Sunday, June 27, 2010

time enough

"The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough."
~Rabindranath Tagore

There's a certain hollow below my house where the driveway crosses through the marsh. In the winter, it's often flooded and very icy; in the summer, there's just a hint of damp right there at the very edge. Something about that damp spot attracts butterflies, and that's where I found this injured tiger swallowtail.

 He liked my shoe. . . .

And my sister's fingers. :)

After my photo-shoot, we released him into the rosebushes. I hope he recovers from whatever injury he's suffered!

I was also up at 3:15 in the morning yesterday to shoot the partial lunar eclipse. It was amazing to watch the shadow slowly cross the face of the moon!  I only wish my camera was quick enough to get really nice low-light pictures--I would love to be able to show you the moon setting beside Mt. Hood while the sun rose on the opposite horizon.

"Moonlight is sculpture."
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

Thursday, June 24, 2010

first cutting

We have between 30 and 40 acres of hay on the ground right now, most of it waiting to be baled. I can't believe it's first cutting already--even though it's later than usual. Is it just me, or is time going abnormally fast?!

I'm sure it doesn't help that I've been so busy with so many different activities. If anyone has been wondering why my blog posting hasn't been quite as regular lately, I apologize! I'm still taking a ton of pictures, just not finding the time to get them posted. :)

With all the rain we got this spring, the hay is extremely thick. Our triticale field is nearly six feet tall! It's so dense that one or two old belts on our swather broke when Dad first tried to cut it.

Above: that's approximately eye level in the triticale field. :)

We've got lambs to train for competition in August, too:
The most infuriating part of lamb training is that the tamest lambs are invariably the most stubborn lambs. Thaddeus, one of my twins, is sweet and tame, but when I put his halter on, he plants his feet and forces me to drag him. . . .

Just a few more scenes from our first month of summer:
Above: the only kind of traffic jam you'll find around here--a herd of cows heading north to the mountains for the summer. :)

In case I haven't made it clear yet . . . I love summer.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

capturing the contrast

Aren't people fascinating? I've always thought so. When I write stories or novels or research papers, my favorite part is meeting and developing the characters. Who are they? How do they think, act, and react? And why?

Since I love people, I love to take portraits. Personality shines through photography, so it's imperative to get to know your subject, or you could end up with your photos telling you that the person doesn't quite fit the scene.

That doesn't mean portraits can't have contrast.

For example, I had the fabulous opportunity to take portraits of my best friend, Amanda, this past weekend. We started with the casual look:

Then we moved on to the formal:

And, finally, we combined the two using my dad's 1965 and 1966 Ford pickups. . . .

You wouldn't think such stark opposites would really complement each other--the tired old pickups and Amanda's colorful personality. But since I know Amanda well enough to arrange it fittingly, it works. Her adventurous and spontaneous qualities shine through the photos. That's what makes portraits so interesting! :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

the buckskin

News flash: horses are awesome.

Any horse, every horse. I love horses. They're beautiful and graceful and intelligent. They're impossible and frustrating and infuriating. They're amazing and adorable and inspiring.

My horse, Drem, is all of the above. She's one of my best friends.

But today, I'm talking about another horse. I don't know what his name is--I just call him The Buckskin.

The Buckskin lives in a grassy paddock about a mile and a half from my house. I'd seen him a couple of times, but I didn't go over to introduce myself to him until last week. He required a little bit of coaxing to come meet my sister and me, but when he did, he decided he liked us.

He's so pretty. I've always had a soft spot for buckskin horses. I love the colors--tawny golden body with legs like black lightning and a dark mane and tail. This guy even had zebra stripes of white in his mane.

He nibbled and rubbed on us, pranced and danced for us, threw his head toward us. He even raced us to the end of the paddock. Raced my sister, that is . . . I was too busy capturing his elegance on camera (or trying!).

Don't you love horses?


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