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Posts tagged “spider webs

Hanging Out


(Click photo for best resolution)



This was quite possibly one of the largest webs I’ve ever shot, and it was a bonus that the architect happened to be home. The weather has switched back to hot and humid. That means some early morning fog, which can make for some interesting photos.



Amazing Graze



Horses live for the green grass of summer. Unfortunately, it’s been so muggy and buggy that they haven’t spent much time in the pasture. They venture down between rain storms and graze for maybe an hour or so, then head for the shelter of the loafing shed. I feel a little sorry for them. I know they’d much rather be out grazing instead of hovering around the barn. But with bugs the size of a small dog I can’t blame them for giving up. I’d like to think it will get better soon, but the weather pattern has set the stage for a very buggy second half of the summer, and it will probably continue well into the fall. Oh well. Better luck next year!





It wasn’t a spectacular fall this year. That makes two years in a row that we’ve had a less than stunning seasonal display of color. And I have to admit, I’m not exactly grieving over it since I’m still not back to normal vision yet. If anyone told me back in March that it might take eight months to get my vision straightened out I probably would have postponed the surgery. But they didn’t. In fact, when I specifically asked about side effects and complications they more or less pooh-poohed my asking. “We do this all the time with great success. We’ll cross that bridge when … no, IF we get to it.” Well that bridge came up awful damn fast.

Most people don’t understand what it’s like to have screwed up vision. We’ve had major advancements in glasses and contacts so those who suffer from myopia seldom have to struggle for very long after a problem has been detected. When I was in grade school every child received a vision and hearing test at school, as well as a dental cleaning and exam. In addition, we were marched off to the nurses office every spring for a remedial physical exam.

The eye test was pretty basic: the students were asked to read an eye chart using first one eye, then the other. Next, the tester would give the child a red, green, white and black marble, and they would hold a picture card in front of you and ask you to place a specific color marble at different spots on the picture. This tested for depth perception and color blindness. I usually nailed the color and depth perception of this test, but after second grade I struggled to read the eye chart.

After the eye test was finished the student was ushered to another room where an audio tester waited with a big black or blue square box. The box had lots of dials on it and a chord with large, clunky headphone attached. The tester adjusted the headset to fit your head, then had you sit on a stool with your back to them as they worked the different dials that made the tone sounds. You were supposed to raise the hand that correlated with the ear that heard the tone. The pitch and intensity of the tone jumped all over the scale from very high to low and super soft or moderately loud. There never seemed to be a pattern for the tones, though like my father I always tried to find one. I was never very good with this test either, but my mother said that was because I had inherited her tiny ear canals and I was prone to inner ear infections.

I hated the dental cleaning and never understood why I had to have it done since our family saw our regular dentist every six months like clockwork. The dental hygiene chair was big and uncomfortable and the water that swirled continuously in the cuspidor made me have to pee. The hygienist would start by asking us to chew a chalky, bright red disclosing tablet, then she would hand us a hand-held mirror so we could see all the “dirty places” the pink stain revealed. I always thought this was kind of unfair since it had either been hours since I’d brushed my teeth or my visit came after lunch. What did she expect? Anyhow, she’d get out her big set of plastic teeth and gums, an over-sized demo toothbrush and would patiently explain how I was supposed to brush my teeth, after which she’d polish my teeth with her oily, belt driven prophy brush. I knew I was almost done when the hygienist shoved a gooey, overflowing tray of orange flavored fluoride in my mouth. The only good thing about visiting the school hygienist was that we got a kit that had a new toothbrush, a slim tube of Pepsident (Mom only bought Crest) and a strip of a dozen or so disclosing tablets.

