Archive for August 2013

What Gait?   Leave a comment

It was a gloomy morning, with a lot of cloud cover.  Unfortunately, it was also quite warm and muggy; not a pleasant day at all.  Still, it is Labor Day weekend, and there were a lot of riders out.  I took the dogs for a walk, and on the way back spotted my friend Marion saddling up.  I got a shot of her with the dramatic cloudy background.  You can tell it was quite dark.


We were discussing just what gait her Fox Trotter EZ was doing, and I decided to see if a picture would tell us better than our unaided eyes.  Marion began obligingly going around the building pipe pile, and I started snapping.


Since EZ is nearly black, it’s hard to tell; but above he appears to be trotting.  He was full of himself, and was going big, with a lot of impulsion.


Here he looks at first to be pacing, , but if you look closely you will see that the left hind leg is forward, and only one front foot is on the ground.  He is gaiting, I think, but it would take an expert to tell for sure.  At any rate, he was moving very smoothly.

If I learn more about the video capabilities of my camera, we’ll be able to tell more.  There’s a project for the future.  But then I have to learn to upload them . . . well, learning new things keeps you young.

Or at least youngish.


Posted August 31, 2013 by stablewoman in Horses

Under the Bed   1 comment

Peaches went missing yesterday.  I looked and called, outside and in, and was beginning to worry when I heard the first Clue as to her whereabouts; little yipping and grring sounds from the bedroom.  I hurried in there, where I found the second Clue.


It was a pretty obvious Clue.


Her other end appeared in a moment or two.  She informed me that she had been chased under there by a Bear, but now she had turned the tables.  She was saving us by destroying the Bear.  Well, maybe it was a Bear rug.  Or maybe it was just the little brown rug that Billy likes to warm his toes on when he gets up . . .


Anyway, I rescued it before it lost more than an edge.

She says she’ll get it next time, for sure!

Posted August 30, 2013 by stablewoman in Dogs

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The Hummer Quest   Leave a comment

For years now, I’ve been on a quest.  A quest for a perfect good acceptable picture of the hummers that frequent our feeders.  Lately, we’ve been invaded by rufous; five or six at a time terrorizing the more peaceable Anna’s.  With that many around, I figured I might get a decent shot.

Here’s the best so far.


It wouldn’t be bad if not for the back end of Billy’s faithful pickup.  Its dirt-streaked tailgate doesn’t add anything to the shot.  On the other hand, I did get the iridescent flash of this hummer’s throat, if not as brightly as hoped.

Ah well.  It wouldn’t be a quest if it were too easy.

Posted August 29, 2013 by stablewoman in Birds, Nature

Sunrise, Sunset   Leave a comment

It was quiet here yesterday, and I couldn’t think of much of anything to write about.  We had a lovely dawn, but there’ve been a lot of those lately . . .


But then we had a colorful sunset as well.  It’s unusual here to have clouds to the east in the morning and west by the evening.


So all I had to record was a beautiful beginning and ending to the day.

I think that’s really enough.

Posted August 28, 2013 by stablewoman in Weather

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Walking   Leave a comment

Peaches and I went on another walk this morning, but this time Xena joined in.   The pup felt much more confident with Xena along, though she still didn’t go far.


They were soon sniffing away together.


Some of the new willows that sprang up after the fire are showing stress by yellowing, now that the river’s dry.  Those that are coming up from burned parents are still doing well.  They have the benefit of the old deep roots.


The horses were all enjoying their morning munchies.


Marion’s out of town for a few days.  I tried to get her EZ to say hi, but he was too busy.


But he’s sure looking handsome, Marion!

I counted the puppy toys strewn about the living room this morning.  Only a couple of balls and a length of knotted rope were intended to be toys.  The rest included two pieces of horse hoof, my apron, a sandal, an empty plastic root beer bottle, an empty plastic flower pot, the remains of a pinkelponker (she tried to bring it in and play with it, but it came apart), and too many pieces of torn-up newspaper to count.

I hope we don’t have company too soon.  Or if we do, they have at some point in their lives raised a puppy.

