Sunday, September 27, 2015

more about Morehead, a multi-faceted community!

post #250
       Another annual special event in this northeast corner of Kentucky is the Cave Run Storytelling Festival, which always takes place the last weekend in September in two big tents on the shores of Cave Run Lake. This year's 17th annual festival is again under the auspices of the Morehead Tourism Commission.
       I was there to help yesterday with the food booth sponsored by the Morehead Chapter of KFTC (Kentuckians for the Commonwealth) but I made a few photos when I could. We had periods of rain, which our area needs badly, but after so many dry weeks, it was hard not to wonder why we didn't have just two more nice days of sun. 
        First to be shown: the two big tents and the lake during a presentation by one of the 8 fantastic national storytellers there for the weekend. (That said because the whole crowd is inside the tent!)  On Thursdays and Fridays, both tents are in use, with school groups coming from all around to enjoy hearing good stories really well told.

Leatherwood Tent, used all three days

overlooking Cave Run Lake
listening in comfort -- when it wasn't raining

Can you find the storyteller on the front stage??
listening, I believe, to Donald Davis!!  Is that right, Mary Jane??

      For the next "chapter" of this blog, I decided to show the action during the prep time for the KFTC booth.  Lisa had some help from their 5 month old son, and I thought they were both amazing. The homemade pies were ultimately priced at $3 a slice, because they were definitely gourmet.  Thanks, Joy!  The cushaw squash pie was even made with a homegrown cushaw.  I don't know yet how much we raised in support of KFTC, but it all helps in building an even better Kentucky.

      I will end today with two versions of the same photo that I took in our yard, of the trusty green well pump.  It gets used occasionally, but luckily we don't have to rely on it.  I was experimenting with how to see it, and I will continue to experiment. It seems to be the only way I ever learn anything. Any comments about seeing something in new ways are always welcome.  



       Now I have to finish this post for today because this afternoon the Cave Run Symphony Orchestra is giving one of its four performances of the year, at the Morehead Conference Center at 3 pm, and I want to be there.  Community members, a guest conductor and two days of rehearsals can provide a very rich sound and I say bravo to all!
        I guess this whole post is a shameless effort to continue to show the diversity and community involvement in Morehead and the area after the recent harsh spotlight on the community in the national and even the international press. Progress is a lurch here, a lurch there, and it requires people talking with each other and believing in possiblities. 
        Thanks as always for visiting here.  Ann

Sunday, September 20, 2015

guest photos by Rachel Carpenter: a Monarch Butterfly emerges

post #249
          A brief break from farm animals, equality in the USA, and hay bales to check on something fascinating that happens annually to keep our world working for all of us. My friend Rachel, who lives in central Indiana, hatches out Monarch Butterflies every year; I have had her photos on this blog before.  
          This year she spend ten minutes watching a Monarch pupate into a butterfly, and she sent me 9 photos she made during that time.  I am sure such photos are available somewhere on the web, but I prefer these, which provide a personal connection to an ordinary miracle, if there can be such a thing.     
          Rachel wrote: "There are a ton of monarchs around here this year, and I have raised quite a few.  I got some pictures of one "pupating" that I thought you might like."  She also recommends "a neat website about Monarch migration:".

       I decided to embed the 9 photos via one of my Zenfolio Galleries, in hopes of keeping the photos as sharp as possible -- as well as to cut down on my (growing) frustration to get it all to look as good as possible.  I hope this system works out for every visitor to this site - thank you for giving it a try.  Click on the far right box-with-arrow to get the slide show, and then at the end click ESCape to get things back to regular size.
       And thanks, Rachel, for the Monarch support work you do!

a monarch butterfly pupating:

Sunday, September 13, 2015

4H, Elliott County, part 2

post #248
     I have realized that one reason for sharing these photos of the September 3rd 4H show is totally to give another view of the eastern Kentucky that is currently under national media scrutiny. Any place will show its imperfections under these conditions. Yet I have long been an advocate for using our brains to think in terms of possibilities.  None of us understands everything, and being open to each other is more important than slamming doors. Human beings are not all going to think alike, which brings a richness to our culture and to our country. I can celebrate the efforts of these 4H kids and their families even if we might not always see eye to eye on everything. I have appreciated the many conversations I seem to be having recently about what equality means to me and at the same time listening to how others see things. I am grateful for all this communicating with folks near and far!  HOWEVER, I think we ALL agree that this media stuff needs to end sooner rather than later. Enough!

