Monday, January 21, 2013

Winter Sights

[[Before I enter a two-month break, that will bring me back here on March 15th, I want to share a few impressions that I found along the way this winter. For more information on the status of this blog, read my entry one post below, entitled, "Back from the Blue."]]

Surely I have thought of you this winter, when the season brought early rain, and with it, rainbows christening the hills, Cold air cut through the coastal haze to deliver skies and vistas of piercing clarity. At night, the lights from houses in the hills shone gold like hot crystal.

And then, there was Christmas. I spent it in L.A. with my Dear Daughter Erin. Her scene-stealing feline, Charles, the Abyssinian, who's enthralled by the sound of crinkling paper, staked his claim dead-center in the maze of our discards.

In Beverly Hills, Christmas displays were sparse this year, 
but still, we found a few that were dazzling.

And back here on the South Coast, during my breaks, when I took the time to loll, I caught sight of wintering birds. Small black and white ducks called bufflehead, showed up at the Goleta Slough; and in the park, I spotted cedar waxwings flitting and bobbing from branches of the toyon, while feasting on its red berries.

And finally, what would these past three months have been without the regular reward of chocolate?


Arrivederci you beautiful people. Until we meet again on 3/15/13 -- Peace, love and happiness, ~ Aneet


  1. Rainbows, kitties rustling in holiday wrappings, chocolates-- ordinary things that make life magic. The rarer magic is the right person in the right place at the right time to capture cedar waxwings flitting among red berries and electric lights like icicles. May your lens remain free of dust and raindrops, may your sense of composition remain strong and true, may your camera batteries never flash a warning at the wrong moment. And may I be lucky enough to see your post.


  2. Oh Louis,

    What a heartwarming comment.

    And may I be fortunate enough to have a poet such as you write beautiful and inspired comments on my blog. You are a wonderful writer.

    Thanks a mil Louis, ~ Anitra

  3. Hello Anitra,

    So, did you find it? Was it there? I never have found it nor have I met anyone who has but hopefully you did. Those leprechauns are so clever hiding their pots of gold! Great photo of the rainbow (as well as the others but I like the mix of textures in the rainbow photo best). I wonder where it ends?

    Looking forward to your next post which unfortunately won't be until almost St. Patrick's Day. (Hmmm, I guess I'm feeling a bit Irish.)


  4. Alan,

    Hi, nice to hear from you. Did I find it? Boy, I came very close. I certainly thought about it when I could actually see the very bottom of the rainbow (which is rare.) When I first spotted the rainbow, It was arcing south across town with a messy scene in the foreground. I got out of my car and took a few shots, then decided that I would try to rush to a more picturesque setting. By the time I got near the location, the rainbow had faded to barely there, I kept going, turned a corner, and viola! There it was, the south side of the rainbow, which I hadn't known was there.

    To me, seeing a rainbow is the pot of gold. They are magic. I bet you see a lot of them in Colorado.

    Here's to wearin' O' the green, ~ Anitra

    1. Hi Anitra,

      What a great adventure. You chased and caught the rainbow! Congratulations! Your words “…seeing a rainbow is the pot of gold. They are magic” sound like they should be in a song. Very poetic and profound. Once again, it reminds me to appreciate what’s there and not look for more. Will I ever be able to see the world through the eyes and soul of artists like you and others here? I’ve much to learn.

      Colorado has its share of rainbows, occasionally doubled but fewer these past couple of years as the drought continues to chase away our rains. Given our crisp rarefied air, I can appreciate your vivid description of “skies and vistas of piercing clarity”.

      Thanks for sharing your pursuit!


    2. Alan, hello again,

      Such creative images and perceptions you have, along with whimsy and humor. I don't think you need to worry about being an artist. As they say, "It takes one to know one." Technique always takes a bit of time to develop, but you already have an artist's eye.

      I really enjoyed your feedback, Alan, thank you for sharing too.

      Good wishes, ~ Anitra

    3. Hi Anitra,

      Thank You. You are so kind.

      One other thing I wanted to mention (at the risk of you retracting your previous comments!). The photo of the palm tree silhouette is very mesmerizing to me. Sometimes I see the background as a sky of clouds but other times it seems it could be a sea of choppy waters. Then again, sometimes it appears to be a giant moon from another world.

      Thanks for the great shot giving three pictures from one photo!


    4. Glad you noticed (and liked) the photo Alan. It was quite and unusual scene. In my mind I call it tattered clouds, molten sky.

