Monday, June 17, 2013

Starting Summer

Our start to summer has been as busy as the last several weeks of school:  marching band practice, cleaning out backpacks, getting used to a new routine, finalizing summer plans - but we took a quick weekend off to just relax and reconnect with each other.  A few shots from our (hot) weekend.

This looked like fun - for someone else - no way could you get me up there.  It was really breezy and I did see the operators monitor the windspeed a few times.  But a go-cart with a parachute, no thanks.

Like a good mother, I chased my daughter with a hermit crab.  On one part of the beach every intact shell you picked up revealed that somebody was already home. 

Don't know who was in this boat, but it made a nice image.  These were the true colors of the evening.  It was cooler, breezy and enjoyable in the evenings - except for the giant mosquitoes - wow were they out for the hunt. 

We really didn't do much this weekend, except for a little beachcombing, a little eating, resting, laughing - things we really needed to do as a family.  Now we are ready to hit the summer activities as some of us separate to do our own activities from time to time.  Hoping we can come together again at the end of the summer and recharge for the new school year. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

B&W Backyard

I just had to spend a few minutes outside today (the cold is gone and the after effects are dimishing) - the birds were literally calling to me (not to mention the dog wanted to stretch his legs).  Brought out the big-girl camera and 60mm macro lens just to see what I could see.  Thought I'd share a couple of images - a work in progress. 

Sunflower bud

Dandelion - maybe I should have made a wish?  Commonly found in many areas, but I still enjoy capturing their delicate edges - hard to believe the seeds have such a good hold onto the parent plant. 

What did you see in your backyard?

Hope everyone has a good weekend.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Horse Wednesday

Our barn's newest arrival - a filly - taken when she was a few days old.  It will be fun to watch her grow up. 

Joining Shirley in posting horse (or more) images.  Check out her website - she always has beautiful images.

No fancy processing this week (or even minimal processing) -- this cold my son shared with me has gotten a good hold of my senses... 3 days down - about 4 to go??  can't wait to breathe, feel human & not cough.  Hope everyone has a better rest of the week than me!!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Horse (& More) Wednesday

For the past several weeks I've joined Shirley for Horse Wednesday meme - however this week I'm going for the "More."  Not that I don't have amy horse images - I have TONS - but we have a new addition to our barn who I haven't seen yet & want to share with everyone next week.  So.... here's my "more" image.

The story  -- my husband & son have decided this year to be diligent about mowing our large yard (I think they just like riding on the lawn tractor).  However, their newly found enthusiasm has just about eliminated any wildflowers in the yard.  A single brown-eyed Susan has managed to survive the blades (last year I had a patch of them).  As you can see - I got down on the ground for an eye-level view of the single flower, propped up my camera with my elbows for a steady shot & wouldn't you know it -- an unintentional photo-bomber -- too funny!!!

Check out Shirley's Wednesday post - she stayed with the Horse/Barn theme this week & as always has wonderful images to share.  You can find her here.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Horse Wednesday

Wow - Wednesday already?  The last few months of the school year have really had us busy - if it weren't for this meme -- I'm not sure I'd have time to think about a post much less get it uploaded. 


Spring has everyone's attention - geldings thinking (wishing) they were stallions, mares flirting  -- obviously some mare has this guy's attention.  We know he thinks he is a stallion and in his mind a 17 HH one at that. 

Linking up with Shirley for Horse Wednesday.  Check out here website Shirley Behind the Lens for other images.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Horse Wednesday

Just a little bit of a glamour shot for one of our senior members of the barn.  She still has a lot of spunk for her age & is a true survivor. 


Linking up with Shirley for Horse Wednesday.  Check out her website for other horse images.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Horse Wednesday


A barn-friend's horse who loves an occassional good run -- she's young & has a lot of energy - best to let her get it out without a saddle/rider on her back.  We love watching her - and even better - she listens to her mom's/owner's instructions when being exercised. 

Linking up with Shirley for Horse Wednesday.  Click here to see other horse images.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Horse Wednesday

This recent image of my daughter with her favorite horse at the barn (he kind of likes her too) has become one of my favorites.

Linking up with Shirley for Horse Wednesdays.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Horse Wednesday

This perchon mare's eyes are soft and her eyelashes so girly (even if she is a giant of a horse).
Linking up with Shirley for horse Wednesdays.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Horse Wednesday (late)

Seems like most short weeks are the busiest; Wednesday came and went before I realized it.  Here's my Horse Wednesday contribution - just a little late.

Young siblings hanging out - watching the goings-on of the farm.  Their bios could include:  love children, attention, petting and especially spring clover.

Posting weekly horse images with Shirley  - check out her site for beautiful images (not just horses).

Have a good Easter!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Horse Wednesday

Adding to Shirley's Horse Wednesday photos - here's my horse photo for this week.

Nothing like getting English dressage riders to ride outside of the arena - in a pasture with trees and other obstacles to get them to ride with both reins. 

Monday, March 11, 2013



Darn time change has us all messed up - really don't like getting up in the dark, and it is too difficult to go to bed on time when the sun says come out & play later than usual.  Although I won't complain too much - we enjoy our long days (eventually).

Changes in the house - making messes in order to make it better  - as in going through papers and "stuff" - organizing and purging.  The process makes me a bit crazy, but hoping for a big improvement at the end (or at least a dent).

Changing our routine - temporarily - for spring break - we get into "summer" mode very quickly around here, but hoping to squeeze in something fun for a day or two.

Finally - this activity is dominating my time at the moment.  A necessary evil and one of the prompts that started the ball rolling towards reorganizing and purging.

