Expeditions & Discoveries {Spring Walks}

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Hello, dears!

We’ve been going on exploratory walks around our farm almost every Sunday lately and it is SO much fun! Also I’ve taken SO many pictures! XD I seriously have way too many post ideas to keep up, so I’m going to combine a few walks into one post. Enjoy the virtual sunshine! 😀

On the first walk, we explored the woods beside Dad’s shop. Fern fiddleheads were unrolling everywhere and bright little violets popped up by tree roots covered in moss… ahh, I loved it. ❤ There were also carpets of mayapple plants, which I’d never seen before. Interesting.

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This was about a month ago, when leaves and buds were just starting to come out.

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Aren’t fiddleheads adorable? 😀

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HA HA for some reason this just looks really funny to me. XD It’s like the tree has a tiny nose. Maybe I should draw a face around it. 😛

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I LOVE MOSS. ❤

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Ooh, I really like this picture, particularly the lighting! The violet is a little blurry, but I love the golden light. I don’t exactly know how I got this one, but I do know I didn’t edit it.

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The roots are so neat, don’t you think?

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As you can see, the leaves were DEFINITELY not out yet.

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While walking back we saw a deep puddle that was literally TEEMING with tadpoles! There were hundreds if not a thousand. O.o I have never seen so many tadpoles in one place in my life!

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The puddle nearly dried up a while ago and left a lot of dead tadpoles in the sun, but it rained just in time to save the rest. 😛 I should go check them again… last time I saw them they looked pretty much like this:

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Next we have the walk in which we went down to our bigger stream and Carmen, Jeff, and Megan all swam even though they had regular clothes on and it wasn’t exactly hot. XD

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HA HA I love this. XD

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They seemed to be having a pretty good time, but I decided against joining them. 😛

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Wow, that was a short walk. Anyway, the next one is at our smaller pond. We got a canoe at the auction after we bought the new farm, but it kinda leaked. So Dad and the boys patched it up, we got oars, and ta-daa!

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This woods had some lovely beeches, and everything was SO GREEN!

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This tree was huge and gorgeous. ❤ We came back to this spot for my birthday and had a dessert picnic with chocolate pecan pie. 😀 Yep, it was DELICIOUS. And then Carmen and I worked on a fairy house in these roots because I’d told her I would. 🙂 It was fun, but got dark really quickly. (Also I don’t have any pictures of that night, sorry. :/ )

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We also want to make a fairy house here sometime. 🙂

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Now, onto the next walk! This is the most recent. Last Sunday, in fact. I think these flowers are called phlox, but whatever they are, they certainly made the side of the trail pretty! ❤

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I brought my sketchbook and some drawing utensils along but didn’t end up using them that much. I did get a little sketch done, though. (Also this picture was super hard to get, but I like how it turned out.)

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I’m fascinated with reflections and light and water, together or separate. 😀

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Mom and Carmen and I (and later Dad) wandered along the smaller creek that we call Little Runny. The air was hot and muggy, so the shade and water felt amazing.

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Mom found a few tulip-tree blooms and wanted me to take a picture of it for our house. I was quite happy to oblige, of course! 😀 Tulip-tree flowers are strange: green and orange and lily-shaped, with maple-like leaves. Certainly unique.

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Carmen wanted to show me a “swimming hole” she’d found, which wasn’t actually quite deep enough to swim in. XD

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While we were there, I saw a little water strider and the ripples it made looked neat, so obviously I had to take a picture. 😛

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Ooh, I love this one!

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This stretch of Little Runny has sand instead of rocks! The riverbed is a mixture of sand and mud, which feels so good to bare feet. There are also random sandbars scattered like tiny beaches by the creek. The first time I saw them I was really surprised that they weren’t manmade.

Anyway, Carmen and I decided to try and build a sandcastle on one of the “beaches.” I think it turned out pretty cute for only having our hands to work with. (Thanks to my mom for taking this picture!)

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(Heh heh, once I started using this filter it was hard to stop. Oops.) I love this picture too! Isn’t it so cute and aesthetic? It looks like a summer beach photo instead of a spring creek photo. 😛

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Maggie also came along with us. She loves to wade in the streams and puddles, even though she never swims in deep ponds and stuff. Isn’t she so cute?

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And now let me end with this cool, refreshing picture. 😀 I love the colors in this one!

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And there you have a small sampling of my many spring pictures. Going outside at this time of the year is quite dangerous for me if I intend the pictures for my blog because I JUST CAN’T. KEEP. UP. But you know, I think that’s rather a good problem to have. 😉

Do you always take an excessive amount of pictures in spring too? Which is your most photographed season? And do you have a favorite or favorites of these pictures? I’d love to hear!

Thanks so much for reading, dears, and have a lovely day! ❤

***Allison***

~ Winter Stroll ~

Hello, dears!

*sigh* I’m getting rather tired of the freezing weather we’ve had here lately. Winter is kind of boring and cold and hard to photograph, am I right? But I DID get a few good non-snow winter photos here recently that I thought I’d show you! Winter is hard for photography, but not impossible.

 

One recent Sunday we took a family walk after church to explore our new farm a bit. Well, it was more like a walk/drive/ride combined because we took the truck and the fourwheeler too.

I love this picture because of the pink and purple shirts. XD Jeff’s shirt used to be more blue but it got kind of faded.

Maggie adores going on rides with us. 😀 She’s so cute and happy and smiley!

