Wednesday, October 7, 2015

So Very Much Not A Farm Girl.... Part 4....

Ok. Yes.  
There has been another incident of my non-farminess.... 

If you need to catch up here is a link>>>Farm Girl Part 3<<< 
You will also find links to the other stories there..... I'm afraid I will never be a "Farm Girl".

On to this story....
I am not what you would call a snake hater!!!! Quite the opposite!! I think they are beautiful and have a very specific purpose. As long as I don't have to see them, hear them, or whatever, they can live their happy life however they choose! 

Where I begin to digress from my lofty opinion of them is when I see them in places I frequent…
Namely, my yard!

As a “city girl livin’ the country life” I am not accustom to seeing snakes so my first reaction to a sighting is “GET THE SHOVEL!!!!”  or  “GET THE GUN!!!!!”  It really doesn’t matter what size the snake is…. At some point they will be bigger, possibly venomous, and/or eat my chicken’s eggs so all snakes must go!!!  I am assuming that most "farm girls" are capable of taking care of this themselves.... well, good on them!!! 

Yesterday I had some extra energy (a rare thing it seems these days!!) so I decided to go on a walkabout around our property. My Army Man had told me of thousands of flowers growing in the bee field so I wanted to check that out for sure! And the bees!!!! Of course, I wanted to check on the bees too!!! It’s always so wonderful to see lots of bees flying around and being active around their hive!!
See those spots on the right side?? Those are bees!!!

I started out in our front yard which is actually very large. Earlier, I had spotted some mushrooms I wanted to shoot (photograph) so I headed that way first! I got a few shots and let me just say…. mushrooms can be a bit tricky to shoot. I was lying prostrate on the ground to get a good angle and could feel a bit of the dampness from recent rains coming through my clothes, but it had to be done. It doesn’t help that my oldest son, who was getting logs for a future bonfire, drove by on the lawnmower and gave me a weird look. You’d think he’d be used to seeing his mom down the ground with a camera by now!! Maybe it was the dampness….. pretty sure I saw an eye roll in there somewhere!!! 
But a photographer does what a photographer needs to do to get the shot....

I think it tuned out quite lovely!!!! I have a few (read, several) more, but they didn't strike me quite like this one did!!!

I left the area with the mushrooms and went across our ever-running creek!!! It's the little creek that could!!! It never stops flowing!! Even when there has been no rain for months!! It is a faithful little creek and when it has rained it gets bigger and louder!!  Anyway.... I crossed the creek and found a few wild flowers growing over by the pond!!! (and here I was thinking the flowers were almost done!!!) 

Well, technically the last (yellow) one is ragweed!! At least that's what we call it around these parts and it causes many folks plenty of misery this time of year!!!   But I found it's tiny blossoms quite enchanting (after I sneezed about four times!)!!

As  I was making my way back to the bee field I came across a bit of wetness that I can only describe as extremely gross!!! It is a place where runoff water flows from properties higher than ours and the place it ends up is stagnant for the most part!!! There must be movement somewhere, somehow, because of the shapes within the depths, but it seems very few and far between!!!

From here I walked the path through our enchanted forest (at least that's what I tell myself as I am anxiously dodging huge spiders, countless spots of poison ivy, possibly snakes--that I cannot see, thankfully! and moss!!). I love moss!! =) 
The bee field is through this path and it really is covered in little yellow flowers!!! It is quite a sight, but the camera does not see the beauty as I see it. The camera only sees the chaos so I decided not to share photos of that part!! 

I crossed back over the creek (in a different area)(we have like three creek crossings on our property!) and decided to go see the chickens!!! They are always good for a photo or two!! I noticed that the volunteer tomato (by the coop yard) had a few orange tomatoes so I decided to give them to the chickens as I have done all summer!!! 
No big deal!!! 


The wooden gate that the tomato vine has clung to all summer has on opening on the support bar that until now held a spider. The kind of spider that sort of buries itself and puts it's web around the opening....I think it's a trapdoor spider or something  like that!!! Anyway..... I noticed that it's web was hanging down so I looked closer and freaked out a little!!!

I KNOW!!!! It's really hard to tell from this photo!! (believe me I saw the giggles the men were suppressing while I was showing them this photo in the camera!!!) 
BUT...there is a SNAKE in there where the spider used to be!!!! 
First of all.... All I saw was a tan body, dark spots. Tan body, dark spots....tan body dark spots...
Gaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!! It could be a rattle snake OR a copperhead!!! Both of which live in our area of the world AND both of which are venomous!!!!