Hope everyone has a good week & for those in the US - enjoy the shift of daylight hours!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

One Small Goal

In Training

We'll be doing the 5K walk - but participating as a family.  We've started training just so we don't fall out before the end.  This will be something we've never done before and we are very excited - a totally new adventure!!  A fun walk will be a personal accomplishment for me before I turn 50 (yikes). 

These fun runs/walks seem like they could get really addictive.  For those of you who do these - why do you participate?  I don't see myself ever running the 10K - shin splint issues from many years ago - but 5K?? who knows!!

Monday, February 4, 2013


A Day of Photo Viewing/Editing

I've spent most of the day looking at images from the past month - using some post processing, creative cropping, etc., just to see how it changes the feeling of the image.  I'm also using it as an excuse to learn a little more about PS Elements (not to mention skipping any household work to be done).  I've uploaded these to my flickr photostream, but wanted to show them here as well.  I'm pleased with these results - going for more of an artsy look to them as opposed to super-sharp snapshots.

A horse running free - creative cropping allowed me to eliminate some background clutter and focus on her face/expression.
Night time riding lesson - hand held - using arena lighting only.

Night time riding lesson - hand held, using only the lights in the arena (and a very fast 50mm f1.4 lens)
Hello barn cat - peaking over the edge of the barn roof. 

I feel as though my approach to photography is evolving and finding its own way.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Catching Air

Linking up with Wordless Wednesday and Wordless Wednesday Bloggers - check out their sites for more wordless images. 

Just realized I used another horse related image; the barn is where I spend a lot of time.
Click on the image to view a larger version.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Book Review - Misty Gordon and the Mystery of the Ghost Pirates

My son & I read this book (separately) - it is on the 2012-2013 Texas Bluebonnet Award List (congratulations to the author Kim Kennedy) and we loved it.  Although the main character is a girl - she's not too girly and has an adventure while solving a mystery.  Too far fetched to be confused with any real town, however this book includes enough description and continuous action (not to mention writing that read well - flowed) to keep our interest and was an "easy" read (definitely a chapter book - 218 pages, 16 chapters)  My son (5th grade) did not consider it a "girl" book.  The story contained pirates, ghosts, an asylum, crazy townspeople, and a twist at the end.  Will Misty be solving more mysteries in her town?  I don't know what the author has planned; it seemed Misty's adventures could continue, but the story is also good as a stand alone book.  According to Barnes & Noble's website this is the author's first novel, and has collaborated with her brother on several picture books (some about pirates).  She's from Louisiana - so maybe she gets her pirate inspiration from her state's history?  I recommend this book to any 5th grader - boy or girl and any parent who likes a bit of light reading.   We will watch this author for any future novels.

Image from Barnes & Noble website.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wordless Wednesday


Linking up with Wordless Wednesday - click here to see other wordless images.
Also linking up with Wordless Wednesday Bloggers - click here to join/view their images.
Happy Wordless Wednesday - and I kept it "wordless" this week!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Beach Object

Being a little bit adventurous (crazy), my sister and I headed to the beach on a very chilly, windy day last week.  Looking at what washed up, we ran across this very interesting beach item.  I haven't done anything to this image - no cropping, color changes, filters -- this is the way we found it.  We were surprised at what the object really was.  
Connecting with Wordless Wednesday (which once again I couldn't resist adding a few words).  Visit here to see links to other images.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Photo Heart Connection - December 2012

December's photo-heart connection image is special not for the photographic qualities, but for my son's activity (or lack of) at this moment.  We were at one of my daughter's many horse riding lessons - this time she was riding out (out in the 10 acre paddock where there are obstacles (trees, uneven ground), jumps, a pond, etc) - and it was cold.  After nearly 7 years of lessons - my son is so over going to the barn, but going out back he found several large pieces of tree bark that had fallen from a dying tree, put them on the ground to keep him dry (it was wet/muddy) and envisioned a "chair" from this fallen branch.  He sat in his "recliner" throughout the lesson - just watching what is going on around him.  Granted he is older now, but to be able to sit and watch and think - without any electronics - is wonderful.  Or on the flipside -- truly a male - able to find a recliner anywhere to sit and relax and watch the show around him.

Connecting with Kat's Photo-Heart Connection.  To see other images, check out her website.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

What About Photo Challenges/Prompts

Photo Challenges for 2013

Have you given thought to or revisited the photo challenges you signed up for way back in 2012?  Some of the ones I participated in have concluded and won't be restarting in 2013, some I just couldn't find the time for, and some - well they appeared to be so clickish (I wasn't "in" the right inner circle) - so I didn't feel the need to contribute regularly.  I don't have delusions of successfully completing a 365 project, but like the challenge of contributing more - somewhere - so I joined a group on Flickr  (I'm even thinking of being a rebel and not following the suggested prompts either).  However I will continue to participate in a few challenges that I felt the blogger/originator truly wanted to connect with others and took the time to comment on each photo submitted.  With all that being said - here is the first posted photo for 365/2013 (I have taken more, but they are still living in my camera). 

Although it is not a masterpiece - it is a representation of what I often see driving my area's roads - endless pastures and rolls/bales of hay - all enclosed with barbed wire fences.  This particular day (Jan 2) was chilly, drizzling, and grey.  Winter along the Texas Gulf Coast isn't our prettiest time of year - the grass dies and we don't receive any snow to replace all the ugliness with a pretty winter scene - it is mostly mud (sometimes frozen mud).  I put this image into sepia tones to warm it up - for myself.. I don't care for the cold wetness and with this treatment I still project the same feeling - drab - but it doesn't feel as flat. 

I have found a 52 project that I'm hoping will be fun and will strive to contibute more to flickr & the craziness of Instagram.  Let me know how you are feel about continuing with photo challenges - or have you burned yourself out on them?