sunday stills ~ evening

Our Fall sunsets & clouds have been colorful, unfortunately it was a no-photography week for me. My plan was to choose an archive photo. I was happy to hear quackers on the move yesterday, while bringing the horses in:


 Fall Evening
  about a half hour after sunset

more evening views ~ sunday stills


sunday stills ~ dogs

Dogs are one of my absolute favorite things to photograph!! They are so expressive and willing.

It was hard to choose which photos (and dogs!) to feature. Most of you know I currently have three dogs in my life: Tank (yellow Labrador) is ours. Grand dog Jameson (black Labrador) lives with us. I watch my other grand dog Remi (Bernese Mountain Dog) at least a couple days a week. We call it, Aurora's Doggie Daycare. I get paid with companionship, full of love and licks. I frequently post photos of all three. For this challenge, I will feature a recent selection of our Tankeedoodle.

one energetic happy two year old

Tank's favorite toy is my horse Koda's jolly ball.

He frequently brings it on walks. The ball can be found anywhere on our property.

(Jameson in background)

Tanky patiently waiting for us

he is completely obsessed with sticks
from the largest to the tiniest of slivers
(he never swallows them)

our daily walks frequently end like this

Say what? They aren't all dogs? Try telling that to Leo our cat-dog.

More Sunday Stills


a shimmering performance

I looked across our valley and tried to figure out what I was seeing. I was stunned! There were hundreds and hundreds of fast flying creatures zooming around the fields and pastures, shimmering in the early evening sunlight. The flying phenomenon stopped me in my tracks. Were they lightening bugs? I took a short video, and then walked down to the field for a closer look. 

best viewed while looking over by the fence
lower part of the dark pines
(13 sec)

After I figured out what was dancing before my eyes, I hustled back to the house to grab my camera. That caught Brad's attention. He came outside to see what was going on "are those all Hummers?" 

I was like a kid in a candy store! Natures show lasted around 10-15 minutes, then poof!! They were gone. Capturing the ever changing super fast magical shimmer performance of the Green Darner Dragonfly, was one of the hardest things I've attempted to photograph. What an incredible experience!! 

mystical shimmering
(enlarge to see one dragonfly, middle far right)

"The common, huge green or blue dragonfly most often seen in heavy numbers during late summer and fall, the green darner is known as one of our few migrating insects. Large hatches may occur simultaneously during August, with tens of thousands of insects moving south along with monarchs into fall."


Sometimes you get an unexpected uplifting surprise, when you need it the most.  


the rest of the show

If you missed day one and two of Padame's horse show debut, you can find the post hereI received updates throughout Sunday about her third day at the show. Once again, all photo credit & quoted captions are Brad's. 


Checkers and Padame were both "more up" and a bit grumpy to find themselves back at the show. All horses get tired of the work scene towards the end of a long show. It didn't help Padame was pulled out of the pasture with her gelding buddy, shortly after turnout. Apparently the message didn't get relayed to the hired help. Easily happens. 

In a nutshell, Sunday was more of day one & two but with less time to settle in. Taking the above into consideration, things continued going really well. Brad shared that Padame did spook a couple times on Sunday, but quickly got over it. I asked what her spook was like, he said a short sideways move. Padame continues to prove everything her breeder said about her to be correct. If you let her know it's okay, she is trusting and willing.

When Brad was riding, Padame wasn't sure about the woman selling large horse paintings on a display table by the ring. There were also a couple hunter horses causing concern in the practice arena. One rider had no control of her horse. Always a scary scenario. She would ask the horse to go forward, it went back. If she asked it to go back, it would go forward.

While lunging, some dumb ass rode his horse right into Padame's lunge circle. Not only rude, it's dangerous. Brad said the horses damn near collided. Instead, I guess Padame spooked to the side. Brad mentioned another woman that was also lunging and saw what happened, had her mouth dropped open glaring at the stupid human. Thankfully, no one got hurt. 

If you are curious, here is a link to the show bill. It will give you an idea of the insanity lengthy show. The link will eventually be deleted, but will work for a while. I can't upload pdf's and don't want to give anyone a headache from reading small blurry typed jpg words. They did Ranch classes different this year. Not only did they separate the different organizations they added a couple classes, Ranch Rail and some Reining. I think these changes are all kinds of dumb. Especially considering the patterns are the same, and say what? a Rail class? I suppose it mimics riding a fence (insert eye roll). 

