Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Horses, Horses and some Donkeys

Lorelei invited me to come along the other day and photograph some horses.  I was excited and scared all at once.  I've never spent much time around horses and I have a memory from childhood burned into my brain of a girl getting bitten on the cheek.  I can still see the giant welt, teeth marks and all.  :(

 But how can I turn down horses in such a beautiful setting?

The horses were kept in 3 different corrals and were segregated by age - yearlings, two year olds and brood mares.  Each corral had an adorable donkey in it.  We found out later the donkeys were in there as cougar bait - they are the slowest and smallest so in case of cougar attack, they'd be the first to go.  :( Fortunately they haven't had any cougar attacks since they added the donkeys so no donkeys have been harmed (yet).

We started at the yearlings and worked our way up through the ages.  The yearlings were friendly, and curious but a little hand shy.  They wanted to be near you, but they didn't want to be touched.  I tried to give them some apples and carrots and they were kind of excited by it, but couldn't figure out what to do with it.

The two year olds were even more friendly and curious and once they'd had a good sniff, you could scratch them.

In fact they were so friendly and curious it was hard to get photos of them.  I felt like the pied piper out there - everywhere I went I had a small following.  Heaven forbid I crouch down to get a photo...

Photo by Lorelei Hoffarth
It was actually amazing that it wasn't a 360 degree surrounding above, that is normally what it felt like at least.

Other times you'd be snapping away and suddenly your lens would be fogged up because some horse is investigating and breathing all over it.  LOL

Like everything in photography, a new subject takes a bit to get used to and the horses were no exception.  I couldn't predict how my actions would affect those of the horses.  I would see something I wanted to photograph, try and move into place but my movements would affect the horses.

So I ended up with lots of goofy shots, and not as many beautiful and majestic ones like I had originally anticipated.  But that's OK.  I don't mind goofy.  :)

Riding on a donkey.  :)

The brood mares were the most confident.  After failing in the last two corrals to give out treats, I didn't even try with these ones until I caught one of them digging in my pocket.  The donkey was particularly a fan of the yummies.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Project Life - Week 4

Currently Reading - 20/365
Today we snowshoed up to Wall Lake so I was reading sign posts all the way up.  It was an almost 14 km round trip - here we are 4 kms in.

This is obviously not a visual masterpiece, but it is a great reminder of what we did today. Taken with the GoPro on a chest harness. I had to kneel to get the picture as the post is half buried in the snow.

Dream - 21/365
Growing up I wanted to be lots of things - a vet, a pet store owner (I even went so far as to figure out all the things I would need to buy for my store) and a farmer's wife.

It cracks me up and saddens me at the same time that I wanted to be a farmer's wife and not the farmer. I don't think it occurred to me that a farmer could be a woman.  Who has read a childhood book that featured a female farmer?  Obviously not me.

Makes Me Smile - 22/365
I thought today would be super easy.  It turns out it was really hard!  Lots of things make me smile and it was hard picking just one thing!

Vito however, never fails to make me smile.  He gives great hugs, he has the cutest smile, and best of all, he loves Lacey with all his heart and she loves him right back.  With Lacey's rather "bitchy" personality (sorry not sure how else to word her savage side) it is so nice to see her playing and wrestling.  She doesn't get the chance to do it very often any more.

Transparent - 23/365
Well this was way harder to do than I expected. It didn't help that I was freezing and had to keep taking my mitten off to take pictures with the iPad!

I couldn't get rid of the reflection on the iPad (but that shows that it is authentic and not photoshopped) and I had trouble getting the right exposure on the iPad (which is something I always struggle with for the phone too) but I helped it a bit in post processing.

Faux - 24/365
Marlin has the worst fake smile of anyone I've ever met.  If you can't get him to smile naturally, you make as well not even take a picture.

Real - 25/365
Real Joy.  This is why I love my dogs so much.  They are able to live in the moment and take things as they come.

