Thursday, June 4, 2009

A SoFoBoMo Surprise

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Last Saturday, I started my SoFoBoMo project, but it was until later that I realized I had begun. It had never occurred to me to start my book on that day. Nothing was further from my mind. The Husband wasn’t around that evening and I headed down to Cub Lake for a walk. However, I had forgotten that earlier in the week I had seen signs down there of an upcoming lakeside wedding. Drat. Sure enough Saturday was the night of the festivities. Not in the mood for the crowd around the lake, I almost gave up on the walk, but ultimately decided to drive over to Oak Canyon Trail.

At its southern end, off San Juan Drive, the trail is a generous easement between properties and doesn’t begin to resemble a canyon. That section is wide enough to accommodate a vehicle and runs along about a quarter of a mile between the back yards of the houses and barns lying on either side. I knew it would be most unlikely that I could run into anything wilder than a rabbit in that highly populated area, so I felt safe setting off by myself.

Of course I had my camera with me and before I knew it, I was shooting. It would have to be a very short walk, because at the end of that quarter mile I would leave behind the horse corrals, barking dogs, braying burros, and cozy back yards to turn down into the canyon and past the sign warning of mountain lion sightings. The cool evening was perfect for a longer walk and I was feeling more like a hike than when I had left the house. Early on, I got a good look at a couple of deer in a clearing up ahead of me and they were tempting me pass that sign by and take my chances in the canyon. I wasn’t quite ready to turn back when I came to the turn in the trail and reached the warning sign; but, common sense won out. I left the remainder of Oak Canyon Trail for another evening.

When I reviewed my shots, I discovered that I had actually gotten a few that I liked. That’s especially pleasant when you are not expecting anything. Two days later, it dawned on me that June1 had arrived and I had better get cracking on SoFoBoMo. It came as a pleasant surprise to realize that I had already begun. I just had not planned my start date.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Unscheduled and Unpleasant

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Yesterday morning, The Husband took Night out for a ride. That meant that I would be treated to a Lancer extravaganza, so I grabbed the camera, armed with Big Bertha (the 70-200mm f/2.8L), and headed out to the pasture. The chestnut, often affectionately referred to as Banana Brain, did not disappoint. The shot above is one of my favorites from the session. Having finally shed out that ratty, moth-eaten, end-of-winter coat, he is sleek again—back to his rich, burnished chestnut, and he gets enough exercise these days to have regained muscle tone. I thoroughly enjoyed the shoot, then later The Husband and I repeated some of our ooh’s and ahh’s regarding his return to his handsome equine self.

In the evening, we headed out for a hike and didn’t get home until twilight. The Husband went out to the pasture to put the horses in their barn and was surprised to see that Lancer didn’t meet him at the gate. He soon discovered that the poor guy was injured and did not want to move. Although I was not there, I can well imagine the horrible thoughts that were racing through The Husband’s mind as he examined the leg and that hoof to determine where the damage was and the level of severity. Most people know that horses don’t always survive serious leg injuries. (If you are curious as to why, it is because their digestive system is directly tied to their ability to move. No movement- no food digestion. One leg out of operation means throwing excessive weight on other feet and they develop problems. A horse can’t survive lying down.)

A terrific veterinarian that The Husband knows from endurance rides came for a flashlight and lantern check-up and confirmed the diagnosis. In one of those roughhouse episodes, Night had landed a kick on Lancer’s front leg (you can see where the hoof shaved off the hair and the swollen tissue makes it plain why he does not want to use those muscles.) Since the gelding can put his full weight on the leg, the doctor felt confident that it is not broken. The poor guy was alert last night and eating. He was also keenly interested in the carrots offered to him. I helped The Husband grate some carrots into a mixture including grain and molasses to mask the bitter taste of the bute (phenylbutazone) to dull the pain and reduce the inflammation. While Lancer would not tolerate an ice pack on the swollen leg, he did not resist cold water treatment.

This morning he is still on his feet, but not moving very much. While he is a bit depressed, he eagerly lapped up his bute-laced treat. He will have several days of recovery. Meanwhile, we are in for a bit of anxious watching and waiting.