Focal Changes Photography » Photography by Maura van der Linden

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Hubby and I were walking around a local water treatment plant (it has walking trails and quite a bit of landscaping around it – both as beautification and as part of the water system) and spotted this stalk of teasel poking up off the top of a hill. It was too far away for a close-up since I don’t like walking off the trail but as the sun was setting, it had a great sky behind it.

Despite the fact it is viewed as cliched, I love taking pictures of flowers and foliage. Sometimes these are close-up shots and sometimes they are more distant views but I still love them. I guess it’s because they make me smile. It’s hard to worry or fret if you are looking at a pretty flower.

Now I seem to have a new obsession to experiment with – square form factors. I think I got this idea while reading an article on vintage photography and I just decided to experiment with it in conjunction with my flower passion. It’s actually really interesting to see what I decide on for cropping when I constrain myself to a 1×1 aspect ratio. I do HAVE to crop because my camera is a rectangular form factor, not a square.  There have been a few flowers I’ve failed to find a way to crop that I was happy with but the challenge is fun.

This picture is from a bush in a friend’s front yard. I’d have to ask her what it is, though 🙂



This moth was sitting on my front porch, perched on a cardboard box and was remarkably patient as I got my tripod set up and camera going. I didn’t want to move him and there wasn’t a ton of light, so I didn’t get as close as I wanted to but I’m amazed at just how hairy he actually was when I got in close. I’d guess he actually measured about 1.5 inches in length, so that may give you some idea of scale. I love the world of macro.

We had known for a long time that Merlin was fading and we decided to get a young cat both to keep our other cat company (she doesn’t cuddle with the semi-ferals) and because I really was going to be sad without a cuddle cat. My husband and I had a few criteria: young but not a tiny kitten, friendly, loves attention and, most of all, I needed to fall in love. I didn’t want to get a new cat just to get one. About two weeks before Merlin’s death, my husband surprised me with a visit to our local shelter and we must have met every cat in the place. I was ready to acknowledge that I’d not fallen in love with any of them until the volunteer took us into the sick room. In a cage were three small teenage cats that were being treated for a variety of ailments after being surrendered by an animal hoarder. My husband walked over to the cage and two of the three occupants came right up to the front to meow and get attention from him. One of these two (a little siamese girl) was spoken for but the tabby boy just won our hearts.

He’d had a rough start: malnutrition, ear mites, an abscess under his chin, some rotten teeth that were pulled and an upper respiratory infection. Despite all that, he’s a real charmer. His shelter name was King Tut but that didn’t roll off the tongue. With his tabby eye liner and the bars of his mackerel tabby coat, he reminded us of an Egyptian hawk so we re-named him Horus. He’s really fun and more than a bit energetic. He loves attention and play time. In fact he plays fetch with some spring cat toys – his very favorites. He’s probably about 9 pounds now vs the 7.5 he was just before we adopted him but his ears and tail still look too big for him.

I think he likes his new home – especially the pad on top of my desk 🙂

All tuckered out.

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