Saturday, April 11, 2015

Evening Visitors

Outside, waiting to close the chickens in for the night, and quietly observing the evening rituals of the critters that live on our property.   We hadn't seen Rocky for a few days and suddenly, footsteps on the roof.   I turned to the right and Rocky jumped from the roof to the ground.   Wow, pretty impressive.   He ran up the pine and stayed up there for a while, then decided it was safe to come down as I was being quiet and he could trust a little.   He got a drink from the chicken water bowls, then beat feet over to the crabapple, jumped over to his pine, and made his way up to his nest for the night.   

The sparrows had their turn at the water.   I had seen a different sparrow earlier in the day and he showed up.   I went online and ID'd him as a Golden Sparrow that spends winters in our area and then goes up north.   I'd never seen one here.   After I put the chickens to bed, I was taking a few photos of the resident dove couple, turned and stopped in my tracks, spotting a bright yellow bird at the water.   It's not easy to take a photo when you're turned halfway around and your feet are not positioned for standing still.   But I got a few of him before he took off.   I think it may be a Lesser Goldfinch?

We had a few of the usual hummers, our ever present Towhees,  the Starlings that I NEVER photograph (ick).   It was a nice evening hanging around watching the wildlife do what they do.









And evening ends.   All the critters have food and water and tomorrow it begins again.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Mission San Antonio

This past Saturday, we drove out to Mission San Antonio.   Erik had been there many times in the past, but it's one that I had never seen.   http://missionsanantonio.net  It was so quiet and peaceful, I enjoyed being there and taking photos, and I was quite glad that we chose this past weekend rather than the coming weekend when Mission Days will be held.   The quiet of the missions is, to me, one of the things that makes them so special.

Pulling in, I was thrilled to find fields of wildflowers.   I love lupines and the fragrance was amazing. With no fences, you can enjoy them to the fullest.


We walked through the museum which is really well laid out and so interesting.   I have several photos which I'll try to remember to share another day.   This is the kitchen.   


After walking around inside, we went into the courtyard.   The gardens were not yet in full bloom but you can imagine how this will look when the roses show their stuff.


The church has that loveliness and simplicity of a mission.   Even with the retrofit going on, they are holding services there.



Along the walls in the courtyard, there are a few paintings of local critters.   They are so sweet in their simplicity.


If you get a chance to visit the California missions, put this one on your list.   Even with the retrofit activity on the exterior, it's worth driving off the freeway for a short ways.   More later....

Have a nice day!   We have rain coming....for real!


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Real Wednesday

I woke up yesterday thinking it was Wednesday.   That's why the "Wordless Wednesday" on a Tuesday.   I thought it was Wednesday until around noon, I think.   Despite the confusion, it was a good day....Tuesday.   

In the morning I rode both my horses, Buddy and Beau.   They are so different, one from the other, so it gives me two experiences.   And twice the exercise!   Beau has recovered from his serious issues of last year and I couldn't be happier about that.   His jaw is healed and not causing any problems.   His feet have completely grown out and he's had no soreness, so we are good to go.   Just working to get him conditioned and that won't take much longer.

A quick change at home and I was off to a new dentist for cleaning and exam.   I admit, I had skipped my cleanings last year at my previous dentist.   So I was expecting the usual....too much plaque, not enough flossing, need to replace an old filling....blah blah blah.   Anxiety at the dentist.   I had decided to try a new dentist in a much smaller, less fancy office.   I know a couple people who see him and recommended him.   What a completely different experience.   The hygienist was awesome, my cleaning was easy, nothing on the X-rays that needed attention, the dentist was nice, and it was a painless experience.   I rather liked that office in a much older building with wood paneling on the walls and no bright video screens in the waiting room.   

My new glasses had arrived so I drove to pick those up.   While in Paso, I went to the Boot Barn to look for t-shirts.   I am on the same dang t-shirt search I may have talked about last year or the year before.   I've combed the internet looking for quality t-shirts with a thicker cotton and length and no sports teams or cartoon characters on the front.   After my lengthy online search, every single item I've viewed is now showing up on every single site I look at.   Nordstrom, JCrew, Gap, Kohls, and on and on and on.   Anyway....I found a few shirts at the Boot Barn.   I also looked at some very pretty Western handbags but didn't buy one.   Some of them are way too expensive for me, but they also have very nice less expensive designs.   

