Archive for August 2009

Quail Pile   Leave a comment

Walking past this brush pile this morning, I heard a familiar, “pit-pit-pit” that I knew meant that quail were very near.  The pile isn’t pretty to look at, but it does mean shelter for lots of critters.  If you look very closely, you can see two quail.

 

quailinbrush

 

They are hard to see.  The male is just to the right of the willow trunk at the top center of the pile.  The female is in the shady spot at the bottom left.  Here’s a little closer look at the male.

 

quailaug09

 

It’s still not very good, but as shy and unapproachable as our quail are, I count it as a triumph.

It’s always hard to decide whether to leave these brush piles alone, or dispose of them.  I really like seeing the quail; there is no cuter bird, and the babies are even better; little walnut-sized fluffballs with twinkling legs.  Still, the fire season is upon us.  The news at noon said that someone had started no less than seven fires up near Lake Isabella, and they were evacuating Wofford Heights.  Fire is scary.

So I compromised by turning on the sprinkler line.  We’ll keep things nice and moist around the hourse, anyway.  And I don’t think the quail will mind.

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Posted August 31, 2009 by stablewoman in Uncategorized

Someday . . .   Leave a comment

 

rancheriane 

. . . it’ll be spring again. 

It’s another hot one here, but the end is in sight.  Everyone will tell you the Fair marks the real beginning of fall, and it’s only about three weeks away.

We had lots of riders enjoying the morning, but most everyone has gone home by now.  Things will pick up again in the evening.

There’s not a lot going on now, anyway, so I’ll sign off for now.

Posted August 30, 2009 by stablewoman in Uncategorized

No Gossip Here   1 comment

It’s important, I think, to keep this blog as positive as possible.  Except when it’s public information, such as the shootings downriver, I don’t pass on anything that a) seems negative, or b) is none of my business.  That said, let me add it’s really hard, with all of the juicy feudin’, fussin’, and fightin’ going on around us.  There’s plenty of talk and rumor — but you won’t hear it here!

It’s enough to say that people can be really strange; usually from taking themselves too seriously.

Instead of that gossip, here’s a close-up of a hummingbird giving me the raspberry. 

 

hummerclose

 

It’s another really hot day, but there are lots of people out enjoying their Saturday.  The strangest thing about this spell is that it’s been so much hotter over on the coast than here.  Who wants to go to the coast when it’s 106 in San Luis Obispo?

Good grief — I just checked, and right now, at one o’clock, it’s 110 in my old home town of Arroyo Grande.  We used to think we were dying if it got to eighty degrees!

Posted August 29, 2009 by stablewoman in Uncategorized

Old Sunset   Leave a comment

How can a sunset be old?  If it’s a picture taken in 2006.  I think that was the last time I got a really good summer sunset.  I’m so tired of blank washed-out skies that I hauled this oldie out.  It was taken after a thunderstorm.  I remember well puzzling over the strange noise outside, like the roar of an advancing army.  It was the roar of an advancing hailstorm instead.  It would sure be nice to have a genuine thunderstorm, like this one . . .

 

06sunset3email

 

There was a great story in the paper today, if a big lowering for me.  I have been walking six laps faithfully every morning, about three-quarters of a mile in half an hour.  That’s a mile and a half an hour.  The story was about a man who’s been walking three miles in an hour on the bike path.  With a walker.  It doesn’t even have wheels!  Oh, well, maybe someday I’ll be able to keep up with a walker, with my perfectly reasonably good legs.

Posted August 28, 2009 by stablewoman in Weather

My Hat   1 comment

Here is my favorite hat.  I think the slogan on it (Cowgirl Up!)  is a bit optimistic, but if I keep up my six laps I hope to be back in the saddle soon.  I love what they can do with machine embroidery these days.

 

myhat

 

It’s getting a little grubby now, but it’s still a good hat.

We got yet another call from someone wanting to buy the place a day or two ago.  We were both kind of curious to see what they thought it was worth, but figured that if we let them send us an offer, we’d never get rid of them. 

I can’t imagine there are many people now who understand how you can actually be attached to a place.  Hardly anyone stays in one place, tending and developing their land — not in the sense “developers” use! — through generations any more.  But we love our river bottom home, and actually don’t want to sell it for any amount.  Someday we’ll have our ashes scattered here.  We’ll try to find a way to protect that part of the property, even if future generations have to sell the rest.

I’m trying another theme.  I kind of like the way the green background works on this one.  There are lots to try, and they keep adding new ones.  I’ll probably keep this one a while.

Posted August 27, 2009 by stablewoman in Uncategorized

Friends   1 comment

I always enjoy watching these pasture buddies.  They get along so well, and are so happy together.  From the moment we put them together, they ate out of the same pile.

 

tallnsmall

 

They are, as you can see, very different in size.  Yet the big black Percheron never tries to throw his weight around.  His buddy is not all that small; it’s just the other horse is very tall indeed. 

They look like each other’s shadows; but only the big horse is truly black.  The other is what horsemen call brown; but it’s not very brown, either.  He looks blackish, but you can see the rusty shading on his flanks that make him a brown.  This color is so hard to define that you will see many Thoroughbreds registered as “dark bay or brown”.

Pasture buddies can get, as is often seen, a bit too friendly.  When they are separated, a great deal of frantic whinnying and even panicked behavior can result.  Some horses never seem to care about leaving their friends until you take them on an outing; then, in a strange place, they find security by “buddying up”.  This can be really frustrating for the rider.

Horses are fascinating creatures.  Their behavior is a lifetime study.

Posted August 26, 2009 by stablewoman in Horses

Shirley?   2 comments

In the depths of a dusty old trunk, in the back of an old tackroom, I found a faded photo of a famous child star.  And here it is.

 

beckysepia2

 

Well, it’s a good story, anyway.  The cars in the background kind of give it away.  But isn’t it a great photo?  This is my niece Rebecca (a new fourth grader) as taken by my niece Emily (who just entered seventh grade).  She took it with the brand new camera she won in a library photo contest. 

To avoid possible embarrassment, I won’t go on about how adorable Becky is.  (But isn’t she?  She got first place for her age in the library’s poetry contest.)  I think — ahem! — that the picture shows a bit of talent.  It’s perfect for the sepia tones.

I remember fourth grade well.  It was my favorite time in elementary school.  Seventh grade, on the other hand, was tough.  I suspect, though, that both girls are going to do well.

In fourth grade, of course, California kids invariably make a model mission.  I wonder what Missouri kids do?

Posted August 25, 2009 by stablewoman in People