Saturday, September 4, 2010

Abstract Irises

All those lovely frames that I have been collecting to display my photos will finally be utilized ... every last one of them. I'm committed to this ... or will be committed if I don't do it. I've just finished this series of abstract irises that I've been working on and I like the moodiness of them. My good friend, Jo-Ann, has created an incredible garden on her farm and over the years she has dug up plants for me to bring back to "Chinook Country" with the warning: "Careful, these will take over the world" but sadly, not my world. Our extremely cold, dry winters are more often than not the death nell for some of these beautiful plants. The hardy irises are, thankfully, another story. They seem to thrive on the harsh conditions and neglect that come with living on our southern Alberta farm. And I love, love , love the names that Iris breeders give their 'progeny': Ballet in Blue; Anything Goes; Neon Cowboy; Thunder Quay; Eternal Waltz. That's half the fun of perusing the plant catalogues. Next year, I will catalogue our own but these 3 were from a series that I did in Jo-Ann's garden.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


There's nothing like a horse with a kind eye and a soft nose longing for a pat over the fence. Gargoyle JT is always willing to leave his hay to come to the gate for a chat and a scratch. He's got that kind, intelligent look that eminates from the old stallions that seem to say that they've been there, done that and are content with life in general. When I look at this photo, it reminds me that I have an old snapshot or two of Gargoyle and Alix (then age 6, I think), in the paddock together with him sniffing her and following her around like a pup. I think I will look for that one this week to scan it to make sure we don't lose it.

Gargoyle JT was bred by Jo-Ann and Jon Trusz of Fruitvale, BC and he's by a Spruce Meadows stallion, Goodwill SM out of Cripple Creek Farm's Wilma. Here at Slipstream Farm, we have 2 of his offspring, Gimli (out of Kestrel) and Gonika (out of Maximum Delight xx). Gargoyle's temperament is reflected in both of these offspring as is his talented jumping ability and free flowing movement.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Life Interrupted
I was looking after my neighbour's animals this week. Her husband died a few months ago and I have not been to their farm since his passing. A misplaced house key prompted me to initiate a major search of the out buildings and garage to see if she had another stashed some place. In the process of rooting around I came across signs of Verne. A soiled baseball cap lay in the dust on his workbench, an oily fingerprint outlined on the sweaty brim. Tools lay scattered, old manuals their pages curled up. An upturned coffee mug. In the old chicken shed shelves held some unusable electronics dating back 20 years or more alongside seasonal decorations. At his passing, Verne was a husband, father, brother and friend. Although we were only acquaintances, we were neighbours and neighbours look out for each other – at least on our country road.
The whole time I’m searching, Holly, the little dachshund Verne gave his wife many years before, raced around the yard with the pure joy and enthusiasm of being out in the sunshine and fresh air. When I gave them this photo of the intrepid Holly, Johnnie told me that Verne had a "real good laugh". That I will remember.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Great Day – Natural History Museum – London England
This is an absolutely beautiful building and the shades and tones of my photo captures the feel of the afternoon winter sun filtering in. It was late November and the school children in their uniforms add that sense of wonder to the scene as they all gaze transfixed on the dinosaur skeleton. This is in the main hall as you enter the building. Kellee and I were there to see the 2008 Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit while Sig and Martin toured the British War Museum. What a great day wandering around looking at stunning photos in that quiet exhibition hall. We later joined the guys at a cool London lounge then on to dinner before heading back to the flat down by the Millennium stadium.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Parents were invented to make children happy by giving them something to ignore.
- Ogden Nash
When I came across this quote, this universal truth, by Ogden Nash, I can’t tell you how relieved I felt. There was one person in this world that knew what I experienced. This little picture of Alix when she was about 2 years old says it all and obviously from the state of her outfit, I was a little late in catching up with her. “No, don’t touch! Oh, what the hell ... go for it.” I was soon resigned to my fate of years of being ignored - even to this day. Alix brought home 2 kittens two years ago June as a “surprise” for me. Ignoring the fact that we had had a welcomed reprieve from house cats for almost 24 months, she decided it was time to liven things up a little... new leather couches be damned. Now, as Lily and Cora’s 2nd birthday approaches, I’m still fighting to get the kitty litter changed. See that look in this photo, I get that with a few good expletives from a now 18 year old. Another old saying ... “the more things change, the more they stay the same”.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Foothills Drive

On a scorching, hot day two summers past, we came to our senses and put aside the usual farm chores, hopped in the truck heading south towards the Porcupine Hills. The scenery can be breathtaking in its own stark way. Not much in the way of trees but the beauty of the rolling hills and distant ranches make up for the lack of foliage. I got out of the truck to set up my camera to take in the undulating landscape spread out before the mountains when these two local busy bodies trotted up to the fence to check us out. I’m sure that in this remote landscape we were the only excitement they’d seen for days. In true equine fashion they scoped us out and decided that we were definitely worth getting a closer look at, for sure!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Changin’ It Up!
Every once in a while we need to change it up a bit. The ruts we create for ourselves are self imposed gates. Sometimes the gates take too much energy to open, other times they just need a little imagination to figure out.
This picture reminded me that often a change is just needed to clear the mind, shake off the cobwebs and move in a more creative direction. Michaela decided to “change it up” for Walsh by taking him from the jumper ring and his English tack, to racing around the barrels. He seems to enjoy it and he looks content in this picture taken on Easter weekend, 2010. I’m going to figure out something that I need to change up over the next month and see if there is a difference in my energy, my outlook or just myself. I want to look back on May 1st and see a difference.