
Curves applied

Day 327—Pears and Goat Cheese

Today’s challenge is “I am thankful for . . . .” And today, I am thankful for my brother who tonight made me a delectable dessert of bosc pears poached in butter and balasamic vinegar, served with goat cheese topped with honey and pepper. Yum.

Focal Length 35mm
ISO 1250
Exposure +1.0

Day 326—With Great Abandon

The subject of today’s challenge is “abandoned.” My photo is of two things I’ve abandoned although I once played both with great abandon. One is the record turntable that hasn’t taken a turn in many years. The other is “Rubber Soul” by The Beatles that hasn’t taken a turn in years, either, because it needs a turntable to take one. I know audiophiles are returning to vinyl these days, but most of my vinyl is so scratched from use that it would not be particularly pleasant to listen to.

Focal Length 85mm
ISO 100