Archive for April 2014

Squirrel Genius   Leave a comment

Those ground squirrels are a pain in the neck, but you have to admire them.  Yesterday I looked out of the window to see a squirrel’s head poking out of the garbage can.  A metal garbage can, sitting nowhere near any bushes or anything it could have jumped from.  I thought there might be a hole in the bottom, but no, there isn’t.  How did it do that?

Then today, I walked past the front of the garage and noted a strand of string across the walk.  Taking a closer look, I realized it wasn’t string, but yarn that I had stored in the garage.  (Luckily, not expensive yarn.)  It was pulled under the garage door, and stretched to a squirrel hole under the concrete.  Obviously a squirrel had decided that it had discovered a bonanza of nice soft nesting material — but how did it get it under the door?  There’s about half an inch of clearance.

squirrelyarn

While interesting, the above is not a pretty picture.  Here’s some Wal-Mart petunias I bought today to make up for it.

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Yellow and lilac petunias, and blue lobelia; a good combination.

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I’m just glad squirrels don’t like petunias.

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Posted April 30, 2014 by stablewoman in Flowers

Flowers   Leave a comment

It’s the best time of year to go out on the patio with my camera.  All the pots are abloom.  Here’s a sampling . . .

The cactus, hardly eight inches across, is still producing.  Here’s a bloom from a little distance . . .

cactusflower

And here’s the same bloom up close.

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The little Canon point-and-shoot does a good job with close-ups.  First, a peach daylily . . .

daylily

And here, its close-up.

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These yellow petunias bloom all summer long.

petunia

The miniature roses, too, are in bloom.  There’s a white one . . .whitemini

And a gold.

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But of the pictures I got today, I think I like this mini-rose bud best of all.

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I stayed busy today, getting Bella up and working her — Sarah climbed on and off a few times — and cleaning up a very old horse who needed it badly.  I curried until I couldn’t hold my arms up any more, and still had plenty of hair left to work on.  I’ll get back to him in a day or two.  I think he would have enjoyed it, except we were both dodging the season’s first horsefly.

It’s not only flowers that come out in the spring.

Posted April 29, 2014 by stablewoman in Uncategorized

More Hairdrifts   1 comment

I hadn’t given Kody a good currying in some time, so I expected to get a lot of hair when I finally did it.

I did.

kodyhair

Sarah helped me get another layer or two.  But there’s still plenty left for the next time.

The people who went to the poker ride in Cuyama are back, and they had a pretty miserable time.  It rained, of course, and it was cold and windy.  They weren’t even allowed to have a fire — they hauled all of the firewood they took right back again.  The rain stopped by the next day, but it was still chilly and breezy.  This time of year, it should have been beautiful.

I’ll bet anyone who tells them that we needed the rain won’t get a good reception.   In fact, they may have to run for their lives.

Posted April 27, 2014 by stablewoman in Horses, Kody

When It Rains . . .   Leave a comment

. . . but usually it doesn’t.  Yesterday, though, it rained from the afternoon on into the night.  According to the news this morning, we got about .36.  Not bad for late April, around here.

The only problem was that we had a bunch of people riding this weekend.  Twenty or so left Friday, to different destinations.  Montana de Oro, Cuyama, Springville — all over.  I hope they all stayed dry last night.  At least it was great riding weather today.

There were still a lot of clouds around this morning.  There were even some puddles.  Not many, because it was so dry they soaked in almost immediately.

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It’s been chilly all day, and hasn’t made 60 yet at 3:30.  There haven’t been many riders around — well, many of them are gone — and those that were here tended to leave early.  Tomorrow, though, should be beautiful.

And my first daylily of the year bloomed.  Unfortunately, something ate half of it before I even got a picture of it.

halfadaylily

That left it looking rather odd.

Oh, well — more to come!

Posted April 26, 2014 by stablewoman in Flowers, Weather

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The Waterline Break   Leave a comment

I was planning on a nice ride, or playing with the ponies, but that was out when an eagle-eyed boarder came to the door.  Did we know there was a big puddle under our water tank?  No, we did not; but it was soon apparent that we had a leak in the main line running to the house.  A big leak.  There was much running around.  A hose was run to the house for temporary water, David was dispatched to buy repair materials, and Scott brought the backhoe over.  (We couldn’t survive without that backhoe.)  When the line was dug out, the problem proved to be a large root that had finally moved the pipe enough to split it.  It didn’t take long for our trusty crew to get it fixed.

If you look closely here, you can see the root just below the join.  Son Scott is surveying his work.  The hairy one on the right is not part of the crew.  Though she wanted to be.

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Here David and Scott are just waiting for the glue to set enough to let them fill in the hole.  Their hairy helper is still on the job — getting in the way.

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The hole is all filled in now, and there is no sign of a problem.  But with many of our lines over forty years old, it won’t be the last!

 

Posted April 25, 2014 by stablewoman in Around the Ranch

Bella’s Walk   Leave a comment

I’ve been riding Kitty so much that Bella and Kody, the ponies, haven’t gotten much attention.  So today I decided to get Bella up, give her a good grooming and a run in the round pen, then take her for a walk by the river.

We went downstream a little way, but stayed in the burn area.  I wonder if it would look better if we’d gotten more rain.  The trees are doing well, with the river up, but the areas that should be grassy have a hard crust.

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Of course the dogs joined us, including the big pointer Skip.  Bella kept an eye on them — especially Skip.

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And also of course, Peaches had to take a swim.

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More than one, in fact.

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Bella watched her climb out, but said she had no desire to join her.  Neither did the other dogs; I guess because it’s still pretty cool today.

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It’s always fun to take Bella on walks.  She really seems to enjoy herself, and picks her way gracefully through the downed trees and burned brush.  I think I’ll work with her again tomorrow — unless I ride!

Posted April 23, 2014 by stablewoman in Bella, Horses, Kern River

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Breezy Day   Leave a comment

It’s cool and breezy today; not ideal horseback riding weather — especially when we’re used to warm and still.  It was actually windy for a while; windy enough that a large chunk of tree came down next to the round pen on the other side.  Thankfully, it did not come down a) right on the pen or b) while someone was using it.  That’s a nice shady pen, but it may be a bit less so for a while.

Two or three years ago, I bought an inexpensive rose and plopped it down into a half-barrel.  It has more than repaid the minimal cash and care that went into it.  It covers itself in bloom.

aprilroses

The roses have an old-fashioned look about them.

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If they just had a bit of scent, they would be perfect.

If you look closely at the first picture, you will see some odd foliage sticking up that does not belong to any rose.  It’s a young mulberry tree.  No doubt planted by a passing bird, it’s persisted for a couple of years even though I keep cutting it back.  The rosebush is way to prickly to get at the roots and pull it out.  If it begins to get too ambitious, I might give it a try — next winter.  You have to give it credit for persistence, though!

 

Posted April 22, 2014 by stablewoman in Flowers