For some reason what looked like a bunch of old tuna cans were nailed up to the wall in one of the sheds? We were puzzled. It’s kind of funny though.

I love this picture for its rustic character and texture. (Don’t worry, this isn’t the house we’re moving into or anything. XD XD It’s just an old shed.)

More rust, and more neat-ness in an abstract kind of way! This stuff went under the concrete they poured in Dad’s “new” shop.

Isn’t the bark on this tree super strange? It’s all flaky and weird – even on the twigs. It kind of looks like lichen, except completely covering the whole thing.

The kids wandered down to the pond while Mom and Dad drove around another part of the farm. Jeff was trying to convince Maggie to take a swim, but she only likes water she can wade in, not swim in, for some reason.

This is Carmen and her prize feather. XD

I absolutely LOVE the pattern the sky and clouds make on the water! It looks so neat, don’t you agree? It would make a neat painting too.

I love the cattails all around the pond!

  The light was gorgeous. ♥The boys went crazy with the fourwheeler – spinning around doing burn outs and driving through puddles and over tiny trees and stuff. -_- Boys, boys… *shakes head* XD Ah well, it is pretty fun to drive.

For some reason I really like this picture too. Probably because it’s winter and I’m eager for green and sunshine like this. Ahhh, so pretty! 

LOOK AT THE LIGHTING! *happy sigh* It was sooo gorgeous up there, but really hard to capture too. It didn’t look quite like this, but you can imagine how pretty the sun looked on the golden grass.

The fun thing about moving to a new farm is that we now have hundreds of acres to explore for the first time, and I LOVE it. The sun was out and it was such a lovely day for winter and we got to wander down paths we’d never been too… ahh, it was great. 🙂 *happy sigh* Walks like these are some of my favorite things!

The lighting here was SO pretty again, and again so hard to capture! I also didn’t want to tell them to stop walking because I wanted to get a candid picture, so most of them turned out blurry. XD At least this one is alright!

 I have no idea what kind of tree produces these strange flower thingies.

HEH HEH. Megan and I were doing photos like in movies when the characters are barely holding onto the edge of the cliff, and then she actually almost fell into the water. XD XD  A sturdy fallen tree over a creek is basically irresistible to young boys (and girls).  Heh heh, see here? Maggie doesn’t mind wading. Her expression… XD 

I love the smooth, curved edges on this ice!

OH I LOVE THIS PHOTO. For some reason I just find it really neat. 😉 I saw this little exposed knob on a tree and had to stop for a picture! Also it really reminds me of an avocado seed somehow? Don’t exactly know why… XD

Oh, funny story. I often randomly spot hawks when we drive somewhere or go on walks. I don’t know why I see them so much more than the rest of my family, but I do, and it’s gotten to be a sort of joke. I’m always like, “HAWK” when I see one, and Megan groans. XD She gets annoyed because I say, “It’s really strange how I always see hawks,” almost every time I see one. Well that’s what she says, but I don’t say it every time… *shakes head* XD

ANYWAY. I found a hawk that day too (it’s in the tree if you look close), so I took a picture for Megan as evidence. 😛

And I shall end on that note. I hope you enjoyed coming along with us on our winter stroll and seeing for yourself that there ARE things to photograph in winter after all, if you look close enough. 🙂

What was your favorite picture? What was your least favorite? (I want to know! Don’t worry about hurting my feelings – as long as you’re not intentionally mean or rude you won’t. Constructive criticism really helps!)

Do you enjoy winter (or spring or summer or fall) strolls? Do fourwheelers look fun, and have you driven one?

***Allison***

~Etcetera~

Guys, I have SO many extra photos. And that happens pretty much all the time. So I decided to make a new little series: these “Etcetera” posts will have random photography as well as recent life, thoughts… etc. XD (kind of like monthly wrap-ups, but different). I hope you enjoy reading them!

Now, where to begin? I have SO much to cover. Aha, Maggie is a good subject to start with.

Maggie

I was trying to take a picture of Maggie’s eye but she kept MOVING. XD I did get this one good one, though:

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I also got some other, less close-up shots of her. I just love all of Maggie’s expressions, hee hee. It looks like she’s saying, “Aww, you shouldn’t have,” don’t you think?

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Such a pretty pup. ♥

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It looks like she’s praying. 😛

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Dad just finished combining (harvesting corn) for the year. WOOHOO! Now maybe we can jump in the grain bins

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Mini Sister’s Photoshoot

Speaking of fields, Megan and I (and Maggie) did a little mini photoshoot in the soybean field while it was golden green and brown. Isn’t the lighting AMAZING?

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If you guys like my photography/lifestyle posts, you should totally check out Emmaline Figura’s blogs, Lucillian Photography and Crystal Ice Studio! Her photography is AMAZING – she deserves so many more followers!

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I love this picture, but it sure took a while to clone out the soybean that so rudely butted in front of Megan’s chin. XD Humph, I shouldn’t have said that. Now you’re all probably inspecting Megan’s chin…

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Megan got a few pictures of me but most of them didn’t turn out or I had a weird expression, heh heh. This is probably the best one. Still have a weird expression. XD

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Guess what? My younger brother and I were driving to piano lessons today, and when we got there we found that one of my car’s tires was completely flat. O.o But guess what again? My brother changed it himself, while I was having my lesson! I really want to learn stuff like that – I’m much better at art than mechanics. XD

Sunset Bokeh

The sunset did capture well on my camera, but it did make for some neat silhouettes and bokeh!