      Be well, ~ A

    5. And oh, I liked your analogies, esp. the moon. I hadn't thought of that.

  5. Anitra,

    Happy new year to you! It's truly wonderful to see your last two posts. I understand clearly what're saying...about the future being uncertain. I would love to see the blog continue...but it does need to feel right for YOU. Your posts have always been a source of joy and inspiration for me. It stirs my imagination! It was wonderful to discover the actress that I've always admired is also an incredible photographer and writer.

    I too have been exploring my creative side and am taking steps to expose (ie promote) myself on the world wide web. It is an interesting media and websites and all the advantages and disadvantages it brings. It is exciting though!

    I hope you are well...Mary and I wish you continued luck and success with the mystery project...would love to hear about it sometime soon!

    My best wishes,

    1. Tom hello,

      It's lovely to hear from you after this respite. I am delighted to know that you are moving forward into a new creative field. And yes, isn't cyberspace miraculous? Of course it helps to be cognizant of those disadvantages too. From all you have shared here, it is obvious that you are talented and able. I wish you miles of good fortune.

      Thank you for you kind and supportive words, Tom, they mean a lot. May you and your dear wife, Mary, reap rich and happy days.

      Sincerely, ~ Aneet

  6. HI Aneet,
    I love the rainbows,to me its a promise from the Universe that better things are yet
    to come.That Bird is so beautiful! what a perfect shot.I wish i was a better writer.
    growing up speaking French,Spanish and having to learn English when I moved to
    New York in the Sixties......long story.Its a gift that you have with words.Santa Barbara
    is just Magical.The house was magnificent.Christmas is my Favorite time of year.Im Glad
    You spent it with your Daughter,and Charles.Looking Foward to march 15th.many
    blessings Roger

    1. Hello Roger,

      We're having storms in SB, and I've been having trouble getting online. But for the moment, all is clear.

      Wanted to once again thank you so much for your kind and truly inspiring words. Your heart always comes through in your comments. I mentioned in my response to your message in my post below, the first time I recalled your leaving a comment here. I checked the entry, and it was under "Gray Day, Saturated Color." I had worked so hard to capture the photo of a luminous spider. It was right outside my window on a windy day. I won't go into the long details as to how I captured the spider with a telephoto lens, as he rocked briskly back and forth in his web, and I may never attempt anything quite so taxing again, but the bug was irresistibly radiant.

      I also thought that people might be turned off by the creepiness of a spider. When you answered with such sensitive words and shared about your grandmother, I was really touched.

      As I look back, I see that your comment was not the first entered here, but it surely left an impression.

      Sending my warm wishes to you and your dear family Roger, ~ Anitra

  7. Aneet,Hey Hey,

    That is one beautiful shot of that rainbow. Captured just perfectly the way you do. There's nothing like spending time with family especially at Christmas. Sounds like you had a great time with Erin.

    There's that pussycat again. Charles looks like he's right at home in that box. Funny how cats like to go investigate new things that come their way. My cat "Trouble" is no different than Charles. Trouble is famous for jumping in boxes as well. He's even more famous for sitting on a ledge and tapping a foam ball back and forth with me. Someday I'll put it on You Tube.

    That Coconut Curry Chocolate looks mighty inviting. Coconut is my most favorite flavor. Looks like a Whole Foods type of wrapper. Is that where you got it? I must give it a try.

    Wishing you the very best on your break and will look forward to corresponding with you again soon!


  8. Hello Dear Jonathan!

    So glad you like the rainbow shot. And yes, Christmas with family can be so warm and satisfying (though not always for everyone :)

    I enjoyed hearing about your cat, Trouble. He sounds like one remarkable feline. I'd like to know what he looks like: color and breed. I picture a stocky orange tabby. He does sound like a good candidate for You Tube.

    As for the chocolate, I got it at a local chocolate shop called Chocolate Maya. It's the one and only time I've ever seen it. The brand is "Theo". As you know, I favor dark chocolate, but the coconut curry was something I had to explore, and I must say, it didn't disappoint.

    I trust you are finding warmth and light this winter Jonathan. I surely hope that's true. Sending my good wishes your way, ~ Aneet

  9. Hello again Aneet-

    Your photos never cease to amaze me. They are an absolute treasure trove of images we might not notice during our daily routines. There's always something special about seeing a rainbow, it always conjures up a feeling of hope even when one is faced with challenges.

