Tuesday, June 30, 2009

239 - Power

I know you're thinking "Power? Ducks? How do those two things go together????"

Here's how: Ducks are deceptively calm on the water. We see a serene bird gliding effortlessly across the water's surface.

What's real is that their feet are pedaling with great speed and force (if they're in a hurry, that is), and only rarely do you get to see and to realize just how much they are working below the surface for that "effortless" propulsion!

I chose this photo because behind the duck, you can see a bit of his pedal power, water churning, like a mini inboard motor on a boat, a bit of whitewater and a flashing orange leg. Seemingly serene, but peddling like hell below the surface!

Monday, June 29, 2009

32 - Boy

I've no idea what the next door neighbor's son was watering down with his Super Soaker. Probably some unfortunate insect got an unexpected shower.

This little guy is usually well watched after by his mom. Apparently he escaped the close confines of her ever-watchful eyes just long enough to sneak out back for a bit. Shortly after I took this photo, she came looking for him and took him back inside. (He's 3.)

I was wondering how I would be able to get a decent shot of some male immature human (a terrifying species to me), and this was an opportunity I couldn't pass up! From the safety of my pickup truck (I just got home from errands.), I managed to get this single photo of the local human wildlife, and escape unharmed. Whew!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

205 - Obsession

This is the focus of my world! My little horses. They are my hobby, my friends, my entertainment, my sanity! Obsession? Oh, no! (Not much.)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

203 - Numbers

Is this a happy medium? Eight and a half years ago, gas was under $1.00 a gallon. Last year, it was over $4.00. A couple of months ago it was just under $2.00, but began to climb again. Now, though, it's hovering around $2.50. Too high? Too low? Maybe a "happy" medium. (I can remember pulling out of a station without buying gas because it was just TOO expensive . . . at 39¢ a gallon!)

BTW: Why doesn't anyone round up when quoting gas prices? That little 9 to the right of the dollars and cents numbers means 9/10's. Seems to me that's closer to $2.43 and $2.50 than the number we see. Wouldn't it make sense to say (and think), "Oh, $2.43 a gallon!"? Even a penny a gallon makes a difference. My truck holds 24 gallons. Four fill-ups and that's almost a dollar! (I still see $2.42, too!) Those little numbers we forget about add up, too!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

342 - Underneath

In this 101ºF heat, even the birds are seeking relief! This grackle found a bit of shade underneath a car in a parking lot. It's hot enough, he's panting to keep cool. Seems like he'd be cooler in a tree (but he didn't ask me)!

Only four more days of triple digits, then we get a real cooling trend: 96º!

Monday, June 22, 2009

308 - Summer

I got some more photos of my baby yesterday, the first day of summer. So while we suffer 98º heat with 65% humidity, everyone else has to suffer through a few more baby pictures! And since they were taken on Summer Solstice, I thought the theme "Summer" would work. (I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel for horse-related themes now! Eeeek!!)

She's 2 months old now!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

110 - Free

This pigeon has managed to find a free lunch. Someone apparently dropped a peanut on the parking lot, and this lucky bird managed to find it before the grackles did. What's that saying?
"The early bird gets the . . . peanut!"

Friday, June 19, 2009

305 - Street Scenes

Trapped behind a road-stripe painting convoy, I played around with my camera a little. After all, when you can't get around, it makes more sense to relax and look at the world around you rather than get your knickers in a knot! So, I photographed the trailing truck of the convoy, and the other side of the road. Not much of a photo, but it made for a much more pleasant wait than impatience would have!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

335 - Transparent

This walkway is part of a hospital complex in Plano, Tx. The tract of land the hospital was built on wasn't big enough, so they bought the tract across the street and connected the two by this walkway. Ingenious! And a very odd sensation (to me at least) to stand in the walkway and watch the cars go under. At least it's not transparent underneath. I don't think I'd be brave enough to step out onto it! (I'm not so good with heights as it is!)

I always love driving down that road and going under the walkway. Don't know why. Just one of those little things that flavor life a little happier. (Like the dragonfly that landed on my windshield wiper yesterday when I was stopped at a stop light. He rested a moment and took off again just as the light turned. Do you suppose he was watching the light, too? Wish I'd had my camera!!)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

319 - The Games We Play

Next door neighbors' kids must've had a soccer game while I was at work. Here is the evidence. I'm sorry I missed it! Few things are more entertaining than kids playing "organized" sports. All I get to see is the abandoned (temporarily) ball! (sigh)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

286 - Skeletal

Bet you thought this was a theme for Halloween! Well, this one's for summer. This is a radio tower that's visible from my back yard. I've been threatening to photograph it for ages (goodness only knows why!), and so I finally did. It's kind of anorexic looking, such a skinny, boney thing to be so tall! So: Skeletal is the theme for today!