     OK, back to the corral....  I thought today I would group the photos by participant rather than do the usual chronological thing.  First is MaKayla again, a senior in high school, whose photo ended the previous post. She showed both her wether (a male lamb) and her heifer.  First, with her wether:

answering the judge's questions

The wethers may look alike to some of us, but they are judged on very specific aspects.

Congratulations on a first place!

Next comes the judging of the heifers, and keeping them in line with the rod,

and another first place!
   MaKayla tells me that the next step for her heifer is that her dad plans to breed it. (My photos here are not first place ones, and I'm sorry for that, but they do give the big picture.)

    Next is MaKayla's cousin, Issac:
with his wether

Issac looking serious, which he often is, as well as often being the top performer at 4H events

Issac with his heifer, which was sold later during the evening sale event.  I believe I heard him say that he sold every animal that he showed that day.
      Other bits from that afternoon:

MaKenna, with her heifer

and with her wether
two hogs, nonchalantly awaiting their turn to show off

Photographer's privilege: a cute kid, though I don't know his name!

But this is his mom, who was taking photos like I like to take them! I did ask her permission to use these photos if it worked out, and she said sure, no problem!  Thank you.

      As always, it's fun to be there, to learn about the animals, and now to share these photos on this post.  I also try to give copies of the photos to everyone I know who was part of the show.  I would have liked to be there for more of the two day event than I was able to attend this year.  Great job, everyone!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

more about equality, and news from the late August 4H event in Elliott County (part 1)

post #247
       I did stop by the Rowan County Courthouse on Friday morning, on the way to Winchester and before picking up someone planning to ride with me.  The temperature was hot, the place was covered up with reporters, and there had already been that first wedding license granted, now that the County Clerk, Kim Davis, has chosen to be in jail (in the next county) rather than resign or change her opinion about the conflict between her religion and the law of the land. Since licenses are finally being granted, there is no more picketing for equality at the courthouse, but it may happen that the clerk's supporters will continue some form of witness. No one wants Davis to have to do jail time, but the judge felt there seemed no other way to communicate the seriousness of the issues involved.
        Anyway, here are two photos from my stop-by. Everyone knows there is still a lot of learning going on and will be for years, but a lot of brave couples put themselves out there to help bring about more understanding and less fear. It is not an easy change, but one definitely needed as our nation continues the on-going struggles for equality for all Americans.  In even simpler terms I do feel it is mostly about love. Here's a shout out to my friend, Jennifer, for her energy and her total and fearless committment to equality.

Now on to 4H, and the annual judging and sales of the animals these students have cared for and learned from.  I think it is so fascinating what they learn by doing.

I didn't arrive until the showing part was under way.  It was sheep time; the rabbits and poultry and goats had already been judged. I walked around to take some photos of what I had missed.

a cage with three roosters, when usually it is two hens and a rooster

Many kids and adults were wearing this t-shirt for the event.  I asked this boy to hold still a minute so I could get a photo of all the words on his back.  He is a twin of the other blonde boy wearing the same shirt.
             OK, now the sheep, starting with the youngest 4Hers. The winners then go to stand in front of the 4H logo sign to have their photos taken.

  There seemed to be lots of sheep wandering around with the students they belonged to.

MaKayla is now a senior in High School and very skilled with her animals.  I thank her for letting me ask her for a quick pose.  I think this is my favorite of all the photos I made that afternoon.
     Next week a bunch more 4H photos!  Today I want to end with the fleeting photo I made when Jamie was already headed home with the bales of hay from our place while I was finishing last week's blog.  Thanks again, Jamie!  I love where I have been living all these many years.