Road Trippin’ with Fritz

July 10, 2021

This Saturday my husband wanted to get into some serious hiking, and since my foot, knee and hips aren’t happy with that kind of stress, I decided to do a road trip on my own… oh wait, no…. never on my own these days… ALWAYS with a plastic pony!
We had visited Freeport in a previous year and I was not particularly impressed with the town center.. too much ritzy shopping and no tack shops or toy stores with plastic ponies.. but I decided to give the area another try by visiting a nearby park called Wolf’s Neck Woods State Park. I needed a good adventure partner, one that would brave the woods, and my buddy Fritz came to mind…

Fritz is a social butterfly, and sometimes has more speed than brains, but I thought he would make a fun companion for my road trip adventure 🙂

Off we went into the great highway into the.. sort of.. unknown 🙂
I found a few antique stores on the gps route to our destination. I’ve been looking forward to finding some retail stores that might have Breyers for sale, 1st or 2nd hand, so these seemed to fit the bill.
I was delighted when, at the first place we found, was a GIGANTIC Indian statue.. sooo typical Americana! I was thrilled 🙂

“Whoohooo!!! Look at that dude! He’s soooo BIG!!!! I wanna say HI!”
“Fritz, the indian is a statue. He won’t respond to you”
“Awww.. He must be sad standing there all alone.. for.. well from the looks of him..a loooong time!”
“Well, I’m sure he’d appreciate a good wave or head toss”
Fritz was quickly on board with that and gave a hearty head toss and a bit of a buck just to emphasize his good wishes. The indian was not amused.

“Great Stuff! Let’s see what great stuff is there!!”
“Ok Fritz but wait for me. We don’t want to accidentally knock anything down :)”

Don’t tell him, but Fritz is a bit of a bull in a china shop… don’t tell Knosses either (the 2021 Breyerfest special run bull) he might be offended 😉

We had fun exploring the corners and crevices of this store, though sadly we did not find any “Great Stuff” (which in this situation was narrowly defined as.. plastic ponies!!). Right up the road was another one…

“whooahhh.. he’s soooo.. colorful!!.. can I bring him home for a pet?”
(Giggling within) well, he’s not alive.. he’s just a big ‘ole heavy paperweight, and we don’t have need for a paperweight at the stable.”
“Too bad for him. He might have a long wait if that’s all he’s good for.. he sure is PRETTY though”.
“Indeed he is.. I’ll keep an eye out for something cool and colorful for you though if you like”
“AWESOME.. thanks mom-o”.

“Hey Mom! Where’s my saddle? this one’s cool.. kind nooo-stall-jeeek you call it…?”
“That’s great Fritzy but don’t you think it’s a little big for you?”
“pshaw!! I’m a big boy!”
“In personality you certainly are my big boy, but let’s keep exploring, shall we?”
He nodded as he raced off to other interesting items…

We did some more browsing in a few more stores, saw an Indian Pony for WAAAY too much money, and just enjoyed all the fun photo ops. Time was moving rapidly, so we headed out to the state park, which was our main goal for the day. On the way, I caught sight of a cool group of animals..
“What the HAY?!? What kinda horses are they mom?”


“Those are not horses, silly horse, they’re cows, more specifically a cool breed called a Belton Galloways”.. A quick lesson (which he did NOT want to stand for, but knew he wasn’t going anywhere until he heard me out):

(taken from Wikipedia): The Belted Galloway is a traditional Scottish breed of beef cattle. It derives from the Galloway cattle of the Galloway region of south-western Scotland, and was established as a separate breed in 1921. It is adapted to living on the poor upland pastures and windswept moorlands of the region. The exact origin of the breed is unclear, although the white belt for which they are named – and which distinguishes the breed from the native black Galloway cattle – is often surmised to be the result of cross-breeding with the similarly-coloured Dutch Lakenvelder breed. Belted Galloways are primarily raised for their quality marbled beef, although they are sometimes milked or kept for ornament.

This particular herd was owned by “Mitchell Ledge Farm”

“They are BIIIG lawn ornaments!”
“They certainly are Fritzy.. for sure!”

