What I learned at the Ren Faire…

If I could bear the torture of another degree, I would get one in Anthropology. Culture fascinates me, and its all around us.

The first day of the first Billings Ren Faire was wonderful. Quite warm, but then I think the sheer magic of the day left many feeling quite alright even in the sweltering heat. I am also sure than many, like yours truly, came home looking a bit pinker than when we left this morning. I also came home with a wider sense of the world and of us, human beings. We are so interconnected. Everything we do affects those around us, and we don’t even know it. Like pebbles in the water, we each create a magical web of ripples from one to another.

There were many highlights of the day, but perhaps my most favorite was watching these two warriors battle it out on the main field. Intrigued by the interesting armor, my attention was continually drawn to their sparring. I later learned they are father and son. That small bit of information transformed the voice of the images for me. I could be fine in not knowing anything else (though i am VERY curious about the character stories here), because the element of what makes us human speaks for itself. It makes the images feel that much more authentic. I feel honored that I was there to share in thier moment.

So many more awesome photos! I have to crawl to bed though, or I’ll never make it through the day, and there is so much more to observe and capture. My batteries are charging as I speak…

Blessings to all,

~Gypsy Moon~

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I’ve made the cross over…

ImageAround 1 am, the moon had moved over the trees so I started to play with it. A 30 sec exposure coupled by a very small aperture and I was able to create these gorgeous star bursts around the moon. It was then though that i made the realization that I am no longer a photo editor, but a photographer in the true sense of the word.

30 seconds doesn’t seem like a long time. But for someone like me, who is always busy, always thinking…30 seconds can feel like an eternity. In the past, when I had to wait for a long exposure, it was all I could do to keep still, to keep from pushing buttons to make the process faster. I wanted it done so I could take my photos and start editing. It was that part of the creative process that I loved (and still do) and was familiar. I have always know how to edit.

But this night, this magical evening with the moon so bright and the expanse of the skies stretching before me, I realized the transformation. I set my exposure and sat down next to my tripod and just “was”. I was in that moment, and I realized it was this part, the actual creation of the photo, the experimenting with the settings, the sitting quiet with an inner stillness during the exposure….. that is what I love more than anything. I hope it shows..

Best Friends

Regardless of species or age, best friends spring up in the mostly unlikely of places.

I brought home my Irish Wolfhound, Rhiannon, in Feb of 2010. Its hard to believe its been two years already. My whole life I have wished for one, and I cried when I went to pick her up from the breeder, and I cried all the way home with her too. They were tears of joys and she has been my best friend. Timid and quiet, Rhia was the best behaved puppy I have EVER known. Never destructive (OK, the holes in the yard tell another story..), never aggressive, always constant and true.

It wasn’t much later that I started to bring her to work with me, at the Circle B Bar T. There, they had two great danes, Barlo and Kenya. Barlo was getting much older, and couldn’t get around too much, and Kenya needed a playmate. People might laugh when I say my dog goes for play dates on the weekends, but its a bright spot in her life, and I like to think she has touched the lives of the other dogs, and people, just as she has mine. Barlo sadly passed away, which left Kenya on her own. Two more great dane’s were brought home to join the family. Emma and Baxter. In what would seem like endless sadness, Kenya was diagnosed with cancer, had her leg amputated and little Baxter passed from a heart defect. Baxter II joined the brood not too much later, and soon Kenya, Rhia, Emma and Baxter became fast friends.

At a time when Kenya needed a playmate, Rhia was there on the weekends. I am sure that after Kenya passed some months later, Rhia was probably confused about where she was. But it is amazing the resilience and joy in which these animals live their lives, one moment to the next. Never dwelling on the past, but enjoying the sheer bliss of the moment. That is what I have learned through the ups and downs of my dog’s relationship with her canine friends.

That we should be like them, living for the moment, looking forward to the good times and never judging because of breed, age or handicap. Here’s to best friends! I hope you enjoy this selection of images from the last two years.

Baby Rhiannon

Young Rhia

Feeling the joy of being alive!

Kenya right after surgery, with Baxter I

Baby Emma

Kenya, Young Emma and Rhia

Salida, Colorado. This is my Magic Grove. Some of the most enchanted moments of my life happened here.

Relaxing

Playing Chase with Baxter II

Emma, Baxter II and Rhia rest after wrestling

Fun Times in the Snow

Emma and Rhia play chase in the snow

Listening for treats in the other room

Looking for her friends

My beautiful and noble girl