Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Knittin' Rock

I missed the breakfast ride, so I went up the mountain on my own, horseless, carrying my purse and a glass (made of real glass!) of water. You kinda might get the idea that it was unplanned. Yep. I headed for the old homestead where the breakfast was being served out in the open air. So I walked up the trail. Soon I noticed that horses, and people were headed down. I clearly needed to get out of the way and settle myself, so as not to spook the horses. (That's generally frowned upon.) So I found myself this nice flat rock and got out my knitting. I was happy as a clam. I could greet people: "Hey, Marilee, how were the pancakes?"
"So you're ridin' Domino; how's he treatin' you?"
And I could just knit. For more on that, go to my studio. Anyhow, when the horses had gone, I packed away the yarn and continued up. When I got there, this was all there was of breakfast: just an abandoned grill, still warm. Sigh. Just kidding--I had breakfast down at the ranch an hour earlier. And there was a waitress. And napkins. And chairs.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Bugs and the Dark

There are some interesting surprises out here in Saguaro National Park. Note this little darling taking a breather by my window.
And now a close-up: smile!
Apropos of nothing, I just thought I'd show you how pretty my little courtyard looks at night. I was out, laying on a lounge chair, and looking at the stars. There's not a lot of light pollution so the constellations just jump right out at you. (But not so much at the camera. You'll just have to imagine it.)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch...

Yes, we are back. Back at Tanque Verde. The land of trail dust, cactus, and horses. I took a picture of the place we are staying. This is the view of the front door. It's the same as last November. And the November before that and the November before that... Here is the view out the back:

And the front:

I took horsemanship lessons today and yesterday: "Heels down! Toes up!" I swear, it's all that ballet coming back to bite me. Yesterday, the wrangler wanted me to use my left hand when I've been using my right all this time. He finally told me to switch back and I did much better.

When I stepped outside the room today, there was some local wildlife. Yes, it's a roadrunner! But a minute later, it was chased off by the approach of another example of the local wildlife.

Tiny took a private lesson and concentrated on loping. They won't let you go on a lope ride (that's a slow gallop to you greenhorns) unless you pass the lope test. So, during dinner the recurring theme was, "I hope I pass the lope test." At bedtime we heard, "I hope I pass the lope test." At breakfast, she was watching that clock harder than any student in sixth period history class. You guessed it. The lope test was at 8:30. I found myself a perch with a very obstructed view of the arena. This is a picture of her riding out. I could see her, barely, and she seemed to be loping like a pro.
And yes, she passed! And immediately went on a lope ride. What a happy kid!