Posts Tagged ‘horse’

It’s hard for me to imagine life on a farm, having spent most of my life in the suburbs. I consider myself lucky to be able to distinguish a cow from a horse, but don’t ask me to tell a llama from an alpaca.

I got a little taste of farm life on Christmas Eve day when I accompanied a family member as she went about accomplishing a seemingly endless list of chores associated with the care of the farm animals.

Here are some of the fascinating faces of the farm that I encountered that day.






© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I’ve spent most of my life living in the suburbs, so domestic livestock is kind of a novelty for me. My eyes are particularly drawn to animals as striking as this horse with a “rock star” hair style that reminds me of the beautiful horses of Iceland that I have seen featured in numerous photo shoots.

This past weekend I traveled to a winery in rural Delaplane, Virginia for an engagement party. After a wonderful celebration, I stopped at an adjacent farm that had a petting zoo. I was immediately attracted to three horses in the field that had long flowing manes blowing in the breeze. The horses walked right towards me and initially I thought they anticipated that I might have food. When they got closer, I realized that I was standing right behind a pile of hay that had been placed in the field and they more or less ignored me and munched on the hay.

I had a 24-105mm lens on my camera and ended up taking most of my shots at close range using the wide end of the lens. This was the first time that I have ever taken photos of an animal with anything other than a telephoto lens and I was happy with the results. I remember seeing some close-up photos a year or two ago that a blogger had taken of a buffalo using a wide-angle lens and thinking it would be interesting to try something like that. Unlike the buffalo shooter, though, I did not have to shoot from inside of a vehicle.

I don’t know anything about horse breeds, but these small, stocky horses with the incredible flowing hair reminded me of images that I have seen of the horses of Iceland. My dear friend and photographic mentor Cindy Dyer made a trip to Iceland last year and came back with some amazing photos, including this posting with a similar horse, although it is quite literally a horse of a different color.

Cindy has talked with me and a few fellow photographers about possibly traveling to Iceland next year. I would love to have the chance to experience firsthand the wondrous natural beauty of Iceland and to see more beautiful horses with “rock star” hair.



Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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“How many legs does a horse have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”

My apologizes to Abraham Lincoln for changing the animal from a dog to a horse in a famous quote attributed to him, but that was what came to mind when I first brought up this image of a horse that appeared to have five legs. The tail is so long that it just about touches the ground and it seems to be almost as rigid as the legs.

Of course, as some of you know, I am a product of the suburbs, so I am happy that I can identify this animal as a horse. Earlier in the day I saw two bulls with horns, but when I took a closer look, one of them seemed to have udders. When we stopped to photograph a farmhouse on the drive home, I could identify sheep and cattle, then suddenly a group of emus came running onto the scene accompanied by a llama (or maybe it was an alpaca).

Is it any wonder I find identifying domestic animals confusing?

Five Legged Horse blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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