In the spring  our teacher divided us into two groups (one boys, one girls) and escorted us up to the nurses office for our annual physical exam. During my grade school years we had a delightful school nurse who looked  just like Meryl Streep and had Meryl’s compassion and witty sense of humor. Sometimes I faked feeling sick just so I could be fussed over by Mrs. Hatfield. I adored her. I think all the children did. Anyhow, Mrs. Hatfield didn’t do the exam, a real doctor did it. I felt kind of cheated by that. I mean, I went willingly because I like Mrs. Hatfield, but I wasn’t crazy about having some old man I didn’t know see me in my underpants and undershirt. He looked a little like Harry Morgan, who played Col. Sherman T. Potter in the TV. show MASH.  The doctor tried to make small talk as he placed a cold stethoscope on my scrawny chest and back. Then they weighed us and measured our height, before checking each child for something called scoliosis. Last, but not least, they handed us a little paper cup that held a clear, sweet tasting liquid that was going to protect us from something called Polio.

Back when I was in grade school there were lots of kids who relied on school health services such as these. For many, it was probably the only time they ever saw a doctor or a dental hygienist and for others, it may have been the only time they had toothpaste or a toothbrush. Not that I lived in an overly poor neighborhood. I didn’t. But you always knew there were one or two kids in every class who just didn’t get the simple basic necessities we took for granted.



The Nearness of You by Nora Jones from Come Away With Me

I thought The Nearness of You would be kind of appropriate given the photo. Funny how two spiders can  park themselves right next to one another and be fine, but humans? Not so much.




I’m temporarily suspended from riding until I get the Doctor’s OK. Hopefully that will only be a week or so, but I’m pretty sure my horse is fine with that!



The architect of this beautiful dreamcatcher wasn’t home. She was probably watching me from a safe distance.

Nature’s Pearls


It never ceases to amaze me how much work goes into making a web. I may not be all that fond of the engineers, but their handiwork is impressive. Especially when you consider that each web either has to be remade every day or undergo extensive repairs. Some webs are small, but this web was quite large. I’ll have to check and see if it’s still up and in good working condition tomorrow morning.


Horse Webs



It was another foggy morning … good for shooting webs. I didn’t have a lot of time to explore options today because I had things to do and Gus was waiting to come back out and go burn off a little energy.  I took a few photos, then set my camera and tripod aside. The whole time I was shooting the horses were patiently grazing in the side pasture by the barn, but as I approached them I suddenly spotted a HUGE web suspended between the two strands of electric fence! I quickly retrieved my camera and struggled to find a place that would support the tripod and allow a decent shot. While I was doing this the horses continued to munch grass directly behind the web, which was so light-sensitive that if Dharla moved away from the fence the web just vanished into the fog. Naturally, almost as soon as I had things set up both horses got board and started to wander off, so I picked a couple of handfuls of green grass and tossed it over the fence. I hoped that would entice at least one of the horses to come back, preferably Dharla since she’s the darker of the two horses. It worked, and I was able to get a few interesting shots of the web with Dharla in the background for contrast.



Only A Dream by Mary Chapin Carpenter from Come On Come On


My older sister is eighteen months older than me, my brother and sister only a few years younger. As kids we were thick as thieves, doing almost everything together as a family. But as we grew into our teens we either drifted apart or made alliances where and when it was to our advantage. I shared a bedroom with my older sister all but the last two years I lived at home. Given our extremely different personalities, it’s amazing that we got along as well as we did. She was a neat-nick, I was a slob. My sister was a girly-girl and a goody two-shoes who loved fashion (mini dresses), make-up and boys. I was a tomboy who never wore anything except jeans (preferably the same pair, over and over) listened to rock and roll and liked recreational drugs. There were times when we actually had to draw an invisible line down the middle of our room just to keep the peace. Never the less, when the rubber met the road we always had each others back. Always.

