PHOTO OF THE DAY – CLIFFHANGER – September 20, 2015

This photo has been around. It’s in this blog, it’s on my FB page…I even sent it out with Christmas cards last year. It happened exactly one year ago today. You may think it’s just a wacky photo, but it’s really an amazing split second in time.

It is so amazing, I have chosen to share this version from my private diary…something I never dreamed I would do.

Presenting … Photo of the Day …. CLIFFHANGER…dear diary2

Please note…I set my camera on a rock in order to make some healthy-looking, family-style, self portraits. I have so few of those. I positioned Recluse Man and told him I’d start the timer, then run in the photo, then he should wrap his lovin’ arms around me and smile.

Well I jumped in the photo and there was NO EARTH UNDERNEATH ME! I SCREAMED for RECLUSE MAN to HOLD ON TO ME TIGHT!! He SCREAMED TOO. That made me SCREAM EVEN MORE!!!

While we were SCREAMING, my Nikon made this photo right then and there, just as I thought I was GOING TO DIE.


omg. i did. we’re good. it was amazing.

PHOTO OF THE DAY – BENTLEY – September 19, 2015

For Photo of the Day, I have chosen an old favorite. It’s from my first summer on the farm, when I had a horse I loved to pieces. Here is Bentley, in his free-range meadow below Peak Mountain. Even though he’s just a small part of the image, it’s one of my favorites. I know he was having a blast at that very moment.


It was three years ago today my heart broke. Bentley, my long-legged, Thoroughbred…horse of my dreams…passed early that morning all peacefully curled in a corner of the paddock.

When I found him at breakfast, he was still warm. It was a crisp, mountain morning and Gypsy was standing nearby as I howled and sobbed. I laid my body against Mr B and held onto him as I calmed myself by telling him what a wonderful friend he had been. Then no words…just quiet…as I stroked his warm body. Slowly, a certain peace filled me and I realized what a beautiful passing it had been.

Bentley’s head was resting against the fence rail and I realized his last view of life on earth was the stunning awakening of a new day. His favorite free-range pasture was sparkling with sunlit dew beyond the barn he loved so much. Peak Mountain commanded in the distance. Gypsy was nuzzling him when I found them. It was the best passing I could have ever wished for my dear old friend.

BENTLEY-BI miss you Bentley. I think of you nearly everyday. All the fun we had…all the trails we rode…all the seasons we traveled thru together. Mr B & Me2

Your spirit lives on here at the farm and most especially at Mr B’s barn.Bentley_snow-B-2BENTLEY, affectionately known as Mr. B.

April 16, 1998 – September 19, 2013

PHOTO OF THE DAY – BIG YELLOW MATER – September 18, 2015

I have a thing for big, fat, weird tomatoes…the kind you can only find at a good farmers’ market. They jump out at me, calling my name….”freeeeeekaaaaaa…take me home with youuuuuu…shooooooot meeee…eeeat meeee….paleeeeeeezzzzzzzze.”

Sometimes they’re just so ugly…I mean really, really ugly…I gotta save ’em. Sometimes they’re just so gigundus-humungous…I know if I don’t take ’em home, I won’t believe myself the next day. Other times, they’re just so kinky, I am beside myself. Anatomical protrusions…like…tomato weenies…bellybuttons…nipples…butts and such…right there for the squeezing. Do other people blush at farmers’ markets? Are you out there?

Back in my own farmers’ market vendor days, my friends were famous for giving me porno maters. They’d track me down and be so proud to gift me with their kinky ole mater. Of course I never let them go to waste. Unh Unh. Whether I photographed them or not, they ended up under the knife. That’s right Lorena Bobbitt…move over.

Today’s PHOTO OF THE DAY is not kinky. (How did I get on that anyway?) It is simply the biggest, most voluptuous and curvaceous, yellow tomato I’ve ever seen…giving herself a hug. I found her last Saturday at the market and brought her home gently, in two hands. I set her on a bed of fresh garden basil, and gave her a marigold to hug. Then I made her portrait. In my humble opinion, she was one of the most well-rounded, happiest maters I’ve ever met….FG_031_POTD4

Here’s what she looked like alone in a hug…FG_007…but I gave her lots to hug…FG_026She was a tomato to remember for all time, from top to bottom…FG_035_B…start to finish…WhataMater…FG_43Should you be wondering about her weight…she was a solid two-pounder. I also met the winner of ‘the biggest tomato’ contest…check him out at 2.965 pounds…FG_021_1 I told his owner to stuff him. Tomatoes wearing boxer gloves scare me.

TGIF y’all

PHOTO OF THE DAY – HUMMER OF A SHOT – September 17, 2015

For Photo of the Day #3, I have chosen this ‘hummer of a shot’ I made earlier this summer.

