Monday, July 27, 2009

Macro Monday

Here are some macro shots that I took this week.

First up, the hated thistle bloom. I think I may dislike these more then the bastard dandelions.

These are my Bachelor Buttons that actually came up. I grew these from seed, can you believe that?!? There was a row of tall sunflowers planted behind them and a row of short, bushy sunflowers planted in front of them, but 5 stalks of bachelor buttons is all that came up from 4 packets of seeds. Love it! Not.

This little buzzy guy was just chillin on the flower posing for me.

I'm really happy that atleast some of these Bachelor Buttons came up though. The packet of seeds had some sentimental value. It was in a little springy gift basket type thing that I got as my trophy the last reining show that I won. :-) I was really happy to see some come up!

Then when I was out watering I noticed this little guy soakin up some of the cool, fresh water. He had a prime spot, hanging out under the leaves in the nice cool, damp soil.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Monday!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Stills Challenge - Toys

Well, I survived last weekend! More on that later. I haven't had much time to take pictures lately, let alone get them loaded and do a blog post, but I wanted to get back to the Sunday Stills Challenges so I'm making time for it this morning! :-)

My kittens are my new toys and they are a hoot to watch! They play hard and long and are always entertaining. Especially when they are attacking my toes when I walk up to the bed that they are under and try to climb up my legs when I'm wearing shorts. That's a blast, let me tell ya! lol

For the most part though, I am having so much fun with my little kitties. Still haven't officially named them, but right now they are Chunk and Legs. One is a little tub and the other one is tall and skinny. Nothing like giving a girl a complex early on, huh?

This was Legs playing with the camera lense from my lap. I thought it was hilarious. I was sitting down on the ground taking pictures of them playing together when Legs jumped on my lap and started swatting at my camera. I pulled back at first but then realized she only wanted the dangling lense.

On a side note: do you see those back claws digging into my leg?!? My poor legs have little kitty scratch scabs all over them. Ouchy!

This morning as I sat down to go through my archives for Toy pics I looked over and both the kitties were wrestling with Chey's toys.

Here Chunk is showing the hedge hog what's up! This poor hedge hog has been through the wringer! It's survived Chey for over a year now, been partially de-fuzzed and had it's ears and eyes gnawed off, but it's still going strong and even still honks!

At the same time Chunk and the hedge hog were going at it, Legs was over teaching Piggy a lesson. She hadn't spied me in this picture, though it does look like it. She was eyeballin' a fly that was buzzing around. She loves chasing flies!

Piggy is Cheyanne's favorite toy.

I'm interested to see what she does when she smells the kittens all over it!

Poor girl.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Kitty Smackdown

Alright, as promised, here is the Smackdown that occurred on the boyfriends knees the other night. I was shooting in continuous mode and the house was dark so please forgive the quality (or serious lack thereof) of the photos. They were just too funny to not post. Sorry, it's kinda long, but mostly pictures.

Here we go...

Fighters, take your, knees!

Get those claws warmed up and Prepare to fight!

Round 1...FIGHT!

*POW* And Girl 1 gets a left jab in right at the bell...

Uh-oh, looks like Girl 1 has a claw stuck and Girl 2 is going in for a left hook!

*BAM* G2 nails G1 with that left hook, but G1's claw is still stuck

G2 winds up for another left hook...

*KAPOW* Oh, that ones a doozy, but that claw is holding strong!

G2 winds up for a third hit, but it looks like that claw is finally coming loose.

*KABLAM* G2 lands a third blow, knocking G1's claw loose finally and takes Round 1 with 3 punches.

Ok, fighters...Here's Round 2...FIGHT!
Look at the speed G2 has in that left jab! Amazing! But G1 is winding up for a good one while dodging that swipe. Just look at her coiling up, ready to pounce and really put the hurt on with those claws!


G2 looks a little stunned by that blow, but is recovering quickly. But will she be quick enough to get out of the way of the next blow coming?


Oh! Not quite fast enough and she takes a direct hit to the head.

You can just feel the focus in G1...look at that stance, those ears, the tail straight down for balance...she's one tough little kitty!

But wait...G2 is still fighting!

G2 looks like she's about to bring some serious heat!

Oh! She lands a solid hit on G1's head and winds up for more!

Looks like another solid wind up...look at that speed!

But wait, what's this?! It looks like G1 managed to get out of the way, sending G2 sprawling...

G1 goes in for the kill while G2 is still off balance!

And G1 lands another solid hit on the head for the knockout punch!

Our winner and feather weight King of the Mountain is Girl 1!
Okay, okay...I know I'm a total dork. You don't have to tell me. It totally reminds me of some weird mix of the Simba/Scar slow motion fight scene in the Lion King and the old comic book cartoons. I totally picture the big *POW* *BAM* screens flashing after every hit. Anyone else? Is that just me?
*tap, tap*
This thing on?
(name that blog!)
Well, it's apparently way past my bedtime and I think I'm getting delirious...ya, that's it. ;) Stay tuned for plenty more Kitty Tales coming soon!

Macro Monday

Ed from Sunday Stills has included a Macro Monday now. I'm more then happy to jump on that bandwagon! Even though I joined Sunday Stills to try to branch out, broaden my horizons, etc. etc. I'm still very partial to macro!

I was at my parents house last weekend and a trip up there just isn't complete without me taking a trip through my mom's gardens with my camera. Here are my fave shots of the day...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday Stills Challenge - Textures

I'm back after missing last week's SSC. I was bummed too! I've got plenty of wild flowers to take pictures of and even had tons in my archives, but I just did not have time to sit down and actually put a post together. Oh well, I'm back this week with textures! I decided to do the different textures on my saddles. Please excuse the dirt, I'm not very good at keeping my saddles clean.

