Snow makes ordinary life a big adventure


I'm starting to figure out the camera. At last. Shooting objects in the snow tends to make the subject too dark as the camera tries to adjust for the exposure of bright white. By turning up the ISO- the backgrounds faded away entirely and I was able to get the right amount of light to photograph the chickens.

The dogs had been too dark in all their shots as well. I am happy with the photos I took of them yesterday but I still have too many blurry ones and that bothers me. The dogs and I went on a very long hike through the woods yesterday. It was breathtakingly beautiful. The sun wasnt out yet so it was still gray and very cold. Today is even colder. It is about 26 right now at 12 noon.

Photographing chickens is not easy they have erratic movements and are never still. Part of the picture is almost always blurred. Putting them in the snow put them in a kind of shock. They were as still as I have ever seen them. They've been cooped up too long. I leave the pen open for them but they wont leave. Today I took them and put them under my studio where they can scratch around and move some. Poor little things.

Trout is such a great dog. What a champion she is; she is game for anything. We have been all over creation. Every other day, I take her up to Big Sky for a hike where she can go off on her own and meet back with me as I make my way. This can't happen with Koby so she doesnt get to go. Trout has been much better about staying home and when Koby leaves our property she barks a certain bark to rat her out. I love this development!

Sweet little Wren. I have a soft spot for this hen because she is the bottom of the pecking order. In a group feeding situation she is always pecked out and away from the treats. So you know I arrange it where she gets her own private stash.

This is Boxer's favorite chicken. She is a damn good hen. She is the only one not laying through this cold weather -but that has more to do with age then temperature.


I left the truck up at the top of my driveway. I went up there yesterday to see if I could get out. The snow plow had been by and buried it. So i spent about 45 minutes digging it out. I felt like a pioneer woman! A few guys with trucks and chains came by but I refused to be pulled out.

"I like shoveling. It's a fitness thing" I told one fella. His lady gave me the universal look of "whatever dumb ass" and they drove on. Eventually I did get out..scraping out a path where the tires could get some traction. And I drove to town to find it all but shut down. But i felt like a BAD ASS. Oh yeah, Im out and I'm driving.

Wish me luck cause I am about to go pick up Fishbone Betty and its much icier today as the low temps made everything freeze. But I know how desperate she is to get out of that cabin. And...Koby ate another bed. So I need dog toys and bird seed and I have to GO.

Its a big adventure. All of the hardships, the mega bulk of clothing, dealing with frozen things. I LOVE this. I really do.


  1. i love the pics! nicely done you! my heart sort of leapt into my throat when i realized YOU were taking the video while driving. i feel like such a dolt for staying in just because it was cold here! ;~D xoxox

  2. That's very cool that Trout rats out Koby when she wanders off.

    "Fishbone Betty"?

  3. "dogs had been too dark ... too many blurry ones"

    Use fill flash!

    I especially like the first pix!

  4. uh...his lady might be right.

    BTW, Koby is a crescent.

  5. made more epic by filming while driving? bwahahahaha. I love seeing those roads in snow and you know how I feel about "my" Easter. I'm glad they're out under the studio - safe from flying objects and no snow.

    As for being a Bad Ass? I already knew that. xoxox

  6. You've got more snow down there than we do in S. MA.

    If you have some time, try setting the camera to Tv (exposure length), and see what quarter second, half second, one second and longer exposures give you.

  7. Easter!!!!

    She's so pretty.

    I love the first picture. Absolutely brilliant.

    *goes and puts on more clothes*

    Looking at all the snow made me cold!

  8. i really like auntie's answer to you: uh.. his lady might be right.

    but ya know .. i unnerstand. last year i did the same as you. shoveled snow, hauled wood, shoveled more snow, hauled more wood .. all because my poor husband was flat on his back with a high grade fever.
    well, all that badassness got me a herniated back, in two spots .. :)

    anyway, these are really beautiful photos. love the contrast against the snow which is so pristine!

  9. LOVE the photos! Brilliant! But be careful, you are not used to driving in that kind of weather and with a pick up, they tend to fishtail. Have any weight in the back? The roads look fine in the video but it's later you gotta be worried, when it gets colder and the roads start to ice up. BE CAREFUL GIRL!!! (and put that camera down!)

  10. Oh, buddy, all that snow. Isn't the weather supposed to be warm where you live? Those are beautiful photos.

  11. savannah: im not even going to tell you some of the videos ive taken while driving! you know, its like getting in a cold pool - you get used to it and you dont notice the cold anymore. But i have a snow suit to pull on over my jeans. It. is. awesome!

    troll: yeah, its a steady bark bark bark and then she looks in the general direction Koby went. This from my wandering hound dog.

    Fishbone betty: betty is a ceramic artist and her studio is called "fishbone"

    xl: if fill flash is a specific kind of flash - i dont know if i have that. its just flash. but i hate what flashes do to dogs' eyes! i was very happy with the detail in peggy jeans feathers. if it would be like that every shot i would be deeply in love with the camera/

  12. I get it.
    29 degrees here at noon.
    Painfully cold, trapped in your house breathing canned air. There comes a moment when you just have to go outside and resist being victimized by weather.

    Looks like you are keeping the camera. I went out with mine for a while, sadly I hated the looks of just everything today.
    Snow,ice, cold are my enemies now.

    I noticed your video looked black and white except for the yellow stripes in the road. Oh, one more thing, remind me to never get in a truck with you. I'm sure I would bark just like the tattling Trout!

