Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sea Treasures

The Sea's Treasures

In swept the sea

With a swirl and a swish,

It shimmered and whispered,

'Choose what you wish.'

And the sea showed its treasures

At the edge of the shore,

Shining bright pebbles

And shells by the score.

Long ribbons of seaweed

That shone gold and red,

'I'll share them, I'll share,'

The sea softly said.

Daphne Lister

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday Horse Ride

The buckeyes are heralding in AUTUMN with some branches bare and leaves turning golden in the mid day light. The weather so cool that it was perfectly acceptable to take off riding at lunch time.

We headed up to the top road and got a bird's eye view of our ranch and across the canyon.

Johanna, looking lovely as usual on Chica.

We passed some everlasts. They smell like butterscotch to me and look lovely dried in a vase all winter. WINTER! Let's not even think about that yet.

This burned area is just completely taken over by white thorn a nasty bush with nasty thorns, but they do have lovely white flowers in the spring. Can't forget the SPRING.

We were thankful for the road of sorts to ride through. These ears belong to Molly. This is the mare Mark fell/jumped off of last year. I have been riding her almost everyday in August and she is beginning to be a respectable horse.

Grand Finale. The giant redwood tree, (giant for our ranch anyway) and then back home to barbecue some London Broil, boil some new potatoes and eat a bunch of chips and salsa. Now I head back to the barn to untie Molly, as POST time is on her schedule each day as well. Then perhaps we will head down to the falls for a swim because we aren't quite ready yet to let SUMMER go.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mystery Sound Revealed

Lodgepole guessed correctly. This sound is made by quail apparently to call the covey together because shortly after I stopped recording a whole bunch of them flew in and then the whole group flew off.

Lodgepole, if you would like a prize, you win a trip to the falls. Email us.

Mikey, I can't give you a PAID vacation, but do come visit.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Morning Serenade, AKA: Hens' Cackling

Mark and I sit in the hot tub most mornings and read a bit of the Bible and other spiritual writings and we are often serenaded by hens who have just laid an egg. We wondered why they do that and learned that the noise is termed "cackling," and done to announce to the rooster that they ain't in the mood. Apparently right after laying an egg isn't the best time for fertilization. You can listen
to this video and hear what we are talking about.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It's all my fault!

I've been on a camera hiatus. Not sure why. But things have still been happening around the ranch.

Like the other night. We were sitting in the house sipping on a nice glass of wine when I heard a single hen squawking. Oops. I had forgotten to close their pen up at sunset. I ran out of the house yelling and ran directly into a raised garden bed. Ouch. Should have brought a flashlight. About this time Mark shot a gun hoping to scare the critter away. I make it to the hen house at the bottom of the garden and hear a quiet scuffling. Can't see a darn thing. I'm sure not going in there. The critter might have big teeth and a claws and red glowing eyes. I holler for Mark to put the gun away and bring a light. He does and we immediately see a single hen in the pen, on the ground, hunkered down. She looks alive. Inside the hen house is a big opossum happily eating eggs I hadn't picked up yet. I think perhaps it was like a nice glass of wine to him. All the other hens were quiet on their roosts up above with their eyes glued on the strange creature. They didn't make a peep. I guess the noise I heard was from the hen in the pen. She probably was roosting in a box and the strange creature with the big teeth and claws and red glowing eyes showed up. I would have squawked too. Well, At this point I have to say Mark whacked him in the head with the back of the flashlight and the possum then took a flying leap ( with a little lift from his tail) over the fence and onto an adjacent roof of the now empty sheep pen. Where he still lays, playing possum. I guess he won't be eating eggs again. I feel kind of bad though. If only I had closed the pen at the correct time none of this would have happened. (And the hens seem to have taken this in stride as a normal evening occurance.) I wonder what they think of us... or flashlights?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Basement Cleaning

Here is our basement empty.
Over the years we had collected a lot of nonsense. And the folks before us did too. And the people before them as well. I see a trend. Last year we had a leaky shower and the basement and its contents became moldy, which is a problem for an asthmatic like myself.

Here is all the stuff after it had been hauled up the stairs and into the light of day. I'm exhausted and my friends who helped probably are too. Thanks Mike, Julie, Caleb, and Noah.
One thing we hauled up was about 600 pounds of stored wheat.

and beans and corn and rice. Mark's parents stored all of this stuff in the 80's and 90's and it is still, by all accounts, good.

