Friday, December 11, 2009

Me and my shadow

I really like to take pictures. I spend hours outside on our property, following my various animals around and snapping photo after photo after photo. So many of these photos never make it on this blog, because most of them are either blurry or too dark or only interesting to me, but sometimes, even though a picture isn't the highest quality, something about it tugs at me, and I decide I want to share it after all.

So. Here are a few shots that, even though they're not the greatest quality, I really like. A lot. The subject matter in all these shots? My beautiful donkey, Chester, of course.

I was photographing the llama girls in the pasture the other day when I noticed a presence behind me:

He nuzzled me a bit, but mostly, he just wanted to stand close:

This is what I saw when I turned around:

I hope this means he likes how I smell:

Chester has a few trust issues that we're working on. I'm hoping that lots of time spent and gentle attention given is going to help him to overcome some of his fears. Sometimes he doesn't want to be touched and petted and scratched - frequently, he just wants to be very close and sniff:

I'm ok with this:

A bit later, I caught Chet taking a little nap in the sun with his nose pressed to a tree:

He's a big one for eye contact, this guy:

It's interesting that some of my most favorite photographs aren't always the ones perfectly captured. More often than not, it's those spontaneous, blurry, sometimes overexposed pictures that squeeze my heart the most.


  1. What a lover! I think he knows he's one lucky donkey!

  2. I am SO happy that you and Chester found each other. You make the perfect pair.

  3. Oh Danni, those shadow pics are beautiful. Pics tell a story and the story I read is Chester really likes you. And the pic of you and Chester, well, that pic says it all as to how happy you are. Your eyes give it away!

  4. And some of your most favorite photographs tug at my heart and make me smile, too! Thanks Danni.

  5. If anyone can cure Chester's trust issues it is you. He couldn't have a better friend.

  6. Oh, I think I'm in love with your donkey. He is precious!

  7. Yes, those little asses have a way into our hearts.

  8. I love each and every picture Danni! What a sweet friend to follow you around.

  9. Danni - those shadow pictures are priceless. Keep on doing what you're doing with Chester. My jenny Josie, as you know, was very wild and scared when I got her. It took me one entire year before I could comfortably pick up all of her feet, and another year before she would graze or eat when I had her haltered. Now, though, she gives the world's best donkey hugs, and is totally tame. Chester may not be quite where you want him yet, but he will be. And we may not know all of his history, but I do know that he finally found the perfect home.

  10. I hear you. It's the emotion you were feeling when you took the fuzzy pictures that makes them worth just as much as clear pictures. Pictures are good for beauty, they're good for information, but most of all - at least for me - they're good for remembering. If a picture can make me remember a good time, I care very little for the quality.

    I *love* the shadow shots.

  11. That last pic of Chester cracks me up..he's looking at you with such adoration in him eyes..Does Mr. J looks at you like that too?

  12. I hear you on this photo thing. I absolutely love taking pictures outside with the animals especially.
    These photos you took of Chester are wonderful. It doesn't matter if they aren't perfect. Life isn't..., but they are very real.
    Chester is a dear donkey. He needs your love and kisses.He's such a lucky guy.
    I send him a big hug.

  13. The shadow ones look like a nativity scene! Greta usual! :D

  14. i love these pics. chester sure found himself a great home and a wonderful best buddy!

  15. Awwww...I can feel his warm breath! I have a bunch of horses who absolutely scare the bejeebas out of guests doing just that. They have no fear of people and it looks like your guy is pretty confident already! :)

  16. Art (with its tug on our emotions) is not about perfect exposure or perfect focus, or about getting the whole critter into the pic...........

    Sometimes a nose so close that the rest of him is out of focus is the heart and soul of what we want to remember and to share...........

    What a lucky boy, to have landed where his wanting to be very close, and to sniff, is understood and cherished.

    [tears in eyes.........]

    Do you know Erin Vey's work?

    She takes wonderful pictures, full of emotion. Your pics of Chester remind me of her work.

  17. I can't stand how much I love a donkey that I've never met!

  18. I love Chester. Can I have him?

  19. That Chester. Hes such a loving guy. The two of you make the best pair. And it makes me SO very happy that you guys found each other.
    Your pics are always fantastic. And I totally agree. Its not always the best quality in a picture that triggers an emotion, or causes us to have a great memory. I think its the simple snapshots of everyday things that capture what tends to make our hearts smile.

  20. fun pictures... lucky Chester. He seems such a sweetie. I'm sure with all the attention at your house he'll get over those trust issues!

