What is better than an afternoon snooze on mom and dad’s bed? That’s why I could not help but pull some of these “bedtime” photo’s out of the archives. It is a joy to find this many Sundogs snoozing on our bed together. I turned one into black and white which I love but Golden’s and the color purple ROCK. Enjoy!On a gloomy afternoon in March while I was cleaning out my bedroom closet Sasha got things started and out came my camera. Being the baby of the family she needed and still needs lots of naps along with her cherished purple monkey. Although the purple monkey was so cherished it recently went to stuffed animal heaven. Miss Maisie Rose being the ham she is had to get in on the action and somehow the purple monkey lies on the floor. “Oh well, there is always something else to hold in your mouth to pose for the camera. Why here’s a sock!”“Oops! I was so enamored by the camera I dropped the sock. Now Rockin Roy’s sock lies on top of the purple monkey. I can surely fit BOTH of them in my mouth”“I’m a little embarrassed now. I’m going to slink away to the floor for my treasures”Meanwhile Miss Maisie Rose, my English Cream beauty, basks in the glory of being alone. She gazes out the window in wonder. “Will this gloomy day ever turn to sunshine?” After putting the camera down and going back to cleaning out my closet I come back to the bed with a different scene. Yolo takes center stage (OF COURSE) while Lassen and Maisie watch Sasha ruin Rockin Roy’s sock.By now Rockin Roy’s sock is clearly destroyed. Yolo, Maisie and Lassen watch with approval. “We taught her well.”Sasha is done with destroying so she slinks back up on the bed to snooze with the gang. Like good dogs they all turn around to face me and my camera. Photographers dogs usually get good at posing. “We need our beauty rest.”OK you guys. “Good night, sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite”.
This weeks Photo challenge is PATTERNS. Can you see this amazingly natural MOVING pattern? They are mother and daughter Friesians running freely at Book Family Farm in Durham, Ca. The photo was taken at my photography workshop last month. They are at the farm being trained to drive by Nattie Book. Enjoy!
Last week was a big week. The BIG day arrived. It was time for Francis to go to her new home. We backed the trailer right up to the arena were we sometimes put the donkeys. Normally having to back up a trailer to a arena or pasture to load a horse is not a good sign. But since trailer loading was not checked off on the “to do” list in training we had to go the kinda wild animal or livestock way to load.
We built a chute the best way we could think of….kinda pathetic huh? Mr. Lassen had no idea why were are making it so complicated to get in the trailer.This is Helen getting Francis ready to go on her big trailer ride. Helen has been coming to Sundog twice a week to help me tame the donkey’s. See how Francis holds her hoofs up so nicely for cleaning? Thanks to Helen for that. Six months ago we could not get near her let alone clean her hoofs.
Here is Helen again trying to get Francis to turn around in our pathetic chute that was suppose to not let her turn around. I was not able to take many loading photo’s as all my energy was taken up LOADING Francis. Long story short…we eventually got Francis to jump in the trailer on her own accord. If you know donkey’s you know it is a good idea to let them in on the decision making. Once in the trailer Francis got lots of treats and did not think it was so bad in there.Rosie on the other hand watched and wondered why in the world Francis “GAVE IN” by getting into that BIG tin can. Much to my delight Rosie acted perplexed but not too upset by the whole episode. She continued to watch the trailer for a minute or two, gave out a few brays then went right back to eating her pile of grass hay as if to say “C’est la vie.” All that separation preparation we did must have worked. WOW I love it when things go as planned with my wild burro dream.
The Sundogs got the message they were not invited on this trip so they decided to hang out in a shady spot until they absolutely had to go back to the house.After the hour drive to Francis’s new home in Flournoy we were immediately greeted by a welcoming committee. They had to mark their territory right away and sniff to see what in the world was in that BIG tin can.
Why look what the cat dragged in!
Francis hopped out of the trailer and strolled into her new pasture as if this is were she was meant to be. No panic, no anxiety, no running around frantic that there were no other donkey’s to be seen. She put her head down, smelled the green grass…..
and looked at me as if to say “why didn’t you take me here sooner?
Helen gave Francis some good bye pats and hugs. Helen like me was relieved to see how happy Francis appeared in her new home.Francis even seemed right at home with her new care takers Kenny and Jenna. Allowing new people to stand on both sides of her was very courageous. We will miss her but knowing she is happy with good folks makes it all OKAY.Francis is now a main attraction on Paskenta Road about a 1/2 mile from the tiny town of Flournoy. If you are ever driving out that way look for Francis, honk and say HEE-HAW!!
This is what happens when we take THEM to the pier. After the long journey down the very long and historic Tahoe Taverns pier the Sundogs can’t wait to get into the water. This is what happens.Maisie is my leaper. She does not drift into the water she LEAPS into it. Off the metal stairs that lead to the swimming section off the pier. The roped off swimming area is reserved for humans but unless it is the heart of the summer in prime daylight hours the Sundogs TAKE OVER at the swimming section. Leaping affords Maisie a lot of time to get in front of her brothers hence to get to the object she is after FIRST.Once Maisie gets what she is looking for of course she is FIRST to the stairs.Sasha at four months old and her first time at the “stairs” does not want any part of what seems like fun to the big Sundogs. Leaping by herself into the blue-green sea of liquid ice with two or three other giant Sundogs after her does not seem fun.
