Archive for September 2014
It’s almost exactly four years since I bought little Bella. She’s grown a lot and learned a lot since then. Here she is in her first home.
Here she is with Sarah, a few weeks ago.
I hadn’t realized how much darker her mane had gotten. It used to be quite blonde. I like it this way, though.
Yep . . . she’s come a long way!
I walked out to turn off the sprinkler last night — first water for the lawn for days — and was once more struck by the beauty of the drops clinging to the grass stems.
These aren’t exactly grass stems. They’re the result of years of feeding birds on the lawn. I had to give up the practice when pigeons started showing up and chasing off all of the little birds. The seed sprouted, however, and has given us generations of “birdseed jungle”. The sparrows adore it, and the hummingbirds perch on it and sway happily back and forth. And when I water right there, it looks like a composition in jeweled lace.
You can’t get the full effect without motion, though. Each droplet shimmers through the spectrum as the seed heads quiver in the lightest breeze. It is beautiful; and created by just water and weeds.
Tonight is my knitting circle, and I’m bringing refreshments. Since we’re still working on a big box of apples we were given, it’ll certainly include apples — and vanilla ice cream. I’d better get to work!
It’s not often that I skip blogging for two days, but things have been a bit hectic. Billy took a fall Friday, while I was out shopping. He wasn’t hurt (except for a couple of scrapes) but couldn’t get up again by himself. When I got home, I went for help. Scott and grandson William got him up again, and he was fine. I certainly wish I could talk him into using a cell phone — and keeping it in his pocket. When you’re eighty-one and have bad knees, it would be nice to be able to phone for help. I’ll just have to check in on him when I’m gone for more than a half-hour or so.
Saturday we had a visitor — one just three weeks old. Weston and his parents came in for a while. He is growing eyebrows and lashes, and has the faintly bewildered expression common to the very new.
His eyes are a smoky blue at present, but subject to change without notice.
I was a little startled, bringing in the mail the other day, to discover that he is getting his own letters. It’ll be a while before he can read them, though.
I discovered the setting that controls the depth of field in Paint Shop Pro. Very useful when the house is a bit of a mess — but not enough to conceal everything!
It was a beautiful morning; just right for a ride with Marion. We decided to cross the river and head for the weirs, after we shook our escort down to only two dogs.
We stopped at a majestic cottonwood for pictures.
If you look closely, you’ll see Peaches peeking around the corner to see why we’re not coming. The dogs are very patient with us; the horses, not so much.
They don’t like stopping on the weirs very much. The concrete underfoot and the rushing noise of the waters must be a bit unsettling. However, they cooperated today, so we could get a good shot downstream. Or downgreen, anyway.
Not much water was visible. If we looked upstream, though . . .
. . . it was a lot different. The big weir gates were almost closed. Only a trickle was being allowed into the river, and the rest diverted to the canal off to the right.
Here’s a peek at the water that was being let through. Not very much, but a bit more was being redirected back into the river downstream.
The weather has improved a lot, with a pleasant breeze welcoming us as we turned for home.
Sometimes I think it must seem that Kitty exists only as a pair of red ears, so here she is enjoying a well-earned reward.
See? She’s red all over!
I went out for a brief ride yesterday, and nearly met disaster; at least, iPhone disaster.
I was riding along as usual, stopping to take pictures every now and then.
It was early enough that the shadows were still blue-tinted.
The younger sycamores were worth a shot . . .
Even Kitty seems to enjoy coming around a bend and catching the glint of water.
A little farther on, we came upon this brilliant fungus.
As we reached a sandy area, we picked up a trot. Kitty has a very smooth trot, and I was just jogging along, enjoying it, when I heard a thump behind us. It took only a second to realize what had happened. My iPhone had fallen out of my pocked, where I had carelessly stuck it.
It had landed in the soft sand, and didn’t appear damaged, but I had to retrieve it. To do this, I had to get down . . . and back up again. Now this is no big deal when you are young and skinny, but quite another problem when you’re in your seventies and definitely not skinny any more. Ordinarily, I get on with the aid of a mounting block that lets me just step into the saddle. But there were no mounting blocks out here. I sighed as I stepped off and retrieved my fallen phone.
There were, however, several small rises in a reasonable walking distance. I led Kitty over to the nearest one, got my foot in the stirrup, and tried to pull myself up.
The second one was steeper. I pulled the patient Kitty over to it, with the dogs bouncing around wondering what the heck I was doing, and tried again. I almost made it . . . but accidentally pulled on the near rein enough to make Kitty step away from me. Failed again.
The third time was the charm, and filled with triumph, I made it into the saddle. Kitty sighed, and the dogs (I felt) congratulated me. The iPhone was dusty, but not luckily not damaged.
So . . . everything came out all right. And I can get on by myself . . . if I can find a suitable hill.
On the way home from Friday’s ride, I noticed signs of fall. The drought has caused a lot of premature leaf fall, but now the trees are beginning to turn naturally. These willows are by the river, yet they are showing yellow already.
Sycamores here always turn early. This one had its little burr-like seed balls hanging like ornaments. The lower leaves seem to turn first.
Our sycamores don’t tend to get a lot of color, either. But the pale bark and textured leaves still make an attractive picture. Of course, there has to be a tiny piece of blue plastic. There’s been a lot of time and effort put into cleaning up the trash on Panorama Vista, but there’s always more coming along.
Amazingly enough, I took several pictures in a row without showing Kitty’s ears or a dog. That doesn’t happen often.
I don’t think I’d want it to, really.
P. S. I noticed that this is Post Number 1700. Wow. Where does the time go? Of course, some of it is spent writing all those posts!
I went for a solo ride yesterday. I like going out with a friend or friends best — not to mention it’s safest — but once in a while it’s nice to just get out on your own and meditate.
On your own not counting the horse and at least two dogs, that is.
I stopped at one of my favorite places, where the willows form an arch framing a view of the river.
The first picture took quite a bit of tweaking, because I didn’t wait for the fine haze of dust to settle before I took it.
We continued on, into the bright river — which of course, had a dog in it.
Even without a dog, it was worth a picture. The yellow buttercups and the lavender water hyacinth were blooming yet, despite the nearness of fall.
The colors of the flowers wash out a bit in the bright light; and the pictures of the arch don’t approach the beauty the human eye registers. It can be done, I know; but it takes a better camera and more experience. It’s not likely I’ll ever carry an expensive camera on horseback, though.
I wonder how the new iPhone would do . . . .