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!”

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 #10

So.. I got through all 9 days of the Copperfox Challenge until the last… It just seemed overwhelming at the time, even though I DO like to write!  Fortunately. having done all the challenges, my mind was “rigged” for model horses.  My husband and I went on a trek one weekend, and I took one of my horses with me…..

Saffron’s Big Adventure

The day dawned bright and cool.. a few soft clouds in the sky, and new friends to meet along the journey.


On the way in to the park, Saffron met a new friend..


They became best buddies immediately 🙂


Great ambitions…


It had been a long winter.. not the worst, but long.. and she was thrilled to be able to take a moment to enjoy the flowers emerging from the dead leaves around her.


Mighty big world out there!



Who said I couldn’t climb?


Copperfox Challenge Day 9 (#CDCDay9)

Day 9:   Plan to go to a live show or enter a photo show (#CDCDay9)

A bigger challenge for today! Find out what live shows are in your area and plan to attend one. Live Show is one of the best parts of the model horse hobby and the best way to experience them is to have a go. Alternatively, find a photo show online and enter a picture.

Well, that one is easy – signing up was a breeze.. now preparing?? That’s a different story.. One never realizes just HOW MUCH preparation is needed for live model horse showing.  To show the extent of what must be done, here is my current task list for the show in May:

Pocono Ponies Live Show Goals

Prepare for and participate in several halter classes with well thought out breeds and documentation on all.

Sort Sub-Goal Progress
A Sign up for the live show. Done.  I’ve paid for and am planning to attend the Pocono Ponies Live show in May.
B Determine models to enter in halter classes (keep in mind max 2, $1 each additional entries). Created photo collection and am gathering photos as “hopefuls”.
C Determine appropriate breeds based on general conformation and coloring. I’ve looked up some information, but need to do more research for each individual model.
D Create documentation for all halter entries. They must include both photos and a brief, written summary. Focusing currently on the above, plus getting through some parts of my Performance sub-goals below, which take more time to prepare for.

Prepare for and participate in at least THREE performance classes with appropriate tack that is placed correctly.

Sort Sub-Goal Progress
A Sign up for the live show. Done.  I’ve paid for and am planning to attend the Pocono Ponies Live show in May.
B Review current model horse tack inventory and create chart of tack needs. Done. See above chart.
C Purchase additional tack that I can’t upgrade/repair in my own inventory. Bought a western saddle, english dressage set (saddle, bridle), western accessories set (headstall, reins, breastcollar, saddle pad), and three english snaffle bridles.  Still need to commission a bridle to go with my australian saddle.
D1 Take photos, then post existing tack online for critiqueing.  Use the “amish horse stand” to hang stuff. Answers will help determine what needs doing for D2.
D2 Repair, upgrade tack I own to bring it as close to current standard as possible. I’ve removed oxidized buckles on a couple bridles. Need to get out jewelry cleaner and attempt to restore.
E FINISH the In-progress western saddle I started to create eons ago. Not started yet.
F Determine models to use in said performance classes. Created photo collection and am gathering photos as “hopefuls”.
G Determine exactly WHAT each set will be doing for each performance class. I’ve pinned lots of ideas on Pinterest so far, but this part is a bit down the line yet.
H Create documentation for all performance entries.   Yeeesh.. Not even a glint in my eye yet!  Too much else to finish!

So, looking at this I realize I need to finish this challenge and get myself in gear and get ready for this show!! 

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 2016 – Day 1 (#CDCDay1)

So, I just read on another model horse collector’s page about the Copperfox Challenge, hosted by Copperfox Models, a new model horse company based in Britain.

It looked easy and cute, so I thought I’d do a post on my almost dead blog here to participate.

I’m late to coming into this challenge, so I’m going to just start with Day 1, today, February 8th:
Quoted from Copperfox Website:
Day 1:  Inspiration Day (#CDCDay1)
An easy start to our challenge! Find something that inspires you. It could be a picture of an unusual colour of horse that you would like to turn into a model, a how-to tutorial video or a piece in your favourite magazine about collecting things that you love. Or it could be a song, film, piece of poetry- whatever it is, find something that gets your creativity going!