Posted August 26, 2013 by stablewoman in Dogs, Horses, Kern River

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Feeding the Dog(s)   1 comment

Feeding the dogs, with the addition of Peaches, has become very complicated.  I feed four; my two, Peaches and Xena, and Andrew’s Gena and Spanky.  I don’t have to feed Andrew’s dogs, but they know when mine get fed and come down and look at me sadly until they get their share.  They know an easy mark when they see one.

At first, I gave Peaches her puppy food in her crate while I fed the big dogs in the kitchen.  The trouble started when Peaches decided she didn’t like her canned puppy food; she wanted Big Dog Food.  She sat there in her crate looking sadly out the bars, while the big dogs scarfed theirs.  Then she would come out and eat Xena’s leftovers, while the big dogs scarfed the puppy food.

You see, Xena is a Picky Eater.  You could never train her with treats.  I taught Peaches to sit with treats, and it was almost too easy.  Now every time she hears a sack rattle, she comes racing up, plops her little puppy bottom down in a perfect sit, and looks up expectantly.  “I did it — where’s my treat?”

Xena, on the other hand, when offered a treat, sniffs it over carefully and looks at it from all angles.  Then maybe she’ll condescend to daintily take it from your hand, with the air of a gracious queen taking a slightly dubious local delicacy from a grubby urchin.  She approaches her dinner in the same way, with the result that someone else often gets the lion’s share.  Like Peaches.

But lately things have gotten even more complicated.  There was a Spot on Peaches’ nose.


It was just a little scabby spot, but it wouldn’t go away, and it kept getting bigger.  I tried several remedies, but nothing helped.  Finally I realized the problem.  Like her predecessor Cider, Peaches was allergic to corn.  The Border Collies had no problem with it, and I had gone back to feeding a corn-based dry food.  Peaches’ dry puppy food was corn-free, but (of course) she preferred raiding the Big Dog food to eating her wimpy puppy food.  She was a Big Dog, wasn’t she?  And I feed the big dogs their dry food free choice; so I could either quit doing that, find a way that the big dogs could get to it but Peaches couldn’t, or go back to a corn-free product.  I chose option three.

So now everyone is on a food that Peaches can tolerate, her nose is healing up — in fact it had already started healing in the picture above — and she can steal the big dog food to her heart’s content.

Now all I have to do is figure out a way to get her to eat her puppy food.  I’ll try mixing it with the big dog food, and giving some to her and some to Xena.  Then Peaches will think she’s getting the good stuff.  I hope.

Who would have thought that dog food could be so complicated?

Posted August 25, 2013 by stablewoman in Dogs

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Texas Sunset   Leave a comment

Marion sent me this beautiful sunset that her son-in-law Keiji took.


I guess they have big skies in Texas!

We had an incident in the night.  Billy, who sleeps most of the night in his recliner, had just showered and was getting ready for bed when a pickup drove through.  He wanted to jump in his Faithful Pickup and chase after it, but common sense told him that a) by the time he got dressed and out the door, it would be gone; and b) it was going slowly and lit up like a Christmas tree, so it was unlikely to be a thief.  He was right, as it turned out.  It was boarder Dave — the same one who saw the battery theft — who had decided to patrol on his own.  Good for you, Dave.

Peaches had her second morning walk, but this time all of the dogs came along.  Mine — Peaches and her “big sister” Xena, and Andrew’s — Gena and Spanky.  I wanted to get a family portrait, but it was like trying to capture a meteor shower.  Nobody was still for more than an instant.  Maybe next time.

I spent some time today going through old weather photos.  Sometimes looking at winter pictures can make you feel cooler.  Here’s one of ice frozen over grass blades, clear from 2007.

icygrass 12 07

I thought I could improve it a bit, so I upped the contrast and color vibrancy.  Only a little, but it did make a subtle difference.

icygrass 12 07 edit

It’s fun to play with these old pictures, but I always save the originals.  The next software program might be even more helpful.

And I did feel cooler.

Posted August 23, 2013 by stablewoman in Weather