Friday, November 18, 2016

Heading Downhill

Spring and fall in the Midwest tend to take residents on an exciting roller coaster ride of temperatures. No quiet, gradual transitions for us. Here in Western Michigan, we've had a pretty mild fall overall so far, but as you can see we're in for a dramatic plunge tonight. Goodbye short sleeves and hello sweaters. I fear the sweaters may be here to stay this time. )`: 

As you may have noticed in this month's and last month's screenshots, Pepsi has already transitioned to wearing sweaters in sympathy of Michigan's inevitable descent towards winter. Can you spot the wild horse she caught on Chilly Forest Isle earlier this week?

Good job, dark brown Standardbred. I love it when wilds try to be stealthy. =)

Well, no wonder she hid! She's as antisocial and lazy as they come. XD

It's been a long week. I'm feeling rather antisocial and lazy myself. Time for a good night's sleep, I think. But before I go, I will leave you with two random HI2 bits from this week that I found amusing.

I can tell you one thing: neither of our new horses will be named "The Ugly Breadstick." I wonder what color this horse was? (Hopefully not dun... *Hugs Coppertone*)

My inner first grader gives an enthusiastic high five to whoever came up with this one.

Okay, before this post goes any farther downhill, I'd better get going to bed. You really need to get posting more, sisters, or be prepared for more subpar posts like this. B^D

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Still Seeing Spots

Felicity really ought to be writing this post, but I (Bethany) volunteered to write it instead because she needed a break. ;^)

On Thursday night, Felicity and Skyrocket ventured out to that little island within Pitcher Isle. There were no wild horses to be found, so Felicity used the flute by the cranberry bushes to summon one. Remember how Felicity talked about how we have an American Paint Horse in every pinto spotting pattern but frame overo now? Well, I guess the game overheard and decided we were overdue for a frame overo! Since we were on marshy terrain, it couldn't give us a Paint, though. So, it gave us this little guy instead.

Why are you in shadow, buddy?

He's not your textbook frame overo, what with the white extending into his mane and down his forelegs, and only a little white on his face. Way to be unique, Mr. Chincoteague! I don't know which of us will end up claiming him, but I do know for sure that he's a keeper! He's 6/6, his stats add up to a quite respectable +76, and he's our first equine to have the Skeptic persona.

Here is his avatar without that weird shadow:

Since we caught this pony on the anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, we may name him something to do with that or the famous song about it. Or we may go with something space-themed, since our first Chincoteague is named after a comet. 

Halley, my 13.2 hand piebald overo mare <3

Speaking of naming horses, Felicity has still not named her new Paint mare. She did finally decide on her tack, though. 

Looking lovely!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

One More Pretty Paint

In addition to perusing HI2's livery horses and the auction horses from time to time, my sisters and I have also taken to checking out the horses in the ranch stores. This is - you may recall - how we found Lily's dream horse, Forte the sooty palomino Hanoverian. Not only are we keeping an eye out for Bethany's and Julie's dream horses, but we also look at breeds we don't have in our herd but really like. (For us, this means means breeds like the Argentine Polo Pony, Datong, Plateau Persian, Rocky Mountain Horse, and Standardbred.) And occasionally we - well, I, anyway - look at horses we have no business looking at.

This mare was one of those. You know me, though. I love horses with spots. And as it happened, all three of my sisters already had an American Paint Horse, but I was sadly lacking. I felt out of the loop. So when I saw this gorgeous 6/6 +93 mare for sale for a measly $30k, I couldn't help it. I pounced. 

Just let her spectacular spotting and that magnificent mane sink in for a moment! <3 Really, now, how was I supposed to resist? She's also the first horse in our herd to have the "Milquetoast" persona. "Milquetoast" is an adjective used to describe a very timid, meek, unassertive person. The word comes from the name of a 1930's comic strip character with this persona, Caspar Milquetoast. His creator, Harold T. Webster, described him as "the man who speaks softly and gets hit with a big stick." 

(Don't worry, girl, we would never dream of mistreating you! *Hugs horse*)

Her avatar couldn't capture the work of art that is her mane, of course, but it's still very cute. I'm not sure what happened with this first screenshot...

Yikes! What is that around Pepsi's knee?
Let's try that again...

