Archive for June 2015
And muggy, too, at least for Bakersfield. When the temperature is over 100, and the humidity is over 20%, we think we’re dying. There’s a prediction for 108 and possible rain later in the week.
I’ll think longingly of cooler days . . . such as the January 1999 snowstorm. Here’s our house back then . . .
And here’s a view of the ranch, looking southeast . . .
Looking at these pictures makes me feel cooler — well, maybe a little, anyway!
The predictions for the next couple of days range from 104 to 108. That means I may well skip a couple of days, while hiding from the heat in the house. If something unusual or photogenic happens, of course, I’ll get out there anyway. Meanwhile, here are a couple of pictures of a surprise spike of iris blooms. It’s way too late in the year for iris, but there they are . . .
Here’s a close-up. I wish, once again, I could capture the diamond-dust glitter of certain flowers. You really need motion to see it, though.
So . . . I’ll be back! When it’s under 104, anyway.
I got an e-mail from brother Jim this morning . . . it seems there’s a new member of the family.
This is Brigid, and, if you can’t tell, she’s a baby Irish Setter. Here she’s announcing her presence to the world . . .
And with big sister Mollie . . .
And with . . . well, “cousin”, I guess, Winston.
Oh, Jim and Elizabeth, you’re in for an interesting few months. It doesn’t seem like two years since this . . .
It’s a bumpy ride — but fun all the way!
It had already been a busy day when a knock on the door heralded yet another fire downriver. It looked like a bad one.
The fire department was already on it, with trucks on both sides of the river, so everyone just watched. I switched cameras, to get a better telephoto view.
It looked a lot closer, through the telephoto lens, than it actually was. It was on an island in the river, there was a barrier of sand between the island and our bank of the river, and most of all, the wind was blowing away from us. The closest horses watched with curiosity, but no panic.
People were prepared to move them, but Billy said it wasn’t necessary. As usual, he was right. It certainly was scary-looking, though, and scary-sounding as trees popped in the flames.
The whole thing was over in a little over an hour. The fire department will watch over it until the all of the hot spots die out.
We’re getting pretty tired of this, but I’ll bet the firefighters are even more so. This is not pleasant weather in which to be fighting a fire in full protective gear. Whether it was started by transients with a neglected cooking fire, or teenagers getting a thrill, hasn’t been determined. Either way, it’s just a little bit more ugliness in the world.
We need rain.
I’ve used these photos before, but when I changed computers I lost a few; so I’ve been laboriously finding them in my old files and re-editing them. These two are of the ranch in the 1950s.
Here are a group of Girl Scouts and ponies. Billy’s mother Irma worked with the Scouts a lot, including mountain camps, and kept a string of horses and ponies to use. It looks like these girls were a handful — note the one sitting backwards on her pony. I have no doubt, though, that Irma coped.
Notice, too, no uniforms. The uniforms in those days had skirts — no exceptions! No helmets, either; and I’ll bet, no insurance. Lawsuits were unheard of in those days, and no one except English riders wore helmets.
Here are a group of slightly older girls at horse show practice. These would be boarders, not scouts. I believe the horse on the end is Sonkey, who was remembered fondly by everyone who rode in those days.
This might have been taken at the same time; I can see ponies in the background.
There’ll be more old photos from time to time, as I find them and re-edit. They should look better than before, anyway.
The buttonwillows in the lower pasture have become victims of the fire and drought. Buttonwillows, sometimes called buttonbushes, are one of my favorite large bushes/small trees. They are magnets for butterflies and bees in the spring, when their branches are loaded with round little blooms like tiny spaceships. That is when I can get pictures like these, featuring a tiger swallowtail.
We’ve spotted some struggling to regrow in the old spots, and I have a few in pots. I’ve been intending to plant them out, but it’s just been too dry for them to survive. The forecasters, however, are predicting a very wet winter — if El Nino continues to strengthen.
Come on, El Nino — hang in there!
Looking for cool pictures — cool as in making me feel cooler, that is — I found some from when the river was running full. Not just a stream through the sand, but full. These are from June of 2010.
There were so many trees then. Five years of drought and fire will sure change a landscape.
On the other hand, I’m once more reminded that changes have come before. What has been, can be again. Meanwhile, I’ll look at these and feel cooler!