In the summer of ’72 my sister went to The Art Institute of Pittsburgh PA for a trial program. This was the first time in my life that I’d ever slept in a bedroom alone. I didn’t have to use headphones to listen to my music at night, I didn’t have to pick up my clothes and I didn’t have to tiptoe around my sister’s erratic mood swings that always had something to do with her boyfriend. In fact, before she left she made me guardian of her boyfriend’s high school ring. It was a big clunker of a thing with a Tiger’s Eye stone and a half a ball of yarn wound around the shank so it would stay on her slender finger. I remember feeling pretty honored. Then, after pretending the ring was mine for awhile (from an imaginary boyfriend) I put the ring in a drawer where, later that summer my cousin stole it during her visit. I didn’t miss my sister all that much, unless of course you count the times a thunder storm rolled through or I needed an opinion on something important.

Before I had time to get used to having my own space my older sister was back home again. We continued to be roommates for another year, though she was so preoccupied with her life that she hardly had time for me unless it was to ask if she could borrow something or accuse me of taking something of hers. The following summer she had a job and dibs on the family car and I saw even less of her. I’d hover in her periphery and ask questions about her boyfriend or her job, but for the most part I didn’t register a blip on her radar screen. In autumn when she left for college I was pretty used to her being gone and so it was just a matter of taking over the empty space she’d left in her wake. Her twin bed housed our childhood collection of stuffed animals and I took over her space in the closet, but I was pretty sure it was only a matter of time before she’d be back again. Little did I know, it was the last time my older sister would ever live at home or share a room with me. A chapter in my life had closed for good.

When I graduated from high school I enrolled in a tech program in a nearby city. I chose to live in a dorm room with three other girls and once again I found the rotating company enjoyable. I guess I’m just one of those people who doesn’t mind sharing my space with others. When I finished the program I found a job working for a local dentist and moved back home to the farm. By then, my younger sister had moved into my old bedroom, forcing me to occupy my brother’s empty room. My younger sister and I got along well and we started to get reacquainted.  A five year age gap had been tough to bridge when we were kids, but I soon discovered that my fifteen year-old sister was a good listener and a supportive friend. We spent many a night talking late into the wee hours of the morning. It was during this period of time that I rekindled a relationship with an old flame who lived out of state, which entailed driving to various locations to meet him on the weekend. My sister listened to my exploits and encouraged me to follow my heart, which ultimately led to my decision to leave home.

 My parents were fairly understanding when I announced I was ready to move out. I mean, it’s not like they didn’t know where I was going every weekend. I’m sure they figured it was only a matter of time before I decided to do something more permanent. Still, I found it hard to pull up the stakes and leave. I’d been paying my parents rent and while I liked the sense of freedom it allowed, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to be totally on my own. But I had a fat savings account, a new car and I thought the road was calling me. So I set a date, proceeded to give my two weeks notice at work and started to pack my meager belongings.

Feeling time was of essence, my sister and I spent every evening together talking about our future hopes and dreams. I cherished those nights of sharing and laughter, never once stopping to think how hard it must have been to know you’ll be the last child left at home. The four of us had once been somewhat of a team, but as we grew up one by one, each child set sail for the next chapter of their life leaving the younger siblings behind. Now that it was my turn to fly my mind was on the future and the exciting new changes to come. I wasn’t thinking about how empty the house would seem to the last sibling still living at home.

All too soon my date of departure arrived and although there was a faint surreal quality to it, it was really just a day like any other. The sun came up over the pasture and the barn swallows swooped over the yard scolding the fat lazy cats that lounged on the front porch. I gave my camera to my mother and asked her to snap a few photos of my sister and I standing beneath a big pine tree in the front yard. Our eyes were swollen from crying, but we composed ourselves and smiled bravely for the camera.



My sister and I hugged and whispered our goodbyes in hoarse, wavering voices. I promised her I’d come back for a visit soon, knowing full well that I wouldn’t. I hugged my mother and told her I’d write, which I seldom did either. (Mom wrote to me faithfully every week for many years, sending coupons and correcting my spelling with every correspondence) My father had already left for work after pausing only long enough to give me a big, but dry-eyed bear hug and tell me, “The door swings both ways.” I wasn’t quite sure what that meant, but I’ve since learned it’s 70’s Dad-speak for, “Love you, honey.” I’d like to think my father shed a tear or two after he drove off, but I’ll never know.

