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Archive for the ‘rain’ Category

“YES!”

There’s an unusual amount of traffic heading up my road today.

I’d already been to Darling’s room once, encouraging her to climb out of bed and get ready for school.  This was round two…

“YES!”

…so why was I getting such an enthusiastic response from my half asleep teen buried deep beneath layers of blankets and pillows?

Because I just informed her that school is  closed due to flooding, that’s why.

Our mounds of white mud are melting away, creating havoc when combined with the torrential rains that have joined the warming weather.  I heard the rain pounding down all night long and knew I’d wake up to flooded stalls this morning.  The snow was so deep that it was at a higher elevation than the barn, and as the packed snow and ice melts, it has no choice but to run directly into the bedrooms of my horses.  And so I shall have quite the mess to clean up.

Had it not been for City Boy’s phone call, I’d not have known school was closed.  I’d have shuffled Darling out the door and left her waiting for the bus in the pouring rain.   Eventually she’d have come home looking like a drowned rat.  City Boy had been on his way home from work when he heard the news on his radio.  Just as he was calling me, he came across a road closed sign and had to make a detour (which explains the traffic in front of my house this morning.)  When he finally made it home, he informed me that our road, too, is flooding.

Of course, there’s nothing like a good natural disaster to get me out with my camera!

It doesn’t appear all too impressive here, although if our road has this much water, I’m certain the river will be great fun to photograph.  I’d best get Darling up so she doesn’t miss the excitement!

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Muck, Mud and Makeovers

Liquid snow.  Some call it liquid sunshine.  Some call it an Oregon Mist.  Most call it rain, and it’s been coming down non-stop for days creating an oozing sludge upon the ground which is at times more difficult to walk across than the ice.  At least if you slip on ice you don’t run the risk of being consumed alive by the earth.

This same earth from which springs forth life in the form of good foods and sweet smelling roses, also comes muck and mire that will creep slowly upward as you walk across it, and if you stay out too long you’ll find you’re up to your ears in a mud so thick, you’ll wonder if you’re suffering from some form or cruel spa treatment.  And it’s everywhere…

 

It’s on my muck boots (which I’m eternally grateful for…not the mud, but that the mud is on the boots and not inside on my socks or squishing through my toes.)

 

It’s on City Boy’s boots.

 

It’s on my Ariat boots.

 

It’s in my driveway.

 

It’s mucking up the gate into my paddock.

 The rains are so bad that my farrier has called and begged to postpone her visit to trim Jet’s feet.  Sure, she tried to tell me it’s on account of her car accident and her body is just too stiff and sore, but I know she’s afraid of sinking through to the core of the earth if she sets foot inside my paddock.

The horses, those supposedly wild and woolly, tougher than nails mustangs are refusing to leave their stalls, not wanting to risk getting their feet muddy.  Not even my dogs are willing to venture out with me at chore time (the stinking little porch poodles), claiming they may shrink and be mistaken for those silly little pocket sized designer dogs.

I could really do with some dry weather here.  Especially since…are you ready for this?  I was accepted into the Mustang Makeover!  That’s right, I’m one of the 30 lucky ducks who gets to drive to California next month, pick up a wild horse, train it in 3 months and return to Sacramento in June.  And if the mud doesn’t go away, the horse may be sucked right out of sight, never to be seen again…

 

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I like the way they jingle when I walk“, giggle giggle.
Darling discovered spurs today. I’d pulled out an old pair that’s not been in service for years, thinking I’d stick them on the back of a boot and take a picture or two. That wasn’t going to happen with my little Imelda around. The boots went onto her feet and the spurs onto the boots. And there they stayed throughout the day. She liked the way they jingled when she walked (giggle giggle.)

Darling and Rocket out in the rain…jingle jangle (giggle giggle.)

Did I mention it’s been raining here a bit? You’d think we had a trout pond out in the driveway at the moment. Normally not a problem, this non-stop, round the clock winter of rain has the whole Pacific North WET under water. Thankfully, we’re no where near as bad as other areas of the county. Still, a little reprieve would be nice.

Head of Homeland Security got a hair cut. He doesn’t seem to mind being out in the rain without his coat. Just like a kid, eh? Darling also didn’t mind being out in the rain today. Especially since she was jingling everywhere she went. One of our stops was at my trainer friend’s, where I snapped this pic of the inside of that bull for you. If you missed that post, he drives the bull while his clients work their cutting horses. He can get this thing to whirling around pretty good, giving the horses a good workout (or easy one, if that’s what they need.)

I slipped inside the tack room for a picture of the bridles hanging on the wall. I’m not totally thrilled with the photo, but it’s late so I’m not going to fiddle with it right now. Each horse has his (or her) own bridle. If you take a close look, you’ll see a whole slew of different bits (the mouth piece) in them. And way off to the left there is a hackamore, also called a bosal, that has no bit. Some horses work well with one kind of bit, others need something different. There’s no one size fits all…kinda like shoes. We all need a different size or width, or feel comfortable with a different heel or sole.

Darling feels comfortable in spurs, evidently, attached to her boots. Here she is again, out playing in the rain with her new footwear. The spurs were still jingling, even when they got wet (giggle giggle.)

After driving down into the neighboring county, I didn’t feel so bad about my driveway puddle. It could be worse. Look at this! A sure sign of spring is that yellow growing up in the swampy, roadside water. It’s bright, yellow and visually attractive. That is, until you know what it is, or get close enough to smell it. The plant is known as skunk cabbage, and it smells like both!

You can actually see the white line of the road in this shot, and the water right up alongside it. There are several side roads underwater right now due to our heavy rains. I believe they’ve had some flooding up in Canada, eh, as well.

