Grit Blogs > Red Pine Mountain

Through a Zoom Lens

Most of the time, when taking pictures for the blog, I use a zoom lens. Perhaps I give you a distorted view. In actuality, one of things I love about our farm is the vast, open space that surrounds us.

Here’s how the horses looked this morning, dots in the left hand corner.

Pasture with horses as dots.

But zoom in and they become visible.

Zoom in a little to see horses grazing.

Zoom in some more and there they are.

Zoom in a little more and horses are easy to see.

It's a trick of the lens.

When June arrives, I start counting the days until fall. Many people love warm weather but I’m not one of them. As the thermometer plunges, my spirits rise. And what a summer we’ve had this year. Unseasonably hot and sunny days. None of our Vermont brisk mornings necessitating a fire nor the gray days so typical to the Northeast Kingdom. Days with fog lying so low, I walk encased in mist.  No, this summer has been especially crafted for those who crave the sun.  Until the other day. Finally, a morning in the 40s, mist swirling. I breathe a sigh of relief. Mountain Man grumbles.

“Ayyah (a sound unique to Vermonters), won’t be long now. Time to move the horses.” And so we performed our yearly ritual of taking the horses off the upper pasture and moving them closer to the barn.  It takes all day and we return to the house exhausted but I venture out one last time.

To check on the horses.  Their coats are already growing thicker and soon the lush grass will disappear.  The shadows draw down the sun earlier each day and I think ahead to days dark by 4:00, of frozen water buckets and air so cold it will hurt to breathe.  But not yet.  Do they sense what’s coming? I sit quietly and watch from just beyond the fence. I zoom in once and see Bliss and Flower.

Miniature horses Bliss and Flower graze.

Zoom in again and Khrysta's head appears from the run in shed.

Zoom in more and you can see Khrysta's head.

And if I zoom even more, you can see Cash and Blossom grazing.

Cash and Blossom are grazing when you zoom in some.

Or Flower grazing under Khrysta's belly.

You can see Flower grazing under Khrysta's belly.

My zoom lens allows you to see horses enjoying their mountaintop pasture instead of what I actually see; dots in the far off distance.

Horses enjoying mountain meadow.

There you have it; a matter of perspective.  What would you choose to see?

As I approach my birthday, I celebrate another wonderful year.  It's been full of challenges for what life is not but it's been filled with enchantment and beauty as well and each day I am alive I can make a concious choice to zoom in on the trivial or stand back and see the beauty and the richness in the full picture.  I shall fall backwards from time to time but I will remember to turn off the zoom lens and focus on the blessings instead.

Mountain Man and Mountain Woman share their life on their Vermont farm at Red Pine Mountain.

mountain woman
8/28/2010 6:18:33 AM

Hi Dave, It's good to see you!!! I enjoyed reading about your adventures visiting Grit. As to blogging, at the moment, I'm updating my RPM blog twice a week and I know you have been very kind to visit me there regularly. As to the future, who knows. I've learned from Mountain Man to always ask myself why I spend my time the way I spend it and to push forward with what works, add new interests that appeal to me and jettison that which does not work. I don't know how you handle your high humidity. Here, we had it for one week and I was ready to head further north. Our nights are in the 40s now and frost isn't far away. Part of me longs for fall and the other part knows just what a long stretch of winter we have once it settles in. Thanks as always for being such a great supporter of my blog. I really appreciate it. And I so enjoy reading about your adventures.


nebraska dave
8/27/2010 5:29:06 PM

@MW, I would greatly miss both you and Oz Girl if blogging would stop from you. I do understand about the rigors of writing on a regular basis and the time it takes to keep up with all the good bloggers out there. I’ve had to limit myself to a select few or I wouldn’t get anything else done. I did not get hooked on Farmville or any other Facebook unending game. I know of many friends that spend hours a day tending their farm. I’d rather be out tending my real garden. I just never was a computer gamer. It’s been a high humidity year here in Nebraska. It’s not uncommon to have 95 degree days but this year the humidity was extreme. It was hard to move around and get things accomplished outside even when it was in the 80s. We are finally getting into the fall cool down. Temperatures are getting into the middle fifties with temps still rising up to 90 during the day but with much less humidity. I’m not sure where the summer went but I am ready for fall and the delicious things that come out of the kitchen in the fall season. I’m probably not going to can much this year as I gave it all away. That’s really my goal so I guess things worked out just the way I planned. This week has been heavenly with temps in the 80s during the day and 60s at night and low humidity. It’s just great to sit outside and enjoy the season. Have a great transition season into Fall weather.


