Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas

I'm still working too much and blogging too little,  but from my office cubical, I wish you all a Merry <western> Christmas!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

U. S. Highway Trivia

We recently passed under this monument.

Where were we? Name the town and state.

This town is known as "the   ___?___  __?__   Capitol of the World."

No prizes; just your personal satisfaction of weird highway knowledge.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ride Like a Witch

With kind permission from Dana's Doodles
Halloween is actually my favorite "holiday"...I just wish it came with a day off of work.  I like the fun costumes and candy and spider webs and classic spooky movies.  Have a fun Halloween week!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Misty's Monday Muse - Postcard from Colorado

Having a wonderful time.

Wish you were here!

Photo courtesy Mark and Debbie Bibb
I've been taking MyLady on lots of trail rides this summer.  We're having so much fun, there hasn't been any time for blogging.  We are spending  all of our free time together and have become great trail partners.  There are still several months of lovely riding weather, so we'll be in touch when the snow flies.  
Enjoying the great outdoors,

Friday, August 2, 2013

Post Fire Flooding

Every time it rains, news crews come out and film at this location, where it floods across the street and then leaves a bunch of black sludge behind.  At times the flooding has been up to the top of the fence.  This homeowner lost their house in the fire and now they have to deal with this mess too.

Where does all this goo come from?  Here's the answer from last Monday's storm.

More storms are on the way.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Meet Peg

Peg is short for Peg Leg.

I found Peg Saturday evening, caught by one leg, in a large rodent snap trap in our pasture.

I released her, scooped her up, and brought her into the house.

Her leg was a mess; a bloody compound fracture with her foot dangling by a long, skinny piece of skin.

I had to amputate her leg with toenail clippers.
 (I had big dreams of being a vet when I was a kid.)

While I was bandaging her stub (with cotton and antibiotic gel wrapped with first aid tape - and duct tape for good measure),  her eyes closed and I thought she was dying.

I said, "Don't you die on me little birdy!  I haven't lost a patient on the kitchen counter operating table yet!"

She rallied.  
I think she was just in shock.

I was surprised to find Peg still alive Sunday morning.  I fed her a mix of wild finch seed and millet pieces.  ????  Just guessing on what might be right.  She hung on and was a feisty little dish, escaping once to fly madly around my laundry room.

I dropped Peg off at an avian vet's office Tuesday.  I knew she needed to be on antibiotics and might need her boney stub cauterized and I wasn't sure what to do next. 

I thought Peg might be some kind of finch.  The vet said she's definitely not a finch but wasn't sure what kind of bird she is.  (The vet deals mostly with parrots, but kindheartedly treats wild birds that find their way to her office.)  I emailed Peg's picture to  a friend who said she looks like an immature meadowlark, and said she really should have some bugs to eat.

Do you think Peg is a young meadowlark?

The vet doesn't keep live food on hand, so I took some mealworms to the office today.  Good timing too.  They just got a flicker in that had been caught in a volleyball net and injured its wings.

So Peg - the alleged meadowlark - and the flicker will be eating good tonight.

Yum! Yum! Deeeelicious!

Gosh!  I dropped 100 mealworms off at the vet's office.  That might not feed two hungry birds for very long.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Misty's Monday Muse - High Line

MyLady and I  like to camp together.
We're not very experienced.
We're still learning.

Recently we learned how to high line.
MyLady had the hard part.
She had to learn to tie knots.

The Clove Hitch
The Bowline Knot
The Taut Line Hitch

Then she strung a high line between two trees.
She had trouble getting the line high enough for me,
cuz I'm kinda tall.
When we camp for real, it'll have to be much higher,
so I don't get my head caught on the line.
And I'll need a different halter...not a rope halter.
But this was just our first attempt.

Tying knots and hitches with the tree saver straps was awkward.
She needs more practice.
Be kind to trees.
(But I confess, I like to chew on them.)

I had the easy part.
I just hung out on the high line.
I took to it right away.

I like it.

I can relax.
I can move around.
I can put my head down and eat.

Now, that's my idea of camping.


Have you ever gone camping with your peoples and spent the whole dark night on a high-line?  Did you see any bears?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th - Have Fun - Be Wise

Happy 4th of July!

Have Fun!

