Best Friends Animal Society – Cat World
I’m just going to say it. I saved the best for last. Best Friends Animal Society CAT WORLD. Yes, I have cats. I’d have more animals like a dog and a goat if my apartment and San Francisco allowed me to but, I have just two delightful, rescued cats. This was the largest group of volunteers I encountered by far. Bunny House was just me, Dogworld and Horse Haven were three. There were about eight this time. We watched a video and were then told about the different cat houses we could see. Sure, it was tempting to see kittens and the yungins but I knew immediately what group was probably best for my goal – documenting and sharing this experience in hopes more people will volunteer. I spoke up immediately in case anyone else wanted it and was assured I had chosen well. I chose the special care cats at Quincy House. Our host was pleased too with my choice. I walked in and it was by far the craziest scene even with rabbits in dining rooms and hallways at Bunny House with cats rambling about, people milling and working and cat “stuff” just everywhere including the middle of […]
Best Friends Animal Society – Horse Haven
Best Friends Animal Society Horse Haven was stop two on my schedule. I completely anticipated scooping manure when I had my time at Horse Haven but what I did not expect is just how beautiful and educational it would turn out to  be. Ron was there waiting for us and just as nice as could be in his cowboy hat. It was a great morning at Dogworld and the afternoon at Horse Haven was a great finish. We hopped into the car (I know it has a name but it escapes me now) and left the main stable area to go to the other areas. First stop was to check out three mares in a massive area. It was just breathtaking to see the natural beauty and how the pasture blended perfectly with the surroundings. Ron told us about the horses characters and we took either a rake or brushes. Curly Sue came right up to me so I started to give her a brushing. Nope, it was ok for a while but what she really wanted was to just have a pet and a scratch. Ron was right, they were just sweet and friendly girls. However, there was a beautiful […]
Best Friends Animal Society – Bunny House
Another stop at Best Friends Animal Society Bunny House. Surprisingly, I would say this is where I worked the hardest. You don’t think a rabbit would need much, want much or use much but they do! Michelle showed me how to clean the pens and then it was my job to go down the row. They do this EVERY SINGLE DAY. The rabbits have indoor and outdoor access. Each pen, I was only in one building and there are more, took about 10 minutes to clean out, sweep, wash and replace linens, toys, bowls and litter boxes. Some rabbits were friendly and almost wanted to join in and others shot outside not wanting any part of it. It was, to me, an astounding amount of things needed for them from fresh water to linens and hay and toys. This is only a small part of what happens here. There are numerous people who help at the Bunny House. There are full time and part time employees, seasonal volunteers and then random volunteers like me. Many of these rabbits came from hoarding situations and some have special needs and each rabbit gets the care they need. Michelle was very adamant too […]
Best Friends Animal Society Dogtown, a Sleepover and Raffle
I love road trips. You pack up your car and keep the agenda to a minimum and just go. I’ve wanted to volunteer at Best Friends Animal Society for a long time. I’ve known of them for years and have been a supporter. But, it finally just worked out that a road trip was doable and time at Best Friends finally in the calendar. Best Friends Animal Society Dogtown provides amazing homes for a wide variety of animals who are available for adoption and if not, will always have a home. They became better known when they took in the “Vic Dogs” and the TV show called Dogtown put them in the spotlight. They are a no-kill shelter providing homes for cats and dogs to pigs, goats and horses and feathered creatures too. Most of my friends would say I am a “cat person”. But this is solely because, well, I have two cats. I just don’t have the means to provide the right home to a dog living in a small apartment in San Francisco AND I like big, sloppy, hairy dogs. I registered for four different areas and Dogtown was stop one. I KNEW I’d have “sleepovers” so made […]
Travel Photography of Russia + Baltics
