Sunday, August 30, 2009

Paisley and his Ponies

I have had this little show going on all summer and tonight I finally got the camera out there with me. Paisley loves his Cheyenne! Chy must at least tolerate him to put up with him on her back.

The Approach.

The Mount.


And if I knew how to do it--I would have the pictures in order instead of the reverse order!!

You get the idea.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

This and that..

Here is another strange flower. I got the seeds from a friend but she didn't know what the plant was called--only that it had white flowers. That it does. It opens up like a morning glory. It reminds me of Georgia O'Keefe's painting of the jimson weed flower. Which is quite beautiful. The bloom only lasts about a day, and then it sets a spiny little seed pod.

It has been raining a lot lately--had three days last week of rain--a little sunny break for the last barrel racing show over the weekend, and then back to rain today.

About 2/3rds of our 66 acres got reseeded for alfalfa so the timely rain is really helping it sprout. The seeds are valuable--a fifty pound bag of seed sells for $265! Luckily we didn't have to buy it, but the farmer who is renting the land had to buy tons of it. It's getting a good start at this rate.

The days are noticeably shorter now and it has that end of summer look around here. All the rain has sent the flowers into a downward spiral and the veggies into high gear. It's a jungle out there! Giant cukes went to the horses and chickens and the cabbages are bursting open. I explored the depths of the humungous pumpkin leaves and found four--or more--giant pumpkins that are larger than a bushel basket. They are dark green now so they will probably keep growing until they start ripening.

I'm feeling a bit creaky and off center these days. I think it is stemming from having too many different things going on. No energy to do all the yukky things that need to be done before I can get to something more interesting.

Our frig and washer went to appliance heaven at about the same time so the new appliances we ordered last week got delivered today. One thing leading to another, which always happens, it set the day up for lots of cleaning and shuffling stuff around. The old frig isn't quite dead yet so it went to the porch to be the veggie storage bin--if I can get it adjusted enough to quit freezing everything that gets pushed to the back. I'm worrying about getting stuff done for the art tour and it seems like there is always something keeping me from "getting ready".

I got to ride yesterday a.m. and p.m. to try to get me out of my funk. We had several days off due to rain and the weekend show so it was good to do something that felt....normal. Paisley cat followed Chy and me out on our ride last evening! He ran along with us all the way to the 66 and darted into the woods while we had a lope to the far end and back. Called him out of the woods and decided to put him inside my sweatshirt and give him a ride back. The nut went for it and thankfully Chy agreed to it, too. He is such a strange and wonderful little fellow. He is readily hopping on Chy's back when we do our round pen exercises and is very careful to not use claws! I have to get pics----Paisley and his horse.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Casablanca Beauty

The grand finale of the lily garden has been the Casablanca. It's huge fragrant blooms were the last to emerge. It's a shame they have to endure our sandy soil because I think the whole show would last longer on heavier soil.

I love the fragrant lilies. I have lots of yellow and orange ones that don't have an aroma and it seems they are the most hardy. It makes these beauties all the more special.

I am still mourning the loss of my iPhoto library. The expert has yet to arrive, but from my own research and call to a service center, it appears all are truly lost. Guess it gives me a good reason to get out and shoot, shoot, shoot some more.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Just Horse'n Around

That's all I was doing--I had a poster to print out and I was saving it to iPhoto when all my photos disappeared. Nobody home. I had close to 800 pics and I fully expect they are somewhere but my efforts to locate them haven't been successful. Lucky I know an expert who is coming over tomorrow to check it out.

We had a rainy Friday and then came in the heat and humidity so I gave the ponies a few days off. Finally got Cheyenne out for an evening jaunt last night--pure pleasure! This morning was Cerra's turn and she was focused and responsive for a change. She had a big run around session last evening when Chy and I got back to the barn. We rode on the outside perimeter of the pasture while Emmy and Cerra ran like crazy wild horses. It must have been beneficial for her to burn off her excess exhuberance. If Cerra's speed and power could be harnessed for barrel racing she could be a star!

It has been great to be in the routine of a.m. and p.m. riding--the girls each get their hour and sometimes it's for fun and sometimes for learning.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Mosaic Spheres

I made these to adorn the tops of my step on fence poles around the flower bed and found they were really fun to do. Nothing fancy, just colorful. I consider this my "crash test" phase where I determine how durable they are for outdoor use.

I have thrown away tons of glass over the years that could have made about a thousand of these!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Plumber's Zinnia

Here is the plumber's zinnia! I got a kick out of it--I find humor in strange places I guess.

The garden is pretty cute and colorful this year. Glads in the strawberries and volunteer sunflowers everywhere. I know I have a world record turnip this year--it is HUGE! The deer are eating the tops of the parsnips and have nipped off the tops on the new raspberry bushes.

My four broccoli plants have been going nuts ever since I took off the original heads--now they are sprouting off the sides even faster.

Picked the first cherry tomatoes and have billions on the way. Big tomatoes include all kinds of different varieties--Roma, Early Girl, Beefsteak.

My straw lined lanes worked out great! Especially the ones that have newspaper down first. (Yes, Wanda, that was your suggestion!) At first it didn't work out so great--I laid down papers in several thicknesses and put the straw over the top--HOWEVER, things started to dry out and then we had some strong winds that sent everything flying. I came out to the garden one morning and had to collect reams of newspapers from hither and yon and out in the woods. Now that the plants are huge there is less chance of that happening again. The serpentine soaker hose has been a total success, too. It has saved me HOURS of watering!

The plans for next year's garden are starting to gel-- ideas like putting up an electric fence. No more melon patch--it's going to be sweet corn! (Hence the need for an electric fence!) Adding a "Y" valve and expanding the soaker hose network and a rustic arbor for the now prolific grapes!

Gardeners do indeed dream dreams of emperors!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Midwest Landscapes Exhibit

After a full morning of blueberry picking on Friday I got my gears shifted to spend a couple hours at the Wings Over Alma artists reception. It was a small event as there were many other activities going on for people to attend that day. The postcard doesn't do justice to the photography. Dennis Newton's shots of Lake Pepin and the area were awesome. He does the large format printing himself and I was interested in that process. I got a chance to get to know Chelsea Golden better. She had some photography displayed, too, and she is a real sweetie! So talented--as is her husband Ben, who has been exhibited often at WOA. Jean Accola and her husband, Yata, had some beautiful oils and photography on display, too. I have admired her work for years -- they have a gallery in Durand. My offerings are pictured -- two views of Catfish Corner and one of the Beef Slough.