I’m in the water! Isn’t that enough?
But no matter how hard she tries by putting two feet first in the water Sasha cannot bring herself to plunge in to the sea of liquid ice like her Mom does.So she plunks down at the top of the stairs where she can watch that is going on.Mr Lassen is also staying dry for now. He got his feet wet but since he is not too into competition he used the opportunity while everyone else was swimming to check out the good sniffs….. on the end of the pier by the swimming section. He could watch the swimming scene with Rockin Roy and that was fine with him.
And RARE undivided attention was to be had.While Maisie and Yolo had to get the ball FIRST from the stairs. Sasha stayed far away from the bottom step when Yolo was there.
And got away quickly when Mom was plunging.Lassen finally gets in on the action and so now we have three big wet Sundogs crowding the stairs.When they shake Rockin Roy tries to get away from the shake but not Sasha.Sasha has to play the “I BITE YOUR LEG” game while they aren’t even finished shaking off yet.It is time to dry off on the pier now. No more fun “on the stairs”.Sasha seems a little more at ease now with Mom and Yolo at her side NOT on dry land but at least on the pier. They can all survey the lake and bird situation from here and stop the silly plunging into liquid ice even if there is that retrieving thing going on.Rockin Roy calls and in no time the Sundogs sprint to the call. It must be time to go home, finish drying off and hit the couches.Leashing up for the walk down the pier away from the swimming section is OK since we got a bit tired out. Even if we don’t want to admit it.
Now that I have started a blog when going through old photo files I come across photo’s and pasts events I HAVE to share. This post has lots of photo’s so I better keep my words to a minimum and … Continue reading →
This is my entry for “From Above” These are the toes and tools of “The Wicked Sisters” of Amador County. This photo was taken before their performance at the entrance to Fitzpatrick Winery in Fairplay, California in the summer of 2012. Fairplay is a tiny town in the Sierra foothills in near Placerville. The Wicked Sisters are known for their feisty and edgy variety of folk, pop, country and blues with sweet three part harmonies. Bottom parts pictured here are my dear friend Lynn Vasquez, Anne Jeffries and KevinWever. Not pictured is Ken Custodio (his feet did not make the cut).
Rosie and Francis are getting used to being apart. It is sad but it is how it has to be. They both have “jobs to do” and “places to go” Francis is going to her new home soon so in preparation I have put them in separate pens. Learning to be apart is not easy for donkey’s. We used to hear them bray at 2am, 4am, 6am and of course right before we go out to feed around 8am. But we are making PROGRESS! Lately they have dropped the 2 am, 4 am and sometime 6am bray! Sleep is not the only benefit Rockin Roy and I have gained. The donkey’s welcome MOST humans even without treats in hand. They halter easily, allow their hoofs to be cleaned and they can be lead somewhere. At least most of the time! LOL Another step in the progress direction is I have taken a leap and purposely let them out of their pens. This is how it goes. On given day Rosie OR Francis gets to come out for the day and play guard donkey. And since I don’t want to panic about them leaving and going back to the wild only one donkey gets out at a time. You see they are joined at the hip and if one stays around the other won’t go far. Of course the thought crosses my mind perhaps they would not leave Sundog if they were out happily grazing together but I don’t want to find out. Francis is going to her new home soon and I do not need chaos in my life. So far this tactic is working EXCEPT Rosie sometimes does not want to go BACK into her pen at the end of a day of freely grazing and browsing with the goats. This behavior tests my patience since the goats and Francis go right back into their pens in the evening. One night I did not have time OR patience with this behavior so Rosie ended up spending the night outside of her pen for the night. The next morning I found her looking a bit embarrassed huddled next to Francis’s pen and Francis. She gladly accepted a hug and a treat then allowed me to halter her and lead her into her pen. After that experience she is thinking twice about evading me at put back time. Last night she decided to play run away again. Too bad for her I had plenty of patience and time. Eventually she came around to my way of thinking. In time she will see the value of a nice secure place to spend the night and stop this foolish behavior.
As many of you know I originally I acquired Rosie and Francis to be guard donkeys since we lost a couple of goats to mountain lions last year. When shopping for a guard donkey they say “Jenny’s” which is a female donkey, are the best for guarding. Even so one never knows if the donkey you get, Jenny or Jack, will be well suited for the job. SO it is amazing to me that Rosie and Francis are actually starting to do their jobs. This was my original plan and it is working! Imagine that. Things going as planned.
This weeks challenge is culture. As I have not been out of the country for some time I’ll just highlight the culture in my part of the world. This shot is from behind the scenes at the Stoneyford Rodeo. Stoneyford is a tiny town in the hills of Northern California located about 2 hours NW of Sacramento. I had some great shots of cowboys but I had to go with the cowgirls. It looks like time is standing still here but if you zoom in to the middle you will notice the rodeo queen from 2011 talking on her cell phone. She is savoring the her last stand as queen as she is about to give up her title to the new 2012 queen.