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Posts tagged “woods

The New Order

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Last week, before it turned 90 and ridiculously humid, I went hiking in the woods with Hazer. We hadn’t gone hiking in a long time and I was feeling pretty nostalgic, especially when we came to Hazer’s “up” rock. The “up” rock is a very large bolder that graces the side of this one particular trail. When Hazer was a youngster he learned to run ahead,  jump up on this rock and wait for me to come along, praise him. and give him a treat. It was a game we always played. We’d approach the general vicinity of the rock and I’d say, “go find the up rock” and Hazer would run ahead, jump up on the rock and wait for me to come give him a treat. It was great fun and we’d play the up rock game both coming and going on that trail. Although the trail is littered with large boulders in several areas, this is the only rock Hazer has ever climbed.

We hadn’t hiked this trail in about 2 years and I’d kinda forgotten about the “up” rock. As usual, Hazer trotted along in front of me, veering off the trail from time to time when something piqued his interest. At some point Hazer jogged ahead out of view and when I came around a bend, there he was waiting patiently on his favorite rock. I was so amazed that he remembered! It really warmed my heart. Fortunately, I always carry a little pouch with treats and I gave him several as I praised him for remembering our game. I called him down and we continued on our way.

The trail crosses several small streams, but all have dwindled to barely a trickle in most places. Our final destination is a larger stream that, despite a recent dry spell still sports a pretty little water fall and a deep-ish “swimming hole.” Hazer’s never been much of a swimmer, but if opportunity presents he likes to wade in a stream. At this particular spot he’ll usually walk in until the water is about belly deep, then stand there to cool off and have a drink. There’s a nice crop of ledge that I can sit on while he putters around for a bit. This is our turnaround point, so there’s never any hurry to rush off.  Many a deep conversation has been held there between Hazer and I and today was no different. We had a lot to discuss.

 

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Hazer is getting old. Oddly, I’ve noticed him aging more so than Neena, who is the same age. He sleeps a lot more during the day and his movements aren’t as quick or as steady. More often than not I’ll come home from an errand and Hazer won’t run to greet me in the kitchen like I’m the second coming of Christ. When I put my things down and go looking for him he’s usually sacked out somewhere comfy, awake and well aware that I’ve returned, but not inclined to jump up and carry on like before. Sometimes he picks his head up off his pillow, other times he just glances in my direction before sighing and drifting off to sleep again. It makes me a little sad. He’s not always like that, but it’s not unusual either.

I’ve spent most of Hazer’s life wishing he’d shut up and behave more like a normal dog. He could be the poster dog for Autistic Dogs. To say he’s  a difficult dog to live with is a gross understatement. Quirky, irritating, OCD and socially inept, he’s the kind of dog who’d have been better off being the only household pet. But he’s not, and so he takes it upon himself to make life hard for everyone. Back in early June Hazer jumped Gus and they had a nasty fight. Hazer doesn’t signal these things and even though I’ve always got one eye trained on him when Gus is around, his usual MO is to wait until he’s behind my back to make a move. There was no pre-warning growl. His posture didn’t change. He just launched. And for the first time ever, Gus didn’t ignore the challenge. Oh, there have been other instances when I’ve had to step between the boys to “break” Hazer’s locked-on, I-dare-you stare. But Gus has always let Hazer’s nonsense roll off his shoulders. You see, Hazer is an alpha-wannabe and I think most dogs get that his nonsense stems from his insecurity. But this time it was different and Hazer finally barked up the wrong tree one too many times.

I’ve lost count how many fights Hazer has started.  It’s not a lot, but any fight is one fight too many. And every time it happens you’re horrified, even when the outcome isn’t all that bad. Why do dogs who live in the same house and seem to get along fine suddenly snap and want to kill each other? Something has to take place between them that humans can’t sense or see. Some invisible trash-talk, some insult or challenge must get hurled through space in a glance or a stare. Humans always can’t hear this “inaudible” dialogue and sometimes we can’t even see it, but it’s there. And it can get ugly fast.

I pulled Hazer off Gus, who was reluctant to let go of Hazer. Gus is a terrier and he’s got a strong gripping instinct. Tapping the super-human strength that adrenaline brings to these situations, I hurled Hazer across my kitchen and herded Gus into a corner of the foyer. He was injured, bleeding and threatening to bite me, but there was pain and fear in his eyes, not angst. I paused for a few seconds to give Gus a moment to calm down. It was not a good scene, but at this point I was just thankful that Neena hadn’t jumped into the fray and that for the moment, Hazer wasn’t the least bit interested in finishing the job he’d started. I got both ACDs into my office, closed the door and directed my attention to Gus, who was shaking his head, splattering his blood all over my kitchen cupboards and floor.

