Archive for October 2013
I’ve been trying to get back to riding my grade Foxtrotter, Duffy. I haven’t been on him since May. Twice now, I’ve gotten as far as working him in the round pen. Today, I took my camera along.
When I caught him up, I stopped to take a picture of his neck. The white hairs in his coat glitter like sterling silver now. You can’t get the full picture without motion, but . . .
We went down to the round pen, where I tried to get Ol’ Lazybuns to gait while I took pictures. It’s not easy, because unless you’re actively urging him forward, he just coasts to a halt. I did get him pacing, though. Note his front and hind legs on each side are parallel.
A Foxtrotter is supposed to move with a “wrinkle and a crinkle” in its tail, and if you look closely, you can see that Duffy does do that.
I finally did get him into a canter . . .
. . . or did I? A very strongly gaited horse like Duffy really doesn’t have a true canter. His legs remain much more parallel than those of a non-gaited horse.
Tomorrow, I hope to get him saddled up and work him in the round pen again. Then . . . maybe I’ll ride a little.
But I’ve said that before!
I haven’t even mentioned Halloween. We tend to forget about it, as we never get any trick-or-treaters down here. We’d better not get any — we didn’t buy any candy! But a Happy Halloween to everyone who does celebrate.
It’s getting to be the time of year when we would get some autumn color, but between the drought and the fire, there’s not a lot.
Some of the cottonwoods are trying . . .
Our sycamores never show a lot of color, though in other places they do. This one is our son Mark’s. He has been gone for many years now.
I have no idea what kind of bush this is. It is so fluffy that it always looks a bit out of focus. I think of it as the puff-of-smoke bush.
The willows are still stark and black against the sky, with little puffs of green at their roots. The older and more gnarled their parent tree was, the better the rootlings look.
With a lot of the deadwood cleared by the backhoe, the pomegranate is beginning to show its new growth. It’s not likely we’ll have pomegranates for a while yet, but at least the bushes have survived. You can see the dry riverbed, slightly askew, in the background.
Amazing; I had four dogs and a ball, and none of them managed to make it into a single picture!
Here’s the proof. Some nice big puddles would be better than just a wet sidewalk, but hey, we settle for what we can get.
It was Peaches’ very first rain, and she approved completely. Perfect weather to dig a hole where it wasn’t really necessary.
After the rain — it was only about .03 — it was beautiful.
There was a good breeze, and a chill in the air.
As the sun grew lower, we got that wonderful golden afterglow.
And then the sun went down . . .
Later that evening, as our knitting club group was leaving, we got a bit more rain. And even later, after I went to bed, still a little bit more. The official statistic said .03 for the storm, but I think we got more like .07. It was a very spotty rain.
Still, it gives some hope for the rainy season. Maybe I won’t have to do that rain dance after all.
At least a little bit. We might have gotten a hundredth or two, but it was enough to dampen the ground and wash some dust off the leaves. You could even hear it on the roof.
Xena and Peaches seemed to enjoy it, and I realized it was Peaches’ first rain. She approves of the mud.
Here’s Peaches trying to catch a nap while I’m pecking away on the computer. She likes to lie on the sheet that I use to cover the computer at night and snooze away — as long as I don’t get up and leave.
There’s something really appealing about a pup with her ear inside out.
Then there’s her plump pup belly.
She figures if she pins my foot down, then I won’t get up and disturb her nap.
She’s doomed to disappointment, though. We’re going to go outside and help Xena chase the ball down the road. Maybe I can get some pictures of real live clouds.
The first at the new hitching rail, that is. This is Marion’s horse EZ, early this morning, trying it out.
And looking very handsome, too. I like this shot, though, capturing the morning light and the bluffs in the background.
Marion has a blog now, with more of her lovely photos. As soon as I figure out how — I haven’t done it for a long time — I’ll add her to my blogroll.
It’s been a busy Saturday, as usual. A couple of our boarders trailered out for a poker ride, and others crossed the river to participate in the Zombie Trail competition at Rancho Rio. I’ll look forward to seeing how they all did.
Fall is very busy, because the weather is so pleasant. The trails are still dusty, though. As soon as we get a little rain — are you listening, Ma Nature? — they’ll be perfect.
The weatherman last night announced that the average date for the first significant rainfall in Bakersfield was October 25. Well — here it is, October 25, and where’s the rain?
Maybe Mother Nature needs a little reminding.
Okay, Ma Nature, this is a raindrop.
To be exact, it’s a raindrop from 2007. Six years ago.
We need more like this. A lot more. Now.
At least there’s a prediction — a big ten percent chance — for next Tuesday. If that doesn’t pan out, I may just get out there and do a rain dance. That ought to scare her into coming through.
In the good news department, we may have a recovery on those stolen saddles. A representative of the sheriff’s Rural Crime Department called, to say that they had found some saddles down on Hart Street, and could they be ours? Billy asked if one was a Mexican saddle, and they said it was. Bingo. He referred them to the owner for a positive identification, so maybe all will end well.
I’m impressed that they even knew what a Mexican saddle looked like. The Sheriff’s Office must have made a good choice for the Rural Crime Department.
Friend and boarder Lori B. sent me a couple of pictures of a sunrise from a couple of weeks ago. It was the most spectacular in months, and it was the one I missed. There were pictures in the paper and on the TV . . . and I missed it. Sigh.
Anyway, here are Lori’s lovely shots.
At least I did get some decent sunrise pictures yesterday.
That tower is in the middle of almost every sunrise picture I take. I suppose if I cut it down, L. A. wouldn’t get any power. The authorities might frown on that.
But if I move so that the tower isn’t in the picture, I miss the best part.
Still, I can always zoom in for a close-up.
Then, of course, there’s a tree in the way. But I rather like the pattern the fire-blackened branches make against the apricot sky.
News . . . we had another break-in last night. Someone walked in from the river and broke into a tackroom on the east side of the ranch. They got two saddles and a bunch of smaller stuff. To add insult to injury, this is the second time that particular tackroom has been pillaged. Homeowners should cover the loss; it usually does. But still . . .
Billy had made a round about three-thirty, but saw nothing. We heard, a couple of months ago, that one of our boarders was threatening to move because we didn’t have enough security. That person is welcome to try to find a boarding stable that does any better. I don’t think a full time security patrol would help that much — and it would sure increase the board.