Thursday, September 21, 2006

Fall Fairs

The mark of a small (and not so small) Ontario town is the annual Fall Fair. As a family we made the trek every year with our small children in tow. They liked the carnival rides the best, and always ended up begging for cotton candy and having to make do with a, not as sweet, colourful snow cone. We were always amazed at the exotic birds in the fowl barn and oohed and awed over the sweet bunnies that came in all shapes and sizes. Then there were the cloven hoofed barnyard animals led by young boys and girls dressed in white like they worked behind the counter of an old fashioned soda shoppe. I especially liked the goats, with their odd rectangular pupils in those big eyes that locked on yours. The "no eared" variety is just creepy to me though...what's that all about? Don't ears serve a purpose in nature? Unfortunately we missed this year's Orillia Fall Fair but the Coldwater Fair is this weekend and we will surely make the journey there. My younger daughter is interested in photography and wants to enter a photo in one of the contests. Good for her!
A couple of weekends ago I went to the fall fair in Caledon to get a few pictures of our friend, Jeannie, who had her lovely black Paso Fino mare, Captiva, there doing a breed demonstration. I will get Captiva on my Horse of the Week page soon.
At this fair I was facinated by another demonstration, a lady and her border collies herding sheep. These dogs are amazing! They come in many colours and can have longer fur or be flat coated. I had to laugh when the owner described their personality as "obsessive-compulsive"! These dogs really need a job to do.
To other photographers, don't you just love those moments when you turn, and with camera at the ready you just happen to spot something whimsical or bizzare or cute or exciting and you are able to capture it for posterity?? Here is an image from one of those moments. I believe she is a "Town Cryer". Wish I had more info on her. What a great looking gal!

Friday, September 15, 2006

At the mercy of the weather.

One thing about being a photographer who specializes in horses, you are almost always at the mercy of the weather. We had to cancel a photo shoot yesterday afternoon in Bracebridge as it was one of those weather reports that said it "should" clear up by such and such a time. Well it still looks pretty gray out there this morning so where's that sun!!! Speaking of sun, here are a couple of photos of sun and grass from the summer . A bit abstract, maybe because I had my eyes closed when I shot these (didn't want to stare straight into the sun so I aimed where I thought I should and clicked the shutter...very technical).

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Wild horses of Bethany?

As if I hadn't already taken enough photos at Saddlewood of various appaloosas, when my weary sister and I pulled out of the driveway and headed down the road we saw what looked like a herd of wild horses running up the side of a rocky hill. I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't on the Montana plains. They were of course the camp's mounts put out to pasture, well not like any pasture I've ever seen. It never ceases to amaze me that no matter how tired I am, I'm never tired of photographing horses. This site, this cornucopia of equines, was like a gift to me. The low evening light behind them; large, small, black, white, and every colour in between, burr filled manes and all. How I love horses!

Horses, horses, everywhere!

Continuing with last weekend in Bethany while I was waiting for my models I "spotted" (pun intended) a couple of striking appaloosas. Dang I wish I coulda stayed for the show the next day...too many horses...too little time!

The little brown appy youngster had just had a bath before bedtime. He complained a bit like most toddlers do.

The striking young white gelding seemed to have translucent skin, he looked quite ethereal. His owner said he had been bathed every day that week and still wasn't clean! Maybe they buffed most of his spots off? ;o)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Have laptop, will travel...

This is the life, staying at my sister's for the night. I'm sitting on a comfy Ikea chair, laptop...on my lap, of course, glass of wine at my side, and a scattering of animals around me in various states of slumber. We just watched Canada win the Nation's Cup...YAY CANADA!! Ian Miller was awsesome as usual.
What a weekend! Friday started off with a pleasant surprise. I'll save it for another day but it was a great way to lead into the weekend. I travelled a good distance Friday afternoon to get to a place called Bethany, where I was meeting up with a young lady for a photo shoot. Charity and her Mom were there for an appaloosa show on the weekend. I specifically wanted to photograph her costume she had on loan. Little did I know the costume was for the horse too! This is one very patient mare named Fancy (her mother's horse). I will share a couple of pictures of our shoot.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Brandy's Troubles

I needed to stretch my legs yesterday after a morning of photo editing so I asked my dog, Brandy, if she'd like to go for a walk (yes I have to ask as she does not always want to walk). She agreed (a head-cock and a wag of the tail) so off we went.

At the corner of our first turn lives a retired school teacher, a very personable lady with a passion for animals and in particular, cats. She seems to have a geat number of them, though I don't dare ask how many exactly. I'm not so sure even she knows. We affectionately refer to her as the "Cat Lady". Now there is one cat who can be seen regularly patrolling her property. He is a robust fellow, and quite striking with his big black and white spots. The kids in the neighbourhood refer to him as Mr. Moo-Cat for his resemblance to a Holstein cow.

As an aside I have noticed in past when I walk my dog past a cat in someone's yard, they usually do one of 3 things; run away, hide under the nearest car, or as a last resort if they are caught by surprise and there is no time for the first 2 choices, they will flatten themselves to the ground so as not to be noticed. Picture a smaller version of a lioness hunting a herd of gazelle, but replace the tall savannah grass with a shortly mowed lawn and you get the picture.

Well that is what MOST cats do, but not Mr. Moo-Cat. You see, Brandy happened to choose Moo-Cat's front lawn to do her business on. Poor dog was a bit of a difficult time shall we say, when Moo-Cat decided he would wander over and make Brandy's aquaintance. Well what a spectacle we must have been, Brandy with her troublesome business, proceded to do the "butt shuffle" on the lawn, I am struggling to hold onto her leash and pooper scoop with a grocery bag, and the rolly polly feline trying to befriend us, quite enjoying this meet and greet we have put on seemingly for his benefit! To add insult to injury, there is a steady stream of teenagers coming down the sidewalk on their way home from high school. My cheeks start to flush as I realize they are smirking and pointing at I assume my dog's obsene antics. I couldn't take it anymore so I promised Mr. Moo-Cat we'd return another time when Brandy was feeling better. As I steered my poor dog home I could still hear the cruel whispers and snickers from the sidewalk as Brandy tried a last ditch effort to drag her behind down the middle of the street we had to cross. I found myself looking over my shoulder just to make sure the sounds weren't coming from the cat...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

My horse nephew

I have never owned a horse. My siblings and I were army brats, so a move every 4 years, along with an unlisted man's salary, didn't create the conditions for horse ownership. Of course that didn't stop me from begging, pleading, bargaining, and spilling many tears all for the want of a horse. Now I am in the fortunate position of being around all forms of the equine species on a weekly basis, and that is almost enough to fill the void.

To my great surprise a couple of years ago, my sister, Janet, announced she was buying a horse. She is the oldest girl in our family of 4 siblings, and it is probably due to her that I am so horse crazy. She paved the way, so to speak, for my lifelong passion. So even though Jan does have a son, I consider her horsey addition to the family the closest thing to owning a horse for me. So let me introduce you to my "horse nephew", a handsome Paso Fino gelding named "Alberto La Manana", or Alberto for short. He was the first "Horse of the Week" on my website. You can read more about him here

The first time...

Oh my, I have butterflies as I type my first blog entry. Haven't thought much about this but in the back of my mind it is always something I have wanted to do...well at least in the last year or 2. ( very first blog is a run on sentence ;o) )