As far as ears go the damage was minimal. It could have been MUCH worse. It seems like the bigger the ears the more the target, and Gus has HUGE ears. He sustained a puncture wound about halfway up one ear and the very tip of that ear had what looked like a small divot in it. I couldn’t tell if the divot was just some fur missing or if the tissue was gone too, but it was clear Gus wasn’t going to let me touch it. At least not right away. I grabbed some sterile gauze which I dampened with cold water, then did my best to clean the blood away so I could decide if we needed to make a trip to the vet. Experience has taught me that ear wounds might bleed like heck, but they don’t always require vet attention. After about ten minutes or so the bleeding started to abate and I got a better look at the wound. I didn’t think there was much the vet could do besides clean him up and send him home with some antibiotics and pain meds. I’m not a big on treating every little wound with antibiotics, so I decided to keep an eye on it and pass on the vet unless things took a turn for the worse.

The bigger problem was figuring out what to do from that point on. Living in a small house with two dogs who don’t get along is a serious problem, one I’ve always said I’d loathe to do. Baby gates were dragged down from the attic and covered with polar fleece blankets to discourage any visual challenges. A new routine and protocol had to be instantly implemented to keep the boys from having any interaction. This meant having to think about who was where at all times and carefully planning for trips in or out. Gus now eats upstairs, the other two dogs eat downstairs. Being a reluctant strategist made me grouchy and made my brain hurt, not to mention that I was constantly living with pet strife.

Gus healed, both physically and emotionally. He also got neutered. Zip-zip, just like that, Gus went from a show dog to non show dog. I was seriously bummed, but the alternatives weren’t good. Hazer was neutered at 16 months because he was starting to pick fights with one of my older dogs and now I was neutering Gus because Hazer was targeting him. This so sucked. For about a week I felt like I was living in some endless version of pet hell. Since all my dogs want to be with me, one of them is always whining or yipping or acting out their misery in whatever room I’m not in. All the trainer’s I’ve ever known have told me that if you ignore their noise and nonsense they’ll eventually give up and quit. They’ve never met Hazer. He’s in the living room right now, where he’s been whining for several hours. Pet hell.

Slowly, we’ve started going outside together as a group. I keep the dogs busy playing ball and Frisbee for a bit and then everyone seems pretty content to mind their own business. I have 6+ acres so nobody needs to be right on top of one another.  It still requires management, but it’s pretty doable and I’ll take any improvement I can get. Inside we’re still a  work in progress. I’ve had the boys “mingle” a little because if I keep them apart for too long they’ll start to think something’s wrong if they’re suddenly together. Better to give them small, heavily supervised doses of togetherness and  mix things up to keep them guessing. I want them focused on me, not each other when they’re in the same room. But they can’t be together unless I’m able to have my full attention on them. When the weather permits, I try to hike Hazer, then he and Neena do several hours in the outside pen. Gus hangs out with me. Some days I feel like my whole existence revolves around managing the dogs, but I have hopes that this situation won’t last forever and eventually we’ll return to a more normal routine. I’ll never trust Hazer around Gus, but as more time goes by without any further issues, the better it bodes for all.  Although Gus seems to be letting go of any angst he had about the fight, I’m sure he doesn’t trust Hazer. Who would? Gus gives Hazer a pretty wide berth. For now, that’s the new order of things around here. We’ll see how it goes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Moving On

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Psalm 77 by David Nevue

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I generally don’t make a fuss over New Year resolutions. I may reflect a bit on events that occurred over the last year and think a bit about some things that I might want to strive to change. But I don’t get too worked up about the stuff that didn’t live up to my expectations or make any grandiose announcements.

I made some good progress with Dharla this year. I’m very glad that I decided to bite the bullet and get some professional training for her. While I miss having her at home, she’s not far away and I still see (and often ride) her every day. It’s been a great experience being at a bigger barn. I’ve met some very nice people and I’m learning a lot of really good stuff. Sometimes I feel a bit pulled in different directions.  I still have the responsibility of caring for the animals here at home, but so far I’ve been managing to divide my time and attention equally. And it’s not forever. I expect I’ll bring Dharla back home come early spring.

