Thursday, August 4, 2011

#71 - A Chicken and a Four-Year Old

This week I've been watching my niece during the day while my sister works at her job as a school counselor. Since little Shaye is about to have her 5th birthday this month, she's also able to start Kindergarten. But, school doesn't start for a couple more weeks, so I get to spend extra special time with her until she starts her first day at school.

But I first have to say, since my youngest is home from her fun trip that included swimming with dolphins, she was finally able to check the chicken coop for eggs and my twenty-year old darling found one brown gem.

Stefie is holding a golf ball in one hand, saying" I can't
be fooled about that, I read about it on the blog already."
THEN, she spied a REAL chicken egg in a nest.

Stefie has the egg!

Shaye runs out to greet her cousin, "You found an egg?"

Shaye is always thrilled to help find an egg in the
chicken coop. I don't think she'll ever feel the same
about buying eggs at the grocery store. Not nearly as much fun.
In the early morning hours, I did some gardening and had finished by 7:30am --- I'm trying to avoid the horrendous Texas heat. Then, Shaye arrived for a day of fun. Together, we headed to the backyard to take care of morning chicken duties.

Of course, I always have my camera ready and I am prepared to take some opportune shots. However, you really don't have to do anything special to get unique shots when you have a four year old running around. A four year old lives in a perpetual photogenic moment.

Shaye has no fear of chickens. This is wonderful. Of course, our chickens are a friendly, docile breed and she's helped raise them since they were chicks. She came up to me and in her precious little voice, she asked, "Aunt Lana, may I pick up one of the chickens?"

I said, "Sure, just be careful with their wings."

She decided to pick up Miss Speckles, which wasn't difficult because this chicken is very approachable and friendly.

After Shaye picked up Miss Speckles, she walked around the backyard with her, but just not in the manner I expected.

After this moment of me hardly being able to hold the camera steady, Shaye put the chicken down and asked, "May I have the camera and take pictures by all by myself?"

I looked down at my beloved camera, took a good long look at all the menacing concrete scattered throughout the backyard and I relented, "Yep, here it is, just keep the strap on your wrist."

She took the camera and with a short lesson she proceeded to spend another hour in the backyard taking over 160 pictures. She became my Photographer-Buddy.

Needless to say, later in the day, as I transferred her photos to the computer, I sat in awe as I scanned each photo...I was quite impressed while going through her pictures. To be frank, I actually had a few tears in my eyes because the photos she took gave me an inside view into the way her little mind operates. I felt honored and touched by her perspective of the world and by the things that she found worthy of a photograph.

She had very few throw-away photos. It made selecting photos for the below slide-show a difficult task. To make the ordeal more fascinating to me, I weighed the fact that her daddy is actually a highly skilled photographer...not a hobby photographer like myself; her daddy works with the space program at NASA and is a published photographer in all kinds of media. He is awesome, to say the least. I think she inherited her daddy's ability or she is possibly taking detailed collegiate notes on his photography skills when he's not looking.

Here are some of her shots...

Shaye Shot. My water sprinkler.

Shaye Shot. Howdy trying to not move in the Texas heat.

Shaye Shot. She could not resist
capturing her shadow. Isn't this the beautiful
side of a four-year old? I REALLY don't like my shadow,
especially since she's 30 pounds heavier than the real me.

Shaye Shot. Howdy and Miss Speckles having
a little, friendly chat.

Shaye Shot. Close up of our hay.

Shaye Shot. Miss Speckles in the coop.
What a great four-year old perspective!
And, this is the BEST picture ever of Miss Speckles!

Shaye Shot. A close up of Miss Speckles.
Shaye is an in-your-face kind of photographer. Awesome.

Shaye Shot. Such an adorable expression!
I think Shaye may have to be my Photography-Buddy much more often. She has an eye for looking into the beady eye of a chicken and bringing out their best side.

Cluck. Cluck.


Rae said...

Wow! She did a really good job! Especially on the chickens, which can be so difficult to photograph. Atta girl!

LindaG said...

Shaye's shot of her shadow looks like an angel's shadow. :)

Haha. Great chicken photos for sure!

Hope you all have a great weekend and get some rain and cooler temps!

luckybunny said...

I just love your pictures! They are wonderful. Off to look at more of your blog :)

Teri @ Love From the Farm said...

Shay did a FANTASTIC job! What a cutie. And, it was such a pleasant surprise to see your dog Howdy - he/she? looks just like our old dog Whitney, who died a few years ago at the age of 13. She was named after Whitney, TX where she was born. Looking forward to reading on! Cheers! Teri

Anonymous said...

Guess she could use a camera for her birthday?? Beth

Lana from Farm Life Lessons said...

Thanks everybody! Shaye did take some beautiful shots, very poignant for a four year old, but I AM just a tiny bit partial! I think she did have a camera, at one time, but maybe it's time for her to get a new shatter-proof camera that she could really use all by herself and to take any pictures she wants. Til then, she can borrow mine.

Teri --- I bet your dog Whitney was awesome. Sounds like she got to live a good, long doggie life. Howdy is an Australian Shepherd and he is a wonderful working dog. He herds the chickens and guards them --- listening for their voices to indicate any trouble and he rushes out to them.

Memories of the dogs in our life seem to always bring a smile...