Power and Grace

Another shot from the pasture the other day. It was interesting to watch the horses interact with one another. There was a good bit of running, some hoof stomping and even a few powerful kicks to set anyone straight who might not know who the leader was. This black horse had an air of power and grace that set him apart from the others.

I Want to Play . . . Now!

I photographed this horse and its foal recently in a local pasture and could not believe my eyes when I saw the youngster repeatedly smack the mom on the head to get her up and walking around. The bottom photo was taken first, and then momma decided to lay down, which did not sit well with junior. The foal seemed very irritated the entire time her mother stayed laying, which was not very long due to repeated hoof blows to the head. Maybe she wanted to romp in the field for a while, or maybe just didn’t think mom deserved a break, but it was funny either way.

The Fragrant Path to Ivy Manor

This is just one of several images captured over the course of several hours this past weekend. I saw this scene while I was riding bike the night before and knew I had to get back soon to capture it. The driveway was even more pristine looking when I first arrived, but several vehicles came and went shortly after I got there, and made marks in the lovely pink carpet. Thankfully wind helped bring down more petals to help cover things up. I could not seem to break myself from shooting various angles, in part because the home seemed to go perfectly with the fallen flowers, and the sea of pink under foot was something quite amazing. The owner asked if I had A.D.D, because I was there so long, but I loved every minute of this location. Once again, generous homeowners were very agreeable to let me wander the property, which made all the difference. It is not really called ivy manor, but I named it that because it reminds me of something from Europe. The Cotswolds in england are among one of the places I desperately want to visit sometime in the future and this image sort of has that cottage look.

Working the Fields

Spring is rapidly advancing and local farmers are beginning to work the fields for the growing season. This farmer was kicking up a good bit of dust as the sun silhouetted him while he diligently went about the evening chores. Thankfully we got a decent amount of rain this weekend,so the dust situation should be better in the coming week.

The Artistry of Nature

I had no intention of going out to look for photos yesterday, but plans changed and the opportunity arose to go out for a bit. I originally spent a few hours up the street from this location shooting a home that had blossoms covering the ground from a beautiful flowering tree that was dropping its blooms. Before I headed home, I took a stroll down the street and noticed this serene scene that was begging to be photographed. I asked the owner to walk in his yard, and he graciously said yes. The home across the street is a bed and breakfast called the Smithton Inn and it was built in 1763, and thanks to the efforts of its new owners, it is a wonderful place to stay for folks visiting the area. This yard had gorgeous flowering trees in purple,pink and white over the last weeks and I never shot anything, but something about the carpet of pink beckoned me to give it a whirl. The wrought iron furniture in white circling the trees added that touch of detail that brought it all together.

A Peaceful Rest

Another flowering tree caught my eye as I looked for spring scenes across the region. The old church and the storm clouds rounded out the composition to yield a peaceful spring image at a local cemetery. Fall is still my favorite time of the year, but spring is right up there as well. This is another example of an image where I climbed on my truck roof to shoot, and that allowed a little better framing with the tree. The roof has a luggage rack which keeps the tripod legs from sliding. I get strange looks doing this, but I like the extra height it affords. I often joke about mounting a telescoping pole to my vehicle and controlling aerial views from a laptop inside. Maybe if I ever hit the lottery, I can try that.

Romeo and Juliet

This image was taken last evening at my mother’s house when I stopped for a quick visit, and thankfully I had my camera gear along. I always try to come up with an appropriate title for my photo each day, and although this particular one may leave you scratching your head, it’s what I decided on. First,let me say this image is exactly how I spotted it, and although it had just begun to rain, I still grabbed the tripod, camera and a huge umbrella and got set up. As I was working on the image at home, I was listening to a song by the same title, and that’s when the title landed in my lap. I knew the subtle colors had a delicate feeling and were almost like male and female colors.  This image is so soft and relaxed, yet it grabs you to look at it and appreciate its beauty. So perhaps these flowers belong together, complimenting one another in muted tones. I found it interesting that the blue flowers held the rain drops,but the pink repelled them.

Meet Croaker

This is the resident frog at my mother in laws house who has laid claim to her tiny backyard pond. He has been affectionately  named croaker for obvious reasons and my mother in law has almost perfected the mating call that emanates from croaker on a normal night. I used to have a backyard pond as well, and was always amazed how frogs found their way to these small sources of water. For this hand-held shot, I had to all but fall in the pond to get the low angle, but croaker gladly posed as I was about a foot away, and never even flinched.