Our next impulsive stop was to a small art gallery with a big personality. Looking from the road you could see a big barn with the doors opened and lots of light and colors streaming out. Turns out Fritzy found his soulmate there..

“Lookit that great barn mom!! Let’s go, let’s GOOO!”
“Alright alright, let me get out of the car!” Like a small child, Fritz can test the patience of a saint at times! Reminds me of me when I was little.. and maybe sometimes now.. like waiting for Breyerfest purchases to arrive 😉

The place was really fun.. It was all a similar art form.. not particularly “deep” but full of bright and cheery colors. Once I introduced myself to Stephen the artist, we had a pleasant running conversation as Fritz literally ran around..

Stephen I shared a love of photography of small things. Among his lobster and other seaworthy artwork, was a batch of photos of matchbox trucks, which, just like we model horse photographers, was a carefully executed balancing act between foreground and background, with the purpose of making the subject look as realistic as possible. We enjoyed our conversation, and I left with a card and a lobstah stickah 🙂

“you happy Fritzy? Did I find cool colors for ya”
“oh yeah!! That was sooo much fun I like that dude.. he’s better than that craggy ‘ole indian”
“indeed” I smiled as we climbed back in the car.

Not far from the park now, we hit the gas to get there while the afternoon was still young. I got there just a tad before 2:00, and the ranger stationed at the gate mentioned that there was an Osprey viewing hosted by the rangers there at 2pm, and that it was a quick walk to get there from the parking lot. Fritz was all for the adventure, and I was anxious to get out into the fresh air and lovely piney trail.

“oooh.. what’s over the hill?”
“Well keep going and we’ll see!”
“whoohooo!”

Not the best photo of the water, but I had a date with some osprey!

Just over the top of the trail was the water.. oh.. we just love the rugged Maine coast! Although today the water was pretty calm, and there were plenty of people taking advantage of the day to play on the rocks.

We quickly arrived at a sign stating “Osprey Nesting Area” and quickly introduced myself to ranger Andy Hutchinson, who was setting up a BIG scope. Fritz was not impressed, but I was in AWE of the huge birds before us, made to look mere feet away from us with the help of the scope. I spent an HOUR watching the osprey family through my binocs and that scope, chatting with the rangers, and even acted a bit like an ambassador, catching people passing by and enthusiastically encouraging them to take a look….and feeling gratified to watch their reactions.

Unfortunately though I could see them great through binoculars and scope my phone just didn’t have enough power to make a good photo. Here’s a few online pics to fill in the blanks 🙂 These are really close in accuray to what I was privileged to see that day!

To his credit Fritz sat (sort of) patiently (sort of) while I enjoyed the natural display, and he too got a couple appreciative glances from passersby. I sheepishly responded to inquiries (to a grown woman with a small plastic “toy”) with “yeah…I call it creative photography”. Fritz was not amused.

So, after our osprey show, we went off for the long awaited hike along the coast. Fritz was quite the photogenic pony..

Along the way we met some teen girls on their own walk, and we had a pleasant exchange about what I was doing. They asked if I was online, and I suddenly realized that there IS still room for business cards or at least one (that they can take a photo of!).. to list facebook, Instagram, WordPress….and made a mental note of that as I spelled out “Clover.Lake.Acres” for them to look up my Instagram account.

They were nice enough to take a pic of Fritz and I.

Around “shrooms” and over roots we walked.. or ran.. or jumped…

until we made a big circle and wound up at the first watery vista we passed on our way in. Clearly it was a popular spot – we could hear families hooting and laughing, splashing in the water (which is rather brave in the ocean in Maine!).

“ooohhh.. pretty!!”
“yes, look at that neat little stream coming out of the woods and down the rocks to the water”
“can I go wade a bit ma?”
“Sure, just don’t slip.. we don’t want your finish all scraped up”
“Gotcha.. slow.. and splishy!!” he laughed as he leapt away from me like a frog to a likely puddle.

Before I knew it that little critter had run like the dickens and was have a grand ‘ole time on top of the rocks!!

