Monday, June 15, 2009

Perhaps Not Texas Toad

Our ADORABLE bufos are back; every summer they bless us; great caution needed walking around at night! dogs or cats who try to nibble them end up with hugely foamy mouths for about an hour! Ours do NOT harm our animals; they foam for awhile but always are fine after that, and they NEVER bother the toads again!

Years ago, i was told these were Texas Toads, but now that i'm researching on the internet, i am thinking they are most likely a Woodhouse's Toad.....

We have a little ceramic toad on our water feature, and from time to time our toads like to visit....

Here is how big ours get.... they are SO adorable, and very chilly to the touch as are all amphibians.... so soft and funny, i really love them!

Check out this face!!!! No wonder it was easy for the princess to kiss the frog!!!

The Lesson From The 4 Worms

What a fun story!!!!! Been around awhile, but probably worth telling again!!

Four Worms and a lesson to be learned:

A minister decided that a visual demonstration would add emphasis to his Sunday sermon.

Four worms were placed into four separate jars.

The first worm was put into a container of alcohol. The second worm was put into a container of cigarette smoke. The third worm was put into a container of chocolate syrup. The fourth worm was put into a container of good clean soil.

At the conclusion of the sermon, the Minister reported the following results:

The first worm in alcohol -Dead.

The second worm in cigarette smoke - Dead

Third worm in chocolate syrup -Dead

Fourth worm in good clean soil -Alive.

So the Minister asked the congregation -What did you learn from this demonstration?

Maxine was sitting in the back, quickly raised her hand and said,

'As long as you drink, smoke and eat chocolate, you won't have worms!'

That pretty much ended the service!

Trying Something New!

I must admit, i'm am totally enjoying Facebook! I think of it as a big campfire, where good friends gather 'round to share stories and life, to pray for one another, to learn and just plain enjoy! And where lots of NEW friends show up to be blessed too!

BUT the time spent there, along with other internet business obligations, has kept me from blogging here daily, something i have really wanted to do... maybe i can transfer my Facebook info over here, i'll give it a try!!

BLESSINGS on your day!!!!! annie

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Coyote Chorus, Patterson, & Solo

I LOVE spring snow in northern New Mexico!! No matter how stormy, blizzardy, or wet it gets, within a day or two it's back to sunny spring, and within another couple of days, dusty..... Little Solo (well, he was 9 mo. old yesterday....) had a great layer of snowy icing in the morning, but by this afternoon -- dry and fluffy!

A few weeks ago we had a 10'' snow on Friday, and by Sunday it was, indeed, dusty. amazing........

Princess Leia, Solo, & Pluma look so majestic in the deep snow, and they do love it!

OK, back to the coyotes, dogs, and Solo....... Since the mud was drying out so fast, i decided to take Solo for a little walk/run, and a chance to munch on some weeds. How i wish i could take the big girls out too, but they only run off....

So we were having a wonderful time soaking up the sun when 3 large coyotes started singing a very loud chorus about 1/3 mile away, on the hill east of our neighbor's. Immediately Patterson and Zahdy started barking and running their direction. Zahdy turned back after a few seconds, but i could see Patterson STREAKING as fast as he could run toward the coyote group.... when he was about 3/4 of the way there, the coyotes took off toward the NNW, with Patterson in hot pursuit. Meanwhile, Solo looked a bit fearful and trotted back toward the safety of the barn. Once there, he looked at me as i walked back up the road, took a big drink from the Mirafount, and then came galloping back toward me. He has THE most adorable expression on his face as he melts my heart and asks for a treat...... He was happy to return to his corral.....

DOGGIE ALERT -- with the sound on, your canine crew may go nuts as do ours!!

Zahdy and i had been back in the house a few minutes when Patterson came running thur the doggie door, panting like mad.... 15 minutes later he's still panting! i bet he ran a couple of miles showing the coyotes whose territory this really is!

Boy do i love our little critter family!!!

Patterson drinking from the Mirafount where Solo was earlier....

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Another Yak Adventure

Ever feel as if there is no time to get everything done, much less update blogs and stories? That's what happens when one has critters galore!!!!

WELL, that's what happened to me on Monday......and here it is, Wed, and i'm just getting to the story........

A week ago, Inky went to live with his new family, Kelly & her mini Angus, plus Lilly the mini mare. Solo went with, just to ease Inky's transition to his new home.

There was a lot of jump and banging and trying to get out of the trailer, and then the stall, but soon all were settled in..... Inky and Lilly started sniffing and kissing right away!! Here's a cute movie-- Inky Meets the cattle and kisses Lilly!!

Inky is wondering WHERE am i and WHERE is my MAMA???? Weaned from that glorious, rich yak milk.....such a shock! Solo settled right in---good food, good treats, happy humans, what more could a baby yak want?