  13. aunty: oh c'mon. you know how doin' it yourself makes ya feel! Koby can bend in the most impossible ways. damn dog is made of.....crescent dough.

    boxer: you would have loved today. town was locals only. an atmosphere of conviviality. it was big adventure. its fun to have an edge of "we might end up in a ditch". Betty had fun. The dog store was open (shock!) and i bought Koby new toys.

    anon: tv - i see that setting and have never tried it. I will do it. Thank you so much for the tip. I dont see how i can set it to the times you said though. It seems like the choices are to set the aspect ration and iso. The camera is a cannon S95. I will try though.

    roses: its cold but i have snow boots and a snow suit which is kind of cute even. i dont even feel the cold. tomorrow i might, in the low teens.

    foam: i remember the back herniation and it seemed to last Youre right of course, but i have to live! anyway - i try very hard to use my legs and engage my gut so i am not using my back and neck to do the work. I love the contrast too -but i really love how i can see the feather details.

  14. la diva: the truck bed was full of snow so it was heavy but i still have to dig out every time. you know, i am a child born and raised in florida, but i am very close to getting my bars for mountain living. trust me i am alert and careful!! glad you like the hens - you know i still get at least 2 fresh eggs a day?

    susan: hey hey hey! new blog? who knew? glad to see you friend. yeah -usually we dont have snow til late january. weve already had 3 major snows. i like it. i really do. but i dont have to be anywhere either, so...

    Fishy: cabin fever is setting in. If you saw how far betty walked in the freeze to meet me youd be impressed. Shes not afraid to ride with me. Im a great driver! you werent happy with your shots because of the ugly weather or what? about that video: the videos always look really blue. Its HD though - did you notice? but the color is wrong. dont know why. i'll gooogle it and see

  15. Awesome photos! Good luck with the cabin fever. And can I borrow your snowsuit :)

  16. You are a bad ass. Y'know, I moved away from Manitoba to get away from snow like that! Ha. The hens are beautiful, and so are the dogs!

  17. Maddie has a rat out bark, too. Hilarious. Still, poor Ivan's lost all his stealth abilities now.

    I love the way the animals are thrown into super sharp relief. Nice!

  18. C'mon?

    Dawg, how short yore canine memory is--the NECK?? Ya shoveled snow? dug out a truck? Lemme know iffin' ya think that pioneer, BA feelin' will be much of a painkiller when ya herniate C-4, K? Grrrrr!

    I hunted fer it in the artwork online...cain't find it but somewhar' thar's a yaller crescent Eva.

  19. I am IN LOVE with the pics. Love. Love love. And ISO is something I'm still trying to master, especially using the little wheels on the camera instead of going through the menu. So great job YOU on those pics. Don't worry about blurry (poetic, eh?) ... my theory on that is like what you always heard about film (by the guys good at it) ... on a roll of film, maybe one good usable shot if you are lucky. So I just keep snapping and expect blurry and know that one of them is going to be great, some of them good, most of them meh, and several totally awful.

    And are you filming while driving? A gal after mine own heart.

  20. PS - exposure length -- the longer you go before the shutter clicks, the more you will need a tripod to pull it off. But a fun thing to play with and one I need to work on more as well!

  21. And your color might be wrong if you are set to an indoor lighting setting or didn't change your iso back???? maybe??

  22. I loved your video, I have never seen so much snow and the hens and the dogs look oustanding against the white of the snow.
    Be carfeful with your back when digging out that snow, take care sweet girl.

    xoxoxoxo ♡

  23. I'm glad to hear you are close to getting your bars! Two eggs a day?! That's enough for me! Yum! (going to show your shots to hubby!)

  24. I love the moving slice of your life.
    The photos are stunning ... and I knew you would love Katherine Dunn I do think I emailed you the link to her website ages & ages ago ... or I meant to. I think you and she might have been separated at birth ?!?

    loads of love, snowy here to
    Susan & les Gang

  25. Your pics are amazing, especially the details on the feathers, and it's so hard to get good shots in snow - you must be very pleased with these. Driving in snow is one of my worst nightmares, never mind filming whilst doing so!! Your roads look like they've been pretty well cleared, some parts of the UK ground to a halt in December - we're just not used to it.
    Thanks for stopping by to say happy new year, hope 2011 is a good one for you! Sorry, but no chance of you getting your mitts on that bowl!!! :o)

  26. @ Pam's comment about a tripod: S.B. put a Joby Gorillapod flexible tripod in my Christmas stocking. Über portable and easy to use.

  27. The pictures are stunning. Very well done. Nice post as usual. I was encouraged by the fact that at least people offered to help you get unstuck.

  28. Good evening Chickory,

    The snow was so pure in the background, it looks like the dogs and chickens are superimposed on the shot, a very neat effect.

    Driving down a snowy road with a video camera and with snow still on the hood of your vehicle. There's an awful lot of people that would hate to see you get hurt. How about next time, mount the camera, remove all the snow and concentrate on driving. The video may not be quite as good, but at least you'll be around to show it to us.

  29. Your fancy new camera inspired me to get a new digital camera, too! Nikon CoolPix P7000

  30. @ Karl

    Yeah, Dawgy. no kiddin'!

  31. (1) I would suppose getting any animal to sit still would be a challenge, but I didn't realize hens were that unpredictable.

    (2) Watching that video, with the narrow lanes and curves--that's disaster waiting to happen. I hope (a) your county has plans of clearing more space on that road; and (2) whether they do or not that you drive safely.

  32. love the photographs - these would make great framed art - love the contrast between the animals and the snow.

  33. I love the photos , I thought 'professional' at first , as the animals are so sharp. I would say thanks for the tip but we dont have snow here in Queensland, Aust. Actually I dont have chickens either , I would like to though for the kids as I grew up with them.


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