It’s very hard for researchers to know the exact number of these amazing cats left wild in Scotland, as they have hybridised with feral domestic-cat populations over the years. It is estimated that there are now perhaps only thirty five true wildcats left and they are at imminent threat of extinction. It breaks my heart! This beautiful female and her three kittens live at the British Wildlife Centre, near Godstone, in Surrey. Such a great place! I visited last week with my friend Nikki and godchildren, Rosie and James. Rosie loves all cats and the wildcats hold a special place in her heart too. It was wonderful to explore our native wildlife with them, whilst giving young James another photography tutorial! I have a few images of some of the other residents, but the wildcat topped my Twitter poll for what people wanted to see for today’s Wex Mondays challenge. I’m very glad to share a bit of their story with you, but for more information please visit the British Wildlife Centre wildcat page here. The centre does some wonderful work in conservation, rescue & rehabilitation and in education. It’s well worth a visit and I would really encourage everybody to support the amazing work that they do!
Look Of Love
This year at Plaka nature reserve, on Kos Island, one man has taken over the care of the wildlife and much of the habitat of the area. The cats and birds are much healthier and he has started a programme to neuter a number of the cats living in the park.
He told us that almost every day when he arrives, there have been more kittens or puppies dumped at the main part of the park. Often it is residents but occasionally tourists bring kittens along thinking to give them a safer home.
He’s quite overwhelmed but has strategies in place and arrangements with a local vet. I think he needs the park and the animals as much as they need someone to care for them. Widowed some 13yrs, retired from 39yrs with the military, only remaining member of his family still on the island, he lost his mother to altzheimers just a few weeks ago. He had cared for her for a long time and felt that she had at last found peace.
He has found his own peace within Plaka and can fulfil the ongoing need to be caring for something. There is much to be gained from nature and wildlife during times of hardship, grief or illness. While local authorities do not have the funds to maintain some of Greece’s nature reserves, local people and visiting tourists can do much to safeguard these precious places.
As you may have already guessed, I’m only posting photos taken and processed on my phone for NaBloPoMo 2014. I’ve had some great feedback on the processing! My favourite app is Google Photos that comes with Google +. There are lots of styles and presets, many of which can be modified, as well as manual tonal adjustments, HDR, Drama, B&W, Vignettes and Frames. Personally I find this the most versatile and comprehensive free app for artistic processing.
I’ve just added the Adobe Photoshop Express App and Adobe Photoshop Touch. I think they both give some good quality, basic adjustments. PS Touch has some really great features, akin to Photoshop CC or CS6, that I think I need to investigate further. They should be brilliant for my abstract work! Whoever would have thought that you could create layers in a phone app!!! Images that are processed in Touch are saved to Creative Cloud so I can download them as needed. The PS Elements app comes with free basic adjustments but you pay for their “premium” filters. Worth it just for the noise reduction! I paid for PS Touch app as I really think I can have a lot of fun with it on-the-go. I think it would work much better on a tablet than the smartphone but we shall have to see what I can create with it!
For today I’ve photographed our two cats and processed a version in both Google Photos and PS Touch to see what you think of the quality and artistic enhancements.
Wishing you all an enjoyable Samhaim, All Soul’s or Halloween, wherever you are in world and however you celebrate! I thought this would be the perfect post from me today, a feline familiar. He totally ruined a recent outing to photograph birds by the River Mole by suddenly appearing at my side full of meows and purrs, then following me around for the next half-hour or so! Perhaps he thought I might provide an easy meal for him with my bird-seed and mealworm tempters for the birds, but they were definitely aware of his presence and kept to the far side of the river. I love his arched pose in this image 🙂