September 1st

Friday, September 1st, 2017

People often ask me if I have a favorite place to shoot.

The answer is no, I don’t. However, I do have a photography “wish list” or “bucket list” both for locations and wildlife to photograph.

So what’s at the top of my locations list? Iceland. How about for wildlife? Believe it or not, Pelicans are near the top.

Yes, that’s right. Not bears, not moose, not a jackelope. Pelicans.

I’m not even sure why. I’ve just always had a fascination with them. They are so much bigger than you’d expect them to be, and just as ungraceful. And they are so shy. I’ve come so close to being able to photograph them, and I’ve never been able to click the shutter – they fly away. Even at a great distance. Maybe that’s part of it; I’ve never gotten close enough to justify a shot.

So today, as they circled the farm, I thought why not. So here, ladies and gentlemen, is my Pelican image. 😉

August 31st

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Look at that sweet face.

He’s a bit bored as now that we’ve cut down the pasture, they can’t go out until it’s baled. At our barn, the horses stalls are attached to paddocks, so the horses can come and go between them, but they don’t have access to the pasture unless a gate is opened.

August 30th

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

When dad’s home at lunchtime, that can only mean one thing: its hay time.

As a profession my dad is a small business owner, so normal weekday hours he’s at his shop. So when he’s home during the day, he means business.

My parents own a hobby farm, and that’s where my farm images are taken. Most of their land is rented out to neighboring farmers who plant commercially but the one thing we do harvest at the farm is hay for our horses, and our summers revolve around that. It’s your birthday? Hay’s ready, let’s bale. Out at the lake? Come home, hay’s ready.

Its a natural thing for farm kids (hobby or not!). When there’s work to be done, it doesn’t matter what you had planned, you cancel.

Usually I’m not a large part of the initial cutting of the hay, but today was different. We have a small fungus infestation in our red clover, so I had to be on hand to spot areas that we can’t use.

A couple of weeks ago, Junior came in from the pasture with what we dubbed “the slobbers.” He was literally creating a pool of excessive saliva on the stall floor. A quick google search pointed us to a “Black Patch” fungus that grows on red clover during certain weather patterns that can be toxic to horses, creating the excess saliva. It poses no health threats or concerns, it’s just unsightly.

We attempted to mow areas that we found to be infected, which helped for a couple of days at a time, and then he continued to find new infected patches. So, our last resort is to cut the entire pasture, bale it, and remove it.

IMG_0599The white patches indicate the beginning of the fungus growth.

However, here’s the stickler. We found it in our hayfields. Luckily, not all of our field contains red clover, but we had to come up with a cutting plan to avoid what we could. (Bandit was a big help – ha!)

August 29th

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

I love fall, but I’m not sure I’m ready to say goodbye to summer.

I’ve harvested all of my cucumbers from the garden, my tomato plants are beginning to fade, and our pumpkins are beginning to turn orange.

My sunflowers, although cheery, always symbolize the end of summer for me. It takes all summer to grow them, and they’ll bloom for a week or so, and then be gone. The one pictured is a new variety for me – it’s more of a “bush” variety and only gets to be about two feet tall. My mammoths (currently standing at eight feet tall!) are on the verge of blooming.

The birds love the mammoths, and it’s always fun to see the different species that come to feast. We’ll see if they make an appearance on the blog!

August 28th

Monday, August 28th, 2017

My mom is fierce.

She taught me that what’s inside means more than appearances on the outside. She has taught me what it means to be loyal, dependable, and dedicated. She’s shown me what selflessness looks like, and what it means to support someone.

My mom wasn’t my friend growing up – she was my mom. That was what I needed her to be.

However, as I’ve gotten married, started my own business, moved into a house, she’s shown me how great of a friend I have in her. She’s taught me the little things like how to transplant annuals, trim trees. In times of struggle she’s handed me marriage advice. When I jumped head first into A Borrowed Likeness, she told me she was proud of me and helped me set up my Quickbooks and understand tax rates.

Today, when I had to run to Red Wing to pick up my piece from the Farm to Table exhibition, she offered to come with. I told her I’d buy lunch, and we found a super cute spot on the river to have lunch. I enjoyed every minute of it!

I’ve always been thankful for being blessed with a strong, dedicated, courageous, kick butt mama, but I don’t tell her enough.

So thanks, mom, for all that you have done, and all that you continue to do. I love you!

August 27th

Sunday, August 27th, 2017

I picked over thirty tomatoes off our our plants this morning!

Thats not including the 40 already sitting on my counter, and the other 40 peeled and ready to go in my freezer. Let’s not even talk about all of those cucumbers that still need to be pickled.

This may sound like a lot (ok, you’re right, it is) but I need 20 pounds of tomatoes for my pasta sauce recipe – and that only gets me six pint size jars worth!

With today being dreary and rain, I took some time this morning to skin my ripe tomatoes. I peeled the entire pile pictured, and that brought my weight total up to 6.5 pounds. I still have a ways to go, but I think I’ll make it!

