Saturday, May 29, 2010

Did your nose always look like this?

Today was rough. I took a tumble from my horse. My fault. I was riding Buddy, leading the mule and I have a bad habit of letting too much lead rope out so the mule can follow behind instead of beside. Second time now she managed to loop the lead rope around my mount's tail. (Not second time today, now that really would be stupid!)First time it happened I stayed on when the rodeo began. This time was on a steep prairie slope and I didn't. I tried. But failed miserably. Went over the front and stuck my face plant before I folded. It was a real pain in the neck. Literally. I had a friend riding with me which is good, otherwise the doctor might have brought the law in for Mark. They really thought he might have beat me.

After the fall I was afraid to move. What a wimp. Just yesterday, or was it the day before, we were discussing Christoper Reeves so I did the whole wriggle your toes and fingers, can you talk, breathe, etc, etc. All systems checked but I still decided to not move until Mark, an ex-fireman/emt checked me out. It was a pretty spot to wait amidst the wild oats and spring flowers and my cell phone. Gotta love cell phones. I had some prayer time and chatted with friends.

Within about 3o minutes the family was there and I checked out good to go. They opted to "walk me out" to where the kubota was waiting, and while the rough ride home was difficult, we made it. Mark said I passed all the tests for brain/spine injury and had no signs of other serious injury, but we both liked the idea of a more complete check and maybe an x-ray. So, we drove an hour and half to the nearest reputable urgent care clinic to have that doctor tell me the same thing. During his thorough evaluation though, he paused and asked, "Did your nose always look like this?" Yea, doc, I have always had a crooked nose. Nice of you to notice. Mark offered to make his nose look similar... probably didn't help Mark's case.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Fishing Buddies

YAY! A spring-time fishing excursion to the bass ponds is always nice. Even better this time because of the enthusiasm of three new fishermen. ( I don't think the term is gender specific.) We like to check our gear before departure... here you are witness to Leafy making sure the net is large enough for the humongous fish he intends to catch. Check.
We decided to drive rather than hike due to the amount of gear, and the anticipated mountain of fish we would be hauling home.

Master Caster showed good form right away.

Leafy boy and his sister suffered through a few frustrations and outright equipment failures...

Even if you're having a bad day fishing there is usually beauty at hand.

And then, the unthinkable. The youngest, with the most worn-out gear, fishing in the least desirable spot, with the reject lure caught the first fish! (That fish turned out to be also the largest, and the only fish caught by our intrepid anglers!)
Even cute girls know that it's good fortune to return from a fishing trip with your hands smelling of success!

Having conquered bass fishing, our crew decided to put the fleet though maneuvers.

Master Caster soon mastered the helm.

This handsome young man recognizes that the secret really is all about looking good.

Sister Ya-Ya was by far the most powerful paddler on our team.

The pond is currently home to some very elusive (and tiny) diving ducks. We think this might be missing from one of them. We also peeked into a floating nest in the cat-tails. One speckled egg which we assumed belonged to one of the mud hens scooting around the island.

Fishing and boating was not enough for the two oldest adventurers... High- speed hiking was next!
However, the hill was very long, and our steed was swift, so we got to the top first.

Not sure why I included this shot looking back toward the pond... there is just something universal about a boy and his dog. 'til next time.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Reconnoitering Ride

Yesterday dawned bright and sunny and Jo and I headed out for a day of riding. We rode around the top of the ranch checking cattle and then after a stop for lunch, we decided to do a little scouting out for a new loop ride that would take us right by the falls.

Here we are heading off the road and down our pasture fence.

Our goal lies at the very base of these mountains.

The ride started out easy and in the open prairies.

Amidst flowers

and rocky formations perfect for a photo shoot.

The dogs came along too.

We rode along one unnamed creek and past a small pond.

Upon entering the trees things got a little more difficult. While the cows cut a good trail they squeeze through spots too narrow or short for us. I didn't get any photos of the dicey spots because I was a little busy not getting hurt from cliffs or branches. Definitely need to bring a saw and Mcleod down next time.

Seeing open prairie ahead was a welcome relief.

We could hear the roar of the falls.

As I stood in the overhanging meadow above the flat of the creek I thought of the many Native Americans who once camped in just this spot to catch and smoke salmon.

The falls look kind of small from this angle. We rode over to some shallow pools to offer our mounts a drink, but they were a wee bit nervous from the noise and from being at a new place.

To make a successful loop ride we needed a new route home. We took the small people trail back up and out from the falls.The horses got a bit more nervous along here with the drop off and the noise level. We made it safely across and then bypassing the section where we the hiker had the accident last year we headed up alongside the small crick to cross at a safer spot. I was pretty relaxed. We had made a successful new ride to the falls and no one got hurt. Then Stormy decided to jump the small two foot trickle and almost knock me off on an oak branch. First accident I have had horse riding up here. I came away with only a face scrape and a few bruises on one arm. It was partly my error. I had mentally disengaged. While I could sense her nervousness I didn't take it into account as I should have. I just assumed that she would take the trail that went to the left, not go straight up the hill into the oak. Silly me. What was I thinking?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pacific Banana Slugs

Slugs. Such strange alien little creatures that slide along the earth on slime eating mostly decaying matter but also tender young garden plants. Hence, why I don't like them.

Yesterday, when the sky finally stopped crying, a young friend ran into our yard on an expedition and came back with a little friend. A friend I usually step on. Or pour salt on. Ouch! I had a closer look. I investigated online for more information and discovered they're kind of a cool.

Did you know that they are hermaphrodites and that they mate by exchanging sperm with their mate? It is also said that the Native Americans would let them crawl around in their mouth to numb a toothache. Apparently they have a bit of a anesthetic effect. The tentacles are used to get around. The top part, the eye stalk, is used to sense light and movement, the bottom part chemicals. They have one lung and their breathing hole is on their side. Their mouth on the bottom. At least this is what I remember from the top of my head. Oh yea, they like mushrooms. I do too. And their slithering around after a mushy snack helps spread the spore. Cool.

That is how a lot of things are. You have a heavy disdain for something or someone who bothers you and you don't see all the God fingerprints on them. They are there, I think, if we look hard enough.

Happy spring. I might start relocating slugs this year.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Here's the Beef

It's that time of the year again where we begin taking orders for this season's beef harvest. Give us a call or drop us an email. For more info click here.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Friends Visit

Our friends are here this May. They came from far away. Back to this continent to visit, but not to stay. Right now the mama sits and reads a rhyming book and the daddy sings a song and I find my words all seem to come out wrong!

Ahem. Let me start again. The older children arrived to ask about Charlie, even though it has been over 2 years since they last saw him. They were very excited to be riding again.
We've traveled to the falls in the jeep. Which always feels like an expedition.
The pools are beginning to turn a lovely shade of blue and the flowers along the way were lovely.
Kate is a baby sitting kind of dog and accepts all kisses.

Here the children are making bread for their mama's birthday dinner.
She turned 30 today and wrote an exceptionally lovely post for her blog. Check it out.
And happy birthday Rae!