Guest - 26/365
The only room that ever stays clean in our house is the guest room.  We keep the door closed at all times but the moment we open it, everyone runs into the "forbidden area".

If we (or a guest) leave the door open accidentally, we are guaranteed to find a cat cozied up on the bed.

And as Sarah pointed out - it is only fitting that Jack was my model as he was only ever intended to be a short term guest.  :)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Family W

Family walks are my favourite kind.  We usually go somewhere a little further from home and the change and the company is wonderful.  Today we went out to our very favourite dog park ever in Fort MacLeod.  We can't understand why none of the locals ever walk their dogs here, but I hope it stays that way!

Marlin posed this week for me as part of my 365 project.  The word of the day was "Faux".  I'll give you one guess as to what is faux about him.  LOL

It wasn't cold, but the snow was hard so Coulee was decked out in footwear.

Coulee was WILD today.  It had been a few days since her last walk and it showed.  She ran around like a crazy dog while we did our best to protect Lacey from impromptu "beat downs".

Shortly after the above photo was taken she was rolling around in the snow, went to stand up and yelped. We aren't sure what happened but she would not put her foot down for about 5 minutes and she was in obvious pain - whimpering, trying to snuggle in to me, tail tucked, etc.  We started to head straight back to the car - Coulee hobbling the whole way - when suddenly she started walking normally. Her tail came up, her face relaxed and all was right again.  I'm not sure if she popped something out of joint or what. We got back to the car a few minutes later and she was totally fine so we decided to keep going.  She showed no signs of discomfort for the rest of the walk, but she wasn't running around like crazy any more.

Marlin kept trying to hit me with snowballs.

I cracked out the lensbaby at the end of the walk.  We never put the boot back on the sore foot/leg.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Walk With Vito

 He never fails to make me smile.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Project Life 365 - Week 3

Yikes.  This is almost becoming a weekly blog!  I've felt busier than usual since Christmas.  Constantly scrambling, nothing ever really getting completed.  I'm not sure what is different (other than this project), or how to fix it.  This weekend probably isn't going to help as Friday night I went and had some fun photographing a basketball game, then Saturday I spent the day taking in a photography workshop on editing and today I'm meeting my Dad and his wife Shelley in Waterton for a snowshoe.  (Can you just say snowshoe, the way you say hike?  Feels weird, yet right.)

Anyway, here are my pictures from the week.  I like looking at them all together because it shows me that I'm actually doing a variety of subjects even though it doesn't always feel that way.  I've had some more fun with the Lensbaby on days 15 and 17. I'm still struggling with focusing it but I'm getting better. :)

Day 13 - Forgotten
I've forgotten what it is like to sleep soundly through the night.  Luckily for me, I can usually fall asleep again fairly easily.

Day 14 - Temptation
I didn't really want to admit what all my vices were, so I decided to torture Coulee with hers instead.  I'm going to try this again one day.  I really wish you could have seen her face, but she refused to lay down on top of the kibble. Next time, I'll arrange the kibble after she is in a down stay.

Day 15 - Confusion
Ears up or ears down?

Day 16 - Sign of Winter
Wool and fur, don't leave home without it.

I have mixed feelings about the fur, just like I have mixed feelings about eating meat, but I feel it is OK if I am putting it to good use and provided it is obtained ethically.  On those really cold blustery days, this small amount around my face really does make a huge difference.  If you are interested in the fur policy of this particular jacket manufacturer you can find out more here - http://www.canada-goose.com/cp-faq/fur-policy-what-is-your-fur-policy/

Day 17 - This is so me
I'm one of those people that actually like rules. I think rules help make the world go round.

I even like the "Pets on Leash" rule which may surprise you as I constantly break it - but I only break it when we are alone. The dogs always wear emergency leashes around their necks and they both have a pretty decent recall in case they need to suddenly be on leash.