Sunday evening and it was time to bring Solo home and leave Inky with his new family. Sadly, the battery on my camera was ''exhausted'' and i did not get to record Solo RACING all over Kelly's yard, and getting Lilly racing too! Finally he was tired and jumped into the trailer (going for the grain....he eats his daily ration in his good friend, the trailer!!!)

Tom and i did some new chain arrangements back at the yak corral, being sure they were more secure than ever.....

Next morning, excited to hear Solo's little greeting grunts, i went to do chores... HA, where were the yak??? As it turns out, the chain had impeded the latch and the gate somehow opened.... drove all over, no yak.......but Tom went down by the river with his truck, and here they came, out of the bosque.

Took all day, but i finally got Solo to follow me about 1/2 mile, and here he is, Solo Following Water Bucket home!!

THEN to get the girls back....... they had the house in sight, but then walked next door smelling the good water in their horse tank... i had to get on Chico and go for them; boy did they give us a run for our money! Leia wanted to come home, but Pluma decided to RACE the other direction..... they were tired and thirsty, little tongues nearly hanging to the ground so to speak..... wish someone had taken a better movie, it was quite the race, Herding Yak Mamas!!
Here are some fun videos and websites, enjoy!!!!!

Took all day, but long and short of it, all are home safe and sound. Figured that if we could trap a Wild Buffalo Herd and Wild Cattle, domesticated yak should not be a problem!!

VERY special thanks to Dana Walden for putting together this terrific video memory of this sweet event!!!! we were sad that he missed out on all that rich yak milk, but what a way to get him to trust us!!! Enjoy his Solo's Last Bottle HERE!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Comet Lulin

HURRAH, another comet visiting our little corner of the universe!! Said to be visible by the naked eye, but i needed binocs to see it..... BIG fuzzy ball with a green tint, FABULOUS!!!!!!! It should be visible for the next couple of days, tho today is the closest..

Read more about Comet Lulin on Universe Today and NASA!!

1996---Comet Hyakutake arrived and BLEW US AWAY!!!!!!! it was HUGE & GORGEOUS and totally amazing.........

This comet made such an impact on my life that i wrote a story about it.... Personal Comet Story.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Joys of an Outdoor Office!!!

Are you ever stuck indoors on the most glorious of days, wanting to be outside where the air is fresh, the birds are singing, and the branches are rustling in the breeze? I am SO THANKFUL to live in an area of the country where we can have outdoor living rooms, outdoor offices, outdoor bedrooms..... BLESSED BEYOND MEASURE!!!!

As the temperature approaches 70, it's out we go and out to stay! Hurrah February, no bugs yet, so we don't even have to zip up the screen tent! And my darling hubby Tom has made our wireless internet reach all corners of our Oasis, so no worries there either!!!

I think i'll go take a few photos to post here! Sadly, my camera came out of my pocket on a galloping ride a couple of weeks ago, and when i found it a day later it had a big spot somewhere inside.... oh well, better than nothing for now!!!


Monday, February 23, 2009

Warm Evening on the Pailion

WOW, what a wild 3 days, where did the time go? Friday was riding in the early morning, then errands in town (i am SO THANKFUL that i only have to shop about every 3 weeks! Did you know that non-fat milk and 1/2 & 1/2 freezes REALLY well??). And to top of the day, i got to help my friend Pam from Dinner For Two (or twenty two!!!) with Santa Fe ArtFeast, which we do every year at the amazing Galerie Zuger, just off the Santa Fe Plaza on San Francisco St. Deborah & i are the regular assistants, but last year Susan filled in for Deborah -- about 7pm the power was lost to the entire Santa Fe Plaza and Canyon Road! On top of that, it was snowing! This year i met a gal who was stuck, by herself, in the elevator at the Lensic Theater during that outage; it took the Santa Fe fire dept. an hour to get her freed!

So that took up the entire day Friday..... then Char's Bday ride #1 early saturday; the afternoon was taken up baking Sandy's Fabulous 6-Week Bran Muffins... i needed a few dozen! Saturday afternoon our Ortiz Riders Horse Club was having a clean-up of the Old Dolores Ranch Road (Co.Rd. 55), and afterwards gathering for food and visiting. Steve and Tracy won the best trash award.... 4 tires, one car door, dozens of Red Bull Cans (reportedly tossed by a delivery guy each morning....), and many other relics of people's unthoughtful ways!!!!!