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Singing hymns is one of my favorite things at our church. The congregation sings beautifully, and it’s glorious when we do an a capella verse. ♥ I like singing for things like that, but not enough to take voice lessons or anything. I usually just hum and whistle at home. 🙂

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Do you guys have any special plans for Thanksgiving? We’re having three different celebrations because we have a rather large extended family. 😉 Are you traveling? We aren’t – most of our family lives quite close by. But if you are, here’s a tip: salty snacks like chips really take carsickness away. Well, I mean they help if you eat them. They won’t do much good just sitting there by your seat.

Flowers

Dad and the kids always pick out a hanging flower basket for Mom for Mother’s Day, and it lasted all the way into late fall this year! Isn’t it pretty?

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Ugh, I have to write a 15-30 page research paper for school. *Long sigh* At least we’re taking this week off for Thanksgiving!

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We also have a rose bush (well more like a rose vine) by our door, and it’s a weird mix of knockout-type roses and “real” roses, as we like to call them. There are usually only a few “real” roses a year and this was one of them. ♥

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To find the rose you must first get past the thorns. To find the rainbow you must first walk through the storm. Bad things make the good more beautiful. And always remember, my dear, there is beauty even in brokenness.

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GUYS. LOOK AT THIS PHOTO! I just pressed the button and the moth behind just happened to fly in at the right moment. I LOVE IT WHEN THAT HAPPENS.

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Pretty butterflies + pretty zinnias – my photobombing car = a mildly pretty picture.

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The Big Apple

We have one very old apple tree that usually produces nothing but food for worms. XD However, this year it actually grew real apples and they were DELICIOUS! I don’t know what kind they were, but they were stupendous. And I found this one extremely large apple – see? (The one on the right is a more normal-size one.)

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It weighed 15 OUNCES. ALMOST A POUND.

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Golden Garden

These might be some of my favorite pictures ever! I just love the golden lighting so, so much, especially with the golden tones of the flowers. ♥

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Sometimes I feel wise and knowledgeable, and then I wonder if that simply means I still have so much to learn. I guess that happens when you’re a teenager, huh? 😛

(Side note: I rather dislike the word “teenager” for some reason. Don’t exactly know why.) 

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And would you look at all that bokeh? AHHHHH.

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This picture seems relaxing, like you can feel the sun and hear the breeze through the willow branches. 🙂 I can sort of remember planting this willow tree, even though it’s quite a good sized tree now – it’s a curly willow so it grew SUPER fast.

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This isn’t really a garden, but it’s golden. Even dust is beautiful when the sun shines through it.

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I think cameras can make anything beautiful. In fact, here’s a challenge: find three things you think are ugly and try to take a beautiful picture of them.

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We also have two black and two English walnut trees in our yard. I strongly dislike the bitter taste of black walnuts, but English walnuts taste great! (They’re the kind you get in stores.) We don’t usually shell these though, because it’s a lot of work for not much result. Have you tried black walnuts?

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This is rather random, but I wanted to take a picture of a begonia blossom from my grandmother’s hanging flower pot because I noticed the beautiful, intricate curlicues in the center of the blossoms. I love the little things like this. 🙂

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I got a picture of my youngest brother pressure-washing one of the wagons. 🙂 His birthday was today, actually! The frame was supposed to be transparent but it’s showing up black here…? I hope it works once I publish the post, but I’m doubtful.

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I like the way shadows look on this barn. 🙂

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And now we have come to the end of this post. Wow, Allison, what a moving conclusion. *clap, clap*

ANYWAY, I hope you enjoyed reading this gathering of orphaned thoughts and photos. 😛 I know it was an enormous post, but I’m only half-sorry because phew, I now have a large chunk of my random photos squared away. XD I don’t think Etcetera posts will usually be this long, though, if I do them in the future. Which category/picture/random thingy was your favorite? Do you think Etcetera posts would make a good series or are they too random and scattered (because I would kind of agree with you on that XD)?

Have a wonderful day, dears, and thanks so much for reading. ♥

***Allison***

Falling Again

Heh heh. Aren’t my puns great? *Sigh* Yes, I know they’re awful. ANYWAY, I’m super excited to show you guys these fall pictures! I’ve been saving them up for a while now and I finally get to post them. 🙂

First I want to show you our beautiful ombre maple tree. 😀 Well actually the leaves are all fallen from it now, but this is how it used to look. Isn’t it lovely?

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One of the other maples beside our lane was absolutely gorgeous this year! Especially with the sun shining through the leaves… ah, it was beautiful.

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I LOVE these pumpkin pictures! 😀

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And back to the tree again. This bokeh… OH MY GOODNESS! ♥

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I really like the composition of the next one. (Wow, I’m doing a lot of portrait, vertical photos aren’t I? Here’s a question: Should I make them smaller so you can see them without scrolling, or do you like them full size as they are?)

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Leaves can make even dusty black trucks pretty. 🙂

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I promise I didn’t put the leaf there. Isn’t the position so neat and funny?

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And of course we musn’t forget the classic holding-a-leaf-up picture, am I right?

