Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I'm Lost

This little guy got lost at the barn today so someone placed him on the mounting block where we get onto our horses.   He hung out there so we could see him and take photos of him.    We avoided stepping on him and kept the cats away.    Then I picked him up with a big maple leaf and gave him a ride over to a tree.   It was kind of amazing to watch him pivot his head and keep an eye on me.   So many cool creatures in our world.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Calla Lilies

Love love love them!   When I lived near Santa Cruz, they were growing around our property and I would think how amazing it would be to have an entire hillside of Calla Lilies.   I saw one over at the coast on Saturday and played around a little in Lightroom with Split Toning.   How do you feel about a pink Calla Lily?   Of course white is the best, but isn't pink the next best?

P.S.   Updated this posting to clarify.   This is a white Calla Lily which I turned pink in Lightroom with Split Toning which allows you to change hue and saturation on highlights and shadows separately.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Just Breathe

When we drove from San Luis Obispo to Morro Bay yesterday, we stopped at this little cove to take a few photos and enjoy the quietness there.   With so many people out enjoying the day, I am sometimes surprised when we find a spot that is so quiet.   There is a coffee shop and a few other businesses, but not a lot of activity as everyone seems to just sit and soak up the fresh salt air.   I love it.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

California Natives

I love quail.   I love having them around my place, watching them scurry about with their little quail families.   And the babies?   Oh so cute, the way they hurry after their parents.   I haven't seen any in a while.   These are from last year, I think.   Please come back, little quail families.   I miss you.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Head in the.....?

Oh good grief, what has happened here?   I think the hens might have gotten wind of our roasting a *gasp* chicken for Thanksgiving dinner.   

If we can't see the Chicken Mama, she can't see us either.

I hope you had a very nice Thanksgiving Day!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I Am Not!

Stop looking at me like that.   I am NOT a turkey.

Fine, I'll put my tail down.  

Happy Thanksgiving from Autumn Sky Ranch!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My Camera

I sold my D90 the same day I listed it on Craigs List.   And I was happy because a young couple bought it in preparation for their first baby due in just a few weeks.   I wasn't sure about selling my kit lens, but it just made sense since they couldn't afford the camera and a new lens separately.   So now I am without my 18-105mm, which is fine because I wanted something new as my main lens.   And that new lens will be here tomorrow.   I bought a 28-300mm which has good reviews by some top photographers.   I am still working with my D7000, taking some shots to get used to it. 

I don't usually edit my photos in black and white.   This rose tempted me and I think I'll do more as I go along.

Two relatively nice days and then more rain on Thanksgiving.   It's our rainy season, after all.   And the green grass is starting to grow which makes our California hills very pretty.   Can't wait for that lens!

Friday, November 18, 2011

After the Crush

It's chilly.   And a little breezy.   So I was inside most of the day with the heat turned on a little.   I don't like being cold.   I had hoped to get some photos of the vineyards with blue skies, but that didn't work out for me yesterday.   I got out of the truck, took some photos while being a little unsure of my settings on the new camera.   And it was just too stinkin' chilly to stay out there.   Since all the grapes have been harvested and crushed, I will have to plan better next year.

The vineyards look so pretty in their Autumn colors after the harvest and before they lose all their leaves for Winter.   I think by the time we get another sunny day, the leaves will no longer be pretty.   And so the seasons change in wine country too.    Cheers!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


You know how some days you wake up and just feel a little off balance from the start?   I had one of those days yesterday.   And it continued when my horse was also having an off day.   That meant my ride wasn't so much fun.   Then I got home and UPS had been here while I was away, attempted to leave my new camera, but left a note instead saying they needed a signature.    GAH!!!

I contacted UPS and they were so helpful, arranged for me to drive out east of here and meet their driver.   So I got my new camera.   And the people at UPS are my new best friends du jour.

What this means is I am going to get out and take more photos that make me happy.   And share some of them with you.    As soon as the fog lifts.....and as soon as I have a cup of tea.....and as soon as I do a few other things.   

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Changing Directions

I have tried daily blogging for a couple months.   I appreciate all of you who read my posts, you've really been so nice.   But I don't think this is "my thing" on a daily basis.   So I am going to focus on my photos and will probably post a few of those each week rather than writing a daily post of life on my little ranch.   That feels more like me.   And that's what it's all about, right?   Doing what feels right for us.   I will continue visiting your blogs because I enjoy that.   

Looking back at Morro Bay from Highway 46 West.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


First, let me just say that Ariat has not paid me to talk about their products.   They have given me no free merchandise.   (If they offered, I would not refuse.)    I just love Ariat.   And I have, in the past, struggled with compulsivity when it comes to buying their products.   I have it under control now, but I haven't always been able to say that.  

These are just a FEW of the Ariat products I own.

Boots and shoes.   Western boots, English paddock boots, sneaker type shoes, dressy casual shoes, ropers, barn shoes, 2 pairs of red boots, blue boots.   And yes, boots I have only worn once or twice.   *hangs my head in shame*

Just a little of my closet.   (not for public viewing, keep it to yourself)

Well worn barn shoes

I even love their boxes!