May was a crazy, crazy month! Alas, why I have not posted in eons. With the travel, work, preparations and just general life, I got way behind. It started with a wedding in Bali (the very next blog to be sure) and a week later on a plane to Lithuania. This trip was planned way back last year and the Bali wedding was just a last minute thing. It was crazy awesome! From sweating on a black sand beach at an amazing resort to experiencing White Nights for the first time. I love to travel and well, you can imagine travel photography is part of the routine. My trip started in Vilnius, Lithuania then to Riga, Latvia and Tallinn, Estonia, St Petersburg, Russia and lastly Moscow. It was awesome! As a history buff, it was incredible to be in central locations to the story of WWII, communism, KGB, Jews and Nazi’s and the incredibly long history of this area. Every place was beautiful, safe, riddled in history and a photograph to be made. First, the countries are very easy to travel, the people truly helpful and delightful and as a very minimum I learn thank you in every language for […]
08 Jun 2016 in Personal Travel, by
Visiting Dominican Republic + International Surgical Foundation
A recent trip to Dominican Republic in support of the International Surgical Foundation. This trip was short, purposeful and enlightening. The ISF is a team of people trying to help those in need in Dominican Republic who have mostly scoliosis or other back related problems. The goal was to see the average day in the life of a Dominican and specifically that of the girl who inspired it. This is an abbreviated story of lifestyle documentary photography as I saw it and lived it. It was simply a weekend to try and cram as much in as possible. I met with one of my oldest friends in Miami who is on the board of ISF (Her brother is the founder) and it was great to catch up. We arrived in DR and the goal was to show daily life of Dominicans, the hospital and a bit of what it is like to have severe scoliosis. Our “Day in the Life” didn’t go exactly as planned because well, customs. We were guests and as such we treated with food and drinks and everyone dressed in their Sunday best or Friday night dancing clothes. Even with that, you can’t help but feel […]
Feeding my heart and soul ~ Humane Farming, Documentary Photography
There are times, once your passion has become your business, that you have to go back to your roots. Doing a personal assignment can fill up your creative soul again when you lose touch. So, being a farm girl way back in the day, I chose to do some documentary photography at a working, humane farm in Nicasio called Devil’s Gulch. I spent the day just roaming about. Learning about the rabbits, watching the pigs and piglets and stumbling into the Silky chickens in the most random of places. I was utterly exhausted at the end of this day. I was up before the sun, which those that know me know this is way out of character. I chose this as a self assignment to nurture my soul. It is a working farm and vineyard and I happily say a humane and organic farm. Silky chickens roamed free and laid eggs in the most random of places. Sows and their piglets rested in spaces filled with straw and an open door to the outside or heat lamps when they wanted to sleep. Rabbits that one day would be on the tables of diners at French Laundry were named and loved […]
A Great Northwest Road Trip ~ Travel Photography ~ by Misti Layne
Every year I take at least one if not more trips usually abroad to gain new perspectives, see different things and experience new places. This year, I oddly decided to stay local for the first time in decades. I took a road trip to the northwest. I’d always wanted to do this but the likes of Turkey, Italy, Egypt, France always seemed to call louder. This was a first and won’t surely be the last road trip I take. I didn’t set out to make any images for National Geographic or the like. The travel photography in this blog were just simply to make me happy. Many were taken while I was driving down the road. I can’t even tell you how many it took to get a straight horizontal horizon! But I got to see the colors of fall that we just don’t get in San Francisco and that was goal #1 on the list. The rest were to drive from sun up to sun down, meet some locals and learn a thing or two. The freedom of not having any plans or times set was wonderful. I drove when I felt like it and stopped when I was […]
29 Oct 2014 in Music, Personal Travel, by
A Day at Bloomfield Farms ~ San Francisco Photographer ~
I recently took a tour of Bloomfield Farms in Petaluma and this farm girl born now city girl was in a very happy place. It’s an actual working farm with horses, chickens, goats, gardens and a barn. It’s a place full of nature, beauty, animals and a lot of fresh air. It’s easy to imagine a wedding there with a number of different options possible. So many surprises around every corner and just a pleasant place to be. Thanks for the tour and I shall be back–with a bag of carrots this time!
12 Jun 2014 in Personal Travel, by
Chilling in Saint Thomas Virgin Islands
Ok, nothing really special about these images but for the few days of rest and relaxation in Saint Thomas and Saint John recently. I ran into a lot of the lizard species and including one that seemingly wanted to come home with me!
02 Jun 2014 in Personal Travel, by