Desert Horses

Welcome to my horse blog, Desert Horses. We live in the desert southwest, near Palm Springs, CA, but board our horses up in our local mountains where it is cooler in the summer. I have 4 horses, all rescues. Here is the ranch up the mountains where the horses stay.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Got a LOT of work to do!

 An Edison crew showed up 60 days ago and said they wanted to completely remove 6 trees from our property which were under their lines.   So, we said yes.   One was a 40 year old DEAD pine tree which I planted the year after our daughter was born.   The doves loved that tree, but they can find other ones.   There were 3 eucalyptus, the dead pine, and 1 Chinaberry (which actually wasn't under their lines), but they took them all out completely.   The good thing is that it has now opened up about 1/3 of our yard to direct sunlight and I now have a huge area to plant flower seeds!   So, I placed a $40 order for black eyed Susans, California poppies, African daisies, lupine, larkspur, and I forget what else.   In the meantime I'm busy planting hollyhocks and sunflowers all along the block wall next to our neighbor.   By Spring, it will completely be covered with sunflowers and hollyhocks!   and, I have plenty of room for everything else.   So, I go out every day for about an hour and putter around.   I'm getting exercise and Vitamin D, so that's good.

We DID see the alignment of Jupiter and Saturn on the 21st, so that was good.   Last night it was too cloudy to see anything and they weren't lined up anyway.

Not much else new here.   I have at least 3 hummingbirds who have stayed in the yard.   Oh, and the neighborhood roadrunner comes every day and eats grubs and an occasional sparrow or finch..sigh... She can sure hunker down when the Cooper's hawk flies through the yard!

So far we are still healthy.   I only go out to the store once a week and I ONLY go out first thing in the morning.   NEVER in the afternoon...and I ALWAYS wear a mask, take hand sanitizer, and I scrub my hands when I get home.   We don't go anywhere else, except to our daughter's home and they are both very careful.  I do babysit the 7 year old for 2 weeks every month.   Now I just basically see that she is on task.   Those little fingers sure can move quickly on the iPad!   And, in the afternoon she has small groups on Zoom, so I have to make sure she's ready for that.   Then, I drive home and take a 2 hour nap.

Stay safe and STAY WELL!

Cheryl

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Visit to the horses today

 I HAD to go up for a visit to the horses today.   I start my 2 weeks with the second grader, Miss Ellie tomorrow and I'll be too EXHAUSTED every day to do so.   I needed to put some medicine on Quad's two back hooves because he has a fungal infection.   So, off I went this morning after going to COSTCO on Friday to have my tire pressure checked.   GOOD THING I WENT!   ALL my tires were about 7 pounds low!   I haven't been driving my own car much.   It's just been sitting in the driveway.   And, I filled her up with gas, so away we went.

It was a pleasant drive up, but with a LOT of traffic.   And, with traffic comes impatient drivers.   I think I pulled over into turnouts about 4x.

The horses are all doing fine and are getting their winter coats.  It's amazing to watch (and feel) their coats coming in.   I managed to brush all of them, so I got a good feel as to their coats.

The leaves are just starting to turn on the sycamores and maples up there...still a little early.

Here are some photos of the horses:

Quad.   He has bandages on his front feet from an abscess.   But, he is now able to run and buck and chase his girlfriend up and down the fence.

Quad and his girlfriend.   He has managed to eat half of her tail!
My pretty chestnut thoroughbred mare, Gigondas.   She came up for some loving and a nice brushing today.

I brushed all the horses, so I know that their winter coats are coming in.   I was too tired to take photos of Sunni and Scout.   Maybe next time.
XOXOXOXO
Cheryl


Friday, October 9, 2020

What I've learned from watching birds

 I used to have my laptop next to my window in the craft room.  Unfortunately, due to the poor reception there, I've had to take it and move it out into the living room.   I'm going to have to rearrange some furniture so that I can sit next to that huge window and be able to look out into our front yard, so that will take a couple of days.

Anyway, during my window sitting time and time spent gazing out of my craft room window (formerly our daughter's bedroom and it is still painted a deep shade of forest green), I've learned a few things about birds.

First, birds are NOT STUPID.   They've been on this planet millions of years longer than we have.

Second, birds have an early warning system built in against predators (yes, that includes other birds).   If one bird takes flight (PANICKED FLIGHT)...they ALL do.   I assume that is a survival mechanism.   The roadrunner was out front this morning when ALL the doves and sparrows and finches took flight and she, too, disappeared.

Third, birds have very light sensitive eyes.   If' I'm at my desk and I even move a muscle, they spot it and take off. The roadrunner is getting used to me and I move VERY SLOWLY if I spot her.   But the doves...nope...they don't want any part of me.

Fourth, don't let them fool you.   Roadrunners CAN move at lightning speed.   I've seen this one CATCH and batter and eat 2 sparrows that she caught.   Yesterday afternoon she lunged at some on the ground, but those got away.   It really IS survival of the fittest.

Fifth, I don't have a photograph of her.  Our windows are 30 years old and I need to get out and wash them, so no photos (yet)...She really is quite colorful and I'm HOPING I'll get one of her soon.  Hubby, who grew up down here, says this one is a female because she isn't brightly colored enough.

