Sunday Stills ~ Fade to Black

For Ed's last Sunday Stills challenge, Fade to Black, he asked that we include the color black either into the subject or the background. Not knowing if Sunday Stills would continue, I thought long and hard about what to shoot this week.... 

old horseshoe's tell a story

 We've had her since we put a pond in, about 10 years ago.
Our sole original Koi, she's a friendly girl always looking for handouts.

.... enjoy other Sunday Stills, which I am happy to say is not fading to black, it's switching hands!


Sunday Stills, one last click ~ and it's over

Imagine my surprise when I logged onto Sunday Stills to see what this week's photo challenge is, only to find out it is "Fading to Black"  - literally. All good things must come to an end, and after 3 years Ed is pulling the shade. He is discontinuing the blog, who can blame the guy? I can only imagine the amount of time it takes to run a photographer's blog. I know how long it takes me just to complete the challenges.

After following Sunday Stills, I started participating with the first challenge in January 2011. It opened my eyes, and I completed 50 challenges! It became a topic of conversation with my co-workers, family and gave me something to think about besides work, work and more work. It gave me incentive to pull out my camera, and learn from it, for that I am thankful. I also found other bloggers with similar interests, and enjoyed many photos from talented folks in all parts of the country and abroad. I would be remiss if I didn't say I will miss Sunday Stills.

If you've participated in the past, or enjoyed viewing the weekly photos - hop on over and participate in the last challenge, or simply say thanks. Farewell, and keep on clickin'!!

Our trio, Nemo, Cierra and Koda (top to bottom)


Sunday Stills ~ In the Air

In the Air, was a tough challenge for me. I thought about blowing dandelions seeds...that would have been fun and likely created better results, had they survived our drought. Or maybe bubbles? Instead of creating the scene, I tried to capture the many birds that naturally entertain me in and around our property.  I don't own a long lens, so you'll have to pull out your binoculars...

I love watching the Barn Swallows that visit us.
They scoop up the bugs and take water dips
 in our pond & pool - even when we're in it!

... I wasn't having much luck at home. Wherever I positioned myself, the birds went elsewhere...then a hawk came scouting for food in the field, and it gave me an idea! If I can't reach them with my lens, maybe I should get closer to their favorite hangout. With hubby in tow, we walked to a neighboring abandoned rock quarry...and the wait began...at last the hawk payed us a visit...

Hungry Hawk

...then took his followers, and went elsewhere...

Hawk & friends (follow the rock ledge to the third group of trees) 

...so we headed back home, but not before getting scolded by the blue jays for disrupting their haven...

Sassy Blue Jay

...closer to home a different kind of bird came flying towards us...

Trio of Planes

...I had enough time to turn around, and they were past us...

Trio of Planes likely heading to an air show


how do you preserve your posts?

How do you preserve your posts? or don't you? 

I know some of you lost posts, heck entire blogs, and went to some great lengths to get some of that precious history back.

I am leaning towards making a personal photo type book out of my blog, every couple years. To preserve my journey, a diary of sorts ~ just for me. Something I can hold in my hands, when I am unplugged. I think down the road, this would be something I would truly treasure.

I did a Google search, and found these three options:


This one let's you test out your site:


I also found a (free) pdf blog maker - sounds fast, however no picking and choosing:

Any suggestions and/or recommendations??


new vs old

We didn't make it out to ride last weekend, so I took advantage of a sale at our local tack shop. Yep, I consoled myself with shopping. I found some much needed new boots. Here they are, on our old wood (and lattice) deck...

New on Old
...I'll miss that old deck. It was my favorite place at home to take photo's. There is something about weathered wood...and worn in leather...like my old (very crooked) boots. They lasted forever, here they are on the new deck...

Old on New

...notice a bit of a difference between the old and the new? I'm looking forward to using both the new deck and new boots, but more so the boots - they were made for more then walking.


Sunday Stills ~ Pick Two

The challenge was to pick two previous challenges. I chose both from 2009, before I started participating in Sunday Stills.

For the Color Red Challenge, I chose my cactus. I started it about 5 years ago from a small 4" section that broke off of a very old plant, that my neighbor has grown for many years. I stuck it in the dirt, and this is what I got:

Epiphyllum (Epi Cactus)

I really had fun with my second choice, the Toy Challenge! I am not a doll person, but when I was a little girl I had some tiny 2" dolls I treasured from the Kiddle collection. Some were scented. I spent many imaginative hours playing with them. I saved some for my girls, and still have a few. I'm sure they were happy to get out of their containers, and explore! 

 My childhood favorite one is on the left, Lucky Locket Kiddle made in 1966
On the right is Kiddle Kologne made in 1967, she still smells a little like Lily of the Valley

Always a Dreamer

Walking through the Woods

Swinging in the Breeze

This was a Lilac scented doll, I don't have the container anymore.
I also had a Strawberry one with pinkish hair, not sure what happened to it.

Take Time to Smell the Flowers

See other Sunday Stills Pick Two Challenge


weekend warriors

Before the Midwest got slammed with a heatwave, we trailered to our favorite local State Park - Governor Dodge. It's a special place for us. Not only because of it's beautiful varied terrain, but because we took our very first solo trail ride there two years ago, when our boys were 3. It was (is) my dream come true. We never did make it out to those trails last year. It was wonderful to ride them again!

Koda was enjoying the view as much as I was...

lake view

...along with the blanket of white flowers....


... instead of taking the leaning flat bridge that had given us some trouble our first ride, we tried crossing the little steam...first attempt, the boys were hesitant. A fresh pile of poop blocking the path, didn't help my Koda's first try. He might get his feet dirty! They both willingly rode across the leaning bridge instead. We tried crossing the stream from the other side. Nemo was brave and stuck his two front feet in first, then whoosh - with a powerful push from his back end, he finished crossing with a leap!

When it was Koda's turn to cross, he instead chose to carefully walk through the water, even pausing to splash a bit. I think he likes it? On the return crossing, they both calmly walked through the water. I gave Koda full rein, because I think he was trying to drink, or maybe play, or both? Not sure, but it was very cute! I almost pulled out my camera, as we stood in the stream...what a difference a couple years makes! It's amazing how green everything was, we haven't had a drop of rain in forever and a day...


...then came the heatwave. Two weeks of no riding quickly passed. I really missed our weekend rides...

...it's still hot (high 80's) but at least it isn't triple digits anymore. Last weekend we chose an easy trail at Donald's Park, where our boys could get some exercise without grueling hills. There were a lot of trailers when we arrived, apparently everyone else thought it was finally cool enough to ride too. No clue were all those trail riders were, we only ran into a couple, perhaps out on the longer open field trail? 

There was a nice welcome breeze in the prairies, and bonus shade in the woods. Koda continues to think the best place to ride is nose to tail behind Nemo. I don't. I can't see the trail, and don't like him zoning out. I have to consistently ask him not to follow his brother so closely...


...I think he got the memo...


...Koda had his walk on much of the second half of the ride, so we led most of the way back...here's my boy taking in the view from the bridge...


Altho we are heading back into the mid 90's this weekend, I'm hopeful we can saddle up and go exploring?!!

Have a great equine filled weekend!!