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Ooh, and then I got several adorable pictures of Maggie looking all dejected. 😛

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HA HA Maggie looks like she’s havng an intent conversation with a leaf or something and the leaf just said something shocking. XD What would you caption this photo? (No winners this time – just for fun. 😉 )

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Here’s a fun fall photography prompt: try to find fall leaves in a half-rainbow, from red to green. Arrange them in an ombre pattern and snap away! 🙂 I had a lot of fun with this, but it also took FOREVER to collect the leaves.

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fall 2

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Huh, what do you know. I’m wearing the same skirt as in this post. (I promise I don’t wear it every Sunday. XD )

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I rather like this edit.

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And lastly, just a few edited photos. I spent SUCH a long time trying to capture a leaf falling. XD

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And we end with a photo featuring a picturesque (?) four-wheeler? Okay…

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Alright, you got to the end. *applause* Actually, you didn’t. Let me talk for a bit first.
Ahem. Some people mentioned in the survey that they don’t love scrolling through so many pictures in my photography posts, and I definitely understand that. I always try to cram a ton in. XD So I shall attempt to be a little more picky and not burden you with so many at once. What do you think? More photos, which might contain some less quality photos, or less photos, but more quality ones?
Also it seems like I kind of failed my goal with this post, but let me tell you, I was much more selective than normal. IT WAS SO HARD. THERE ARE SO MANY PICTURES TO SORT THROUGH.
Thank you guys so, so much for taking my survey, by the way! I can’t please everyone nor am I going to try, but it really is helpful to hear your thoughts. ♥ Thus, my goals are…
  1. Condense my photography posts a little. And post more people and pet photography rather than mostly random nature photos like I just did.
  2. Keep my header but maybe change the theme and clean up the sidebar. (Question: do you ever use the category pictures on my sidebar? If not, I’ll just delete them.)
  3. Make more art posts and start up with Art Lab again! The thing is, it’s a little hard to do a collab art blog with just me posting… heh heh. I want to get that figured out too. Anyway, I already have a fun Art Lab post in mind which I will hopefully post maybe Saturday or Sunday.
  4. Make featured images for all my posts, not just some, for more cohesiveness.
Okay, I am FINALLY done with this post. Thank you so much for bearing with me, dears, and listening to my many questions! Do you have a favorite photo? What do you think of my four goals?
Have a lovely fall day!
***Allison***

P. S. GUYS. I JUST REALIZED SOMETHING ELSE. If you type this: :{), it looks like an emoji with a mustache. WHY IS THAT NOT A THING? Oh, right. Probably because it’s completely useless. True. BUT STILL. Okay, I’m actually done now.

Bunnies in Autumn

EXTREME CUTENESS ALERT: If you are not able to cope with impossibly adorable animals, perhaps you should skip this post.

Okay, everyone’s still here. Good. BECAUSE THEY ARE TOO CUTE TO MISS, EEP! This is definitely my favorite bunny photoshoot I’ve ever done and it turned out gorgeous, if I do say so myself! 😀 Special thanks to my sister Megan who posed and calmed the bunnies throughout this traumatizing time of sitting on white foamboard and being bombarded by flowers and shot by cameras.

And now let’s just get to the pictures. I CAN’T WAIT ANY LONGER. (Actually I can wait long enough to give you a warning that there will probably be a lot of caps in this post. Obviously.)

Let’s start with the one and only Olaf. Olaf’s prop was a rosebud from our bush, and it was perfect! Also sorry for all the weird different shades of white in the backgrounds. The original pictures were rather bluish and they were hard to adjust properly since Olaf’s a different color of white. :/ Anyway, just ignore that part and hopefully enjoy them anyway.

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Wait. That… wasn’t a rabbit. Oh well.

I dub thee, Princess Olaf. (Yes, Olaf is a girl. We thought she was a boy and had already named her by the time we figured out that the seller had given us the wrong one. XD)

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BWAHAHAHA isn’t this picture hilarious? Olaf kept winking for some reason.

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AGAIN WITH THE WINK.

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Ugh the white is so off on this one but I love it otherwise! Isn’t it so pretty?

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And now for my dear fluffy Willow. She actually had recently gotten a trim when I took these pictures so she’s not as fluffy as normal. Also Willow gets more pictures because I didn’t need to edit them as much, heh heh. AND BECAUSE SHE’S FLUFFY.

Here we have a behind-the-scenes picture. My little sister Carmen also wanted to help (but just briefly), and poor Willow was a bit befuddled with all the chaos, I think. We chose marigolds because they’re pretty, but I think they may actually be poisonous to rabbits? I’m not sure. Anyway, we made sure she didn’t so much as nibble one, and she’s still alive to tell the story.

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I’m pretty sure that’s an orange teardrop of stress on her cheek.

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Good JOB, Willow! You stayed!

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HA HA. I don’t even know what her expression is but it’s funny.

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THIS. IS. HILARIOUS. It looks like she’s directing a plane coming in for landing or helping someone try to parallel park. “Okay a little to the right. Nope, your other right. There, you got it. Keep on a-coming, beep, beep, beep.”

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We actually did get some good photos in the midst of all the funny ones, though! While it may look like she sat there innocently staring at me, she did not. She took every chance to meander away from where she was supposed to be in hopes of greener grass. (But this grass is pretty green, so…)

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Ha ha, she looks like a scared little fluffy pancake. But a cute one. ♥

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Aww, so sweet! That’s it, your getting the hang of it now, Willow!

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Mmpf, maybe not. SOOOORRY.

