Tag Archives: Cat

Weekly Photo Challenge: Oasis

Some days I need an oasis: a place to refresh and hydrate, to lie in the cool of the shade, to set my worries and must-dos aside and just be.  This week, with my camera in my hand, I found some of these spaces and places…

With the change in the month, in these parts we have shifted from May Gray to June Gloom–our affectionate terms for the pervasive marine layer that blocks the sun and dampens my energy level.  This week I have found myself revisiting this image of a lily pad (a lotus flower?) that I took when the sun was shining, feeling the energy of the sun through the image…creating a mini oasis for myself.


But in spite of a gloomy weekend, I did find some spaces of oasis.  I know I can never go wrong when I head out to the Torrey Pines State Reserve. This is an amazing natural resource and place of beauty not far from home.  Walking here feels like a vacation, even when it is gray and damp. (And bright yellow native flowers always help!)


And not too much further south you can find seals enjoying a swim in the ocean…or laying on the nearby rocks or beach.  These wild seals were playing, racing each other in the surf and rolling in the sand, and brightening this gray day for me at the same time.


Who doesn’t love a parade?  This week was Ocean Week at my school, an opportunity to teach students about the importance of the resource that lays outside their front door.  We end the week with a parade (walking around the field wearing “costumes” and singing ocean songs).  You’ll notice the “duck butt” hats our students are wearing…highlighting our study of the lagoon and its importance to the ocean environment.  And in spite of the gray and fog, we had an amazing time!


Jack reminds me that animals also seek oasis from time to time. It’s not unusual to find one of my cats laying in a patch of sunlight on the floor–his own private oasis right in the middle of the kitchen floor!


So…where are your moments of oasis?  Are they indoors or outdoors? Places of beauty or interesting and unusual?  How do they help you breathe, unwind, regain your perspective?

You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!) I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #oasis for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

Where will you find oasis through your lens this week?  Head out with your camera and share your your images with us!

One of Two

We have two cats.  Black and white “tuxedo” domestic short-hairs.  Brothers and litter-mates.  They’ve been together since birth…and in our house since they were 16 weeks old–almost 16 years ago.

I take lots of pictures of Phil and Jack.  They are pretty patient photography subjects who let me experiment and intrude on their space…and they are pretty photogenic and look cute most of the time.

I notice that I seem to go through phases of focusing my photos more on one of them than the other.  For a while, Jack was subject…my sons even asked if something had happened to Phil.  But in the last week or so, I notice that it is Phil that is featured in many of my photos.

Phil is definitely the one who loves to explore…and checks out every new situation in the house.  This last week we’ve had a number of workmen here: painting, installing a new floor, hanging blinds.  And when I go to take a photo, there’s Phil.


Phil has a mind of his own.  Sometimes he will patiently pose for pictures…and at other times I catch something more like this.


I can always trust Phil to find interesting places to lay.  One of his favorite places to nap is in a decorative basket on a shelf high in the entertainment center that holds our TV.  Today we found him basking in the diffuse sunlight on a low countertop that will eventually feature some piece of art (we think).


I love the interesting shadow echoing the black and white of Phil’s coloring (I had to sneak up on him for this shot!).

But sometimes Phil will pose…and let me focus my shot.  Later today Phil was sitting on a chair in some warm light.  He looked up just right, allowing the sun to highlight his eyes.  I love the way the light works in this photo.


And sometimes Phil will let us play.  Last week he let us put this cute Christmas hat on him and take photos.  He seemed to understand that we were having fun and was unusually patient with the whole experience…humoring us as the one cat who manages to look good no matter how silly his people are!


Phil has ended up being the one of our two cats who was photographed most this week. Not because he’s our favorite or because we singled him out, but because he made himself the natural focus of the pictures.  I notice that my students do that sometimes too.  I’ll find that one of my students will show up in photo after photo…and then another week it will be another student.

So this week, Phil is the one.  Who is the one in your photos this week?