A Dusting of pink

I woke up sunday morning to beautiful spring conditions that beckoned me to get moving and look for some images. I grabbed the camera, a lens and my tripod and walked around our garden in search of anything that said spring. the first thing I noticed was one of our hosta was covered with freshly fallen pink petals from what my wife thinks is a flowering crab apple tree we have.The tree is in full bloom right now,but overnight rains knocked a good number of petals to the ground, and helped adorn the hosta in delicate petals of pink. The soft light of an overcast morning, provided the perfect illumination to capture this graceful scene.

Take the Bull by the Horns

If you are brave enough that is? These critters would not be something I would normally stop to photograph, but my friend wanted to snap a shot, so I joined in for a few clicks. It appears the bull better tread lightly or he will get a rather pointed attitude adjustment. I have no clue what breed they are,but they were rather unusual for our area.

Fairy Tale Cottage

I have been wanting to photograph this lovely Tudor style home for a few years, and when I saw this flowering tree beside it, I figured the time was right. I spoke to the owners and asked if they would turn on the lamps by the door and the dining room lights to add a little touch of life to the home, and they gladly agreed. The home reminds me of something from a Thomas Kinkaid painting,and although I only have a small part of the home showing in the top image ,I still like the feel. the bottom image includes a dogwood,which was next to impossible to include in the top shot without getting road,sidewalk or poles in. As a side note, I googled Thomas Kinkade to make sure I spelled his name right, and noticed he died last week. I always liked his work,but not everybody did,as is usually the case. Seems he was tormented by criticism of his work, and died an unfortunate death from alcohol abuse.

Fields of Gold

I spotted this lovely field of goldenrod on a drive through the country this evening, and knocked at the farmhouse door to get permission to walk to this spot. Thankfully, the owners obliged and I took a series with the billowy clouds accenting the scene. I tried to get a sunset shot as well, but the light was terrible, so we will see if I can salvage anything from that attempt. I might go out at sunrise this morning to try again, but it will be hard to beat this shot with the great skies. Everyone sees shapes in clouds at times, and I thought it almost looked like a cross above the farm, which I thought was kind of neat the way it was positioned in the center of the blue sky. I don’t usually add photos after the fact,but my friend gave me grief about forgetting my infrared camera so I worked on one to simulate that look.

Mansion Revisited

Figured I would try a sunset shot at the same location as last night. Nothing earth shattering,but it was fun trying. I added the bottom two images to show what putting your hand across the shot can do to help with contrast in some situations. If you look at the porch and tree, you will see the benefit of blocking the light source in tricky situations. Of course this was tripod mounted and you could adjust contrast in Photoshop, but it can help many times to utilize this simple technique.

Spring Beauty

Despite 15 mph winds again today, I decided I was shooting a spring photo anyway. Not sure exactly what type of tree this is, but I thought it looked nice in the lawn of this local mansion. We have had nothing but windy days for the last two weeks and it is getting old real fast.Love to have a few still days with overcast for a change.

Hard to Fathom

I have had a real appreciation for the Amish culture for many years, and have captured many images over the years of life in the rural countryside in my area. Generally speaking, the Amish are not very accepting of photography and Usually I try to use long lenses to keep from getting in their face and allowing them to go about their day-to-day life without intruding. The reason I share this is because both myself and my friend saw something the other week that stopped us in our tracks. We went to the mud sale to capture a few images of local culture and we were using long lenses to keep low-key, but as we stood there talking, we saw a group of people heading our way and every person was carrying a camera. The Amish seem to accept the fact that they are at a public venue and that cameras will be there and they may have their photo taken by someone in attendance so they basically ignore the occasional snapshot being taken. This group was different, as dad,mom,brother,son,daughter and everyone else in their entourage was toting a camera. We thought nothing of this till we started seeing the younger kids going right up to Amish children and shooting right in their face, and then to top it off they would show them the image on the lcd screen. The truly baffling thing was the kids seemed to enjoy seeing their picture on the screen and would pose even more. We saw a few older Amish teens stop and look at the fiasco, but did not stop the activity, so we were truly puzzled. They would use wide angles and be feet from them and laugh hysterically as each new frame was shot, and I just stood there thinking I wanted to smack the whole crew. I figured if it was not bothering them, then who was I to intervene, plus I realize we have the right to take photos, but this was about as obnoxious as anything I ever witnessed. My friend walked away at one point because his head was ready to explode, and after I asked one kid where they were from, his parents came over and wanted to be buddy buddy with me,but I basically ignored them as I was growing increasingly irritated with them. Anyway, here is another image from the auction,plus one of a portion of their crew shooting like a hollywood celebrity was passing by. Hopefully they wont be back to our state anytime soon,but i am not counting on that happening as I was sure I saw the main guy here last year,minus his family. They will probably come in a tour bus next year with the relatives.

