Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mancos Balloon Festival ..... continued

Saturday morning at least twenty hot air balloons landed in our rural neighborhood.  I think that the horse and mule thought that the sky was falling.  Just about any direction we looked there was a big colorful balloon spewing hot air and flames.  The balloonists were very careful, and totally aware of the reactions that livestock have when a balloon approaches, and they did an excellent job of trying to avoid areas with livestock.
Here's a small sampling of just how colorful the sky was this weekend here in Mancos, Colorado.


A little color in ones life, never hurts a thing.
I just wish I could convince my mule and my horse of that!

Monday, it's back to normal skies....

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mancos Balloon Festival


Put on your party hats and perk up your ears, 
this weekend is the MANCOS BALLOON FESTIVAL!!!!  

It doesn't matter how calm your mule/horse is
these fire-breathing orbs just aren't natural.  
The whole neighborhood herd gathered this morning 
as the first of many hot air balloons 
did practice landings in the neighboring cow pasture.

   This will be a very exciting weekend
you just never know what will be dropping in! 

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Maggie Had a Good Day Today

We found Maggie, our Border Collie, lost and abandoned in the Eagle Cap Wilderness in Eastern Oregon while on a horseback camping trip in 1999. The local ranchers in the area were threatening to shoot her, and I opened my big mouth and said that "I'd  take her in a minute". The next day one of those ranchers showed up with her on the end of a rope!  To say that she was a wild thing is a huge understatement.  We had to force her into our vehicle to bring her home.  She was a very scared and unhappy creature, and by the time we got back to Portland the backseat was floating in dog drool.  

And so, many years later, after a BIG vet bill, lots of walks on leashes, more camping trips, lots and lots of day hikes, road trips in our RV with our other very well-behaved Border Collie-mix, super-dog Effie May, having  inherited the the full-time job of taking care of our horses, and chasing all kinds of unwanted varmints, I'd have to say she's turned into a pretty good old dog.  She's still got that wild independent streak that she had when she found us, but then a girl's gotta do, what a girl's gotta do!

So, many miles later, here's  a little photo essay on Maggie today .... horse herder, ranch hand, truck dog, hiking buddy and just all-around good companion.
Maggie has a favorite spot 
where she likes to keep an eye out 
for anything that might be happening
while I do my morning chores.
Coarse it's real close to the manure pile.
All good ranch dogs love their manure piles!

From her favorite spot.....
She can check out our neighbor's goat or their geese.
She can be sure everything is as it should be
with her own horse and mule. 
Or she can just  lie there, and nap....because 
an old dog's gotta do, what an old dog's gotta do!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Being Responsible for your Animals

To be, or not to be, a responsible large animal caregiver, this is what I want to literally rant about in this post.  Please don't get me wrong, I am fully aware that not all people with horses have equal finances with which to care for their animals.  However, I have seen horse owners with small budgets prioritize the care of their animals.  It is possible!
In today's economy I see more and more horses that are getting very little care.  Some don't appear to be getting any care at all.  They are out on poor pasture, totally ignored, and basically abandoned.  Abandonment is defined as:  Having been given up and left alone.  Horse abandonment is on the rise across the USA, according to livestock and agricultural officials.  As the economy worsens and the cost of feeding and caring for horses rises, more people are abandoning their animals into the wild, where many starve and die.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Skywatch Friday

Southwest Colorado

Looking west....
Looking east....
Looking up....
Please visit Skywatch Friday to see skies from many lands.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Creepy, Crawly Spider

A Creepy, Crawly Spider,

Went up the water spout.
Down came the rain
and washed the spider out.

Once again I'm not sure what kind of spider this big girl is, but she has taken up residence on our front porch. She is not the kind of critter you want to run into face-first. She would definitely be cause for a bit of sticky-web-panic.

It seems to be an active day for those that creep and crawl. Maybe it has something to do with the threatening skies and the storm that's approaching, but as I was taking her photo something behind me caught my eye.

This distinctive beauty is a Sweetheart Underwing Moth. Somehow the moth is a little more friendly looking and I felt more comfortable getting up close and personal, but I'll bet the the spider does more good for our environment than the moth. Ms. Spidie is feasting on flies and other insects, while the colorful moth has been chowing down on our Poplar trees. So, I guess "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder".

Sweetheart Underwing Moth (3 inches)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Happy Mule and Sunday Turnout

This is one HAPPY mule.
What more could an old girl want?
A little green grass,
some sunshine,
And no bladder stones!
Next weekend we might even get to go for a ride...yeah!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bladder Stones, Part 3

Here they are.....

The same two veterinarians arrived here at our barn at 9 am this morning. Toma, otherwise know as Polly's dad, took the morning off so that he could be here to give his support to the process. Heavily sedated, flushed out and all prepped, Polly was once again a drugged and therefore willing patient. After two excruciating attempts, even with the proper instruments, it seemed like the bigger stone was too large for the opening of the urethra.

They then gave her another shot to help relax her internal organs. Then one more saline flush, and using lots of lubricant and even more determination they made one final attempt. I think it was that extra bit of determination, but they were able to remove the larger of the two stones, and then the smaller. I can't be more thankful for their time and that extra effort.

Now, it's all up to Polly and I to get those antibiotics into her system for the next couple of weeks to prevent any infections from occurring after such an invasive procedure. This has been a great day for all of us here at Mancos Mule MJ! A big thanks also to those of you who have followed my blog regarding Polly's bladder stones. Twenty-four years and counting. You Go Polly!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Colorado Sunrise

As we were getting ready for our day I noticed the beautiful sunrise.
By the time I grabbed the camera and got back outside it was gone.

I snapped this photo of the clothesline.
Notice the red, cloudy sky.
Even though we are several hundred miles away,
this is actually smoke from the Southern California wildfires.
We need rain, they need it even more than we do.

Welcome to September everyone!