Notice the shadow of a bird you cannot see. Or rather, you see just her blurred wing behind the feeder…but her entire body you see only in the shadow. Cool eh? I get a peaceful, easy feeling looking at this image. Everybody looks happy. That’s some sweet early morning, summer light on those hummers…FG_577_POTD

I was so tickled midsummer when I discovered the hummingbird shadows on the post. In fact it kind of blew my mind. It was mesmerizing and beautiful to behold, clearly. But why had I never noticed this before?

My blown mind had no answers. Yes, we have a lot of foggy, misty early summer mornings in the valley, and yes, I have moved the feeders around, and yes, it’s just a certain time of the summer…but still. Why, in the previous six summers here, had I never before noticed the shadows on the post?

I have learned you can’t dwell on questions without answers for too long. Except maybe … does God exist? … am I for Real? … how long before Toots stops barking at night?

I looked forward to clear mornings, for the chance to slow down and view some magical hummingbird shadow dancing.

Actually it was more like DIVE-BOMBING. Freekin’ THIRSTY NINJAS. Traffic like SINGAPORE. Making DEMANDS thru the WINDOW. SPYING on ME. Using MY RED MUG for TARGET PRACTICE. SUGAR ADDICTS THEY ARE … going thru 24 POUNDS OF SUGAR!!!



(breathe deep Fred…get a grip)

As you may have surmised, I have Jekyll and Hyde feelings for hummingbirds. Consider the upper photo as a sight for Dr Jekyll, when he moseyed out onto his deck in the morning with his bowl of Cheerios. He was feeling at one with the cosmos, gazing at those silly little hummers.

While I see in this runner-up photo below, something completely different…a touch of chaos…multiple personalities…Mr Hyde with a beak and wings shows up and Who is Who?? Who is Real? Shadow below…where’s the body? Shadow to the right…belongs to far right body? Shadow to the left…oops not a shadow…Dr Jekyll where are you?POTD-1A for #3

Am I getting carried away? Please say yes. I have been looking at way too many hummer photos.

So I’ll kindly share a few more favorites then hush my mouf. But first I must add, I miss those terrorists. They are mostly gone now, and there’s a sense of calm on the deck. Soon I will take down the feeders. I miss all the excitement of being dive-bombed and spied upon.  I’ve got the hummer bummers.

I think this must be a baby hummer on the left…check out the lil fluff-puff..FG_593_3

A scene from the great Holy Hummer Sugar-Water Wars…

They seem a bit more subdued when it rains…FG_006_2

More peaceful. Like…yes, let’s come out of the rain together for a refuel…but let us first give thanks to the girl who whips up this kickass ninja-juice…FG_007_2

Other viewers…other motives…FG1_0085 copy

Dream on Moondust….FG1_0080

 No worries…she has never caught one in her big fat life.

See you tomorrow….








PHOTO OF THE DAY – PONKEY PRANK – September 16, 2015



(answers below)


  4. AFFIRMATIVE!!!!!!!!

Let me explain. I made this photo Sunday evening after a long day of attending to Gypsy’s sudden lameness. She showed up for breakfast hobbling into the barn. It looked serious. Her fetlock was warm and swollen and a little squishy. Perhaps a sprain? I cold-hosed Gypsy’s leg several times thru the day, applied liniment, gave her stall wraps, kept her confined, kept a close eye on her, and then let her out in the paddock with the Pips for the evening.

The entire time the Pips were PERFECT PESTS!!! It was the first time ever in their short lives, my attention was entirely focused on Mama G. “WAAAAAAAH?” said Pockets.

The Pips were mostly in cahoots, but this was strictly a Pockets-Prank. I had filled a water tub for overnight in the gated-paddock. (Normally Gyps and the Pips drink from the creek in the pasture.) After 15 minutes or so, I noticed the water was nasty-dirty. Now how did that happen, I wondered. I dumped the water and reminded myself not to fill it so full.

Then look who came over to investigate…suddenly things became clear as the hose water….FG_105_2

 I encouraged that ponkey to Move On…Move On Lil Ponkey…MOVE ON…FG_107_1

Well that didn’t last long…a ponkey has a lotta curiosity doncha know…FG_110_1 copy

Uncontrollable, unfathomable, unbelievable curiosity….FG_112_1

To the point of ponkey-pestiness…FG_130_1“HEY GIT OUTTA HERE YOU PANFRIED PINTSIZED PESTY PONKEY!!”FG_131_1And that my friends, is the story behind your Ponkey-Prank Photo of the Day

PHOTO OF THE DAY – STAR – September 15, 2015

I am feeling hopelessly undisciplined when it comes to blogging.

I need a whipping. Or the boot. Or to be roped to my chair and handcuffed to my keyboard.

Or perhaps consider writing geek-porn.

But no. What I really need is…you ready?…

Taaaah Daaaah…. loud drumroll please…



I hereby announce this very scary and hugely intimidating concept …just the thought of it is making my fingers perspire on the keyboard … (or was that the ‘roped to my chair’ thought?)…of posting one photo (well maybe more)… each and every day.

There. I said it. Obviously that was not easy.