I fulfilled a year’s commitment with an online nutrition program. While it’s sad to see that come to a close, I’m anxious to get back to doing things on my own. I’ve never been much of a group joiner, though I made an exception for this program because I felt it was important to experience the program from the inside before I recommend it to others. I got some good ideas and tips on food prep and meal planning that I’ll probably continue to use on my own. I can’t say enough about Precision Nutrition’s Lean Eating program. It’s not cheap to do, but I saw firsthand via my own group of 150 or so members that it’s a life-altering approach to exercise and nutrition. Now I need to get cracking and get my own Precision Nutrition certification done. This winter should be a good time to hit the books and do it!

This year was a (fairly) healthy one. No eye surgeries or other major health issues, which was certainly  a welcome change. We started the year off with the loss of my father in-law, but as sad as that was we’ve  managed to get through all the “firsts” without Pop and survive. In early spring I had a very dear friend lose his home and entire life belongings in the Colorado Black Forest fire, and I experienced the helplessness of not being able to offer much more than an ear to bend when the burden became too heavy.

The animals have stayed healthy and grown a year older. Gus continues to tickle my funny bone daily, and at age 9 the cow dogs are still as energetic as ever! I closed the year by adding another horse to our small herd of horses. Rascal continues to impress with his easy-going nature, and I’m eagerly looking forward to getting out on the trail with him this spring. After all, it IS the year of the Horse!

Word has it we’re supposed to get socked in with another snow storm tomorrow. Time to hunker down and knit!

I hope everyone has a healthy, safe New Year!


Perspectives

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I’ve never had a fondness for city or town life. In my opinion, the best neighbors are the kind you can’t see or hear. Ever. Although my house sits on a small parcel of acreage, I’d be perfectly happy living smack-dab in the middle of several hundred acres. During the spring and fall I try to get outside to walk several miles every morning. I’ll usually say it was a good walk if I’m able to complete my hike without seeing a soul. That’s my idea of quality time.


Discards

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And old broken-down, discarded vehicle sits abandoned, deep in the Salmon River state forest.


Perspective

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Sometimes all we need a slightly different perspective.


Memory

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The Consequences of Falling by K.D.Lang from Invincible Summer

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I remember that feeling …. the one that sits now, deep in the woods like a rusty old hunk of discarded metal.


Hibernate

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Another day of sleet and rain. How many does that make in the last two months? No photo ops today! In fact, none in weeks. Depressing. I feel like crawling into a cave and hibernating until spring.


Green Christmas

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It looks like it might be another a soggy, foggy Christmas this year.


Clearing

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Once the clouds move out it should be a nice day!


On Alert

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I’ll risk being repetitious and post another picture of this beautiful hawk. Here, it’s watching the walkers who are about to ask me what I’m shooting. I knew someone or something was approaching before I heard them because the bird’s head swiveled abruptly in a different direction. While the hawk seemed to pay very little attention to me, it’s gaze stayed fixed on the pair until they walked out of sight.

I think one of the reasons I was able to drive home, get my gear and return to find this hawk still roosting was because it looks to me like it had recently fed. In some photos I can see a slight tinge of blood at the base of it’s beak and in other photos it looks like there’s a bit of blood on it’s feet. Which could explain why the hawk was so complacent. Many times I’ve tried to get close enough to photograph a hawk, but unless they’re settled in for a good roost they’re usually too wary to let people approach. Of all the pictures I’ve taken, the ones that have been the most successful have shown signs of a recent kill. (One other time I got some great shots of a one-eyed hawk that was perched on a limb that overlooks our pond. At the time I thought the hawk might actually have been hunting the pond, but it was impossible to tell.)

Either way, I’m very thankful that I had the opportunity to take so many good pictures of this hawk. Truly, this was a really big thrill for me!


Lucky

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That I somehow managed to capture several semi-decent shots of this hawk was a huge thrill for me! First, the circumstances were a bit unusual and second, it’s the first time I’ve shot any wildlife since my eye troubles began last March.

 I was driving home from the grocery store and had just pulled onto my road when a large shadow passed over my car. As soon as I could safely pull over I peered upward and saw a very large hawk glide across the road and into the woods, where it landed gracefully on a low branch of a tree. My car idled as I sat and watched the bird, cursing my bad luck that I didn’t have my camera with me. I immediately began to calculate how long it would take to drive to my house, run inside and grab my gear (which would require a lens change) and drive back? Would the hawk stay put or fly off after I left? I could tell the bird was starting to settle into a roost, so I decided to try to make a go for it. I didn’t hurry or panic, I simply drove home, got my gear and drove back. Much to my surprise, the hawk was still perched comfortably on the same branch!

