Archive for May 2015
This was going to be a nice peaceful post about a pretty flower, but then we looked across the river and saw this.
It’s been quite a while since there’s been a fire in the river corridor, but there was one today. The smoke was billowing black, or white, according to whatever was burning at the moment. The wind was out of the northwest, blowing away from us, so we knew there was no danger to the ranch. But it’s still sad to see yet more vegetation gone.
There were fire trucks on the levee, but with the lack of water and the size of the fire, there isn’t much they can do but let it burn out. That’s probably for the best, anyway.
I think I’ll put in my lovely cactus flower, anyway.
If for no other reason, to show there’s just as much beauty as ugliness in the world!
Marion and I did something a little different today. We bore a little farther south than usual, and rode along the canal that runs along the foot of the bluffs, stopping frequently for pictures.
Along this stretch of the trail, you can pretend that you are out in the hills somewhere far from town — when you’re not. For a few moments, we couldn’t even hear anything man-made.
Xena got to come along, but we left Peaches at home. It was just too hot for her. I’m not sure whether Xena enjoyed being an only dog, but she certainly enjoyed the canal.
We crossed the canal and rode on the south bank, which we haven’t done in a long time. I’ve pointed this out before, but . . . here is the bike bridge.
And here is the horse bridge — an old boxcar top.
Enough said. We went on, heading east along the canal bank, at the foot of the bluffs. There was a story on the news last night, about a baby in a stroller who went over the edge of the bluffs, and down three hundred feet to the bottom. It was in the care of a sibling, who apparently didn’t realize what was happening until too late. Amazingly, the baby was unharmed. I’d write a testimonial to the stroller maker. That’s a long way down. We were glad there weren’t any runaway strollers today.
We crossed back to the other side, and headed home. I took one more picture, of the dark and pleasantly spooky stretch we always enjoy.
It’s a nice cool stretch, too!
I stopped on my nightly ball-throwing expedition to take a picture of this young buckskin Appaloosa. He is one colorful guy.
He had just finished showing off in the arena, and was strolling around waiting to go back to his pen. Notice the “halos” of lighter color around his golden spots. Those are sometimes called peacock spots, and he’s about as colorful as a peacock, as well as being nicely conformed.
I’ll have to try to catch him in show-off mode, but meanwhile he makes a nice addition to my collection of horse colors.
I was going to add a picture of our new turn-out arena that I took last night, but since they finished it up today, I think I’ll wait and get a finished-up shot. It’s going to be very handy.
Kitty and I went for a ride this morning — at least, I rode, she packed me, and the dogs went along.
One of the great things about Kitty is that you can just get on her and go for a ride, without any exercise in the round pen or other preliminaries. She just goes along without any fuss. I’m not sure she actually enjoys it, but at least her ears and her pace perk up once we’re out on the trail.
Now that the storms seem to be over, it’s warming up again. The trees out on Panorama Vista are showing the stress. I thought, for a moment, that there had actually been a fire here . . .
. . . but no, it was just drought stress. Going down this little trail, we came to the river.
It didn’t look good. Note the wood duck nest box on the island. I don’t think it will host any baby ducks this year. It’s hard to believe that a couple of months ago, the river looked like this . . .
I think this is, if not the same spot, at least nearby. It looks too different to tell for sure.
I stopped to snap the old pipe that used to carry oilfield waste water to the canal. It’s been derelict for a long time now.
A little farther on, a more cheerful sight. The elderberries out here are loaded, too. The birds and little critters are going to feast this year.
It was nice to get out on the trail, and it wasn’t even too dusty. When Marion gets back, we’ll have to do it together.
It’s been a very interesting weekend, so far. There was the rain; there was the wreck; there was the rumor of Billy’s death; and there was the thunderstorm last night — and we’ve got a day to go.
When I went out last night, I snapped the latest daylilies . .
I got the heavy crop of elderberries hanging from the old bush by the trash cans. The birds are going to be happy this year.
And I recorded the ominous clouds over the mountains. Thunderheads up there seldom get to us, though.
This time, though, we got a pretty good light show later that night. It was mostly cloud-to-cloud lightning, with thunder muttering far away, and just a sprinkling of rain. It was a surprise to everyone.
And then there’s the rumor that Billy had passed away. He’s been rather enjoying telling people that no, he’s not quite gone yet. We don’t know how the rumor originated, but Facebook certainly spread it quickly. Anyway, he’s just fine. Like another famous person — was it Mark Twain? — the reports of his death have been much exaggerated.
I wonder what Monday will bring?
It can’t be Bakersfield, that is. Not unless it was February, at least.
In other words, we woke up to pouring rain this morning.
As usual after any rain, there were wrecks all over Bakersfield. No one seems to remember that the roads will be slick with oil when it hasn’t rained for a while.
There was a wreck here, in the usual place. I’m not sure how many cars have come off there by the tunnel, but it’s been a lot. Luckily, there didn’t seem to be serious injuries in this one. The little car did apparently roll, but the driver was wearing her seat belt– always a good thing. That curve is treacherous, and so many people underestimate it.
I got an unnerving phone call yesterday. The upset caller wanted to know if it was true that Billy had passed away. Since I had just gotten him into his pickup five minutes before, I was fairly sure he was fine. Still, it was . . . yes, I guess unnerving is the best word. Later that evening, we got another call about the same thing. Since Billy answered that one himself, it was obvious he was still with us. Apparently there was something posted on Facebook that gave the wrong impression.
I’m really, really glad it was the wrong impression!
I was at the store today, waiting in the checkout line, when two ladies rushed through the front doors. One said to the other, “Ooh! It’s nice and warm in here!”
In Bakersfield. At the end of May.
It ought to be in the eighties by now, easily. At the time, it was in the low sixties. It’s 69, right now, at four o’clock.
Well, I’m taking advantage of the cool, by doing a little more knitting. I started this scarf a day or two ago, and it’s coming along quickly. It’s a pattern called “Uber Zag-edged Scarf”, and it’s certainly zaggy.
I took two pictures of it, the above with the iPhone and the one below with the Canon. They saw it entirely differently.
Even after I fiddled with it, the Canon saw much more blue than the iPhone. The actual color is closer to the first photo, a vibrant heathered violet. The second photo shows the heather effect much better, but misses the true color.
Oh, well, it’s a fun pattern to knit, and just right for this very purple yarn. And it’s nice, if peculiar, to have a little more sittin’ and knittin’ weather. After all, it might be a hundred degrees next week!