Monday, February 11, 2013

dogs and horses...

 the day began seeming windy and wet.  i was slow moving as i figured it was a bust i have too many pictures again!!  the horse and cows...there is a place that i pass on the way to prospect heights that has horses.  they always look so cool with their winter coats.  i've wanted to stop by and take some photos. finally i did.
 first i cruised over to kincaid. it was breezy and i think some rain was even falling.  i made it in time to see one group of skijorers take off.  so i stayed long enough to take a few photo's of that.  rio and  blossom were in the car so i didn't want to leave them too long before walking them. easy to just cruise over to the dunes.
 it was a bit windy there too, but the rain eventually changed to snow.  very light.  right now it's coming down heavy at my end!!  go snow!!  i was happy i wore my cleats out there.  i took a back trail away from the edge to go out for most of the walk and then cut back to the trail that is right along the edge of the cliff.  this can  be a bit stressful with a large blind dog.  i'm always a bit nervous rio will veer off course, sniffing shit, and fall down off the trail.  a real fear i must say.  poor dogs.  blossom is trying to race ahead to chase the toy,  making me fear she'll fall off the edge.  not the most relaxing walk in some parts.
 she loves the dunes though. for part of the trail i finally just put blossom on leash.  for some reason she feels obligated to chase her toy if she is off leash and once off leash she gets the "oh we are just walking" idea.  took me a few minutes looking like a crazy dog owner to figure that out.  lucky for me dogs are pretty forgiving of silly human behaviours. we really must look nuts to them sometimes.
 i've had way too many terrifying dreams where blossom has met some horrible fate.  not sure why i kill off blossom in my dreams.  rio never gets hurt. the brain is a funky thing when you have no control over it in your sleep.
 was watching a bit of the grammy awards tonight.  seems like musicians are way more arrogant than movie stars? why is this?  maybe it's that they play to stadiums full of people screaming their praises while movie stars make movies and then go home.  i mean even when a premier and red carpet, the movie theaters only fit so many people and then they are sitting quietly watching a movie, not screaming and carrying on.
 anyway, it just gets tedious to watch them up there. i'm not saying all musicians are arrogant, it just seems like there is an overabundance of arrogance at the grammys.  imho of course!! did put together a few names of songs that i will probably add to my music list.  i do enjoy music and there is always something new out there.
 blossom's fur shows off the breeze we had to contend with up there.
 still loads of people out enjoying the trails today.  i saw bikes, sleds, ski's, snowboards and even what looked like paraglider packs or something similar.  anchorage is full of outdoor folks who come out in all types of weather.  i do love that about this town. it's totally been developed with the outdoor activities in mind.
 still i'm sure that many folks never take advantage of all of the trails and parks and complain that their tax dollars are wasted on parks and recreation.  there are also people who complain about the moose and bear that live in the city limits.  one woman thought we should build a fence around the city to keep the animals out.
 the barn manager that i met today, mary, told me people who live around the horse stables have been known to complain about the smells that come from the stables.  horses shit, you bought a house near a stable, you will occasionally smell shit.  people are ridiculous sometimes.
 loved the ice as seen from above.  the chunks i was walking by yesterday look much smaller from overhead.
 rio didn't oblige me the photo attempts, but i still try.
 in order to take photo's at the stable, mary, the manager needed to walk around with me.  i felt bad as i unknowingly interrupted some meeting to ask her if i could photograph the horses.  she happily left the meeting in order to show me around the place and let me take photo's. totally nice of her.  hopefully, i can go back again. i'm sure i'll be more relaxed and get better photo's.  these weren't bad, but i felt badly for disturbing her. i  really shouldn't have, i mean she seemed to be enjoying showing me around and even took me over to see the young cows they had there.
 the horse are all privately owned and there were many people about cleaning and taking care of the horses and also riding in the various arena's they had available.  it's a great place as there is a big park across the street so they can trail ride right from there.
 mary said she goes out there often with friends.  wondered how moose encounters went.  doesn't appear to have been any moose/horse issues.  she did say she has heard yeti run off.  that is apparently what they call any strange noise that they can't get a look at whatever the noise came from.  it must be a yeti.  of course i had to tell her of my travel channel experience with my yeti/sasquatch footprint.
 i'm thinking i may print off some of these horse/cow photo's as a thank you and see if they would be willing to let me wander about again.  the horses are funny and fun to photograph.  they were quite curious of me.
 you can see all their personalities coming through.  would be fun to learn to capture them better.
 this one below was huge.  tall, big!!  good looking horse.  i didn't change lenses and i mostly just left it in black and white.
 more of the big guy, his feet below.
 i haven't ridden too many horses.  not that there aren't horses in Los Angeles, they were just a spendy hobby and i was the youngest of 7 kids.  there wasn't money for such things.  i'm guessing, looking back, if i had asked my mom she may have tried to make it happen, but i remember not asking her as i didn't want her to feel bad that we couldn't afford it.
 did get the chance to ride a few times with my friend catherine in california and also with another friend sue in south dakota.  in south dakota i even got to herd cattle on horseback.  it was great fun, but it really is high up there on those saddles.  wouldn't mind giving it a try again.  keep saying i will do one of those trail rides in like hatchers pass in the summer.  perhaps this summer i will make that happen finally.  
 they look right at you and those ears really do tell you what they are thinking.
 i took a bunch of cow pictures when i took a photography class years ago at pierce college.  it was back in the film days.  we shot with black and white film then we did the whole process of making negatives and photo's in the dark room. that was a super fun class!  will have to look for some of those old photo's and scan them into the computer.
 i just snapped away today, hoping to get a few good shots in a short time.
 so many beautiful horses out there.
 i'm sure they were looking for treats from me.  i mean who would come see them and not bring them treats. doubt the various owners would want unknown items added to their diets.
 the horse on the right is mary's horse...a fine looking horse.  she was quite proud of this one!!  as well she should be.
 took a few extra's of her horse...she didn't seem to mind.

