an everyday photo, every day | photography • art • poetry

  • black cat with pumpkins
  • photo of sky
  • What's your problem? she wants to know.
  • seed head
  • red leaves blue sky
  • Monongahela Fog
  • crochet and shadows
  • honeysuckle berries

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Enter: Three WITCHES

THREE BLACK CATS WITH LAMP AND PUMPKIN

ENTER; Three Witches

When shall we three meet again?
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?

Guess the kids have been getting into my literature textbooks again. I thought my Riverside Shakespeare was too heavy for them, but there is no getting in the way of a determined reader. Now that they’ve mastered Act 1, Scene 1 of MacBeth, I can’t wait to see how they interpret Scene 2.

Maybe reading to them as kittens really did work.

Actually, Mimi, Mewsette and Giuseppe were gathered around the lamp “to keep warm” as they said, because the temperature was all of about 65 degrees. Time to get out the cozy beds!

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You many not know that I have five rescued black cats, just by chance–they are all related. Right now I also have two foster kittens who are also–black! Halloween is a great day for us. You’re going to see a few more photos, and you can also join us on The Creative Cat for more every day!

Madame Mewsette Will Tell Your For-tuna

madame mewsette

Madame Mewsette will tell your for-tuna!

This card, “Madame Mewsette Will Tell Your For-tuna” features Miss Mewsette, who has a strong sense of the dramatic and arranged herself in this living still life, then looked at me as I walked through the room at night, probably preparing dinner. Where’s my camera?! And my tripod for this one, a difficult shot with the lamp contrasting with the very dark areas around, but Mewsette was patient. Here is what I included in the post adapted to the back of the card:

This is what Mewsette is dressed up as to celebrate this evening’s events. And she didn’t even have to put on one embarrassing garment or accessory.

When I attended Catholic grade school, we were to dress up as our patron saint for All Hallow’s Eve, and dressing up as St. Bernadette was pretty easy for me as I already tended to wear peasant-style clothing and St. Bernadette didn’t suffer any dire injuries or horrible torture like some of the other saints, she just lived to be very old, despite Lourdes.

Well, I think Mewsette is dressed up as one of her patron kitties—she is quiet and introspective, unlike her brothers, and I can just see her in the role of a familiar or a gypsy fortune-teller!

. . . . . . .

You many not know that I have five rescued black cats, just by chance–they are all related. Right now I also have two foster kittens who are also–black! Halloween is a great day for us. You’re going to see a few more photos, and you can also join us on The Creative Cat for more every day!

Mewsette’s Minions

black cat with pumpkins

Mewse4tte and her minions.

You many not know that I have five rescued black cats, just by chance–they are all related. Right now I also have two foster kittens who are also–black! Halloween is a great day for us. You’re going to see a few more photos, and you can also join us on The Creative Cat for more every day!

. . . . . . .

Awake, my minions, it’s Halloween! You know the plan—world domination by black cats via Halloween pumpkins! For every pumpkin a black cat! Now, go forth and find homes, and at midnight you will each become a black cat waiting in a shelter for a forever home!

We could only wish finding homes for black cats was that simple and fun. But tomorrow, you could go out and adopt a black cat from a shelter or rescue, even if you don’t have a pumpkin in your yard tonight! Think of the beauty of Mimi and her children and Emeraude, and consider adopting a black cat for your Halloween treat!

. . . . . . .

I first published this in 2010 under the title “Help, Mom’s Gone Crazy” because Mewsette and all the other beautiful black cats couldn’t figure out what I wanted them to do with the pumpkins!

I just can’t figure out what she wants me to do but it has something to do with these pumpkins! Sometimes mom gets these crazy ideas and she chases us around the house and tries to get us to do things that we don’t understand, and she’s been after us with these pumpkins for days. I can’t wait till Halloween is over and mom gets back to normal!

Yesterday while mom was working on her computer I saw a few kitties wearing silly costumes. It’s just a really good thing she didn’t try that, and that’s all I’ll say on that subject.

You many not know that I have five rescued black cats, just by chance–they are all related. Right now I also have two foster kittens who are also–black! Halloween is a great day for us.

Opening in the Clouds

photo of sky

Opening in the Clouds

Okay, so, this was a pretty dramatic moment and I almost wrecked my car. Most of the day was heavily overcast but for this one opening in the clouds that moved overhead beaming golden sunlight onto the landscape below. Just wish I could have caught a bit of the autumn colors in those trees.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. 

No, You’re Not Camouflaged

praying mantis

What’s your problem? she wants to know.

Praying Mantises are usually difficult to spot because they look like a stick among other sticks on a shrub or in a tree. A burgundy chrysanthemum is definitely not good cover.

It’s actually from 2008, before I began photo-blogging, but it’s one of my favorites. Usually, finding a praying mantis is a surprise as they are typically so well camouflaged while waiting for a hapless insect to land nearby, but deep rose-colored chrysanthemums are hardly a foil for a long, slender pale green insect!

They aren’t fearful of humans so I could get close and take quite a few photos. I was watching its tongue flick in and out as it tasted/smelled the air, and I have a few photos of it cleaning its front legs as well.

