Saturday, July 14, 2012

Ravenseyrie is on YouTube

 The Family Band at the Ravenseyrie Beach

Summer is in full swing here on Manitoulin Island with the swell of tourists and summer cottagers enjoying all the splendor our northern idyl has to offer.

After a short, worrisome drought this spring, our weather has been a variation of hot & humid days broken by a bit of rain providing cooler, fresher days that gradually build up again to more oppressive, muggy heat.  This time of the year is stressful for the horses, perhaps moreso than winter due to the drag of the heat and the all most non-stop onslaught of the biting insects.  When not hiding out in the forest for relief, the horses have their pick of optimum grazing--such delights that balance the scale for the less appreciated features of summer.

All the equids are finally completely free of old, dead winter hair and their streamlined sleek forms take my breath away.  I will need to put some updated photos in the sales pages.

The 2010 fillies, Tocara and Levada left Ravenseyrie exactly two weeks ago and are presently in quarantine in Southern Ontario, and in another two weeks will be ready to board a KLM flight to Europe--final destination, Austria.  I will write a full article on Levada and Tocara once they arrive safely to their new home.

When not enjoying the cooling features of working at my plien air beach studio, I have been sitting in front of Kevin's computer stumbling my way through iMovie and putting together what I hope are not only entertaining, but also educative videos of some of the amazing things we are privileged to witness here at the Ravenseyrie Sorraia Mustang Preserve.  Though our preserve remains a private affair and not open to the public, it gives me great pleasure to share the lives of these horses through the Journal of Ravenseyrie and now through specially crafted home movies I am posting to YouTube.

I placed a few raw videos up several months ago.  Then put up my first attempt to edit in appropriate music.  Yesterday  (after a long - on ongoing -  learning curve with the editing process) I put up my first mini-documentary telling the tale of the day last year when our firstborn colt, Animado had a standoff with his sire, Altamiro to protect Fada's newborn foal, Destimedo.  My video and photos are often out of focus, due to the atmospherics of the morning, the highly-charged scene playing out before me and my own layman's use of the digital camera.  Nevertheless, these images capture well the excitement and drama of that situation and while they would never qualify for official publication in a hard copy magazine, they are artfully suited to my mini-documentary.

I want to take a moment here and relay how thankful I am to composers like Kevin MacLeod who provide rather high quality music tracks, gratis, for use in such projects as YouTube videos.  Someone like me, with very limited finances, would otherwise never be able to legally edit in appropriate music to my documentaries.  I did a lot of searching for "royalty free" music to use in my video projects, and kept coming back to Kevin MacLeod's Incompetech website because he has such a great selection, makes it easy to search and select and download the tracks and, as mentioned already, offers all this hard work of his for free.  Donations are requested, but not mandatory, however, if you are like me and are filled with gratitude for an artist so willing to share his work, well, you give a donation or two to help support such efforts.

I also made use of some alternative type fonts when I was putting my still image storyboards together, which, like the music at Incompetech are (most of them) offered at no charge by a terrific website called

As I continue to work with my storehouse of photos and videos taken here at Ravenseyrie I will no doubt find many more articles to write and mini-documentary movies to create so that readers and viewers can appreciate the poetic life we have living with these wild horses.  May the beauty of Ravenseyrie serve as a healing counter-point to the otherwise negative energy generated by worldwide current events.