Gone. Whew!
inverse pinto spotting pattern, white mane, and solid-colored tail
For comparison's sake, here are my sisters' APH's:

Lysithea, Bethany's gray splashed white mare
sabino-like avatar with a white tail
Zephyr, Lily's cremello sabino stallion
simple sabino avatar
Kaleidoscope, Julie's bay silver dapple tobiano mare
avatar: regular pinto spotting pattern, white legs and muzzle, white mane and tail
So now our herd has a Paint in splashed white, sabino, tobiano, and tovero (which is, if you care, a combination of tobiano and overo patterns). The only paint spotting pattern missing: frame overo! (On HI2's APH's, frame overo is simply called "overo," though technically splashed white, sabino, and frame overo are all forms of overo.) Maybe someday we'll get one of these in the herd too!

An random overo stallion from the BBB
avatar: regular pinto spotting pattern, solid colored mane and tail
We certainly wouldn't refuse a calico or medicine hat either, but like that's ever going to happen. XD

A random calico mare from the BBB
avatar: inverse pinto spotting pattern, white mane and tail
A random medicine hat stallion from the BBB
Avatar: no spots at all! He looks like a pale cremello sabino.
Okay, enough of that. Back to the new mare. I'm still in the process of naming her. My first idea, Quodlibet, doesn't make it through the filter, and I don't know if I should even suggest it be added. (Quodlibet. noun. a lighthearted medley of well-known tunes. But would anyone but me ever want to use it?)

And which color tack? I think I've narrowed it down to either a yellow, a pastel purple, or a pastel green theme. Hmm...

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Felicity's Favorite Art

At long last, here are my 8 favorite ArtPrize entries. I truly am the queen of procrastination, but hey, at least I finally got around to it. XD

It's aptly named, considering it is made up of spiraling arcs of white and black paper. I don't think I'd ever have the patience to create something like this, but the end result is quite aesthetically pleasing. It kind of reminds me of a yin-yang, only much fancier. 

I have no idea why this is called "Coyote." The cottonwood tree's a similar color to a coyote, but the similarity ends there. The artist has deemed this a "carved and painted cast acrylic painting." I'm not sure what all is involved there, but according to Mom, the end result is an impressively realistic bark-like texture on the trees. I love the late-fall color palette, the gentle curve of the trunks, and the stark beauty of twisty branches and twigs against the sky.

It doesn't get much more bizarre than this: a flock of blue-gray birdzels down near the banks of the Grand River.  These creatures are made of glazed clay, and poles through them into the ground keep them upright. While some may find them tacky and/or borderline creepy, I find them harmless and amusing. They have that so-ugly-they're-cute thing going for them, and I like how even though they are roughly uniform, each one has its individual quirks. 


I'm not sure how I feel about this large oil painting. It's extremely well done, and it depicts a very old woman in her living room, bundled in her recliner. All seems well. She looks cozy, asleep with the remote in hand, and she has a pleasant enough space around her, complete with family photos and an assortment of knickknacks. Still, there's something sad about this that I can't quite put my finger on. The details of this painting's backstory are hazy in my mind, but it had something to do with a real-life woman in the artists' family, a 90+ year old woman who was determined to stick around long enough to see her great-grandchildren.  

Mom and I both especially appreciated The Bull, since we both are saddled with Taurus as our astrological sign. This guy wasn't anywhere near life size: probably only slightly larger than a traditional size Breyer horse. He is made from a mismatch of 168 recycled metal parts, most from cars and motorbikes, since the artist fixes motors for a living. The bull's head contains a small antique wrench that belonged to the artist's grandfather (who taught him how to fix cars), and he has a fragile, used watch mechanism for a heart. According to the artist, "This powerful yet intricate sculpture is strength, courage and gentleness united, a tough metal body containing the heart and passion of my own."

Front Row Seat
This is a photograph taken of some lucky person watching the Northern Lights over Lake Superior from Presque Isle Park in Marquette, Michigan. Talk about eye candy! It's hard to believe this is real!

These three metropoles (plural of metropolis) are supposed to represent three dead cities, each something like the fossil or skeleton of a city. I guess I can sort of get that, but I more just appreciate how cool they look, which in my mind is what would happen should Salvador Dali's art and antennas meet. They look like something that walked off the pages of a science fiction book... and just kept going.

Multiplication Series
Okay, for this last one I'll explain before you look so that it makes more sense. Unless of course you go ahead and look first anyway, which you probably will. I can't stop you. 

These photographic creations all are self-portraits of the artist. His goal: "to depict scenes from everyday life using methods of multiplication ... to represent an inner struggle that most people can relate to." And relate I did. Below are my four favorites from the series.

A Bad Therapist
Study Group
There you have them. I hope you have appreciated these four art-inspired posts (but mine was the best, right? ;^)) Never fear, the HI2-themed posts will continue even though these will not. Look for one from me later this weekend.