Archive for October 2011
Yesterday I ws out in the yard and looked up to see Andrew, the dogs, and the sheep coming. Nothing unusual about that — but there was something Different about the dogs.
Yep, they were in costume. Xena was a giant lizard . . .
Gena was a sherrif . . .
. . . and Spanky was a racehorse, complete with jockey.
The jockey bobbed up and down very realistically.
They had the wild-eyed, slightly manic expression of dogs in costume everywhere . . . but still managed to work the sheep just fine.
I always say it — you never know what you’re going to see coming down the road around here.
It struck me today that, in the time I’ve had Kody, I haven’t done anything with him except get him up, harness him, and drive him. I decided to show him that life wasn’t all work. So I put him in the round pen to run around freely.
He wasn’t enthusiastic.
He would trot around if I insisted, but the moment I relaxed, so did he; sauntering around or simply stopping and looking at me. I’m sure he was thinking, “And this is different from my pen — how?”
So I took him down to the house for a good grooming. While I was at it, I decided to wash his mane and tail.
He wasn’t enthusiastic about that, either. Neither was I — especially after I squirted my shoe full of water. So we walked around the place and nibbled a little grass (at least he did), and then went back to his pen.
Then he was enthusiastic — about rolling. When he had himself back to a nice dirty state, he shook himself and looked at me.
You know . . . ponies can grin.
The rose bush I bought this spring got some kind of disease and looked pretty sick for a while. It shed all of its flowers, and most of its leaves. I cut it way back and hoped for the best, and sure enough, it came out of it. It’s loaded with small round intensely pink blooms once again.
The trouble with photographing this kind of rose is that most of the blooms face downward. It’s a heavy-blooming, very old-fashioned type of rose. In order to get a good picture, it was necessary to hold the camera nearly at ground level and shoot up.
This was a good thing, as you can also see the intensely blue sky — not a common sight around here.
I’ve been keeping this blog for over two years now. In the beginning I was careful not to post too many or too large pictures. But WordPress keeps track, and I’ve still got 91 per cent of my alloted space; so I’m much more liberal with my shots.
It’s been a lot of fun.
If you look very closely in the background of the first picture yesterday, you will see Gena and Xena helping me. Here’s Xena checking to see if I’m coming yet.
They help mostly by chasing away all the birds, so I get to practice using my telephoto lens. Here’s a heron they caused to flap farther away to keep an eye on them.
And here’s a duck who paddled slowly to the other side of the channel. She didn’t seem very impressed with us, and after a good look, continued her dabbling.
The closest encounter all morning was with a red-shouldered hawk. It swooped by, seeming to miss my shoulder by inches. It kept going, though, so I missed any chance at a picture.
You can see that the trees are beginning to take on a golden cast. It’s especially noticeable in the duck picture. Fall is definitely here at last. I even put the electric blanket on our bed!
The river’s down again, so I hiked down there to check it out this morning. The area that the PG&E crew cleared looks pretty devastated.
If you look closely, though, you will see brilliant green new growth sprouting everywhere. Up close it’s easy to see.
They doused all of the larger stumps with weedkiller, but willows are pretty darned hard to kill.
The next picture was taken where they cut up the downed trees and threw them into a pile. If you look closely, you can see new growth sprouting from the logs. Even the palm tree is sprouting. Given moisture, the logs will root and grow.
You can fight Mother Nature, but she puts up quite a battle!
Not much going on today, so I thought I’d look through my old pictures and see if I found anything of interest. In the Nature folder, I found evidence of my ongoing quest to get a decent hummingbird picture, so I thought I’d share some of those. They aren’t great, nor even good, but they do show how hard it is to get a picture of one of the darting midgets.
Here’s a black-chinned male:
And a rufous; probably an immature male.
And an unidentified (and unidentifiable, at least by me) female.
It’s a definite hummingbird, anyway!
One of these days, there’ll be a really good hummer portrait. I hope.
The sheep look like they’re going to be all right, though Andrew’s going to have some doctoring to do. The trouble is, of course, that the dogs will be back. It’s true that they get a taste for killing.
We got a call-back from the police yesterday. The attack would have been between three and four. At nine-thirty Billy got a call wanting to know if it was urgent, and if they should come out that night. We’re glad it wasn’t urgent, since it was five or six hours later. To be fair, the initial call should have made it clear that it wasn’t an emergency.
At least I got to drive Kody today.
The weather really is changing at last. It’s overcast, and the last time I looked it was 72 degrees out there. The only trouble is that there are some predictions of Santa Ana-type winds. So far, though, just a light breeze.
Even Bakersfield has weather sometimes!