Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #152 Shades and Shadows

As the temperature rises here in Fair Oaks, California everyone is attempting to stay out of the sun. My next challenge comes from Ann-Christine. How do our photographs use light? This time I look for photographs that use shade and shadows.

On this sunny beach in Carmel, Charlie’s shadow appears.
When I am out with friends I like to grab a shadow photograph
Chalk It Up and Me!
We stop for a shadow image on the Island of Kawaii with my photo friends Anne and Laura.
Interesting shadow forms from one leaf to another.
Shadow pattern on the leaf in the shape of a heart! Love it!
A dragonfly casts a shadow on a lotus leaf!

Looking through my library I notice that I take many more shadow images. But working with some of my images I now see that the contrast of shadow and sun can highlight a subject.

Capturing this golfer from my hotel window, the shadow and sun contrast draws my attention to his swing.
These ducks are framed by the shade.
The shade and sun helps to draw the eye to the subject.I

Thank you for following along in my photographic journey. And if you decide to step into the sunlight be sure to protect your skin.

Some Sad News. Followed by some Happy News.

Charlie ended his short life last week. It was sudden. It was very unexpected. I was totally blindsided. This little puppy was finally becoming a trustworthy dog. If you have been following along on our journey you know that he was my special little pup. Coming to me during the CoVid quarantine really bonded us. He was not so comfortable with the outside world, and being aware of this I worked doubly hard to share many different experiences with him.

I hoped to have a dog that would be able to share my world, and so he needed to get used to riding in the car. Short trips, and then longer times accomplished this. He loved his car. Not so much getting out of the car. He was always happier to get back into the car. And he could spot the car in a parking lot full of cars.

Such a beautiful boy

I wanted a dog that would accompany me on walks. He walked with me to the mailbox every afternoon. He knew the words, waited till I got the keys, and attached his Easy Walker Harness. A dog lives near the mailbox, and Charlie always got excited to see this barking dog. But his training was paying off, and I would tell him to sit while I opened the box. Sometimes he would see some of our neighbors and wag, and play the “Don’t touch me” game. That was getting better.

Well, he never wanted to walk past our court. I really don’t know why. So if I wanted to get a walk in we would hop in the car, and go find a park path to follow. Most of the time we did ok. It wasn’t a given that my anxious dog would be happy along the path. Bikes and scooters stressed him. And once he saw that we were headed back to the car he was in full pull mode. That I would not allow, and so we often had to stop until the leash loosened up.

First puppy haircut.

New to me was the process of grooming. Every evening Charlie would get on his grooming table after being enticed with 2 pieces of kibble. I was slowly getting all the supplies needed to start doing a full groom myself. CoVid disrupted the supply chain and I finally got the clippers I wanted in May. Yesterday I spent boxing and returning all the items I no longer need.

Charlie at 1 yr old.

Last winter Charlie visited Lake Tahoe. There was snow on the ground, and he would dig and put his face in the cold snow.

Charlie in the snow at Lake Tahoe

Two weeks ago I took my dog on a vacation to Pacific Grove. It was my first ever time to take a pet on vacation. I am so glad to have had that memory. He absolutely enjoyed the beach. His tail was flying high as he dug into the sand. Then he placed his face in it. I will alway have that to remember. I brought along a pop-up playpen and he went right to sleep for the night.

My happy Charlie
Digging away!
A mouthful of sand!
Visiting Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey

I was proud at his progress, and I was beginning to see him start to adjust to the world. Starting at 4 months his skin rash would be infected. Under veterinary care antibiotics cleared it up. But it would return. Allergy was suspected. So when this happened a third time, Charlie started seeing an animal dermatologist. A strict diet was adhered to, and I started dehydrating treats for him also. After culturing the skin site the vet said that the staph infection would not respond to regular antibiotics. We tried a bleach treatment, and the staph infection spread. So the next step was a stronger antibiotic. Now we did a blood test, and repeated it 2 weeks later. The liver enzyme increased. The staph infection was gone, and the medication was discontinued. But over Memorial Day weekend Charlie stopped eating. On Tuesday his vet admitted Charlie into an iCU hospital. His liver was failing. And on my birthday I said goodbye.

