52 weeks with Carolyn

A Theme Based Photo Blog


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Week 35 #37 Stop Action

When I attended the Herrmann’s Royal Lipizzan Stallions show which I wrote about in Week 31, the stallions put on quite a performance for us.   Several of the stallions were well trained in “Airs above the Ground”.  The capriole is a jump in place where the stallion leaps into the air, tucking his forelegs under himself and kicks out his hind legs at the top of the the jump.  This stallion did not disappoint the crowd and performed this amazing jump several times providing me a perfect photo for “stop action”.

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Week 34 #20 Negative Space

My family has been vacationing on Sanibel Island, FL. since the late 1980’s.   Much of the island is home to the 5200 acre J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge that was  established in 1976 to protect the immense undeveloped mangroves.  The refuge is also well known for its migratory bird populations.  Birders “flock” to the area to witness multiple breeds that can change daily.  Recently a friend and I were up early two mornings to take it all in.  We were rewarded with quite a few different varieties and enjoyed the cool morning breezes, peaceful and quiet landscape.  One bird neither of us were familiar with was a Reddish Egret.  We watched with fascination at its unusual feeding behavior.  It ran through the shallow water with long strides, staggering sideways, leaping in the air, raising its wings then abruptly stabbed a fish.  Later one day while relaxing on the beach we saw another Reddish Egret along the gulf shoreline searching for fish.

Fast forward a couple days and there it was again dancing and searching for fish.  I captured this photo during a resting period leaving some negative space before it started to dance again across the water.

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Week 32 #46 Unwanted/Distracting Objects

Living in Florida we have the good fortune to have an abundance of wild life, including sandhill cranes.  Cranes found in Florida do not migrate due to our moderate year round temperatures.  They are a common sight seen almost daily and can bring a road full of cars to a complete stop while they meander across the road.  This time of year is nesting time and the babies, usually two, are hatching.  The babies are adorable and are up and moving within a few short hours after being born.  I stopped by a nest last week to take some photos of the babies, known as colts, and the parents.  This adult was busily searching for bugs of all sorts to eat and feed to the colts.  During its search a leaf became stuck on its beak providing me a perfect shot for the theme, Unwanted/Distracting Objects.

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Week 31 #12 Hair

A week ago my photography club took a field trip to visit Herrmann’s Royal Lipizzan Stallions near Myakka City, FL.  Founded in the 16th century for exclusive use by the Hapsburg Royal family of Austria, the Royal Lipizzan’s are the most beautiful and rare breed of horse found today.  The horses were saved by General George Patton assisted by Colonel Herrmann and his father, Colonel Ottomar Herrmann from the Russian advance  during WW2.  The horses were smuggled out from behind enemy lines, riding and hiding by day.  If not for their heroic efforts most likely these amazing horses would not have survived.

Colonial Herrmann purchased and brought horses after the war, here to Florida, and began his own training and breeding program.  Today several generations of Herrmann’s lead by Gabriella, carry on the tradition of breeding, training, offer riding lessons, hold special events, clinics and travel during the summer months to perform.

We arrived early enough to see the stallions and mares in the stable, being groomed and prepared for the weekly public training session, held every Thursday during the winter months.

I captured this mare with her hair braided waiting to perform.  Just before the show it was unbraided to allow her beautiful hair to flow gracefully with the breeze as she rode around the arena.

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