Blogging helps me share things with people. My goal is for you to see something that brings a smile to you.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

My Cat - Shaddow

    There was  this jet black cat/kitten that followed my son as he walked  home from school one day.   I'm sure my son encouraged him.  It was a very sweet cat but you could tell it had been born outside and wanted to live outside.  It wasn't a full grown cat yet it wasn't a kitten either.  Later with time my son let slip that it had siblings, and we asked him how he knew this- It turns out they had been born under a storage building of a friend of his.  They had come across them when they were just days old and their eyes were still closed.  That was how we knew the cat was born in March-  March 2002.

     The cat followed him home in Aug  2002.  My son had a birthday coming up and he told us the thing he wanted more than anything else in the world was for us to adopt this cat.  I was heartbroken over this request because it was such a sweet cat but my son, who wanted it, was highly allergic to cats.  I knew if we agreed to it the cat would have to always be an outdoor cat because I just couldn't let it into the house.  I knew my son, if the cat would have lived in the house it would always end up in his bed.  (We had enough problems trying to keep things under control so his allergies wouldn't be so bad. I knew my sons allergies were bad when one time the kids were playing if you could wish for anything in the world what would you wish for - and my son answered to be able to breath normally and for my allergies to go away.  He wanted that over money, fame etc. We took him to the doctor and were trying to follow all the protocols just so he could have some seasons without breathing problems.  But with the cat it would be year round and I just didn't want my son to live with all those breathing problems all the time.)
     At first we said no but the cat kept on hanging around, I knew my son was slipping it food.  And my son kept on begging for it. Finally on Aug 28, 2002 we caved in and agreed to let him have it with the understanding it was to be strictly an outdoor cat.
          I took the cat to the vet to get the shots and to have it neutered.  That was another condition for it to be kept- it needed to be neutered. My boys didn't care for that but they understood the necessity of it after the vet told us that by neutering him, it would help prolong its life because he wouldn't get into as many fights.  The vet told us that outdoor cats typically don't live to be very old- 5 to 10 years if we were lucky.  She explained it all to my son but he kept on insisting that he was okay with all of that.  We went ahead and made him officially ours.
      While at the vet they wanted to know its name.  My son decided to call him Shadow.  The girl typed it in as Shaddow.  I explained that wasn't how Shadow was spelled, but my son liked that version of the name. We tried using Shaddow but through the years, it was too confusing always explaining the extra 'd' and eventually his name did become just plain old Shadow.

     I never dreamed Shaddow would last 15 years.  Shad was one of the best cats ever.  He was such a smart cat, and so sweet.  He was very street savvy, and avoided cars, except if they were parked and the engine was warm then he like to sit on top of them, or if the birds were dive bombing him and he would stay under them for protection.
    We did do things for him to encourage him to stay in the area.  Our house has a garage and we would keep the door open about a foot so he could come and go as he pleased. He liked to stay there when the weather was inclement.  We also had a thermal bed for him in the garage. And when it would be freezing we would fill milk/water jugs with hot water and place them around his bed and have his bed as close to the house door as possible so he could get some of that heat too.
    On the front porch we kept a cat house that he at first would sleep in but then he got to be too big and would just sit on it, that way he could observe what was going on in the neighborhood. Since it was on the porch he was also protected if it was raining.  But most of the time he preferred to sleep in our flower beds, hidden among the bushes. We would feed him twice a day on the porch. 

     We live on a bayou and was prone to having critters visit us. That is until Shad showed up.  He'd keep them under control and  loved to bring presents home to us, that he had killed.
      He was also very good about his food.  I never saw a cat like him.  Shaddow would eat almost all of it but would always leave a couple of morsels.  He would share this with his dog friend named Sugar - a beagle. A friend would always walk Sugar by our house every day and sometimes he would stop and visit.  Sugar would like to eat Shaddow's food while we visited and over time it just became a ritual for them to stop and get a few morsels, even if we weren't around.  I would be amazed when sometimes I would just feed Shaddow and Sugar would come by to visit.  Shaddow would back up and let Sugar get her few morsels, and even Sugar wouldn't eat it all either, then walk off again. Shaddow would resume his eating and eat it until it was all gone.  The owner would only let Sugar get a few since Sugar needed to watch her figure. They never hissed or growled at each other.  You could tell they had a mutual respect for each other and liked each other. They were the best of friends.

