Emma Buys Us Some Time

Our black cat Emma sleeps in the hallway

Emma has had three doses of her chemo drug but it will be another one to three weeks before we know if it is helping. For a while there we weren’t sure if she’d survive long enough for it to matter, as her appetite dropped off severely, but she is devouring baby food and her weight and energy levels are rapidly increasing. She’s come up to snuggle at times and even jumped to the top of the cat tree this afternoon. We’re adding a supplement that isn’t in human food and will still try to get her back on cat food. I don’t know how long it will last, and we still need to get to the bottom of what’s causing her illness, but at this point I’ll take any positive news I can get.

Water

A great egret eats an American bullfrog in the rain at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge

In 2001 I bought what at the time was my most expensive lens, Canon’s 100-400mm lens. Since then it’s gone with me on every hike and nearly every trip and been one of my most treasured lenses. However the image stabilization system needs repair but I haven’t sent it in as I was hesitant to spend much money on a lens that could benefit from a modern re-design.

To my great delight, Canon finally brought out a new 100-400 lens and I pre-ordered the day of the announcement. It arrived on Friday so Saturday morning I opened it up and took it to my favorite refuge to try it out. One of the nice new features is that the lens has some weatherproofing, which I got to test with my very first pictures when I encountered this egret in the pouring rain. The egret was on the passenger’s side of the car so I slid over, stuck the lens out the window into the rain, and had just got the exposure and focus set when the egret struck into the water, pulling out this small bullfrog.

I meant to frame a little looser but in my haste to even get the shot I didn’t keep the camera quite level, so I rotated and cropped in post. Still I was pleased that with the zoom I was able to pull back and show a bit of the world these animals live in. The egret with its long featherless legs is built to wade in shallow water like this, able to hunt along the water’s edge, looking for frogs and fish in the water and frogs and voles on the land.

I’ve always loved photographing in the rain, especially to show how animals still have to go out into the rain to live their lives, and I’m thankful my favorite hiking lens now can as well.

All I Want For Christmas

Our black cat Emma sleeps underneath the Christmas tree

Emma’s struggles continue and she’s in a fight for her life. Her last hope is a chemo drug that she’ll start tomorrow. We weren’t sure she’d make it long enough to start treatment as last night and this morning she didn’t want to eat much. My wife had the brilliant idea to get some baby food and she’s been eating that today. It’s a stop-gap solution but we’re just trying to keep her strong enough that we can see if the new medicine will help.

All I want this Christmas is for Emma to be healthy again. Here she’s sleeping under the Christmas tree, in previous years she’d spend most of the holidays under the tree but now that she’s sick she’s only there occasionally. It’s been so hard to see my sweet little Em slowly waste away.