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Wind, snake, cattle and desert fauna. Saturday cerebrations

On a Spring Saturday morning with April weather looking more like April weather-partly cloudy, tumultuously windy (it was in the eighties during the week), I threw on the Obama sweatshirt (early enough in the morning so as not to agitate my Republican neighbors) leashed up the dogs, and began a walk around the farms and ranches.

After a dip in the irrigation canal, the dogs, not me, we met up with a bullsnake sunning itself on the gravel. I didn’t think to bring out the camera. I was thinking more about moving right along so as not to agitate the snake.

Cattle call

red angusBut I did stop and snap a picture of my rancher neighbor’s new sign outside his pasture. Neat, huh? I’d like one that reads “Golden Tail.”

Stopped at the neighborhood’s row of rural mailboxes. I’ve received a letter from the Smithsonian Institute. Maybe they’ve heard about my novel. Maybe they want to preserve one of my newscasts.

It’s a magazine subscription offer.

Moving on, the dogs decided to go over and say g’morning to the longhorn cattle. Now I’ve got the camera out looking for subjects, and the bull lounging nearby looks to be willing. Wrong. He gets to his hooves, and rocks his horns to inform me that he had preferred to remain sitting. After an agitated glare he moved a few yards away and turned his tail to me. He ignored my speaking to him (no, I didn’t moo),but as soon as I turned away, he looked over his shoulder (or chuck, if you prefer) and snap.longhorn

flowers and flying dogsOne last photo as we head up the hill. I think the flowers are wild flox. The grass is definitely cheat grass. At the conclusion of every walk I have to check twelve dog paws for the stuff. I don’t want a repeat of last year of taking Cassidy to the vet three times in a week so the doc can fish the cheat grass from her paws.

The wind is still doing its thing. There’s the vegetable garden that needs weeding, though it’s too early to plant the tomatoes (How many times have you planted tomato starts too early– only to have them freeze or whipped by April winds.) I’ve planted spinach and peas last weekend but still nothing. The sparrows and finches may be scratching out there.

I do have plenty of plums on the tree this year. And apples. Planted some different varieties when I first moved here a few years ago, and it looks like this is the year I’ll get a harvest. Also pears. A local fruit grower once told me “Plant pears for your heirs,” meaning it takes a long time for a pear tree to bear fruit. But my pear tree is only on its third year, and I’m seeing fruit.

Ah, the optimism of spring.



Published inCasual GardenerCerebrations