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Aww I love this one! Isn’t it so beautiful and adorable? You are a lovely Queen of Summer, Willow.

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Next we have Diamond. I think she’s very noble-looking and handsomely beautiful, don’t you? I love the colors in these pictures!

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Whoops, I think I over-edited this one…

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Next we went to the soybean field, which is mostly featured in these pictures as a yellow glow.

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I LOVE this one!

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Ha ha, her dewlap. XD (A dewlap is the big floppy thingy around their neck that some adult female rabbits have. It’s normal, don’t worry. 😉 )

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Now for Snickers. GUYS, HIS CHUBBY CHEEKS HELP ME. Is he not the cutest?

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AHHH THIS PICTURE THOUGH.

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I LOVE HIS SQUISHY FACE.

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And lastly but not leastly, a picture of the three compadres, Diamond, Olaf, and Lily. They are similar breeds (Diamond’s a Silver Fox and the other two are New Zealands), but they’re different colors, which makes for a lovely group shot. (And again I have kind of a weird white balance thing going on. Sorry ’bout that!)

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Lily: Let me just move up a little bit so you can see me better. Is this a good angle?

Olaf: Mmph. You’re squishing me.

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In which three frightened rabbits cower under the… oh, it’s just a camera.

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HA HA WHAT IS UP WITH THE WINKING AGAIN, OLAF?! XD It cracks me up.

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And that’s about it! I took tons more photos than that but those were the best. What did you think, guys? Guys? Oh dear, perhaps that was a little too much cuteness for one post…

If anyone survived, which bunny’s shoot was your favorite?

Thanks so much for reading, my dears, and have a wonderful day!

***Allison***

P. S. OOPS. Nearly forgot about the Caption It contest! Here’s the photo:

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And my favorite caption was by Zielle.

Maggie: Wait, wait, I think I got it! I can wink!
Allison: That’s blinking, Maggie.

HA HA IT’S PERFECT! Thanks, Zielle, and everyone else who participated! I loved reading your captions.

Pictures, Etc.

Ugh, I really need better names for these posts. XD Suggestions?

Annnyway, since you guys seem to enjoy random photography posts I enjoy posting them, I figured – let’s do more! 😀

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 It had just rained and there was an interesting orangish tint to everything outside, different than the golden hour usually looks because it was so cloudy.

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Ahh, beautiful rain drops.

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Maggie waded into the field, looking noble. XD

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HA HA look at her expression.

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Okay, this picture might be a bit startling… You have been warned. 😛 He looks pretty angry, doesn’t he (or she)? This snapping turtle appeared in our lane one day and Maggie nearly went crazy. Snapping turtles are weird, ugly creatures. Blech.

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Ahem. Let’s move on to cuter pictures… LIKE BABY BUNNIES EEEEE! This is the photoshoot I did to get pictures for selling them. *Sniff* Anyone want to buy a baby bunny? 😉

AHHH THEY’RE SO CUTE I CAN’T STAND IT.

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Here’s Mulberry…

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And Ginger…

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And Herbert Naninger. 🙂 SO. CUTE. (Also if you’re wondering why Basil isn’t on here, it’s because we’re keeping her! So I didn’t need pictures for the listing.)

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ISN’T THIS THE CUTEST?!

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Okay, after all that cuteness you might need an antidote so you don’t get too overwhelmed. Ready for another slightly creepy picture? Here we go.

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XD Praying mantises are so weird. I got this interesting picture of one cleaning itself when we were studying them in Nature Study.

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While we’re on the subject of bugs, Megan found three black swallowtail caterpillars outside and we took them inside to watch. We both got some neat pictures of the first one that hatched! 😀 Aren’t butterflies delightful creatures?

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And that’s it for today, dears! What was your favorite picture or category? Thanks for reading and have a lovely day. ♥

***Allison***

Miscellaneous Photography

Okay, maybe I can finally get on top of my extra photos here! I decided to be brave and just heap them all into one post. XD

Fishing

The kids love going fishing at our uncle’s pond where I got some rather funny pictures. XD

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HA HA!

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This rather formidable looking fish is a bass I caught. 🙂

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This dog always follows us around, trying to catch our hooks and stuff. But he is rather cute in pictures, wouldn’t you say?

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Dandelions

I know, even more dandelions. XD But I found out that they actually look really pretty in a bouquet if you pick the nicest, roundest ones. See?

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Whipped Cream Fight

We had a whipped cream fight with our friends, but I mostly stayed back and took pictures because it looked really sticky. Heh heh. Shaving cream fights are SUPER fun, but the whipped cream fights… not quite as much.

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Birthday Cake

My mom always makes birthday cakes for the kids, customized to their request. I had sort of an art themed party so I wanted an art themed cake. We looked up some things on Pinterest and found an idea for a watercolor cake! It’s actually pretty simple: just dab some blobs of different colored icing on the side and smear them together. (Of course, it’s a bit more complicated than that in practice, but you know… 😛 ) I helped finish it off with the pearls. Isn’t it GORGEOUS! This is probably my favorite of all the cakes I’ve had!

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Bunnies

Hee hee, we like to take our bunnies out and play with them outside sometimes. That night we all got in a circle and let some of the bunnies hop around. So much fun!

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Oh, and I have some very sad news. Clementine, that little brown bunny down there, is gone. Somehow Maggie, our dog, got her and killed her. NOOOOOO! *SNIFF* Rest in peace, little Clemmie. ♥

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Flowers

I do the decorations for our church’s tables, and I thought these bouquets turned out really pretty. 🙂

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I especially love these floating peonies! Sooo pretty and fluffy!

