October 21st

Sunday, October 21st, 2018

The sun was just starting to peek through the thin layer of clouds this morning when I looked out and saw this.

The swans are on the move, and they’ve chosen our pond as one of their flocking up points. By the end of the day, we had over 40 swans on the pond.

It was quite noisy.

They trumpet and coo and playfully splash with one another, which is loud in itself, but the taking off the water is the truly noisy part. It rings through the air and sounds like it should – pairs of massive wings and webbed feet slapping the surface of the water as they run across the water trying to gain speed and altitude. But, in contrast, when they come in to land, it is a soft sound; their wings are cupped, and their big, webbed feet break the surface of the water and they gently glide over the top until they settle all the way into the water. It’s nearly silent.

Combined with the sounds of our fields getting harvested today, there wasn’t much quiet.

Those who came out to the patch today got quite the treat though – the swans were constantly landing and taking off, essentially buzzing the field as they do, and the combine was in the field for the majority of the afternoon, which we all don’t get much of an opportunity to simply stand and watch them work.

A busy day for all.

July 4th

Wednesday, July 4th, 2018

Happy Independence Day!

Falling on a Wednesday this year, it’s hard for me to get in the spirit of the Fourth. It feels like this weird in-between deal. Half of everyone already celebrated earlier this week, the other half is still to celebrate…it’s just not cohesive, so it feels “off” to me. Anyone else feel that way?

Either way, it’s a bit of a tradition for my family to spend the Fourth at the lake. The last few years we’ve spent it at the cabin, but before we had the cabin, we would always camp up in Nevis on Lake Belle Taine for two weeks around the Fourth.

Camper’s Paradise is a beautiful spot, but the cabin is nice because it’s a much closer drive. Paul had to work tonight, so we just ran out for the day today, and came back home. The weather’s supposed to be nice for the rest of the week, so we’ll be heading back out there tomorrow morning.

On our way out to the cabin today, we drove past this farm. I was so excited that we had to stop and pull over so I could take a picture.

Fourth of July in small town, USA.

March 29th

Thursday, March 29th, 2018

Farm fresh is best!

These are the first farm fresh eggs I’ve had, and they are so good! We had dinner with friends last Friday night, and they had cartons and cartons of them in their fridge; they insisted that we take some home – I was so excited! They also sent us home with homemade venison breakfast sausage patties.

So naturally, this morning Paul and I made homemade breakfast sandwiches – and they were fantastic!

September 6th

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

One of my favorite moments of each day is this one.

Each morning, I drive up to the barn and am greeted by Bandit and both boys. Bandit barks, follows my car to make sure she’s the first to get love. The boys with their heads hung over the fence, ears tipped forward, low rumbling nickers encourage me to step out of the car.

This summer, you can add in kittens running from the barn to be right behind Bandit, ready for kisses and to tell me all about their night.

Animals have been an integral part of who I am for all of my life. Each one has their own personality, loyalty, understanding. So often more than humans. They understand taking time for the small moments, the routine, taking everything one day at a time. Never in a rush, always ready for a quiet moment of reminding me to soak in the blessings.

Each day starts with barks, kitten kisses, and nickers. I cannot think of a life I’d rather live.

September 3rd

Sunday, September 3rd, 2017

You all know about our sweet girl, Bandit.

She rarely sits still for pictures (and she’s extremely camera shy!), so I took advantage today of her willingness to participate.

Her arthritis is getting worse, and her body is slowing down, but she won’t be left out.

On a photography note, this was my first try for a black background with my new camera, and it was marvelous! So much easier with a full frame sensor.

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 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 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.

August 15th

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

Today cemented the fact that morning light is growing on me.

It helps that the fog has been GORGEOUS the past couple weeks. I’ve been told it’s actually not all fog, but partially due to smoke from the wildfires in Canada. Whether it’s one or the other or both, it’s incredibly dreamy.

I’m an atmospheric shooter though – I love what the fog does to light. It eats up the light technically, but makes everything so soft and magical in the execution of the shot.

So why was I up early this morning? Good question! A good, good friend of mine, who is also a photographer, is in town photographing handbags and purses for a Sioux Falls boutique. These gorgeous handmade leather bags paired perfectly with the horses and dreamy fog this morning. It was a fun shoot to be a part of! Want to learn more about the bags? Check them out here!