Unable to stall any longer I climbed into my loaded hatchback and turned the key. I inched down the long gravel driveway while taking a moment for one last sweeping look at the beautiful farm I’d grown to love. Deep down in my heart I missed it already. I turned in my seat and waved one final time at my mother and sister, then pulled out onto Victor Road. As I drove off I glanced in my rear view mirror. My mother had vanished into the house, but my sister stood stoically waiving like a princess in a parade. Through my tears I watched her until I drove around a bend and the house dipped out of sight. I never lived at home again.


The day you left home you got an early start

I watched your car back out in the dark

I opened the door to your room down the hall

I turned on the light and all that I saw

Was a bed and a desk and a couple of tacks,

no sign of someone who expects to be back.

That must have been one hell of a suitcase you packed.

Twirl me about, twirl me around

let me grow dizzy and fall to the ground

and when I look up at you looking down

say it was only a dream.

Catch Me


Things are starting to get super busy, but there’s nothing like a few weeks with daily temps in the 90’s to sap your energy. I’ve done my best just to soldier through it, but word has it that the next few days are  going to be even hotter. Looks like morning and evening hose duty is going to be mandatory. I’ve planted several shrubs out by the new barn and if I don’t spend a good chunk of every day watering them, they’re going to fry. I’m hoping they’ll take, and by this time next summer I won’t have to do a thing with them.

We still have some decisions to make about the stain for the barn. We both want something that will look as natural and barn-y as possible. We already have a red barn, so we’re not looking to repeat that hue. Ideally, I’d like the barn to look like it’s always been here, but who would think there’d be so many different  shades and tones of “natural” to pick from? And let’s not forget about several kinds of opacity. Good grief! I’m not good at making that kind of decision and I always end up second guessing my choice until the project is done. However, we can’t stain with the temperatures this high, so I’ll have a little reprieve to torture myself with the final decision.

More exciting news and changes to come soon, but in the mean time I think I’m going to need a catcher’s mitt … like the spider web I shot one foggy morning this week.

Happy Easter!

Pearls and Pins





Thread Art



Nature’s balance never ceases to amaze me!

Mystical Memories




 Tomorrow is the first anniversary of Tia’s death. I spent some time this morning looking over the small handful of photos I took of Tia the summer and fall before she died. Tia was so beautiful, truly a mystical horse. Sadly, I didn’t realize it was my last few months with her and I didn’t take nearly enough pictures to remember her by. On this foggy morning I happened to catch the horses snoozing in the dappled sunlight. Much to my surprise, also I discovered an abundance of spider webs. I took a handful of pictures of the horses before getting off on a tangent and taking lots of pictures of the spider webs. Looking back, I wish I’d concentrated more on photographing the horses, but hindsight is 20/20.





My gardens have been put to bed because eventually, everything needs a break, including me.



Nature’s way of trimming trees!



One of the hazards of shooting spider webs is that ocasionally the occupants are home!



And sometimes they’re hungry!


Hidden Treasure


We’re getting into my favorite time of year to take pictures. I love fall morning and late afternoon light. I know those are generally the best times to take photos anyway, but there’s something different about the fall light. I don’t know what it is, but I always seem to get better pictures and struggle a lot less when I’m shooting in the fall. And I love how the dewy mornings give me lots of opportunity to go web hunting.

Anyone who has been reading my blog for awhile knows I love finding and shooting spider webs. I don’t have a thing for spiders and in fact, I usually do my best to avoid them. But I love their aerial artwork and I enjoy the challenge of trying to photograph their webs. It’s not easy, and I often find myself ankle deep in water or mud or standing in nearly shoulder-high brush and weeds (amongst God knows what other kinds of critters … but I try not to think about that!). Still, nothing quite thrills me as much as seeing the results of my efforts. Oftentimes I can’t shoot some of the best webs I find. Either they’re out of my reach or I can’t get myself (and my gear) in the right position where the light will allow them to show up. Or sometimes the background is just too obnoxious. The photo below is an example of that.

