Tuesday, April 30, 2019

After The Thunder And Rain

we went for one of our most gorgeous morning walks, ever.

Last week, I took Faith for her snake vaccine. I also read about this vaccine since some vets are not sure if it works. I learned that the vaccine only works for bites by the Northern Pacific rattlesnake, which is the kind we have here. So far, the dogs I know that have been vaccinated have survived bites, albeit with some pain and swelling. Because of his immune issues, Samson can't be vaccinated. So now he's back on a leash.

You know how wonderful the air is after a good rainstorm, so fresh and cool. Something I missed terribly during the dry years up here. So once the thunder and rain stopped, I took the dogs out. 

The rear of my house, with my Jeep. The old van belongs to Glenn. Hopefully, he will decide this summer if he can fix the wiring or not. If not, it will have to go. Where old vans that can't be fixed go. It's still a good vehicle, but I just can't cope with having it restored. 

Photo-bombed by Samson. Again!

I have lined up some folks to help me with the weeds. Glenn is coming today. I bought a weed whacker, a lightweight one, but he'll probably use my machete. A tool I have a lot of respect for and will not use. Then the people who are helping Joyce right now will come to help, using her tractor and a mower of some kind that can be attached. So, together we should get it done. You'll probably be bored, reading about it for the entire month of May. 

I threw balls to Faith before we walked, so she's tired here. She weighs 66 lbs now, but she's not fat. She just looks stronger and more like a Lab. Wish her legs were a bit longer, but she's a fierce little dog that can hold her own. And cautious too, which I love. Can you see her in the picture above? Can you see Samson's dirty paws? His paw pads are covered in fur, so you can imagine what he drags into the house. 

Back home again. 

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Look Who Is Five!!!

Happy Birthday, Faith

we LOVE you

Mommy and Samson

Faith: How many balls do I get?

Me: Lots! to myself: that's all she ever wants. 

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Thankful For

Living here. 

Still being able to take care of things. 

And for the help I get when I can't.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

More From The Poppy Reserve And My Thanks To You All

Thank you so much for your kind comments about my feelings on the anniversary of Errol's passing. When I started my blog, I had no idea one could make friends like you -  all across the country and the world even. I appreciate your friendship so very much. 

Thank you also to my friends who sent loving emails. And to Errol's family, so many called me and shared their love. 

At the reserve, I was happy to find a bench at the top of the hill we climbed. 

Then the view! No words needed here.

Jeanne took this picture on our way downhill.

As we left the reserve, we stopped to take pictures of this multi-colored hill. Fiddlenecks pose in the foreground. I hope you can see how they earned their name. Their tops curve, just like the neck of a fiddle. 

This year, poppies grow everywhere. We liked how they traveled down this barren-looking -- I don't know what it is, the side of a gully, perhaps?

At the end of a lovely day with a friend, in nature so gorgeous one can't find words to describe it nor capture it with the camera. The mountains in the background with the orange poppies in front put a nice finishing touch on the day though. For me.....

Monday, April 22, 2019

Four Years


I love you, I miss you. You were so alive, always. You knew how to love - me, your large family, your many, many friends, sailing, cooking, music, gumbo, New Orleans, dogs, cats, birds, any stray that would find you. 

I'm making a good life for myself, taking care of our home, our land, and the dogs. I've made new friends, I volunteer, I take photos and blog. I'm happy. Samson is good too, now. But should I say "Papa-Daddy" out loud, he would go looking for you. I know this, so I never will. Faith is my dog now, my shadow, she loves me beyond words. And I her. 

Four years ago, I held your hand, one last time.  

Thursday, April 18, 2019

A Place Of Overwhelming Beauty

Visiting the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve in a superbloom year was fantastic experience. Nature has always sustained me and I delight in the smallest flower and the grandest mountain, but seeing the poppies this year will be added to my truly memorable nature experiences: Seeing the Aurora Borealis as a child in Sweden; standing silent one night, watching millions upon millions of stars in the skies above a Texas prairie; sitting on a Wyoming mountain, watching Big Horn sheep butt horns during the rutting season; and a few other such magical moments. 

A long line of cars drove slowly up the road to the entrance. It didn't matter that we had to stop many times, there was so much beauty all around.

One of the parking lots at this 1800 acre reserve, as you can see, it was full. I can only imagine what happens on a weekend. 