60 degrees outside this morning.   We have 3 more days of double digit temps, then next week we are back up in the 100's....sigh...

That's all for now.

Stay safe and stay healthy.

Cheryl Ann

Thursday, October 8, 2020

The more I listen to the news, the more art work I do!

 ...sigh...

Listening to the news is so depressing I find myself spending HOURS in my craft room the 2 weeks I'm not helping the second grade granddaughter. And, my 2 weeks off are this week and next.  We don't even have the TV on down at their house because it is too distracting for her and she needs to focus on her school work.

I find myself getting outdoors more and more every day, especially now that we are down into the 70's and 60's at night.   I bought 4 plants at Lowe's yesterday.   One is a purple salvia to replace the one that seems to have died the last 2 days.   The hummingbirds enjoy those, so I wanted to buy another one.   I got 2 lavender and 1 rosemary also.  

Hubby turns off the TV midmorning and either takes a nap or listens to jazz on our Alexa.   Really, who can take this NONSENSE day after day?

XOXOXO

Cheryl

Some of my daisies from 2017.   Lowe's didn't have any of these so I'll have to look elsewhere.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Birds and gophers

 We have pesky gophers in the back yard.   I constantly see new holes...sigh...Our dog has caught 2 of them and is very interested in a couple of spots out back, but for 2 days now I haven't spotted any new holes.   So, I'm hoping he got the last one.

We have a cottontail who comes to visit every now and then and a female roadrunner who comes every morning now.   At first she scared off the doves, but now they tolerate her.   They are too big for her, but she does catch a sparrow every now and then (NOT a pretty sight!)...She also digs for huge slugs in the dirt which I didn't even know were there!   She is quite entertaining, but she is also cunning like a Velociraptor. I have seen her HIDE in the bushes and then rush out, scaring all the birds away (and catching a sparrow!)   She delights in scaring the smaller birds.

I did our weekly shopping this morning:  WalMart and Whole Foods and I was lucky to get out during their senior hours, so both stores were almost EMPTY!   YAY!   In & out in no time at all and without running into a lot of people!   :-)

I MAY drive across town to COSTCO today.   I'm getting low on bird seed and TP.

Until next time,

Cheryl ~~ Ripley and her bear about 2016.   RIP sweet thing.   I still miss her.


Tuesday, October 6, 2020

We're still here and sad news from Oak Glen, Los Rios apple farm

 Well, we're still here!   We just don't do much and we don't go out except to our daughter's.   I'm babysitting the 7 year old during the day for 2 weeks each month to make sure she is on task with her distance learning.   Her other grandma comes for 2 weeks after my stretch is done.   One can ONLY do 2 weeks at a time because she can be exhausting!    Mommie is trying to teach middle school band from the bedroom!   OY!

Sad news from Oak Glen:   The Los Rios apple ranch main building and packing shed were all destroyed by fire last week.   The fire started at 2:30 a.m.   The bakery is GONE.   The store is GONE.   Part of the adjacent Wildlands Conservacy was burned, too.  I remember going up there as a kid with my grandparents.   100 years of history...GONE.

I am busy planting my fall garden.   I'm going to have to replace one of my blue salvias because overnight something ate the leaves and it is ready to be pulled out.   Oh, and we have gophers out back.   Our lab mix, Bodie, loves to stick his nose down their hole and DIG horrible holes!   He has actually caught 2 of them.   I thought we were done, but noooooooooooooooooo!   Another one is already pushing up dirt...sigh...

Oh, and we have HORNETS at the hummingbird feeders, so I brought them all in this morning.   Pesky little things and they fly around my face!

Until next time.

Cheryl

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Horses get their shots and Quad had an abscess

 So, it was that time of year for the herd to get their shots and my wonderful vet, Dr. Lindsey Crowley, came with 2 assistants yesterday.   First of all, I had her look at Quad because Cathy, the ranch owner, said he was lame.   He stood in one spot yesterday, legs stiff, and didn't move.   Poor guy.   Well, Dr. Lindsey took a look at his front hooves and discovered a big, nasty abscess in one of them, so she went to work!   Then she bandaged that one up and looked at the other one and bandaged it up, too.   He has thrush in his back 2 hooves, so I'm going to buy some Thrust Buster today and I'll go back Saturday to drop it off.   By the time she was done with him, he was running and bucking in his corral!    So good to see him back to normal!   She almost forgot to give him his shot!

Gigondas was a GOOD GIRL, as usual.   Scout?   Scout was a brat, as usual.   She didn't want NO DAMN SHOT and she let everybody know!   The doc passed on Sunni because last year he was a complete IDIOT and wouldn't let anybody near him, so Cathy will give him his shot.

I'm glad that is over.   PHEW!   It was 95 degrees up there and I drank a whole bottle of Vitamin water, and I came home and drank...4 glasses of herbal iced tea!   And, I took a nap for an hour!   That warm weather is deceiving even with a nice breeze.

So, they are all done for a year,   Quad, however, will need to get pads and shoes on his front feet.

I'm going out this morning and planting some hollyhock seeds...tis the season!

XOXOXO

Cheryl

Quad and Crystal, his neighbor.   He has managed to chew off most of her tail!   HOW RUDE!   He is much more spotted now (he's 16 years old) and his mane and tail and both white now.