I found this wonderful web suspended between two old coneflower plants, but the background was really tough. Because the fog was so dense, I tried to position my tripod so I could shoot the web against the backdrop of the tree. Otherwise, the web wouldn’t show up and would vanish into the background fog. Unfortunately, this meant I had to have the distance between my camera, the web and the tree just so … which proved to be nearly impossible. Mind you, I was standing in the middle of a very dense, wet garden and trying not to trample too much in my quest to get things just right.

I finally got a couple of decent frames … not exactly what I wanted, but I was running out of time. So I did my best, then headed back inside to feed the dogs and get ready to scoot out for a riding lesson. Later, when I finally had a chance to download what I’d shot I was (somewhat) disappointed that I didn’t manage to capture the entire web against the backdrop of the tree. However, upon closer inspection I discovered a butterfly in several of the shots. When I was shooting I never got close enough to the coneflowers and web to actually see the butterfly. In fact, I think at the time I just thought the thing on top of the flower on the right was a dried leaf. (Age and bad vision … Ug!) But here’s the proof: it was a butterfly!  A special little treasure, hidden in the frame!




When I need a break from the madness of this world I look to nature for an escape. It’s comforting to know that nature will somehow survive long after we manage to annihilate ourselves. I’m constantly amazed by how hard the flora and fauna fight against everything we throw at it. I have no doubt that someday, when we cease to be large and in charge of this planet, nature will reign supreme. Again.

 I hope 9/11 will never be forgotten, and all whose loved ones were murdered have the condolences and support of the United States and Her people.



Hurricane Irene (though downgraded to a tropical storm) came through New England a week ago today. While I’m sure that’s old news now, I was without power for a week, which left me feeling suspended in time. Cell towers malfunctioned, making cell phones useless for three full days. Fortunately, I have an ancient rotary dial phone in my basement. When was the last time you used one of those? I can tell you this: rotary dial doesn’t jive with today’s automated answering systems! No ability to “punch in a number” means you can’t get very far with a rotary dial phone! But at least I could call family and a few friends to let them know I was OK.

I’ve experienced a few major weather events and one thing I can say for certain is that it doesn’t take long before you begin to feel like the rest of the world has passed you by. The first few days after a crisis your time and thoughts are pretty much focused on trying to get rebalanced, reorganized and back into some sort of “normal” routine. Although we had plenty of warning about the storm, there’s always one more thing you wish you could have done to be better prepared for the aftermath. I figured I’d be without power for a few days. Honestly? I thought I’d be off the grid for about three days at the most … and even that estimate seemed extreme at the time. But a whole week without juice? I was certainly not expecting that!

The storm was long in duration … about fourteen hours to be exact. That’s fourteen hours of very high wind and driving sheets of rain. My biggest fear was having trees come down on my barn or fence and having my horses get injured or escape. Since none of that happened everything else was just a major inconvenience. Yes, we had lots of tree damage, but mostly trees that didn’t threaten the house, yard or barn. We also had damage to our fences, but not the fencing where the horses were penned during the storm. So all in all, I can’t complain. God answered my prayers!

The weirdest sensation during the storm was that once we lost power (about two or three AM Sunday morning) we had no way to know what was going on elsewhere in the state. Had the storm really even arrived, or were we just starting to experience the preliminary effects? Had Irene passed us by or were we in the eye of the storm? Had she been downgraded more or was she still packing a wallop? Where was she tracking and how close would she come to passing directly over us? What was predicted to be the worst for us: wind or rain? How bad was the damage around us and in neighboring towns and states? None of these questions could be answered. After days of tracking Irene’s  progress online, I found it frustrating to be so suddenly disconnected from current information. Yes, I’ve grown accustomed to having instant access to updated information at the mere click of a dial or mouse.