Sunday was just as crowded!! After Bible Study in Cerrillos where we ate more Bran Muffins (and our Sunday staple, Sandy's Sweet Glenn Biscuits!!), it was riding to Palin's for a little Bday Brunch for Char.... she had a 3-day bday, THE best kind to have!!! More muffins, and Palin's delicious quiches, and Karen's zucchini bread! Tom brought the ''elephant'' full of Toddy Coffee, and Cindy brought the juices and sparkling cider!! What a feast! We did NOT gallop home...... While we were eating, Bday Gal Char's horse Chico rubbed off his bridle & got loose -- happy guy, he rolled like mad in the soft dirt and pine needles....thankfully she rides bareback and her pad was none the worse for wear!

Check out the wonderful Dream Catcher Palin and i had made for Char....her beloved Zuni, now long gone but never forgotten! Our friend and neighbor, Lori Musil Levacy, is THE most amazing artist and works in just about every media you can think of! Her most amazing Cow Pony set the record at auction during the very first Trail of Painted Ponies funraiser!


Here is Lori's Cow Pony,

and a favorite, Year Of The Horse, who resides at Lori's studio in Cerrillos NM.... here our Sage is hanging out with him at our Feb. Breakfast Club!!

HAPPY MONDAY! A time to relax.........till Tom and i decided to get cracking on the re-organization of the kitchen, his office, and his shop....Tom is getting ready to make his first batch of bio-diesel and needed to be a bit more together! I think our full day of getting with the program has helped this cause, HURRAH!!!

YES, a VERY warm day and evening........67 degrees in Feb, almost a record-breaking temp. but not quite.... and PERFECT for hanging out on the Pavilion enjoying the fresh air and lovely evening bird songs..... Thank You Lord for another glorious day!!!!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Musketeers Escape Again!!

YIKES, went out to feed this morning and Lonesome and his very best buddy Z were NOT THERE!!! Could they really have escaped again???? Lonesome had been coming back for Bfast every morning in over a week so i was starting to relax....... HA! Did they ambush the gate? Did they open it on their own?? (horse shoes trip the automatic gate sensor IF you know just where to ride.....).


Lonesome's Mantra, Lonesome's Addiction!!!!
YUP, there they were, in the field next door....... greatly overgrown and WAY too tempting to equine taste buds!!!!! Thankfully, they did not go the other mile down to the highway, which Lonesome and Tyree did a couple of weeks ago.... how much can a Mom's heart take???? THANK YOU Lord for keeping them safe!!!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

3-Ring Circus or Zoo??

Evening Chores.... it can bring the nuttiest out in each of the critters!!! But especially Clyde the Mule, his sweetheart Lacey the Mini Mare, and Lacey's Betrothed, Mini stallion Mighty Mouse!!

Clyde and Lacey go out during the day to wander around and munch weeds, and hopefully GRASS when the rain comes....PRAYING FOR RAIN/SNOW/MOISTURE!!! Then MM, aka Mighty Mouse, goes into the large corral where Clyde & Lacey live at night.... but the evening switch can be quite something else! Not only is Clyde trying to get to MM and tell him off, but Lacey is bossing Clyde around, and trying to get back to her corral so she and MM can sniff noses and squeal and flirt thru the feeder!!!

Hard to believe a tiny mini mare can boss a huge mule?? Watch HERE!!!

Meanwhile, some of the big herd is hanging around waiting for THEIR dinner, thinking all the hoop-la over the ''Big Switch'' is pretty funny! MM wants to say hi to each one in his studly fashion and can cause quite an uproar!

All's well that ends well, and everyone is happily munching their dinner....... is there anything more wonderful than that sound??

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wherefore Art Thou, Dear Moisture?

(doggies trying to leap thru the deep snow, in the track made by Rhett...)
On our ride yesterday, we saw the very last remnants of the ''big'' snow of mid December 2008.... ice-hard clumps hiding in the shade of north facing junipers. Our Christmas snow pretty much amounted to nothing, even tho it was gorgeous and put all of us in the Christmas Mood!

It was about 14 years ago that the drought here in northern NM really began; we had a couple of Gift Wet Spells, but always back to drier than normal for even the Semi Arid Desert where we live..... After 98% of our lovely pinons died, signs of life started to crop up everywhere........ tiny baby pinon trees coming up everywhere! Thankfully they got a good start with the HUGE snows of Dec. 2006, and the gloriously wet spring of 2007! We did have a huge flood on Mother's Day 2008, and a REALLY huge one in September.... but as usual, they were Gully Washers and most of our precious water ended up in the Gulf of Mexico..... at least the skeeties were kept to a minimum!

Some folks laugh when we show this video of one of the biggest floods in the Galisteo River (Creek), but they live where REAL rivers live! Check out the flood, and then see what the riverbed looks like 99.999% of the time, nice horse tracks trailing along in the drying-up caliche (adobe with lots of minerals....).

