Monday, July 15, 2013

Not exactly as advertised

Today ended up being one of those "not exactly as advertised" days, at least around here. By the time I had the radio turned on this morning there were already serious thunderstorm and tornado watches for the whole central part of the province, including Saskatoon. Seemed like a perfectly nice day at the time, and in the end that's pretty much how it stayed for us, although other parts of the province have been hit with some ugly weather. My experience with weather warnings, summer and winter, suggests that if there are a lot of serious and early weather warnings on the media, nothing much happens. The ones that really nail us seem to come unannounced and unexpectedly, leaving all the pundits shaking their heads and wondering where *that* came from.  

I was out and about a bit with the camera on the weekend. One of my field trips was to a horse farm that has a large collection of interesting cross-breeds scattered about the countryside in various locations. An artist friend who lives in the area and likes to visit the horses was my guide, and we had a lovely day driving around from place to place in search of the various herds, and in general just glorying in the day and in our surroundings. We never did find the Friesian stallion and his mares, so have agreed on a future attempt to do so, armed with better instructions on how to locate them--or at least written instructions, which is more than we had this time out.

Before we headed off in search of the horses, I had a brief guided tour of the "retreat" farm owned by my friend and guide. This shot over the fields of wildflowers shows the brick church off in the distance that has been repurposed to serve as home and studio for her husband and herself. 

Shot two shows one of this year's foals. I think I am remembering correctly that he is a Friesian-Standardbred cross, but I could be wrong. I was impressed with his attractive looks and self-possessed air. 

We were able to locate the second herd, all Halflingers, at a different location. This shot shows the  splendid richly coloured stallion, at rest in the sun. As is always the case at this time of year, the herd was being plagued by insects which they were doing their best to endure. In the summer, wind is always a horse's (and rider's) friend.

Sunday morning Jim and I went out to see a sheep herding demonstration at the Beaver Creek conservation area just south of the city. They have contracted an itinerant shepherd and his flock to graze down unwanted invasive grasses in a field that they plan to re-sow with native species. The shepherd showed his control over his flock and his dog by having a number of observers station themselves in the field with the flock, at a good distance from each other. He then had the dog move the flock from person to person, with a minimum of fuss and bother. It's always impressive to see man, dog and sheep working in this way. Shot two shows Jim being engulfed by the flock.

Shot five shows our front yard, in its somewhat overgrown but splendid array of summer growth. We are working on the "urban habitat" concept with our yard, and it hosts, year-round, many species of birds, both resident and those just passing through. 

1 comment:

Bernie said...

Wow! Your yard is amazing. I'll have to swing by next time I am swimming at George Ward.
Glad you are back in the saddle. Your trip around the country side netted some nice horsey and location shots. It has been a pretty nice summer all in all.