Tuesday, March 31, 2009

334 - Toys

All I can say is, I'm glad I didn't spend a lot (or any) money on this little cat tree with the toy puffball on top! Took the furricanes less than 12 hours to change it from the photo at left to the photo at right. Hard to believe they're sweet little cat children when they're in my lap or on my shoulder . . .

(I got the unfortunate cat tree on Freecycle.org, where you can join a local group, and get things you want or need--if you're lucky, and fast!--or get rid of things you don't want, but don't want to add to a landfill! As the name suggests, there's no buying or selling. Everything is free, and the one receiving is responsible for picking it up. I did, however, get a pallet and a half of bricks, with the young man nice enough to deliver and help me unload them!)

Monday, March 30, 2009

106 - Food, Glorious Food!

Well, OK, it's not people food. But the cats think it's the "cat's meow"! It's the only thing that keeps me from becoming cat food myself. I've 14 of the furry felines flitting around, two of which weigh 14 pounds apiece. They could gang up on me! This little selection at suppertime (plus free-fed dry food at breakfast time) keeps me safe from small carnivores. (And it's their hair on my keyboard. Sneaky little things. I wondered who ordered that case of lobster FedEx'd to my house!)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

62 - Computer

My link to sanity during wet, dreary days. (Notice the wisdom of historical figures--some of whom I've never heard of--plastered all over the thing! These are the ones my cat Shadowolf hasn't yet discovered and plucked off! He has a thing about adhesives . . . yum! Weird cat!)

Do NOT look at this full size. That is NOT cat hair between the keys of the keyboard. It's NOT! (OK, it is. sigh)

Sun was out today. Will be tomorrow, too. Tomorrow's Friday for me. My mood's getting better, can you tell??

Saturday, March 28, 2009

249 - Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Well, after getting 5 1/2" two weeks ago, it still hadn't dried out--the surface was dry, but underneath was not. We got another 1 1/2" this past week, and the barn flooded--again. That's twice in March that I've had to move horses to the center aisle of the barn to keep them dry! Ladyhawk's stall is 4" underwater. Normally, it's just wet inside when it floods, but this time, there's water standing. Means a big cleanup when the water goes down and I can get around with the wheelbarrow (and it gets warm enough for me to want to do that!)

This shot is the top of my gardening table in the back yard. I thought the texture (read: dirt) on the tabletop with the rings from the raindrops was pretty cool, so I brought my trusty D80 to see if I could capture the look. This is the result. (Look at it full sized to see the jumping droplets! They were a happy surprise--I couldn't see them with my bare {aging} eyes.)

Friday, March 27, 2009

250 - Rainbow

OK! OK! Obviously this was taken a couple of weeks ago, when the sun was shining. (I can barely remember what that looks like anymore!) A windy, sunshiney day. I thought it was kind of cool the way the water drops and spray are suspended in mid-air. It wasn't until I got it on my computer screen that I noticed it had just the slightest hint of a rainbow on the bottom left side of the fountain spray.

360 - Who Put That There?

I'll never understand why people throw trash out of a car window. Why litter up the whole world? I saw this piece of whatever-it-is floating (just out of reach) at the edge of a pond. Sad commentary on the thoughtlessness of our species. (In case you were wondering, it's been raining again, day 4!) (sigh)

Playing catch up again! I was just too tired yesterday to post anything. Just found out the foal I'm expecting May 1 is going to be a high risk birth, due to a type of grass I found growing in my pasture. Fescue sure causes a lot of problems. (It cost me a full brother to this foal in 2006--I'm desperately hoping not to repeat that experience this year! Lost the baby, almost lost Ladyhawk. Don't want to come that close again!!)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

319 - Teeth

These are a few of the baby teeth lost by my horses as they matured, and found by me. Two in feed troughs, and one in the dirt. Big teeth for such little guys!

Don't get grossed out, now!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

350 - Wall

Back to yesterday's pet peeve story. Man made ponds, man made road, man made retaining wall. Artistic. Unnatural, but made of mostly natural materials. I have mixed feelings about this. They made it look nice, and the ponds attract water birds (at least until all the houses are built and filled), but they had to do an awful lot just to build the ponds to hold the water, which includes a lot of runoff from the land. When they get the lawns laid, how many chemicals will go into the runoff from the landscape maintainance? What will that do to the birds?
We're seeing animals that normally people in "civilization" wouldn't see. Coyotes, bobcats, etc. They are forced to come into more populated areas to hunt. They are trying to survive, too. But sometimes I see them killed on the road. And sometimes I see them (coyotes, anyway) with their citified catch for dinner: someone's pet cat or small dog. At least, dumped animals don't last long enough to starve out here. They become coyote poop in short order!

Sorry about the rant. (Something tells me I'm not in a great mood today. Raining again. Ugh!)
It'll be better later. I think I'll go out on the porch and get a "Rain, Rain, Go Away" theme shot! My camera always improves my mood!

