Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sitting alone in tree rows with a few birds flitting around...

ground level view down tree rows in orchard
It was pleasing for the while.

Keep in mind:  We sometimes do free photos for non-profit organizations.  Contact us and tell about your organization and how the photos would be used.  
 See our photo business blog here, Thomas Haynes Photoshoot.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

New Life Emerging Among Thorns

This is taken from  Thomas Haynes Photoshoot,  my photography business blog---a photo of spring and perhaps for Easter, depending on how deeply symbolic go the thorns.

A new colorful branch burst forth in thorny Welsh rose bush
This partial view is of an old rose bush, handed down in the family by cuttings to preserve its heritage. The bush likely came to this country about 200 years ago.
It is  an aggressive grower and is contained by turning back new canes to form a sort of birds nest, a perfect summer bramble for Peter Rabbit™!
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Working within reasonable drive from our location in Clinton, Tennessee 
-- near Knoxville in East Tennessee --

Monday, February 17, 2014

A bird returns and a thought on pets now gone..snowy February

"Excuse me while I touch the sky..." This shows all but the most recent kitty grave on the hill behind our little house. It is just to the right. I wanted these with a breath of snow and got that. There are no kitty spirits here; we believe the same God who breathed life into us is big enough to take care of the Creation He loves. Those spirits are in a place special and unknown to me.
 cat grave markers with light cover of snow, in woods

This is a hermit thrush, the only thrush to winter over in the USA.  Last year was the first to show here and we also found one dead on our front deck. When this bird showed up this year, it was a nice surprise.  The winter birds have plenty of feed and suet here.

hermit thrush on snowy day outside window
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Sunday, January 12, 2014

New Kitties are in the Family

Not quite a year ago three cats were rescued and moved in.  The first was a tortiseshell female who had been living in a barn at a farm.  The farm house was being  maintained but the barns were essentially storage for anything wanted at least partially out of the rain.  Not being a working farm, the cat was in a line of other cats who had lived and sometimes passed on there.  A kind lady gave us the cat and we took the tortie right to the vets to be checked over, vaccinated and checked for parasites.  She had a name but was renamed to Callie, a name more suited to this gentle and somewhat skittish little girl cat.
Callie, a tortiseshell kitty moved from wild farm life to a home.
Tortiseshell refers to the coloration of the coat, variegated like the shells of certain sea turtles which are now legally protected.  The highest percent of tortie cats are female.  Having lived with much time to herself and likely harassed by larger and more predatory animals such as coyotes, we found Callie liked to stay to herself and would only venture around the home, near the walls, in very definite areas where furniture and such provided a quick place to hide.  We got the impression this quite gentle kitty with a very soft and beautiful fur coat felt insecure without a ready place to hide. She had not learned that she was safe her new home. 

The Photograph-
Her eye and coat colors are very close to accurate as seen on my calibrated monitor.  Does she often pose like this? No, she does not.  This photo is the result of her tolerating a camera in her face for several shots, most of which were not good because of her squirming out of frame just as the shutter was pushed.

She Now Feels at Home- She is comfortable in this home now and has learned that fears she may have faced living in the barn are not present in this home. She has become used to the other cats and plays running and toy games with them. She is not a lap kitty but once in a while will jump up on the sofa to warm your legs for a moment...it must be her choice at the moment.

SURPRISE, OTHER KITTIES SAW THE SIGN
We joke that there is a sign visible to homeless cats somewhere leading to our front porch. Cats see this "vacancy" light set to "yes" and come up to hang around until noticed.  We lost a precious cat to a fate of illness far before her time in December of 2012.  Barely 4 years old, she had come here as a rescue and had the best medical treatment to take care of conditions normally reserved for very elderly cats. Her loss was difficult and even if we are not ready for more kitties when one is buried and their God given spirit is taken to new life beyond birth, life, death and decay...that is when the light saying "vacancy" appears to be turned on.

This is just what happened...we received Callie early in 2013.  As she just reached the the front porch in the carrier, coming back from the vet and ready to move in,  two little young gray cats ran up the steps and sat one step down, watching intently. They were still kittens/young cats and perhaps slightly younger than Callie.