We have a generator. I know most people think that means you have power to do a lot of things, but actually you don’t. It meant we didn’t lose food in our refrigerator or freezer, but we had to unplug those appliances to plug in the well pump and the furnace to heat hot water. Water is critical on a farm and unless you’ve hauled six buckets of water across 75 yards only to watch a horse drain each one and look for more, you can’t appreciate how important it is to have a reliable source of water close by. It took awhile to establish a routine, but we eventually settled on running the ‘fridge and freezer during the day (when it hot), then switching over to power up the water and furnace in the evening for dinner prep and cleanup. We tried running the generator the first night, but we had to close all the windows to drown out the sound and that meant the house stayed way too warm. So we had eighteen hours of power each day, but those hours had to be carefully allotted to a small handful of very limited things.

On the third day I figured out a way to run a fan. One fan …. for the whole house. Yay! (One fan is better than NO fans!) I also wired one light in the kitchen and one in the living room. We had to turn pretty much everything off to power up the TV (what does that tell you about your electric bill?), but it was doable. I could have lived without TV, but I was Jonesing for a weather update, which I normally get from the computer. My stove is propane; electronic ignition, but I could by-pass that with a match. So I could cook. But I couldn’t believe how much I’ve come rely on the microwave, even if just for little things like reheats or quick warm-ups. I went to the library a few days before the storm and loaded up on books, but I can’t read in bad lighting. Heck, with my eyes I can hardly read in GOOD lighting! My Nook is back-lit, but it didn’t take long to finish the two books I had on it. Without Wi-fi, I couldn’t download more.

Basically, the rest of the week was a dance of priorities. Camping is fun as a vacation and a break from the norm, but it’s just plain tedious to have to camp in your house for any length of time. Houses are designed to run on electricity and most of the things we do in our homes become a huge pain in the neck to lose when the power is out. I know the rest of the world went on like nothing ever happened, but a lot of us here were really struggling just to cope with simple things like meals, personal hygiene and jobs, . All things considered I think I held up pretty well, but I know that’s only because I had a little help from the generator. Others had nothing and were stretched to their limit. Still, things remained civil. There wasn’t any looting or shooting, though I could easily have dope slapped a line worker if I had even laid eyes on one anywhere in my vicinity before late yesterday afternoon. (Just kidding. Kinda.) We were one of the last in our town to be brought back online and by then, I’d really started to feel like I was in an Outer Limits episode. One thing I will say: the nights were incredibly and wondrously dark. And quiet! I could live with that indefinitely!

Last week I was feeding the horses … I don’t remember which morning because at some point they all started to blend into one another …. when I saw this huge web in an arborvitae. (How huge? It was at least 1.5 feet long and almost as wide!) The web was up pretty high, but the dark blob in the center indicated that the resident spider was home. I decided to try to get a picture of the web, but I knew it would be a challenge. The light was difficult and the location of the web was such that I wouldn’t be able to try shooting from lots of different angles to make the web stand out. Webs can be very challenging to shoot even if you have ideal conditions, but I thought I should give it a try. I’m glad I did! This is a crop from one of the photos I took. I tried getting several frames from one angle, then I switched lenses and used a step ladder and a spray bottle to mist the web. That really irked the spider, but I was hoping it would help make the web stand out a bit more against the challenging background.

Natures Catcher’s Mitt


Another web photo taken a few days ago. This web was very hard to get due to it’s being up high and catching more light than the others. I had very little room to maneuver and my tripod was on an incline. I was also getting shredded by mosquitoes. I tried to get the whole web in the frame, but it proved impossible and I had to settle for what I have here.



Same web, taken from behind the shrub it was suspended in.



Ride or shoot? That’s been my conundrum the last few mornings. Sadly I can’t do both, and with the recent hot and humid weather I have to weigh the options and decide pretty early in the day. I was out on Dharla quite early the last three mornings and so as I made my coffee I seriously considered giving her a morning off. My camera was vying for my attention.