So I did the only logical thing I could think of.... I called my Army Man!!!!

Luckily for me (and ultimately the snake) he was very close by with a coworker!!!
That's right!!! I called the Alabama National Guard!!! 

And what do you think they did??? They came right over and started looking for that snake!! 

I am the luckiest girl in the world right here!!!! Two very capable Army Men came to my house to remove the threat (that I was feeling!!)!! They had to remove the planks on the gate because the snake would NOT budge out of his hiding place! He had gotten himself curled up around a screw or something....I don't know. All I know is, there was a snake in the gate, he did not come out of the gate and I don't want him near me, my kids or the chickens!!! 
They worked on this thing manually removing the screws so they could get to the snake! 
=) =) =)
Meanwhile, I got a photo of a wasp butt..... This is no ordinary wasp (butt)!! The size of this thing (the wasp,not necessarily the butt!) is about the size of my pinky!!! It is the largest, reddest wasp I think I have ever seen!!!!  EEEeeeeekkk!!!! We stayed well away from this thing!!! 

Seriously, there are days, beautiful days, that I wished I'd have just stayed inside!!!! 

Back to the drama of the snake.....
The Army Men finally got the snake out! It was all of about 9 inches long. (shivers!) Jere said it was a "rat snake". Non-venomous. Non-threatening. had to go!!!
Never fear though you (crazy) snake lovers!!!! It was a catch and release!!! The guys took it with them and released it in the woods far away from our home!!! =) 

See those dirty hands?!?!?!  
THAT is what the Alabama National Guard did for me 
(and this little snake!)!!!! 
It really helps that I'm married to one of them!!!!! 
=) =)  

 Then my son, traitor lover of reptiles that he is, got to hold the snake while the Army Men were cleaning up!!! He was thrilled and begged asked several times if he could keep it!!!
Ummmmm NOOOOO!!!!! I need my sanity!!!!


To help and prevent nightmares (my own included!) I will leave you with these last few photos I took while waiting to be rescued by my Army Man!!! 

Find a happy place. Think happy thoughts. Find a happy place. Sunshine and rainbows. Find a happy place.


Monday, October 5, 2015

Waiting Game.....

I have now completed my requirements for Sphere 1 in the Arcanum!!!


At least my Army Man is happy!! My work/study has used up several of my evenings and he misses me!!!
Some of you may have no idea what I am talking about when I say, "Arcanum"!! Let me encourage you to check it out!!! It is a new way of online learning based on an "Master/Apprentice" technique!!! It has been invaluable to me!!! The time spent in  my Cohort has increased my skill and knowledge to a level I never thought possible and the friendships I have made will last a lifetime!!

Here is the link to their website >>>Information that can change your life!!<<<

If you have any desire to learn more, increase your skills or become a Master and teach others this is a great way to do these things!!!

Trey Ratcliff is a co-founder of the Arcanum and has wonderful information on his own website >>>stuckincustoms<<< He is an avid supporter of the art of photography and finding your niche and sticking with it!!!

I am still finding my niche.....

I think I shall have to refer to myself as a "Fine Art Photographer".

Here is my Level 19 Critique session with my Master Bob Young...>>>Bretta's Critique<<<

It will give you a taste of what I like to do as a photographer.
Sometimes I like to make a photo look like a painting. It is a fun process in Photoshop!!
I do not like to photograph people in a posed position.... I do not mind candid shots, but mostly I only do that of my children and believe me it's all I can do to get those done!!!
Portrait photographers have my complete sympathy and respect!!!
I could never do what they do!!!

These are the photos I had in my Level 19 Critique....

Well, that's that!!
What's next??

I'm so glad you asked, because I'd like to know too!!! ;-)

When you complete Sphere 1 in the Arcanum you are placed in a "Lounge" where you wait for a Sphere 2 Master to find you and pick you to go into the Sphere 2 experience of their making!!! 
That's where I am for the time being!!! =)   
Waiting to be found!!   
One of the concerns I have about Sphere 2 is there doesn't seem to be too many Fine Art type of Cohorts... There are several landscape and portrait Masters....
My Master (Bob) has assured me that I will be chosen and have a lot to offer.... for now I will continue to wait, take more photos, keep learning more about Lightroom and Photoshop, and enjoy evenings with my Army Man with no looming work due!!!!! 

Thanks for stopping by!!