What is this! More cats? Well, weather was turning bad as it seems to do when you find a stray cat on the front porch. "They will leave and have a home in the neighborhood even if they are too small to be out like this and should be inside anyway...", I thought, hoping at the time it was so and they had not been cast out with no home. The second day they were given a box and blanket for warmth on an adjoining deck. By week's end, they were the vets to be checked out, neutered and vaccinated.  Because of parasites they were housed in a large crate (cage) in the garage with heat and cover.  Several weeks went by before they were free of persistent problems.  The health issues did pass and the two boys were then introduced to the other cats in the home, including Callie who kept her distance. 

Our eldest kitty took to them quickly and was a friend and companion. Lizzie died in the arms of my wife in the fall of 2013 and our hearts still cry for her, with fond memories of 20 years of joy from a stocky little black and white long-haired girl kitty.  The totally neat part is how the blue* boy cats stayed with her the night she died.  Apparently it was a stroke and she seemed confused for a moment then lost ability to use her right side.  Somehow, she made it to the food dishes and while trying to walk upright, one of the new boys stood directly beside her, holding her up from falling and they moved in unison to a feeding dish.  Within 2 hours and sleeping in the arms of my wife,  this little girl simply went limp and did not wake up.  She had reached that  wonderful goal: A long life, death and passing to a new world while in her sleep, apparently with no pain at all.

This story tells something about the boys who saw that "vacancy" sign.  They have no papers and brought none with them. However, they carry the undeniable characteristics of Russian Blue cats. Only a few gray cats are Russian Blue and to rescue one from a shelter or in the wild is quite unusual.  These do fit the checklist in most ways we can determine.  Even personality is right for that wonderful breed.  A photo of one of the blue boys is below. Eye color is still developing. 

When it comes down to it, almost all of the many cats who have had a home with us were rescues. We are not particular about breed but are concerned with the cats having a good home. To have these two blue brothers is a special joy simply because of their wonderful personalities and active spirits.


Davie, from fall of 2013--rescued "russian blue" kitty.
So, there is the story of a new kitty and her two new friends. All are members of this home for slightly less than a year and were rescued in early 2013.
*Blue is used to describe the color of a particular gray fur in cats. These kitties have that color and the silvery blue of the dual layer coat of the Russian Blue breed. For information particular to the breed, go here

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If interested in photography of your pets in their own environment, please do contact me. This blog is not my professional photography website. Rates are reasonable and most photos are done where the pet lives or at a place of your choice.  We work out of Clinton, Tennessee and within a reasonable driving distance. Thomas Haynes Photoshoot is the professional/commercial site for our business.
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More of our photography may be seen at the website used for client galleries, here.
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Monday, December 9, 2013

Pickett State Park, Tennessee. Easy trails, breautiful features, day trip from Knoxville

Pickett State Park above Jamestown, Tennessee is a relatively easy day trip from the Knoxville area.  From the southeast, take the road up to Jamestown to avoid  a section of very steep and curvy cutbacks at the base of Big South Fork National Park.  Big South Fork is a wonder in itself and should be given added time in the woods and rough and tumble mountains. 

Just west of Big South Fork and north of Jamestown, the smaller Pickett State Park is a worthwhile day trip from the Knoxville area or places of similar distances. We skirted Big South Fork, managed the steep curves and did not smoke the brakes.  This way from I75 is about 1 1/2 hour drive time. Coming back through Jamestown was definitely a longer but easier drive.

Once in Pickett Park, the trails are relatively easy and go to pleasing small wonders such as the natural bridge in the photos below. The sandstone of the area has given nature a sculptor's paradise and rock formations are both beautiful and enticing. 

We cannot assure you the tree with the tiny base is still standing! The photo was shot in mid-fall of 2013, showing apparent woodpecker work on the tree base down to hardwood core.  This tree was spotted aside the Natural Bridge trail. 

Balanced tree, eaten away to the core wood
  Is this tree still standing since mid fall 2013? 

HDR photo, stream at Pickett State Park
 High dynamic range photograph of stream and woodland, mid fall, 2013
Easy trail to the natural bridge
 Trail to natural bridge is an easy walk.

Furrowed sandstone rock face below natural bridge, Pickett State Park
 Furrows in sandstone, natures carvings

Color variations in the sandstone rock face, Pickett State Park
 Colors in sandstone under natural bridge

Beneath natural bridge in Tennessee state park The natural bridge: Take secondary trail to cross bridge or go up rocky steps at   base of the formation

Laurel thicket along stream, Pickett State Park
Mountain laurel along a stream: This view is easily accessed on foot or vehicle

We hope you enjoyed these few photos of a beautiful state park in Tennessee.