A photo a day. Day after day…photos and more photos. Everyday.

I don’t know what-the-heck kinda photos yet…maybe they will be very recent, maybe pulled from old travel archives. Maybe I’ll tell you a little story…maybe not. Let’s grow it together.

So without further ado…my very first PHOTO OF THE DAY.

I have chosen a horse of course.Star2


I have a crush on this horse called Star. He lives on a farm nearby and I have been working with him off and on since we first met in January. Plans are in the works to get him here to my farm for fall and winter. I am a teenager on the verge of a LOVE MELTDOWN just thinking about it.

What’s special to me about this photo, is that it is a very flattering photo and just about the only flattering one I have ever made of Star since I began photographing him in January.

Star usually looks dorky. He is the brother who ruined every family photo crossing his eyes or picking his nose. Star holds his head high like a giraffe, and is lean like a runway model. Sometimes I look at my photos of him and I promise he looks like two skinny guys on stilts wearing a horse head costume.

I made this photo last Saturday, right as it started to rain and I was packing up my cameras. Something startled Star across the road. He trotted a few steps away from me, then stood staring with great intensity. I knew it wouldn’t last long. I grabbed the moment. Or is it seized? Yes, I seized the moment and grabbed a great shot.

I spent a long time on this photo in PhotoShop. Color looked gaudy to me, so I gave it a sepia tint. I cloned out a bunch of bothersome stuff in the background…fence lines…a hay feeder…rocks…a tree. I added a little glow. I cropped it a great deal.

And now, I can’t stop looking at it. I think it’s a pretty nice photo of a horse…the pose certainly…but I think I’m in love and all goo-goo eyes over the subject so there’s no way can I be objective.

Alas…my very first  PHOTO OF THE DAY.

Whew..that wasn’t so hard.

OK… now for my favorite dorky photo of Star … (you knew I couldn’t do just one).

Below is Star on the left, with his pal Buck on the right. Together they are Star-Buck and that makes them extremely happy … see what I mean? And then there’s the eyeball-mauling emu photobomb…. star-buck

Cripes!!! … what have I gotten myself into???

Fred-Locks…or…Recluse Man Gets a Haircut

Recluse Man finally had a day off and I had plans to alter his reclusive ways. It was a Saturday and I wanted to visit the Watauga County Farmers’ Market, and do some non-reclusive things. Either that…or assign him some very reclusive projects. Poor dude…with choices like that.

Recluse Man decided to go social. I took that thoughtfully…realizing I am better company than a weed-wacker. Love abounds.

I dragged him off to the Watauga Conty Farmers’ Market, in the boomingly little-big town of Boone, NC. To the dismay of many locals, Boone was recently ranked 10th by Outside Magazine, as a great small town to live in…sshhhh…don’t spread the word. I used to sell my photo creations at the market, but had not been back in three years.

I photographed Recluse Man at the market…for posterity or immortality…or just to bother him. We had a great time visiting some of my former co-vendors and (not-so-former) friends … we bought some veggies and gluten-free baked delights that were sooo good…then we had lunch in town. We filled up on gas…flipped the bird to backed up traffic and shouted a few obscenities, (or I did). It was the perfect date. We were stuffed and worn out… and…well….starting to feel reclusive as we drove home to our farm. What a date!

My nephew is gagging…I can hear him…. ‘that’s a date??!!’ (He’s a juvenile delinquent….or used to be).

When we got home, I dowloaded the market photos and realized what a middle-aged-werewolf my darling Recluse Man appeared to be. Maybe not so much in this photo…FG_016 copy

…. but fluffed? … back on the farm? Holy Cannolis!!!!….no wonder the healthy vegetarian crowd at the market gave him extra room…he looked like a raw-meat-eater-werewolf!!!FG_042_1 copy

It kinda turned me on…my vegetarian man. Especially when he snarled. Oh…my sexy, snarly werewolf. He was UTD on his rabies…I felt sure…FG_040_1 copyBy now, you’ve noticed the towel around his neck and his charming personality, and his total cooperation…ready for a haircut.

You know it’s true love when your BF trusts ya enough to cut his hair…HA HA HA!!!

But lookee here!!!!!FG_048_1 copyOK…so maybe he was wanting a ‘Trump-doo??’….with waves and push-backs and swirls?…FG_055_1 copyI reminded him we are radical-left-wing-hippies…with investment folders full of animals…not real estate…he came around…FG_044_1 copyI just melt over that smile…and how ’bout dat doo???FG_054_1 copySo all of these sugary smiles and success at hair-cutting made me think….I could go into biz as a farm-chick-hair-choppin’-girl-gone wild???FG_110_1I will call the biz … ‘Fred-Locks’….FG_097_1 copy…and I will create a following called ‘Fred-Heads’…FG_101 copy…and I will greet each morning… looking forward to Fred-Head-on-encounters.

OMG…let me practise on Pocket’s chinny-chin-chin first.