Archive for August 2010

The Fashion Plate   Leave a comment

I was walking by boarder Anthony’s good horse Ken this morning, and stopped to take a second look.  Ken seemed determined to outdo all of the other horses in Style.

He was eating his breakfast, and not inclined to move out into the sun so that I could capture the full dazzling effect of his hood, but believe me; it was bright.

Of course, in reality he had to have an abcess lanced, and the hood is protecting his bandage.  The edge of it is just showing behind his ear.  But I would like to think he is enjoying being the most fashionable horse on the place, as well.

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Posted August 31, 2010 by stablewoman in Horses

Another Panorama   Leave a comment

After making the panorama of the river, I thought it might be fun to have one of the stables.  I went out to the middle of the barn/trailer area and took a couple of shots facing north.  After I fiddled with them on the computer, I ended up with this:

Not bad, but if you look at the shadows, you can see the join.  I’ll fiddle with it some more.  (You can also see, if you look very closely behind the trailers, make out friend and boarder Kay sitting there munching an apple and communing with her lovely horse Holly.)

After the barbecue Sunday, we ended up with a lot of food.  This morning, we got another shipment from the church garden, including zucchini, eggplant, okra, and melons.  I don’t think we’re in any danger of starving soon.

Billy loves fried okra . . .

Posted August 30, 2010 by stablewoman in Around the Ranch

Perfect Day   Leave a comment

Wow!  What a beautiful day!  If it reaches 80, that’s all it will do.  The air is clear, skies bright — feels like fall.

I went out this morning and took a couple of river pictures.  Then I played with them, stitching them together to make a panorama.  Here it is.

The program sure does a good job.  The sky could be improved, as the joining point is just a bit obvious.  I could work on that by hand.  You can see, though, how long the shadows were even about eight-thirty when I took this shot.  The days are shortening up.

Andrew had an interesting assignment today.  He went out to the old Buck Owens estate to do some farrier work.  He met one of the Owens sons — Buddy, did he say?  I’m not sure.  Anyway, he enjoyed looking at the place.

Does that make us Famous by three four degrees of separation?

Posted August 29, 2010 by stablewoman in Kern River

A Taste of Fall   Leave a comment

It’s 78 degrees and it’s almost two o’clock.  Tomorrow’s supposed to be even cooler.  The TV weather people all agreed it was going to be a “preview of fall”  this weekend, and so it is.

The light in the morning has changed, too.  It slants in more steeply and has a golden cast.  I have a crystal hung in the kitchen that catches the morning sun and makes little rainbows on the walls and floor.  Those bright specks are moving slowly across the linoleum, day by day.

Of course there are a lot of people out today.  There’s some extra activity, because everyone’s cleaning up for a barbecue tonight.  It’s to welcome back one of our boarders, Dave, who’s been over in Afghanistan with the military.  I understand he was not in a combat group, but was in a unit trying to teach the Afghanis to raise crops other than opium poppies.  Good luck with that; but everyone’s glad he’s back, especially his wife Kelly and their little girls.

Below is a shot of one of our hummers at the feeder.  I would like to think it’s the one we rescued yesterday . . .

. . . and who knows; maybe it is.

Posted August 28, 2010 by stablewoman in Around the Ranch, Nature

Hummer Wreck   1 comment

Not the big kind that goes roaring down the highway, but the little one that buzzes around the garden.

Ferrabie and I were in the living room yesterday, when we heard an impact on the front window.  Not the big Thump that a dove makes, but a little tiny thump.  Sure enough, when we rushed over and looked down, there was a hummingbird quivering beneath the window.

I rushed out with a plastic container, scooped him into it, and deposited him in the shaded limbs of the silver lupine.  We watched him for a moment, and he sat up, panting, and buzzed his wings a couple of times.  He looked like he might make it.  I would have gotten a nice close-up picture, but we weren’t sure he’d survive, and there’s something depressing about snapping a photo of a dying bird.

