Tag Archives: cats

Easter In The Park (Boston Public Garden, Boston, MA)

Date Of Visit: April 21, 2019

Location: Boston Public Garden, 4 Charles St, Boston, MA

Hours: Open daily sunrise to sunset

Cost: Free

Parking: There are several parking garages in the area and limited street parking

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: flowers, sculptures, swan boats, trees, statues

Website: Boston Public Garden

Summary: The Ducklings were dressed in their Sunday bests as people thronged to Boston Public Garden to enjoy an unseasonably warm day at the park.

The Dressing of the Ducklings has become an Easter tradition for some time.

But, they are not only dressed up for the Easter holiday.  The ducklings, which were installed in 1987, have also been seen wearing jerseys of the home sports teams, particularly during the playoffs or other important points of the season.  They are also dressed up for other holidays or days of interest, most notably Mother’s Day.

The book “Make Way For Ducklings” by Robert McCloskey is the inspiration for these sculptures.  In the book a pair of mallards  decide to raise their family on an island in the lagoon in Boston Public Garden. Oh, sorry spoiler alert.

The ducklings are a favorite of the children who like to play with, and sometimes on, the statues.

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The ducklings aren’t the only sculptures at the park.

At the Arlington St entrance, there is a larger than life statue of George Washington.  The 22 foot granite statue stands on a 16 foot pedestal making the total height of the statue and pedestal 38 feet.

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Built by Boston painter and musician Thomas Ball, the statue took 4 years to complete.  Because of shortages of bronze casting due to the Civil War, it would not be completed until 1863.

The real beauty of the park is more natural.  Countless trees, flowers and plants adorn the park.

The views at the park are some of the most beautiful in Boston.  You may see the lagoon that I mentioned above where the ducklings are said to have resided.

I was surprised at how many people were at the park on what I thought would be a “family holiday” for most.  Seeing all of the people dressed to the hilt, I do think many people came to the park after their morning obligations were completed.  These visitors were having fun celebrating the day.

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This creative lady took the opportunity to paint at the park.

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Birds and other wildlife are abundant at the park. Fittingly, I did see a few mallards there.

Some animals are so used to seeing and interacting with humans they will eat from your hand.

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Dogs and even a cat were at the pet friendly park.

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Maggie, an 18 month old Aussiedoodle (Australian Toy Poodle), had fun retrieving a miniature sized ball.

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This brave cat named Blue, a 6 year old Orange and Siamese cat, went to the park with her mom.

Now the fun part.  How did I photograph this place?  Since I left early before the sun was high in the sky and it was overcast for most of my visit, it was easier than on some of the sunnier days,  For the most part, I shot with a 5.6 or 6.3 aperture. I even went down to 3.5 and 4.0 and I kept my ISO at 100 since lighting wasn’t an issue for this shoot.

I usually use the Aperture Value (or Aperture Priority) setting.  So, I didn’t worrying about controlling my shutter speed.  Until I photographed Maggie, of course.  To capture her motion as she rain I used a 320 shutter setting and I probably could have gone to 500 or higher.  The hardest part of photography, especially for us beginners, can be making sure all of the settings are correct before you click.  I can attest to this.  As I went into, gulp, manual mode I made sure to put my shutter speed at 1,000 to photograph Maggie.  But, I forgot to adjust my other settings.  So, I had a few black images in my LCD screen.  Once I made this correction the photos came out better.  This just goes to underscore the importance of looking at your meter and viewing photos in your screen and adjusting as needed as you shoot.

However, I would caution anyone from deleting files from their memory card.  For reasons that are far too technical for me to explain clearly, you can actually damage your memory card if you try to delete images from your card.  Everyone does or has done it, though.  In fact, I did it just the other day out of habit.  Here’s an article that explains it in greater depth: Why you should not delete images on your memory card in your camera

But, another easier way to explain this is to just say you don’t know what you can do to the image in LightRoom or PhotoShop (more on these applications in a future post).  But, take a look at this photo of Maggie, the dog I photographed at Boston Public Garden.

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I almost used this photo in my post.  But, I thought the other photo showed better motion and was an overall photo especially since this photo was too dark no matter how much I played with the settings in LightRoom.  But, considering what I had to work with it wasn’t too bad.  This is what the original photo looked like on my memory card before I edited it in LightRoom.

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Yes, that’s what the photo looked like on my card before I edited it.  I was so eager to photograph the cute little doggie that I only adjusted the shutter speed and not the aperture (it was at 22 when I took the photo).  I noticed the error and I adjusted my aperture and shutter speed accordingly (the photo I posted in the blog post above was at 5.6 aperture, 320 shutter speed, 160 ISO and 128 mm).  I should have used a faster shutter speed (500 or 1000) and adjusted the aperture as you can see some blur in her legs and a faster shutter speed would have eliminated this.

The main point of me posting those photos is that virtually any photo is salvageable or at least you can “save” almost any photo, unless, of course, it is blurry.  So, please don’t ever delete in your camera!

I didn’t use a lens hood or any other device to limit sun glare since it wasn’t a particularly sunny day.  I did, however, use this when I was photographing the child on the goose sculpture.

