Happy Fourth Birthday, Jess!

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I just can't believe that Jess is four years old today. She is just so full of energy and fun, it's hard to imagine her grown up at all!







(That shed floor is a whole lot more sloped than I thought it was!)

Olive was very interested in our little photoshoot, which we had indoors because the rain came on, as it does.



Having Fly here means that Jess is no longer the puppy of the family either. Life goes on, I suppose.

Hearing Things

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One beautiful evening, I took Esther out for a little walk around the yard. Blue Belle was standing at the gate and so I decided to test a theory. I believe I read somewhere that professional photographers sometimes play dog noises to dogs during photoshoots to get an alert expression. I wondered if horse noises would work for Blue Belle, since she so often prefers to eat when I'm trying to take pictures of her.

I hit play on a ten minute video of horse noises and...





Blue Belle instantly perked up. She came over to stare through the gate at me, trying to work out where the other horse was.







I was pleased to be getting some good shots of her, but then she whinnied and took off, charging up the hill to whinny some more. She was obviously looking for the noisy horse!



Just as quickly she came charging down the hill.



And then, much to my amusement, she went looking at the other side of the field!



Esther and I walked around to find her, getting some pictures along the way.





Blue Belle had stopped looking for a moment.





...But then, I'm somewhat ashamed to admit, I pressed play again.



Blue Belle galloped off and did several laps of the field before running back to the gate where I'd first seen her, and she didn't bother to come back. I thought I'd best leave her alone.





Esther, meanwhile, was standing at my feet and wondering what I was laughing so hard at.







Esther had great fun, and even got to come into the house for a little while.

The Balmoral Show 2018

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Today I went to the 150th Balmoral Show! I had such a great time - usually I zip from one show ring to the other, trying to catch everything, but this year I just walked around everything at my own pace, and just took some photos of whatever I bumped into. Much more relaxing that way! The first animals I saw were some cows.



I had just missed the judging, but everyone was hanging around waiting to have their photos taken.







Fifteen minutes of fame...



Breeders' conference.



Dexter calves were being judged in the next pen.





I didn't really bump into this, so to speak, but I went up in the big wheel for some arial shots.





Back on the ground, I walked along until I was next to the main arena where I caught the Bolddog Lings doing their thing.

















I walked by the cattle again, and came upon this. Showing is tiring work. (It just shows you how relaxed this prey animal was in such an environment!)



And of course I went to see the sheep.

































Outside the sun was shining upon the Charollais judging.



A very cute Valais Blacknose family.



I ended up at the pig ring, in time to watch some Large Whites being judged. The ring was organised chaos.











Some rare breeds in the RBST tent.









It turned out that the rabbits were the last things I saw today.



I didn't spend all day taking photos - I did some shopping too. I bought some delicious traybakes, a couple of leadropes for Blue Belle, and got one of my fleeces embroidered with a picture of a Texel ewe with "Greenhill Farm" written above it. It was a fun day!