Archive for February 2014

The Oncoming Storm   Leave a comment

The Weather Channel, we have heard, is calling this storm Titan.  At least for us, it’s not a Titan, but definitely a great storm.

It rained a little last night, and I hurried out to record the raindrops on the patio plants.

rainyhyacinthReal live raindrops, not sprinkler output.

rainyleaves

When I looked to the west, it was obvious that Mother Nature wasn’t through with us.

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(Please ignore the dog answering a call of Nature.  Let’s pretend we don’t know who she is.)

As the clouds darkened, it was even more apparent that we were not through with this storm.

incoming2

A few minutes later, the heavens opened.  It really poured.  For only the second time this season, we have actual puddles.  They’ll soak in quickly, though.  This was a good storm, but we need more like it for a real drought-buster.

For today, though, we’re happy!

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Posted February 28, 2014 by stablewoman in Weather

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Blooming   Leave a comment

I stopped yesterday to take pictures of a blossoming tree at Teen Challenge, beside our driveway.  The predictions for the next few days included possible high winds and  dust, so I wanted to catch the flowers before they blew away.

They were worth a stop.  With the little church as a backdrop . . .

 

blossom2Or the blue, blue sky . . .

blosom4

blossom3

They were beautiful either way.  But I like them best of all, close up.

blossom1

So far, we’ve only gotten a sprinkle of our “over an inch” predictions.  That was enough, though, to put a car over the bank.  We got a call from the other side to tell us that a car had come off the road and come to rest by our fence.  Luckily, it had stayed upright and the lady driving it wasn’t hurt.  She was, naturally, considerably shaken.

That probably won’t be the only wreck today.  The streets would have been treacherous, with months of oil and dirt buildup.  It’s not likely that everyone in town would realize that, and drive more cautiously.  After all, they never do.

Posted February 27, 2014 by stablewoman in Flowers

Almost Spring . . .   Leave a comment

Actually, spring is here, at least in Kern County.  The trees are blooming or leafing out, the air is warm (78), and the horses are beginning to shed.

Sarah decided it was a bit too warm to ride, and gave Aggie a nice bath.  She got rid of a lot of hair.  Aggie’s, not hers.

aggiesbath

As usually happens in these cases, she got almost as wet as Aggie.

I thought about riding this afternoon, but if it was too hot for Sarah, it was certainly too hot for me.  These warm spring days seem warmer than they really are, perhaps because we’re not used to them.  It was balmy.

There were high clouds drifting in, though.  While we were looking at them, we noticed a column of smoke to the south.

smoke

We’re a lot more sensitive about those things than we used to be, but this was obviously quite a way to the south.  Maybe we’ll learn where and what it was on the news tonight.

Last night Billy and I were getting ready to go to bed when we saw a flame leap up out on the island.  (Up out on — too many prepositions!) Billy was about to call it in, when it flickered and went out.  It was about where we’ve noticed a big tent, and was probably a campfire that got out of hand.  They’ll probably manage to let one get away completely sooner or later, though.

Posted February 26, 2014 by stablewoman in Horses, Kern River

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First Flowers   2 comments

The first flowers of spring have bloomed.  Here’s a bowl of pansies and baby daffodils (narcissi?) that a kind boarder gave me.

 

pottedpansies

Here’s a little tiny ant looking for a home . . . I think it chose a good place.

daffydill

As I was refilling the hummingbird feeder, I felt something odd going on behind me.  I turned around to find the World’s Largest Hummingbird.

bighummer

Probably the sneakiest, too!

Posted February 23, 2014 by stablewoman in Uncategorized

Uncooperative Hummer   Leave a comment

I’ve been hoping for a good picture of a male hummingbird, so when this little guy showed up this morning I thought I might have a chance.

febhummermale

He just sat there and glared at me, waiting for me to Go Away so he could come up to the feeder.  But the little devil would not turn his head and show off his brilliant throat and forehead.

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There’s hardly a hint of the metallic raspberry red that shows up in the right light.  His back is just fine . . . oh, well, I’ll try again tomorrow.

Xena, Peaches, Kitty, and I had a nice ride this afternoon.  It was short, though — at least for Kitty and me.  The dogs must have covered ten miles, sniffing around the bushes and chasing jackrabbits.  Fat chance, but they’re eternally hopeful.

It was perfect riding weather, but next weekend is supposed to be rainy.  They’re talking Pineapple Express, and we sure hope they’re right!  Even if we don’t get to ride.

Posted February 22, 2014 by stablewoman in Birds

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Innocence   Leave a comment

Peaches has been busy lately . . . remember “What hole?”

innocentpchs

I can add “What wet floor?”

pchswetfloor

Not to mention “What yarn?”

pchsnyarn

I think she must have one of the best innocent expressions on record.

Posted February 20, 2014 by stablewoman in Dogs

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Life Returns   Leave a comment

Even in such a short time, life has begun to return to the river.  A couple of days ago, I spotted the first dragonfly of the year.

firstdragonfly

The next day, there was a hopeful egret fishing on the riverbank.

egret

He spotted me quickly, and stretched his neck to examine me more closely.

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I don’t think there is a living creature as snowy white as an egret.  I wish I could have caught him a moment later, when he took off.

As long as there is water down there, the creatures will continue to come back.  I wish I thought it would be around longer, but at least we’re getting some recharge, and the burned-out trees are getting a drink.

And the dogs are having a wonderful time.  There are little piles of sand all over the house again, marking where a wet dog dried out.  It’s a good thing we have a powerful vacuum cleaner.

Posted February 19, 2014 by stablewoman in Birds, Kern River, Nature, Uncategorized