Sunday, January 24, 2021

Once Upon a Walk Report - Part one

I have a confession to make, while I believe I'm a good photo editor I'm not good at all when it comes to throwing away pictures which have no merit. I take pictures and put my energy into the photos I like and ignore those, for the most part, that either suck, are redundant or are intended to be exported into a photomerge process--a panorama or a focus stack of images. So, multiple images designed to become one. Part of this is due to my wanting to pay attention to the images I care to use for this blog or for some other purpose and part of it is due to the slow process of deleting images within Adobe's Bridge program. Adobe Bridge is a digital asset management application and a companion program to Adobe Photoshop. Adobe Bridge is my lightbox.

Here's what happened... I would like to buy a hard drive but I'm not inclined to spend the money right now AND it's a little more complicated than that. Consolidating data might bide me some time. I've also thought that purging useless data and cleaning up a bit would be a good idea on a number of practical levels. The review process alone would give me a better idea of where to find stuff. So... I started in on the folders connected to Adobe Bridge. There are some ancient photos but most of the stuff in Bridge is from 2010 up until today. There are 30 folders I want to clean up, each folder may contain as many as 10,000 images. Deleting unwanted images from large folders can take close to a minute per edit. It doesn't matter if I'm sending one image or 100 to the trash... it's so freakin' slow. This is a function of the way Bridge caches previews of images. As I progress through a folder it starts to speed up but even once I get down to the last few hundred it remains a laborious process. One which I don't have a lot of patience for. The drive these folders reside on is a mere 2 TB and it was a lot fuller than I would have liked. Free space was perhaps as little as 70 GB. FYI, it's generally a good practice to leave about 20% free space on a hard drive. I have an app called Drive Genius that says this drive isn't especially healthy, although Apple's Disk Utility doesn't seem to think it has a problem. This drive also contains my iTunes library. That's mostly backed up on a portable drive or two. Nevertheless, that's another project. 

Here's where this is going... Off the top of my head I'd estimate I've thrown away about 40,000 images so far. This has taken 10s of hours over the course of about 3.5 weeks. I've freed up about 215 GB of space on the drive and I'm only up to August of 2014. I have 15.33 folders to go. There's some satisfaction in the organization process and it was cathartic purging a bunch of shitty and or redundant or otherwise unnecessary images. But there was something else. It was incredibly emotional. I relived some joyous days but there were more overwhelming recollections that brought forth sadness, grief and a sense of absence. Without providing a lot of detail, suffice it to say, these emotions were sparked by images of people, places and pets. There were often feelings of loss. Sadness seemed to have a way of overpowering some of the fonder memories. The general pervasive atmosphere influenced by a tragic family event, the pandemic and the current sociopolitical climate amplified the situation. There was also a tooth that was making me sick. It took awhile to realize it was making me sick and I had to overcome high anxiety visiting a dental office to have it extracted during said pandemic. Again, another story. 

Photographs I’ve taken have always had a way of transporting me vividly back to the moment I took them and to moments surrounding those moments. The camera is a time machine. I’m expecting more of this as I move through another six plus years of photographs. 

Finally, here's the deal. I picked out some images along the way, for a variety of reasons. Some of these same images or similar shots might be in walk reports from the past. I'm not going to bother looking. I've organized them by dates. So far these are not images that made me sad but I probably wouldn't tell you if they did. This is part one. Any other parts to this story will be pretty much just pictures and some descriptions. Whew! Right?



I changed my mind. The images won't be sorted by date taken. The date will rather be presented in the leading description or the caption.

062113 (that's month, day and year and I've been using that format for years, okay?) This egret seemed to be following me that day. Earlier I took dozens of images of this bird down below at the botanical garden.


Coyotes were a fairly common sighting 2013-14. Then it became more of a rarity. I saw a coyote walking rather casually on the sidewalk in front of the house early into the pandemic. That never feels normal.


This is Kevin, taken 081113. Docken and I heard from Kevin for quite some time before we ever saw him. We were told that the American bullfrogs in the pond were all males but we later questioned that theory.

This appears to be Kevin and his mate. Since American bullfrogs are very territorial I suspect this was not another male. Altough, there's nothing wrong with that if it were.


Cardinal meadowhawk, 081813

Cotinis mutabilis (Green fruit beetles) devouring a Prunus ilicifolia (Catalina Cherry).


Red-tailed hawk, 082213

Gulf fritillary, 082313

Red-tailed hawk, 082313

This picture is sort of half-ass but I like it.


Gulf fritillary. 090213


This is a 9 image focus stack I did during the purge, just because. These are Linaria maroccana flowers (baby snapdragons). I have a few Linaria maroccana seeds from last spring that I plan to start indoors within the next several weeks.


We don't know how the catus got broken but Docken made this cute little bunny out of this piece. It cracked me up when I saw it.


Mourning dove, 041414

Dandelion and sweet alyssum, 033014

Egret, 040914

Calypte Anna, 041214

Kalanchoe delagoensis, formerly known as Bryophyllum delagoensis and commonly called mother of millions or Chandelier plant.



This crow and Accipiter striatus (sharp-shinned hawk) were definitely not birds of a feather. In flight the crow generally establishes an aggressive posture while the hawk goes about its business until it's out of range. 041914

I believe this was a prairie falcon at sunset.


End of part one. 

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