One of the hardest things about outdoor photography is learning what conditions are most likely to produce which results. For instance, this web shot. Last summer I got lucky and captured about 200 web shots in one morning. I didn’t have the foggiest idea what I was doing at the time (hence, the luck part), but the conditions were ripe when I accidentally stumbled on a smorgasbord of webs. I grabbed my camera, shot like mad and about twenty minutes of frantic shooting resulted in maybe a dozen or so good shots of several different webs.

At the time I didn’t know it, but that day last summer the conditions were perfect for shooting spider webs. In fact, they were so good that I had more webs available than I could shoot while the light was just right. Daylight is constantly changing and spider webs are very light sensitive; they can be perfectly visible one minute and totally gone from sight the next. Also, it was very dewy that morning which helped the webs stand out from their background. But dew dries quickly in the morning sun and once that happens a web will start to vanish or get much harder to photograph.

Last but not least, that morning it was muggy and STILL. Uncomfortable for me, but not a breath of air moved. That’s so critical when shooting a delicate spider web. Most of the webs I shot that day were strung in bushes and trees. All it would have taken for the webs to move is a faint current of air. That further complicates a shot. So yes, I got very lucky that day and I came away with plenty of pictures.

This morning was a bit different … as they all are! I had a feeling the conditions were ripe for web hunting. There was a heavy blanket of mist in the air and it seemed quite still. I took my mug of coffee and walked outdoors to scout about. I didn’t have to go far before I spied several nice webs. I literally ran inside (no dogs out to mow me down), grabbed my tripod and gear and headed back out to try my luck at shooting some new webs. Unfortunately, there was just enough of a gentle current to make things pretty challenging. Sometimes I can simply wait until I get a slight break in the breeze, but with the light conditions rapidly changing that wasn’t a good option.

In the end I did manage to get some nice photos, but not as many as I would have liked. I tried to concentrate my efforts on just four webs instead of running to and fro and trying to shoot several more. It’s still early in the summer and I suspect there will be more opportunities to get web shots this summer.




One of my favorite flowers, one of my favorite subjects to shoot.


I can’t believe it was 10 degrees this morning when I headed out to the barn. That’s January weather and it’s downright annoying now. Even the horses had the “Enough already!” look on their faces when I got out there. Beanie is shedding like a banshee … hair everywhere. At the ripe old age of 27 he grows a winter coat like a Woolly Mammoth. If I work real hard I might have him totally shed out by September, whereupon he’ll promptly begin growing his winter coat for next winter. Gotta love Mother Nature!


I want to wish my sister a very happy birthday! I have so many fond memories of our birthday rituals when she lived in Connecticut. We both used to take the day off from work and go shopping, then go somewhere fun for lunch and just have a great time hanging out together and being friends. I miss doing that, but hope she has a nice day with her family … it’s not the same thing, but I’m pretty sure it runs a close second! 😉


Sept 13, 2010 8:03 AM EST.

Canon EOS 7D

ISO: 400, 50mm, 1/200 sec, f/5.0

Lens: Canon 50mm

Lightroom3: Crop, brightness adj.


Nature’s Hammock



I’m glad I’m not one of those unfortunate people who suffers from spider phobia. While I’m not all that fond of being surprised by a big hairy spider, I won’t flip out if I happen upon one. Ideally, it wouldn’t be on me, but either moving away from me or happily doing it’s own thing someplace where I can observe it.


This web is one of many that I captured with my camera last summer. Early one foggy, dewy morning I went outside to find dozens of beautiful gossamer webs scattered throughout my flowers, plants and shrubs. Many were in perfect condition and the dampness helped make them stand out just enough that I could photograph several of them. I’m sure I missed just as many as I shot, but I was pretty thrilled by this encounter.




Sept 13, 2010. 7:50 AM. EST

Canon EOS 7D

ISO: 400, 50mm, 1/125 sec, f/4.0

Lens: Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Lightroom3: Brightness/contrast adj.