 does have a cute face. the guy he was nuzzling with is the horse in the first photo.  i loved his was beautiful!  there were some nice coats and manes and some lovely braid jobs.  i'll have to try and focus on some of those next time i go over there.
 a few more horses and then we headed over to the cows.

 not good at my cow breeds, angus perhaps.  took husbandry classes when i got my animal health tech.  we had to write a paper on cows, goats, sheep...of course, i wrote a silly paper that was totally inappropriate on each to entertain my classmates with.  i remember trying to learn all the various breeds of these animals and the names of males/females/castrated males....
even had to band pigs testicles in one class.  we did spend some time with the horses and cattle, but there were classmates who really wanted to go into large animal vet work so mostly us small animal sort, just watched from the sidelines.
 cows clearly have less personality than the horses, but they aren't completely stupid either.  they also came forward hoping for a treat from me.  they are fat and happy cows.

 here is the bull of the group.  still all babies though.

 not too much livestock in alaska.  i mean compared to other states.  they are here though.  i imagine it's spendy to have a horse up here and a real labour of love.  many hours to care for a horse and money to buy supplies.  my dogs take up a lot of my cash, i can just imagine what a horse would set you back.  people who have them, sure do love them.  everyone i met today seemed like nice folk too.
 a lone colour shot from today i guess.
 wasn't out at the skijor races for too long.  these guys are excited and waiting to take off.
 various dogs do skijoring.  don't have to be  a specific breed.  just must be a dog that loves to run.
 one lady screamed as she flew past something about how fast she was going.  those dogs take off and as a skier you just have to stay upright.  the dogs just run.
 blossom has the harness and she looks adorable in it.  she never really got the hang of skijoring though.  it wasn't her, it was me. i'm just not that good on ski's and i also freak out when you hit warp speed, then i just fall over in fear.
 the only time blossom actually pulled me was when friends would ski ahead several hundred feet and then call blossom excitedly.  then she booked it!!  it was impressive.
 she really doesn't get the pull thing in general though and she is so friendly she is easily distracted by everyone we encounter. she must say hello.
 this shot came out blurry, but i liked the action in it.  fun to watch the dogs go if even for just a few minutes.  looks like i'll be off for the iditarod festivities so i can hopefully get tons of dog shots soon.
 still not sure if the fur rondy dog sled races will happen here in anchorage.  we are a bit short of snow.  hopefully tonight will rectify that.  i'm hoping we can snowshoe for tomorrows walk
 a few more shots of the inner tidal zone as it were in anchorage.

 as i took a few pictures i noticed these shoes hanging on the tree. least it was a complete set.  did someone go barefoot out there?
 saw a few moose out there today as well, it is kincaid.  this young guy was out on the trails.  nibbling away at the brush.

 don't think he was too happy to share the space with me and the girls..thus the ears back.
 this moose was in the parking lot at the trailhead.  she didn't seem to concerned with me.  i was in my car at this time, ready to head out.
so another full day of photo's.  who knew.  from the crappy day it started out to be, it turned out to be a lovely day for me out there.  they do say of alaska....if you don't like the weather just wait a few minutes it may change.  good night.

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