In the 1700s, poppies covered field upon field from the California coast to the inland deserts. Quoting the brochure I received, the Spanish named the flower La Sabanilla de San Pasqual (The Altar-cloth of St. Pascal) referring to the shepherd saint, who knelt among wildflowers to pray while far from his village and church. I also learned that the most spectacular fields of poppies grew at Rancho San Pasqual, now known as the cities of Pasadena, Altadena, and Sierra Madre.

The California Poppy was named the State Flower in 1903. At that time, large fields of poppies were found throughout the state. While poppies still grow in many areas, including here in our canyon, the only large fields left where poppies bloom consistently each year are here in the Antelope Valley.

That was some background. The rest will be what I saw and felt at this beautiful place. And what better way to begin than with another old-timer making her way past a magnificent Joshua tree in bloom. 

The place is so large that people spread out and it doesn't feel crowded. I noticed many seniors walking with canes, poles, and other kinds of walking sticks. Some in wheelchairs also. 

I took lots of pictures, of course. Here, we came upon some baby poppies. I don't remember ever seeing any so tiny. 

Then Jeanne pointed out this woman, walking uphill under a bright electric blue umbrella. The wind was blowing by now, and the umbrella went this way and that. I think this was the best shot I got, but now, so far away. 

Here the poppies were a deep orange, in the picture below they are more on the yellow spectrum. As you can see, the path is not really crowded. It was the same all around, as far as I could see. 

We walked up a hill, and I was happy to spot a bench as we arrived at the top.

I will end here and post what we saw as we reached the top of the hill sometime next week. The views were gorgeous, hint: see my header photo. 

I'm once again going to Joyce's house for Easter Sunday. She feels I'm part of her family and so do I. I love her parents, her daughter and Cameron. This Easter, I will meet some of the rest of her family. She has both sisters and brothers, so I'm looking forward to that. 

This morning, I helped her untangle her gorgeous white llama from some barbed wire he got stuck in his tail and around his hind legs. My job was to distract Studley, as he is known, and I did such a good job, I got llama kisses all over my face. I later figured out he liked the taste of my sunscreen! 

Oh, well, life in the country.

Happy Easter Everyone

Inger, Samson, Faith

P.S. I learned from Jeanne that the flowers, that grow all over our hills here, are called Purplemat. The others, the lavender ones that can hurt you, the ones that people don't like, are called Red Stem Filaree or just plain Filaree. Thanks also to Sandy who pointed this out in a comment. At my advanced age, there's still so much to learn. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Out Hiking~ Looking For Flowers

I walked up my closest hill the other day to look for wildflowers.

I didn't walk all the way to the top, I'm learning to pace myself. But glad to feel so much better now.

 One of many coyote trails. 

There wasn't an abundance of wildflowers yet. It's still cold at night. But they will come...

I love the smaller flowers, sometimes you see just one tiny, yellow, flower growing in the sand and you wonder at it.

The ragged hills across the way have many fabulous rock formations, parapets, fortresses, and beautiful large rocks.

Since I will never be able to climb them, I zoomed in to get a better view.

Another coyote trail makes me wonder where they come from, where they live, are their pups growing up strong now after all the rains. They no longer come to drink from my water leak so they must be doing OK. 

Someone is happy to see me come off that big hill. She could jump much higher when she was younger and thinner. Hard to believe she will be five in a few weeks. 

I have tried to find out what the lavender flowers are called. "Fil....." something. Checking for lavender colored flowers, you get Lavender, of course. Checking for local high desert wild flowers you get poppies and a lot of other non-applicable flowers. I will ask my friends later today when we head out to the Lancaster poppy reserve. Hope to get some good pictures there. 

Monday, April 15, 2019

Archive Favorites ~ Post No. 5

April 2011

Three Ravens

Three ravens, a mother raven and two youngsters, came at the beginning of summer last year to

spend the night on the thickest wire that leads from the electric pole to our house.

The two young ravens seemed to be wired themselves, just like kids before bedtime. While the youngsters bicker, mother raven stoically looks the other way with a sort of long-suffering raven look on her face.

OK, so what shall we do now?

I know, let's try the thinner wire down below!

Oh, no, mother raven, help, I think I'm falling off! As if to remind her youngster he can still fly, she raises her wings and flaps them a few times.

OK, I got it, I can use my wings to balance with. Cool! It's all so easy if you don't panic. 

Look at me now, I'm almost comfortable

But it's really much better on the thicker wire above, so I think I fly back up there.


Come any closer and I'll beat you up, thinking you're so cool and all, says his sibling. 

While mother raven looks the other way, once again, wishing for some night-time QUIET, already.

The three ravens spent every night for the rest of the summer on our wires. When fall came, the youngsters were grown up and one night they did not return. 


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