Please Be Fire Wise!

Black Forest Fire Station*

2012 Waldo Canyon Fire
  • 347 homes destroyed
  • 2 people killed
  • Human caused - no other details released to the public

2013 Black Forest Fire
  • 512 homes destroyed
  • 2 people killed
  • Human caused - likely accidental - no other details released to the public

Please be careful.  
 Be wise;  Be safe. 
 Enjoy this great holiday!

* Somebody is missing next to the fire danger sign.  There is usually a bear on the sign.  But some dude from out of state, after viewing national news of the fire, called the firehouse and complained about the bear.  He spewed a bunch of legalese claiming the bear looked too much like the licensed image of "Smokey the Bear".   So the bear was taken down.  Letters have been written to Washington, and the Black Forest bear is expected to return to his place on the sign.  

Monday, July 1, 2013

Aftermath of the Fire

"We Heart Black Forest"
The Enduring Spirit of Forest Dwellers

 Hundreds of Chimneys
Stand Sentinel Over Charred Homesites

Toasted and Totaled

One of My Favorite Riding Trails
Intact, But Not So Pretty
Trail Closed
Hot Spots Still Burning
Fire Secretly Smolders in Roots and Tree Trunks
Until it is Blanketed in Snow

Fire Mitigation Completed in 2012 Too

Recovery Has Started
Cleanup Has Begun
Forest Forever Changed

Life Goes On

Monday, June 24, 2013

Misty's Monday Muse - What a Week!

Thank-you Everyone for your good thoughts and wishes.

We are home safe and sound and all is well.

It was a crazy, busy, exhausting week; mostly for Mr. and Mrs. OnceUpon.  Lyra, Lola, and I just went with the flow.  As long as we had hay under our noses, we were content.  But you know what they say, "There's no place like home."  We are glad to be back in our barn, but very appreciative of those who gave us shelter, particularly Elbert County and Moondance Ranch.

Tuesday June 11, 2013 - Fire!

Chinook Carries Water Bucket

Chinooks Refilling at Pond

Tuesday Night Glow

Amazingly, the gas station, convenience store and bbq restaurant, feed store, community center, auto shop, knitting store and churches in the heart of Black Forest were saved.  But it was a very close call.

Wednesday June 12, 2013 - Winds shifted, fire on the move, and we received the reverse 911 call to evacuate.

Lyra, Lola, and I settle in at the evacuation center at the Elbert Country Fairgrounds. 

Rump Tag to Match Me with MyLady

Meeting the Neighbors

Lola & Lyra Passing Time

Thursday June 13, 2013 - Elbert County reports "Noah's Ark at the Fairgrounds"
 "Elbert County Fairgrounds remains open with space for evacuees and animals. Total count of animals currently at the Fairgrounds is as follows: 28 chickens; 216 horses, 5 drafts/14 foals; 5 cows, 2 calves; 27 Alpacas; 14 dogs; 25 cats; 22 goats; 1 ducks; 4 burros; 2 guinea pigs; 3 sheep; 19 miniature horses; 19 mules; 8 lamas; 3 stallions; 1 yak."

Then a 2nd yak showed up and MyLady added two parrots to the mix.  Newport and Tessa were miserable standing flat footed in their pet carriers in the motel, so the nice volunteers cut up tree branches and put them in rabbit cages so the birds could perch in the small animal building.

Herd O' Mules

Friendly Mules

Herd O' Horses from Scout Camp

Vonda & Bella
The Happiest Evacuees

In Case of Emergency

Phone Numbers Help Reunite Lost Horses with Owners


Lots of  Security

Our Home Away from Home

Yak Evac

More Evacuees Happily Munching on Hay

Saturday June 15, 2013 - Elbert County residents began returning home and Elbert County urged the rest of us to make other arrangements.  Stressful!  But thanks to Moondance Ranch, we upgraded to more comfortable lodging until we returned home on Monday June 17th.

What a week!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What Makes a Cowboy Cry?

We are back home and all is well.  I'm exhausted.  I'm going to bed and may not get up until Thursday.

Thank you, Moondance Ranch, for finding shelter in a pinch for my girls.