Tulip Splendor

Todays post for Easter features two images that I took at Longwood Gardens in the past. I wanted to go this past week to see the tulip display, which is supposed to be at peak right now, but the weather has been nothing but sunshine and breezy. Not to complain, but personally I think flowers look much better in soft overcast light with very calm conditions to allow the use of a tripod. Tulips are among one of my favorite flowers and Longwood has an absolutely stunning display each year. If you live anywhere on the east coast of the United States, you should head there this week and soak up the spring beauty.

Pysanky Eggs

With Easter rapidly approaching, I noticed my mother in law had placed a glass egg with several painted eggs inside it on display in the dining room. I asked about them and it turns out they were hand painted by members of her family from past generations. The eggs are called Pysanky eggs and are meticulously painted using a wax resist method. To me it looks like something I would never have the patience to do, but I am very impressed with the ones done by the family. I have no idea if these samples would be considered good,great,average or whatever, but I enjoyed photographing them using my flashlight, which you will notice I decided to let the light streaks from it show in the final image here.

There goes the neighborhood-literally

This home was moved approximately 100 yards on thursday by some very cool equipment. The hydraulic setup is somehow controlled by the skid loader or someone underneath the house using a control panel. The wheels drove the house right up the hill, turning as they needed till they reached their final destination. Photo 2 includes the workers who stay under the home the entire time its moving. It was interesting to watch something like this, which you don’t see every day. I watched a huge two-story brick home get moved years ago, and they left the china in the cupboards and not a thing was broken.

Bleeding Heart blooms

The bleeding hearts are beginning to get toward their prime in our garden and a light rain shower provided the perfect complement with glistening beads of water. I set up some wind barriers on two sides to keep movement to a minimum at slower shutter speeds. I like how the plant seems to open in stages, as evidenced in this image.

I Wanna hold your hand

Sorry if anyone is now humming the famous Beatles tune in your head, but it was the best title I could think of at the moment. This image is yet another from last Saturday’s trip to the mud sale and I originally caught a glimpse of these four behind some buggies and hoped they would head my way, which thankfully they did. Once again I was a god distance away with a 400mm,which was perfect for not invading their space. The beautiful blue bonnets are so lovely,and the middle girl is wearing the biggest safety-pin I have seen in a while. The three girls are actually the trio that I posted earlier this week, but I had no idea till I worked on the image.

On the Cool Side

This past weekend was a little on the cool side and this Harley that I photographed at a motorcycle gathering was on the cool side as well. I heard the rumble of cycles while I was shooting landscapes, so I followed them to a rally of sorts,where there were cycles of every shape, color, style,and brand. From Harley’s to sport bikes to every style in between, there were countless cool machines to check out. I left the color on the Harley only to separate it from the rest a bit. The second photo shows what I understand are referred to as ape hangers, and I personally think this would be extremely hard to ride this way, much less make evasive maneuvers if needed, but some really seem to prefer this style. The top shot caught my eye because the cycle sat straight up as it was parked, verses leaning to the side.

Backroads Parking Garage

The mud sale this weekend is always attended by countless county residents as well as a very strong showing by the local Amish community. Amish farms near the sale are selected to accommodate the numerous buggies and horses that need a spot to park while they attend the sale, and this farm is adjacent to the sale site along a side road. I shot this image from the side of the road and stood on a small trailer to a get a slightly higher perspective over the scene. This is only a small portion of the buggies at this farm, and the horses are kept in the field and barn throughout the day.


Saturday included the last mud sale that I usually attend each spring season in the area. It was very heavy overcast the entire day, so consequently I shot at iso 1000 the entire day so I could keep shutter speeds high enough. This trio of girls happened to lean on a wagon near me,and were totally engrossed in watching horses that were up for sale.I am fairly sure they are sisters, but can not be absolutely certain.