mountain woman
8/26/2010 6:51:51 AM

Shannon, Thanks! I think it's beautiful here too because I spent so many years surrounded by concrete. I never get tired of seeing wide open spaces with horses running. Sometimes for me, it is difficult to step away from focusing intently on one thing and putting it all into perspective. I'm trying though. Thanks for visiting me. OzGirl, Thanks for visiting me! I've cut back on the social networking stuff. No more tweeting for me which I see as pointless anyway and I've stopped playing games and such on FB. I still blog on my regular blog because I've made so many friends there but I've limited myself to twice a week. I'm trying to focus on clearing my mind enough to produce that book I'm always talking about and to do that the distractions have to go. Time is so precious and I've squandered it lately. You are right. Lots to think about as we all strive to live the fullest life possible.


oz girl
8/25/2010 12:24:19 PM

Such beautiful photographs. And I agree, a swelteringly hot summer and I'm so looking forward to fall. This morning, our first cool morning -- a lovely 65 degrees. Monday night a storm blew in, and cooled everything down considerably from our 100 degree temps. So yesterday I took some delicious time to sit in the back yard and watch the horses. Absolutely delightful, life doesn't get any better! It's such a shame there are not enough hours in the day to do all the things we desire. I know even when I wasn't working 32 hours a week, and had all day, everyday, at home, I still couldn't seem to fit everything into 12 hours or more! Lately I've wondered if I need to jettison all forms of social networking... all forms of my blogs, photo websites, Twitter, Facebook, everything. After all, the pioneers didn't have the internet competing for their time, and my goal to get back to self-sustainability would have me eliminate the internet in order to have more time for gardening/preserving food, horseback riding training, chickens & ducks (coming in October!), and of course, housecleaning (shudder). It's something to think about.


s.m.r. saia
8/25/2010 7:38:14 AM

MountainWoman, what a lovely post, and as usual your pictures are awesome, it's just so beautiful there. I, like you, will welcome a little morning chill when it returns, though I'm sure you'll get it before we will here. Re: allowing ourselves to see the big picture - how right you are. :0)


mountain woman
8/25/2010 6:06:43 AM

Hi Pam, So sorry about your heat. I'm not sure I could get through so many hot days. I love watching the minis with Khrysta. She's kind of like their mom and I've been proud of her. My zoom lens isn't the best with my point and click camera but I can't bear to spend the money to upgrade it when there is so much the farm needs. I know what you mean about years going faster. Seems like yesterday when I was a kid. Thanks so much for visiting me!!


pam_6
8/24/2010 5:44:38 PM

Hi MountainWoman, I don't ever get tired of looking at pictures from your farm. The view is beautiful! I have to admit my favorite of these is the one of Flower grazing under Khrysta's belly. That is too cute! My zoom on my camera isn't too clear, but like one of my favorite song's from the 70's-"I can see clearly now the rain is gone!" Now..if this heat would just ease up a bit. Great post! Happy approaching Birthday! (my birthdays seem to come faster and faster) Pam


mountain woman
8/24/2010 8:27:48 AM

Hi Cindy, I agree with you too. We need both in our life and perspective on some issues is everything. I wrote this at a time when I'm struggling to decide what to do. Time is limited in so many ways and I can only get certain things done each day. Time to look at the big picture and jettison what works and what doesn't. It's wonderful here but very strange too. Not a hint of the leaves changing which has usually started by now. I'll be taking a break from blogging but I'll be back with Vermont fall photos. Thanks so much for always visiting me and for being so kind. I've really enjoyed getting to know you through your comments here and your posts.


cindy murphy
8/24/2010 7:25:48 AM

Hi, MountainWoman. Thanks for your insightful post, comparing what you see through a camera lens to how we view life. I like to view it both ways; I'd miss too much if I chose one over the other. Looking at the big picture allows us to see ahead, and is sometimes even necessary. But look only ahead, and you'd miss all the small details of the moment that makes life grand. Our summer had been hotter than normal too. But ah...the bliss of the last few days! It's cooled down considerably. I'm grabbing a jacket now as I head out the door for work. Enjoy your day.