Friday, January 29, 2010

Gracie: 'Exploring' the Great Outdoors

We did some yard work last Saturday. I pulled weeds while Dan cleared out the bushes and whatnot. I knew I would have to take breaks because I’m out of shape. So, I grabbed Dan’s camera and placed it on the front porch so that I could shoot pictures whenever something snagged my attention. I wanted to practice taking pictures with his camera because someday I will inherit the camera (without the lenses).

I got tired of pulling weeds and quit. I then decided to shoot pictures of Gracie. What I didn’t realize was that I was using a wide angle lens. But still, most of the pictures I took came out pretty good. I’m real pleased with the pictures – it was hard to weed through them all to pick a few to use here.

Here she is on the front step being a very good kitty. The thing about Gracie is that she can’t stand to be apart from us. She is also brave and stubborn. It was a blustery day and yet, she still was out there with us. She’s also a camera hog. In other words, she’s not shy nor does she let the camera itself bother her. This makes taking pictures of her easier than one would think.

She takes her time before moving forward with most things. She’s a cautious but curious creature. Here she is doing something I rarely let her do – come down below the step. But, she was just dying to explore the debris Dan put there. With both Dan and I out there, and a leash to slow her down some, I felt that just this once, it was okay to let her explore just a tad. I’m so glad I did. You’ll see why soon.

It looks like Gracie is meowing here. In reality, she had just sniffed the leaves in front of her and smelled something really good.

Cats have a second sensory gland located in roof of the mouth. By leaving their mouth open and breathing in air deeply, they let the odor go over that sensory gland to get more sense of the smell. It can be an amusing look because they can look so offended or disgusted. But in reality, they are probably enjoying themselves.

At the time I snapped the above picture, something caught Gracie’s attention; she started to go towards the landscaped area to the right. I stopped taking pictures, looked at her and firmly told her “NO”. She promptly sat her butt down and looked all innocent. Yeah right.

Here she is when something in the bush above her caught her attention. As you can see from the expression on her face that she was just dying to see/smell whatever it was that got her attention. And yet, she knew she couldn’t move much further because I was watching and wouldn’t let her go…

She starts to stretch up as high as she could go. And…

proceeded to stand up. The amazing thing about Gracie is that she can balance herself on her hind legs for a long, long time.

She can move about all the while and not lose her balance. At this point, she did let her front paw down to shift her butt a little and then…

up she goes once again to investigate some more.

And, higher up she goes.

I had to quietly move my position a tad after shooting this picture because she had gotten up even higher up into the bushes – I could no longer snap pictures showing her cute little face.

There she is; high in the bushes.

And, higher still. Amazing!

She had gotten her fill of whatever she was exploring soon after this shot and then proceeded to head towards me.

I love this shot that I managed to snap of her – she looks so intense or intent upon something she spied on the ground. It was probably a leaf because it was a blustery day – anything that moves always catches her attention.

Here’s another shot of her with enjoying the smells from the leaves to her right.

I quit taking pictures of her soon after this point because 1) it was approaching lunchtime and 2) it was time to clean up and go in. So, I made her go back into the house. We had been out there maybe two hours.

Tired and Happy Kitty.

I found Gracie in the office, on this box, completely out of it. She didn’t stir much when I came back in with the camera to shoot a picture of her. She was out for HOURS.

Note: I tried to limit myself to using 15 pictures. But, I ended up using 16. I had to include the last shot – I couldn’t help myself. :-)