     Shaddow was always so good at greeting us as we would pull up in our cars.  Or in the morning when we would go out to get the paper he would show up expecting to be feed.  We would feed him twice a day.  In the morning and in the evening around 6. He would come running when we showed up with his bag of food. But first he would always wanted to be petted for a few minutes. It would never be for long before he'd let you know he'd had enough.  He would always purr real loud as he was petted.  If you didn't pet him he would like to rub against your leg instead, always purring needing that attention.  He like to greet people who came to the house, it was if he had to give his approval before they could go in.  He would only let my son and I pick him up everyone else he would fight to get down with.

    Last week Shadow fail to show up in the morning for his morning breakfast. During the day his food disappeared and I didn't think much of it.  Then again that night he didn't show up.  We weren't too worried about it because he'd disappeared before for a couple of days, especially once the weather starts to get nicer.  The next morning still no Shadow but the neighbors cat from across the street was hanging around.  The food was put out and we chased the cat away.  During the day a muscovy
duck was hanging out in our garden (Shaddow and the muscovy duck) .  I knew those ducks like to eat his food.  I began to suspect the duck was eating Shadow's food and not Shadow.  That night we didn't put any food out knowing that Shadow would meow if he was there and was hungry. Shadow didn't show up. 

     It been over a week and there is still no Shadow.  I talked to the vet and was told that Shadow was 15 years old which is a very long time for an outdoor cat to live.  I don't think I'll ever see Shadow alive again.  I do miss him so much.  He was such a great cat. 

    About a year ago my son, who wanted him, was back in college after having served in the marines.  My son wanted me to take some pictures of Shadow so he could show them to his friends.  Shadow does not like to have his picture taken.  He's constantly on the move wanting to be petted or getting attention.  I took a bunch of pictures trying to get some to send to my son.  Here are some of the better pictures of him.  He was jet black but recently he was getting some white in it and it had definitely gotten lighter in color.

My Cat Shaddow

I am so grateful to have taken these pictures to remember him by. 
RIP Shadow.  You've been a great cat. You brought a lot of joy to our family and you will be missed a lot.


Monday, February 27, 2017

My Tulip tree was Blooming in January

2012 Tulip tree blooming on I couldn't believe the Tulip / Japanese Magnolia trees were  blooming in January like they were.  This picture was taken on 1-20-2017 and showed a neighbors tree starting to bloom

 I was miserable over this since it was way too early and we normally have a freeze about this time.
I was afraid it was going to be like last year were it started to bloom and then a frost came and turn them brownish in color.

This is what my tree looked like on January 24th. I love how gorgeous the tree gets it the weather hold off.

But the freeze didn't come, and I watched.  This was on 1-27-2017

 And this was on 1-30-2017

I thought I had gotten some more pictures of it blooming in early February but they didn't turn out.  Then we had lots and lots of rain and the petals all came down with the rain. And finally you can see how green it was on February 22, 2017.  I had never seen it this green so early in the year.

Here are some previous years posts on the same tree.
2016 Tulip tree blooming on Jan 8 to 2-25
2015 Tulip tree blooming on 2-18 to 3-19
2014 Tulip tree blooming on 2-24-14 to 3-9-14
2013 I was not available when it bloomed.
2012 Tulip tree blooming on 2-17-2012
2011 Tulip tree blooming on 2-26-2011
I started to blog in Oct of 2010 so I really don't have much before that unless I go through my photo albums and get it that way. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

1-26-2017 Interesting cloud formations.

I was driving my son to a practice and noticed how blue the sky was.  But there was this unusual cloud there.  At first I thought it was simply a contrail from an airplane but the more I saw of the cloud I realized I may be wrong about that. Notice in this picture there was another very faint cloud parallel to it below the one that cuts across the sky.

 This isn't very goo either but the cloud did a split and that's when I started to think that maybe it wasn't an airplane contrail after all.
 In this one there was another one parallel to it but this time above it and just above the sun is a streak that is an airplane and it was leaving a very little contrail.  It was a fun cloud to watch.  The other reason I didn't think it was from an airplane was because it stayed in the sky for a very long time.  Usually the airplane stuff seems to dissipate with time, and you don't get to see it go clear across the sky like this cloud did.

 The next day on 1-27=2017 I was out walking and noticed this unusual cloud formation but what really got my interest was to see the rainbow hallow around the sun which was trying to shine through it.

 The white speck is an airplane
And here it is cropped so you can see it better.  I might also add that I did nothing to auto enhance these pictures it's the way they were when I took them.  Also I could see the rainbow halo s so much better in person and these images don't do it justice.  It was still pretty to see and I was excited to even capture what I did get.

It was a cold day and I do wonder if there were ice crystals in the clouds causing this effect.

