Its been a while

Posting a new entry has been on my list for tooo long. I have crossed off a lot on my never ending “to do” list over the last few months, but I never can seem to get to blogging. I enjoy reading all the updates I have set to receive on Sundays, but I just can’t think of much to write about unless I have an assignment.

My summer “assignment” to myself has been mostly horse stuff. I have started showing in very low key events (and getting harder as summer goes) and managed to have a lot of fun AND get some ribbons! Here is a little recap.

First show of the season was at Olde Hope Farm and it was a 3 day event. Although all events are done in the same day in the low levels. First was a dressage test, then stadium jumping which led straight out to the cross country course. The jumps were small and Amtrak looked at each one, but I kept my leg on we made it through and won the class!

The second show was at Blue Goose Stables. I thought there was dressage, stadium and cross country and signed up for class that was pretty small. Turns out there was no cross country so I paid for a non-judged class of 2’9″ stadium jumps to get some practice in. I won the class again and did the higher jumps well too.

Next was Fox Crossing Stable. I used to board there and took a lesson so I could school on the cross country portion prior to the show. It was THRILLING to do some more advanced jumps and get some advice how to ride them too. The show went well but the competition was much stiffer. I got 5th in one of the 3 stadium courses and 5th on cross country. Very proud of Amtrak with this one!

If you know about horses, you have probably heard of the Devon Horse Show. Its a premier place and there are other shows there other than the actual “Devon Horse Show”. We came the night before to school and got stalls for the horses so we wouldn’t be so stressed getting there the next day. It was amazing to be in the Dixon Oval where so many Olympic level riders have competed. I placed, but it was more about being at the venue.

Finally, a Derby at Pebble Creek Farms last week. Thankfully we were allowed to do 2 schooling rounds prior to the judged round because there was no where to school jumps ahead of time. Amtrak was like……we are jumping? Once he got the idea and saw most the jumps in practice, we rocked the derby and got 3rd!

Next week I am going to trailer to a place that has deep enough water off the beach to swim with your horse. Its another item on my bucket list and it has been so hot its the perfect time! I also had a higher level cross country event on my list, but it was cancelled.  Hoping it will be on again next year.

Here is a picture under the famous Devon sign at the entrance to the arena. Thinking I might try to qualify for a class at the big Devon show next year! It wasn’t as intimidating as I thought it would be now that I have my “big girl breeches” on.


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Day 16 – Treasure and close up

I am dabbling with what to do with my life after retirement. One thing I like and could make into a business is making horse treats. They are my treasure subject! These are mostly oats and molasses, but I put a little candy on top that goes along with the season. I should have included the jelly beans instead of the mint (every season staple) I really like the good and plenty because they look like bunny ears.


Day 15 -Landscape and cropping

I tend to steer clear of wide landscape shots other than to give a big picture, but then get closer and closer and closer. Its hard to capture the impact of amazing places . When I take pictures of unbelievable beauty, I always say this picture could never replicate this moment….Yet another goal to work towards.

Part of todays assignment had me experimenting with ISO and exposure compensation. I always forget about adjusting things as I am shooting, but this day, a storm was coming and it was pretty dark. I actually looked through the shots while shooting and realized they were too dark, and then solved the problem and changed my settings. Again, the teacher of my last class would be proud! It is really hard to see on the tiny screen, but so much better than waiting to develop the film to find out….I can hardly believe that once was the only way!

This first one is the barn where I work and board my horses (with FINALLY some color!) The second one is the McMansion on the farm property where I work and board my horse. It is truly magnificent.DSC_0401.JPG


Day 14 – Scale and observation

So apparently scale and observation is something I need to pay more attention to. I often find photos I have taken will fit into several different assignments for this class. This one I have used before, but not with the my legs in the shot. That was on accident but will work for this. The water tower is humongous and I am laying down looking up. I like how everything is so old and has such history. This is on DuPont property that has been donated for a park.


Day 13 – Movement and Motion

Action shots are one of my favorites. Horse jumping would be #1 choice, but I don’t have anyone to work with today. Running water is a challenge that is fun too. I like to get the milky white blur effect and on the flip side, try to capture single droplets. Philadelphia has a beautiful place called Chanticleer Garden. I was there this past fall and played with my shutter speed in this eerie fountain. It was also one of the few times I had a tripod, which I highly recommend.

Day 12 – Architecture and Monochrome

I recently went on a trip with my family to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. I could post architecture pictures all day from that trip, but the word monochrome helped me narrow down to these 2. They are bean curd cakes, kind of a candy that were being hand pressed into a mold and then hammered with a primitive “machine”. It was so hot, but a couple families were working hard churning these out especially fast to prepare for the New Years celebrations. They were also making candied ginger but  those photos will have to be for later.



Day 11 – Color and Pop

The landscape is pretty boring right now and I already submitted the most prominent POP out right now–daffodils. I decided to use the color in my back yard this cold and windy evening.

I like how the shadow even has the veining



Since nothing past the daffodils I already posted is POPing, I used my outdoor pillow

It took me a minute to see the reflection of the gazebo above me and the tree behind me in this glow ball. I have wanted to capture images like this and I did this one my accident 🙂


The same glow balls but later at night while they were glowing.



Saigon, Vietnam

When I started this blog, I wasn’t sure where I was going with it, and I still struggle. It is not as easy to use as Facebook and I am not sure what complete strangers are interested in about me. So I am going to go with the things I love and places I have traveled to.

January 2016 I was lucky enough to go on a National Geographic Tour of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia with my family. It was a trip of a lifetime!

I plan to post some of my favorite pictures I captured along with what I remember learning about each one, over the course of several posts.


Ho Chi Minh aka “Uncle” statue in front of City Hall

The Post Office

Inside the Post Office – it is beautiful!

No Dunkin Donuts here!

Inside of a local church

Graffiti on the outside of the same church

My Aunt Carole in front of a propaganda sign


The largest market we visited


Sponsor notes for the pagoda

Each incense is a wish. According to the Vietnamese, that particular day was a very lucky day to make a wish so it was very busy.

Candles to light the incense

Day 10 – Mystery and Lighting Effects

This challenge was tough for me. Seems like I am not ready to play with mystery or lighting.  The only thing that came to mind was the first shot in this mosaic and I don’t even have editing software to lighten it even a little so you can see the spire better. I have growing to do!

All these were taken in Siem Reap, Cambodia this past January. The first one was at the “Angelina Jolie” temple….she filmed part of Tomb Raider there with the creepy trees growing on and through the ruins. The third one has 6 faces (Can you find all of them?) and the next 2 big faces were taken at Bayonne Temple. The final two are Angkor Wat at sunrise. Cloudy day without all the potential colors (bought the postcards) but still cool. Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world. Cambodia is the hottest place I have ever been with the nicest people ever.

Love and Light,