Spending time with a living creature so different from one’s self is always an interesting experience.

Here are a few other photos of these little sticks.

photo of praying mantis on chrysanthemum

Praying Mantis

I know there's an insect somewhere in this chrysanthemum.

I know there’s an insect somewhere in this chrysanthemum.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. 

A Fading Sun

seed head

A Fading Sun

These tired grasses sprouted, flourished and faded in the sun now wait their turn to give back to the earth as the sun fades before a storm.

I took this photo with black and white film in my old Pentax K1000. It suited the season.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. 

Autumn Fire

red leaves blue sky

red leaves blue sky

Sunlit red leaves are brilliant enough, but even moreso against a cloudless early evening autumn sky, just before sunset.

Some things you don’t see until you accommodate your subject. I saw this tree in photographing something else and was struck by the sparse red leaves, the bare branches, against that endless blue sky. I circled it and photographed it, trying to find the image that described my inspiration, and not until I moved to the right spot, at the right angle, did the leaves fill with light. It’s there, just keep looking, and don’t be afraid to change your views. The rewards are brilliant.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. 

Monongahela Fog

Monongahela Fog

Monongahela Fog

It could have been a scene from a century ago at the J&L Steel plant along the Monongahela River, but it’s just a foggy October morning.

A spectacularly foggy morning, the type that only autumn provides. This is a bend in the Monongahela River in Pittsburgh, the bit of a bridge you see is the Birmingham Bridge from the South Side Flats to the Boulevard of the Allies in the Lower Hill/Uptown/South Oakland. The steam rises from a concrete plant on Second Avenue, on the river’s edge, where the J&L Plant once stood; in the distance you see the first of the buildings in Oakland leading to Carlow University, Chatham University, the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. In this fog, this could have been taken decades ago, representing the smog from the mills. The mills are gone, the air and the rivers are relatively clean, but the colleges, the neighborhoods, the essence of Pittsburgh is still there in the rolling fog of an October morning.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. 

Poem for Saturday: Clouds

pastel painting of autumn scene

“Autumn”, pastel, 12″ x 24″, 1998 © B.E. Kazmarski

Enjoying the outdoors just for the sake of it, or gardening, or creating, I find myself watching the clouds. Yesterday, a storm rolled in at sunset, the temperature has dropped from a balmy Indian Summer with sun to chilled and wet, and I watched heavy gray clouds march across the blue skies.

Clouds

Roiling clouds blown by winds
Before a summer thunderstorm,
Huge constructions in purple and blue
And lurid green tinged with coral.

The delicate lace of a fair summer day,
Puffs and wisps in white and cream
Shaded with lilac and blue
And edged in yellow.

Hazy wisps in autumn
Moving slowly from one horizon to the next,
Never amounting to much.

The heavy purple rainclouds of a late spring afternoon
Looming on the horizon
Shadowing the early wan sun
And promising a rainy night.

The approach of the first storm of winter
As flat gray clouds form in the west,
In their shadow bringing the first reminder
Of the eternal cold of year’s end.

“Autumn”, above, is one of a commissioned series of four paintings created to fit a frame a customer’s father had made by hand. Each window was 12″ x 24″ with no room for a mat, so my pastels would fit exactly into each space. Seeing where she lived and other art she had inspired the “Four Seasons” with images, not from the view from her windows but familiar from the region. This is a small creek running through the middle of an abandoned hay field, the mix of deciduous trees each in its own shade and reflected in the still water. The water reflects the sky directly above, still blue, while storm clouds rise from the horizon.

Read the rest of the poetry from my annual poetry reading and art show at Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, in 2009 entitled Change of Season

and see other autumn art in my Etsy shop.

poetry book

Paths I Have Walked, collected poems.

About Art of the Watershed and the Collected Poems

A series of seasonal images of the Lower Chartiers Watershed

“I have travelled a good deal in Concord,” said Henry David Thoreau in Walden, his paradox of exploring a small town and its surroundings teaching him as much about human life and the interactions of nature as if he had traveled rare and exotic places about the globe.

I’d love to paint faraway exotic places, but in the interests of time I stay close to home for my hiking, bicycling, canoeing, walking and painting excursions, that being the valley where the Lower Chartiers Creek flows.

I’ve seen some exquisite sights on my adventures, and committed them to various media. The most moving are the ones I’ve chosen to paint large and in detail so that I might convey at least a portion of the grandeur that moved me beyond awe to action, sharing the places right around us though most people would never see them. Thus was born the series offering an image indicative of the watershed in each season.

Visit my website to see the full set of paintings included in the “Art of the Watershed” series.

And visit my poetry page to see more about my poetry and other writing.

Autumn in the Valley availability

You can find a full-size giclee plus various sizes of digital prints, framed and unframed in my Etsy shop.

Autumn Palette

honeysuckle berries

Autumn Palette

Those berries look so full they might pop! And so bright red, lovely to look at, but really they hope to attract a bird ready for a snack who will eat a few berries and then…distribute them. But as good as they look, they are mildly to quite toxic to humans depending on the species.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

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