The red dog is not known for his patience. And being a Cattle Dog, he’s not afraid to take over the helm.
And all you folks with rookie teenage drivers thought YOU had problems ….
This photo of a wedding carriage was taken earlier this month at the Equine Affair. You can just make out the veil of the bride sitting in the back. They were moving at quite a clip and I had to shoot fast. Unfortunately, the best photo out of four had a big honking dumpster in the background. (They were everywhere at this four-day event.) I did use Lightroom to neutralize the vivid green of the dumpster, but otherwise left the photo as shot. (Yes, the sky really was that blue!)
This photo seemed fitting …. my husband will be “working” as a groom/footman this weekend at a holiday carriage event in Ridgefield CT.
Nov 11, 2010
2:23 PM. EST.
Canon EOS 7D
38mm, 1/160, f/16, ISO 200
Lens: EF-S 18-135mm IS
I was driving down a back road one day when I passed this old relic. It was parked out on a side lawn above a small pond. A once important piece of farm life now relinquished to the status of lawn ornament. It tugged at my heartstrings, so I turned around, parked and took several photos of it. I’ve never tried HDR, but when I’ve got some time to tinker with that I think I’ll go back and try it with this scene. It might help make the machinery stand out a bit more from it’s background. I’d also like to try to shoot it with a little snow cover on the ground.
I’m feeling a bit anxious and guilty that I’m not out shooting this morning. Last night was cold, windy and rainy. I honestly thought this morning was going to be a continuation of the same. Every time I try to second guess the weather I mess it up. So here I sit as the sun is breaking through the trees and I’m feeling miserable because I think I should be out there taking pictures. But it’s getting pretty chilly to be out there before the sun comes up. I’ve had a very hard time fighting the damp and cold. My fingers, knees and back are pretty achy. Earlier this week I was out shooting at the break of dawn and I could hardly get my fingers to operate my camera and tripod, which makes me wonder what will happen when winter actually arrives? I try not to think about that very much because I’d sure like to try shooting in the winter!
I have a confession to make: I’ve become a light chaser. This is a curse and a blessing combined. I’m starting to feel a special kind of kindred with storm chasers only I’m constantly looking at the sky and planning my day around the “magic hour.” If I’m not out shooting when the light is great, I’m anxious and I struggle to focus on what I’m doing instead. But when I’m out there shooting I get so lost in the moment that nothing else matters. The forecast looks pretty good for tomorrow morning …. maybe a touch warmer and a lot less wind? But right now tomorrow seems so far away!
These are two of my favorite small barns. I pass them every week on my way to herding. The red barn got repainted this summer, which really makes it stand out as the surroundings begin to change. I actually prefer barns that are in their natural state and not painted, but something about the scene below grabbed my eye. Perhaps it was the tall wheat-colored grass against the green and red that pulled me in?
I met my husband in a gym, which is today’s equivalent of a bar. A gym didn’t have that sort of stigma back then, so it was an unusual way to meet someone. It never failed that he would walk past me just when I was gritting and grimacing and he’d always manage to say something really cheerful like, “Work ’em hard!” or “Good job!” Jerk! If he wasn’t so darn handsome I probably woulda decked him.
Eventually I got a name, but that was a cruel joke. Back then I didn’t know anything about ethnicity or European cultures. Where I’m from the closest we ever got to having an ethnic label was that you were either a dairy farmer or an apple farmer. Sheesh! I could not for the life of me remember his name, which made for some very amusing early dialogue. (It was a Seinfield episode a few years later, only his name didn’t rhyme with any of his body parts.)
Actually, I hustled him. I guess that’s an advantage of being older and wiser. Truth be told, there was another guy at the gym who looked a lot like him, so to play it safe I was probably a little too nice to both of them than I would like to admit. Just to cover my bases, mind you. Today, you’d have to punch me right between the eyes to get my attention when I’m lifting. Luckily for him, I was more easily distracted back then.
Ah, she’s grown so cold.
Anyhow, in the fall of 1981 we finally got down to brass tacks. The story went like this:
His opener: “I’m working on this great Mopar. Do you like Mopars?”
Me: “Sure do!” (Mind you, I have no idea what a Mopar is. I hoped I didn’t just admit to liking something illegal or immoral.)
Him: “Great!” (Big huge pause. He’s clearly at a loss for words, which I mistake for nerves. Come to find out later, this is a gender-based glitch in his brain.)
