Friday, June 30th, 2017
These past couple of weeks have been an incredible reminder of how great of friends Paul and I have.
This afternoon, Kya and I road tripped out to visit a childhood friend and to look at a horse for her to potentially purchase. First, the fact that Kya is in the market for a horse is so exciting! I can’t wait for her to get back into it. Second, road tripping with my longest and best friend to visit an old friend means my childhood-horse-life has come full circle. What a fun afternoon it was to catch up on life, reminisce on past horses and adventures. Childhood friendships, especially in the horse community, truly never fade. Trail rides, horse shows, sleepovers, camping. So so many laughs and memories woven together through horses.
Afterwards, we met up with the boys for dinner and a bonfire. The boys grilled up a little bit of everything for us (today’s image), and we simply hung out and enjoyed our friendship.
Talk about going to bed with a full heart ❤️
Thursday, June 29th, 2017
Oh, moments like this are why I love to photograph wildlife.
This sweet lady has been around over the past week, never too concerned about us, always eating. To my frustration, she’s always stayed just out of camera range at a safe distance; despite that, she’s been so fun to watch and enjoy.
Then, Paul and I were driving up our driveway coming home from running errands, and there she was. Luckily, even though we were just going to the post office, I still brought my camera. Paul stopped the truck, and we sat there with her for a few minutes while I rolled down my window and photographed her. I actually had to talk to her to get her to look at me, she was so unconcerned with us.
She eventually decided she was ready to move on, so she strolled away through the corn. No panic, no rushing. Such a fun moment!
Wednesday June 28th, 2017
Rainy skies all day today turned to blue skies for the evening.
Two inches of rain today! We needed the rain, as when we tilled the pumpkin field earlier this week, the soil turned to silt. So the rain was welcomed.
The fun thing about the rain today? I didn’t realize when I took this image that our house was on the very edge of heavy rain. While we had two inches of rain in our rain gauge, my parents, who are less than a quarter mile away, only had one inch in their gauge.
Tuesday, June 27th, 2017
I’m surrounded by handsome men.
Anyone who wants to continue to learn and hone their skills needs a mentor. Shelley of Shelley Paulson Photography is that for me. Not only is she my mentor, but a dear friend. We could be the same person, our personalities are so similar – it’s a little spooky sometimes.
On Memorial Day weekend this year, I attended a horse show with Shelley and she photographed “Black background” sessions for the show horses there. They turned out beautifully, and no extra equipment was needed – one small hairlight, but no backdrop, no large lights, etc.
So, as I normally do, I enlisted Paul to be my model so I could practice the black background technique. It makes it easy when your subjects are so handsome!
Here are a couple other favorites:
Monday, June 26th, 2017
Its the kittens one week adopt-iversary!
These sweet babies were very shy and slept the majority of the first day they were here, but today they are confident, curious little souls. Oh, and they’re both girls – not males like we had first thought.
They’ve been doing so well that we explored outside of the stall today! The door was opened and they explored the barn a bit.
It was no surprise to us that Ivy (formerly known as Colt), was the first one out the door (pictured). She is fearless. The dog doesn’t phase her, she will climb up your ENTIRE leg to get attention, no matter the risk to life and limb.
Finn (we were too lazy to change her name) is much more methodical. She’ll pounce strategically, doing a lot of observing surroundings before executing anything. After checking everything out, she slowly came out after Ivy.
Just for fun, here are some more pictures of their field trip.
Top: Finn (left) and Ivy (right) play together. Middle: Ivy (front) and Finn look outside. Bottom: Finn (left) and Ivy play with a toy.
Sunday, June 25th, 2017
Sundays are for mending fences. Literally.
This morning we drove up to the barn to do chores, and my horse, who normally greets us over the fence when we arrive was MIA. Paul even said “Where’s Buck? No greeting this morning?” That should have been our first clue.
As we climb out of the truck, we noticed shattered bits and chunks of our white vinyl fence in the yard. We went to check it out, and this is what we found:
While this may not seem impressive, trust me, it is. The top board is pushed out and the bottom two were shattered. Those things are hard to break!
And still no horses came to greet us. I ran into the barn. No horses. Paul and I both run through the pasture. My panic rises the farther we get into the pasture. My thoughts were a tangled mess: Not only are they missing, but someone is bound to be bleeding or injured. WHERE ARE THEY?
Well, we did find them. In the very corner of the pasture, tucked all the way back behind the building. And the crazy thing? No blood. Not one drop. Thank the Lord!
The mystery still remains on how the heck they BOTH went through the fence. Especially with the way it was broken. We were just thankful they were still inside a fence, even if it wasn’t the one they were supposed to be in.
So since we had all of our fence mending materials pulled out to fix the fence, we spent the afternoon pulling out old broken posts and replacing them with new ones.