This is my favorite saddle, my Reinsman. Unfortunately my horse doesn't like it so much and it's kind of heavy and the stirrups don't go short enough for me now that I'm riding with cutter length stirrups (much shorter then, say, the equitation length stirrups I used to ride with).

It has these very pretty and different conchos on it with a hand carved acorn leaf and very unique basket weave type pattern. It's also the softee leather that I love so much and is an incredibly comfortable and secure saddle. It was my "investment" saddle, after getting a cheaper one before it, but I hardly use it. Very sad.

Next up is my old show saddle. It's a Circle Y and I love this one too. It's got a flower pattern on it and just a little bit of silver and is the older "good" Cirle Y's that also had the softee leather. I got this saddle when I was showing 4-H for one of my birthday's, maybe my 15th? I don't remember. It was a collaborative effort with all of my family and friends chipping in on it so it has some sentimental value.

This next saddle and I have a LOT of history. We've had hundreds, probably even thousands of hours together. It's my "antique". It's the saddle I learned to ride in, when I wasn't riding bareback. I "barrel raced" in it (hahaha), jumped, played in the lake, spent hours upon hours on many memories.

Funny story of the day: My best friend who I used to do all of that riding with had this exact same saddle. I have never seen another one like it, but what a small world that we both had this particular saddle.

It's very simple, plain, smooth leather with the checker board stamped on it with a few little flowers on the corners. It's not nice leather at all and hasn't been very well taken care of. It spent many a winter out in the barn getting damp and moldy, but it survived and earned itself a nice retirement being decoration in my house.
Check out this seat...

It is rock hard and evil. I cannot believe I spent as much time in it as I did. Evil. The last time I rode in it, I think I opted to go bareback after a whole 3 minutes. Evil.

Anyways, those are my different textures for the day. My other "cheapy" Circle Y saddle is in my trailer. It's my every day rider and is currently under a quarter inch thick layer of dust from the dry arena we practiced in last weekend. I didn't feel like cleaning it so you could see the textures on it. ;) It's got the same Circle Y flowers as the other one, just no silver.

To check out more textures go here and click through the links in the comments.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Kitten Tales

I am having so much fun with my new kitties! They are the cutest little things EVER! Possibly cuter then Cheyanne when she was a puppy. I dunno though, Chey was a darn cute puppy. I think the fact that I don't have to potty train the kitties gives them the win though. ;)

I am enjoying getting to know them and figure out their personalities and similarities and differences. They are the friendliest little kittens, run up to the door with their tails straight up when I go in to visit and won't go play in the house when I let them out until I give them each some loves.
This is from their first night at the house when Cheyanne smelled them under the door and was growling.
Immediately they puffed up and started spitting. Freakin' hilarious! Smart kitties though! Cheyanne wanted to have them for lunch! We have to be super duper careful with them and not let Chey in while they are out, or even go out the door if they are out. Chey caught sight of one the other day while the boyfriend was sneaking out and she lunged at the door. Luckily, the boyfriend saw it coming and was able to catch her and get the door closed. It's going to be a long process getting them introduced, but I think more then anything it's just going to take the kittens getting bigger and growing claws to earn her respect. Right now, Chey digs up and kills moles in the yard that are bigger then these two!
And of course any suggestions on introducing an apparently aggressive Aussie dog to new kittens are greatly appreciated! Right now Chey gets to smell them under the door and just in the last week or so it has turned into more of a game with them then the original "I want to eat you" thing it was. The kittens meow at her under the door and she pounces and backs off, they stick their heads under the door again, etc. etc. Before she was rather aggressive, but now she is happy while she's doing it. She smells every where they've gone when she comes in the house too, so she is getting used to their scent that way as well. We did have a face to face meeting with me holding kittens or letting them play near her while the boyfriend held Chey in a death grip, but she was still very aggressive and lunged at one, mouth open, as soon as I held it close enough for her to smell. I think we're going to wait a little while to do that again.
Anyways, they are very cute! And they play, play, play, play, play! Oh my goodness! It doesn't seem like they play a little and sleep a lot like the puppy did. And anything is interesting. Anything!
Here, a pebble is the coolest new toy on the block.

They also spend a good chunk of their time out playing in the shoes.

Their favorite jungle gym was the shelf of pop and water. Here they are playing thru the clear plastic of the water case. They would also go in the pop boxes and attack the other one thru the carrying handle hole.

They do a lot of running around the house chasing eachother! They are loud! I expected cats to be light on their feet, graceful, know, like cats! But these two sound like a herd of elephants running around!

Unfortunately, it didn't take them long to discover the couches. They loooove to climb them. *shudders* This was my big fear, that they would trash the couches. So far I haven't noticed any snags and I'm hoping that by the time they are big enough to leave snags, they'll be able to jump on them instead of having to climb them. Fingers crossed! They can almost jump up on the seat of them right now so I think we should be ok.

The boyfriend layed down on the the floor the other day and they immediately used him as a jungle gym. Here they are playing King of the Mountain on his knees. I did some of the continuous shoot mode while they were up there and I plan to do a post on the smackdown that occurred. I was laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes while looking thru those pictures!

I am also noticing that they are fast! Like really fast! Probably 90% of my pictures of them are blurry because they don't sit still for even half a second! Even my sports mode on my Nikon doesn't always catch them! Crazy kids! I'm sure it does't help that my house is pretty dark though.

In these pictures I was in the bedroom folding clothes and they were keeping me company. They ended up climbing up the jeans on hangers in the boyfriends closet and playing on them. They were having a total blast too! It was hilarious to watch since the hangers would move and tilt.

Don't they just look like TROUBLE?!