Archive for August 2011
Boarders Toni and Wendy got some nice pictures of Cider and Xena a couple of days ago. Here are two I really liked.
Xena first. There’s something feral about her. With her remote golden eyes and pricked ears, you could easily see there being something wild in her background; a coyote or dingo. Or Anubis, the Egyptian jackal-god.
Cider, on the other hand, with her soft dark eyes and floppy ears, is a thoroughly domesticated dog. She loves hearth and home, and would never go chasing silly sheep.
They’re both wonderful dogs, though; and oddly enough, Cider is the better watchdog. She keeps track of strangers and things out of place, and her deep woofs have alerted us to more than one problem. However, her idea of a problem and ours don’t always coincide. She’ll give just as much attention to a strange dog trotting through as to a loose horse. She doesn’t give false alarms. There’s always something there when she barks — even if the humans can’t always figure out what it is.
There probably won’t be an entry tomorrow. Marion and I are planning to leave at the crack of dawn for Lancaster. There we’ll take a look at little Kodachrome and see if he will be the one to help me practice driving.
I sure hope things work out.
This morning, before it got too hot, I decided to walk down to the river and do a little exploring. The little backwater by our house, which has given the dogs so much pleasure all summer, was nearly dry.
I thought I could easily walk over to the main part of the river, along the little path that’s been there for years. I soon found out it wasn’t so easy.
The old path was choked with downed trees and dead branches that the current had deposited everywhere.
Everywhere I turned, the way was blocked. In addition, all the branches were festooned with willow and cottonwood fluff, plus lots of spiderwebs. And spiders.
It made me think of Miss Havisham’s eerie house in Dickens’ Great Expectations.
It was darker and spookier than these pictures show, and you had to fight your way through. I collected lots of leaves, fluff, and spiderwebs (and maybe spiders) in my hair, scratches on my legs, and nearly lost a shoe in a boggy spot.
As I tried seeming opening after opening, only to be blocked, I began to wonder if it was possible to be lost a couple of hundred feet from the house. At least there were no other tracks, not counting raccoons’, so I wasn’t going to meet Jason or Freddy.
At last I found a way through, and there was the main river.
I looked down, and saw quite a large fish slowly swimming upstream. I tried to get his picture, but the water was just too murky. I’ll bet the fishing would be pretty good right there.
I made my way back, following my own footprints for most of the way. It’s a lot of fun, having an adventure (if only a small one) so close to your own back door!
We were a little startled yesterday when a new sheep showed up in Andrew’s pen. We were expecting a lamb or two, but this was a full-sized, very woolly, sheep . . . with a collar and leash.
We figured that someone had given it to him, and sure enough, that was the case. The problem is that this is a wool sheep, not a hair sheep like the rest of his flock. That means it needs shearing, and soon in this heat. Luckily he’s got a buddy who knows how to shear sheep.
Meanwhile, sis-in-law Elizabeth forwarded some excellent animal pictures to me. I thought this one was appropriate:
But this one I had seen before, and it’s one of my all-time favorite pictures.
It’s the expressions that make it; on the chick (MOM! That’s my spot!), the hen (You better not mess with my kid!), and the pup (Zzzz . . .).
It’s just a great picture.
You learn (if you’re lucky) something new every day. Yesterday I learned that sheep really like daylilies.
Andrew and the dogs were walking the sheep around the place, letting them graze in spots, and he left the dogs outside with the sheep while he came in and chatted a bit. Unfortunately, he didn’t explain to the dogs — or the sheep — that they were supposed to be eating the grass.
They made their way down the potted daylilies I bought this spring, nibbling each and every one. I was hoping for some flowers this year, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.
Although, on one neatly trimmed plant, they did leave a bud stalk.
So maybe it’ll produce one flower. And at least a couple of the ewes are going to lamb soon; maybe daylilies are full of necessary expectant-mother vitamins.
But I’ll still be ready to dart out and defend the daylilies the next time the sheep pass by.
It’s another very hot day, so I’ll be shutting down the computer soon. But I guess we shouldn’t complain; at least we don’t get hurricanes!
It looks as if I’ll be off to Lancaster sometime next week, to look at Kodachrome. Trish sent some more pictures . . .
I just love that buggy.
It’ll be hot over on the desert, but it’s plenty hot here; and muggy to boot. I’m posting a little early, because I think I’ll shut down the computer through the heat of the day. It’s hazy out there, and the air quality is not great.
Until tomorrow . . .
I looked out of the window late yesterday afternoon, and noticed how the sun was making jewels of the drops from the sprinklers. So I sashayed out there to try to capture the effect with my camera, though I knew how difficult that would be. You just can’t capture glitter without motion.
So, here’s my best effort.
Nope — it just doesn’t do it. But take my word; it was pretty.
Marion and I went out on Minka and Kitty yesterday, and had another very successful ride. The only problem was that Spanky and Xena went out with us, and Xena picked up something in her left hind paw. She spent most of the trip hopping along (very athletically, I might add), and I was afraid she might fall behind and get eaten by a bobcat or coyote. So we turned around earlier than we might have.
Of course, Xena was fine as soon as we got back.
I started to go out to get Bella this morning, but it was almost eighty degrees by the time I got dressed; so I decided to wait a day or two. Maybe this will be our last heat wave, although the conventional wisdom is that the weather never cools reliably until after the county fair in September. Over the years, that’s been pretty much true.
We’re all ready for some fall weather.
Trish the trainer e-mailed me a picture of Kodachrome, the pony she thinks would do well for me, as I get back into driving. He’s pretty cute.
In the picture, she says, he’s pulling an antique runabout. If he’s steady enough for an antique four-wheeled vehicle, (much more difficult than a two-wheeled cart) then he’s probably pretty darned good.
Of course, I won’t really know much until I meet him in a couple of weeks. He’s seventeen; that’s old enough to have seen everything, but young enough to have years ahead of him. I like teenagers. If they’re horses, that is.
And even some that are human!