Falling In Love With Morning Glories

I fall in love with morning glories each time a new bloom opens.
I fall in love with morning glories each time a new bloom opens.

It might sounds cheesy to say I fall in love with a flower, but I truly feel inspired every time I see a new morning glory bloom. These flowers are simple enough for anyone to grow in their backyard, and the plants do not need much tending. Below are some morning glory photographs I have captured over the last few days.

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There is also a short video you can watch of a purple morning glory, if you are so inclined.

Irina Has Amazing Copper Hued Eyes

Irina Has Amazing Copper Eyes

This photo I took of Irina just spoke to me recently. Her coppery eyes are alluring, and she is quite sweet. However, Irina the cat is not like a dog that will wag his tail following you everywhere you go, or even like more docile cats I had growing up. We adopted her when she was about a year old, so even though she is affectionate, she does this on her own terms. I will sit next to her, and I will let her rub her head against my palms. When she is in the mood I will scratch her head and back, but I am also attuned with the signals she gives me that will let me know she is not interested in being petted.

Some people are upset when their cats swat them with a paw, and take it as an insult. I think people need to relax and realize cats are not humans, and will interact differently. In the past I had cats that were more dog like, especially my parents manx cats Bobby and Annie, but I am able to prevent Irina from scratching me because I pet her in a non-confrontational way. Cats detest being cornered, and cats that are abandoned will not always become lap cats. This does not mean Irina is not affectionate, because she actually is quite so. She will come up to me and purr and rub against my legs when I am typing away on the computer. She is quite well-behaved, and even walks back in the house when I call her name.

However, she is not a lap cat for me, although she does sit in my sister’s lap. I only pick Irina up when necessary because she does not enjoy this. My sister picks her up more often, but I have just learned from experience Irina prefers to come to me. Some people might not like this aspect of certain cats, but it has never bothered me at all. It just depends on what you want out of a pet. Adopting a stray cat means you will have to make certain concessions, and from experience I have learned how certain cats enjoy being petted. Also, do not take it personally when cats scratch because they are like little lions sharing about 95% of the same DNA with their wild cousins, and think differently than humans. Just watch two cats interact with each other, and you will see what I mean.

When I raised cats from kitten-hood I did have ones I could walk around with on my shoulder like a parrot, but I would never be able to do this with Irina. However, I actually adore her because she is different from those type of cats, and this feline has taught me how to adapt to a new personality. It does not mean she is any less affectionate than a lap cat.

The Black Phoebe

Black Phoebe Bird

Today I spotted a black phoebe bird sitting on the fence next to the morning glory flowers.

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The white morning glory flower was a beautiful contrast to the charcoal gray tones of the black phoebe, which is not exactly black.

In the video above you can watch the little phoebe bird before it decides to hop off the fence.

The Sunset On The A To Z Challenge

The Pink And Purple Sunset With Tinges of Orange

Last year I was a slightly disappointed with the A to Z Challenge because I made a concerted effort to participate with two blogs in the challenge, and I commented on many blog. I felt at that time I received very few comments in comparison to others, and honestly, I was a bit discouraged. At the end of the challenge in 2014 I was not sure if I wanted to participate again due to the amount of work, but I started feeling differently once 2015 rolled around.

I realized I missed the challenge, and I did want to participate again this year. However, rather than stress myself out with two blogs, I decided to only participate with my photography blog. I commented on blogs when time allowed, and posted whatever was on my mind for the letters A to Z. My posts might not have rung every bell in the blogosphere but I shared photographs and thoughts about what was on my mind.

This year I had a lot of fun with the challenge and did not stress about comments. There are so many people participating in the challenge, so it is not the end of the world if you blog is not the super star. Also, I think some people who have said certain blogs that did not receive comments were boring are not completely accurate about that. Some of the more popular blogs covered topics I did not find exciting, but I would comment on a blog even if the topic was not my cup of tea. This is not meant to be a critique, but during a blog challenge we cannot expect every topic to be our favorite. Over time perhaps we gravitate to the blogs we have an affinity to, and that is okay.

Also, one thing I have noticed is the divide between WordPress and blogger.com users participating in the challenge. I use WordPress, and it is pretty universal about allowing comments linking back to any blog. Blogger.com, on the other hand, often requires that people have an account to comment, and some bloggers do not allow for you to post your blog link.

The challenge encourages us to post a link to our blog, but I decided not to do this this year because I felt that if someone really wants to visit my blog, that I have posted it on my Google+ profile. Some people directly commented on my Google+ profile thinking that was my blog, and they did not click through to the actual post. It did not hurt my feelings or anything, but this was another reason I decided not to link drop. If someone really wants to read and comment on our websites, they will do so. There were many people who did comment on my website, and also went to the trouble to comment on many websites with various platforms. I always felt part of the challenge was pushing ourselves to do that comment wise, but perhaps I am in the minority in feeling this way. At the end of the day there will always be a divide between WordPress and Blogger.com users, and the only solution I can think of is if there would be a universal commenting widget that all participants had to use during the challenge. I actually would suggest that to the people running the challenge, but perhaps that would be too cumbersome. Just my thoughts about it.

