Monday, January 30, 2012

Macro Monday

I've never been able to get good macros before I got my new Canon camera this past Christmas. Take a guess what this one is:

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Stills (1-29-12 Nature frames)

This week's Sunday Stills Challenge was to photograph Nature's frames.

Here's Skyy, framed by snow.

Here's some snow, framing me.

I found this natural frame in Red Rocks State Park in Colorado.

Red Rocks Amphitheater is framed by nature, naturally, in the Fountain Formation .

For more Sunday Stills, please visit here.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday Stills (1-22-12 Birds)

This week's Sunday Stills photo challenge is birds. Here are my offerings:

There is an artist in Santa Fe, Peter Joseph Woytuk, who creates lots of larger than life bronze statues. See here for more about him and browse around my blog for more pictures of his outdoor art sculptures, especially the elephants.

If you look closely, you can see city chickens roosting all along the upper ledge of the building.

This artsy roadrunner is the logo of our Railrunner train system.

Resident ravens are in my neighbor's yard.

They must be having a private conversation.

Poor swallow! It must have frozen to death in it's nest in my barn. Now, it swings in a final macabre dance, caught up in it's own nesting materials.

For more Sunday Stills, please visit here.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Foto

Doesn't this look good?

This is my son's gourmand invention called a McNasty. From the dollar menu at McDonald's, you put a chicken sandwich and a double cheeseburger together. Although in this case, I believe it was a Wendy's Cheesy double and their chicken sandwich. They're too big for me to eat. lol.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

alfalfa: hay vs. pellets

I've been watching my hay stack go down this winter quicker than normal. I never did get enough hay this fall to last out the winter. The last few winters I have been feeding grass or grass mix hay to my horses on my vet's recommendation but last year I switched back to mostly alfalfa because it is so hard to keep weight on them.

If I had a truck that ran, I could buy more hay. Of course, it would be at premium prices since we had the drought and hay shortage last summer. Or I could try and hijack one of the many semi hay trucks that I pass on the freeway every day. However, they wouldn't be able to deliver it to my barn because of the snow and mud that I still have. And they are carrying the giant bales that need a forklift to move. But still, it would be nice to have four or five of those in my barn right now.

As a solution to my hay shortage, I have been feeding alfalfa pellets in the mornings and alfalfa hay at night, to the horses. I worried about Nadia having trouble chewing because she is so old (almost 29) but she seems to be doing all right.

I am still feeding the grass hay to the alpacas because everyone recommends it and not the alfalfa, but whenever they are loose in the barn, they bee-line it straight to the alfalfa. I guess everyone likes what's not so good for them, huh?

I'm hoping this will stretch the hay I still have until I can get some more this spring. Actually, there is less wastage with the pellets and the horses seem to be chewing the pellets okay. The biggest drawback is that it is costing me $11 for 50 pounds and that is just about a two day supply when I only feed it in the mornings. And every few days I need to tote bags out to the barn. Again, IF my truck were running AND I could get to the barn, I could buy a full pallet (at a discount) and drive right into the barn to stack it. Top of my to do list- fix my truck, right?

I've been feeding two large (2+ lb) coffee tins of alfalfa pellets and a large can of grain each to Yalla!, Nadia, and Annie. Scout gets a smaller (2lb) can of grain with his two large cans of pellets. So far, they seem to be doing fine. Hopefully, they won't lose weight because I really can't afford to give them more, although every other day or so, I've been giving each of the girls an extra can of pellets at a feeding.

I used to board years ago and that's what they fed, although they were called horse cubes- one inch squares of a pelleted, complete feed. I remember the standard feeding amount was two scoops which is pretty much what I'm feeding. I haven't found them in the feed stores though. Nowadays, it's little, compressed cubes of alfalfa hay, like mini bales, or the fat, alfalfa pellets. Complete feeds are a smaller pellet than the alfalfa pellets.

Here's Scout eating a combination of the mini bales, alfalfa pellets, and grain.

Does anyone else feed alfalfa pellets? How much do you feed? Do you still prefer hay?

Sunday Stills (1-15-12 Corners)

This week's Sunday Stills Challenge is to photograph corners. 

This is a photo of our Old Town shops at Christmas taken from the street corner across the way. 

Sandy is standing and Skyy is sitting in the corner of my unfinished bedroom watching the snow fall.

This is the crowded corner of the alpaca pen. Sophie Rose actually does have ears as you'll see in the next photo.

On cold nights, a local raven likes to cozy up in the corner of the barn.

