Monday, November 19, 2012

Uruguay Photo Dump

Over the summer when  I was in Uruguay, I didn't take as many photos as I should have. It was a really cool experience which I now wish I had documented more fully. I did take a lot more than I have shown anyone, though. A few months ago I posted maybe three photos, which were the only ones I wanted to edit at the time. But today I went through and opened up a few more in Photoshop. Here they are.


At a museum in Punta del Este

Near Punta del Este


Estancia Finca Piedra

At a wildlife preserve on the way to Punta del Este

Family Weekend

Last month I promised to post the photos from our hikes over fall family weekend, but didn't have time to edit the photos until now. And I think most of the photos are probably on my mom's camera in Texas... oh well. Time to dive in.

For our weekend, my parents and I stayed at Pinkham Notch in the White Mountains. It's near the base of Mount Washington. The weather was iffy, so we decided early on that we wouldn't make an attempt on the summit, especially since we've done it a few times before and didn't need to again. Given our chosen path, that was probably a good decision. The route my father decided to take was up Huntington Ravine, through the Alpine Garden, and down the Lion Head. In retrospect, that was not the smartest way to go on such a damp and windy day.

Huntington Ravine is arguably one of the more dangerous paths in this area of the White Mountains, because of the rock slab and other outcroppings you have to climb up to get to the top. While these would not be too nasty on a dry day, they're slippery when wet. It's a good place to have a rope, even if it's just to be extra cautious. We didn't have one.

When we got to the rock slab, which requires a friction climb to the top, we found that it was very slick in some places, and at first it looked like we wouldn't be able to scale it. Having dismissed the marked route as not doable, we then proceeded to look around for all other possible ways up. Nothing went. Finally, we retried the marked path, and by that time it didn't seem so bad compared to the others. It went after all. Amazing, right? Who would have thought that the best path would be the marked one?

Finally we made our way to the top of the ravine, where we suddenly realized that--wow--it was actually kind of windy. The clouds were amazing, spilling from the Alpine Garden down into various ravines and gulches like the one we'd just come out of. The landscape looked very Scottish.

At the end of the Alpine Garden, which was actually a very short walk, we started down the Lion Head. I think that was probably the least comfortable part of the hike. I liked it more than scrambling up the seemingly endless Huntington Ravine, but the Lion Head was a steep downhill on rock. Even though the rocks were like stairs, all of our knees took a beating.

Just in time, we emerged from the woods and back into Pinkham Notch. It was just beginning to rain, and there was enough time to take a nice hot shower and be dressed in time for the 6:00 dinner call. It was short hike, but seemed like a pretty long day. There wasn't enough vertical rise to compare it to a lot of the hikes we do in Jackson, but there were some pretty sketchy spots in Huntington Ravine, and I wouldn't call it an easy hike.

As for photos, I just checked my hard drive and it turns out that for most of the trip, I was busy playing with my mom's new Rebel, so all the photos are on her computer. The one good photo on my camera that I actually took myself was this one:

Reminds me so much of fall! Fall is a great season. But it's winter now, so frost and snow are on their way! I have mixed feelings but winter means that morning and evening chores need doing on the farm, so I'm happy.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Draft Pulling

Two weekends ago was Family Weekend up here at school. My parents flew up for the long weekend. For Friday and Saturday we hung around campus; my parents had parent-teacher conferences and I was leaping on the opportunity to staff the farm stand. This was apparently a bad math weekend for me, because I kept having trouble making change. Several parents raised their eyebrows and one practically reprimanded me for being mathematically challenged. But honestly, who really cares about skeptical parents when you're hanging around the farm?

After all of our business on campus was finished, it was time to drive up to New Hampshire to hike. I'm actually going to make a different post about the hiking; this is about what we saw on the way up to Pinkham Notch, and how we almost missed dinner (served at 6:00 PM sharp, and don't even think about being late!).

As we drove away from school through Swanzey, Mass, we ran across a massive tack shop called the Cheshire Horse. Inside they had a flier about the 54th Annual Eastern Draft Horse Association Championship Round Up. My dad was really interested so away we went to find the fairgrounds where the last event of the weekend was taking place.

When we arrived, the final pulling competition was in full swing, and what a sight it was. There was a huge tractor at one end of the ring, attached to a metal sledge loaded with enormous cement blocks. The tractor pulled the sledge back after each team pulled. The arena was full of both horses and people. Teams of two horses were lined up at the larger end of the ring with a small open space in the middle. And all around were camp chairs with people in them, presumably drivers of these teams. It seemed like an incredibly dangerous setup to me, especially because sometimes the teams would be walking over to the sledge and almost run into one of the people hanging around on the sides.

The pulling was amazing. These horses were in the 3400 lb weight class, which I'm pretty sure included both of the horses. They would be ground driven to the sledge, turned around, and two handlers on either side would drop the yoke onto a hook on the sledge. The horses would then explode forward, urged on by their eager drivers (sometimes aided by hats flapped at the horses' rears).

The horses were originally pulling 8000 lbs. Then as teams were eliminated, it became 9000 lbs and then 9500 lbs. We had to leave before they added any more.

I thought the horses were really pretty, as well as kind of ferocious-looking when they were being driven.

Still, I'd rather be outside the pen petting them than in the ring driving them.