This might not be the most beautiful photo – I enjoy photography as a hobby and I have much nice photos, BUT… this is my own, and to me, it gets me thinking about stables, barns, horse properties, etc… and since this is all about being creative with my model horses, I thought this was appropriate 🙂



Inspiration? Well, this is my favorite mantra right now:


For fun?  Well I don’t want to get in trouble for copyright infringement, so I invite my viewers to note the signature in lower right of this illustration..unfortunately I found this through google, so I can’t give a link to the original creator’s location… however.. can I just say how ADORABLE this little creature is?  I pinned a small batch of these onto my Pinterest Fantasy Board a while back, and they just make me smile 🙂


So there’s that for today.  Will post next challenge tomorrow!

Weekend Adventures

Ted and I hiked at Stokes State Forest Saturday. Great day. We started out at the park office where we picked up a map.  Ted has a real interest in the history, plight and prognosis of the famed American Chestnut We hiked up to the Culvers Fire Tower, and a guy from the forest fire service was there and invited us up to the actual station. VERY cool view up there. We actually looked DOWN at the vultures 🙂 We chatted for a few minutes and then “Carl” spotted a puff of smoke. It was easy to see and he talked us through the process of reporting a smoke sighting. That particular puff was probably just some illegal burning. Apparently you can burn in certain places in NJ with a permit, but you have to be registered and can only do it on certain days, so he has a list that he checks to see who is scheduled for burning. Just a couple minutes later he spotted another puff, far off in the distance. This one I couldn’t see no matter how hard I tried, and it was apparently hard to nail down, because we stayed out of his way and quiet for 10 minutes as he called in, gave coordinates, checked again, etc., trying to confirm it with a spotter closer to the site.  We had hoped he would be able to finish the call so we could talk more with him, but when it became apparent this one was going to take a while we waved to him and made a quiet exit so he could do his work. As we left I thought about how fortunate we were were that we had that opportunity to speak with Carl and learn about the job of a Forest Fire employee. There were other hikers who arrived as we climbed down the tower who probably didn’t get the same opportunity as us because Carl was busy when we left. The old cliche “right time, right place” seems to fit that moment.

Ted had been here previously and had enjoyed walking along the Appalachian Trail which happened to cross one of the regular trails at the fire tower. I knew of two letterboxes that were down the hill on a couple lower trails and had anticipated finding them.  Since we had spent more time than we expected checking out the Blight Resistance Trial area, time had gone by quickly and once we were done with the tower, and after looking at a map, we realized we didn’t have time to do both.  After some discussion, and considering Ted had run out of water, we opted for what he thought was the easier option, to find the letterboxes.

We took the lower tower trail down the same route we had traveled the weekend before and again wound up at the intersection of a few of the main trails. We found one box in the vicinity and after debating if we could find the other one and get out of the woodsy trail before dark, we went for it and took off at a quick pace. We were pleased to find the second box in good daylight and were fine on the trail to the road, but by then the sun was just skimming the tops of the trees along the road so our timing was just right. The road itself was about a mile back to our car so Ted was happy that in the end we hiked about 4 miles.

Sunday we didn’t hunt for any letterboxes. I went to church early to practice for worship and Ted joined me during the service. Afterwards Ted bolted out and home to mow our lawn and I drove to Parsippany Library to set up a display for National Wildlife Refuge Week.

Setting up the display took 40 minutes longer than I had expected and I was felt tired when I got done. When I called Ted to tell him I was on my way home and to ask what he wanted to do he had a suggestion that worked well. In a brochure we had picked up Saturday at the park, he saw a “Moonlit Hike” going on that very evening at the Round Valley Recreational Area down near Readington. After resting a couple hours at home we drove down to Round Valley Recreation Area. Round Valley was a reservoir that was created from flooding a valley of farms. The story is a little sad (farmers were “thrown out”), but it is a beautiful park these days. We took nice mile or so walk around part of the reservoir, and then headed back to the parking lot where we met up with a group of people who were there for the “Halloween Moonlit Hike”. It is one of the few times visitors are allowed in the park after 6pm and is done on the weekend closest to Halloween when the moon is at it’s fullest. The group was large, 30 of us, many of them younger children. It was a rather noisy bunch, but the walk was still fun. The moon was just gorgeous and you could see your path by moonlight alone (if not for the kids who insisted on having the flashlights out). We were glad we got out a bit, even if it was a slower pace and the moon was just phenomenal.