Laureate Shelties Blog

A bit of this, a bit of that...with a lot of free spirits.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Snow Day

I woke up this morning to several inches of snow; the first snowfall of the season.  I popped the long lens on the camera as I saw the heron down in the creek.  Creeping out onto the deck so I wouldn't startle him, I first snapped this shot of our solar lights on the railing...then propping myself up against the gazebo I got this shot.
Taken with the 70-200 with the doubler...he's really not very close, yet he still flew off when he noticed me. 
This was taken through the kitchen window yesterday...loved seeing his feet on the ice.  

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Who's Your Daddy?

The sire of Eva's puppies is the beautiful GCh Rosmoor Protocol ROM!  This makes them full younger siblings to "Sushi", our keeper from her last litter. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Royal

The Royal Winter Fair comes to Toronto at the beginning of November every year.  I remember when I used to ride, qualifying for "The Royal" was the goal.  You had to win your class (maybe more than once) at a local fair to qualify.  It was the most prestigious fair in Canada.
The weather was beautiful the three days I attended.  Unseasonably mild and I didn't hear anyone complaining!
The poultry exhibition was wonderful to see.  The roosters were strutting, the turkeys were making a display with their tail feathers.  Many were fine with all the people walking past, but some were a little more flighty.
Chicken being judged...easier than showing dogs.  The judge goes into the cage and pulls out the exhibit and examines it.  It doesn't take too long...
These were my favourite type of chicken.  They have a rose comb (close to their heads) and interesting colour.  It is called a Silver-laced Wyandotte.  If I were to get a chicken or three, this would be the type I'd like.
A crested goose.  These guys look like they want to bite you on the butt...they just have that look in their eye!
A Polish chicken.  While these are very ornamental, they are very skittish.
These guys have a face only a mother could love...yikes!
I went to the Super Dogs was a ton of fun.  They have a pretty good show and there were lots of laughs.  The dogs certainly have a good time.

Young handlers...might have been 4-H.
Brown Swiss.  I never realized how bony cows hips are...
Jersey calf with amazing eyes.
Cleaning them up for the show
Keeping the sheep clean after they are washed
Even their heads are covered
Having a nap
The draft horses getting washed up
And the hunter/jumpers
Wednesday night we bought tickets for the horse show.  We got a cross section of events culminating with the Grand Prix which was the highlight.
The six horse Belgian teams were impressive
The amount of work for the few minutes in the ring is incredible.  Just look at the sparkle of their tack, and the shine on their wagons...not to mention the braiding of the horses manes and washing of their coat. I can't imagine the cost of this hobby.
Dressage in the dark.  It was spectacular and when I was watching it seemed darker than this.  It was magical...
Then there was a class called "Green Meadows".  There were four carriages and it took you back to a time of lords and ladies.  All four exhibits were American, from Michigan to Florida. 
The winning exhibit was this group of Hackneys.  They were high stepping and fancy, everyone was prim and proper on the carriage with blankets on their laps.
The horn blower (he probably has another title) won a ribbon.  He tooted the horn as they went around.  Once again, so much work, time and money for this competition.
The beginning of the Grand Prix event.  The course builders tribute to the great Stallion Hickstead who passed away the following week.  They came up with the idea to wear black armbands in his honour and they also had a number for sale which quickly sold out.  Eric Lamaze, Hickstead's rider received a standing ovation when he rode in the ring on another horse.
Some of the crowd in long dresses and tuxedos.  Pete and I and many others were in jeans...there wasn't a dress code, we figure there was a gala event prior to the show.
Ian Miller and his daughter Amy walking the course prior to the Grand Prix
The first rider
Eric Lamaze on Herald.  He did a really good job, but did end up with 5 faults.
Eric Lamaze again
Ian Millar on his stallion Redefin.  He had an off night and Ian retired him half way through the course after he had knocked down 6 rails.
I loved this horse, Lansdowne ridden by Conor Swail of Ireland and they placed second I believe.
The night had some drama when Canadian Beth Underhill fell off her horse and was lying on the ground being attended by the EMT's for ten to fifteen minutes.  Her horse was loose, but was quickly caught.  There was no word on Beth's condition until the following day, when it was announced she had a concussion.
Another beautiful horse and rider; notice the Hickstead armband he is wearing. 
Hope I'm able to go to the fair again next is such fun.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Creek November 4th

This is the pin oak that I was talking about in my last post.  We love trees and planted it and a red oak seven years ago after Hannah and Sparkle passed away.  Its trunk is wrapped up for beaver protection.
The two sisters
The very shy heron has been in the creek daily.  The fishing must be good as most of the other birds are heading south.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Field Trip

I packed the Eva pups in the car and drove 300 metres down to the lowlands; the area we view from the deck.  The pin oaks leaves are a deep mahogany color.  I love this tree as it will keep its foliage all winter. 
The little ones rough housed in the fallen leaves.  It seemed to be the blues against the tri.  I think he's an easy target.  Besides being the only tri, he's so fun loving and he initiates the play.


They look quite ferocious, but I don't even remember hearing them growling.  They were right at my feet the whole time, tumbling and playing.
Getting away!
Little stinker found my hat and ran off with it...

The little girl "Adele"coming to check out what the boys are up to...
"Foster" blue
Foster on the right and Adele on the left
Everything is new and interesting...
A lovely fall day...I loaded up the pups and then let out my anxious 'co-pilot'
"Foo" having a quick run aound before calling her back to ride shotgun for the short ride back. 
Heading back home...I feel so lucky that we have so many different places we can take the dogs for a safe run.

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