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You slip on the lens and it can help to attract the child’s attention.  It also works with some dogs and other pets (and probably even adults!).  Isn’t it cute?  While I don’t sponsor items or advertise items,  I do like and recommend this item.  I will leave the link for this and other knitted “camera buddies” here in case you may want to look into purchasing one.

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I hope all of this info helps

 

 

 

 


TICA Cat Show (Crowne Point Plaza, Natick, MA)

 

Dates Of Event: February 18, 2017 – February 19

Location: Crowne Point Plaza, 1360 Worcester St, Natick, MA, 01760 (about an hour west of Boston)

Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Cost: Free

Parking: Ample free parking is available in the parking lot of the Crowne Point Plaza hotel

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Highlights: cats of a variety of breeds being judged

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Talent and obedience shows aren’t just for dogs.

Yes, cats can pose, follow orders (ok they’re more like requests with cats) and be just as cute as dogs if given the chance.  And did they ever get the chance.

The TICA (The International Cat Association) held it’s annual cat show for a wide variety of cats to show off their talents and beauty.  The cramped venue had 6 different stages, more like booths, for these felines to show off their stuff.

The cats were grouped by kittens, household cats, alters (cats that have been neutered or spayed; “altered”), kittens and, of course, championship for the lucky few who get to advance.  I was warmly surprised to see the “household cats” category.

While there were so many cats being shown, I was unable to get all of the cats names, breeds and ages.  Since I am a detail-oriented person and I love giving as much as information as possible I was a little disappointed by this.  I do hope you don’t mind too much.

I did manage to get the name and breed of this cat.  She stood out to me because of her unique fur and markings.

Julia is an 8 month old Selkirk Rex.

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The cats were showcased by the judges.  It was interesting to see how each judge had their own personality and methods of showing off the cats.  Some spoke scarcely and were efficient.  Others spent more time with the cat, explaining their breed and sharing other fun facts.  The woman in the first photo I posted was my favorite judge.

It’s also interesting watching how the cats react to being judged.  Some are pretty chill and don’t seem to mind at all, possibly because they are very used to being judged.  Others…not as much.  However, they were all very compliant and well adjusted, even if you can tell it’s not their favorite activity.  It’s also funny to see how easily they can be distracted by shiny objects and feathers.

The cats were judged on Breed, Color and Division and win ribbons with letters corresponding with the first letter in each category (B for Breed, C for Color and D for Divison).  The Breed (B) ribbon is the most sought after ribbon.

Cats move around a lot.  A lot.  Sometimes it’s easier to get their photos while they are being held or when they are in their cages or crates.

Also, as an aside, the hotel where the show was held, the Crowne Point Plaza hotel, is a very cool hotel, at least the function rooms, bar and lobby seem hip.  I would highly recommend it, even if it just to go tot eh bar for a few drinks and dinner after work or during your vacation and leisure time, if you happen too be in the area.

I still think this cat tops them all.  But, I’m biased.  I do know the name, breed and age of this cat.  Bailey is a 7 year old Long haired domesticate.  Maybe I can enter her next year.

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Below is a video of some of the cats at the show.

 


2016 Howl-O-Ween Pet Parade

Date Of Event: October 2, 2016 (it is usually held every year during the first Sunday in October)

Location: 32 Derby Square (off Essex St), Salem, MA

Cost: Free (there may have been a registration fee if your pet participated in the event)

Hours: October 2,  1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Parking: Serby Square and the surrounding area are pedestrian friendly, walking areas.  cars are not allowed in this area.  You need to park in a garage or find off street parking.  There are two main parking garages on New Liberty St and Congress St within walking distance and there is metered off street parking.

Highlights: pets…in costumes!

Web Site: 2nd Annual Howl-O-Ween Pet Parade

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Just when you thought Halloween couldn’t be any more fun, Salem Main Streets, working with a variety of local businesses and organizations, held the 2nd annual Howl-O-Ween Pet Parade.

The first pet parade was such a success they moved it from Artists’ Row to Derby Square.  Having attended the first Howl-O-Ween Pet Parade, I think this was a good call.  The other venue was too narrow and there didn’t seem to be enoug room for everyone to roam freely.  Derby Square had more room but it also became crowded as well.  Everyone loves a pet parade I guess.

There were a variety of dogs in a variety of costumes.

The group of dogs pictured above were, of course, The Scarecrow, Dorothy, the Lion and the Tin Man.  They also brought a yellow brick road which the Scarecrow and Dorothy are sitting on.

Here are some of my favorite dogs and their costumes from the day.

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The force was with this 4 month old Lab who was dressed as Bark Vader.

dsc_0507Aye Matey!  Lady is a 10 year old Chihuahua.

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As if she wasn’t cute enough already, Alexsei, an 8 year old Jack Russell Terrier, was dressed as a koala.

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I’ve heard of dogfish sharks but this takes the cake.  Willie, a 5 year old mutt, is a rescue.

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Samie is a 6 year old Greyhound.