There was a few boxes of moldy old bottles found on the property, I assume.

And a few critters hiding among the tombs.
And lots and lots of moldy candles.
What in the world is this candle? I am thinking perhaps a telephone.

Well, all day I sorted through the junk and have small piles of what to keep and a car full of what to give away and a trailer full of JUNK. (Something is wrong with this picture.) A fan is going in the basement 24/7 to dry things out some more and my friends are returning on Friday to paint.

I am very excited at the prospect of finally having a clean basement.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Klammath River Whale

Traveling back from Oregon we took this photo off of the bridge that crosses the Klammath River. We had heard about and seen photos of this whale and her calf for most of the summer. In the beginning people seemed excited and happy that a whale had swam upstream with her calf, but over time it became apparent that something was wrong. When this photo was snapped the mother grey whale was alone and the mood on the bridge somber and quiet as it was obvious she was not OK. Her calf had recently left her side and was spotted back in the ocean where it belonged. They tried herding the cow back to sea with boats and fire hoses and load noises. All to no avail. She just endlessly circled under the bridge and yesterday she beached herself. I was hoping to post this photo with a happy ending, but it was not to be. This morning at 4:19 she breathed her last breath.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sunday Stills

We've been hopping around lately. In more ways than one. We headed south and attended my 30th reunion for High School this weekend. I talked all night and had a great time. I deserted my poor husband a little, but he knew plenty of people to talk to as well and had a good time. I think.

I've been looking back at my upbringing and peer influences and I think it is helping me see myself a bit more clearly (although do any of us really see ourselves or others as they really are?), and focusing my thoughts on who I want to be and the direction I hope to go. Often we go forward in life and react to happenings without really knowing why. We are all somewhat a child of our culture and this can sometimes make it difficult to understand others perspectives and confusion and disagreements can arise. Just look at the world, people.

It is great to be back home on the ranch and we feel very blessed to have good health and each other and we recognize that laughter is the best medicine and a journey shared is multiplied joy.

Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering. -Augustine

Friday, August 12, 2011

Renaisy Daisy Comes To Visit

RenaisyDaisy on a camera safari captures us hearts...and all. Check it out. The photos capture the essence of who we are and how we see this place. Her post really touched our hearts. Good job Renee.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Redneck Dogdoor

While the dogs think it is the greatest, we are a little less than thrilled. Kate saw something outside that she wanted to bark at and just ran right through.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ducks are Dead....or missing

I have had "butcher ducks" on my white board to do list for about 3 weeks, but just couldn't do it. Chickens yes, my sweet, funny ducks. Um, maybe not. Decided that I really needed to at least take them to one of the ponds and let them have a real swim before they enter a frozen rest. Hadn't gotten around to doing it yet. Last night they didn't come into the hen house to go to sleep. Looked around the yard and vicinity and couldn't find them. Weird. It was already getting dark, so I thought they had perhaps bedded down somewhere I didn't look and thought they might show up this morning. Alas, they didn't and I found one outside the yard crammed into some bushes with a broken neck. Hardly a feather ruffled. I don't know where the other 2 are. In some animal's belly I suppose. It is strange though that one was left behind. Perhaps it ran away and inadvertantly broke its neck in the brush. I will never know. I wish now I had taken them swimming at the pond. Poor duckies.

Live life, don't wait for tomorrow. It may not come.

The only swimming our ducks ever did:

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Flowers Revealed

On yesterday's little mystery....
I wish I had a prize for Reddunappy as she almost got all of the up close flowers.

1. Squash, a delicato squash to be exact.
2. Sweet Pea, of the wild, free roaming variety.
3. A fully opened rose.
4. California poppy with out of focus bee (oops).
5. Green onion going to seed with another out of focus bee. (I think garlic is close enough, don't you, Reddunappy?)
6. Potato, standard garden variety.
7. Tomatillo, these grow like weeds and you can make the best green sauce. Yummy.
8. Sunflower that sprouted up under our bird feeder.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Up Close: Name that Flower

I wandered around the back yard today and shot photos of flowering plants.
How many do you recognize?