Saturday, September 10, 2016

Nature At Mary's Place

When Mary went away for a weekend a while ago, the guy who boards his horses there offered to feed her dogs, so I said I would come and play with the dogs and take care of Kitty, the cat. 

Mary lives on top of a steep hill and has a gorgeous view of the canyon from her house. I forgot my camera on Saturday, but I brought it on Sunday. And left it in the Jeep!  

I saw it as I drove away, and decided to just take some nature pictures.  Mary lives deeper in the canyon and a bit higher and nature there is completely different from where I live. Her hillsides are very steep and covered in scrub oak, with some pines mixed in.

As I climbed up on a rocky slope to take some pictures of the canyon spread out below, I saw these round balls attached to a scrub oak. I was happy to know that they occur after wasps lay their eggs on a tree branch, but annoyed with myself, again, because I didn't remember the details, ack old age......

I found an amazing number and variety of galls on Google Images. These resemble those on Mary's trees.

There are many answers on Google, as these growths, called galls, are more common than I realized. They occur on many different types of trees and are caused by various insects from wasps to mites. They are a reaction from the tree's hormones to the eggs laid on its branches. I'm quoting here: "The galls have a long and complex development that takes two or more years. The inhabitants gain their nutrients from the inner gall tissue. The adults emerge in the spring." I wondered how they get out of there and found a couple of answers, including that the gall falls and breaks, but nothing to completely satisfy my curiousity. 

I also came away from that rocky hillside with this picture of Sugarloaf mountain.

Mary boards two horses and I couldn't leave without saying hello to them.

Neither was thrilled to see me.

Driving down the final hill, I had to stop and take a picture of these rocks that I've never noticed before. In every picture you see here, where the hillside is cleared of weeds, that's Mary's doing. She has worked so hard and done such an amazing job this summer. She really deserved to get away for a few days to relax while visiting a good friend. 

After I leave Mary's house, I drive for a while on a rather long road that leads to all these mailboxes by the main road through the canyon. I took my header picture one day while I waited for Mary there. I'm so glad you like it. 

Finally, to answer a question or two, the road from my house to the main road is short, which is good because the way these dirt roads get in the winter, the less you have to drive on them the better. I only have one neighbor and I can't see her house from mine. Oh, and these guys are my neighbors too:

Samson and Faith Say:

Have a great new week everyone!


  1. I love the mailbox picture and it is perfect for your header! As always, your pictures are gorgeous.. thanks for sharing. Hi Samson and Faith! (love from Gracie)

  2. What a lovely drive to Mary's house! Awesome pictures! I like your neighbors :-)

  3. she does live in a hilly area! love the horses, though. and the galls - learned something new!

  4. hi Inger, love those rocky photos, and down here having a much better week. Warm days, still cool mornings, but spring has sprung!! Tell those doggies they are beauties.

  5. Hi Inger - wonderful to see what you did capture ... love the desert-like scenery - but it is a tough world out there. Galls are fascinating outgrowths ... with many interesting features depending on the tree or shrub. Mary has done some great clearing work ... as you've done. I love seeing around your canyon or round about ... and then Samson - he knows who is loved! Cheers to you and have a good week yourself ... Hilary

  6. I love your bovine neighbors and that view of sugarloaf is just beautiful. Mary does have a different beauty than you do. when I think desert I think flat and sand and hers is hilly and rocky. I enjoyed looking at Mary's place with you..

  7. I've seen 'galls' and wondered what they were too. How interesting! And I love all of your nature photos! Sweet hugs, Diane

  8. I have never heard of galls. Thank you for educating me. I love your header picture. All of your pictures are awesome!

  9. I love the mailbox picture. Mary's place is beautiful.

  10. Inger, what a nice change of scenery for you. It is good that you are able to do this for your friend.
    That 'header' is the BEST I have seen on anybody's blog.

  11. Cows really do make the best neighbors :) Great to see this info on galls. I have seen them before on trees, but didn't know much about them until now.

  12. You have me curious about galls now. I don't think I've ever seen them. Sometimes I knock down small nests that wasps are building on my house. They fly around and complain about the Amazon who has attacked them and ruined their lives. I would love to kiss the horses, but horses might bite so I guess I'll continue to kiss Franklin and Penelope.


  13. I had never heard of galls before--thanks for the lesson!!

  14. Your header picture is so interesting and somewhat whimsical. It looks like the postman doesn't have to make many stops as the mailboxes are all grouped together. Your canyon and desert are so beautiful and different than what many of us experience.

  15. I've never heard of galls either, how interesting!

    But what a fun post, I so enjoy seeing your world that truly has it's own unique beauty! And I think I told you in a previous comment that I loved your header picture - I like it even more now!! :-)

  16. At my place in the Smokey Mountains, I can only have a 100 yard shooting range. I had to cut that out of the forest. But if I lived there where you do, I could have a 200 yard line, a 300 yard line, and a 500 yard line. I would be in heaven. Every time I visit here I think of the long distances you can see. Not here. The forest closes you in and you can't even see the sky the canopy gets so thick in summer.

  17. She really does live in a totally different topography than you do. Must be a fun visit. I'd have tried to open one of those galls. Interesting.

  18. I have to agree with everyone about how wonderful your header photograph is. It really captures my imagination. Just thinking about all the people each box represents and wondering how often they check their mail and how far hey travel to get to the box -- etc., etc. It must be awful to get to the box and find nothing there!!!

    Never heard of galls before, either, except in relation to bladders and stones -- wonder if there is a correlation...

  19. I'm so glad you all like my header picture. And Harry, a long view is good for your health, I read somewhere. I never heard of galls either until earlier this year and only because many grow at Mary's place. Jim, you are too much. Thank you.

  20. Oh such beautiful horses! I didn't know about galls, but I can see they are aptly named. It must be where the word "gall" comes from.

  21. Great photos, Inger! Mary is very lucky to have a gorgeous view to the canyon from her house!
    The nature where you both live is very beautiful! The Sugarloaf mountain looks amazing!
    Beautiful horses too.
    The header with the mail boxes is gorgeous!
    Wishing to you, Samson and Faith a good and happy weekend.

  22. Hey Samson & Faith back!

    That second shot of the horses - HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA - looks like he was saying "youre gonna take a picture and I didnt even have a chance to brush my mane!!!"


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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