I'll be posting more photos of these guys later (I took over 1000) as well as photos from Stoneleigh-Burnham and Mount Washington.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fall is Here

It might be the slowly changing leaves around here, or it might be the chilly rains that have made each Friday night for the past two weeks more miserable than usual, but one thing is certain: fall is on the way. Or here. Technically fall started on the 22nd, so I guess it's here. Many of the trees are still greenish or mostly green, and we are still getting some warmer days. But the coming of fall means that I will be taking much more colorful photos than usual, which makes me incredibly happy. Taking pictures of animals in front of green stuff gets a little boring sometimes, and I'm not getting enough sleep to warrant shooting the sunrise.

The farm has been doing well; Liam is the new farm manager and we also have a farm intern now, who runs half-marathons and is pretty darn awesome himself. And of course, Rachel is still around, though I don't get to see her nearly as often as I'd like.

Raspberry season is still going strong, and despite a number of really awful vinegar flies the cold weather has meant that we can make jam without worrying too much about getting larvae in it (yuck!).

Picking raspberries is still not the most fun job, but hanging around with farm people is worth it.

There's more to tell, but this will do as an update for now. Expect more photos from the farm, but this time it won't be of raspberries. Tomorrow we pick up our first crates of apples from the orchards, and cidering season will be on its way!

Monday, September 3, 2012

It's that time of year again.

School time! Although it seems a little strange, I'm really quite excited to get down to work. Classes start tomorrow, so I don't have too long to wait. Volleyball tryouts are happening right now; I had a 7 AM to 9AM session this morning and will have another at 3:30 this afternoon. I still don't know if I'll make the varsity team or not, but I can work really hard and that's what I've been doing. In a few days I'll know.

I haven't been very good about taking photos over the past few days because of orientation activities and tryouts and setting up my room and seeing friends... however, I did work on the farm for three days and got some photos from there. And that's really the best place for it anyway, since it's so pretty there this time of year. There are so many flowers blooming, tomatoes and asparagus growing, calves sitting around and eating...

We still have Jordan, Ricky, and Pete, although they would normally have gone to live with another farmer at the end of last school year. They will be leaving at some point, but that point has not yet come and I'm perfectly content to keep them as long as possible. I got a few good photos of them the other day, too. Jordan is growing into a very handsome young bull, if I may say so. He still has the adorable white spots above his hooves, but you can't really see them here. 

The grass has gotten high where the calves haven't been eating in, which led to some interesting shots.

Ricky and Pete are also growing up to be quite photogenic.

This was just an experiment...

Here are the rest of the miscellaneous shots I took over the few days I was at the farm all day, every day.

Hope you enjoyed them! I certainly had fun shooting them. More to come soon, and maybe I'll get to use the fog in the mornings; I have A block off of class to work on the farm. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Snow King

A few days ago my sister, mom, and I hiked up Snow King, the town hill of Jackson. To start we went up the requisite front face with me leading as I always like to. After looking out from the Panorama House at the top of the King, we walked to the northeast, down into a saddle, and up the next ridge. It was a steep climb on a very, very faint trail; even though the trail is marked on the map of the mountain and it's visible from the opposite ridge, it was much more difficult to follow from the ground.

When we got to a good lunch spot, a few rocks at the top of the ridge, we got an amazing view of the Tetons. Or at least, it would have been if there hadn't been so much smoke from the fires in Idaho and to the north of the park. Still, it was pretty up there. We could see all the way into the bowl behind the circle of ridges as well as the little trail snaking down into it. It was a nice day, too.

The third part of the hike was back down to the base. Instead of taking the chairlift as we do on occasion, we walked back to the saddle between the two ridges and down the front in the woods. It's really a bike path and has a lot of switchbacks which go down the hill. It's a surprisingly long way down but all very pretty because it's in the deep but sunny part of the pine forest. In all, we think the hike was about 6 miles or so. It was a great day hike and I do recommend it.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Holly Lake

On Thursday, the day after we arrived in Wyoming, we went for our first hike in the Tetons. It was a pretty ambitious hike for a first one: 6.4 miles from String Lake, up Paintbrush Canyon to Holly Lake, and then 6.4 back. The wildflowers were absolutely incredible.

Apart from going for that hike, my sister, mom, and I ran a 5k from the Wildlife Art Museum on the new bike path while Ruth walked the course. I ran with Isabel who wanted to go a little slower than my pace so my time ended up being around 30.30. Our mom ran it in 23.something and came in second place without even being totally acclimated. We also saw the ducks in the Elk Refuge and a bison and her calf on the bike path on the way back.

trying something a little bit new 

The Horse Show

Last weekend I rode at the only horse show I've done all year. I'll say preemptively that we didn't bring home any ribbons. Jones kept refusing fences because I was either inadvertently holding onto his mouth or I looked down for the stride instead of riding it properly, or some other combination of little mistakes that made a difference. We actually did pretty well-- the lines and single fences that he didn't refuse were really good!

Even though we didn't win anything I still had a great time. I took a lot of photos, too.

All the photos I shot as stock are posted on my deviantART stock account, Ophelia-Stock. Feel free to take a look!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Florida Carriage Museum, Part 2

Here are the rest of the photos from the Carriage Museum!

Hope you like them!