  21. I love that one of him napping with his nose against the tree. Great shots!

  22. Chester has completely stolen my heart. What a sweet fellow. I think he likes you. A lot. He's just working on his trust issues and I think he's doing an admirable job of being brave.

  23. Amazing shots! He looks as though he is still trying to figure you out.

  24. I love every one of those pictures. Every single one of them. I couldn't possibly pick a favorite. But if I HAD to? Well, It would probably be picture #6. So dang sweet!

    Chester is an amazingly handsome boy. I never had a desire to have a donkey, but that Chester...... well there's just something about that boy. Maybe it's because he's so darn happy to be with you - and it shows!

    You've got one precious shadow there.......

  25. Love this post - absolutely hilarious!! I think that all of us with animals can relate to this.

  26. Tugs at YOUR heart?! What about our hearts? What a little sweetie- I love him!! You're both lucky to have each other. When he gets to letting you scratch him, scratch him for me. Uh! Such a doll.

  27. I think they are great shots! He loves you so!

  28. Your Chester photos brought tears to my eyes. Why? Because I so love donkeys -- I don't think there are any more wonderful animals on this earth -- and every time I see one that is getting happier each day and is being well cared for -- it just touches my heart.

    Was this too many words? See why I can't make it on FaceBook?

  29. Heartwarming as a word sometimes sounds so cheesey, but it fits this post down to the ground. I love the emotion shown in these wonderful photos Danni, you were inspired I think!

  30. Thank you for all the warm and loving comments - I'm excited that you all think Chester is as special as I do. I still have to pinch myself every couple of days to remind myself that this boy is really mine and I don't have to adopt him out to anybody! :-)

    Spring Lake Farm - I feel like I'm the lucky one!

    7MSN - Oh, me too!!

    AJ-OAKS - I'm completely smitten - you can see that, huh?

    CaliforniaGrammy - :-)

    Marigold - Would I be an even better friend if I offered peanuts? :-)

    Christy - He's a sweetie pie!

    Cedar View Paint Horses - Boy, ain't that the TRUTH!

    Eve - He makes me smile and laugh every day!

    Linda - Wow, I love hearing stories like this, about how just the right home brings out the best in animals (and humans, too, for that matter!). I really, really appreciate all your support.

    Sarah - You know, your pictures are able to bring out such emotion in me - you tug at my hearstrings on a regular basis! But I think you knew this already. :-)

    Diane - In response to your question: yes! :-)

    Farm lady- I passed your hug on to Chet. :-)

    Sue, Joe and Michael Webber - thank you!

    Cathy - :-)

    Jaz - I sure think so, but thanks for feeling the same way I do! :-)

    DebH -

    I need orange - Oh, thank you for recommending Erin's site (and thank you for the compliment comparing our work) - she takes incredible photos!!. I'm enthralled. She's been added to my Google Reader!

    CeeCee - I'm thinking really good thoughts for your Christmas request.

    Lilla - No! Absolutely not! ...But I will share. :-)

    Pricilla - And lucky Danni!

    frugalmom- Thanks, pumpkin. I love my hat, too. :-)

    Rural Writer - He is a sweetheart. Trust is a huge gift. I'm willing to give him all the time he needs.

    Farmer Jen - Isn't that a cute shot? He's so funny.

    Carolynn - Aw, thanks for saying that he likes me. I, too, think he should be highly praised for how brave he is being. It takes a lot of work but he's definitely stepping up to it!

    Barbee - Thanks, Barbee. I hope he decides I'm a good guy. :-)

    BasicLiving - He is a handsome boy, isn't he? I sure think so!

    Life at Cobble Hill Farm - Thank you so much!

    Paula - :-) :-) I feel so fortunate every day to have found this little guy. I'll definitely give him a scratch for you!

    Nancy M - Thanks, Nancy. :-)

    Dog Blogger Mom - You never use "too many words" - I love that we found each other through our mutual love of donkeys! And, by the way, I think you're doing great on the facebook thing! :-)

    Jenny - Hi Jenny - Yup, my animals are my muse, I figured this out a while ago! :-)

  31. Oh how I love you your stories about Chester...he is a VERY lucky boy! Although I suspect you feel you are the lucky one...Kim

  32. Update - the Chickens absolutely LOVED the donkey cookies. Lucy Lou has suggested leaving these for Santa and the reindeer, so that's what we shall do. She also suggested that she give them a try again, soon, just to make sure they're still ok. :)


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