Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Perfect Day

This is a big, deep hole in an old Oak tree in our front yard. It's inhabitants have been very busy lately. Who resides in this cozy nest? Can you guess from my picture or post?

Sunday was a most beautiful day. We spent the day out in the sun enjoying our little corner of the world. The fruit trees that I planted a year ago are budding and blooming.

This nectarine tree is thickly covered with pink buds. The peaches are trying to catch up. The cherries and apple trees are just starting to get tiny buds. We were careful to plant varieties that would cross-pollinate successfully.

New flowers are appearing almost daily. They are such an exciting surprise. Many flowers were planted by the original owners of our cabin and we discover new ones each season.

Lavender and purple are my favorite colors.

Another view of that habitat. I wasn't able to get a clear shot of 'who lives deep in there'.

Cort laying down catching some rays instead of trotting all about making sure that everything is in order. That is his job, you know.

Jerry mowed most of the front yard. He left a long strip for me to high-line the horses out for some extra grazing.

We had horses and mules spread out all over the property grazing since the ground had dried from the previous heavy rains. More blossoms on the plum tree.
It was so refreshing to spend the day outdoors working on plants and with the animals.
Then came Monday, and the cold weather returned. Hail, freezing temperatures and frost. I covered my fruit trees with plastic to protect from the freeze. I believe it worked!
Tuesday it was cold and rainy up here. I worked down in the valley an hour from here and it was sunny but a bit 'brisk'.
This morning the schools delayed opening an hour due to the icy road conditions. Brrrr, I have been chilled all day.
According to the folks that earn good money to predict such things, it should start warming up again tomorrow. I am hoping that they are correct.

Happy Trails!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Warning: Laceration Repair

Yesterday I shared the humor of watching horses frolicking in play. Following my 'just keeping it real' theme, I'm showing the real life results of two 1000# hoofed creatures playing their rearing, pawing, striking and biting at one another horse games.
Not to point any fingers but my patient here is poor old Remington and from yesterday's pictures you all know who his favorite playmate is.
Actually, we didn't see the insult occur. Late one night, several days after our return from Michigan, Jerry mentions that he saw blood dripping down Rem's face, the night before.... Excuse me? Last night? Well, we all know that when a horse is walking soundly and gobbles his food down as usual, we tend to forget things like blood trickling (pouring) down a face. Right? I get that. And as a very understanding wife, I hardly made any audible rude remarks about letting him (the cowboy) bleed for 24 hours if he ever got sliced, or cut, or stabbed. So, late at night we go out to the cold dark barn, sedate the horse, use buckets of warm water to wash all of the crusty dried blood off of his face, shave away all the the dirty surrounding hair and get a good look at the source of the blood.

Ugly, yes? You can't tell from the picture but the laceration was mainly the shape and size of a horse hoof. Yes, and there is one gelding living here who likes to play like is a wild stallion, standing tall on his hind legs and pawing the air with his forelegs.
Jerry's firm grip on the ear is to keep Rem's head steady, even sedated, he would try to shake his head with any touch to his forehead. The laceration was quite deep in the center, the area was contaminated with ground in hair, and the edges of skin had already started to contract. Ideally, when suturing a wound, you want a fresh, minimally contaminated surgical site. We weren't getting that.
Lots of scrubbing, trimming damaged skin edges, and attempts to closely oppose the skin margins led to a less than ideal laceration repair. There's not much extra skin on the forehead of a horse. Not at all like a cat or dog with so much extra skin you could make a whole new pet.

The finished result was quite disturbing to me. It will heal more rapidly than leaving it open to heal, but infection is more of a worry when a contaminated deep wound is closed, and it just was an ugly repair.

Most sutures can be removed in 10-14 days. I kept him on antibiotics for a while, twice daily scrubs, and didn't remove the sutures for 4 weeks. They could have been removed in 3 weeks, but you know, when a horse is walking soundly and gobbles his food down as usual, we tend to forget things like sutures. Right? You understand that.

So here is Remington on Jan. 31st, showing just a wee bit of a scar. Once his hair grows back and he looses that goofy pony tail, no one will ever know. Except us.

See, not bad for a bald guy. If anyone asks, maybe I'll claim to have done a little brain surgery.
Naw, horse people would never believe that, as much as we love them, they don't have much in the way of...... um never mind.
Happy Healthy Trails.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Horse Play

There's no messing around when the grass is green.

But when bellies are full it is time for fun. Cheyenne, the herd boss is inviting Pistol to play.

No response; Cheyenne moves to the other side and invites a bit more vigorously.

Pistol doesn't lift his head from his pile of hay, he ignores Cheyenne's rare display of playfulness.

"Ho, hum, bite me all you want. I don't care. I am a tough guy and I am not in the mood to play".

The look of youth and innocence? He is the youngest of our herd. This is Wrangler.

That partial blue eye of his, the mark of insanity. Not officially, just in my opinion.

Meet our "old man" Remington; calm, steady and kind. And did I mention, old.

Remington wanders over to Wrangler, "Hay little buddy, wanna play".

"Yeehaw, you betcha, come on let's go!"
"Whoa there little buddy, slow down a bit and don't be looking at me like that with your crazy eye."


These last two pictures need captions. Please help me out!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A River Runs Through It......

An alternative title could be, "Keeping It Real Here".

Or maybe, "Life Is Not Always Sunshine and Flowers".

We wouldn't have our lush, green grass, trees, and colorful flower gardens if we didn't have days like today. The Sierra snow pack deepens, reservoirs refill, streams flow and the good earth soaks up moisture, offering thirsty roots a cool drink.

I take you on a tour of my place again today.


A river runs through it, through the barn and stalls.

Having 1000 # four legged beasts confined for several days of raging rains makes for a mess, and an aroma, not floral.

The source of our river, the head waters; a quagmire; a sticky, slick, red clay mess. My lingering memories of a green meadow where does and fawns frolicked and entertained, fade as I survey the results of Jerry's current project.

I always thought it would be lovely to have a cute waterfall and pond and maybe even stock it with goldfish.

But nope, up here in the foot hills we stock our ponds with Mountain Dogs.

Not only the barn sports a river today, our house proudly displays a moat; a brown, flowing moat.

A small bit of a drink for the grass.

Don't even mention how plump the dog appears. It is an optical illusion, poor body positioning and a luxuriously thick winter coat.

What the heck? Do you see what I see?

Gross March Snow.

We are not at an elevation supposed to get snow today!

Maybe I'll stay in and enjoy my warm, cozy cabin. We finally found and brought home a dining set that we both liked, Indian Rosewood.

And this is the truth, so help me. By the time I came in the house, copied my pictures on my computer, then put the pictures up on my blog, the rain stopped and I just now stepped out and took this picture.
Happy Trails Indeed!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

April Showers.....

Growing up in Michigan and spending most my adult life in the midwest, I would often repeat (over and over in my mind) the little ditty, "April showers bring May flowers". I needed the reminder that the rains and grey skies would give way to blue skies and colorful gardens, eventually.

As a reminder of the coming spring season, for my friends, family and 'others' suffering the bleakness of the cold winter days and seemingly never ending snow, I lovingly share a small taste of my winter with you.

Please enjoy.

A few of our newly planted Redwood Trees.

Manzanita Blossoms.

February abundance of daffodils.

Sweetly scented.

Poppies peaking.

Resurrection Lily greens.


Another Primrose.

Heart-leaved Bergenia

A bit of sunshine for those rainy days. (in other words, I have forgotten the name)


and a touch of Fun - gus.
I'll be back tomorrow.
Muddy trails here, but Happy Trails to us and hopefully to you too!