another indoor day

Our property is an icy wet mess. Not fit for equine, canine or human. Our horses are stuck inside for a second day, and their vet appointment is tomorrow morning. Great. The indoor arena helps, but it is not remotely the same as turn out. 

The reality is, we need another pasture. A flat one, even if small. We also need another gate entrance to the existing pastures, where water/ice doesn't pool. While I am at it, we also need a second walk in shelter. Our girls need to be have a place to take cover from elements. It never ends!

I took a video clip yesterday morning that starts at the top of the pasture (gate is behind shed) and ends at the butterfly garden. With pasture water rapidly flowing across part of the garden :(

I thought the entire garden was raised enough to stay above our annual Spring thaw. Thankfully the corner section under flowing water had the least amount of plants. Mostly annuals. 
Guess those reseeded flowers will come up somewhere else?! Will be interesting to see how/if the garden survived. Or not.

(34 sec)

butterfly water garden <--

I decided it was a good day to immerse myself in a tropical atmosphere. Post to come.


more floaty less whippy

Yesterday evening I had the opportunity to try shooting snowflakes again.

We had just gotten back inside our warm house, from tucking horses in their stalls. They sure were eager to get out of the blizzard-y elements!! I noticed the snowflakes were floaty. A change from recent icy precipitation.

The last thing I wanted to do was put all my winter gear back on and stand outside in the cold.

After hemming-n-hawing (a phrase I learned first appeared around the 1630's) I felt the need to redeem myself from my last failed attempt. For me.

I switched all things camera around and headed out to the deck. The snowflakes were blowing sideways at a rapid pace. Not only were they smacking me in the face, they were blowing away as fast as I caught a photo worthy flake. That became frustrating in a hurry.

Yes, snowflakes have to be caught. Brad said it is really entertaining watching me try.

I almost gave up, but instead went to the front of the house where the flakes were more floaty and less whippy.

After eleven minutes and about a dozen shots, I was done. I gave it my best handheld effort.


There is a lot of room left for improvement, but hey at least you can tell they are snowflakes!


when melting ice goes UP

After an epic fail at my last minute rushed attempt to photograph snowflakes, melting ice caught my eye. It was water in action. Like music to my ears.

I thought it would be fun to try and catch the water droplets hitting our deck rail, and insta-spraying UP!!

I am easily amused.

Key word try. 
The droplets were fairly consistent and therefore predictable. The spray UP was not. The drippy drops missed the deck rail more often than not. When they did hit, the spray UP was over in a nano second. 

Instead of taking a long string of mindless rapid fired shots, I waited for when the drops looked like they might hit. Yes, I missed sprays. I also didn't have 500 random shots to sort through to get one or two. 

I learned a long time ago to shoot with intention. 

I got mixed results as I changed camera settings in an effort to capture what I was actually seeing. Note; these photos are intentionally dark. If you are so inclined, you will need to click on the photo to see the spray/action/ice/detail.

A person could surmise I have been looking out my window a lot lately.

It happens when bored.

I really need to use my extension tubes & lens combos more than once a year. We might get more fluffy snow this season. If so, I will have more flakey time and my photos will hopefully turn out more like the first time I photographed snowflakes.

Brad asked why I don't just buy a macro lens. It sure would make close up photography a lot easier. Macro opportunities are endless. I just don't want expensive glass sitting around on a shelf, and it would sit. What doesn't sit? My fast lens, because...

Action is fleeting, but not if you capture it! 

Even silly melting ice that goes UP.


without notice

Horse photo opportunities pop up without notice. Blink and you'll miss them.

Walking past our windows, I saw Nemo inspecting a large water puddle. I scrambled to switch into outdoor clothes, get my camera and the eager bouncing labs outside. 

By the time we walked down to the corner of the pasture, Nemo had ventured away. Being the sociable guy that he is, Nemo came back by the puddle to interact with us. Or try. 

um, how am I suppose to get to you?

Notice the three other horses at the feeder munching.

Nemo started pacing the puddle

It was too funny when Koda, Cierra and Harmony realized there was something happening at the bottom of the pasture!

They left the feeder together all at once, and came thundering to the bottom of the (not so) dry lot. They just stood there together, staring at us lol. Koda is curious and headed down.

are you guys coming?

Koda was the first one to join us

Nemo felt the need to separate the herd
(Harmony, Cierra, Koda)

Cierra's baby-n-waiting reflection photos were taken shortly after our three darker horses separated.


Nemo decided he no longer wanted to share the puddle

making sure the others are listening

back in the puddle light

Our labs got their crazy on, while we walked back up to the house. Tank found a coveted bone and wasn't sharing.

It is super fun watching (daily) 
Labrador zoomies!! Jameson puts his after burners on at key times and keeps Tank running, diving and changing directions. The chase goes on for a while. J is really smart and does an admirable job. Especially for a 10 year old dog. Of course Tanky keeps coming back for more. He is four and still ALL about playing!

catch me if you can

It wasn't long before this girl stole my attention.

23 years young

I couldn't get a photo of Harmony showing her softer side, without the dang fence getting in the way. Grrr!! I was going to delete the blankety-blank fence blur, but I can't. She is so photogenic and rarely takes a bad photo. Her coat glows. I love taking photos of Harmony, even when blurred. 

Like most pastures this time of year, footing is not ideal. There is no way to avoid slick mud. It is very worrisome when horses run a-muck! On top of mud, we have ice near the gate approach. Most of the time our horses are cautious and slow, until they aren't.

Back inside the house, I looked over my shoulder and watched Harmony SMOKE past Nemo!! Through the dry lot gate, past the feeder and all the way into the shed. It always makes me laugh when she outruns the others, like they are standing still. Harmony has a huge engine, when she chooses to use it.

The wind had picked up. When it blows at just the right angle, the shed siding creeks and makes weird noises. The horses go cray-cray. Regardless, Harmony wanted into the shed. Now.

My laughter quickly changed into concern.

Nemo on the run

Nemo was about to get after Harmony...I tried to calm the situation. 
It is a very helpless feeling.

She came shooting out of the shed, turned and...

Gasp! Harmony almost went down

Koda also got into the mix. Thankfully Cierra stayed far away. 

Eventually Nemo calmed down and got what he wanted. Shelter in the shed with only Koda. Harmony gave up and stood outside of the shed. Meanwhile Cierra hung out by the feeder.

We need another shed, even tho the one we have could easily fit 5-6 horses. IF someone would learn to share!

All is well that ends well.

...ohhh Nemo...


dalmatian dreams

Cierra is in her 9th month of pregnancy. Her foal is now comparable to a Dalmatian


She seems to be aware that it is in her best interest to stay away from any escalating trouble in the pasture. 

As you can see, the corner of our lower pasture is under water. Again. Last years reflection photos were also taken in February, one week later. The puddle was much larger.

We are predicted to get more snow/moisture tomorrow. I may get another chance to photograph horse reflections. Maybe even with some sun kissed highlights.

Our vet comes out in two weeks for Spring care. Among other things, we hope to learn more about Brad's "stallion" 'er pregnant mare. There probably isn't a whole lot to add about her chromosome abnormality, other than "it happens". I still find the whole situation surprising.

In March we will begin to prepare for baby C, by changing things around in the barn. More to come on that next month. March is only two weeks away.

Spring 2023 will be unforgettable!!

Sweet Mama Cierra