End of a day in the garden

Selfie Sunday number eleven. Note to self, don’t wait until after you have spent a day in the gardens and sunshine. I seriously could have played hooky on this weeks selfie.

Phone-a-friend Nobody this week. Didn’t even think about it much and so I winged it this evening.

Garden Goals

Borzoi in bed with human
Dreams of beautiful gardens

We haven’t been able to work in the gardens since earlier January when winter made an appearance in Oregon. Today was 72° and sunny. We’re putting in a bamboo forest in one the back corners. So far we have put down about 2.5 tons of flagstone and about 350 retaining wall blocks. The bamboo is just waiting to go in the ground.

Today we moved all of the wall blocks. Mildly grueling but done Diddy done done done.

Behind the scenes

I am ever so happy that my lights just stay up. Karen and I just brought a few garden tools in and a wall block to sub in as a pillow. And Zip. I love this dog so much, he’ll do anything I ask him to do. Napping was pretty darn easy for him.

Border for the bamboo forest

Now the area is starting to look like a great big happy bug.

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The aftermath

Sunday Selfie number ten. Good news, I’m a fifth of the way there. It’s hard to focus on this little project when the days are getting longer and warmer.

Phone-a-friend One evening this week I was texting with Holly and randomly asked for two words. I had radio silence for awhile and then she came back with “Flying Fluff”—courtesy of my son-in-law Joe.

Flying fluff

After the pillow fight with Fergie. This is her go-to position.

Fergie is probably one of the smartest greyhounds we have ever had. She’s fun and perky and when she wants something, the whole neighborhood knows. She’s also incredibly affectionate.

A pillow fight seemed so perfect for her. She makes us laugh every day with her on-the-bed antics. She has a blanket for her dog bed and frequently pulls it up to the bed for more comfort. Then, one-by-one she grabs our pillows from under the comforter and makes herself comfy. This happens every day of the week.

Behind the scenes

It took me awhile to figure out something for the flying fluff. The pillow fight popped into my head almost immediately and it won out over all of the other ideas. The hardest part was nailing down the lighting. I went back and forth for quite a while until I got what I wanted.

I had to sacrifice a feather pillow, that did bother me.

I had no idea how many millions of feathers were in that pillow.

The studio looks like it had a snow storm go through and I have no doubt that we will be finding feathers for at least another decade.

I still have feathers in my hair.

I probably wouldn’t do this one again.

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Sunday snuggles

Sunday Selfie number nine. I’m trying to get all of our pets in. I don’t know how the borzoi recruited so many.

Phone-a-friend This was another one from my idea list. Coming up with the idea isn’t the hard part, the hard part is figuring out how to support just an image.

Reading by candlelight

greyhound selfie
Sunday snuggles with Cinderella

I always had Zip in my head for this photo. Cinderella is going to be 13 this month which is getting up there for a greyhound. She’s getting weaker in the hind end and this morning for the first time ever, she didn’t want her breakfast.

I knew in my heart of hearts that I would forever regret not having a photo with her and snuggling on the bed just felt right.

It’s a strange and wonderful thing to hold a book in my hands. I really didn’t realize how much I read on the computer, on my phone or iPad.

Behind the scenes

Karen is doing an amazing job of art directing behind the camera. She’s way better than me. I was able to see what I look like to all of the critters I photograph trying to get their attention. I make no comment.

Again, there was very little to image itself, most of the work was done in post.

Time to snuggle down with a good book
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Goat gardening

This weeks Sunday Selfie, week number eight is brought to you by phone-a-friend.

Phone-a-friend Karen asked early in the week if she got to pick the two words and she gleefully told me “Bamboo Future.” Oi vey. What to do, what to do.

I started with an idea out in the backyard. I would have loved to pull it off and maybe I’ll do a re-do this summer, because, well I can.

Bamboo Future

#ss8 Peebe

I had to include a goat this week because they were feeling left out. I’m pretty good at getting our critters to do what I want. The goats (remember I read once that “they are just like dogs, except they don’t care whether or not they please the humans.”) are my biggest challenge. Partly because I’m in the shot and can’t really do any hands-on directing and partly because they are goats.

We have to make concessions for my little Sunday Selfie project. I hated, hated, hated to sacrifice a bamboo branch, but that piece of bamboo did what it had to do and Peebe performed like a champ. Not the image I had in my head and it might actually be better.

Behind the scenes

Before the story

It is a really simple set up. We just brought the bamboo we’ve had since the end of December into the studio and brought in a goat.

We had a beautifully mild December and early January. December we brought 41 bamboo plants home from Bamboo Garden in North Plain. Early January found us at Highway Fuel purchasing three tons of flagstone.

Seriously, in real math, that three tons of flagstone quickly becomes nine. Figure we get help loading three tons into the van. We pick up three and load into the van, unload three onto the cart. Haul all three back to the bamboo garden and then pick ’em up again and put them down. And if you really want to split hairs, we pick them up and put them in place.

By mid-January we had the paths carved and the spiral garden in place. That’s when winter came to Salem.

Bamboo Future is how I see our spring. Planting bamboo with assistance.

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The great protector

Sunday selfie number seven.

This one has been floating around in my head for a really long time. When Karen and I first came up with, the chickens were all going through a molt. Trust me when I say that molting chickens are almost as good as naked chickens.

So we waited. And then, we had to make sure we ate our Wheaties for breakfast.

We brought the chickens into the studio two at a time.

The six-armed goddess

Left to right
Ellie (brahma), Maude (olive egger), Edie (frizzle), Gracie (silkie), Talley (easter egger),
Hillary (black australorp), Millie ( brahma), Betty (rescue hen)

This is actually a remake of an image I did a couple of years ago.

Maude, Talley, Gracie, Hillary, Edie

This was always one of my favorites and our flock has grown since then. We’re quite lucky that our birds are so tame. They frequently let us photograph them and are always quite amenable to doing what we ask of them knowing that we will never put them in any sort of danger.

Who is the six-armed goddess?

Kali is a Hindu goddess.

In spite of her seemingly terrible form, Kali Ma is often considered the kindest and most loving of all the Hindu goddesses, as she is regarded by her devotees as the Mother of the whole Universe. And because of her terrible form, she is also often seen as a great protector.


I guess her description fits, especially when it comes to animals.

Behind the scenes

After setting up the lighting, I realized that there is just never enough room. I would be spending more time editing out the background than I wanted. In hind sight, I would have done something different with the lighting, but by the end of the project I was quite please with how the image turned out.

Wardrobe is always a problem, my goal for Selfie Sundays is to spend zero or to as little as possible money. As I was going to sleep, the Equality t-shirt really resonated with me. We have all different types of birds, all colors of feathers and they all get along.

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