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Little Felted Rabbit

I recently just discovered needle felting. I think it’s really neat, but I haven’t made much yet besides this tiny bunny. 🙂

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Baby Killdeer

They hatched! Aww, look at the fluffy things!

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We also found another nest. (The mother laid more eggs after this.)

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Farm Photography

I saved the best for last. 🙂 I just LOVE these pictures!

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This is kind of an abstract (a.k.a blurry) photo, but the BOKEH. The sun was shining off the windows of a little church on the hill and it looked really neat!

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AHH I LOVE THIS ONE!!

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Aww, Maggie.

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 Ahhh, it feels good to clean out my photo stash, for a little while at least. 🙂 I hope you enjoyed these pictures! Which category was your favorite?
***Allison***

Of Mother’s Day, Green Truck Rides, and Stampeding Cows

Hello, dearest readers, and HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! I hope you let your mom know how much you appreciate her hard work. I certainly do appreciate my mom’s hard work! She’s does so much for us – cooking food for seven people three times a day, cleaning the house, homeschooling five kids… so much work, with so much love and patience. ♥ Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! 😀

After supper today we went on a Green Truck Ride with the whole family for fun and kind of also to celebrate Mother’s Day. (In case you’re wondering, a “Green Truck Ride” is when the kids hop on the back of Dad’s old, restored, mint-green truck and Mom and Dad drive us around the farm. 🙂 It’s always quite fun.)

Of COURSE I brought my camera, and even got some neat pictures to show you guys. What a surprise, huh? XD (Note: I did edit most but not all of these pictures a bit, in case you were wondering.)

Oooooh isn’t this pretty with the mountain in the background? This isn’t the main part of our farm – it’s the back section which has its own barns and silos and such.

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This picture is of a neighboring farm:

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And now we’re back to ours. I thought the fields looked lovely in the golden sun!

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Maggie loves to ride on the truck bed with us. 🙂

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Isn’t this picture neat? You can see my Dad through the window and in both of the mirrors.

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We stopped to visit the cows and they all came running up to us. XD Hmm, this looks like a good opportunity for another “Rather Puzzled Cows” story… (See the first one here.)

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“Lookout to chief, over. It seems we have some strangers on the premises, do you copy?”

“Chief to lookout, over. Visitors you said? Hmm, we haven’t had any in a while. I’ll sound the alert. ALERT, ALERT, EVERYONE. VISITORS ARE APPROACHING. STAMPEDE AT WILL.”

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*Pant, pant*

*Snort, snort*

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“Eww, they’re only the strange looking two-legged things again.”

“*Gasp* Well! I’m shocked at your language, Bertha. How could you be so cruel? I think they’re kind of cute.”

“Hmph. They look suspicious to me. I shall give them my hard stare and see if that drives them off.”

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“Well that didn’t work – look.”

“WHOA STAND BACK! THEY’RE COMING FOR US!”

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“What d’ya think, girls? Don’t they look suspicious to you? Especially that one holding out the stick.”

“Hmm, I see what you mean.”

“Yeah… let’s take it slow here, ladies. You never know what could happen with these creatures. Just stand back and watch carefully. Close scrutiny is always the best choice in cases like these.”

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“OOH, OOH! Hey Bertha, should I run them through with my great and mighty horns? Huh, huh? Just let me at ’em, and I’ll-”

“Oh puh-leez. You’re horns aren’t big enough to butcher a groundhog.”

“B-but… *Sniff* Okay then.”

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“Wait. Guys. They’re moving again. HEEELP!”

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“Sheesh. What a bunch of scaredy-cows. Why did I get stuck with this herd? I mean, really!”

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XD Hee hee! That was fun.

So anyway, after the cows we went to the grain bins with Mom and Dad. It was so much fun! We took the speaker in to see if it would sound all echo-y like our voices did, but it didn’t echo as much as I thought it would. It just got dusty. 😛 The kids played catch with a sock filled with corn, everyone jumped from the ladder a few times, and we listened to music and sat amidst the corn kernels. 🙂

Here’s a couple of pretty cloud pictures to end on…

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So yep, there’s our Mother’s Day adventure of sorts. 🙂 I hope you enjoyed the pictures and my rather rambling commentary. Thanks for reading, my friends!

***Allison***

P. S. The next post will hopefully be the birthday haul post. 😀 Except I thought of a much better title. XD Hee hee!

Short Story: The Animals’ Court

Hello there, dear readers! Today I wanted to post this short story which I wrote for school a while ago. 🙂 It was supposed to be a humorous paper, so I hope you find it funny. XD Ahem.

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The Animal’s Court  

One clear night after all the lights of the farmhouse had disappeared and only the stars were left, a queer noise issued from the open doors of the old white barn. Of course, no one was there to hear it but the stars, but they all twinkled and sparkled with curiosity, and drew closer to the remarkable scene inside.

Quite a selection of animals were milling about on the spacious barn floor, carefully stepping between holes and past creaky floorboards. Various moos, clucks, barks, meows, and grunts mingled together in loud cacophony, until finally one of the rabbits stamped her hind feet in frustration.

