Archive for November 2010

Chilly Lily   2 comments

Another frost this morning; cold enough to cause some breakage.  Mostly it was frozen-up waterers, which require only a bounce to get them back on line. 

It was cheering to look out this morning and see this daylily valiantly blooming despite the cold.  It’s paler than the summer blooms, but otherwise perfect.  Under the patio cover, we don’t get actual frost, but it’s plenty cold.

There was a lot of frost, though.  These cottonwood leaves seem to be commiserating with each other on their fall.

This afternoon I worked with Bella a while.  Below she is wearing a harness bellyband — no crupper — and seems quite unconcerned.  She is examining her lead on the ground, and a moment later picked up the whip and shook it.  I wonder if she has ideas of turning the tables?

A moment after that, the bellyband broke.  Luckily it did not come off, which would have either scared her or convinced her she could get rid of it if she wanted.  I won’t use an old harness again, though.  I have to get a good one before we can go on.

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Posted November 30, 2010 by stablewoman in Flowers, Horses

Spot and Not   1 comment

I have decided Andrew’s sheep should be called Spot and Not.  Spot has a spotted face; Not . . . does not.  Here they are.  While Andrew was fetching firewood for us, he tethered them to the fence, with Spanky keeping a watchful eye on them.  Spanky expected them to make a break for it.

Spot is facing the camera; Not . . . is not. 

They are tiny little sheep, which I guess is typical of their breed.  Andrew wants to get a couple more like them, or better yet, purebreds.  The only trouble with this is that they would sure make tiny little lamb chops.

Maybe that’s their good fortune.

Posted November 29, 2010 by stablewoman in Uncategorized

Wooly Passers-by   Leave a comment

I glanced out of the window a little while ago, and saw Andrew and Courtney leading a big white dog.  At least, that’s what I thought I saw.  A second look showed me that the “dog” was actually two sheep.  Andrew was leading them;  Spanky and Gena were helping.  The idea was for the dogs to learn to keep the sheep moving.  Eventually, this will lead to working the sheep outside of their little pen.

That’s one thing I love about this place — you never know what you’re going to see when you look out.  It’s too bad I didn’t get a picture, but they’ll be doing it again soon.

It’s been another chilly day.  There was a barrel race on the other side, but it wasn’t a very large one.  I can understand why;  the weather’s not exactly inviting.  Still, there were quite a few people out, considering. 

Me, I’ll stay by the fire.

Posted November 29, 2010 by stablewoman in Uncategorized

In the Round Pen   2 comments

I haven’t featured Bella much lately, but she’s still around.  Today we worked in the round pen.  It was a cold gray morning, as you’ll see.

At first she just wandered around . . .

“Oh, you want me to trot?”

“What should I do now?  Take a bow?”

Actually, I didn’t ask her to do anything difficult or new, as it was cold and early.  It’s difficult for a youngster to concentrate when they’re feeling really, really good.

She spent a lot of the time, in fact, zipping around as fast as she could go; and a pony can get going pretty fast in a round pen.  Relatively speaking, that is. 

I would have had a picture of her running, but if you’re standing in the middle of the pen trying to take a picture of a rapidly circling object, do you know what happens?  Yep, you get dizzy.  I didn’t think it would be very dignified to wind up staggering around the pen.

Besides, people might get the wrong idea.

Posted November 27, 2010 by stablewoman in Horses

Another Cold One   Leave a comment

It was colder this morning than yesterday morning.  There was a skim of ice on some of the puddles; and where Billy had left water running, there was ice on the grass.

This frosty log made an interesting study in textures.

In the shade, the frost stayed on the ground until midmorning.  Here’s a view downriver, toward the new pens.  You can see Bella in the first one if you look closely; she’s not very big.

I made my way over to the usual picture-taking spot on the river.  The water hyacinth has turned a deep burgundy; the willows are turning gold; and the river is . . . a puddle.

We’re well above normal for rainfall, though, and there should be plenty of river in the spring.  The hyacinth will die soon, and be carried downstream with the rising waters.  It’ll be back.

In other news, I went to the dentist again Tuesday, and he informed me that I needed to have an extraction.  It’s scheduled for December 2.  I still have all of my teeth, up to now, so this will be a New Experience.  Wish me luck, please!

Posted November 26, 2010 by stablewoman in Kern River, Weather

Frosty Morn   1 comment

I hope everyone had as nice a Thanksgiving as we did.  We didn’t have a big sit-down dinner, as most everybody had two or three stops to make.  The family has gotten really extended.  So I just cooked a big bird and fed everyone who walked through, when they walked through.

It seems appropriate that we had the first real frost of the year on Thanksgiving morning.  When I woke up, this is what I saw.

I love to take pictures of frost.  So I shoved on a pair of shoes, and out I went.  The sun was just coming over the trees, making the frost sparkle like diamond dust.

On a more practical note, Billy had been out the night before, turning on hoses.  If there is water moving through the pipes, they won’t freeze.  It wasn’t a hard freeze, so we lost only one automatic waterer, already fixed.  I’ve said it before, but it is proved again every year; we couldn’t run this place the way we do anywhere it really gets cold.  Now it’s just cold enough to enjoy the fire . . .

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Posted November 26, 2010 by stablewoman in Weather

Woodsplitter   1 comment

Didn’t blog yesterday; I went to the dentist, shopped, and stayed busy all day.

While I was at the dentist, Billy went out and bought a woodsplitter.  I was sorry I didn’t get to see it working, but here are the results.

We’ve needed a woodsplitter for a long time, but it’s a fairly expensive and bulky piece of equipment, so we’d just been borrowing a neighbor’s.  With all of the eucalyptus wood we’ve got, though, it seemed like a good time.  Eucalyptus, it seems, is a very hard yet brittle wood.  It was a big disappointment to the turn-of-the-century entrepreneurs who introduced it to California, thinking to make a killing.  It’s not good for much except firewood — but it’s great for that!  We thought this might be too green yet, but it’s burning beautifully.

You can see it’s very splintery.  This is great for burning — the splinters take the flame quickly — but pretty darn hard on fingers.  It’s worth it, though.  It’s going to be cold for the next couple of days.  The forecasters are talking about record low highs.  There’s nothing like a sweet-smelling eucalyptus fire in chilly weather.

Posted November 24, 2010 by stablewoman in Around the Ranch, Weather