One of my biggest pet peeves is dogs running off leash when they should be leashed.  Ironic, I know.  But if I can see it happening, it means we are too close and the dogs should be leashed.

Day 18 - News
The sports news is the one section I'll skip completely in the newspaper.  Although I quite enjoy watching sports live, and I'm really enjoying photographing basketball, I don't actually care who wins as long as it is entertaining.

Day 19 - Style
No one would ever describe me as stylish.  I'm a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl.  Plain Jane and boring.  That's me. But I did find a pink rubber belt that I love.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Mini Outtakes

A little while ago I discovered that there were Cuz cat toys.  They are sooo cute! 

Unfortunately cat toys don't really work in our house as Coulee LOVES little toys and they really aren't safe for her.  But the word of the day on Saturday was "mini" so I couldn't resist.  

I had fun again with the Lensbaby Spark and Jack being Jack tried to be helpful. What you can't see is Coulee down below waiting to pounce on the toys when they drop.

Jack loves to watch things fall.  Seriously. He knocks them off then just watches them fall - he doesn't chase them.  He just moves on to the next object.  It amused me to no end, that he tried to push the big one off and couldn't.  

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Project Life 365 - Week 2

This was a fun week.  The novelty of the project hasn't worn off yet. :) Most of these were preplanned shots although some of them were plans "b" or "c".

January 6 - Still Life
We saw this girl in Waterton trying to blend into the scenery and not be spotted.

January 7 - Simple
It's the simple things in life that make me happy.  A warm blanket, a good book and a contented dog at my feet.

January 8 - Front Door
I was asking Amanda if she knew of any cool doors in town for today's word and she suggested the dog house!  Love it!

Max's family (the dog in the photo) donated this to the daycare because he never used it.  Which is funny, because he often lounges around on top of it at the daycare.  He was willing to hang out inside of it, provided I passed over the yummy cookie in my hand.  I think it worked out well for the both of us.

I wish I had pulled back just a smidgen in this photo and while I have pictures that show more of the house, this was the one where I liked Max's expression the best.

January 9 - Drawer
You don't start a small business for the money.  It is always a labour of love.

January 10 - Game
Growing up we played a lot of cards.  While we still bring them out occasionally, we rarely sit down and have a game these days.

January 11 - Signature
This image of Coulee literally became my "signature" when I got it turned into a logo.  It is also kind of a "signature shot" for the two of us.  We've got our system down pat - I can throw the toy AND take the picture.

This isn't quite what I had originally planned but Marlin picked up the Lensbaby Spark that I had ordered this afternoon so I had to try it out in the house tonight.  This is actually a magnet on our fridge.

January 12 - Mini
Coulee's favourite toy on earth is a Cuz toy and the smaller the better.  We let her play with what we call a "baby cuz" which is at least twice as big as the one pictured above.  The mini one above is actually a cat toy.  Coulee wants it.  Desperately.

The giant one on the bottom though?  She couldn't care less.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Snowshoeing - Part II

You'd think from the lack of blogging that I hadn't been taking pictures.  That couldn't be further from the truth.  I've been having so much fun taking pictures, I haven't had time to do anything with them after the fact!

I didn't take any pictures until we got to the top. It is too much of a pain to stop, get the camera out, take a picture and put it all away again while standing in the middle of the trail.

Once we got to the top we let the dogs run free for a bit.

The dogs usually hang out with Marlin when he gets ahead and I stay behind to take pictures, but they occasionally come back to check on me.  :)

This is why Coulee wearing the gopro under her neck is a pain!.  See all that snow?

Lacey was decked out in every piece of Ruffwear gear she owns.  LOL.  I made her carry some water. Not that anybody drank anything.

She can never resist a good roll.

I discovered a cuz toy in the pocket of the coat that I rarely wear.  Lacey managed to get it once and would NOT let go.  Much to Coulee's horror.

Marlin was having fun with his new binoculars.

Me and the girls played a bit more on the frozen lake, then leashed up and headed home.