    During Christmas, I was lucky that many homes in my neighborhood were adorned with a multitude of decorations. It was such a treat to go for a walk at night and look at these different "jewel cases" of decorations. A couple of days before Christmas, I too was up in Beverly Hills, taking in the sights and sounds of the shops along busy Wilshire Blvd. I did a little browsing at Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue too. It doesn't cost anything to look, right? =)

    Thank you again for sharing these beautiful photos and your inspiring words with us. All the best to you in this next phase of your assignment.

    Best wishes and warm regards as always,


    1. Hello Joseph,

      How nice it is to hear from you. As always, I enjoyed your message. Your words are so well chosen and have a certain clarity and balance. I love your "jewel cases" analogy and hearing about your colorful neighborhood at Christmas. And so you too were trekking around B.H. We didn't go into any of the big department stores, but, come to think of it, that would be fun to do during the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

      Thank you for your kind words about my photos and your good wishes for my work. They are much appreciated.

      I trust you're handling your gifts and challenges with grace.

      Sending bountiful good wishes to you Joseph. Sincerely ~ Aneet

  10. Aneet,

    I enjoyed your take on what "Trouble" looks like. In actuality, he is an 8 year old domestic short hair that's equal parts of grey and white who absolutely loves to get in the middle of exactly where he shouldn't be. After putting fresh litter in the box,he loves to jump right in and roll around. Is there such thing as a psychiatrist for cats? Then again I shouldn't do that to a psychiatrist.

    I tracked down that "Theo" chocolate to Whole Foods where they are sold. When it comes to chocolate,I can be a Bloodhound.Thought that wrapper looked mighty familiar. I will pick up that "Coconut Curry" bar today as I'm curious as to how that combination will taste. Either I will love it or you will hear me gag all the way cross country from New York.



  11. Jonathan hello!

    I enjoyed hearing more about Trouble (the cat.) What a handful, but it sounds as though he's equally as entertaining as he is difficult. There used to be a show on Animal Planet called "My Cat From Hell". That was before all of their shows became sensational thrillers, like "Monsters from the Deep" and "Slime Killers of Albania". The host, Jackson Galaxy (surely his real name), who is very in-tune and a kind of kitty shrink, said that there are certain breeds (like Bengals, etc.) that need much more stimulation than the others. Perhaps Trouble is a mix of one of those breeds. Galaxy had someone come in and build special play and viewing areas high up above cupboards, etc. to entertain one of those cats and to address its hyper-activity.

    (You have caught me in the midst of my journal writing time, wherein I am extra wordy.)

    Oh golly, I'm feeling so much responsibility now, after mentioning that coconut curry chocolate. Twenty years ago,I don't think I would have conceived of such a flavor. I have to say that your humor is in great form, Jonathan, I laughed audibly at the fact that I would hear you gag all the way across the country.

    I hope you like the chocolate, but not too much. Just enough to stay healthy :)

    My gratitude and good wishes, ~ Aneet

  12. Roses are red,violets are blue
    If I told you that I'm an accomplished poet
    That simply wouldn't be true


    Wishing you the best along with plenty of dark chocolate


  13. Hello Dear Jonathan,

    Thank you for your rendition of Keats. It's lovely to hear hear from you on this, one of my favorite days of the year. It took quite a bit of restraint to not get lost in creating a Valentine's post (which would have ultimately involved -- believe it or not -- days), and to keep centered on my high priority work.

    I surely hope that you too have a delightful, if not delicious, day. I didn't hear any gagging sounds from New York. I guess the coconut curry chocolate was well received?

    Again, Jonathan, lovely to hear from you, ~ Aneet

  14. Aneet,one quick thing. I found one bar of the Coconut Curry chocolate left on the shelf at my local Whole Foods store. It had on the back of it an expiration sticker that said Oct 2012.I showed it to the manager and they had to pull it off the shelf. To make matters worse,they tried ordering a fresh batch but found out they can't get that flavor in anymore!

    Sometimes it's better to have no luck than bad luck, right? I will continue my quest to get my hands on a bar for sure.


  15. Oh Jonathan,

    What bizarre timing. I wonder if they're still making that flavor. I love your attitude "Sometimes better to have no luck than bad luck." Very smart. You can take comfort in the fact that though the chocolate was good, it was not the best ever. Though, I must say, it did have a rare flavor, and, of course, the wrapper had such artful personality.

    The fact is, there is always something new approaching.

    I hope life is smiling on you Jonathan.

    Sincerely, ~ Aneet