The loss in Black Forest is so sad.  Not all horses made it back to their owners, but here is one very sweet reunion.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Black Forest Fire Strike Team in Action

This is fascinating.  I didn't know firefighters will wait for the fire to come to them; makes sense after watching the video.  They are so calm and business like as they go about their job.  Real Pros!

Black Forest Structure Protection from City of Colorado Springs on Vimeo.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Safe and Sound

Thank-you, blogger friends, for your good wishes.

We are safe and comfortable while we wait out this situation.  So far, our house is untouched.

Good news:  KRDO TV is reporting rain over the fire now. Hopefully it will pour and not just spit and blow wind.

Misty and the minis are getting a lot of attention at the fairgrounds.  There are many beautiful horses there, including 14 mommas and their adorable foals.   This was the count early Thursday:

"Elbert County Fairgrounds remains open with space for evacuees and animals. Total count of animals currently at the Fairgrounds is as follows: 28 chickens; 216 horses, 5 drafts/14 foals; 5 cows, 2 calves; 27 Alpacas; 14 dogs; 25 cats; 22 goats; 1 ducks; 4 burros; 2 guinea pigs; 3 sheep; 19 miniature horses; 19 mules; 8 lamas; 3 stallions; 1 yak."

They have about 148 people there too, camping or staying in the Red Cross shelter.

I'll share some pictures when I get home (not sure when).  In my haste to leave, I grabbed my iPod cord instead of my camera cord.  :-)   I forgot socks too, but remembered my toothbrush.  Minor details, but this has certainly been a learning experience unlike anything else I've been through.

Thank-you firefighters!  You're the best!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Fire: Too Close For Comfort

The horse trailer is hitched.
The horses are haltered and ready to go.

We are not in immediate danger.
But it is too close for comfort!

The evacuation area is growing.

It will depend on the wind.

Hot, dry, and windy in Colorado.

Here we go again.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tying on the Trail

Do you tie your horse out on the trail?  
To trees or hitching rails?

My last trail ride (previous post) was wonderful. However, we did have one small incident that became a good learning experience.

We stopped at a rest area with hitching rails.
 I took my lead rope out of my saddle bag.
I snapped the lead rope to Misty's halter and removed her bridle.
I tied the lead rope to the hitching rail.
I sat down at a nearby picnic table to enjoy a snack.
I thought I had tied the lead safely around the rail and support post so it wouldn't slide.
I looked at Misty and Oh! Oh!

Misty had her head down to the ground, happily munching grass, because the lead rope had slid all the way down the support pole to the ground.  Not a good situation.  So I got up to fix it before she decided to put her head up.

Another rider, closer to Misty, saw the precarious situation too and moved toward Misty to help.  Misty lifted her head, felt the odd angle of resistance from the lead rope and went into a panic.   I got to her just as the hardware on her lead rope broke.  She stood quietly like "Huh, what just happened?"

Another rider came over and tied my lead rope (now without hardware) to her halter and I re-tied the lead rope to the rail, securely this time.

She soon got into another brief panic and pulled back hard, but didn't break anything.  This was very unusual behavior for Misty as she has never done the panic-pull-back dance before. It surprised me.  I'm not sure what caused the 2nd panic. Perhaps she was aware of the deer herd we just passed, as they moved away from the area.  Or she was uncomfortable with the horse tied at the other end of the hitching rail. Or the poor girl was just feeling a little freaky after her 1st panic.

No harm done, thankfully. 
It was time to mount-up and ride-on.

Lessons learned:
  1. Stay close to Misty when she is tied in a strange place, next to an unfamiliar horse, especially out on the trail. 
  2. Find a better method of tying out on the trail. 
I prefer not to leave a lead rope tied to her halter and ride with it around her neck or tied to my saddle horn, etc.  I want to easily detach the lead and carry it in my saddle bag.

I'm going to try The Clip.  

Anybody use one out on the trail? I think the tether ring will be useful around tree trunks and then I can attach the clip to the tether ring. 

How do you tie out on the trail?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

I'd Still Rather Be Trail Riding

A lovely day for a ride.
Warm sunshine was welcome.
The scenery was beautiful.
Looking forward to my next trail ride.
I love my Misty mare.

Ready to Ride
Peek-a-Boo, Can't See You
Winding through scrub oak and pine trees.

Dawson Butte