Overall I loved the challenge, and I think it is great we all blog about different topics. I have no interest in sports, but I love to go for a walk and take pictures of the sunset. So a sports enthusiasts might find my affinity for photographing the sunset boring, but I also tend to zone out when people blog about the boxing match of the century. In the world there are many topics as there are blogs about these, and we should share what we love. I know that has been my driving force in the world of blogging, and I had furn with my third go around in the A to Z Challenge.

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Above is a photo gallery of the sunset that I spotted last Friday, and I also created a short video compilation of the sunset from various view points. Mount Baldy is in the distance, and there are power lines and pylons obscuring the view. I wish I could capture the sunset without these obstructions, but I did not feel like climbing over the hills that day to do so. Besides, this is a true depiction of what the sunset looks like in my part of Southern California, so I decided to just share my real and raw photographs. None of these were edited. I do not edit many of my photographs or videos anyway because I like to capture the moment in time.

So until the next challenge in 2015, I bid you adieu. If you like my blog you can always stay up to date with my postings here. My others blogs had fallen to the wayside during the challenge, so over the last few days I have spent time working on these.

Z Is For the Zebra Shirt

Today the letter Z is for the zebra shirt I created. This A to Z Challenge has been about sharing things that caught my eye, and my art projects, so I decided to conclude the challenge with one of my favorite shirts. When I started making shirts with my own artwork I realized I had quite a bit of fun doing this, and that I was adding pieces to my wardrobe that I truly wanted to wear.

Some people will always complain that they have nothing to wear, but I like wearing shirts with my own artwork. Having your own sense of style is a good thing, and means you feel less pressure to look a certain way. I never really liked those shows where people tell others what to wear because I often thought the people who were put on those shows looked cute to begin with. However, that is just my take, and I like things that are not considered to be conventionally beautiful.

Wearing the zebra shirt, which has a reprint of my colored pencil drawing.

Edgar The Egret On The Railroad Tracks

Edgar the egret sauntering down the railroad tracks.
Edgar the egret sauntering down the railroad tracks.

Today I was riding my bike when I spotted an egret that was roaming around on the railroad tracks. Do not worry because these tracks have not been in operation since the 1960’s, so the egret was quite safe sauntering down the line. He seemed to be quite jaunty, so I decided to name him Edgar the Egret. You can watch his little video below. I caught this video with my phone, so I did not have my nicer camera to zoom in with. This is another reason I really should carry my camera around with me. However, I noticed that people are publishing books on how to use your smart phones for photography, so perhaps there will be a day the smart phone will have a good enough zoom to capture all the minute details of an egret in the distance.

Y Is For The Question: Do You See The Two White Morning Glories?

Today the letter Y is for the question: do you see the two whitemorning glories? What things do you see when you look out the window? Do you see morning glories? This morning I spotted these two amazing white morning glories swaying in the wind, so I captured this moment in time.

Do you see the two white morning glories?
Do you see the two white morning glories?

In the video below you can actually see the petals of the white morning glories swaying in the wind. Southern California has many gusty days such as this one, and the morning glories handled the blustery weather quite well.

X Is For Coloring In The Cross Sections Of The Drawing

It takes a bit of time to work up the deep blue hue as I color in the cross sections of the tree.
It takes a bit of time to work up the deep blue hue as I color in the cross sections of the tree.

Today the letter X is for coloring in the cross sections of the drawing. I am slowly working on my Annie cat drawing since my attention has been on other projects, but it actually takes a bit of work to achieve the bright hues in my illustrations. The last few drawings people told me I was rushing through, and I should slow down and do it my way.

When I start working on a drawing I spend a bit of time getting outline on scratch paper, and then I transfer this on to the final paper. This time I am really building up the hues with the colored pencils, which is something I find I cannot do with oil paint. I know people do build up hues with color paint, but it is smelly and requires more care. I like how colored pencils are not fussy, and you can go back and fourth between various tasks while working on such a project.


V Is For Looking Down At The Mountain Valley

Today the letter V is for looking down on the forest valley. This view was captured in the Bernardino Mountains back in April of 2011.

Looking down on the forest valley up in the San Bernardino Mountains.
Looking down on the forest valley up in the San Bernardino Mountains.

The mountains create valleys, which I enjoy looking down upon. The verdant green foliage of spring brings the promise of summer. If you want to see more of the San Bernardino Mountains, you can watch the video below.