Friday, October 24, 2014

Toys and Animals...just fun and crazy

Sure, why not?  Put a stuffed animal in the pasture to see the reaction of any of our Dexter Cattle.

And then wait.

WhoDunnit was more curious than the others.  Bunny came over and gave the toy a once over before she went on to grazing, but this guy was really curious.

Then there is the other aspect.  Posing very non-posable toys to interact and using a timed exposure to show running water....

This is so much fun.

The hard part will be putting the story together and making it work with the photos.

Now I have to get Morris out and get some shots!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

In my Child's Inner Eye....

The leaves are just about all gone.
On the steep valley sides the oaks cling to their leaves.

My intention yesterday of course was to visit Tainter Hollow and Tainter Creek to get some beautiful late afternoon shots.

However, in my bag of goodies in the back seat, I had some characters from the new Morris Adventure Books.  Some 'wandering' Hedgehogs and The Wise Ol' Frog.

Hmm, I'm near water.
I have the Toys, I have the camera equipment.

I am totally alone in this remote area.

So, I decided to have some fun.

Those Hedgehogs sure know how to get into things.  In fact as I was 'shooting' the two little 'hogs' talking with The Wise Ol' Frog in the creek, a gust of wind tossed one of them into the water.

Lucky me, I caught it and it was not staged.

So now of course, it has to be part of the book somehow.

I almost felt silly placing the little Hedgehogs in the middle of the road and then squatting to try and get a neat photo.

What if someone had come along?  

Well, I would have heard them from a pretty fair distance and would have scooped them up and whisked them back to the Subaru.

The Creek was quite beautiful and I hope to get back and get some more shots in different lighting conditions. 

In case you are wondering there is a fair amount of editing for the 'book' photos.

Here is a sample of what I was working on in PSP X6 ... [sorry Adobe, I am not paying you per month to use your program!]

I separate the characters in each photo generally and give them an edit so they will stand out from the backround of the scene they are in.

I want them to look like toys, but the scenery to have a slightly 'drawn' or slightly imaginative look to it.

Working with Morris in scenes always adds a bit of the unknown.
I hope to get that part done fairly soon.

The story has already begun in my head and yet the photos and the characters may take the story in another avenue that I wasn't prepared for.

That is the beauty of creativity.

“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.” ~~Madeleine L'Engle

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Morris & I go looking...

We love looking and searching and hiking.  Yesterday it was time to return to the creek bottom and visit the last few breaths of fall.
[It was 28 degrees this morning!]

The leaves were coming down like rainfall.

The afternoon was a bit cool and breezy and it was getting late, but we decided to go for a hard and fast hike.

Though when we got to the creek, of...course we got side tracked.

Morris had to 'water' every log and stick he could find.
After all, it is his territory. Or so he thinks.

The hateful Japanese Barberry plant is quite beautiful in the fall and winter.  The berries and foliage are stunning in colors.
But they crowd out other plants.

The reflections of the trees on the hillside were incredible.

For a while I stopped and sat on a log in the water.
I was able to see a Tiger Trout.  The distinctive markings on the fins were bright.
They weren't large, but they did let me catch a glimpse of them before they disappeared under the banks and into to other dark places.

The creek is incredibly clear.  Can you see where the water surface is?  Hint the colored leaves are floating on top.

Winter will change the look of this area drastically.  But we've had a fairly dry fall so the creek is pretty low here.

Finally, with daylight fading, Morris and I headed back home. We had supper to cook and chores to help out with.

Although we were greeted by a beautiful scene provided by the donkeys not far from the feeder.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fall is fading

Fall is fading but that is normal for this time of the year.

However, some of the colors hang on in the oaks and maples.
The other morning the fog was very thick in the valleys.

After living here for nearly 20 years, I know that the fog will generally rise to the ridge tops after the sun has risen.
Sometimes...not always!

So I took a gamble and went out to find what might be a good spot to watch over the valley.

However Mother Nature was not co-operating with me.  She insisted on bringing in the fog faster and thicker than I thought she should.