Very nice purse, but too small for me.
I love this red purse.

Luggage.   So durable, I've used it a lot!

And clothing.  Sweatshirts, fleece, half chaps for riding.   I've worn this little jacket a bunch.   No photos of the other stuff, you're probably bored to tears by now.

Here is the link to their website if you want to indulge in Ariat's great products.   As for me?   I have this under control so much that I am going to list my "barely worn" boots on Craigs List.   I hope somebody buys them and gets more use out of them than I have:-/    Size 10 anyone???    LOL!


Do You Love Oprah?

I have had an on again/off again relationship with Oprah over the past 5 years or so.   I went through periods of time where I watched her show almost every single day.   And I was very interested in her final season because it was so big.   But now she has her own (OWN) network and I am nearly over it.   There are maybe two shows that I enjoy and the rest seems like it falls short.   I know many people are enjoying her LifeClass series.   To me, it seems like a remake of past shows.   And now she is going to do yet another show, although going outside the studio rather than bringing her guests to her.   We'll see if that's interesting.   Again, on again/off again with Oprah.

Here's the real thing though.   Oprah often presents herself as so real and understanding of people's difficulties.   And I believe that she truly cares.   I love that about her.   However, in the next breath she seems to enjoy showing viewers her multi-million dollar homes, her expensive furnishings, and the lavish gifts she gives to those she loves.   That seems so much in contrast with the meaning behind her show.   

I always loved her O List at Christmas.   Who wouldn't want to be in the audience receiving all that great stuff?   I would!    I looked online this week to see if she has a list this year.   She does.   It seems filled with very expensive soap, VERY expensive pajamas, and other lovely items that so many of her viewers could never afford to buy.   I just didn't get it this time.   

Oprah, I'm just not feeling the love right now.   

As a side note, I saw Stedman in the San Jose airport several years ago.  He is just as tall and handsome in person as he is on TV.   Swoon.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bunny Hop

In keeping with the bunny theme I started earlier, I want to share this with you.   I watched The Amazing Race last night and one of the challenges was setting up a jumping course for rabbits.   They chose a rabbit to jump and took it through the course.   It was so cute!

Bunny Jumping

No, I am not planning to teach Simon to jump.   

Have You Seen Simon?

We ask each other that question every few days.   Simon is our only wild rabbit this year.   He (she?) has stayed around and lives in harmony with the chickens.   The dogs would love to chase him, and they do if they get a chance, but he mostly stays in areas that are inaccessible by the dogs.  

This is Simon.   He has a home under a woodpile and another one deep inside an evergreen shrub.

We are delighted that Simon has stuck around.   We call him Simon because we already have someone named Peter in our family.   In the past, when we had an old wood deck on the front of the house, many many wild rabbits had babies under there.   We would see several babies each year and it was such a delight to watch them run around.   But the downside was that a neighborhood cat would stalk them and it worried me all during the baby bunny season.   As an aside, said cat, whose name was Mr. Jeffers, was spotted alongside the road about a year ago.   He shall hunt no more.   RIP Mr. Jeffers.

We haven't had rabbits besides Simon in the past year.   We replaced the wood deck with concrete and they all moved away.   I have many photos of baby bunnies who lived on our property.   I like to think all of these grew up, moved away to another property, and are raising happy bunnies of their own.


Not that kind of cloud.   I mean the virtual cloud, the one you can't see.   The one where all your information and files are stored thereby freeing up space on your devices.   If you have a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, the developers of such devices are all driving toward your data being stored in a cloud, then accessible by any and all of your devices.   

So, being in a tech kinda home and with my Sweetie working in said industry, I am considering storing my photos in a cloud.   That would be in addition to having them stored on external drives.   I just don't trust having them in one place, especially on an external drive that may inadvertently fail at any time.   I am wondering how others store their photos.    It's not an exciting topic, but one that is on my mind and I'm looking for a good solution as I add more and more photos to my files.   

Do you use the Cloud?   What service do you use?   Do you have your photos backed up on an external drive?   Do you simply keep them on your computer?   

On another subject, I have completely indulged myself and purchased a new Nikon D7000.   So I am going to sell my D90, the body only.   If you know someone who is interested, please drop me a note.   

No photos this morning, hopefully later.   It's Monday and it's still dark.   I'm moving slowly.   NEED MORE COFFEE.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Lilac's Confusion

Our temperatures were much too high through October.   My Lilac bush was confused and thought it might be Spring already.    And now we've had our first frost.   Poor confused Lilac.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Just in Time

It's Friday.   And it just started raining about 12:30 with the temperature dropping about 10 degrees along with it.   But it feels good because I finished my "stuff I gotta do" list and now I can just get cozy in the house for the rest of the day.

