Sunday, May 25, 2008

Kitty Update

Here is the latest news about the kittens. The little girl has gone to a new home. Her new person is Andrew, a 13 year old boy from Des Moines. Her name is Alex. The other guy is still with us. He doesn't seem to miss his sister too much - he just uses us as his wrestling partners.

Here is Alex in Maggie's knitting bag.

The little boy still hasn't told us his name.

Here he is in his new bed.

Friday, May 23, 2008

My bike!!

I got a bike! It's a bit old-fashioned, and not exactly the type I'd have liked. It's dusty and stiff and needs some oiling and TLC, but the tyres are hard, the wheels go round, and the brakes seem to work ok.

Oh, and it cost only $8.99 at Goodwill!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Miniature Horses

There are four new miniature horses on the farm. There are three adults and a baby, and they are really cute! I spent a couple of days fencing in the paddock for them.

This is the baby with her mother

Here is Maggie's dog Oliver, talking to one of the adult horses. He's a little confused as to what type of dogs they are, and wonders why they won't play doggie games with him. To give an idea of the size of the horse, the horizontal grids of the fence panel are about six inches apart.

Maggie's nephew Toby and the baby horse.

Monday, May 19, 2008

River Float

Yesterday was Maggie's birthday. We went on a canoe trip on a section of the beautiful Raccoon River. The weather was perfect, and we had a really wonderful time.

Maggie at Hanging Rock (Not the one in the movie "Picnic at Hanging Rock" - that's in Australia), a beautiful sandstone formation overhanging the river.

The expedition leader and canoe instructor, Chris Adkins, explains to us the importance of freshwater mussels as indicators of the health of the river. The main pollutant here is silt, washed down from drained cornfields. Man has cleared out all the natural prairie and wetlands, which served to hold the soil in place. Chris is a really cool guy who knows all about the river and its ecology, geology, palaeontology, botany, archaeology, and loads of other -ologies too!

Me relaxing on the river. It was clear and sunny, about 22 Celsius, with a pleasant light breeze that was behind us most of the time.

What a beautiful place! And they want to dam it and flood the valley!
We paddled eight miles in about five hours - a lovely leisurely pace.
I think we may become addicted to canoeing!. Thanks to Chris and the other guides and to Dallas County Conservation for organizing such a wonderful trip.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Another attempt at a macro shot, with my Nikkor 18-200VR handheld in reverse position.
Lighting info here.

Monday, May 12, 2008


This is Beaker. He's a Canada goose who lives on the Prairieland Herbs farm. He had his first birthday last week.

This is how he looked last year:

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Dairy Photo Shoot

I went to Picket Fence Creamery the other day, to take some pictures for a magazine article. This is really a wonderful place. They have a herd of eighty Jersey cows, and process (pasteurize, but not homogenize) and bottle their milk and cream on site, as well as making butter, cheese, and fabulous ice cream. They have a lovely shop, which is stocked with all locally-produced foods, wines, preserves, vegetables, and loads of other goodies.
Here are a couple of pictures that I took:

That's just a small selection of the delicious Picket Fence Ice Cream....

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Spring is Sprung

At last! It's great to see things greening up nicely, and flowers and blossoms on the plants and trees. I got these shots down on the farm yesterday.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Maggie's Matchless...

...and here is her spinning wheel:

A beautifully crafted Schacht Matchless

Thursday, May 1, 2008


I hadn't tried close-up photography with the Nikon so far - I'm pretty pleased with the result, though...

More info on this shot here and here