So I did what some photographers like to do...if the view in front isn't good, then turn around and see what is happening.

Riley road seemed to disappear off the edge of the earth!

I figured the morning would be a wash so I started home and the sun took that moment to break through layers of fog.

This is the same spot only looking back east.

Then I headed out the ridge further.

After I took this, the fog socked me in and I knew that I wouldn't get any more good shots.

So I headed home and imagine my surprise after the fog cleared about an hour later.

Stunning blue skies with pure white clouds.  I shot this looking up at the birch trees near the bottom of our driveway.

And the day turned out to be incredibly beautiful!

Today however I intend to take a trip to the valley and see what the creek has to offer and what colors and interesting things that Morris and I can find there.

Fall is fading and we are moving into the 'brown' season as I call it.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


The skies were dull grey but there was a hint of sun ... as if the light was trying to penetrate the dark heavy clouds, but I wasn't sure which would win.

I decided to ask Morris if he'd like to go look for 'things' in the woods.
Of course he never ever refuses.

Not even in the rain.
He will refuse to go out to his potty spot if it is raining hard...but not to go for a walk with me.

What an odd dog.

I chose the 50mm lens for a few reasons.  It is a fast lens ... meaning in low light you can still take hand held shots just like this without getting camera shake.

The colors on the forest floor were quite beautiful.

So many things to discover after 2 3/4 inches of rain for the previous few days.

One of the odd things we found was a huge 'jelly' fungi!

I think the rain really helped this one along!

The colors of the birches showed up nicely with the muted sky.

In a way I find this time of year very exciting.  It is a race to grab the beauty of fall as it quickly changes day to day.

Even as the peak fades, wonderful colors show up.

The bright green grass has not yet faded to brown and the forest in places is holding on desperately to its leaves.

By the way, the calf peeking around the corner is WhoDunnit, our only bull calf.

The grey mule walking in another pasture is Mica.  I couldn't get enough of the colors that bordered their pasture.

And a view from one pasture into another....

The colors are hanging on just barely.

This morning there is supposed to be some dense fog in the river valley areas.
I always find that this makes for very interesting sunrise photos.

I can still see stars to the east in the upper sky.

Down in my hollow, the fog is starting to build.

It should be an interesting morning.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Archery ~ addressed years later...

I like to Target Practice and with ammo for my .22 so difficult to get, I thought I'd go back to archery.

I found this Youth Compound Bow that does not have a huge heavy pull on it and decided to pick it up.  

I've been having trouble with rabbits this past summer getting into the garden and destroying a lot of our goodies.

Morris was good at finding rabbit nests and getting rid of a few by digging them out.

So I thought I'd take a beaten up squash about the size of a rabbit and see if...

I could shoot it from a short distance.

...and I was able to just begin to get some feel for the bow after a couple of hours of shooting.

I have to work on consistency for my draw of course and watch a few 'training' videos.
But I am enjoying it a lot.

I can target shoot and shoot and re-use the same ammo over and over.

Archery teaches patience and consistency along with discipline.  I think it is a great out door sport.

I suppose if I ever get good enough I could use it for getting rid of varmints ... but that remains to be seen.

A friend of mine told me to practice shooting while riding a mule.
Hey, there are all sorts of possibilities!
But first things first.
Practice, Practice, Practice.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Afternoon in Paradise

I took Morris for a walk up on the ridge.

We've had three killer frosts in a row, everything in the garden is done done, done...

I found out that the mules love the sunflowers. They eat the heads and chew on the stalks.  
Good thing as we had so many of them we weren't sure what we were going to do with them all.

The afternoon sun was so warm that I was tempted to just lay down in the yard and soak up the warmth.  A nap would have been perfect.

However the day was taken up with making sure my recyclables were all tidied up and taken to the town recycle center.

On the way over I couldn't help but stop and take a photo of this tree.
[edited for textures]

Tonight's forecast is for rain starting and carrying on for a few days.

Well that doesn't make me smile.  But we have had a wonderful week of gorgeous days and cold nights.
The colors are quickly fading and if we get heavy rain, the leaves will come off even faster.