Monument Valley Riders
On one of my very favorite trips through Monument Valley, in Utah, we were in and out of the car a million times shooting some of the most beautiful landscapes, when we came upon this picture perfect scene of four riders on horseback in the valley. It was just such perfection. It was as if a movie set had been placed before us. Though this photo was made several years and many Monument Valley trips ago, it continues to be one of my all time favorites.
I love the colors of this little guy. He does look just a little put out that his peaceful day in the pond was so rudely interrupted by a bunch of crazy people chasing him around. He is a permanent resident of the pond at the house we rented near Stowe, Vermont a couple of summers ago, and brings back great memories of a fun family trip full of all kinds of adventure… including frog catching!
So I am, for sure, in and out of commission this week due to the massive wind storms we have had in Virginia. No power or water at my house, and nothing but hot, hard manual labor to be done, so I’m grabbing time and connection wherever I can.
This dog, a Navajo pet, has somehow gotten accustomed to being chained up outside in the 102 degree heat. This is, sadly, how many dogs on the reservation spend their days. This particular pup is fortunate to have a car hood to seek shade under when the sun gets unbearable. As I picked up his children for Bible School, they told me his name is Bear. I guess he is pretty lucky, as far as Navajo dogs go.
This photo was taken almost two years ago to the date, while my family was on a vacation in Canada and Vermont. While exploring the grounds of the house we were renting, I saw this frog by the edge of a pond. He was huge and not intimidated at all of me teetering on the edge of his pond with my camera lens in his face. My favorite thing about this photo though is the memory it evokes of my husband coming up minutes later and catching (and then re-catching) this frog as it leaped around the yard.
Sometimes the beauty and surprise of the design of things in nature is nothing short of inspiring. The shapes and exquisite detail of this tortoise’s shell reminded my daughter of a kaleidoscope. Thoughtfully, beautifully and wonderfully made!
This Ankole-Watsui was the very first character to greet us on our April trip to the Virginia Safari Park. As you can see from my reflection in the side mirror, he was shot from my Pathfider in the drive-thru part of the park. The Watsui is originally native to Africa, and its horns can reach up to 8 feet from tip to tip. Seen in person, it was really quite impressive! As I have mentioned in previous posts, we had a fabulous time at the Safari Park, and enjoyed meeting, petting and feeding so many exotic animals like the Watsui right at our car window.
Jeff is one of the sweet dogs whose path has brought him into my parent’s lives.
“The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog. A man’s dog stands by him in prosperity and poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground when the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only to be near his master’s side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince.” ~Senator George Graham Vest, speaking to a jury about Old Drum, shot in 1869
Yesterday afternoon, our small town held a wonderful little parade to honor the veterans in our area. Downtown Main Street was lined with grateful, flag-waving, cheering people paying tribute to veterans of all ages as they paraded by. Ruby, an illustrious figure often seen cruising around town in her barrel and sporting her goggles and cool demeanor, fit right into the company. I hope this parade will become an annual event. What a great way to honor those who have put their lives on the line for the freedoms we enjoy every day.
Another entertaining character from our trip though the Virginia Safari Park, this llama was happy to put his head into the car and try to steal our buckets of food. He was just one of the amazing animals we were lucky enough to see and feed on our windows-down drive through this 180-acre park. The setting is really beautiful, and I suppose these exotic animals have it pretty nice living in this guaranteed food, open range environment in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia.
Over the weekend, we spent an afternoon visiting the Virginia Safari Park near Natural Bridge, VA. It was really quite entertaining, to say the least. This image, shot as the giraffe began to walk away from us, turned out to be one of my favorites of the day. I love how you can see the softness of his mane, his eyelashes, and the veins in his ears.