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Blitzen, dressed as a purple monster, is a 1 year old Belgian Malinois (pronounced “mal-in-wah”).  Yes, he’s 1 year old!

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Mickey, I mean Riley, is a 2 year old Lab mix.  I dare you to say “No” to that face.

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Here comes the bride Persephone (the name of the daughter of Zeus), a 10 year old Golden Doodle.

Daisy the Lobster is a 2 and a half year old dog.  Her mom isn’t sure of her breed. She is a rescue from Puerto Rico.

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There were so many cute dogs at the pet parade.  I was unable to get all of their names and breeds but I was able to photograph a lot of them.

There were actually a few very brave cats dressed as Dr Seuss characters at the parade.

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The SalemSaurus T Rex also showed up with his own dog.

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Even if they weren’t dressed in a costume, they were still cute.  Lucy, a 14 year old Chow and Golden mix, just came by to hang out and watch the other dogs.

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We also saw a family of bulldogs on the way to the event.

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Below is a video of the pet parade.

Similar Events I Have Attended In New England:

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2015 Salem Pet Parade

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Cat Alley (Manchester, NH)

Date Visited: February 27, 2016

Cost: Free

Parking: Off street parking and parking lots are available throughout the area

Location: Dean Ave., Manchester, NH

Dean Avenue, also known as the hardest place to find in Manchester, is home to Cat Alley – an alley full of cats.

I must have asked a dozen people for directions to this alley way until one older gentleman chuckled and sent me in the right direction.  A lot of people got it confused with the “Alley Cat” (a popular pizza joint in the area).  Don’t go there as it is not even close to the “Cat Alley.” The hidden alleyway is easy to miss.  It is located between Lala’s Hungarian Pastry (mmmm) at 836 Elm St and Alpha Loft at 844 Elm St.  There is a sign on the shingle of Lala’s indicating Dean Ave.

There are cats everywhere in Cat Alley.

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The name “Cat Alley” precedes the art on the walls.  According to legend, the name was derived from a business man witnessed two stray cats duking it out.  I sure wish he had broken it up.  At any rate, after noticing the alley way, which I might not recommend walking down too late at night, a business man decided to raise funds and hire street artists to give the alley the look it deserves.  Below is a slideshow of all of the art as well as a video of a walk through of the alley.

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Cat Alley isn’t the only place I found graffiti, much to the chagrin of many Manchester residents I am sure.  I found this mural on Manhattan Lane, a side street parallel to Elm St.  This mural is spot on, minus the recycling bins.  From left to right is the “Man In The Mountain” (which, as a child, I used to call the “Old Man In The Mountain”) – a rock formative created by wind, erosion and other weather factors on the side of a mountain and which collapsed on May 3, 2003.The state flower is represented as purple lilac.  The rest of the mural is also emblematic of New Hampshire; a purple finch (which does have a reddish look) and a covered bridge which is a staple of New Hampshire.

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This is another piece of graffiti I found on Manhattan Lane.

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I saw a lot of photo-worthy things during my visit.  I will be posting more from my trip soon.  Don’t forget to “like” me on Facebook here to see photos and videos I don’t post in my blog posts.  Thank you!

 


Mom’s House (Western MA)

As the year draws to an end I thought I would share some of the photos  taken from my mother’s house throughout the year.  Since she lives in an area that used to be farmland there are a lot of wooded areas that attract a variety of wildlife.  She also has a couple of bird feeders that attract birds of all types.  There are many other animals in the area over the years that I have heard or seen but not photographed such as deer, a horse, cows, mountain lions and reportedly even bears.

Check out the slideshow below to see some of the friends that have visited us this past year.  My cat, Bailey, is included in the slideshow.  I always bring her when I visit.

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I always like investigating the area when I visit for the holidays and long weekends.  I’ve always thought it would be a great place to retire.  The storms and sunsets can be jaw dropping.

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There are also a variety of plants, flowers and trees in her yard.

Have a happy, healthy and productive 2016!

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The Dogs And A Few Cats Of 2015 (All Over New England)

A whole year.  One whole year of dog photos.

When I first started my blog my intention was to photograph and create a journal of my trips in the New England area.  It wasn’t until I went on my first photography shoot that I realized just how proud people are of their pets.  And they should be.   In fact, the only thing cuter than the dogs I have photographed is the reaction of the owners when I ask them if I can photograph their pooch.  They are most often thrilled or at least flattered.  Only one person has declined to let me photograph their dog and that was because the person I asked was walking someone else’s dog.

So, please enjoy the dogs of 2015.  I look forward to photographing many more in 20116!

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Jenney Grist Mill (Plymouth, MA)

Most people are aware of the more popular attractions in Plymouth, MA, such as Plymouth Rock and Plimoth Plantation.  But, there is another hidden jewel in Plymouth.

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Located only a few miles from Plymouth Rock, the Jenney Grist Mill is a replica of the mill which was originally located in the Plymouth Colony.

When I went to visit the foliage was still peaking in the area.

But the real gem of the grist mill area is the pond.

Ducks, swans and a furry friend inhabit the area.