Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #211 What’s your photographic groove?

Anne’s challenge this week is, “What’s my photographic groove? What type of photography do I truly enjoy doing?  I will show you wonderful images and tell you about them.

This challenge has me thinking. When I was enrolled and pursuing my Photography Certificate, I was exposed to many photographic experiences. My practical mother continued to ask me what I intended to do with my photography. One idea was to start a Pet Photography business. Another idea I had was to author a picture book. I had just retired from a Library/Teacher career of 25 years. I didn’t know way direction to take. Life happened. My parents and grandchildren needed my attention. By the time I finished 40+ credits I decided I was going to do photography on my own terms – for my own personal enjoyment. I didn’t need another job. So I guess you can say my photographic groove is “Focus”. I use my camera to help me see the world around me. I capture whatever I come across.

Often, my camera helps me connect to my surroundings. Sometimes nature, sometimes people, and sometimes taking a quirky look.

My camera connected me to a good group of friends. This group has taken me to many places and spaces in the area. Visits out of town to Niles, Ca. Trips to the Sacramento Zoo. Visiting a local urban micro Farm at End of the Road in Orangevale, Ca.

My photography helps me focus on the present, and preserve memories to reflect upon in the future.
I have been raising my second puppy in the past 2 1/2 years. Glad I have photos of my Charlie.

Puppies grow into dogs and seem to change overnight. Waiting for them to calm down may take just a bit longer. This is where my iPhone comes into play.


My 4 youngest grandchildren have moved back and forth from Sacramento, California to Knoxville, Tennessee (about 2500 miles). They returned last week for the third time in less than three years. Photos and FaceTime helped during these times of separation. I so enjoy my Nixplay digital frame.

But as of last Thursday, I can see my grandchildren in person. We celebrated the first day of TK and First Grade, and the last day of vacation for my 5th grader with some ice cream at Handels.

Great challenge. Sorry for the late post. I have been having “words” with my WordPress!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #205 The Eyes Have It

Tina challenges me to explore the concept that, “In photography, the most successful portraits will, with rare exception, include focus on the eyes.”

Eye Spy billboard captured in Times Square

The movie titled “Big Eyes” told the story of an American artist Margaret Keane. These murals reminded me of that style.

I have been shooting this smiling sun for over 20 years when I stop in Gilroy, Ca. for cherries on the way to Pacific Grove in May. I try to photograph this from a new perspective.
I printed this photograph many years ago and called it, “Peeking”.

The Sacramento Zoo provides many photo opportunities. This time I was focused on the eyes.

Alpaca after shearing. What is she trying to tell me?
Fish Eye

A salute to a dear photo friend who left us too soon. Greg loved to wear hats. Here he is at the Highland Games in Woodland many years ago.

Greg Morris

I found these odd eyed dogs at some dog events around town.

My Liberty (Libby) Love expressive eyes

Charlies had the most beautiful eyes

Moxie is really starting to vary her expressions. Raised eyebrow when the word “treat” or “dinner” is mentioned.

Did I hear the word, “Dinner”.

Thank you for stopping by to see how I focused on EYES! I would love to read your comments!

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!