Friday, August 28, 2015

Photography

One thing you will notice about this blog is 
the fact that it is heavily loaded with photographs.
I love taking pictures.
And slowly, very slowly, over the years of "taking pictures",
I am learning a little about photography.
Not as much as I want to know.
But then, that's the wonderful thing about life...
There is always so much to learn!


I have vowed to never stop learning...
to never stop trying new things.


There is one thing that I know for sure...
If someone else can do it, then you and I can do it, too.
Patience, perseverance, and practice.
Those three p's are the key.


And so, on my journey through life I am trying to capture the highlights
through the lens of my camera.
I am trying to do more than just "take pictures".
I am trying to capture the essence of a moment, a place, a person, an animal.


I have to admit that animals are my favorite subject.
And one that definitely requires patience.


I have found that the easiest way to take good animal photos is to just sit amongst the
animals.
If you sit long enough, they give up on trying to figure out your agenda.
Once they forget about your presence, they start to do what comes natural.
Patience.


And this is where the photos get good!

Sam is always a great subject.
He is usually very lazy and loves to just "chill".


Bobby, on the other hand is a mover and a shaker.


Getting him to stay still and not be on top of you is a challenge.


And there is nothing more difficult than taking a photo of a cat in your face!


So, we sit and we wait.
Patiently.


And the magic happens.


And gets better.


Until, eventually, we have exactly what we want!


Now, Oakley, on the other hand is a whole different story.
He is wary of the camera.
Camera shy, really.


He is my wise old man...not an ounce of ego or pride in him.
He is loyal and true and loving.
Best. Dog. Ever.


And now, after my amateur photos,
here is a professional treat for you....
Mackenzie's newborn photo...


Priceless!!

Well, Friday is upon us once again.
We are off to Pittsburgh this weekend for a wedding.
Amanda and Tim and friends are minding the farm for us.
I'll be back on Monday with more "Tails From the Farm".

Enjoy your weekend!...and make sure you take time to learn something new!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

And The Tour By Drone Continues...

In order to give you a little better "lay of the land",
here is some more drone footage.

This first clip shows views from above the fainting goat yard...
then progresses to the Nigerian yards and the chicken yards.


The second footage starts down the road and approaches the driveway to the farm
going by the pond...
up to the driveway sign, old log cabin, and bee yard.
It then processes into the front pasture, where you can see just what the horses
think about the drone.
From there it heads up the driveway to where the drive splits.
It takes the lefthand turn through the orchard, past the sheep and pigs
and on toward the barn.


I hope this gives you a little better spacial feel for how the farm is situated.

This is the end of drone footage, until the wedding video is finished.
I'll share that with you when it is finished.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Garden Fly-By

This past weekend, our host at the lake house gave me a flash drive
with some video footage that he shot with the drone on the morning of the wedding.
I will be sifting through this over the coming days and showing you some
aerial views of our farm.

The first of these videos is a fly-by of our garden on the morning of the wedding.
I must say...it's the best it has ever looked...
and probably ever will look!



Here's another bit of footage shot that morning just as a rain shower moved in.
You will see a little mist on the camera lens as the drone flies.
This video shows the areas surrounding the garden on the morning of the wedding.



If you ever wondered what the world looks like from a bird's perspective,
there you have it!
I am awestruck by the beauty that surrounds me each and every day.
I love my life... from down here and from up there as well!

PS...

Yesterday I was asked how much weight Red could pull in a cart.
I have read that mini horses can pull 2 to 3 times their body weight.
The mechanics of the harness and cart are such that Red will push against the soft, cushiony strap
that goes across his chest...pulling, but in essence pushing the cart along.
He weighs somewhere between 200 to 250 lbs, so he should easily be able to pull
400 to 500 pounds or more once he is in shape.
I don't imagine he will ever have to pull much more than his body weight, however.
The cart is such that only one adult and a couple of small children will fit comfortably.
Just right for Grammie, Tyler, and Mackenzie!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Pony Cart For Red

I don't remember a summer with so many spectacular days
as we have had this year.
Seriously.  Beautiful.  Weather.


I awoke, yesterday, to a cool morning
and sped through morning chores in a long sleeve shirt.


By 9AM, my required work was done and Monday was dressed in her best blue sky!

It was the perfect day for my 2 hour journey to pick up Red's cart.
I drove through Lancaster County Amish country
enjoying the rolling hills and beautiful farms.
Lancaster County is beautiful, but has become a little too commercial for me.
Many Amish have left that area and settled near our farm instead.
But still, I enjoyed the trip... driving my truck with the windows down
(the air conditioning decided to stop working this summer).


By the time I returned home, it was time to do the afternoon chores.
So, I fed the goats and horses, refilled water buckets, cleaned up manure, and collected eggs.
When I was finished, I brought Red out of the dry lot and
cross-tied him in the barn aisle.

We played a fun game of dress-up...
me doling out the treats with each new piece of tack we tried.

First we tried the bit and the driving bridle.


He didn't mind the bit at all, and spent what time it was in his mouth playing with it with his tongue.
After about 15 minutes, I removed all of the head gear,
and tried on his harness.


He didn't flinch a bit with each new piece of harnessing added.
What a good boy.

So we took a walk with his harness on, just to get used to it.


Tomorrow we will try both the harness and the bridle together,
adding the reins.
I plan to get him used to me walking behind him with the long reins.
We will walk around the farm and through the trails in the woods until I am certain
he feels at ease with his surroundings.


This process is one of baby steps...
each step introducing something new...
always aware of the effect it has upon Red.
Based on yesterday's session, I predict he will be driving in no time.

He is my dream horse in miniature!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Lakeside Relaxation

I can scarcely believe it, but today is the first day of school in this area.
There's no doubt about it...autumn is just around the corner.
But most unbelievable to me is this:
Tyler starts kindergarten today.
If you remember us bringing him home to the farm after his birth, then we have been friends
for over 5 years now!
Amazing!

Hubbs and I spent a wonderful, restful weekend here...
( our weather has been spectacular...highs in the 70's, nights in the 50's )


our dear friends' lake house.


Kayaking, conversation, 


beautiful sunsets,


half moons...


 over shimmering water,


fabulous meals,


and two evenings of this...


and this...


gave us the perfect mini vacation.

I knitted and watched hummingbirds visit this...


On my way out of town, I stopped to visit my pink fairy princess.
She slept on my lap through the entire visit.


And when it was time for me to leave, Sam voiced his disapproval.


It's great to feel loved!

We returned home Sunday afternoon to catch up on farm chores
and visit with our (animal) friends.


I have decided that a weekend away is the perfect vacation for me.
Much longer than that, and I miss my friends on the farm.


Today I am taking a bit of a road trip to pick up Red's new pony cart and harness.
It's the start of a whole new adventure...
and one that I will document as it unfolds.

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