Archive for August 2012
I harnessed Kody up and went for a drive this morning. He was his usual gentlemanly self, despite not having been driven since mid-July. We didn’t do a lot, since he’s fat and soft, but jogged around the place for half an hour or so. Luckily, boarder Donna was out, and happened to have her camera. So here’s Kody, ready to go.
His weakest point has always been standing still for any length of time. He’s just a wiggly little guy. We’d been working hard on that before the hot weather shut us down, so I was pleased at how nicely he stood for not one, but two good pictures.
Since it’s been such a long time since he’s been out and about, there are a few horses that have not yet seen him go by. We’re proceeding with caution, and giving them time to get used to him. For now, we’re sticking to this side of the ranch. That’s just fine with Kody. He’s got a lot of tummy to work off!
Lest anyone think my doggie thermometer doesn’t come in and make herself comfortable on those hot days, here’s a couple of pictures I snapped recently.
Yes, she’s alive; her tongue always sticks out a little when she’s asleep.
You know what they say; it’s a dog’s life!
Kody is a little different proposition from Bella when it comes to clean-up time. For one thing, he’s always dirtier. I’ve never seen a pony — or horse — who could get its face quite so dirty. For another, he’s lighter in color. The dirt shows up a lot more.
I took him to the round pen for a little exercise, but couldn’t get any pictures of him moving. Every time I stopped urging him forward, he stopped and looked at me. “Are we done yet?” was written all over his (dirty) face.
Then it was time for his bath. Here’s the process . . .
During: (“Are we done yet?”)
But then . . . there’s “After the After”.
“That felt good! Do I get a carrot now?”
No, Kody. You don’t.
My ponies have been sitting in their pens ever since the heat wave started. I just couldn’t bring myself to get out and work with them when it was already over eighty degrees when I got up. Now, however, it looks as if the worst of the heat is past — at least for a while.
So this morning I got out and took Bella down to the round pen. I figured she needed exercise before we did anything else. She was overjoyed.
At first she was running too fast for the camera.
Then she cantered around, kicking up her heels
Finally she settled into a trot and was listening to commands. It was time for a good grooming.
I enjoyed brushing out her beautiful silvery mane.
She enjoyed the brushing, but the tail shampoo — not so much.
“Are we done yet?”
Yes, Bella, we’re done. Tomorrow it’s Kody’s turn. I don’t think he’ll be as enthusiastic.
He’d much rather be a pony pen potato.
I’m still seeking the perfect hummingbird photo — if there is such a thing. They’re thicker this year than they have been for a long time. Despite that, I still haven’t gotten a decent picture of more than one. For example . . .
There were at least a dozen of the little suckers darting around. I thought maybe I’d gotten two in this shot, but when I brought it up I decided one was a reflection. Same with the next shot . . .
At least it’s fun trying. It’s funny — I’ll bet better than half of the hummingbird pictures I see on the web feature this exact same feeder. I guess it figures, though; I have a different, and larger, feeder out; but they all seem to prefer this one.
It was a burning house that I smelled yesterday as I typed. The news showed an old wooden frame house, and said no one was home. It was probably vacant, then. At the rate of attrition, there won’t be an abandoned house left in Oildale before long; and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Last night, I was sound asleep when I was jerked awake by a brief but piercing howl. I sat up and peered through the darkness. Xena was in her usual place by the bed, head up and wakeful, so I assumed she had had a nightmare. Billy had not come to bed yet, as he usually spends part of the night in his recliner. I could hear him stirring and could tell he was OK, so all of us went back to sleep.
In the morning, though, Billy said that he thought it was not Xena at all, but something right outside. His theory was that Skip the pointer had been left out — he’s usually penned at night — and had come to see if Xena would come out and play. Frustrated, he howled, then gave up and left. Maybe; at least that would be better than the idea that a passing coyote had serenaded us that close.
Incidents like this are when we really miss Cider. Nothing would have gotten that close to the without her letting us know about it. Xena just went back to sleep.
As I’ve noted before, she’s no watchdog.
There’s not even a little trickle in the river now, as there was a few days ago. This wasn’t even a foot across, but it was moving water.
Now, there’s nothing out there but a very, very long sandbox.
The dead weeds have a ghostly appearance, almost picturesque.
But they and the dead leaves underfoot will burn like tissue paper if ever a fire gets started. We’re holding our breaths. In fact, I just smelled a strong odor of wood smoke and went to stick my head outside and make sure it wasn’t us. There was no smoke in sight, so it’s probably drifting in from Oildale, where an abandoned house seems to burn every day.
Luckily, it’s hot; so the transients camping in the river bed aren’t building fires. They used to build cooking fires a lot, but that seems to have been replaced by fast food obtained by panhandling. So we’re probably pretty safe until the weather starts to cool. Then it’ll be a race between fire and the rains.
If we get any rains this year.