Monday, October 27, 2014

Off The Easel - LGD Art

Actually, it has been off the easel for awhile and a couple other pictures have been started and finished since, but I forgot to share it with you earlier.

This one came together easily and I always wonder why some artwork is like that. What is it about any particular dog, or scene, or project, or any matter of life, that helps it come together or makes it fall apart? 

To take you back: here’s the start of it...   LGD Art in Progress

... and the finish:

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Playing With The Camera Again

Allen and I forego the traditional purchase of gifts around birthdays, Christmas and other holidays. Instead we wait until we’re ready and able to purchase some item we’ve wished for.

This time around it’s a new lens for the camera. I think this one was more my want than Allen's but he graciously made it happen. I’ve tried it out a couple times and it sure is something I have to get used to and practice with, but it’s almost like a new puppy - I’m so excited about the opportunities.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

LGD's and Night Penning

I’m night penning the flock in the small paddocks near the yard where I often work the stock dogs. With several hundred sheep bedding down here, these spaces are getting well fertilized. A simple example of the sheep working for us.

The guardian dogs are in one place come morning and evening and it’s a simple matter to walk out and feed them.

Oakley has returned to duty and the worry about him not wanting to go back to work after a month up at the house with us was not needed. He seems happy to be back at work and hasn’t once thought to come back to the yard with us. He has to re-grow new skin on his hind leg so he’s still healing but it all looks good and feels as though there isn’t much more for us to do now except let him finish healing.

Meanwhile the odd couple, Zeus and Diesel, are still together and staying with the rams. It feels like we’re under working a great dog since Diesel has tremendous potential for handling a good deal of work against predators and the small band of sheep he’s with hardly seems like enough for him. For now, I won’t try rocking the boat though. The two packs feel stable and all is well.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Where We Go While We're Getting There

What a beautiful day, in deeper ways than warm sun and light breezes in October. It was a much, much needed day of simplicity which brought to light all the places I’ve been while I’m getting there.

My good friend Jill came out to work dogs today and we each had a smooth and lovely go of it with our dogs, during that time we also had a deep and lovely conversation. The kind of conversation that cracks you open a little bit. The kind of conversation I was searching for without knowing I was in need of it. It contained lots of bits about dogs, snippets about ego, and learning to accept what is in front of us because we are where we are.

Afterwards I just couldn’t bring myself to face another afternoon of working on fencing on my lonesome, yet the day was so gorgeous I needed to be outside. I headed back out to work my young dog, Mic, for a spell, then I set about making a simple bird bath from stone I have been collecting. Whenever I’m out and about on the pasture and come across a stone I like, either because it’s flat, or it’s coloured, or stands strong, whatever the reason, I pick it up and bring it home. Eventually I make use of them.

I’m so pleased with it and working with the stone, without worry of the final product, was the most fluid way to carry the morning forward and further sooth my fretful mind.

The stone dish at the top is too flat to make a deep bath for the birds and with winter coming up it might serve better if it held bird feed instead. I hope the birds like it. It reminds me of how remarkable it is to live in a place that serves up such simple and natural materials in abundance.

Re-reading this post I am reminded of another time I set about a simple task with stone: A Task of Elemental Basics

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Prickly Beauties

I have a love, hate relation with these prickly beauties.

Thistles are like the scourge of the prairie and area farmers almost have an apoplexy when they see them. But as with all things of nature, they know where they belong and when. We have patches of them scattered about the farm, in spots bare of grass, in places where we left too much residue from hay feeding. In places nothing else will grow.

They’re the first plants to show up after stress in an area; they’re opportunists, which is one of the reasons why I like them.

I love how they expose and share their velvety softness, among their thorny spikes. They stay in flower late in the season and despite their opportunistic persistence and seeming uselessness otherwise, they still give back.