I decided that my teeth were so clean, I should eat a burrito.   Ha!   Actually, my hygienist had mentioned a place here called Chipotle and I'd never been, so I wanted to try it since I'd skipped lunch and it was getting close to dinner.   I got a burrito and took it home.   Delicious.   They use very fresh ingredients, grass fed and hormone free meats, and you basically have them build it how you choose either in a burrito, a bowl, or a salad.   It was really good.   

So it was a good Tuesday.   And now it's Wednesday, for real.   I'm off to the barn this morning and then maybe heading to the coast for some fun with my camera.   I really like this new camera and it's so much easier to carry than my Nikon.   

Here you go, a cheesy photo of the day that I snapped to show my sissy the new glasses.


And another photo just because....


Have a good day!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

I Was Hopeful

So with all the beautiful wildflowers on our hills this year, I was hopeful my own blossoms would be plentiful.   But alas, it's not to be.   Plants and trees....especially flowering trees that bear fruit....need a longer stretch of cold temperatures.   We had very few cold days and nights this winter and very very warm days for this early in the Spring.   The blossoms on our trees are sparse and scraggly.   Our peach tree would be filled with gorgeous blossoms if we'd had a real winter (for us).   Our crabapple tree isn't showing blossoms like it has in the past and I'm beginning to wonder if it's getting too old or whether the climate changes are just taking their toll.   Even my heavenly lilacs are looking pretty sad.   It all makes me a little sad, knowing that there's nothing we can do about the warmer temperatures.   I took a few photos last night when in past years I have taken hundreds to satisfy my love of blossoms.   The times, they are changing.    Maybe next year?




Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Bitterwater Road

Don't you think that sounds so Old West?   I love the name and it's a wonderful long drive through nothing but ranch land with no fences and no cell service.   Cattle walking across the road, taking naps under the scattered oak trees.   I opted out of riding horses yesterday and took my new camera for a very very long drive in search of wildflowers.   I found the hills of poppies in another area that someone had photographed but there was no way to get to them.   That person either knows the ranch owner and got access to a private dirt road, or he went in stealth and walked a very long distance.   


This field was decorated in purple.   This was taken standing on the side of the road hoping the lack of traffic on Bitterwater Road wouldn't change.


The drive took me back to Shell Creek and I was happy to see a few lupines starting to show among the yellow.   


It was a very pretty day but lots of driving.   Today, I'm getting back in the saddle a little closer to home.   Enjoy your Tuesday!


Friday, March 13, 2015

Hey Rocky and Sony

I have lived here more than twelve years and I've never ever seen a tree squirrel here.   We just don't have tree squirrels....only hundreds and thousands of pesky ground squirrels.   Everyone in the area tries to eradicate them and we have some success.   Much to our surprise, we have a tree squirrel running around on our roof and hanging out in the pine trees, eating pine cones and dropping the remains down to the ground.   He is gray and his name is Rocky.   Of course!   

Erik saw him first a couple of weeks ago but I forgot that he mentioned it to me.   I'm sure I was listening....or maybe I wasn't really?   Anyway, recently I heard little feet scampering on our roof.   What is that?   I had noticed pine cones dropping from above when I walked outside.   And then I saw Rocky up in the tree.   I was quite surprised.   And he/she is still here.   Yesterday I saw him coming down the redwood tree with a mouthful of shredded bark.   A nest?   I'm not sure where, but that must be what he's doing.   I read that they can build a nest in one day.   Pretty industrious, huh?   

I don't have photos of him but it doesn't matter because everyone has seen photos of squirrels.   We'll see if babies show up at some point.   Although I haven't seen a second squirrel.   I'm not sure from whence he came or how long he'll stay, but I can say he's a lot more attractive than the ground squirrels we see on a much too regular basis.   

In other news....my new camera will be delivered today!!!   After much ongoing consideration, I decided on the Sony a6000.   I hope they deliver it this morning so I don't have to sit home all day long waiting for UPS.   You know what I'll be doing this weekend.   It's going to be 85 degrees and wildflowers are abundant.   The lupines are just starting to bloom and I'm going in search of some to share a little blue on this blog.

And some orange....


Have a very nice weekend.