“Order! Order! I demand order!” a large black rabbit named Diamond grunted ferociously as she hopped onto a dilapidated haybale. The animals gradually quieted, the last whispered moos and clucks dying away under the fierce stare of the doe. Once the barn was silent, Diamond continued.

“Now. As you know, we have called this meeting because we rabbits have heard your various complaints and wholeheartedly agree with you: something simply must be done about those pestiferous humans. Tonight the humans are on trial and you, the jury, must give us the verdict: guilty or not guilty. We shall begin with the largest witnesses first, and move towards the smaller. Mrs. Cowe, will you please step forward?”

A large, black and white Holstein cow plodded ponderously over to the haybale, mouth munching casually in time to her slow-swinging tail.

“Yes, Diamond ma’am, Your Honor,” she mooed in her deep placid voice. “You called? Mmm… what am I supposed to do?”

“I hereby request that you unburden your soul to us, your dearest comrades, upon the subject of humankind and its many erring ways.”

A vaguely puzzled look crossed Mrs. Cowe’s face. “Ah, would you… would you mind repeating that, Your Honor?” she said slowly, a frown of concentration furrowing her large brow.

Willow, an absurdly fluffy rabbit, heaved a sigh and shook her furry head. “Never mind, Mrs. Cowe. I’ll translate for you. What Diamond means to say is, can you tell us your experience with humans and explain why you either admire or dislike them?”

Diamond glared at Willow, but Mrs. Cowe looked relieved. “Ah, yes. Of course, Your Honor. Well I think, and this is just my opinion of course, that humans are a bit too intrusive, if you know what I mean. Why just the other day the tallest human-girl was ambling around, poking a strange black box in our faces. I can tell you in nearly frightened me to death! And the way that thing clicked! As if it would explode any minute. I tell you I nearly choked on my cud. I… I just down hold with those folks, even if they do give us pretty good eats, but of course that’s just my personal opinion.”

Diamond blinked slowly. She sighed. Then she said in a dry voice. “Very well, Mrs. Cowe. Thank you kindly for your very perceptive witness statement.”

Mrs. Cowe looked inordinately pleased at this dubious praise. A wide, lopsided grin spread across her great mouth, and she ambled happily back to her place among the animals.

Diamond stamped her hind feet sharply on the haybale, calling for order although the hush still prevailed. “We will now hear a statement from Magnolia the Labrador retriever, or Maggie, as most of us know her.”

Diamond’s iron composure faltered slightly at the sight of Maggie’s wide, toothy smile, despite the fact that all animals had sworn a truce for the night. She gulped.

Maggie trotted happily up to the haybale, waving her tail.

“Hello, Your Honor!” she barked brightly. Maggie always spoke in exclamation points. “I am very happy to be here tonight! I am also very happy to say that I, for one, entirely approve of humans! They are kind, loving, and altogether wonderful pets, as far as I am concerned! I would highly recommend them! Of course, they do need a considerable amount of protecting – there’s a strange beast down the hill from their house that they just do not seem to notice, no matter how much I warn them – but I am more than happy to protect them! Are you feeling happy today, Your Honor? You look exceptionally tast- I mean beautiful!”

Diamond lifted her ears a bit higher at this, and looked more tolerantly at the energetic dog. “I’m feeling alright, yes. Thank you, Maggie. You may go now. Mr. and Mrs. Clukken, may I call you up?”

Maggie’s tongue swept surreptitiously over her chops at the sight of the two chickens, but she immediately regained her self-possession and bounced back to her spot.

Mr. Clukken was always “training” himself to be a world-class flyer, much to the dismay of the many chickens who happened to intercept his unsteady path. Mrs. Clukken was a nervous bird, always clucking softly to herself and casting fearful glances at her overbearing husband.

Mr. Clukken now strutted importantly up to the forlorn haybale and cleared his throat. “Ahem. I believe I speak for all chicken-kind when I say that humans are nothing but a menace, an absolute menace to chicken society. Right, Mrs. Clukken?” he demanded, jerking his head sideways toward his wife.

“Oh, certainly, dear,” she agreed, jerking her head up and down rapidly in emphatic agreement.

Mr. Clukken looked satisfied. “For instance, how are we supposed to continue our line of offspring when they mysteriously snatch away our eggs?”

“How, indeed?” echoed Mrs. Clukken sadly.

Mr. Clukken gave what he judged to be a tear-inducing crow of sadness (but which really sounded more like the cry of a wounded duck), and fluttered pompously off of the haybale.

Diamond winced. “Mmm… Excellent testimony, Mr. and Mrs. Clukken. Now may I call up Jinx the cat?”

Jinx did not look entirely happy to be crowded into this dusty barn with so many disgusting, uncivilized animals, but he merely waved his tail gracefully and narrowed his eyes until they looked properly bored and condescending for such an occasion.

“Hmm, you called, Your Honor?” he meowed in a somewhat sarcastic tone. “I have heard you wish to speak to me on the topic of humans, which happens to be a topic I find most unpleasant. In essence, I live with humans because I would never stoop to the wandering life of a barn tomcat, even if it would mean freedom from human trials.” A scruffy looking tomcat in the jury twitched his whiskers ferociously at this offensive remark.

“Humans,” Jinx resumed, “are a pest. There are no two ways about it. They are always picking you up or nearly strangling you, especially that young human whippersnapper of a boy, and they respond most slowly when called for. True, there are times when a good scratch under the neck is a pleasant way to relax after a hard day, but the costs far outweigh that benefit. If it were not for the regular, though somewhat unappetizing, rations, I wouldn’t put up with their nonsense.”

