Running a bit behind. I haven’t had a lot of time since I got up to Yellowknife, and I was stupid, and forgot my camera for the last two days. So here’s an iPhone pic, and tomorrow’s will be a video.
Packing to head up to Yellowknife tomorrow, and this guy has been giving me the evil eye/third degree/how-dare-you-abandon-me face all day.
Not much of a happening day, today. Just a lot of this.
I’ve seen their tracks everywhere, but they often pass through, silently, in the midst of the night. Unseen.
I saw [my] first deer of the season this evening. And my cat saw his first deer, ever! And he turned into a little predator! When the moose were around in the winter, he’d hide under my bed, or under my covers for hours on end. Deer, though? I think he thought he could hunt them.
My tiny little killer. He didn’t stand a chance. Two steps outside the doorway is as far as he got before they took off.
My cat fell asleep in the sun, and the longer he slept, the more and more his mouth opened, until his entire pink little tongue was sticking out.
(by the way, the mouse died overnight.)
We have a bit of a mouse problem at our house. Today, I found the third one in the little over a year that we’ve lived here. We can’t figure out how they get in. The last one lived in our house for WEEKS before I caught him. I won’t use mouse traps, because I don’t want them to die. So I usually leave out food, and wait until I can catch them.
I didn’t know about this one, though. I don’t know how long it’s been in the house, though with a cat, I suspect not long. My roommate said that my cat was unduly interested in the bottom of our lazy-boy chair while I was out today, and then when I got home, I saw my cat checking it out again. Curious, I went to see what he saw – and it was a little mousie!
I popped my cat into the bathroom (my roommate thought I should just “let him get it”), and I put him outside. Poor thing has a bite mark in his head though, and his back paw was broken. I gave him a big BIG piece of cheese outside, and I hope he makes it.
…I wanted to make him my pet.
I missed one again yesterday. I’m sorry.
Here is todays: Just finished a game of Settlers of Catan, and apparently, I was really intent on rolling my dice.
Bit blurry, but my cat sat like this the entire time we were playing…
I promised to walk a friend’s dog today (I do this pretty often, actually) but it was a gorgeous day out. By the way, taking a photo of a dog who wants a treat is really hard!
And the pretty, pretty Hudson Bay Mountains (which is actually my photo for the day, somehow, they got switched when I uploaded them…)
We don’t have a washer and dryer at our house, so I often go to a friend’s house to do laundry. Her neighbour’s have this cat that they leave outside all day, even in the depths of winter, and I’m pretty sure she’s neglected. Every time she’s outside when I stop by, she runs to me and jumps on my lap or my shoulders and purrs and purrs, and I feel awful for her. So when I saw her today, I brought her a can of wet cat food, and she was so happy!
If the poor thing didn’t legitimately belong to someone, I would have brought her home already. She’s really fluffy, but she’s clearly been in a few fights (missing parts of her ear) and if you feel her, you can feel ribs underneath all the fur. There’s not a lot of meat on her.
My picture of the day looked a lot better in my mind than it did in execution, sadly, but I still think it’s a neat effect. And I included a picture of my cat, because, well…
I’m always taking pictures of my cat.
I feel bad with how often I take photos of my cat. But then I think that other people have spouses and children to take photos of, and I don’t. So here’s two cute ones of my cat this morning. He was trying to attack my lens.
My house had a showing this evening (it is for sale), so I had to be scarce for a bit while my landlord showed it to an entire family, with kids and everything, and I came home to something on my wall which was knocked down, but I digress…
Anyhow, I took myself, my camera, and my tripod out for a walk to see if I could come up with anything interesting. Well known fact: Smithers turns into a ghost town after 6PM, and even my attempts at highway photography proved fruitless. It’s hard to take streaky car photos when there’s only one every minute or two.
I can’t decide between two photos that I took, so I will share both of them. The first one was taken behind my house in the alleyway, where the only light is the neighbour’s light to his shed. The second was taken up the street, and see what I mean about deserted?
And one more from my phone, because it’s adorable. Look! It’s my two favourite things.
A cat and his camera.
It was actually warm enough outside today that my (completely afraid of the cold) cat wanted to go and explore a bit.
I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for fifty whole days. I don’t do anything for fifty days in a row. Not even work.