For more Sunday Stills please visit here.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Jimmie Fallon recently performed as David Bowie...and...Tim Tebow singing to Jesus Christ for help with the Denver Broncos football game, in the style of Space Oddity. Go here for more about it and just in case you haven't seen this video yet...

update: Like the song said, Tebow was on his own for this game and with a final score of Broncos 10, Steelers 45, TeBow really could have used Jesus's help.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mr. Jones

Today is David Jones' 65th birthday. See here for a great article about what he's up to nowadays, living a normal life in New York City with his wife, Iman, and his daughter, Lexie. After a long, productive life in cutting edge music, he has unofficially retired. His last album released in 2003, was appropriately named Reality. I was lucky enough to see him three times on the Reality Tour in 2004. Thanks for the memories, Mr. Bowie!

Happy Birthday, Mr. Jones!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sunday Stills (01-08-12 light painting)

For this week's Sunday Stills challenge, Ed suggested  playing with the camera settings and taking photos in the dark to get strange light pictures. I tried, but it didn't go so well. I have some wonderful pictures of last year's Christmas lights on my desktop computer but it's packed away, so I thought I'd share these from the other night. I pointed into the dark and snapped. I have no idea what the little circles are. Cosmic dust? Aliens? or plain barn dust? Cripes! No, it is not snowing.

If only I could photo shop this picture to be a little clearer. It would be a really neat one of Yalla! with her tail flipped up over her back. I'm including it anyway because of her bright, round, "moon" eye. 

Here's some more of those sky dots. And no, the camera lens was not dirty. I would have said they were stars, but they're all over the place. 
I did manage this shot, however. I think it looks like a family of monkeys, off center towards the right. Don't you agree?

I was actually trying to get a picture of Annie but I think she ducked down in the previous photo when the camera snapped. This one was more successful.

This is my walk back to the house with the full moon in the background. There is still a lot of snow left from the storm we had over two weeks ago. It's some strange weather we're having, for sure!

For more Sunday Stills, please visit here.

Lol- this post went up early. I woke up Friday morning with the room spinning. Went to the doctor and she gave me some antibiotics and said it was caused from sinus. Must have affected my brain because I completely forgot what day it was.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Nadia has turned into a beaver these past few weeks. Or an interior decorator. Just look at the new window she made in the wood of her stall.

I got out the "official" stuff to coat the wood but, believe me, it just doesn't work!
A long time ago, we used creosote on wood to keep the horses from chewing on it. But, that's been outlawed as bad for the ecology. They used to treat railroad ties with creosote and look how long they last! Anyway, after trying several times to use this No Crib horse product with no luck, I reverted to my old standby- used motor oil. Shhhh, don't tell, I don't want the ecology geeks after me but I have found that painting wood with used motor oil is miraculous for keeping the critters from eating the wood. Really, it's a way to recycle that old motor oil, right??

Friday Foto

Monday, January 2, 2012

Standing in the Sunshine

These photos were taken last weekend, but I never got around to posting them.
Here's little Sophie.
She eats hay now 

but she still prefers her mother's milk.
Here's butterball Scout.

 Horses love to roll, don't they? I like the way Annie's feet are all in the air.

Check out the new snowy whorl Annie has in the middle of her forehead.

Everybody took turns having a good roll in the deep, white stuff.

After rolling, they didn't know what to do with all that deep snow. The sunshine was very warming, however, so just standing and soaking up the sun rays seemed a good choice.

I guess this is what Yalla! would look like if she turned gray, huh?

She decided to come over and join me. We watched the other horses stand around.

And she chewed on my boot.

Why does Yalla! always look like a cute little pony??

Standing in the Sunshine - song: Safe, artist: David Bowie

The ice forgets to melt away

I always find it interesting how snow melts into sculptured art. My roof snow is turning into marshmallow fluff.

How about some long icy fingers?

Check out the snow creature sitting on the roof of my barn!
 Because of the barn's metal roofing, the snow sometimes comes off in sheets.

But snowmelt isn't always so nice. Taking hot water and beet pulp mash to the horses can be treacherous for me with my weak ankle when I try to walk on the old paths in the early morning. Walking on the frozen, unyielding old footprints forces my ankle to sometimes, unexpectedly, painfully, bend. The snow is still a foot deep in many places and I feel like every step is a challenge, kind of like climbing Mount Everest. I tell myself, one footstep at a time and I WILL get there.

The ice forgets to melt away - song: Sell Me a Coat, artist: David Bowie, album: David Bowie