SO, here is the youtube of the Galisteo Flooding last Sept; TOTALLY took out our water gap--usually only takes about 1/4 of it, but not this flood... the entire thing got washed out! Darling Tom spent a few hours putting it up again, at least for now........

On days like this, I love going back to watch some of the BIG SNOW movies and pics, just to remember how lovely/wet/cold/difficult it was...... ALL January 2007, Tom spent plowing snow...EVERY DAY!!! And ALL Feb. 2007 he spent grading driveways, removing mudpiles, fixing ruts.... EVERY DAY!!

Rhett Slogging Thru Deep Snow -- on our way to feed the neighbor's horses; she was stuck in Madrid NM with her mom....

Is this REALLY the Road to our Ranch??

And WHY was Tom walking around nearly waist deep in snow??

Sometimes we think of our LOVELY 1880s barn BEFORE it collapsed under the weight of those 4 feet of wet snow........

If you have alergies to juniper pollen, DO NOT watch the Pollen Smoke Whinny is rustling up!! Moisture = Pollen

You COULD do what Palin did........

Monday, February 16, 2009

Coyote Chorus

A facebook friend from Santa Fe was talking about the coyotes she was hearing near her home about 3am. we SO love our Coyote friends, and they sing here much of the day and night. Not for long periods of time, but long enough to bring us great blessings!!!!!

Here is a photo of our Australian Cattedog, Toomba, as he was intently watching a few coyotes trotting near the arroyo.......

You can listen to our Cerrillos Coyote Chorus HERE, but BE WARNED....should doggies be anywhere in the vicinity of this youtube, you will be enjoying a Chorus of your very own!!!

BLESSINGS on your day!!!!!!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Cowardly Lion -- Chile Pepper Pitbull

I love getting up early every morning, but i like it to be on my own time! HA! Sometime before 4am our rescue pitbull Chile started howling, and i finally had to get up to see what it was.... Normally the cattledogs spend the night in their crates in the kitchen where they sleep soundly and can't get out to howl with the coyotes!

Listen to our Local COYOTE CHORUS....

Tom has been letting his sweet Toomba sleep on the couch from time to time, but maybe this was the last time... here was Toomba, lying in the floor to prevent Chile from getting back up on his fave couch. Big strong pitbull would never go past any of the cattledogs; Kanga, now in Doggie Heaven, would do the same thing......she would lie in the front hall just to bug Chile and not let him get into the house. Chile can always get OUT, i think everyone knows that urgency!

Speaking of Who Is The Boss, check out this youtube of our most ODD COUPLE, mini horse Lacey and mule Clyde HERE!
DOES THIS LOOK LIKE THE JAWS OF A COWARDLY LION??? Chile eating a bone at the Barkin' Ball, Santa Fe Animal Shelter benefit.
To read all about Chile, click HERE

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The 3 Equine Musketeers

What a wild couple of weeks it has been! If you are on Facebook, you may have been following the saga...... until about 10 days ago, we had the 3 Musketeers + Tyree. Sadly, the co-ringleader Ladybug went to Horsey Heaven..... we speculate that she must have eaten something toxic down river toward our village of Cerrillos NM. Our ''colic cure'' routine, that has worked 100% of the time in the past 3 decades, was not working, so we knew it was something else. Being old and lame, we knew we would not put her thru too many treatments...... it was a blown stifle that finally did her in; is there anything more awkward than a horse lying down and getting up again???

Ladybug ''went down to the river'' (our expression for ''they died,'' since we believe in ''ashes to ashes, dust to dust'' and allowing Mother Nature to reclaim her own...... feasting for coyotes, redtail hawks, ravens and all of God's creatures who are carnivores, scavengers, and God's clean-up crew......) ---Lonesome then became the only Leader, and boy did they get the herd into trouble!!!! i will finish the story upon returning from doing morning chores.....

Watch this funny youtube of Lonesome!!! Lonesome Gets Out of Jail


To make a long story short, early one morning Lonesome and Tyree ended up out by the highway (2 miles down the drive), walked up and down the fence line and thankfully not in front of any vehicles...... as soon as the Hwy.Dept. guy opened the gate at 7am, they came in to visit. I had driven around about 6;30 but never saw them...... YIKES!

The next night, the herd had ambushed someone at the gate and ran thru.... we found everyone but Lonesome and Z, but did follow their hoofprints down the drive nearly to the hwy...... Be Still Me Heart!!!!!! Thankfully, next morning they were waiting at the gate. THAT'S IT!! Lonesome is in jail till further notice!!!

OK, so i relented just a bit..... Lonesome is on Probation...he goes out with the herd in the morning and stays in lock-up at night. SO FAR SO GOOD!!