Friday, October 24, 2014



MURPHY'S FIRST HUNT TEST



Murphy, a 2 year old black Lab, fell into Jordan's lap from one of the most prominent trainers on the east coast.  Let's just say it was the luck of the Irish.  I won't go into details, but it was the luckiest day of Jort's life in a very long while.  So, he picks up the dog and comes straight to our house.  Murphy lived in a kennel until then.  He came in the house leaning on Jordan and barking at us.  Dick and I looked at each other and told Jort to be very careful with this dog.  He's 2, set in his ways and not very social.  Then he took him outside and threw dummies out into the yard.  The dog marked each one and retrieved them without a problem.  Jort was so thrilled with his good fortune that we didn't want to break his heart, but we never thought this would be a good pet/hunting partner for him. 



                                                                                                     Photo by Rachael Kane

Daily Training Sessions





Murphy comes to play at Nana's


Well, it's a year later.  Murphy now comes to Nana's and sits next to the counter waiting for his "cookie".  Then he follows us into the living room and makes his rounds for us each to pet him until he falls over from ecstasy.  Jordan has trained with his friend Patty, the trainer, almost every day for over a year now.  Murph is a fabulous retriever.  There is no duck that gets missed.  

During that year, Jort has finished him as a Junior dog and is working on the Senior dog trials next.  



                                                                                                                              Photo by Jordan Kane

Finished Junior Dog


So, Jort invites us to come see Murphy in action at his first field trial competition.  It's a rainy, miserable, cold October Saturday.  We have to get up at 6 to be there in time.  I lug the camera bag, or rather my caddy does (he's my husband and I pay him with ice-cream and beer) and we arrive just in time to see the test dog run.  Murphy is fifth in this run.  And when it's his turn, he retrieves his three ducks without a problem on the land runs.  I got some not so great shots that day because of the weather, the rain and I had an ID-1O-T error (IDIOT) with my camera operations (too early in the morning to think).  And I felt so bad that they didn't turn out well that I volunteered us to go back the next Sunday to do it all again when Murphy competes in his first HUNT TEST.

Here are the resulting pictures.






Murphy is in his blind holding paws while Jort gives him a pep talk.





If he only knew there were ducks on the drying rack right in front of him.  

He has his eyes on his Master, always.









Now he's moved up to the first blind and will go next.  
Hence the ear rub and more pep talking.




Murphy's turn...OK, Murph, let's go get some ducks.





Murphy…he marks his first duck.






He marks his second duck.






And he's off…He will retrieve the second duck first.  Way out in the field,
there is a hill.  The duck was shot to fall behind the hill, making it a blind retrieve.







Murphy goes around the hill and picks up his duck, no problem.  
He brings it back past the lower judges to show it off.





Notice the wing over his eyes.  





Well, I guess a dog can only run so far with a wing over his face.  
He sets it down for just a second to get a better grip on it.





And he's off again.  This time with the whole duck over his face.







But he gets it there.  And his time wasn't bad.  







Now he brings back the first duck, not as far, but he still had to
remember where it fell.







A happier trip with no duck face.





Good dog, Murph,  Good dog.


Now, knowing that his retrieving is over, I put the camera away.  The next part of the Hunt Test, Murph moves off to the side and sits at heel position.  The next dog comes up, they shoot his ducks and off goes Murphy got there before the handler could even send her dog.  Another lovely retrieve. Unfortunately, that's called breaking and he was disqualified for the day.  


In all fairness, that's something that's hard to train, because you don't have another dog when you are training alone.  But it's something that Jort now knows he will have to work on.

It was a two day Test.  We only went the second day.  On the first day, Murphy made it through the first two trials and was disqualified on the water trial when he decided to go for a swim instead of a retrieve.  

Back to the drawing board...


                                                                      Photo by Rachael Kane
Inseperable Buddies



Dog events are a whole lot of fun to watch.  It took me back to our days of dog shows and coursing with our Afghan Hounds, back in the 70's.  Lots of memories of a wonderful time in our lives.  We made some wonderful friends and learned so much.  Dog people can't be beat.  They are just the greatest people.  Everyone is willing to help you even though they compete against you.  I'm so excited to see Jort in a training group.  He's meeting some wonderful folks that are guiding him on his way.  And after all that work, he has Murphy the Wonder Dog for a hunting partner.

                                                                                    Photo by Jordan Kane

Murphy in Stealth Mode waiting for bewitching hour to start duck hunting.

                                                                                    Photo by Jordan Kane

Murphy photo bombs his hunting partner.




Jordan and the Murph



   








Tuesday, September 9, 2014

BRANDYWINE POLO CLUB




Friday night (9-5-14), we were invited to tailgate at a local polo match with four of our friends.  Polo has been on my bucket list for the past 3 or 4 years.  I love horses and this would be the perfect opportunity to get some great images.  I loaded up the Nikon, a couple of chairs and a pound cake and we were on our way.  Anyone who knows me well knows that I am not a sports person.  But I think I have finally found a sport that I really enjoy.