“Hey… ya little racehorse.. watch where you’re going!”
He snorted a snicker at me, and after a few playful splashes, made his way back down to me to continue exploring the beach together.

“oh my gosh! That was sooo much fun maa!!”
“I’m glad you’re having fun little man. I’d better put you on another shelf tonight because I’d bet you’re going to fall right over and into your shelf mates once you get home!” He gave a quick headshake as if to say “nahh.. I’ll just shake the tirreds outta me”.

As I slowly walked the beach, Fritzy wandered about along the rocks and was absentmindedly pawing a some rockweek when he was rudely disturbed.. by a

“AAAAHHHHH MONSTER MONSTER!! GIT IT OFF ME MAKE IT STOP FOLLOWING MEEEEE!” Fritz called out.. trying to scramble up the nearest cliff…


“It’s OK Fritz.. look at him… he just jumped back.. he’s as afraid of you as you are of him!”
After hyperventilating for a moment, Fritz looked back and indeed the monster seemed to be hesitant.. as if there was a forcefield between them.. The monster-dog wandered around him and then tried a frontal approach but by then Fritz had gotten his courage about him and reared up at him to let him know he was a BIG HORSE!! That was enough for monster dog, who quickly backed off and wandered back to his owner (who I incidentally had a nice conversation with as this drama was unfolding!)


We proceeded to explore the rockweek in the tidal zone. Another quick lesson, this time from Google search:

“The defining characteristic of the intertidal zone is that it is submerged with water during high tide and exposed to the air during low tide. The zone can take many forms, from sandy beaches to rocky cliffs. It is common for the intertidal zone to change frequently, since it is constantly battered by crashing waves.”

In our case, at Wolfs Neck, the intertidal zone was covered to the max with rockweed. I warned Fritz to be careful, and he slowed about a nanosecond from full speed as he inhaled the freshening ocean air.

“AHHHHA!” I yelled as I swooped down on him and caught him up in my arms.
“AAAAAHHH” he cried out, not sure if he wanted to yell at me in rebellion of his capture, or laugh with me as we swung around for a selfie together.

With that, we took our leave of the great ocean, and walked back to the car.. but not without a quick pitstop in some all too tempting ferns..

and a quick pic on the way out to record the location of our great outdoor adventure together…

And so ended my bonding time with Fritzy the wonder horse. We had a wonderful adventure, got to meet new people and pups, and Fritz got to see a little bit of the big wide world outside his lovely shelf at Clover Lake Acres.

But wait! there’s a surprise.. I had a sweet little lady who also rode with us that day, the ying to Fritz’s yang, waiting patiently for her own one on one time with me and nature…. next up… a saunter through the field with Lady Fox…

Bailee’s Mini Adventure!

My back was twitchy so I knew I had to take a walk around my townhouse. Walks are MUCH more fun when I have company 😉 Sweet underrated Bailee looked at me with those soft eyes and I knew she had to come along!

Bailee hasn’t seen much of the big wide world, so even our little walk was exciting for her 🙂

“Mommy – I’m scared.. it’s really BIG out here”
“It’s ok.. I’ll hold on tight to you”.

First a quick walk around the buildings. Ugh.. after a long rain it heated up, became muggy.. and BUGGY!!

Between the skeeters and the wet, uneven ground we kinda skirted around the buildings without hesitation, lest the critters catch up to us. We decided to take a short walk down the street, just enough to stretch my legs and loosen my back. On the way we stopped at the mailboxes, which lately have been filled with many horsey goodies! The mail personage had not been by yet but it didn’t stop Bailee from checking it out…

“What’s in the box, what’s IN THE BOX????”
“Patience pony, mail is not here yet, but if you’re good, I’ll let you watch me unbox one of your new friends.”

Beauty portrait of Bailee

“Hey mommy…. what does this say?”
“It says “Slow, or be careful…Kids at play”
“Am I a kid at play… I’m sure having fun!”
“Well, you’re not a young pony Bailee, but you are naive and young at heart so you’re a kid to me 🙂 “

( Incidentally… I’m kinda getting old, but I’m not so naive any more. However, like Bailee, I’m young at heart. I mean, after all I’m out here with Bailee the plastic pony 😉 )

Off we go to the sidewalk.