Monday, June 15, 2009

343 - Unfinished (Compost)

This is my compost tumbler. Kitchen scraps, grass clippings (and yes, the backyard needs mowing!), some horse/donkey manure, leaves and garden waste all go into the tumbler. A few turns everyday (well, every two or three days, to be honest), and in a few weeks, we have lovely fresh compost for the garden!

There are two compartments: one for filling, one for "cooking" compost. At this time, both sides are unfinished. The "cooking" side needs a couple or three more weeks, and the filling side isn't full yet. (As soon as the cooking is done, I'll empty that side. Then it will become the filling side, and the other side will begin its "cooking" process. I've no doubt it will be full enough by then!)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

114 - Fruits of the Season

Two little Roma tomatoes developing on my lonely little Roma tomato plant. (I have 3 other tomato plants, but none are Italian. Language barrier, you think?)

Lost one of the tomatoes in a nasty storm Wednesday night (along with a bunch of roof shingles), so now there's just one. Gonna be a very SMALL amount of spaghetti sauce made from that!

Friday, June 12, 2009

19 - Backlighting

Almost sundown. This is Crimson Spirit, my 32" gelding. He is sun-sensitive (very rare in a healthy horse), so when I clip his winter coat off as the weather gets hot, I leave it over his back and hips, to help protect his skin. By the time it sheds out naturally, he'll be having to wear a fly-sheet (which he hates), or staying in the barn during the day (which he hates much worse). Every morning he gets his flysheet put on, and does a short little rodeo routine--just enough to make me happy he's not big enough to try to ride!

I love the way the late evening sun highlighted the hair in his bright red tail, turning it a luminescent gold. Makes him even more handsome than he already is! (No bias, here!)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

116 - Futuristic

Hard to believe that this is a 40-year-old water tower in the formerly very small town of Fairview. The shape is so unusual, it looks like it just landed. There's a lot of construction going on all around it. They've put a cyclone fence up around it, which gives me hope that it will be spared destruction in the encroaching "progress". I've always thought it was kinda cool.

Monday, June 8, 2009

24 - Bent

Self explanatory!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Free Theme: Ladyhawk

Ladyhawk is mama to my baby Symphony. She's a great mom and a lovely mini Appy mare. She's also one tough cookie, and she's had a really tough week.

Wednesday a week ago, Ladyhawk apparently was attempting to scratch an itchy eye on her hay rack (which is made of rebar). In the process, she caught and tore her eyelid, and scratched her eyeball. The injury required a trip to the vet ($234.00 vet bill!), and was the first outing for Symphony, who acted like a little pro in the halter!

Then this past Wednesday evening, Ladyhawk showed signs of colic. I was gone running errands, and when I came home, she was in obvious pain, rolling on the ground, kicking and biting at her belly, standing with her head almost on the ground. So, another trip to the vet ($250), and an all night vigil for me. Everything looked just fine until 4:00 am, then the symptoms returned. At 4:15, we were on our way back to the vet, where she & baby spent the day, undergoing treatment and observation. By 4:00 pm, I had picked her back up and headed home. A second all nighter yielded more promising results, and she is finally doing better, although she's tired and gaunted from her ordeal.

For those of you not familiar with horses & colic, it's common and often deadly. About 60% requires intervention, and 10% requires surgery (over half of those needing surgery are poor candidates for it by the time it's necessity is determined). Of that 10%, 60% don't survive. Colic is the biggest cause of equine euthanasia (in part due to the expense--$5,000 to $8,000 is not uncommon, with complications of course, raising the cost significantly), with laminitis (what ailed Barbaro, during and after his recovery of severe fractures during the 2006 Preakness Stakes) close behind. Seeing the symptoms of a colic attack strikes terror in the heart of every horse owner. So far, I've been lucky. Ladyhawk's was the most severe I've had, and the first one I haven't managed to catch early. In most cases, the earlier the better, as far as the final outcome. For the horse's comfort, regardless of the outcome, earlier is definitely better!

So, I decided to dedicate this posting to my lovely Ladyhawk, to honor her for all she has endured in her short 9 years of life. Quite a lady, she is!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

364 - Works of Art

This may be a bit of a stretch (which I reserve the privilege to do!), but this photo relates to Works of Art on several levels.

First: The horse is a gorgeous Appaloosa miniature.
Second: The driver's attire is artfully assembled and color coordinated (even with the horse).
Third: My piece de resistance -- the horse's name is Thousand Oaks Yashica's Monet (Barn name is Monet). A pretty good artist, wasn't he? Monet?

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!