Archive for April 2016
Nothing much going on, so here are a few pictures just for pretty.
First, this backlit cloud. It was after the last windstorm, and the sky seemed inky-dark blue. There are also rainbow patches around the edges, which didn’t show up so well. It was a magnificent little cloud.
The monkeyflowers are blooming, down by the river. They don’t look too much like monkeys to me, more like cheerful yellow snapdragons.
Last, here are some shots of my red cactus that’s blooming now. Red isn’t my favorite color, but it’s sure gorgeous.
Now that I’ve started getting out again, it didn’t take long to notice that little Kody was in bad need of a good grooming. His winter coat had started shedding while I was housebound with that cold. He was, frankly, a mess. So I got him out and stood back to look at my hairy creature.
It doesn’t take long to groom off the worst of the shed hair. Here’s how he looked half done.
You can tell Peaches is thinking, “Did a pony explode around here?”
Afterward, he looked a lot better. There’s still a ways to go yet, and he’ll get a good bath as soon as the weather settles down.
There was a lot of leftover hair blowing around, but it’ll make the birds happy. Horsehair comes in handy in nest-building season!
The phone hadn’t been working right for several days, and the Internet had been . . . intermittent. At last, the phone quit entirely, and I got on the iPhone and started trying to contact AT&T on Monday. That is always an ordeal, and because our line is unsupported for a very long way, it tends to have problems. Without ever talking to a human, I got an appointment for Tuesday. Sure enough, the technician showed up; but the problem required a cherry picker, so he decided to come back on Wednesday with a bucket truck and a helper.
It turned out that a tree had come down on the line during that last big windstorm at grandson Andrew’s, but because it didn’t appear to be damaged, he hadn’t mentioned it. That was the problem, though, and our AT&T crew worked on it all day. At last, the phone rang. They had gotten it fixed — we hope. So far, so good; except we’ve gotten no calls. I called the landline on the cell, and it worked fine, so perhaps everyone has just given up. I really hope the callers that offer to fix our non-existent credit cards have given up.
Otherwise, life has gone on as usual. The dogs and I have been down to the river nearly every night. The difference in the river bed a few weeks of water has made is amazing. Here’s a shot from April 2.
Here’s the same view from last night.
Upriver . . .
Straight to the south . . .
Even give or take a dog or three . . . Peaches, in the above picture, gave me a nice shower . . . the differences are clear. Monkeyflower, especially, has spread its yellow blossoms everywhere. Even some of the dry dead willows are putting out green leaves. Of course, the water won’t be there forever. It’s being put in artificially, and sooner or later it will be cut off. How many cycles like this can the trees take? There are bound to be fires, and there’s a lot of deadwood to burn.
Still, we’ll enjoy the water while we’ve got it, and think of our water table getting a little bit of recharge. And the dogs will certainly appreciate it!
. . . another post. It’s not that there hasn’t been plenty to write about; but between a nasty cold and phone problems (no Internet!) I haven’t been able to report.
All is well here, and things have pretty much dried out after the big storm. Our rain gauge showed over an inch and a half, although the official rain total was less. It was a typical thunderstorm; some areas got drenched, some didn’t.
I haven’t recorded the progress of the Paint colt that Sarah’s dad brought in as much as I would have liked, but he’s coming along fine. I got out to snap shots of his first trip out of the round pen — I think. I’ve probably missed a lot while snorting and sneezing. Anyway, the little guy making a very handsome saddle horse. Here, Sarah’s friend Michael J. is riding him, while Sarah gets ready to join them on Tilly, the other youngster she’s been working.
They intended to work the colts in the riverbed, but there was so much activity down there that they decided to be prudent and cut the ride short. It’s better to quit while you’re ahead, especially with colts.
You can see it was a beautiful day, after high winds and dust the day before, and everyone who could must have been out there enjoying it. The weekend will be even busier.
Here are a couple of shots from a week or two ago, of roping practice in the arena. Grandson Andrew and friends had a great time.
No, they’re not roping the tractor driver; the roping dummy is just out of sight around the corner. Everyone had a good time, except maybe the dummy.
I hope to post more often, now that my cold is beginning to pass off. The old saying is, “Three days coming, three days with you, and three days going.” I figure I’m on day seven. It’s been really hard on Xena. For some reason, she hates sneezing and coughing, and heads for the dog door every time. She’s about gotten it worn out these last few days!
Last night we had the first storm that could be called worthy of El Nino. It was a genuine thunderstorm, with continuous rolling booms, near-continuous lightning, and everything. It rained hard; and every time it seemed as though it couldn’t possibly rain any harder — it did.
Here are the first signs of the storm rolling in, yesterday morning.
And here is the same view, this morning.
We’ll probably have to dig a small ditch to drain the large puddle/small lake in the arena, and then rip it deeply. It’ll be a little while before it’s usable again, unless we get some seahorses in.
As usual, the horses weren’t especially bothered by the storm. They seldom stay under their nice shelters, though, but go out and stand with their rumps to the driving rain. They don’t seem to like the sound of the rain drumming on the roof.
Some dogs are panicked by thunder, but none of ours have ever seemed to be bothered. That’s good; I’d hate to have them run off in terror. It’s a big river bottom out there.
Today, it’s unsettled, with clouds coming and going, but no more rain. I’d bet we got more than half an inch, but the official statistics may not agree! They seldom do, one way or the other.
It’s been better than a week since I blogged, but it’s not my fault. Exactly.
You see, I had a minor disaster. My last entry had pictures of happy dogs swimming in the Kern River. Well, when I went back a day or two later, I fell in. With my cell phone in my pocket.
I had just thrown the ball, and old Gena had brought it back right to the river’s edge. It was floating about six inches out, and I was stretching out reaching for it, when the bank gave way and in I went. Luckily, the water was only a couple of feet deep right there, but it was my wallowing like a beached whale that really soaked my poor iPhone. It was dead in the water.
Luckily, it was insured, and when I took it in to AT&T, they immediately sent me a new one. It came the next day; but I had to wait for grandson Billy to come over and get it working. He not only got it going, but the old one as well. It had been soaked, though, so I decided to keep the new one and send back the old one.
While all of this was going on, Billy and I were finalizing the tax returns, which we sent off today.
It’s been an interesting week.
I’ll be back with pictures soon!
We’ve had water in the river before, lately, but this new flow is serious water. Deep enough to swim a dog — or dogs.
They’re after the ball, which is barely visible. A few seconds later, Peaches and Xena are looking around wildly, trying to find it. Gena has it, and is paddling back to shore. Pretty good for an old dog.
Near sunset, Marion and I and Peaches walked back down to the water. Gena and Xena were off on Important Dog Business. The river looked quite different in the late afternoon light.
It looked like Peaches appreciated the chance for a solitary swim.
I didn’t catch them in any of these shots, but it looked as though there were some really optimistic people fishing on the far shore. I think it’s a little soon for that; the fish are probably swimming in bewildered circles.
According to the news, this is Kern River water, but it didn’t come from the Kern. If I understand it correctly, it’s water that was traded to another district. Now they don’t need it, so it’s being put back. However, since it’s coming from the bypass downstream, it’s flowing backwards — heading upstream.
No wonder those fish are bewildered. I bet the upstream beavers are, too.