“Mom, what’s this big thing… I feel like I’m on top of the world, but the word it kinda.. round..up here…”
“That’s a fire hydrant”
“FIRE?? OHHH NOOOO I don’t wanna catch fire!!”
“It’s ok sweetie… the hydrant helps put OUT fire.. it spray out lots of water if needed”
“Water… hey mom.. are we near the ocean?”
“We are”
“Can I see it, can I..can I????”
“Someday maybe, but not today”…..

My ponies all have a thing for stopping to smell the flowers 🙂 Bailee was no exception.

“Hey.. what’s this.. water!!! Is this the ocean??”
With a giggle I replied “No Bailee, that’s just the top of a water cover that collected some water from the rain yesterday”
“That was a LOT of rain yesterday!! I heard it thumping on our roof for a looong time”
“Yes it was”.

Well, if you can’t get the ocean, you make due with what you have…

“PEEK A BOO!! betcha can’t find me!”
Silly pony….

“What’s this big thing mom?”
“That’s an invasive plant”
“What’s in-vayyyy-seeeve?”
“In-vay-siv is a plant from another continent that is aggressive and tends to compete with local plants for space and food”.
“oh.. I don’t LIKE this plant… I’ll GIT IT for you mom- I’ll stomp it out leaf by leaf!”
“oh.. that’s very brave of you Bailee, but it’s way to big”
“Hmm… ok…what’s next?”

Bailee does a little jig in the middle of the cucumber plant, “LOOKIE mommy!!! LOOKIE.. flowers colored just like me!!”
“Why yes, they are.. bright and cheery and adding some lovely color to the world”
“Awww.. thanks mom”
“You’re welcome pretty girl”

Stopping to take an appreciative gaze at the rock wall and the moss and marveling at the grass under her feet..

“Time to go home Bailee”
“Ok Mommy.. thanks for taking me on your adventure”
“I’m glad you came with me Bailee.. you made my boring walk much more interesting”
“Next time.. ocean!!”
“Ok little one… next time ocean!”

And with that we finished our lovely adventure in the big wide world… (which amounted to .3 miles…)

P.S. Bailee was a good pony. She got to meet a new friend when we got home:

Copperfox Challenge Day 8 (#CDCDay8)

Copperfox Challenge Day 8:   Join a Model Horse Group, Forum or Club (#CDCDay8)

There are so many fabulous groups, forums and clubs out there both online and offline to join, all over the world. Joining a group (or forum or club) is a way to chat to other like minded individuals about your models, to share ideas and be part of the community that has the same interest as you.

This is a tough challenge, only because I have been involved in the online model horse community for a number of years now and am already signed up as a member pretty much anywhere I have an interest! Plus.. blogs need pictures and this is, on first look, a non-photogenic type of question (Hmmm…).. but I shall do my best..

To start, among many bookmarks I have in my “Model Horse” folder, I have the company websites for Breyer, Peter Stone Horses and Copperfox Model Horses

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Random Model Horse Photo 🙂

I’ve been a member on Model Horse Sales Pages (“MHSP”) for several years and recently bought several items from listings on there. In the last few days alone I’ve connected with some new-to-me fellow hobbyists on Facebook, which has been fun.

A few of my new tack pieces from MHSP 🙂 

 

I find Model Horse Blab to be my most entertaining and enlightening message board in the hobby and I have been visiting it daily for several months now.  It’s an active community and there are often new posts and threads to discover.

I also visit several model horse blogs, some more often than others, but my current favorites include:  Breyer History Diva, Desktop Stables, and Braymere Custom Saddlery.

I bought new horses from fellow collectors for the first time,

and have begun to prepare for a live model horse show in my area (Pocono Ponies Live for those who need to  know!).

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Practicing proper tacking up for performance classes.

Incidentally you can search for and find live model horse shows through North American Model Horse Shows Association (“NAMHSA”) as well as through Model Horse Blab.

