The bird feeders didn’t seem to be attracting a lot of visits by anything other than the squirrels so I’ve done some thinking and have placed them in slightly different locations which hopefully won’t be as visited by the squirrels having them hanging near the hanging baskets in the garden. I’m still not totally convinced by one location (not pictured), but hopefully I’ll have a brainwave in due course.
I was quite surprised to see how much the baby geese at the local duck pond had grown. Now about 1/3 of the size of their parents, but still with their down feathers, which in the past week must have made them feel warm. There don’t seem to be any other goslings so I don’t know whether that will be it for the year, or whether there are more chicks to come. Only time will tell, but at least these seem to be doing well.
It never ceases to amaze me that after just a week, and having pulled up what I considered was all of the weed above I have come back and found a considerable amount back in the lawn. To be fair I hadn’t treated the lawn as I hadn’t wanted it to be growing excessively while I was away, but even so, it was a little disappointing! But then in some respect this should be expected. Weeding in the garden is an ongoing process during the summer and in some gardens as soon as you finish, you’ll be having to restart back at square one. In that respect it’s a bit like the old cliche of painting the Forth Bridge, which also used to have to be restarted back at the beginning as soon as it was finished.
While I was away the climbing rose had clearly made up for it’s late start. So much so that from the one bloom previously highlighted there were about 30 here that needed to be deadheaded to help promote future flowering. There are still plenty on the plant and it was nice to come back to it in full bloom and to know that despite the unusually cold weather it is going strong, and will probably continue to do so till late autumn.
When you leave the ranch the exit side of the entrance is different and expresses the message above ‘Vaya con Dios’. It translates as “Go With God” or “May God Go With You”. It’s a nice expression and as a Christian is something that is always a good reminder. Leaving the ranch can be a little sad. True most people come back, but even still, because it’s such a great place to spend time it’s easy to focus on how different the life you’re returning to is likely to be and that it might not be as enjoyable. This helps me to remember that God is there through the fun times and the less entertaining ones.
As previously mentioned, there are some Green Horned Owls currently at the ranch. Today I found out that they had a chick and that the ranch staff had helped build up the nest after the parent owls didn’t do a good job of the original and the baby fell out. It’s just a few palm tree branches to help create more of a barrier. The baby owl is sweet and once it had popped it’s head up (I had to wait for this but then that is how photography often works) it very comically would roll it’s head up and down and round in circles while not taking it’s eyes off me.
There had been a new birth at the ranch recently. The foal doesn’t yet have a name as the ranch will only name it once it has shown its personality. It’s very curious and was quite happy to walk away from it’s mother (still in the pen) and come over for some attention. I suspect that it will steal the hearts of a number of ranch visitors this year.
As well as riding there are daily walks organised at the ranch for those who want to do something different or aren’t riders. Each is different, but one that I’ve been meaning to do for a while is the walk up to the top of one of the local mountains. Panther Peak is one of the two peaks the local road is named after. (Yes, Twin Peaks Road!) As you can see the view is stunning and you can see for miles. It was a hard going walk, especially in the heat and I did need to rest for a bit once completed, as did everyone. However I’m glad I’ve done it and it’s another ranch activity knocked off my list.
There was an unexpected opportunity to go to the local outlet mall and having never been since it was built a few years ago and with no ride that I was scheduled to go on, I decided to sign up. After all, if it was good I could go again. It was surprisingly quiet there and in some shops I was the only customer, very different to the UK. There’s wasn’t a lot of stuff there that I was interested in, but I did in the end, do the very British thing of buying some Levi 501s as they were a fraction of the price they would be in the UK.
Just as the riding group I was in was coming back from it’s fast ride the wrangler who was leading our ride spotted this on the ground and quickly picked it up and, being right behind her, very kindly she offered it to me. Its the feather from a Green Horned Owl, a couple of which have taken up residence at the ranch. It fitted nicely on the rim of my hat for the rest of the week.