Holding out for the light…

pink rhodo flower, digitally processed
Rhododendron in the garden this week.

I haven’t posted for a week, and I am way behind on acknowledging everyone’s comments and visiting other blogs. I’ve been, and still am, unsure about what to include in this post. But I do want to acknowledge those of you who like and comment on my blog and I hope you will continue to do so even when I don’t get back to you. You are appreciated, absolutely. For now I hope you will bear with me… I find myself trying to shake off an extreme case of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which in addition to deep depression and irritability, can include symptoms of fatigue, lethargy, disinterest in goings-on and frequently feeling anti-social, even though I know it would benefit me to interact with people. It’s no fun!

I used to get mild SAD symptoms when I was younger but my lifestyle in the intervening decades made them a distant memory. That lifestyle changed in 2012, it wasn’t a change I chose but it’s a change I have to live with though I’m still wrestling with it. Combining that with grey, wet weather for two winters as well as a summer seems to have set me up for a massive recurrence of SAD. By February I was in an all out free fall, fully aware of it but unable to do anything to stop it. Nutritional changes haven’t made a dent, and attempts at positive thinking just get trampled. Hating being either depressed or at best an emotional zombie, and horrified by the likelihood of a repeat situation next winter and beyond, I’ve invested in a light therapy lamp. I’m hoping it will bring me some relief. Will it help? I’ll let you know. On my better days, playing with my photos can sometimes help a little, not always, so I hope to resume posting, tho possibly sporadically, while working on ridding myself of these wretched symptoms! In the meantime, if this hasn’t chased you off, thanks for hanging in with me.

Post closed to comments.

 

It’s a dog’s life…

 

dog chasing ball, motion blur

I was down at Blackie Spit yesterday, on the other side of the peninsula from White Rock, where most of my beach images are captured. It was a cloudless day, mild but a bit cooler than we’ve been getting in the past week. It was crowded! There’s an off-leash area just behind the beach parking, with quite a few dogs and their people hanging out and playing. I spent a little while watching and these are a few of the images I brought home, mostly of the lab. She was having great fun monopolizing the chase. I also have images of her running companion and a few others that I’ll post another time. Playing with my motion blurs again. :-) In the last one the dog is running through long grass, and I like how the dead grass heads break up the image.

 

Waiting at the gate

donkeys-6563-

I featured this adorable donkey foal in a post last summer. Here’s a different image of her with her dam. They were waiting at a cattle grid/gate when we arrived half way up the mountain in the Haute Savoie region of France, fairly close to Geneva, Switzerland.

 

Oregon Junco

male Oregon Junco

Here’s another local woodland cutie, a male Oregon Junco (Junco oreganus), actually a medium-sized sparrow that is commonly seen both around woodlands and in the garden throughout North America. I captured this image in a local wooded area. Females are similarly colored but with a paler head. Some populations migrate north for breeding while others are resident in their territories year-round. I find it interesting that these resident populations can have shorter wings than their migrating relatives. They seem to be quite long-lived, the oldest recorded individual was apparently over 11 years old.

Juncos are ground birds, not only feeding off the ground but usually nesting at or near ground level as well. They’re generally seed-eaters but will eat small insects during breeding season. When foraging, Juncos typically hop (rather than walk) on the ground, pecking or scratching at the leaf litter, or flit very low in underbrush gleaning food from twigs and leaves. They sometimes fly up from the ground to catch insects from tree trunks. Flight is very agile as the bird maneuvers through its tangled habitat. Male juncos are very territorial in summer, chasing off intruders in rapid flights accompanied by excited call notes. When males court females, they fan or flick open their wings and tail, hop up and down, and pick up pieces of nest material or moss; females seem to prefer males that show more white in the tail. Juncos often forage with other sparrows and bluebirds.

Text derived from http://www.allaboutbirds.org

House sparrow on cedar hedge

male house sparrow on cedar hedge

When I shot this male house sparrow, he was about to take refuge inside the hedge. The hedge ran the length of the garden, and the birds used the inside of the hedge as a relatively rain-proof super-flyway, while also keeping the youngsters fairly safe from the resident cats…unless they ventured out of the hedge right beside where a cat was sitting waiting patiently. :-(

 

Spring heather

Well once again I’ve missed the week’s Monochrome Madness Challenge. Not so subliminal, I just found myself resistant to processing anything that lacked color. Color helps but longer days is what I really need and they can’t come soon enough for me…

Still, here’s another little splash of color. I don’t have a macro lens, but I’ve had an inexpensive set of extension tubes sitting around for ages and I finally dug them out to capture a couple of images of the heather starting to flower in the garden. Interesting to see the shape of the individual flowers…