So.. I’ve got a challenge posted WITH photos to go with it. I’m so proud. More tomorrow!

 

Copperfox Challenge Day 6 (#CDCday6)

Copperfox Challenge Day 6:   Find a new artist/sculptor/tackmaker that you don’t already know about (#CDCday5)

Today’s challenge is about finding something new. Trot onto the Internet and find the work of a new artist, sculptor, tack maker, hobbyist- anyone within the model horse hobby that you don’t know about… yet!

This challenge comes on the perfect day!  I just discovered, through a friend on FB that some of my favorite Breyer models were in fact sculpted by Susan Carlton Sifton.  I just friended her on Facebook, and now I look forward to seeing more of her work with Breyer 🙂 

Here are a few photos of my own models based on Sue’s sculpts:

Copperfox Challenge Day 4 (#CDCday4)

Day 4:   Your Favourite Model Horse Picture (#CDCday4)

What is your most favourite model horse picture? Maybe you already have one or maybe you can create a new one?

This photo is part of a series I did playing around with a barn and some fun accessories.  I just love this because the animals all look so expressive 🙂

Susecion, LeFire

“Little Ginger is out on one of her her early explorations of the big wide world beyond the comfy stall she was born into.  She is a friendly little foal, and looks to makes new friends right away.  Snowball the Samoyed looks on with calm amusement as tiny puppy Buttercup and Ginger try to make friends with Bluey the Butterfly.  Mom, Nightingale joins in the fun with her own curious eye.”

 

Copperfox Challenge Day 3 (#CDCday3)

Day 3:    Be a Model Horse (#CDCday3)

Imagine yourself as a model horse. What colour would you be? What mould would you be created on? What scale?

I really like the traditional sized Breyer Bluegrass Bandit.. and of course a beautiful subtle dappled palomino with lovely metallic highlights and lots ‘o “chrome” would be my obvious choice of coloring.  Below are photos that show the mold (but not the color), and the color (but on a different mold).  Combine the two and you know what I’d look like as a horse 🙂

This Mold:
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In This Color:
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Or Maybe This One:Model Horse Photo Session in the back yard.

But then I like this mold too… Oh decisions decisions!!

Copperfox Challenge Day 2 (#CDCDay2)

From the Copperfox Blog:
Day 2:
 Name your model or barn (#CDCDay2)

Have a go at naming the most recent addition to your herd by giving them a show name, stable name and pet name. As further ideas, why not do the same for your barn or stable yard and then make a barn tour video?

My most recent addition to my barn was actually THREE new stable friends that all arrived this week!  I definitely have some catch-up on names to do with my new purchases in 2015, but for now I’ll concentrate on these pretty ponehs.

Stone DAH 2016 – Tennessee Walking Horse in palomino: Armend (“mind of gold”)
Stone DAH 2016 – Trotting Drafter in buckskin: Hickory – just because it fits 🙂
Breyer WEG 2010 – Roxy in palomino: Rayna (“Beautiful to Gaze Upon”)

For now, here is a casual picture, taken of the three upon opening:

20160223_124419_resized I’ll post official photos in the appropriate Flickr collections (My Stone Inventory | My Breyer Inventory)

My virtual stable was born as “Clover Lake Stables” back in the 1980s.  I officially considered the activities I did with my model horses a hobby while I was a 4-H member and several of those activities were done through my local 4-H horse club. I always liked their symbol – a 4 leaf clover, so that was the first part.  I have also liked scenic lakes, and daydream of owning a big property with a lovely lake shaped like a clover, so thus was born “Clover Lake Stables”.  

A couple years ago I renamed my virtual property to Clover Lake Acres, to encompass not just my horses, but my dogs, other animals and various activities (in my virtual world of course though I have done real life dog training instruction!)

Nowadays, when I daydream of being involved in training animals or people, I like to use the name the “Eclectic Approach”.  I am fascinated with training theories and techniques and pride myself on using any number of these to best suit my particular client or animal, real life (“RL”) or virtual.