We went in and left him in peace, and in a few minutes he was gone.  Flown, that is, not died.  I went out and peered into the dirt below the container to be sure.   He had a few fuschia spangles on his head, so he might have been a young male Anna’s.

That same day, we heard an engine start up, and when we looked out there was a fountain erupting from the river.  Now, the river does not usually shoot upward.  A second look revealed a fire truck sitting in the road, with a couple of firemen and a pump down at the riverbank.  Curiosity took me down to see what they were up to.  It seems they were just scouting out the river, so that if there were to be a fire, they’d know something about the lay of the land.  I showed them our big fire valve and gave them some other information, and they were off to explore.  That’s a very good idea, in my opinion.

Poor Andrew had come down Wednesday, drenched in sweat and up to his elbows in grease.  His cooler had gone out.  Of course it would be the day it was one hundred eleven.  He packed his mattress outside, but still must have spent a miserable night.  He got the cooler replaced yesterday, when it was only a hundred and six.

And . . . the last daylily with buds bloomed yesterday.  Its name is Javanese Jewel, and it’s a delicate pink with a slightly darker eye.

There are still three that haven’t bloomed yet, but I suspect I’ll have to wait for spring to see them.

The predictions for the weekend are still for eighty degrees on Sunday — or maybe even seventy-nine.  We’re not holding our breath.  It’s still going to be close to one hundred today.

Posted August 27, 2010 by stablewoman in Flowers, Kern River, Nature

102 at Noon   Leave a comment

This will be short — it is hot.  One hundred and two at noon, and going up.  It’s very dry, so we’re comfortable under the swamp cooler so far.  The horses take the dry heat well, too. 

One more thing.  Another of the new daylilies bloomed yesterday.  Its name is Beautiful Edgings, because it’s supposed to have rose-colored ruffled edges; but it has only a trace of pink, at least in this first bloom.  I think I would call it Lemon Sherbet. 

But it’s a nice cool color!

Posted August 25, 2010 by stablewoman in Uncategorized

Heat Wave?   Leave a comment

It’s hotter today, all right.  But the ninety-four we’ve gotten so far is a long way from the 103 predicted.  We’ll see if it heats up drastically this afternoon.

We’re all ready here, anyway.  The cooler is hooked up properly again, the lawn is all filled in and smoothed over — everything’s back to normal.  There’s going to be a little stain on the rug, but that’s the worst.

Heat waves mean watching the horses closely, though.  Like people, they can get dehydrated, but you can’t explain to them that they should drink more.  Generally, nature clues them in; but still, we watch them.  Especially the old ones.

I’m staying cool by rereading — for the umpteenth time — Dorothy Sayers 1934 masterpiece, The Nine Tailors.  Reading a mystery that begins in a blizzard and ends in a flood seems to be helping.  There are no tailors, by the way, in The Nine Tailors.  The title refers to the nine teller or tailor strokes that are traditionally rung for the death of a man in England.  (Six for a woman, three for a child.  They didn’t even know they were sexist in those days.) The book is really more about bells, and it has some wonderful writing, mostly about the “peculiar to the English” art of change-ringing.  Here’s a passage I remembered almost word for word, though it had been years since I read it.

. . . to the sleeping counties went the music of the bells — little Gaude, silver Sabaoth, strong John and Jericho, glad Jubilee, sweet Dimity and old Batty Thomas, with great Tailor Paul bawling and striding like a giant in the midst of them.  Up and down went the shadows of the ringers upon the walls, up and down went the scarlet sallies flickering roofwards and floorwards, and up and down, hunting in their courses, went the bells of Fenchurch St. Paul.

There’s a murder, of course; a mysterious cipher; and a portrait of English village life in the 1930’s.  It’s hard to remember that this was a contemporary novel in its time.  I guess they all become historicals eventually.  Dorothy Sayers couldn’t have known how all this would be swept away by World War II, and the bells of England would be silenced for long years.

Anyway, it’s a very cooling book!

Posted August 24, 2010 by stablewoman in Uncategorized