188 - Monuments or Memorials

This is a monument of sorts, a monument by a housing construction company to themselves. A monument to their pride in destroying what used to be farmland so they could profit from the ridiculously large homes they are putting on small lots (bigger lots than in town, though--those you could mow with a pair of scissors!). How long before there's no farmland left? All of our food will come from foreign companies. What would that do for our homeland security, then? (Sorry, this is one of my pet peeves!)

I'm playing catch up on this one. I was just too tired last night to even turn on the computer, so I'm doing yesterday's and today's today. (Confused yet?)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

224 - Pampered

Show animals, be they dogs, horses, sheep, or whatever, are such a pampered lot. Just look! This lamb even has her own cell phone. I can hear her now:

"Hello, McDonald's? I want a to go order of fresh corn, and a pound of alfalfa. You don't have alfalfa?!? Well, then, how about some crimped oats . . . ?"

Saturday, March 21, 2009

333 - Tower

This is the water tower in the great little town of Lucas, TX, where my husband and I got married. (Our 36th anniversary is one month from tomorrow!) I can't believe we've tolerated each other this long! Not sure who had the tougher job of it! lol

Checking out Blogs

I've not had more than a few minutes a day at the computer of late--too much going on! I have tried tonight to catch up on some of the Challenge blogs, but for some reason my computer (more likely the broadband connection) is very slow, so after an hour and a half of viewing and commenting on maybe 10 blogs, I give up for the night. I will try again tomorrow!

I really miss when I can't check the blogs out! I just love everyone's pictures, whether or not I leave a comment. You guys are great! And a very talented bunch of photographers!

Friday, March 20, 2009

313 - Swim

I haven't had a chance to get out with my camera lately, so this is another photo of one of the ducks I happened on at the park. He was sure giving me the eye, but that's OK: I was giving it back. He's just so beautiful! (Somehow I don't think that's what he was saying. lol) I'm going to try to get back out with the camera next week, so there will be a few "in hand" photos until then! Happy Spring, everybody!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

354 - Water's Edge

These are on the north end of the same pond where I found the "Curvy" heron (egret?). I'm not sure what they are, but to me they look an awful lot like some kind of Swamp Thing coming out of the water. Look out! Everybody run! (Not the most attractive thing to plant, at least in the winter!)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

358 - What's Inside?

I saw this hole in a ditch when I was picking up some nylon mesh (the kind they use to lay grass seed on bare ground, embedded in fiber to keep it from washing away before it can sprout--the whole thing is woven through a fine nylon mesh, but the mesh is a hazard for birds and fish). I picked up eight large pieces of the stuff that the wind was about to blow into the water of a pond. Not exactly environmentally friendly stuff, and yet it helps prevent erosion (from construction, so it's a case of causing a problem while solving a problem: typical human conundrum!)
I wonder what lives in there? Crawdad? Frog? Snake? (Big snake!) It's about 2" in diameter, so whatever it is, it's sizey! (New word--I just made it up!)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

72 - Curvy

I caught this fellow as I was trying for photos of a great blue heron. The heron was definitely more cautious about humans, because a boy walking on the shore scared that one off. This one watched him, but never moved an inch. So I settled for the white heron (egret???). He's the same size as the great blue, and they were close together. I had hoped for some shots of the two together, but it was not to be (yet, anyway). I thought "Curvy" was a fitting description of his neck as he preened.


OK, Ron, you asked for it! Here's the 6th photo in the 6th folder. (Did you know I'm the only person at my work who can show pictures of a**es and not get in trouble for it? Not just my own, either! These belong to a lady in Brenham, TX, who raises miniature donkeys and miniature Zebu cattle.)

(The photo's not too clear, as it's a scan of an old 35mm.)

Monday, March 16, 2009

30 - Box

This is a new church built on the route I take to work. Seems to me like they had a very unimaginative architect. It feels far more institutional than welcoming! (All it lacks is the razor wire around the perimeter!)

I started to use this as "Places of Worship" theme, but I thought "Box" fit it better. (I only hope their religious practices aren't as confined as this building makes me feel every time I look at it.)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

311 - Sunrise, Sunset . . .

FINALLY, it has stopped raining! This past week we got 5 1/2". My driveway's flooded, my yard's flooded, my pasture's flooded, and worst of all, half the barn flooded. I've got horses living in the barn aisle (wow, isn't that convenient) until their stalls dry out enough to rebed with fresh shavings. It'll likely be Wednesday or Thursday before that'll happen!

We needed the rain, but, jeez!!

On the bright side, the sky was absolutely breathtaking as the clouds were thinning out at sundown. This is not a silver lining. It's a gold plating!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

213 - Orange

This guy was looking for crumbs, I suspect, as he kept coming closer and closer to me. I was amazed at how bright an orange his feet and legs were! I always thought the green head and brown/grey body were beautiful. I had never noticed those legs before, though. Wonder how I could have missed that!

