Monday, May 31, 2010

"Gemilyn"


I've been searching for the right nickname for our new girl. All of our other Arabs have gone by nicknames rather than more formal titles. Besides, Bahjah is such a heavy, masculine sounding name for such a tiny little sprite. So I started calling her Gemini, which is her birth sign - and she's almost like our old Breezy's twin. That morphed into Gem and Gemi which somehow became Gemilyn.

Even though she and Breezy share so much in looks, personality and broodmare background, they don't have any common ancestry. She doesn't share any heritage with Pearl either. When I compared her lineage to Zim's, however, they share 3 common great and great great grandparents. I wouldn't have guessed it, but I figure that's a sign of a good match. :)

She's fitting in really well, and Zim seems content again. And she's starting to smooth over those ribs a bit thanks to the grassy meadow.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Ole Miss Marigold



Marigold enjoys some relaxation time in the yard.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Coneflowers


I know, I know... You're saying, "Another wildflower picture?! Geesh!" Well, like the birds around here, the wildflowers are plentiful and varied this time of year. These are coneflowers - sorta like black-eyed susans with pointy heads and droopy skirts.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Lil Louise


Louise keeps an eye on all things deckside.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Two against one


A wood duck drake warily eyes the pair of crows eating under the birdfeeder tree. He doesn't like the odds so decides to wait his turn for the scratch feed scattered under the tree.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hay!


This time each year I get a bad case of bale envy. In the early part of May, large fields in the area begin to get cut, dried, raked and rolled into glorious, fragrant, green hay bales. As the month progresses, I start to fret about whether the balers will come bale our 15 acre hay field in its prime or whether, once again, we'll be pushed to the back burner since we have a small acreage that's more bother than it's worth to them.

In years past, we've encountered rain storms which swamp the field and make it unmowable, equipment breakdowns or equipment too large to fit through the gate, and constant promises from balers of "I'll be there this weekend" and they never show. This year, we've agreed to let Neighbor to the North bale the field so we're at the mercy of their baling contacts. Hopefully they will be true to their word and actually show up in the next week or so.

The rye grass is starting to cure on the stalk so it's time.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

In the Pink


These little beauties are Meadow Pinks. I noticed them last year for the first time. This year they're making a nice splash in the back pasture.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Old Grey Mare just ain't who she used to be


Meet Bahjah (pronounced like Baja California). She was delivered to us for adoption on Saturday afternoon.

A few days after Pearl died, I contacted an Arab farm nearby in case they had any old "granny" mares that were past their breeding prime and just needed a good retirement place to be a companion to Zim. They didn't have any, but they put the word out to their Arabian club. Within a day, they had 4 potential mares for us. I contacted a lady who had 3 20+ yr old mares to place in good homes - a bay, a grey and a chestnut. Since Zim is a chestnut and since both Pearl and Breezy were greys, I would have chosen the bay to be different, but the lady said she was thin and she'd feel bad if something happened to her after we adopted her. So I opted for another grey mare. The lady then said she was the sweetest of the three so I felt good in my sight-unseen choice for Zim's new lady friend.

Like our old gal, Breezy, this sweet beauty has been a brood mare from a phenomenal Arabian lineage - the lady described her pedigree as "royalty". We will give her the best care we know how so she can live out the rest of her years here. We managed to give Breezy 9 yrs of post-broodmare retirement so hopefully little Bahjah can enjoy at least 10 or so with us.

Zim is excited, of course, to have a new pasture mate. They took a real liking to each other through the fence. I can only allow her grazing time in the pasture for a couple of hours at a time since she's been in a paddock with 2 other mares w/ a round bale of hay for fodder. So we need to give her stomach a chance to adjust back to lush grass. When I pen her back up after a couple of hours of pasture time, she hates it and whinnies for Zim if he dares leave her sight. So they're already bonding.

Blankets abound


These are Indian Blankets. Lovely clusters of colors along the driveway and ditches.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Who am I?

This is either a Kingbird or a Flycatcher. I've tried to determine a proper ID via 4 different bird books and the web. Can't quite nail it down as they are very similar so my vote goes with Flycatcher - or Kingbird...