Any who, I will close with Brad's Sunday funday photos:

"Morning. I'm back. Did you miss me?"

"Hey I saw you out there lunging. Looking good youngster."

"Hey where did the arena go"


"Finally, I’m done. What a day. Load me in a trailer, haul me on an hour long trip, back to the giant place, unload me, tack me up, lunge me in a little arena, ride me in a big arena, take a snack and water break, back to the arena, then to a bigger arena to ride around, now finally some lunch. Hey, I’m a baby. Oh well l had a nice lady tell me, l’m very beautiful and fun to watch. What a day. "


sunday stills ~ fences

Our fences.  Built with hard work, love and dreams.


nothing but smiles

The AQHA State horse show is this weekend. I am not going to the show. However, I am happy to report Brad said he was nothing but smiles! Day one & day two. I tried to talk him into writing a guest post. He declined, but sent me photos throughout the day complete with captions. All photo credit & quoted captions are Brad's. His sheer joy of being at the horse show with Padame, is nothing short of heartwarming. Brad is SO very smitten with her. I am super happy for him!! 


Padame hasn't been trailered since she was delivered to us in February. She loaded and unloaded well. She backed out and into a bustling noisy strange world. Padame slowly made the big exit step down off our trainers four horse trailer, paused and just stood looking around. Not the typical scooting of a young horse with the unknown. Brad walked his very interested girl into the huge pavilion towards her stall, through typical show hoopla. Complete with children and dogs running amuck. Padame instantly made friends with a neighboring mare, who was even willing to share her hay. It was so sweet, like they were old friends. The mare's owner was okay with her horse sharing, and left the hay bag hanging accessible to both stalls. Most hang hay bags where it wont potentially 
become an issue.

"Hi mom. My world just got a lot bigger.
I already made a friend"

Brad is very proud of how Padame is taking everything in stride, and listening. Really really well, like a seasoned show horse. The huge five day show was quieter than years past. Perhaps due to lingering pandemic related things. In the Ranch circuit, there were multiple riders missing. They retired horses and are either still looking for new ones or not ready to show new mounts. Class days are always split, except for halter. Halter shows in front of all four judges in one day vs two judges per day for everything else.

"Waiting patiently for my turn"

(Brad said he was trying to do my eye photo thing. He did good!)

This year Ranch falls on Friday morning and Sunday afternoon. Padame arrived Thursday, and went home after watching Fridays Ranch classes. She will travel back for the day on Sunday with Checkers. The other ranch riding mare from the barn. Checkers is a seasoned older mare, being shown for the first and last time this season. It is just the way things worked out this weird year. Checkers has appeared on my blog before as well as her owner, who we trail ride with. 


Padame calmly watched and soaked all show things in. Brad said her ears were constantly moving around like antennas. He started introducing her by watching arena activity, then lunged her in different scenarios.

"hurry up and get out of my arena"

excuse the wiggly lead
Brad is turning while holding a rope/phone/lunge whip
(37 sec)

The trainer had a good ride with her on day one. Brad declined to ride "this is about Padame, not me". Gotta love an owner putting the horse first. 

Trainer riding Padame

Padame (L) Checkers (R)

Day two was even more wonderful. Brad and his girl were on their own as the trainer was getting ready to show Checkers.

Brad riding in the practice arena, with Hunter horses

Padame wasn't fazed by the big horses. Not even when two side-by-side riders approached on the rail, and then split. Padame became a Hunter sandwich, and kept her stride in between facing big horses.

"listening to her first Star Spangled Banner"

"Finally, breakfast and some coffee (water).
This early morning stuff is for the birds. I need my beauty sleep"

"Do you know what they made me do all this morning? They made me go to work early. Made me ride in this huge arena with all them tall hunter horses (they are really stuck up). Finally, I got to eat breakfast and my morning coffee. What the hell. An hour later they had me back out riding again, and it's not even 11 am yet"

"I'm sorry. I'll share my hay with you"

Yep, Padame's world just got a whole lot bigger.