Archive for July 2010

Frequent Comment   2 comments

The trip Marion and I made over to Arroyo Grande to buy daylilies has paid off.  Yesterday I got my first bloom.

Its name is Frequent Comment, and it is a beauty.

This is not its true color, though.  I took this picture very early in the morning, and the smoke from the Bull and West fires was coloring the light.  Everything looked orange.  The shot I got later, after I watered, is much truer.

Gorgeous.  And another plant has sent up a spike of buds.  It’ll be fun to see what it produces.  I’ve got to get over this urge to immortalize every single flower that blooms for me, though.  My hard drive is going to be all filled up with flower pictures.

The fires in the mountains seem to be coming under control; at least until the next one.  It’s going to be a long fire season.  Things are still pretty green here in the river bottom, though, so we’ll hope we will escape any large fires.  It seems as though one fire inspires all of the latent firebugs to have one of their Very Own.

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Posted July 31, 2010 by stablewoman in Flowers

Good Ol’ Duffy   Leave a comment

My horse Duffy has been pretty neglected for a while.  I suspect he doesn’t mind much; he likes lazing around the pen stuffing his face.  But both he and I could use more work than that.

Anyhow, I’ve at least started making it out to his pen in the morning to put his fly mask on, and taking it off in the evening.  That led to considerable embarrassment a day or two ago, when boarder Wendy had to retrieve him and put him back in his pen for me.  It seems I must have gone in the gate to put his mask on, then ducked through the fence to take it off, and totally forgotten to latch his gate — something I’ve given others a hard time for.

He then romped up and down his pen for a while, and I figured he was telling me he was bored.  So the next morning I turned him out in the big arena. 

He had a good time.

He bucked and played and ran for a while, then went and waited by the gate to let me know he was ready to go back.  He is sure a striking color right now.

But I went to the other side and waved a carrot at him.

“Carrot?  Did somebody say carrot?”

Then he was ready to go back.

Andrew trimmed his feet this morning.  He’s ready to go — if I can get myself going first.  Billy’s better all the time; I should have time to play with him now.

Posted July 30, 2010 by stablewoman in Horses

More Old Pictures 2   1 comment

A  few months after yesterday’s picture, but just before our marriage, we went on a backpacking trip in the Whitneys.  Let me tell you, there could not be a better way to test-drive your future spouse than going on a camping trip in high, rugged mountains.

This is Siberian pass. 

It’s high enough that our little group was going step . . . step . . . breathe.  Step . . . step . . . breathe.  This was an organized trip for schoolteachers, and you got college credit.  A couple of P. E. teachers had to be hauled out the first day, but all of the Fairfax district teachers made it.  We were proud.

We asked someone to take this picture on the slopes of Siberian Pass.

The sky was just incredible.  At this point, my brand new backpack’s shoulder straps had rubbed my collarbones raw.  Billy carried my pack and his the whole last day.  See what I mean about husband testing?

We didn’t even get to sleep in the same tent.  Those were the days when teachers had to act with Propriety.  I slept with the girls.  Billy and I weren’t married yet.

A few days later (my collarbones were still sore) we were off to correct that.

And I’ve never regretted it.

By the way — no, I don’t remember what I had in my hand in yesterday’s picture.  It looks like paper of some kind, and Billy might be holding a little notebook.  It’s been forty years, after all; but I’ll ask him.  He just might remember.

Posted July 29, 2010 by stablewoman in People

More Old Pictures   3 comments

I don’t have many pictures of Billy and me together, so I thought it was time to scan in some of those I do have and clean them up a bit.

Below is the first picture ever taken of us together, all young and skinny.  I remember it well because it was also the first time he ever hugged me; thus the expression of surprised delight on both faces.  The year was 1970.

WordPress seems to be having problems today, so I’ll save the rest of the story until tomorrow.

Posted July 28, 2010 by stablewoman in People

Out and About   Leave a comment

With the eight o’clock shots over with, I’m a little freer in the mornings now.  For the first time in two weeks, I got out for my morning walk.

Would you believe it — there are still horses out there!

I was struck with this grey Arab’s pristine whiteness.  Not a speckle to be seen — nothing but the large manure splotch.  I have this theory that all white horses secretly want to be pintos.  Thus, they lie in the largest pile of fresh manure they can find, with the results seen below.

Andrew has built a sheep pen while I was staying inside.  He wants to get some sheep to train his Border collies.  No sheep yet; that was going to wait until after a trip to the coast next week.  The training ought to be interesting.

The river is way down.  Our little backwater is covered with scum; algae and fluff from the cottonwoods and willows.  The water hyacinths are multiplying too.  It doesn’t look nice, but this is where the turtle was seen.  It’s alive with little fish, too; a good thing, because it’s ideal mosquito habitat.

And I bought a new fly mask for my Duffy.  I’m not sure it’s really his color.  Well, with luck I’ll be able to get out and give him something to do soon.

The big news around the county, of course, is the Bull fire up above Kernville.  It looks to be nasty; over five thousand acres burned (and six homes) in less than twenty-four hours.  We’ll be thinking of the firefighters and wishing them luck.

Posted July 27, 2010 by stablewoman in Around the Ranch, Horses, Kern River

Zzzz . . .   Leave a comment

We ate our big meal at noon, to avoid heating the kitchen too much; steak and mashed potatoes.  A heavy meal like that always puts us to sleep, and it did.  Thus the very late entry.

This is the first steak we have eaten from Boadecia the runaway heifer.  We don’t often name our cattle.  It’s better not to get personal with something you’re going to eat.  In Boadecia’s case, though, I like her much better as a nice porterhouse steak than I did in person.  It was a relief to get her in the freezer without having her escape again.  Galloping down a four-lane road is not the best place for a heifer, and she had gotten big enough to cause a nasty wreck.

All is well here, though there are not many people around except horseshoers.  We’ve had one or another out there most of the day.  It’s currently 97, and the last one just left.  Another good reason not to be a horseshoer!

Posted July 26, 2010 by stablewoman in Uncategorized

Cheeky   1 comment

The squirrel who’s made a habit of raiding the birdseed was very busy yesterday.  He ignored people watching him through the window, and even tapping on the glass.  He’s obviously doing very well for himself.

That is one fat squirrel.

He’s also cheeky — in more ways than one.

Ground squirrels don’t usually get as bold and tame as park squirrels, but this one appears to believe he has it made.  There’s plenty of food, the dog is too old and fat to be a problem, and there aren’t any cats.  It’s surprising there’s just one of him.

Or maybe there is more than one.  Ground squirrels look a lot alike.  Well, there’s plenty for birds and squirrels both — at least at this stage.

I gave Billy his last shot this morning.  Hooray!

Posted July 25, 2010 by stablewoman in Nature