Me: “I’d really like to see your Mopar!” (… because I have no idea what a Mopar is! Now I’m really hoping it’s not illegal, or gym slang for a body part or something.)
Him: “Really?” (Looks at me like he’s just stumbled on the Lost City of Gold.)
Me: “Sure!” (Thinking: OK, I’ve just thrown caution to the wind, so you’d better get with the program buddy! This is your big chance!)
He tells me that he’ll bring it to the gym on Friday, which means it’s probably not a body part or an exercise. Phew!
Friday he walks into the gym all cocky and clearly in a great mood. He tells me he brought the Mopar. He’s not wearing or carrying it, so I ask him where it is.
“Of course!” I say. I’m thinking … motorcycle?
Mysteriously, we finish lifting at the exact same time. (Another story) The excitement mounts. We walk out to the parking lot together and there she sits. The Mopar!
It’s a car, for crying out loud.
In steel gray primer.
“WOW! It’s beautiful” (First lie. Honest.)
He thinks so. It’s written all over his face. Proud as punch.
I slowly circle the heap. Peer inside. It’s God-awful. Smells like oil. Milk crate for a passenger seat. Open toolbox on the floor. Racing harness seatbelt. (Not a big confidence builder.) Funky looking pistol shifter. No door panels. Is that blue SHAG carpet? Enough gauges on the dash for a lunar landing and stereo speakers that make the ones in my living room look like a Walkman.
I grope for something nice to say. I’m smiling so hard, my face actually hurts.
He’s such a hunk.
The car is such a piece of crap, but it’s obviously important to him. So I said the only really cool thing I’ve ever said in my entire life.
“Did you bring her up here just to look at, or are you gonna take me for a ride?”
Months later, when it was safe to admit that he had feelings for me, he told me that he fell for me when I said I liked his car.
Men. If they only knew the truth!
PS. Turns out, that little ‘Cuda kicked butt!
I was a young whipper-snapper, maybe all of 22, and late for work as an underpaid, overworked dental assistant for a Big Whig in a small, but oh-so-wealthy New England town. I lived way out in the boondocks and to hear me tell it, the drive to work often took longer than anticipated. The truth of the matter was, I usually got a late start. Back in those days you were expected to be at work no less than 20 minutes before the first patient arrived, but I was always pushing my luck.
One sunny spring morning I found myself trapped behind an old guy (read as: middle age. Probably no older than I am now) who was taking his sweet time driving down a major two-lane highway. Traffic was moderate and I was young, late and impatient. Unable to pass, I rode up his butt for a good three miles before I finally got a chance to zip around him like some kind of wild banshee. As I charged past his vehicle the man turned and looked at me like I was a lunatic. (I was) In a moment of spontaneous defiance I gave him the one finger salute. I probably mouthed some choice words I’d rather not repeat too. In my haste, all I could think was that he was infuriatingly slow and making me late. I floored the accelerator and left him sucking my fumes.
Naturally, the next light was red. I glowered with loathing as the tortoise eased his big old boat up behind my Pinto. My eyes flicked to the rear-view mirror and to my disgust, the man appeared perfectly composed. He even smiled congenially! I smirked and focused on the road ahead. The light changed and my car lurched forward like a horse charging out of the starting gate. I sped down the road only to be forced to a screeching halt at the next traffic light. This scenario repeated itself three times: me blasting ahead with each change of the light, only to be stopped by another red light just a few blocks up the road. There’s nothing worse than passing someone like the Mad Hatter, only to have to sit beside or in front of them at the next red light. I finally ditched him at the forth light; I ran the yellow while he slowed to a halt as the light changed to red. “Good riddance you old putz!” I thought smugly.
I reached the office with only seconds to spare, jumped out of my car and flew up the back stairs still muttering about ignorant, poky drivers. I paused to commiserate with the secretary about the idiot who’d had the nerve to lolly-gag under the speed limit on a busy Monday morning! After sharing a large dose of drama with her (probably a little too loudly) I went to set up my room for my first patient, still riled and distracted by the indignity of oblivious drivers and old cronies. Moments later I heard the bell chime on the waiting room door. Patients trickled in, exchanged greetings and pleasantries with Carol and took a seat. A green light suddenly blinked at my station. I composed myself, put on a big warm professional smile, and went to get my first patient.
And who do you think that patient was?
I haven’t succumbed to the urge to do something quite that stupid in a long time. I’ve come close, but some lessons stick to your ribs!