It’s always a bit of a chance when you try to shoot birds in the woods. Wind can cause tree branches to move, making the results blurry and limbs and leaves often cast shadows that obscure some (or all) of the desired target. I stood in the middle of the street with tripod in hand, trying decide how close the bird would let me approach before showing alarm or flying off. I inched forward a step at a time until my advance was blocked by a stone wall at the shoulder of the road. The bird watched me  the entire time, but held it’s position. I decided not to chance scaling the stone wall since I didn’t think I could do it without rousing the bird from it’s roost. I set my tripod down, made some adjustments to my camera and started shooting.

At first the bird was partially obscured by the shade of an overhead branch. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to try to reposition myself or just wait and see if the bird might shift slightly on it’s own. I chose to wait, and within a few minutes the bird changed it’s position just enough so that the shadows were slightly lessened. Unbeknown to me (because I was so focused on shooting the hawk) two people were walking toward us on the road. Talk about bad timing! On one hand, that turned out to be good because the hawk moved into the light more and swiveled it’s head around to follow the walker’s approach. But on the other hand, as the walkers got closer to me one of them spoke out. “Deer?”

OK, does that make any sense? You see a crazy lady standing by the road side, head glued to a big honking camera on a tripod and you TALK to them? I mean, what else would I be trying to shoot if not wildlife and if so, wouldn’t it make more sense to be quiet? I guess not. I didn’t reply, but the walkers continued by, chattering loudly the entire way. Fortunately, the hawk was comfortable and it didn’t decide to take off. I stayed and shot as many frames as I could, then decided I should try to move closer. I reasoned that if the hawk flew off I wouldn’t be going home empty-handed, but if I could obtain a better (or different) vantage point then why not try? I got about halfway over the stone wall before the hawk had had enough. It launched into the air, flapped it’s massive wings a few times, then glided off to a tree beyond the reach of my lens. Giddy with excitement, I drove home. I still had several bags of groceries to unload and put away before I could download my pictures and see what I had. Needless to say, I was pretty pleased!

I think it takes an enormous amount of skill and good luck to shoot wildlife with any real success. (And a big honking lens) I’ll never have that kind of skill or the equipment to be that good, but I’m tickled pink when the sun, moon and stars all align, and I get lucky!


Discards

 

 

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An old dirt bike, left abandoned to rust since the mid 80’s. When I hike or ride by, it always makes me wonder why it was left behind?


Pressed

 

 

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Ombre by Ludovico Einaudi, from Le Onde

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Lately I feel like I’m drowning in sadness. August 25th was loaded: my sister and husband were in a serious motorcycle accident, someone very close to my brother suffered a stroke and a very close friend of my husband’s family died. It was a “busy” day. Since then, I’ve learned that my father-in-law has cancer, my upcoming eye surgery “might not” deliver the result I was expecting, and the brother-in-law of my riding instructor (age 47) was killed in a motorcycle accident.

This has left me feeling as though I ought to say something profound. Like, “Live life to the fullest because you never know what tomorrow will bring!” or something to that effect. Unfortunately, while that cliche might be true, it just sounds old and overused. The fact of the matter is, for the last couple of years I’ve felt like life’s been swinging from one extreme to the other, and I’m not sure why. Is life is getting harder? At times it feels that way. And when you add local, regional or world news to the personal struggles it almost feels overwhelming.

So I try to grab a little time to do things I enjoy: Listen to music, read, ride, hike, take pictures, and try to spend more time with my dogs, horses, friends and family.


Daybreak

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Morning by Karen Matheson, from Time To Fall


Curves

 

 

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(Ora, by Ludovico Einaldi, from the CD Una Mattina)

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It’s interesting how life throws us curves, sometimes over and over again.

A macular peel, vitrectomy, three retinal tears and a retinal detachment later, my eye is doing well. Tired and a wee bit beat up, but it’s starting to heal. Of course, I can’t see anything yet and it’s going to start brewing a cataract soon (that will have to be removed and the lens replaced), but I’m not going to think about that now.  My vision will be very slow to heal. Slow as in, like 1-1.5 years. On one hand you think, well, thank God it WILL return, but on the other hand you grapple with so many different emotions. You ponder the fairness of this fate;  this has not been my first lengthy medical hurdle. Then you catch yourself thinking that and you know there are so many people who’ve been dealt a worse hand, that you feel small and foolish for feeling sorry for yourself. So you solder on and do what you can.