Mom’s ‘other other’ cat. Java, who I refuse to call anything but Kitler, because he likes to attack my face when I sleep. He’s also really hard to take photos of. My camera wouldn’t even focus, and I ended up having to take the picture manually.
Mom has more than one cat. In fact, she has three.
Here’s her other cat (and tomorrow will be her ‘other-other’ cat).
Meet Marley. His face is crooked because of an awful car accident last year. He’s pretty lucky to be alive.
Mom loves him to pieces.
I put my mom’s cat, Mango into a box.
She stayed in the box.
She was a “cat in the box”.
So I took photos of her.
With her tongue out.
Day 26 of the First Thirty-One over at Fourtuitous.com (oh my god, I’m almost done with this!). Today’s challenge was “Chill”, and ain’t nobody chiller than Cindy!
I always have this little check-list of friends I have to get through whenever I come home for a visit, and no matter how short or long my visit to Vancouver, I’ve always got to go see Cindy. (but the visits are never long enough…)
Day 25 of the First Thirty-One over at Fourtuitous.com, and the challenge was “Heat”.
I’m going to be pretty busy for the next 24 hours, so I took this picture early this morning before the sun came up. My mother’s pet lizard, Leroy, laying in the heat of his heat lamp in the early morn. It’s not a great photo, but it’ll have to do.
Day 21 of the First Thirty-One over at Fourtuitous.com, and the challenge was “Flannel”. Just a quick shot of my jammies this morning. Tried to do something fun to it.
…and my cat because he’s cute.
Day 17 of the First Thirty-One over at Fourtuitous.com! Today’s challenge was “Slumber”.
Day 8 of the First Thirty-One over at Fourtuitous.com! Today’s challenge was “Home”.
Home is a superfluous idea. Some people have one definitive place that they call home, but I’ve never been one of those people. I remember reading an article while I was traveling last year (and sadly, I can’t find it, so I will have to paraphrase), but the gist of it was – home is a definite idea for people who have never strayed far from home. The further you stray, and the more often you go, the less and less the concept of home remains to a person, because ultimately they’ve left little pieces of themselves in every place they’ve been. What used to be this idea of ‘home’ becomes harder and harder to find, leading you to travel to more and more places, cycling back in upon itself. Long term relationships are tossed aside for shorter, but more meaningful interactions with other humans, and you’re stuck forever trying to find the perfect place to call home.
I have many homes. The homes of my friends and my family, where my bicycle is, where my boyfriend is. A small cafe in John O’Groats where I ate a piece of shortbread, in the centre of downtown Mumbai, or sunrise at a Thai market. The lavender fields of France are as much home to me as the house I currently reside in. It is a curse and a blessing, but one I gladly make for myself.
For today’s photo, I took a picture, not of a place, but of a feeling. For now, until I can fund another adventure or a trip back home, home is wherever this little guy is, and right now, that’s here with me.
Day 6 of the First Thirty-One over at Fourtuitous.com! Today’s challenge was “Grey”.
Day 3 of the First Thirty-One over at Fourtuitous.com! Today’s challenge was “Returns”.
I’m not even going to lie, I had no idea how to do this challenge. I checked Instagram (if you’re Instagram saavy, you can find other people’s posts at #firstthirtyone) …and, I really, really didn’t just want to take a photo of me returning something. No offense to anyone that did that, but I pride myself on being “outside-of-the-box”
The little wheels in my head turned and turned, so much in fact, that I gave myself a headache trying to come up with something.
I thought “What if I go to the gym today? I haven’t been in a month, so I would be returning to the gym!” …well, I never went. I made breakfast too late in the morning, and the only way to drag myself is to get up at 6-7AM, eat a quick breakfast, take a quick shower, and head off before the sun’s too high in the sky. So nope. No dice.
Then I thought “Well, I could do some yoga in my room for a bit. I haven’t done that in ages.” …and my mind got all esoteric and I spaced out for a bit imagining high-lit silhouettes of me doing yoga poses, until I eventually realized I haven’t a room in my house where the backdrop wouldn’t be uninteresting, and I don’t actually own any high-powered lights to hide in front of. Fuck it.
Then I ate lunch. Who thinks on an empty stomach?
