Archive for May 2012
. . . or, Bella’s behind.
Bella’s been kind of left out while I refresh my driving skills with Kody, but lately I’ve been putting her back in training. The first step is reviewing her ground driving. This is what it looks like from the . . . ah, “driver’s seat”.
She remembers her training very well, considering it’s been several months. We’ve had no problems except a couple of spooks. She has a light little mouth and is easy to pull up and restart. Once she gets a good look at a “scary”, she doesn’t spook at it again. That’s promising. And she stops and stands quietly, or I wouldn’t have been able to get this picture.
Pretty soon it’ll be time to put a saddle on her again; then . . . well, we’ll take it slow and careful. So far, I think we’re both doing well.
I’ve never quite understood . . . Bella’s straight up and down; why are the fences in the background all slanty? Is it something that can be corrected? Oh, well.
Marion sent me this picture of the ladies’ ride she went on yesterday.
She said that they had a lovely ride; it was a beautiful day, all of the horses went well, and they encountered no problems.
I was reminded of the ladies’ rides Billy’s mother Irma used to lead. Of course, those ladies averaged considerably older; Irma was in her seventies and some of the others weren’t much younger. But they rode gaited horses and at times terrorized the trails. The problem was that a group of gaited horses coming at speed — and they usually rode at a good fast gait — tends to scare other horses. I guess they think it’s a stampede. So when the group of old ladies would come up behind a rider peacefully minding his or her own business — well, let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. Nobody ever got hurt, though. I rode with them a few times, but I had an Arab then, and he just couldn’t travel with the gaited horses. His walk was too slow, and his trot was too fast.
Irma, many years after her passing, is still something of a legend along the river. Many people remember a childhood spent at Irma’s.
Now it’s Billy’s; and someday he’ll be a legend too.
Or maybe he already is.
The best part of Memorial Day here in Bakersfield, I think, was the planeload of WWII vets that were flown back to Washington DC to see the World War II Memorial, along with the other sights. We were a little worried about them. With ages ranging from the eighties clear up to one hundred, the trip might have been too much for them; but they weathered it with the same spirit they must have shown seventy years ago.
There was an obituary in the paper today for a local veteran who didn’t make it to that flight. He had been wounded several times and gotten frostbite in the German winter, stayed in Hitler’s mountain hideaway, then, in stark contrast, helped to liberate Dachau. Like so many of the Greatest Generation, he then came home and led a full, successful life, without any fuss over the memories that haunted him.
We can never give these men too much honor.
Does this look like $36,000?
Well, it is. I think I said $32,000 the other day, but I forgot to include trucking. That’s a lot of money, and it’s only going to last until July.
On the other hand, it’s excellent hay; pretty, green, fine-stemmed stuff that smells like heaven. Kody and I made a couple of circles around it Friday, and you could tell he thought so too.
It’s quieter than usual around here this weekend. There are quite a few people out of town for the long weekend. Several went up to Mule Days in Bishop. I’m looking forward to hearing about the weather. If it was cool and windy here, it must have been cold and blowing a gale there, between the mountains and the desert.
I’ve got some zucchini bread in the oven, and I can smell it; I think it’s calling me. Until tomorrow . . .
It’s fun to see people working with colts. Boarders Brandi and Milissa recently added a third youngster to their collection — a nice black filly. Here she is in the round pen, wearing a saddle for the second time.
She looks relaxed and accepting, and I suspect that her training is going to go very well. Notice the mark under her eye; she came in with a nasty gash there, which she got when her previous owner tried to load her in a trailer. The girls got her here without further damage, but it took a while to heal up. Now it looks like there won’t even be much of a scar.
It’s going to be fun to watch her progress.
I’ve decided to try to restrict my enthusiasm for photographing flowers — especially daylilies — to one day a week. Friday seems appropriate, so here is the week’s catch.
I think I’ve got my red lilies figured out. The dark crimson is “Seminole Blood”.
The brilliant scarlet is “Hotter than July”.
And the burning red-orange is, appropriately enough, “Burning Inheritance”.
Funny; I don’t especially like red or orange flowers, but these are gorgeous. They won’t be overlooked.
Meanwhile, in a shady corner, this little lily has been quietly blooming.
If I remember correctly, this has another appropriate name; “Gentle Shepherd”.
Those daylily breeders sure have fun naming their flowers, don’t they?
A few minutes ago, we heard a terrific bang, followed by the screech of brakes. Usually it’s the other way around, but it’s never a good thing. I hiked down to make sure no one had ended up in our pasture, but the wreck was up on the bridge. It didn’t look too serious. There were a couple of ladies making relieved noises and hugging each other, and no one was dangling off the bridge, so maybe it wasn’t a bad one. It hasn’t been that long since they repaired the bridge from the last one. There sure have been a lot of wrecks there over the years, but I don’t remember any fatal ones. Now the on-ramp over the double tunnels; that’s a different story.
Yesterday evening, there was a rosy lenticular cloud to the south.
A lenticular cloud, if you haven’t heard that term, is one that has been blown into a lens shape (more or less) by high winds aloft. This one, according to the forecasters, is ushering in a big change in the weather. They are talking about a high of 67 tomorrow. This time of year in Bakersfield, that ought to be the low. It’s been about thirty years since we’ve had that cool a day in May.
That big a change is bound to herald unsettled weather; maybe even a thunderstorm. I thought I’d better get in a drive before it got too stormy. Kody and I had another successful outing. He’s shed out to a nice palomino color at last; I was going to get his picture, but as I walked down to fetch him, I saw four little white feet waving in the air. He was having a lovely roll, and raising a cloud of dust big enough for a Clydesdale. I just knocked off enough dirt to keep the harness from chafing, and forgot about his portrait.
Maybe next time — with luck.