More Rain   1 comment

And more, and more, and more.  We need every drop, but it needs to be coped with.  The tractors have been running all day, draining pens and grading roads.  About the time the crew gets caught up — it rains again.

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One result of all the rain is the appearance of the Headless Dog Monster.  This rare species loves to bask in front of a fire — even if it’s not real.  Its name happens to be Peaches.

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The little stove was a Christmas present from David.  The dogs are enjoying it as much as we are.  It’s certainly got realistic flames.

I can hear the tractor running now.  We’ve got about four days, according to the forecasts, before it rains again.  Sigh.  Well, it’ll all be worth it when spring comes!

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Posted January 14, 2017 by stablewoman in Dogs, Weather

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River Running   Leave a comment

At least, it was running for a while in the last couple of days.  Runoff from the massive rain gave us a preview of what we hope will be a good year for the Kern River.

Day before yesterday, it was running fast and high.

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It always runs slower in the little backwater near the house, but there was a lot of debris in the flow.  Even the dogs were hesitant about taking a dip.  (You can see the main channel in the background.  It was moving fast, and also carrying a lot of trash and debris.)

The next day, though, the same spot looked quite different.

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The invasive water hyacinth had backed up behind brush and trees downed in the big fire a few years ago.  This was the first time there had been enough flow for it to be a problem.  There was a lot of water hyacinth.

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Xena, as our Official Warrior Princess, checked it carefully for alligators.

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There is, no doubt, much more backed up at the weirs downstream.  It’s a mess.

Meanwhile, though, most of the horses were taking advantage of the brief break in the clouds to nap in the sun.  Here are a couple of examples.

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There’s more rain coming, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to be quite as powerful a storm.  I didn’t think, a few weeks ago, that we’d ever be hoping for a break in the rain.  We are now, but a brief break would be fine.  Just so Mother Nature doesn’t turn off the waterworks for too long . . .

 

Posted January 7, 2017 by stablewoman in Kern River, Weather

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El Nino was Tardy   2 comments

Or so it seems today.  The last day of 2016 was marked by rainfall.  A lot of rainfall.  Snow in the mountains, too.  In fact, the news said that we had set a record for December — an all-time record.

Last year, which was supposed to be a record-breaker, was pretty much a bust for us.  Maybe this year will make up for it.  We’re already close to the normal precipitation for the whole year.

Anyway, it was sure pretty outside this morning, and so great to see the snow in the mountains.

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There was surprisingly little water on the ground.  After the last big rain, the crew did a lot of tractor work, which no doubt helped.  Still, in the above photo, you can see the tracks left by the feed truck this morning.  It was deep, but they made it!

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There wasn’t a lot of run-off in the river, either.  It was gone by the time we got down there (me and the dogs, that is.  If you look closely you will see a doggy tail.) except for a lot of mud.

There is more rain predicted for mid-week, and yet more for the weekend.  It makes for a lot of work — muddy roads, wet pens, leaky tackrooms, and some enterprising horse turned on a hose and flooded his area — but it’s worth it.  It’d sure be nice to have water in the river again this spring.

Happy 2017!

Posted January 1, 2017 by stablewoman in Around the Ranch, Weather

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Lake Robertson is Back   Leave a comment

It’s been a looong time since the arena by the house has been turned into a lake by a rainstorm.  It happened last night.

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It’s a pretty small lake, all right, but it was larger than this.  I took this picture about eight o’clock this morning.  The rain had stopped at about one, mostly, so some had drained off or soaked in.  It still shows that we had a pretty good rain.  It was probably about an inch.  We certainly needed rain, but it’s better if it doesn’t all come at once!

Now comes the clean-up.  There are a lot of wet pens that need draining or scraping out, so all available hands are being drafted to tractor duty.  It’ll take a while, but there’s no more rain predicted for a week or so.  It makes a lot of work for us, but it’s more than welcome all the same.

Posted December 24, 2016 by stablewoman in Uncategorized

It’s Been a Month . . .   1 comment

. . . since I blogged.  It’s been a busy, interesting month, not least because of the weather.  A couple of days ago, we had a good rain.  It even included a hailstorm; something we almost never see in winter.

When I heard the rattle on the roof, I grabbed my camera and bolted for the door.  It was just starting.

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The horses take a dim view of their tin-roofed shelters when it’s hailing, and as you can see by looking through the breezeway, stood out in the storm the whole time.

The clouds quickly took on an ominous yellow hue.  You can actually see the hail coming down in these shots, either as dark or white streaks and dots, depending on the background.

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It was over very quickly, but left us with a decent third of an inch.  It’s not a great deal, but it’s a start.

I hope to do better on my blogging in the upcoming days, but after all, it is nearly Christmas!

 

Posted December 19, 2016 by stablewoman in Uncategorized

The Day of Two Rainbows   1 comment

A couple of weeks ago, we actually had some rain.  Not much — I think it was .05 — but it was rain, and we were grateful.

We also had something quite unusual; two rainbows.  One in the east, in the morning . . . I was at Barnes and Noble, by the way.

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Then a more usual one in the west, in the late afternoon.

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The first one was complete, but pale.  The second was partial, but brilliant.  Between them, they might have made one really good rainbow.

Even withough the rainbow, the dark clouds and golden light made for a beautiful afternoon.

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We’ll hope for another one, soon.

Posted November 18, 2016 by stablewoman in Uncategorized

And Yet Again . . .   Leave a comment

Yes, we had another ambulance a couple of days ago.  And fire trucks.

In fact, it started off with a fire truck.  Grandson Bruce had just left, and poked his head back in the door to tell us that a fire truck was coming down the road, lights flashing.  Billy and I looked at each other, just to be sure we were all right, then I headed out to see what was going on.

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People were arriving from all over the ranch, most of them worried that the ambulance was there for Billy.  When I ran them down, though, they were just looking for a way down into the river.  Someone had called 911 from down there, and it’s always difficult to get a rescue crew through the sand and (maybe) water.

Eventually, they got the ambulance up onto the levee, and got the person in distress out.  We never heard just who it was or what happened, but we often never do.  If it’s not one of our boarders, it’s not really our business.  It’s a relief when it’s not.  Our business, that is.

Sister Sally has been visiting from St. Louis, but she’s over on the coast visiting our brothers right now.  When she gets back, we’ll continue our visit.  We’re planning to drive around Bakersfield just to see how much it’s changed since she moved away.  It doesn’t seem all that different to me, so it’ll be fun seeing it through fresh eyes.

Posted November 12, 2016 by stablewoman in Around the Ranch