Bandit was a big help.
Saturday, June 24th, 2017
I love clouds.
Birds flying in front of clouds? Even better.
These aren’t just birds, though, these are all Turkey Vultures. Scavengers by nature, as they do t have the talons or grip strength for live prey, they circle around until they find a good source. Usually roadkill of some kind.
The most fascinating thing about these birds is the sheer amount of them together. Paul and I see a pair around our house quite often, but today there were seven! We were working out in our garden when they first flew overhead at fifty feet. They were right over top of us! A little freaky to say the least. I called out to them to let them know we were still alive and kicking 😉
They quickly kept cruising the sky, and by the time I was able to grab my camera they were almost out of sight. Although they weren’t close, they humored me by flying against some of the prettiest clouds in the sky.
Friday, June 23rd, 2017
Paul passed his Captains check ride!
To celebrate, I thought I would plan a date night for when he got home. Now, to be clear, I am normally a very boring date planner. For being an artist, I’m not normally very creative in that regard. Paul, however, is an excellent date planner. So, I had to come up with something relaxing, quick, and meaningful.
So naturally, camping in the backyard came to mind.
Maybe that’s not a date that sounds overly thrilling to you, but once I thought of it I was jazzed. Paul and I LOVE to camp, but we rarely can get our act together enough to plan a trip. But to do it in the backyard is so easy – pitch the tent, carry out blankets, start the fire, still have a normal bathroom, and keep our food in the fridge instead of a cooler. So much less planning and much more streamlined, especially for one night.
Paul loved it! He came home, I gave him comfy clothes to change into, and we went out back. He had no idea that’s what I had planned, which I can rarely pull off.
And to to put it all off, we had a GORGEOUS sunset. The sky was full of pinks and oranges. The perfect finish to a perfect date!
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017
I went to a softball game with my sweet friend Tiffany tonight, and she brought her pup, Cleo, along.
Paul and I met Cleo our first night at small group, and have had a soft spot for her ever since. A big teddy bear, she’s a “leaner,” and is a superb listener. She will sit and watch a treat on the floor until the magic word is said – her discipline and patience is crazy! And she’s a lover, which we both are always inclined to oblige. Lots of pets and scratches!
Wednesday, June 21st, 2017
Happy sweet summertime!
A lot of people in the world love dogs. But this dog is the ruler of my heart. If she were a person, she’d be my best friend. Loyal, patient, steadfast, gentle, devoted, protective. Each day she finds new ways to weasel deeper into my heart.
Today for example: Our kittens are currently being housed in an empty stall in our barn until they’re acclimated and a little bigger. We’ve all been in the stall with the kittens all week, and she’s had to sit outside the door and listen to everyone coo and fuss over them – not knowing what is going on in there that’s got everyone’s attention. So what does she do? She lays patiently at the door.
So today, we cracked the door and let her peek in on them and see them. At first, she excitedly sniffed in their direction, but when the kittens arched their backs and hissed, Bandit’s expression changed and she backed off and quietly laid down. After that, the way she laid in front of the door was a stance of protection. These little guys are helpless, and scared, so she’s there to watch out for them.
I know this may seem silly, but it was all in her eyes. She’s fircely protective and loyal to her “pack”. If her humans think the kittens are special, that’s all the reason she needs to accept them.
So we took a walk together today for some “her” time, when I looked down and saw our shadows. I love this dog.
Tuesday, June 20th, 2017
Oh sweet Brooklyn, if only you knew just how much you’re loved.
I stopped to hang out with Dana and Brooklyn this afternoon before they leave to head back home tomorrow. And as Brooklyn was fast asleep after her baptism on Sunday, Dana was hoping to get a couple pictures of her awake in her dress. So the visit was dual-purposed.
Let’s talk about the dress for a moment; a beautiful momento, this dress has been worn by many family members, I believe even spanning a couple of generations. And the blanket Brooklyn is sitting on? Made by Great-Grandma. So much significance – so special!
As many of you know, I’m not normally a portrait photographer. I prefer animals and landscape fill my lens, but to be a part of something so special is something I make an exception for. Also, let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to photograph that face?!
I had quite a few favorites from this afternoon, but this interaction between Brooklyn and Dana melts my heart each time I look at it:
These two are one of a kind 😊
Monday, June 19th, 2017
So this happened today!
This sweet face is Finn! He and his brother (who is still in need of a name!) are the newest additions to our barn. Here is brother who still needs a name:
They look very similar, but Finn is lighter and is missing the spot on his upper lip.
A big day for little kittens, they slept and cuddled for the majority of the afternoon. And I added about 150 new images to my phone’s library. Here are a few of my favorites:
I am so in love! I can’t wait to see their personalities emerge!