We get flocks of Eastern Kingbirds here - they take turns diving over the pond, scooping up insects or other organisms off the surface of the pond - so maybe this is a Western Kingbird as our area provides an overlap in both of their territories.

Bee-yoo-tiful


I guess the beebalm really does attract bees...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Snake on the water


Here's a snake in happier form (not carried in a dog's jaws), enjoying a meandering swim on the pond. The way they swim back and forth reminds me of an old guy on a Sunday joy ride - weaving back and forth across the lanes on a country road just enjoying the day.

Zim in waiting


He's been a little blue since Pearl died. I think this may be the first time in his life, he's been the sole horse on a property. The folks who owned him previously kept him at a stable and the owners before that had other horses too.

Tuxedo's been keeping him company at night in the barn, and the neighbor's old cow horse and mini-mules stop by along the fence line in the afternoon. But he's definitely depressed and unhappy with his solitude.

Hold on, Zimmy. I'm trying to find you a new companion.

Friday, May 21, 2010

More wine?


Sprinkled among the cactus lobes are a few wine cups. Their color is just glorious and kinda makes me thirsty... :)

BB aka Sweetface


Also known as Angel Face.




Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sometimes seen in captivity


Baron and BB enjoy lots of indoor time and run*a*round time too. But sometimes they must endure the indignity of being penned (like when we're going off property or when I want to mow the yard without being harrassed by 4-legged escorts).

Their fence encircles a huge oak tree for plenty of shade. They have 2 doggie igloos for shelter if needed. They also have 2 baby pools for splashing and soaking on hot days. And numerous bones and toys to occupy their time. The soccer ball doesn't see much action, however.

Promised and delivered



Here's the house-side cactus bringing forth its yellow blooms.




And another one that grows next to the shed/garage - just loaded.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

To Tick-Off a Mockingbird


This is one p.o.'d mockingbird. The object of its fury is the blue jay (lingering near the bottom of the photo) that dared to roost on the gazebo at the same time as the m-bird.

Even after the blue jay departed and the mockingbird went on about its bug-gathering way, it still looks pretty miffed.

Saved from the jaws of death (for now)


Another turtle that had to be rescued from the attack dogs. Poor thing was probably just trying to reach a good spot to lay some eggs when BAM! Canine teeth come a-callin'. I released the poor thing back into the pond and it paddled off to safety, altho BB tried her best to recapture it in the water.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

It's anybody's game




I did not see this snake until after it was already dead. I was painting trim around the back of the house when I noticed BB frantically snuffling in the nearby grass, picking up something's trail. She skirted around to the front yard and Baron, Louise and Thelma quickly joined her in the excitement. A few minutes later I heard Baron barking his "I'm annoyed/excited/perplexed" bark. When I came around the house, I noticed Louise laying smugly off to one side and Baron was in the front yard standing over a snake.

I tend to believe Louise was once again the snake-killer, however, due to lack of an eye witness, I'll let Baron take the credit for this one. He carried his snake-in-a-rope around for a while, then rolled on it, then sat guard over it, until finally I could coax him to come inside. Only then could I scoop it up and toss it in the pond. I've learned not to throw anything into the pond if he's present since the (retriever) force is strong in this one. He'll dive in after anything whether it's a carcass, stick, snake, bone, etc.

Whenever I throw a dead/wounded snake or turtle back into the pond so it can be properly devoured by nature, I always worry about its significant other coming across it. "Bert, is that you!? Oh no!"

Bonafide (bone-ified) stereo


Baron and BB perform a bone-chomping duet on the back lawn.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Pond arc


Just in case you were missing the pond, here's another reflection shot of one of our favorite dead trees.

Beebalm


I love the way the fields turn into a veritable treasure trove of color and texture this time of year. These interesting beauties are called beebalm. I have no idea if they actually attract or calm bees, but if they don't there's plenty of other blooms nearby to do the job.