Unfortunately, this will affect my ability to take and process pictures. I’ve been trying to retrain myself to use my left eye to focus when I’m shooting, but I’m not very quick with it yet.  I can do some macro shoots because I can use a remote shutter release and live view, so I may have to default to macro for now. If spring would really get here I should have some nice floral subjects to shoot, but until the weather improves I’m more or less stuck blogging photos from the past.


Rushing

 

 

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The local streams are flowing like crazy. The bigger rivers and streams should be good kayaking in a few weeks.


Winter Stream

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Still no snow, but I’m not complaining!


The Path

 

 

We bought our house in 1986. The house proper wasn’t anything special, but the location was private, nestled off  a sparsely populated dead-end road and bordered by state forest on one side. A year or so after moving in I bought a horse and kept it at my neighbor’s farm. When my husband decided to get into the horse world we gamely cleared the only flat patch of land we owned, built a small barn, collected our horses and brought them home. That was April of ’89, and we’ve been riding some part of this trail regularly ever since.

Back then this path wasn’t a public park. It was available to those who knew of it’s existence, but the old abandoned rail bed wasn’t used by more than a  handful of adventuresome folks and hunters who didn’t mind a bit of a trek and a challenge. Not that it was such tough going, but the sandy path was punctuated by two long expanses of trap rock that discouraged the passing of all but the most determined hiker or biker. By today’s standards I would think the trap rock would be a mountain biker’s dream, but from what I’ve seen they seem to want the experience of riding in the woods, but the ease of an uncluttered trail. Go figure.

I’d traversed this trail on foot, bike and horseback at least a thousand times when some lobbyist decided we should use our gas tax to “convert” this path into a public state Linear park, better known today as the Airline Trail. Oh goody. Literally overnight, the quiet little farm we worked tooth and nail to create was changed. The peace and quiet …. the sole reason we bought our home …. was gone. The remote location and deeply desired privacy vanished. Where we once marveled at our great fortune and foresight to live in such close proximity to a fabulous bridle and hiking path, we now cursed it’s nearby presence. And before you enthusiastically try to proclaim the obvious, which is to remind us of how lucky we are to have such easy access to this wonder of misspent tax dollars, please walk a mile in our shoes. Think for a few moments about what it’s like to suddenly have to live with a very public park in your back yard.

To combat my angst and frustration I use some part of the trail almost daily. I always used it before it was a state park and I refuse to punish myself by avoiding it now. I try my damnedest to pick a time when I think there will be a minimum of users about because frankly, I hate seeing anyone out there. I don’t want to nod a chipper “Hello,” or mutter a fake cheerful “Good morning!” each and every time I pass someone going the opposite way. I just want to mind my own business and enjoy the scenery, preferably one that’s not cluttered with bikes, dogs, baby carriages and loud, screaming children.

If I sound like a miserly curmudgeon, so be it. I feel an affection for this trail that borders on possessiveness. When people discard their litter on it, I’m appalled. When hikers let their dogs use it as a toilet, I’m annoyed. (And yes, should the inevitable happen I dismount and remove any road apples from the trail when I ride. Everyone in our small equine group does.) When the parks and trail committee decided this trail needed benches and bright blue metal picnic tables I was disgusted. So now one of the most rural, pristine sections of the old airline is peppered with man-made “improvements.”

I was out riding three weeks ago and took a detour off the main path to an area I hadn’t visited in a few years. It had changed little.  It was comforting to find the huge boulders, sandy landscape and canopy of trees that hugged the rocky flowing stream remained unchanged. That’s what I like about nature; reliability. A week later as I traversed a nearby trail, I heard the sound of heavy equipment. A steady rumble of diesel echoed off the steep walls of the ravine. I rode a little farther before I realized the location of the commotion was the area I’d visited the week before. I rode to a higher vantage point and peered down. Many trees had been cut down, a road built and an erosion barrier had been erected. Obviously, a project of sizable proportion was underway.

As the week progressed I watched the slow progress. From my lofty perch it was hard to tell exactly what was going on, but I had my suspicions. Mostly, I saw a half dozen or so hard-hatted workers sitting around chatting, while one guy ran an excavator. Friday I rode in that direction only to discover the trail was closed. Sawhorses with signs that said “Road Closed” prevented my passage and ahead, parked in the very spot where I had been viewing the slow progress, sat the largest crane I’d ever seen. I could feel the bile rise in the back of my throat. My trail, my woods are being changed. Again. Undoubtedly, some fool will eventually say to me, “They’ve been improved!” and I’ll have to resist the urge to slap them.