For those of you who don’t know, peeling tomatoes is actually very simple. Bring a pot of water to a boil, slice an “x” through the skin at either end of the tomato, and boil for one minute. Once boiled, plunge into cold water and the skin will slide right off. Viola!

August 26th

Saturday, August 26th, 2017

So many new toys in the last week!

My business has been saving hard for a new camera and for a new monitor. It feels so good when you can meet that savings goal and purchase equipment that will move your business forward!

My monitor arrived a few days ago, but I finally got it out of the box and set up today. Just like my new camera body, it is a thing of beauty! The larger screen and better color calibration (although still a work in progress) is making editing a breeze.

On the docket for today? A super fun proposal I photographed yesterday! That’s right – a proposal! The couple hasn’t publicly announced their engagement, so for the time being enjoy her gorgeous ring! The stone came from her grandma’s ring, and he had it placed into a new setting.

As the newly engaged are great friends of mine and Paul’s, it’s a wedding that I am very much looking forward to!

August 25th

Friday, August 25th, 2017


If you live in Minnesota, you know what that means! 12 days of all things Minnesota: fried food on a stick, sunburn, the Grandstand, the giant slide, concerts, machinery hill, the Miracle of Birth Center, Sweet Martha’s Cookies, the Mighty Midway, millions (yes, millions) of Minnesotans…I really could go on and on.

Naturally, I while I love all of those things, I love the livestock the most.

While you may say, “the Horse Barn must be your favorite place”…I, out of good faith, have to stop you right there. I hold no bias; horses, sheep, pigs, poultry, rabbits, cattle. I have room for every single one of them in my heart. In fact, just like many other 4-Her’s and FFA kids, the whole livestock area of the fairgrounds, each building, holds a special place for me.

I’ve spent my fair share of nights sleeping in the Cattle Barn, feeding horses at 6 am in the Horse Barn, carting tack to and from the trailer, pushing those awful ancient manure carts all around tarnation. Memories of leading my horses down the streets, competing in the coliseum, riding after dark with friends in what is now the AgStar Arena. The early mornings in the deserted streets, the quiet in the middle of the city.

So when Paul and I decided to go to the State Fair at 6am this morning, I was pumped when the forecast showed rain. Less people of the public, more quiet moments. More families walking around in PJ’s feeding animals, more animals out in the streets before the masses arrive (many draft horses to my extreme excitement!), more kids bringing their heifers to the Milking Parlor, because the cows don’t care that they’re at the fair – they need milking all the same. The roosters – Oh the roosters! – crowing. The sheep in their blankets to protect their wool, the piglets nursing under the heat lamp.

I just soaked it all in.

It’s a different feeling being at the fair as a participant and not an attendee. Not a vacation, but an extra heaping of work. The achievement in making it to the state fair is very evident in the pride taken in the cleanliness of the stalls and quality of the animals. The kids worked hard for this. The families invested their lives in this. The animals aren’t there to be “cute,” they’re there because our state’s economy and many families livelihoods depend on them. A crucial part in what makes Minnesota what it is agriculturally.

I tip my hat to you, fellow livestock owners/raisers and farmers. Keep doing what you’re doing – I appreciate what you do!

Let’s change gears here and talk photography. As I took pictures in the limited light and wet streets this morning, I couldn’t help but think of shooting with film. So, in the spirit of that, and the history of the fair, I edited my images to black and white, and tried to capture the feeling of film.

The way was shooting was in such a spirit of photojournalism with candid, imperfect moments that I knew I wasn’t going to be able to share just one image today. So I’m splurging – I hope you enjoy them!

Draft horses making their rounds this morning:


Inside and outside of the Milking Parlor:


Owners (along with early spectators) busy completing morning chores in the Cattle Barn:

Sleepy sheep slowly getting their blankets removed:

Piglets nursing under a heat lamp:
IMG_0309**Main image of the day comes from a class of Dairy Steers in the coliseum this morning.

What’s your favorite part of the fair? Leave a comment and tell me about it!

August 24th

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

Calling all bug enthusiasts!

While Paul and I were out in the pasture today, we came across these yellow flowers (pretty sure they’re weeds). They had these little black and yellow bugs ALL OVER them – anyone know what they are? They aren’t bees, definitely a kind of bug.

Also, this new camera is slaying it. I’m LOVING it!

August 23rd

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

How can it already be time for harvest?

Some people are drawn to the busy, bustling streets, crowds of people, the hum of traffic. I am drawn to the quiet; the way the breeze feels on my face, the comfort in the birds as the go about their business, the smell of my tomatoes out of the garden, the feel of the grass between my toes.

So when mom and I took a bike ride down into Hanover today, I had to stop and admire the wheat crop along the path. It’s so beautiful the way it sways with the breeze, the textures, the contrast in the colors.

August 22nd

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

You just can’t beat this view.

I got out of bed this morning and the first thing I did was look out the window, and the second was run for my camera. The light was hitting the horses so beautifully, and at the time they were both standing at the fence.

The best way to wake up is to a clear sky and happy horses meandering out to pasture. Spring, winter, fall, and spring. It will never get old.