Diamond lifted a paw. “Hear hear,” she said with heartfelt depth. After a moment, she called up the last witnesses, “my sisters and brother, the rabbits.”

Five rabbits in varying colors hopped forth from the crowd. They all touched noses respectfully with Diamond, then lined themselves up in a neat row. Willow, the fluffiest, spoke first.

“Well I know I’m in the minority here, but I think humans are decent creatures. Sure, they can be pretty annoying when they chase you all over the pen trying to squish the fluff out of you, but in general they’re pretty sweet. They often bring us delicious treats like willow branches or fresh spring grass or maybe a mess of dandelions. Yes, they’re a decent lot, for all their shortcomings.”

Clementine, Willow’s rival, spoke up next. “I object!” she shouted. “I object most strongly! Humans are nothing but pesky two-legged workers of ill deeds. They are always trying to corner you, always snatching you off of safe ground and holding you insecurely in their clumsy hands. And they get so angry when I bite them, as if they didn’t have it coming! As if calling me “Booger Nuggy” wasn’t enough to make any self-respecting rabbit a bit on edge. I mean, really!”

Snickers hopped up to the haybale. “I, for one, agree with Willow. The way to a buck’s heart is through his stomach, as they always say, and humans certainly do well in that department! Mmm, I could really go for some more of that fresh grass…” he trailed off wistfully, licking his lips with a tiny tongue.

Lily, who looked like she had eaten rather too much fresh grass, waddled her large self forward. She said, between wheezes, “I… I think… humans are… pretty nice, even if… some of them… are a little… insulting. But my human… always says my eyes are pretty… so I forgive them.” She batted her large dark eyes, which were in fact quite beautiful, although they were often half hidden by the blubber surrounding them.

Lastly Olaf, a nervous white rabbit with startling red eyes, spoke. “I-I don’t hold with humans. Th-they just aren’t predictable. I mean l-look at me! I’m obviously a d-doe, but that silly human b-boy thought I was a buck and named me O-Olaf! It’s a disgrace, I tell you, a disgrace!” Olaf shook her head remorsefully.

Diamond, who happened to be Olaf’s especial friend, quite agreed with her and proceeded to expound her agreement in such long-winded terms that Mrs. Cowe nearly fell over with boredom-induced exhaustion. Thankfully Maggie nipped at her heels just in time.

At last Diamond reached the end of her speech, and addressed the jury. “Now, my friends and fellow animals, I leave it to you. You have heard our witnesses and must make the decision yourselves. What will you decide? Are humans kind, peaceful creatures, or are they simply pests who make our lives miserable? It is your choice.”

A murmur vibrated through the jury at this. Heifers and tomcats, roosters and does conferred among themselves in loud whispers. Finally they raised their heads and one of the tomcats stepped forward.

“Your Honor, we have discussed the matter, and we find humans…”

By this time most of the witnesses and audience were chanting, “Guil-TY, guil-TY, guil-TY!”

The tomcat waited until the noise died down. “As I was saying,” he glared, “we, the jury, find humans… GUILTY!”

A deafening cheer erupted from the crowd, far overpowering the scattered boos and frowns.

The stars winced a little from their high perch, and backed away from the roar.

“DOWN WITH HUMANS! DOWN WITH HUMANS!” the animals thundered.

Suddenly, over at the farmhouse, a light blinked on.

“DRIVE THEM OUT, WE SAY!”

Another light.

“WE CAN TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES!”

Crunching footsteps.

Suddenly a young calf standing near the door wobbled quickly to the haybale. “EVERYONE, LISTEN TO ME!” it shouted in a quavering voice. “THE FARMER IS COMING!”

A stifling blanket of silence suddenly dropped on the barn; the sound of a hundred voices holding their breath.

The door creaked open. A man stood silhouetted in the moonlight, the beam of his flashlight cutting effortlessly through the darkness. The flashlight fell upon dilapidated haybales, a creaky floor full of holes, and air filled with dust. He squinted his tired eyes, rubbed them, peered into the blackness again, and shook his head.

“Some dream,” he muttered to himself. Then he turned around and walked slowly back to the house. Maggie, a happy Labrador retriever, trotted joyfully beside him. Six rabbits rustled the straw in their cage. Thousands of chickens clucked and crowed in their chicken houses. Many cows raised their heavy heads to look sleepily at him. A meowing black cat met him at the farmhouse door.

“Some dream,” the farmer said again.

And the animals never felt led to correct him.

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Hee hee! I had so much fun writing that. I hope you enjoyed it! Most of the animals in there were our pets, and I drew a lot of inspiration from real life. (We really do have an old white barn with creaky floorboards and holes, and my brother Jeff really does kinda torture our cat, Jinx. XD )

***Allison***

P. S. Oh, by the way, thank you all SO much for your feedback in the last post! I’m so happy you like photography posts because I really do like posting them. I’ll probably post mostly photography, especially in spring and fall, but I definitely won’t only post that because I can’t resist sprinkling in writing, art, and other things like that. 😉 Thanks again, guys!

P. P. S. As you’ve probably noticed by now if you’re actually reading this on my blog, I’ve changed my design! What do you think? I mainly just changed the header and button, as well as the little “About Me” picture and description on the sidebar, but I’m still working on a few more changes.