I hurried the chickens into their house.   I hurried the donkeys in and closed the gate out to the property, put fresh hay in their shelter, and was happy again that I have good protection for them this year.   (sneaking in one of my favorite photos of them from last year)

He ain't heavy, he's my brudder.

Earlier today I put chili in the crockpot so dinner is checked off the list.   The laundry is caught up for today.   I went to Trader Joe's to stock up on things we only buy at that store.   I also sealed the grout in the hall bath so that's another finished project.   

Now I have a cup of tea with honey, a fresh warm sweatshirt, a sweetheart with his tummy full of hot chili, had my feet rubbed (Oh yes!), and I am just listening to the rain outside.   I have a very comforting sense of satisfaction and peace.   Don't you just love that feeling?   I wish that for all of you too.

Alex and Honesty

I haven't written about Alex on this blog.   I don't intend to say too much about the two kids I raised for 10 years before my late husband died.   They lived with us full time and I was their mom.   It was not always easy because they both struggled in their own separate ways.   Alex was extremely bright but struggled with ADHD.   Lynley is a beautiful girl with Asperger's and other issues.   It was a challenge for all of us.

Alex surprised me when he joined the Marines.   He was with them for 3 years and served in Iraq.   I was so proud of him and had such hope that he had a direction and a success that would fill him with confidence.   It was not to be.   I don't want anyone to get their panties in a bunch here, but the truth is that the Marines let him down.   They did not deal with his problems effectively.   He fell into a hole and was left with mental issues that his family knew nothing about.   

Family.   That's another long story in and of itself where the kids were concerned.

Alex was left in limbo where his status was concerned.   He was living in an extended leave of sorts.   He was killed in a horrific accident on Mother's Day of this year.   He was a veteran and received a military funeral that was beautiful.   I was proud of him.   My heart hurts for the life cut so short.   I want to honor him today, for Veteran's Day.   But my feelings are probably different from so many others.   Sometimes we know of things that make a big organization like the Marines look a bit tarnished in our eyes.    That's the way it was for my boy.  

Rest in Peace, Alex.   I miss you.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Hanging Around

The tile layer is coming today to do the floor in the hall bath.   So we are hanging around.   No heading out to ride my horse before the rains hit tomorrow.   No running errands in town (yay!).   No taking off with my camera to take photos.   Just hanging around.   But hey, at least I'll have time to edit photos and maybe do a second blog post today:-)   Or I could clean the house:-/

Beau Hanging Around (he's body clipped in this photo)

Chicken Hanging Around

Gulls Hanging Around (with their shadows)

A Hook Hanging Around

Another Gull Hanging Around

So that's it, just hanging around.   What are you doing today?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


This is one of the most beautiful performances I've ever watched on TV.   She is amazing and I get goosebumps each time I see it.   I hope you enjoy it too.


Yes, we all consider them, don't we?   I'm trying to fit in the necessary things each day, but then I sometimes can't figure out what I MOST want to do.   After spending many days keeping our home improvement projects moving along, I needed a break.   So I've been focusing on getting my photos into Lightroom from iPhoto, sorting and deleting, and learning more about LR as I go along.   There are days I feel satisfied with those accomplishments, and there are days when I want to spend more time with Beau and taking lessons to improve my riding.   My two passions, if you will.  

I am having fun working on this new blog and I appreciate everyone visiting and commenting.   I've mostly been posting photos the past few days because my mind is full and I can't seem to focus on writing.   So bear with me and I will return with more stories of the ranch.

The sunset view down our road.

We had a frost last night but the sun is shining.   As soon as the temps warm up, I am going out to ride my horse.   Big priority today!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

California Barn

We don't have a lot of traditional old style barns in this area.   Because the weather is relatively mild, many people choose instead to put up pole barns or, in my case, a mare motel.   Others choose the metal barns which are basically prefab configured to your size and layout.

I was happy to be able to take a true barn photo recently.   I love how the oak tree stands over it and together they age gracefully.

Thanks for visiting.   Have a Happy Tuesday.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Midnight Rain

I love the sound of rain in the middle of the night, as long as the wind is not howling along with it.   I usually head outside early the next morning, providing the sun has come out, to take some photos involving raindrops.   It's important to be quick because they start drying as soon as the sun hits them.  

We have a few remaining leaves on the crabapple tree so I turned my lens on them.   I managed to get a few photos that I like.   I've been trying to share today but I can't upload photos to my blog for some reason.   So I'm going to try again.....ready?     Here goes.

And TOUCHDOWN!!!!!   It worked, so now I can go on with the rest of my day.   These issues bug the stuff out of me until I get them resolved.

And a big THANK YOU to Nancy at www.aruraljournal.com/ for giving me the Kreativ Blogger Award.   I appreciate the recognition from someone as kind and talented as she.

My camera is sitting here waiting for me:-)    I hope you're having a very very good Monday.

What Have They Done?

Blogger made some changes this week.   I didn't dig in enough to understand them because most, I'm sure, don't apply to my needs...