After leaving my friend’s place, we headed to a shop where we picked up some pretty papers to make a scrap book. Yes, Darling jingled, jangled, jingled and giggle, giggled her way through the store. And despite her request, I managed to not bring the camera in and take pictures of the event. Although, I’m rather regretting that now…giggle, giggle!

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It’s raining. It’s pouring. I don’t hear anyone snoring… I’m waiting for the ark to come floating past, though. We’ve had nothing but rain and snow since November and the place is soaking wet. I know some folks are dealing with drought, and trust me, if I thought I could send you a gallon of rain I would. Or a barrel. A rain barrel full of rain. Except that they’ve made it illegal to collect rain here in Washington without a permit. Why, I don’t know. It’s not like we’ve got a shortage of the stuff!

Not that the rain doesn’t play a role in our growing seasons. A couple of years ago we had very little spring rain, so our intuitive governor declared a state of emergency. She also said that farmers shouldn’t water their crops. I suppose it’s because someone else needed the water more than we needed food.
Like the cemeteries. As you know, I’m rather drawn to cemeteries, and one of the things I noticed during our drought was that there were an awful lot of sprinklers keeping lawns green while our farmers weren’t growing food for us to eat. Many of those sprinklers were in cemeteries, and they splashed a good amount of water all over the paved roads. Now, I’m no expert, but it really didn’t seem right that the farmer’s were needing to ration their water while dead people were allowed to have beautiful lawns.

Dead People’s lawns can be watered, but we cannot water crops or collect rain water without a permit.

Then again, politicians tend to favor those who vote for them, and since our governor had a large contingency of dead folks vote for her, I suppose she was just doing what she felt was right. But enough talk of dead people and droughts. It’s raining now, and the ground is so wet I can’t plant my peas, which should have been in last month.
I wouldn’t mind the rain so much if it were fishing season. Everyone knows that fishing is good after a rain. I come from a long line of fishermen. Well, at least the previous generation fished. A little. There’s this kid’s fishing derby held here each spring, and my Uncle Warthog and Dad were there at the first one ever held. Uncle Warthog paddled around the pond in his little row boat. He was the first kid to catch his limit, and he still has the bamboo fishing pole he won that year.

Sunset down at the bay where Dad and Uncle Warthog used to fish.

My dad and his brother the warthog were great fishermen. They’d go down to the docks at the bay and fish during their lunch breaks ‘back in the day’, eating their sandwiches and tossing their hooks out into the water. Dog fish were what they were after. A bucket of white paint sat on the dock with them. They were the sons of a painter; painting was their summer job. When they caught a dog fish, they’d pull it up and slap a white stripe down it’s back, then set it free. And that’s how there came to be skunkfish in the bay.
I’ve never fished for skunkfish or dogfish. I do recall a fishing trip with my dad and Little Hitler (my bossy little sister) when we were young. He brought us, along with the neighbor girl and her dad, down to the falls to fish. We climbed down the steep hill and over slippery rocks. Little Hitler and her friend stayed down on a small rock while Dad pulled me up onto the big rock that was right beneath the falls. That’s where the fishing was best, he said.

Do you see the rock? Neither can I.
But I swear it’s there, under all that water.

Now, this particular creek was for kids 14 and under only, so no adults were allowed to fish. Which is why there were grown ups all over town grabbing the neighbor’s kids and dragging them out on fishing trips. None of them, however, was as brave as my father. We were the only ones who dared to go right under the waterfall. The others were up above us, or down below. Kids and their adult partners, all with their poles in hand and hooks in the water.

Another view of the falls.
Naturally, there was less water when we were fishing that day.

My dad had me by the waist as I tossed my line down behind the rock we were on. We were being sprayed with water from the falls, but that was okay. The dad of Little Hitler’s friend stayed down on the low rock with them, where they were catching bull heads and crawdads, getting an occasional trout in the process. I, on the other hand, stood cold and wet and fishless on the rock with my father telling me to just be patient.
And then it happened…a strike! And a bite! It was huge; I’d never felt a pull like that on my rod before. Dad helped me set the hook and I began fighting to pull that fish up out of the water. There’s about a ten foot drop behind that rock, and of course standing on top of it you can’t see what you’re pulling up. It was so heavy that I thought perhaps it was just a log or something, but Dad insisted it was a fish.
Soon a small crowd gathered above us, looking over the falls. People were lining the bridge. I had a huge fan club! Wow…too cool. I was ready to sign autographs. The neighbor dad left the smaller girls down on their little rock to come and look. A teen aged boy got brave enough to jump over the big rocks to stand alongside of us. He layed down on his belly and reached over the edge of the rock.

The bridge that crosses the creek; the falls are there to the left.

I heard shouts and gasps coming from the people around me. It was a big one! But I couldn’t see it. I could only hold onto that reel with my cold little fingers and try to pull him in. Then the line lightened. “I got him!” shouted the boy. Another cheer!
My eight year old mind raced. What did he think he was doing? That was my fish he’d got! And I gave a huge yank on my pole, lifting the fish off his fingertips…and of course once it was off the fingertips it fell back down to the end of my fishing line…which snapped…and my fish was gone.
The cheering turned to groans. Heads were shaking as people walked away, disappointed. The teenager, who’d only been trying to help, was still cheerful, saying he’d never seen a fish that big come out of the creek, must have been three, four pounds! Friend’s dad had gotten a peek at it, saying it was at least 18 inches, if not more.
Walking back to the car, Little Hitler wrinkled her nose at me, stating that she’d caught trout for dinner, but I hadn’t. I sneered back. “You may have caught trout, but we’ll eat it and they’ll be gone. My fish story will live on forever!”
And so far, it has!

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