As my farrier noted today, it's hard to believe how bitterly cold it was only a week or so ago, given the nice week we've had, with temperatures in the single digits below freezing, and actually creeping up to and a bit over the freezing mark (0 C / 32 F) once or twice. We've enjoyed sun most days as well, so all in all, not much to complain about here.
I started my stint as a volunteer photographer for the local SPCA last Tuesday. I've drafted a willing animal-savvy friend as my handler/assistant, and the two of us headed off to our first shoot on a lovely warm and sunny afternoon. We were to have begun the previous week, but since the temperature that day was in the minus 30s with a stiff wind, that one was a non-starter. We photographed two dogs and two cats. There were four cats on our list, but one was in surgery, hence unavailable, and the other was so shell-shocked by where she was that we didn't have the heart to subject her to yet more unknown people handling her and relocating her to another area of the building for photos. Maybe she'll be more settled this week.
The dogs were more than happy to go out to the big fenced play area with total strangers, and had a good time. There is a socializing room indoors for the cats, with climbing towers and many toys, but cats don't adapt to stressful situations as well as most dogs do, and they were pretty much like deer in the headlights. I did my best with them, but it's hard to get a decent shot of an animal that is pretty well shut down.
Shot one shows one of last week's subjects, young Boris. He's a cute and lively young fellow with a lot of charm and energy, and available for adoption.
We were up to the Patterson gardens by the university on the weekend, finishing up a tree photography project that has lingered on way too long (we started last August!!). As we went past the old university cow barns, I had to get a shot of the masses of pigeons who were enjoying the sun and warm temperatures. The tops of the neighbouring grain silos were also thick with them. There were hundreds of them in total. This wasn't the best camera for this shot, but it's the one I had with me, so it will have to do.
Here is a longer view of the cow barns. There is now a very modern research facility for the university herd, and I'm not sure how much the old barn is still used, but it remains a local landmark that I always enjoy seeing.
While we were in the Patterson tree gardens, my eye was attracted by the intricate play of texture, colour, and shadow in the trunk of this tree.
I did this encaustic a few weeks ago, with no subject matter in mind at the time, but it does evoke a similar feel to the tree bark shot above.