Friday, March 13, 2009

6 - Abstract

Something as simple as a pile of baling twine, taken off of large round bales of hay, can turn into a piece of artwork (if you squint hard enough!). This is probably a couple of years' worth of hay fed to the non-photo-friendly cows mentioned a day or two ago. I thought it made an interesting abstract picture. Let me know whether or not you agree.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

300 - Spring

Nothing says spring like the awakenings of the redbud trees! Such shades of red, pink, and purple all rolled into one. Unfortunately, the depth and richness of the color doesn't seem to translate to the web. (Probably, I just don't know what I'm doing.)
I saw this little "garden" planted at the end of a median in a housing addition. What a wonderful combination of colors and heights! I just had to stop and snap a few! Ah, spring is on its way! (Finally.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

266 - Rusted

This is an old block and tackle at a farm where I went yesterday to photograph cattle (uncooperative cattle, I might add--I wanted cow faces, but except for two, I got cow posteriors--not pretty!). I thought it would fit the theme "Rusted" just right.

If you checked here earlier today, you're not going crazy. I was not at all satisfied with the previous post "Orange" for today, so I changed it. I like this much better!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Free Title #2: Two Bits A Shave

A sneak peak of the show preparations that go on before even the smallest horse goes into the ring. A close shave, and some gloss (clear for light skins, black for dark ones) to accentuate the muzzle and the eyes. That's one of maybe 50 reasons I don't show my horses in halter (other than hating to show). Just more work than it's worth to me!

Taken through a cracked open stall door at a Miniature Horse show. (That's the sides of the door opening, and the edge of the door. No vignette added!)

A very patient little horse!

Monday, March 9, 2009

326 - Things With Wings

These are European Grackles, a rather invasive species of bird. They have just about taken over here, and the Mockingbird, Cardinal, and Blue Jay populations are declining because of them. They are opportunists, and will eat other birds' eggs and babies. Their voices sound like rusty hinges, loud and creaky. They are aggressive -- I've seen one grab a sparrow by the wing and pound it against the ground! Only human intervention (mine) kept him from killing the little bird! Yet, they seem to be devoted mates: One male whose mate lay dead by the sidewalk (probably a hit-by-car victim), kept a vigil by her side for hours. He left her only when someone walked by, and returned after the human was gone. He did not abandon her until sundown, when it was time to go roost with the others.

The ones in the photo are doing their post-bath grooming, having had a good time splashing in the nearby pond. They may be obnoxious, but they're clean!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

362 - Windows

This is what happens to (cheap) miniblinds when a litter of nearly grown kittens decide to use them to rappel up and down the window. I don't know what possessed me to take this picture from the back yard, but I guess it will work for this theme!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Friday, March 6, 2009

328 - Tie the Knot

I'm sneaking in one more Stock Show photo. (No guarantee there won't be another one here and there--I had fun!) This is a good way to store a leadrope, keep it from getting stolen (too much trouble to figure out how to untie it), and give oneself a feeling of security about the safety of one's horse (delusional as it may be). Thought it would be a fitting theme for "Tie the Knot," since I'm not likely to have my camera at a wedding any time soon! (Notice the glimpse of the golden Palomino inside.) I got more than my share of strange looks from Stock Show exhibitors that day. Passing up the lovely mare cross-tied just behind me for a shot of a leadrope certainly qualified me (in their eyes--and mine!) as certifiable! lol

Not the best in focus, but I was on aperture priority, and the shutter speed was mighty slow in the shadow of the barn. It improved with a bit of high pass sharpening, but . . .

Thursday, March 5, 2009

55 - Clouds

I saw these unusual clouds (with the eye hole) yesterday as the sun was setting. I ran in for my camera, and missed the best light. I had time for half a dozen shots before the light faded enough that this formation was no longer visible. Looks like a dragon's eye to me--you can even see the texture of his skin! (OK, so my imagination runs to the, umm, unusual.) Except for a small increase of contrast, this is almost SOOC.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

4 - A Pair of . . .

Back to the little park in Allen, because I saw this pair of Mallards swimming around. They were most obliging of me and my camera! Came within a few feet of me. (Someone's been feeding them, I'd bet.) I used up an entire 4GB card, between the ducks and the grackles! What fun!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

259 - Repeating Pattern

Grooming tools in one of the feed stores around here. (These are for show cattle mostly.) A lot of 4-H'ers and FFA'ers come here for feed and supplies. I thought the rows of metal handles, especially, was kinda interesting.

Monday, March 2, 2009

16 - Award

These horsehead figures hold up photographs of previous wins for some of the farm's miniature horses (not my farm, darn it).  Just look at the rows of blue ribbons in one photo, and blue, red, and yellow ones in the other!  Award winners, for sure!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

341 - Two

One last picture of Kittyhawk (for now), with her mother Ladyhawk.  Different colors, but my, do they look alike!  Kitty looks just like mama did at that age.  

I used the best possible way to get a horse's attention:  food!  They're waiting for their promised treats.  I'm pleased to have gotten a shot of them together like this!  I couldn't resist posting it for this theme.  (And yes, this one probably looks familiar, as it was in the group of photos of Kittyhawk and Mustang I posted the other day!  I decided I'd rather have it here, so I moved it and replaced it with Kittyhawk's "sexy" look. lol)