Monday, January 30, 2017

I'm pleasently surprise to see people actually viewing this blog

I haven't been able to blog for quite awhile, - I have a life and just don't have the time.
I was looking for a date of a trip I took and realized this blog would be the best place to get it since I mainly have this to share my photo images with my friends.  I got on the blog and up popped the stats page.  I went ahead and looked at it and couldn't believe what I saw.  Some people are actually viewing this blog. I've now have had over a 100,000 viewers.  I just want to say thanks.  For so long I was happy to just have had 5,000 viewers.

Here's how it was looking for today 1-29-2017

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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Another year for this blog

I haven't forgotten about this blog, even tho it may seem so since I haven't posted in a long time.  Today is the 6th year anniversary for this blog (started Oct 5. 2010).  I have wanted to do so much more than I have recently on this blog.  I have some good images to share and have started some posts but haven't had the time to finish things to the point of wanting to post them.  
     My life has been hectic lately.  My mom got very sick and I was helping care for her.  She died at the age of 93. Then shortly after she died and was buried I had to have some surgery which put me out of commission for awhile too.  I haven't been close to computers and thus unable to work on things. I'm hoping once things settle down I'll be back blogging again soon.  Till then I hope all is well with you and your love ones.  Take Care.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Alligators of University of Louisisana - Lafayette

My child is interested in going to college.   So this spring break we decided to check out a few of them, one of which was the University of Louisiana Lafayette .   While there we saw the campus student union and in front of it was Cypress Lake.  In the lake there were alligators, fish and turtles which we were able to feed.
Here are the images I was able to capture.
This is the quadrangle.
 I just thought this was a pretty building and got its picture.  I think its Stephens Hall.
 Cypress lake.  As soon as there were people near the wall the gators got interested and started to head towards it.  If you look at the bottom center there looks like a log but it really is an alligator.
 I zoomed in on it and was able to get this picture of it.
Cypress Lake alligator at U of LA Lafayette 4-1-2016
 With this one, you could tell he was checking us out.  Before we started to tour the campus they had 'fish food' if we wanted to get some.  I did pick up a container of it and knew it was more for the alligators than the fish.
 Someone started to throw the food and the gator went to get it.
 When the food stopped  it was like this one was saying 'come on is that all you got?'
 Then he and his buddy stated to swim away and it sure did seem like the two of them were talking about the potential new students.
Cypress Lake alligators at U of LA- Lafayette

 They came over to me hoping I would give them something but I didn't have anything for them.
 So it was turn around and check someone else.
 While the one was turning away I couldn't believe a turtle would be so bold as to climb on top of that alligator.
I went ahead and cropped another image so you could see this better.

And of course it wouldn't be the south without one of the magnificent live oaks that they have.
I was impressed with the University and I wouldn't be surprised if my child doesn't choose to go here. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

2016 Good Friday visit to Norton Art Gallery - Azaleas

Every year I loved to visit Norton Art Gallery and the park that they have there during the Easter season to see the azaleas in bloom.  This year I went on Good Friday- March 25th, since my family had the day off and I had the free time.  It seemed like it was the perfect day.  The skies were blue and the temperature was in the low 70's. We got there in the late afternoon and the way the sunlight was hitting the trees seemed just perfect to really bring out the colors and contrasts. When I went there it felt like I was getting a taste of heaven - it was so incredibly beautiful.  It seemed like we had gotten there on the perfect day.  Most of the azaleas were in full bloom and there hadn't been a major storm to knock them to the grown so the bushes were magnificent.
   I knew I shouldn't have taken the pictures but I couldn't help it along with many others- they were just to pretty and words just couldn't describe them.  We were using our cellphones and that seemed acceptable.  It is posted not photography but by that I think they were referring to professional photographers.  The thing with these pictures is I took a whole lot more than I thought I did.  I was only going to post a few of them but when I tried to select I had trouble deciding which ones to use.  They all seemed so nice.  I settled for 15 but they kept on changing.  Finally I settled on these 18.  Enough writing here are the images I walked away with-

azaleas at Norton Art Gallery 3-25-2016

pink azaleas at Norton Art Gallery 3-25-2016

 I just had to get this image of this rock.  Its a sandstone but I really liked the weathering on it.  It was obvious someone else liked it too and had it brought into the area. I could tell it had been position to where it was and wasn't a natural outcrop.  Along with those flowing water features - I can remember a time when they didn't exist.  And I know the person who has put them in.
 Just look at how they look like a river of flowers.

Azaleas at Norton Art Gallery 3-25-2016
 I really liked this water feature they have put in.  Its so peaceful and relaxing to be by.

 All good things must come to an end and the area was closing at 5:30 and had to exit the fenced in area.  At least they had some across the street that we could still look at and get some parting images.

 aren't they magnificent?? could you be there and not want to have taken an image?