I took this picture on a damp, blustery fall day … a day when nobody thought the weather fit for hiking or biking.

All the better for me.


Fast and Furious

 

 

The rain finally wound down to a light drizzle so I grabbed the red dog and my camera and set out to shoot some of the local streams that are flowing. We’ve had an unusually snowy winter and a lot of rain the last two weeks so the rivers and streams are running fast. The footing is still pretty precarious and getting these pictures was a bit risky, but worth the effort. (I had to climb down the slick, steep bank on the right) I hope to have lots of opportunity to shoot some of our nearby rapids and falls … spring is just starting!

 

March 11, 2011 12:56 PM EST

Canon EOS 7D

ISO: 1oo, 24mm, 1/5 sec, f/18

Lens: EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

Lightroom: Contrast adj


Tucked Away

 

 

It was drizzling and foggy the day I took this and if the picture seems all yellows and greens, it’s because it was.

 

 

Oct 20, 2010 9:19 AM EST

ISO 400, 18mm, 1/160 sec, 1/500 sec, 1/50 sec, f/4.5

Lens: Canon Ef-S18-135 mmf/3.5-5-6 IS

PS5: HRD merge

 


Peace and Quiet

 

The last time I was out on this trail it looked like this. Given that I haven’t been able to even reach this trail let alone see it since January, I’m getting pretty excited to start hiking again. The only good thing about winter is that very few people try to hike this trail very far. You see, my house and barn sit only a couple hundred yards away from it and I can’t stand the traffic during the rest of the year. We’ve lived here since way before tree huggers lobbied to turn this (already public) trail into a linear state park. Not that our state needed more parks. Many nearby parks have either closed or offer no services (things like a simple trash can) because our state doesn’t have money in the budget for park upkeep. But people pushed for this old rail bed to be converted into a park anyway, so now what was once our nice quiet, remote little farm at the end of a dead-end road is like living in a fishbowl in the middle of Grand Central Station three seasons out of four. Oh, and while most people seem to think this trail was a great idea (Read as: free) they don’t realize that a good portion of our state gas tax goes toward it for improvements, upkeep and continued expansion. Since our current price at the pump has exceeded $3.60 I’m wondering how great that idea seems now? Frankly, I’d much rather be able to afford a tank of gas or home heating oil than pay for “improvements” for a trail that …. well, was ALREADY a trail.

 

Right now it’s still quiet, like the calm right before a storm. Soon, I’ll be awakened by people yelling at my horses and at each other as they bike, hike and jog past my property. The traffic will be almost constant during the daylight hours, especially on the weekends. As soon as we change our time back my peace and tranquility will be over  …  before I really even get a chance to get outside and enjoy it myself.

 

 

Oct 17, 2010 7:46 AM. EST.

Canon EOS 7D

ISO: 400, 30mm, 1/50 sec, f/16

Lens: Canon EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

Lightroom3: Contrast/brightness adj


Rapunzel, Rapunzel

 

 

This is a picture of an old tower or silo that I took just before I got booted off the property. I would have liked to have tried to get a couple of shots at different angles, but I had to leave before I got the chance to poke around much. A blue sky would have been nice too. I’m sure there’s a way to Photoshop a nicer sky into the background, but that’s beyond my capabilities. I also have no idea what is causing the purple stripe just below the branch in the upper left-hand corner, but I nearly drove myself nuts trying to fix it … to no avail. I finally said, “screw it” and decided to blog the picture as-is. *Shrug*

 

Oct 20, 2010. 9:25 AM

ISO:400, 26mm, 1/1000 sec, f/4.5

Lens: Canon EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

PS5: HDR toning

 

 


Twinkle, Twinkle

The piles of snow have melted and compacted some, but they’re still as hard as rocks. The landscape twinkles and sparkles in the sunlight, but my back yard and lower pasture could be converted into a bobsled course with very little effort.

 

Feb 3, 2011. 8:12 AM EST.

Canon EOS 7D

ISO: 100, 18mm, 1/320 sec, f/6.3

Lens: EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

Lightroom 3: Brightness/contrast adj.

 


Falling

 

 

I was outside after a big snowfall and snapped this picture as a large clump of fresh powder fell from a limb. Usually I’m standing right under the tree when this happens and all the snow goes down the back of my neck, but this time I got lucky and I caught it with my camera instead!

 

 

Jan 13, 2011. 9:04 AM EST.

Canon EOS 7D

ISO: 160, 70mm, 1/1600 sec, f/4.0.

Lens: Tamron 70-200

PS5: HDR toning