This was a very hard blog to write. I have many photographs of Charlie, but I know that there should have been many, many, many more years together.

Well, Charlie must have some special pull, and he knew how much he would be missed. He knew I was a good dog mama. Just before we went to Pacific Grove my neighbor invited me in to see her litter of Golden Retriever puppies. All the time at Pacific Grove I was thinking maybe Charlie would like a sibling. But I put that out of my mind. On Thursday June 3rd my husband and I went over to see the 5 week old pups, and Moxie will be joining our family in two weeks. Phoebe and Bailey have 9 pups, and my neighbors are happy that they will be able to see her grow up in the neighborhood. The bonding process is starting because she has visited her new home twice. So puppyhood starts again.

A puppy pile of Goldens
Present Moxie!
Moxie comes to visit
I get a visit from Moxie at 5 weeks

I guess you can expect many new puppy photographs!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 148 Spots and Dots

This week the challenge takes me into my abstract/design library of images. Leya asks us to, “recognize and enjoy the different interpretations, meanings and importance of these two little words. Spots and Dots. Because even if they are small…they can make a big difference.”

As a photographer I am always looking for repetition. Here are some dots I spotted.

Can you guess what these are?

This is a swingin’ Hot spot, maybe?

Blu Nightclub inside MontBleau Resort in Lake Tahoe.

Now spots can be thought of as a favorite spot. This coming week I am going on my first trip since CoVid. It is our 50 + 1 anniversary. Last year, well you know, there was not much of a celebration, and it was supposed to be our BIG one. Pacific Grove has been our “spot” for over twenty years. This year will be a bit different. It is also our first vacation with a dog. Charlie is in for an adventure.

Here is my boy Charlie at 15 months

In preparation, I have been taking him out with me to stores, and parks. Yesterday, my grandson Lucas played tee ball. I brought Charlie to the game. He was a bit overstimulated at first. I remained, and after a while he started to relax. I gave out treats to those watching the game to give to Charlie. And he took advantage. The day before in Lowe’s he wouldn’t take a treat. Slow progress.

These are some of the images I grabbed during our last time in Pacific Grove in 2019.

On our way to Pacific Grove we stop and get some Bing Cherries
Lover’s Point
Monterey Bay
Asilomar State Beach

Seafood is on the menu! But we will see how well Charlie deals with all the excitement.

Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey

These are natural occuring spots.

Sometimes, as a photographer you are just in the right spot at the right time!

Taken from the Tower Bridge during a dry lightening storm.

That is all for this photo challenge. Need to get ready to go on a short vacation. Do I even remember how to pack?

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #144 – Taking Flight

“Flying…how often have you thought about how amazing it would be to simply stretch your arms and soar? When you think about it, the number of flying “objects” is quite large. Yes, of course the birds. But beyond them, butterflies, bees and other insects, airplanes, balloons, bubbles, kites….well, you get the idea. So this week, although I’m focused on some of the beautiful birds of Kiawah, please feel free to be creative and choose whichever flying objects catch your imagination and your lens.” This is Tina’s challenge to me.

Watching my dog Charlies fly off my bed, race down the hall, and retrieve his ball reminded me of an event I attended almost 10 years ago, “Petapalooza”. I captured some dogs flying at the Splash Dogs tank event.

That ball is mine!
I’ve got my eyes on you!
Having fun in the summer heat!
I’m flying!
Big splash!
Now to dry off. Stand back!

All these dogs were having so much fun. I’m hoping that as my dog matures he will get to a point where he is not so anxious, and I can show him the wider world. This CoVid stuff really hurt his socialization growth. Last week he attended the Sactown Doodle Romp where he saw Doodles of all sizes.

Time to share the squeaky ball!
This is Charlie’s Aunt Kona! (on his maternal side for the genealogists)
Charlie and Kona together
Charlie steps away.