Sunday, May 16, 2010

Angel Pearl reported for duty


We lost our beauty Pearl today. After managing 3 weeks following her stroke without laying down, I found her on her side this morning. I encouraged her to get up, she tried once, but her back legs were too weak. Then Husband and I both tried to get her up but she wasn't very responsive. Called the vet who administered more anti-inflammatory drugs. We three tried to get her up again but to no avail. So we ended her struggle.

She gave me more years than I had thought I'd have with her when she was first diagnosed with arthritis, then managed to give me 3 more weeks after her stroke. She was strong, sweet and beautiful and I will miss her.

Neighbor Across the Road was able to come over with his backhoe to give her her final resting place in the back field behind the barn. She's buried next to Breezy Anne, our old Arab mare that passed 2 years ago.

Zim is not happy being alone. He acknowledged Pearl's body before she was buried, then worked himself into a frenzy, running and neighing while the backhoe was working. He has whinnied a lot this afternoon looking for her. I was hoping he would realize she was gone but still here, but I'm not sure he reasons that way. Poor boy. I gave him a shower to cool him down this afternoon, but I know that only makes things better for a little while. Animals must grieve too.

On the wings of a snow white dove



I know you're probably tired of bird photos. But honestly, I can't get enough of them. So you're probably going to have to suffer through quite a few more if you keep checking in here.

This is a real rara avis. An albino mourning dove. I scared the poor thing into a tree when I walked out onto the deck one morning this week so I had to wait patiently for it to feel comfortable enough to return to feeding in order to snap its pic through my office window.

I'm happy to report that another mourning dove joined it in eating so it doesn't appear to suffer any kind of stigma due to its anomaly.

Enjoying the shade


Louise knows how to enjoy the best of spring/summer at Run*A*Round. She makes it look effortless. Hey, it takes skill to find the primo spots!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

No words (needed) to describe



J

'nuff said.

Spine-tingling suspense


And finally the horse spine makes an appearance. I know this is going to gross you out, but I was able to break it into 5 pieces so all of the dogs could chew on a segment. The things we'll do to make our kids happy...

Me, I just sat in the shade nearby with gin and tonic in hand (scrubbed and sanitized hand, that is).




Friday, May 14, 2010

Multi-purpose birdbath


I have to refill this birdbath pretty often since our dogs like to use it as an impromptu water fountain (we used to call them "bubblers" in Wisconsin). Here BB enjoys a good slurp under the birdfeeder tree.

Girl talk


So often the males of the avian species get all the attention. So here's a female cardinal and female bunting pic to even the score a bit...

After all, chicks rule!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A sprinkle a day...



Baron demonstrates why we have to keep wrought iron flower pot container thingies turned upside down over the sprinklers and weighted down by rocks... Thelma and Louise were the first to dismantle our aerobic septic system sprinkler heads, thus necessitating our anti-canine playground program. They still enjoy leaping and biting at the spray - as gross as chlorinated septic water has got to taste...

Lounging on alert


Louise, you're missing the "lounge" part of sitting on the deck chaise. You're supposed to relax and take it easy, not remain on high alert for intruder activity.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bird swing / Bird's wing

Male cardinal enjoying sunflower seed.









A house finch flies in to feed.

The hoof makes an appearance


Marigold takes a turn on the horse hoof that continues to ramble around the property.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A natural redhead


I'm not sure why they call these guys red-bellied woodpeckers. There's only a tinge of red along the sides of their underbelly. But I guess there's already a "red-headed" title given to another type.

Bored, bored, bored...


BB demonstrates how bored she is - and it's not even summer vacation time yet!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Just when you thought it was safe


and you didn't have to think about or see any more horse parts...

Baron brings back the first rib bone. I will refrain from any Texas barbecue references.

House finches


We're also getting rosy little house finches again this year. Lovely, understated, pleasant little additions.

Now part of the routine


The painted bunting is now a regular at the feeders. I actually think there are two of them residing nearby since I witnessed a squabble between males recently. Plenty of food and nesting territory for all, fellas.

No problems sharing the buffet with a sparrow.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day


to all the moms out there - of every species - expectant moms included (like the bluebird shown here).
:)

Tuxedo turns 7!


Our smallest "child" turns 7 today! Happy birthday, lone feline survivor at Run*A*Round! And many, many more!
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