Friday, December 31, 2010

The spirits of the season...

Ms. Farmchick over at It's a Small Town Life published a post a while back about bottle trees.  I had seen them on occasion, but wasn't aware of the lore behind them.  They are meant to trap bad spirits that come near in the evenings and hold them until they can perish in the morning sunlight.  To amuse myself, I made one recently and have added a few bottles to the roughly manmade "tree".

I think it's interesting how you have to drink the spirits first in order to catch the spirits.  :) 

So in the interest of all the New Year's Eve toasting that will take place tonight, I thought I'd raise a bottle to all of you out there and wish you a very Happy 2011!  Be safe if you imbibe.  Be wary if you drive.  But celebrate your blessings and the hope of a new, blank calendar page waiting to be filled!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Musing over life

Thelma tries to imitate her sister Louise's pose from last year...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

For rent

Vacation time share available for winter months. Open floor plan. Gorgeous view! Must see to appreciate! Immediate availability now thru March 1st.   Call 1-8XX-BRD-NEST.  Hurry!  Won't last!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Communication problem solved

Along a nearby dirt road, there's nothing but dusty pastures filled with mesquite trees and scrub brush.  A herd or two of beef cattle reside there, as well as some wild boar.  One day I saw a herd of donkeys on one side and a herd of horses on the other.   They were staring at each other across the road so I stopped to take their pictures. 

The horses were a bit skittish whereas the donkeys seemed more at ease.  Turns out, the horses didn't speak jackass.  Well, while I was there, they worked it out.
(No offense intended for any jackasses.  I just report the news; I don't make it.)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

We don't have any snow here so no round and happy snowman to wish you happiness for the holidays.  So how about a round and happy Kingfisher?  He looks a bit like Frosty the Snowman to me. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Hoof update

The good news is Gem is walking much better again.  The Equine vet came back yesterday to check her hoof, was happy to see her using it comfortably, and changed from a wet solution to a dry bandage (with some tar-like salve administered to the bottom of her hoof).  She'll wear this for a couple more days, then hopefully will be okay from there. 

But to add insult to injury, I had her teeth floated while the vet was here.  She had one bad tooth that needed to be extracted.  And she had several sharp points on her teeth that needed to be filed down as they were cutting into her tongue and not allowing her to chew properly. 

Here she is in the dentist chair.  We all have that same look on our faces when we go through the drugging, the "where do I put my tongue during all this?" and the dreaded sound of that drill (in this case, an electric rasp).  But she came through with good marks and is good for another year of happy chowing.
Open wide (like she has a choice with that mouth contraption).
Electric rasp doing its job and filing down sharp tooth points.
Holding the tongue out of the way.
I know we humans feel like the dentist puts his whole fist into our mouths when he's working on our teeth.  But for horses, it is true.  The fist, a flashlight, a rasp blade, accompanied by a halter mouth guard worthy of a Saw movie.  Humans, we get off easy.  (Except we're expected to converse throughout the procedure and have to suffer through that "Easy Listening" music.)

Here's her old rotten molar.  Wonder if the tooth fairy makes barn calls?
  No toy chest to pick from or lollipop for her, but I will give her some horse cookies later.  :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mummy foot

Little Gem came up lame a few days ago.  The vet came out, took a look and decided she had an absess in her foot that would need to break through the hoof wall before she would feel better.  He administered Epsom salts and solutions on a swath of cotton, placed it on the bottom of her hoof, inserted said hoof into a tough plastic bag, then wrapped up the whole thing in bandages. 

Gem was ordered to semi-bed rest for three days.  Since she and Zim are almost inseparable, Zim needed to stay put with her in order to keep her calm.  So they've been held captive inside the paddock by the barn.  For three long days.  Staring out into the back pasture.  Wondering what happened to the vast freedom they had been enjoying in the front hay acreage.  Whinnying for freedom.  "Forced" to eat hay instead of foraging for their own fodder during the day. 

Oh the indignity of being a stabled horse...
No use crying, Zim.  It won't reduce your sentence.

Grackle Madness!

We've all seen these "flash mobs" before.  But Alfred Hitchcock was definitely on to something.  There is an eerie or "other-worldly" quality to these birds, all descending at once by the hundreds.  Their irridescence is gorgeous, but if you look into their eyes, you swear they'd just as soon peck your eyeballs out.  :)

Reminds me of The Blue Man Group.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cardinal sin

"What's for lunch?" asks the warbler.

(Munch, munch, munch, munch)

"Seeds, see!?" replied the cardinal.

"Geesh!  Didn't anyone teach you not to chew with your mouth open?!"

Monday, December 20, 2010

They definitely prefer Dodge over Ford

These guys and gals live just down the road from us.  I'm sure those rams are not exactly whispering sweet nothings to each other while the ewes looked on.  They stood like this for a while, just daring each other to make a move.  I finally had to continue down the road so I'm not sure if any further incident occurred. 

Red belly

No, not Santa.  A red-bellied woodpecker.

Taking food from the buffet line.
And sticking it in his pockets for later...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Barred Owl pix from last year

Dug up a few old photos from last year I thought I'd share.  This is one of our barred owl friends hanging out in the trees around the pond.

Pond puppies

Our pups routinely enjoy jaunts around the pond, digging into tree stumps for wood rats and snakes, splashing into the water to chase turtles, and just snuffling around to see what critters have come by.

Thelma Jean is our best pond model as her bright form always reflects well.

Little Louise tends to blend into the background a bit with her brindle coat.

BB looks like a black bear.
And Baron does his best water buffalo impersonation.

It's all fun and games until someone gets caught on a log...

Baron, you're on your own, buddy.  I can't help you...
Hi did manage to get his fat butt over the log and went on about his day...

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