The match was sparsely attended, which surprised me, as they advertise Twilight Polo which is a bit romanticized, but for the area, I really expected a tailgate crowd with lots of wine flowing. Come on Chester County, where are you?  Isn't this Horse Country, after all?   But it was a great night, none the less.  I had slathered on Skin So Soft so the mosquitos wouldn't be a factor.  I had a fresh battery and a new flash card and I was so ready to shoot some horses.  Not wanting to miss on the action shots, I put the camera in continuous mode and ended up shooting 1,675 images.  Not bad for 3 hours…






The announcer did a great commentary and explained the rules as he went along.




It was a steamy night for the horses.  




I was so surprised to see so many women athletes playing.  




A player can only use the mallet with his right hand, even if he's left handed.  He also must swing in on both the right and left sides of the horse to get his shots.  You have to be a really strong athlete to play this game. Holding on to the horse, the mallet and twisting to your left side, and bending down to reach the ball.  There's some strong core muscles in play, here.



The horses all seemed to be evenly matched size wise.  





From what I understood...Horses are allowed to bump, and probably encouraged, to do so.  But they can't pass in front.  Too dangerous for man and horse.




I love it when horses have all four feet off the ground.  Reminds me of a Carousel horse.





Horses looked extremely well cared for.




How can they even think of swinging that thing with all those horses around.  Surprisingly, no one got hurt.  Well, the ref did get a bloody nose when a horse lifted his head near his face.  But he got right back in the game after the bleeding stopped.  I was glad to see an ambulance off to the side, just in case.




LOVE THIS PONY.

Next time, I'd like to shoot the pre-game show.  

Brandywine Polo Club

http://www.brandywinepolo.com

They have matches on Friday nights and on Sunday afternoons - Isn't there a non-EAGLES Sunday coming up?  Please take the time to go see.  Visit their website for the schedule and the rules.  Pack a picnic lunch or they have a food truck on the premises.  Worth a look.  I think they have four more weeks left in the schedule.  Very easy to find.  Just off the Toughkenamon Exit of Route 1, near Kennett Square.

Polo - The sport of Kings.
I have a new respect for Prince Charles - as a sportsman, that is.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

RACHAEL'S SENIOR PORTRAIT PHOTO SHOOT

RACHAEL'S 

SENIOR PORTRAIT PHOTO SHOOT




Saturday, we picked up Rachael at 9:00 am.  The goal for today was to shoot her senior portraits.  She has been so excited for quite some time.  She'd been planning this session for months.  She asked me if I would shoot them for her.  I was honored that she would trust me with something so important.  I don't, as a rule, shoot people.  I tend to do artsy stuff.   But she told me it would mean so much to her and it would be so special if I did them for her.  How could I say no?

So, off we went, Poppop doing the chauffeuring, and me taking the shots.  We had so much fun.  We started out at Gibraltar Gardens in Wilmington.  It's a wonderfully scenic place with a lily pond and statues and a pavilion.  We got some really great shots there.





THE GREEN DOOR OF GIBRALTAR GARDENS 
(I'M SO GLAD THEY NEVER PAINTED IT)






GIBRALTAR GARDENS LILY POND












SWINGIN' ON THE GARDEN GATE





THAT'S MY FAVORITE SMILE




RACHAEL WITH HER SPECIAL BUDDY




IN THE STATUE GARDEN





PAVILION AT GIBRALTAR GARDENS












After the session at Gibraltor, we went to Hollister's for a new outfit, then to Chili's for lunch before stopping at home for a small rest.  Poppop cut the grass and Rachie and I headed to Aston to Neumann University for some shots, after changing our outfit, of course.




NEUMANN UNIVERSITY 






NEUMANN CIRCLE





SO STUDIOUS...NOT


Then we picked up Poppop and he took us to a waterfall he remembered from his fishing days in Ridley Creek State Park.  WHAT A FIND.




OUR COUNTRY GIRL AT THE CREEK




AND AT THE WATERFALL IN RIDLEY STATE PARK




MY FAV


We rushed to a barn up the street from our house while the light was still good for a few shots.



And finally to our friend's pond in Glen Mills, where we stayed for a soft drink and chatted awhile.  Getting home from our long day around 9 PM.  It's 12:30 AM and I'm still doing post-processing.  What a great day it was.




SPLASHIN' IN THE POND WHERE SHE 
FISHED AS A LITTLE GIRL




THERE WAS A GOOSE TO THE LEFT
WHO KEPT HONKIN' AT US




RELAXIN' ON THE DOCK 
AFTER A LONG DAY AS A SUPER MODEL


We had so much fun that we're going to do another shoot in the fall, when the fall color comes in.  Who knows?  This may become a yearly event.  It got me back out there shooting after a year off.  It felt really good to have that camera in my hands again.

TATA TILL NEXT TIME!