So I chose this. It’s lame, I’m not happy with it, but…it’s what you get. I decided that I was returning my house to its natural, non-Christmas state (excepting the Christmas tree, which I’m not taking down until I get the roommate approval. I’ve learned not to mess with a man’s tree.) I took down all the lights, and removed the stockings and the ornaments, and packed away my Christmas cards and shiny baubles. I took the popcorn strings outside for birds to feast upon, and I placed the cedar boughs and cinnamon sticks that were upon my altar into the firepit, for burning later. The only thing I kept up were the snowflakes on the windows (that’s WINTER, damn it) and the wreath upon my door.
And now, to make myself feel a bit better about my photography (and editing skills in general) …here’s some more stuff from the day.
For Christmas, Tim bought me a book called “Photo Idea Index: Things” by Jim Krause, which is a neat little portfolio of sorts, with literally, just photos of things inside of it. I read the first chapter this morning during breakfast (gluten free, gingerbread pancakes, I’ll have you know) and I saw a panel of pinhole photos. It got me curious, so Tim and I spent the morning figuring out how to turn my camera into a pinhole camera, without all the fuss of film and shoeboxes. I think it turned out somewhat neat – I ended up taking thirty-something photos today, just around the house, and around town, and I’ve showcased the ones that worked out really well here.
Oh, and in case you’re curious, this is how to turn your dSLR into a pinhole camera. Take your dust cover cap (that lovely bit that covers your camera sensor when you don’t have a lens attached) and a small drill bit. Drill a hole in the centre, and make sure you tidy it up after – we wouldn’t want any pesky plastic pieces getting your sensor dirty when you attach it to your camera body. Next, take some tinfoil and a bit of electrical tape, tape it to the inside cover of the dust cap, and use a pin to poke a hole through the middle of the tinfoil. Attach to your camera, and voila! It took some internet researching and a bit of experimentation before we realized that was the best way to do things. At first, I (with the help of Tim) melted a pinhole directly into the dust cap, but it wasn’t perfect, and I ended up with a lot of shadowing on one side of my images. The method with the tinfoil worked a lot better.
Note the black shadowing in the left hand corner for the next couple of photos, and the level of blurriness of them overall.
For this next photo, I tried to fix the shadowing that I was getting from the “melting pinhole” method. I used the pin again, heated up until it was red over a candle flame, and tried to straighten the pinhole. The initial problem was that the pinhole wasn’t 90 degrees to the cover cap, and the slight angle was making a shadow. I…made it worse by trying to fix it.
After making my photos significantly worse, we looked up the proper way to turn a dust cap into a pinhole lens. All the photos that follow are done using tinfoil and electrical tape, taped over a hole made by a drill bit.
It seemed by this point of the afternoon, that the pinhole photography test was indeed a success, and it needed some full daylight experimentation. (Read: we just wanted to go for a walk in the snow)
(sorry for all the dust specks – turns out my camera sensor is really dirty!)
I’ve decided to do a fun little thing for Christmas this year. I’ve taken a photo an hour (approximately) as a way to document my first Christmas in Canada away from my family. We woke up at 7:00, and started opening gifts, and then we made breakfast and started prepping for the day. For dinner, we headed over to my roommate’s parents house for a bit of a shindig. With Turducken!
…and 22:30 and 23:30 are missing due to the blood:wine ratio in my body. A Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
As Autumn moves into Winter, the snow falls gently from the skies, as though to remind me that today is the longest night of the year. For centuries, people have celebrated this day, across civilizations, under names which are as differing as the tides. Candlemas, Yule, Jul…the Winter Solstice. Tonight is the Longest Night – when the Northern hemisphere is plunged into the darkest of depths, only to emerge at the dawn with something faint, yet tangible. Hope. Hope for a new solar cycle, and a hope for warmth in the coming days. Represented by beginnings, I bring you this.
This blog. I will still post in my regular travel blog during trips, over at paienne.blogspot.com, but here, here is something new. I deleted Facebook at the beginning of 2012, and I’ve fallen out of touch. I’ve become reclusive, and secretive, and I’ve stopped doing something I love – take photos. So, I guess in a somewhat-related 365 project, I’m going to try and post a photo-a-day. Some days, like today, I will post more than one photo. Some days, I suspect I will struggle to post just one. There may not always be commentary. But then again, maybe there will be. That’s the beauty about new projects – they’re so fresh and young, and they haven’t fully formed in the mind of their author! As Winter turns into Spring, it is my hope, that so too will this little place to put my photo memoires …my photo memories.