Shadow Pictures

Right now I’m sitting at my desk with one Border Collie (Rusty) at my feet under the desk and the other behind the chair. Ginny has never been gun shy or afraid of things in the sky but this thunderstorm has her rattled too. Rusty is terrified. So I left the loom where I was weaving and I’ll wait it out with them. We don’t often have thunderstorms here.

I had planned to write this blog post about our walk Across the Road in yesterday’s sunshine.


Guess who with something in her mouth?


Ginny watches the Ball and Rusty watches Ginny.





Ginny constantly drops the ball in the water but this year she gets herself. Last year I was fishing it out for her.



I don’t say much about Maggie because she usually wanders ahead and does her own thing out of range of the camera. I called her over to get a photo.



The late afternoon sun gives light to other subjects as well.



Ginny found a ball that we lost at some point in the tall grass. Now the grass is gone and she saw it in a dried tractor track. It’s a good thing because the ball on the right isn’t in very good shape at this point.

Across the Road Close-up

It has dried out enough to take the dogs walking again. I haven’t taken my camera lately because it’s cold and I have three leashes and the Ball Thrower Thing and my hands are too cold. (Don’t laugh if you live where it snows. I’m still cold.) Rusty wrote a post about his perspective of the latest walks. Here is what I see when I walk with the iPhone.

You know those gloves with the special fingers that are supposed to let you use your phone even with the gloves on? I have some too:



Do you know what I think when I see these photos? Or when I’m looking at the ground while taking the photos? What if these were satellite photos and these were mountain ranges? Can you see that?



The rain has started things growing. This is in a huge patch of thistles.


There are a few mustard flowers blooming already.


Perspective again. What if that little red rock in the hole was really a house? Then those cracks are canyons.



Uh oh! That perspective thing would make this a very scary photo indeed! Raccoonzilla.


Speaking of another perspective. Three dogs and me.


Orchard Trails

It’s dry enough now to ride my bike Across the Road. I take Ginny to try and wear her out a bit. Yesterday I took a different route and decided to veer off the road that borders a walnut orchard. I don’t know why I haven’t done that before–veering off the road. Maybe because at other times of the year it’s muddy or weedy (including puncture vine, also known as goats’ head that puncture tires and dog feet) or being harvested. Or because I’m not the sort of person that goes off the trail.

Maybe it’s that I am not a big fan of orchards in this area. Almond orchards seem to be taking over the valley and the landscapes that I love are hidden once the orchard has been in a couple of years.


Anyway, it was beautiful view from within the orchard.









However, I still love the broad landscape that is outside the orchard. This is one of the few black walnut trees remaining around the fields.


The mountains are almost obscured by the young almond orchard  that is across the big canal but at least I can still see the sunset.

Sunflowers-April through June

We have only 10 acres here, but having the field Across the Road makes it seem as though we have much more. We are careful to be good neighbors and we are grateful that we have permission to spend time exploring that property. So I feel kind of like the crops grown there are mine although I have none of the work involved.  This summer’s crop was sunflowers–one of my favorites. I have way too many photos so I’ll break this into two posts.


April 12. You can just see the tiny plants.



April 27



May 2. Cultivating.


June 11. They’re growing up. I sound like a proud parent.


The rest of the photos in this post were taken throughout June.











Birds and Butterflies

Last week it was impossible to go to town or walk Across the Road without running into butterflies. The orange sulphur butterfly (Colias eurytheme also known as the alfalfa butterfly and in its larval stages as the alfalfa caterpillar), I found out by googling, is widespread in North America and can be a significant alfalfa pest in high densities.

The alfalfa field just south of where I walk had been cut, the sunflowers harvested, and butterflies were doubling and tripling up on field bindweed flowers and any other weedy flowers they could find.





I thought that I’d be able to get photos of butterflies in flight. Do you know how hard that is? Not possible, at least by me.


But speaking of things that fly, I did get some bird photos. I don’t usually see great blue herons in the trees.


The snowy egret is dwared by two great egrets.


Great egret in flight.


On my way home I spotted these cattle egrets which I photographed from the road.


Across the Road Again

Now that it is not raining anymore I can walk Across the Road with the dogs again. It’s actually been a few weeks and there have been a few walks but I’m behind on blog posts and organizing my thoughts.IMG_0527This was taken on the first walk a few weeks ago. The dogs are on the leash until we get off of Meridian Road.IMG_0549The field was bedded up and planted about two weeks ago.sunflowers sproutingCan you see the sprouts when you look at one of the lines almost right in the middle of the photo? Those are sunflowers.IMG_0892The most exciting thing for the dogs is that the canals were filled about a week ago.IMG_0887On the last walk I noticed that Rusty spent more time than usual in the water. He usually just goes in when he’s hot and gets out again, but this time he spent time cruising (the best way to describe his half walking/half swimming) up the canal. I think his hips are bothering him so much that it felt better to move that way.IMG_0893He also needs help getting out now. Last year I helped Ginny out. This year it will be Rusty. IMG_0677Wet dog.IMG_0681The alfalfa has been cut and baled once already and is now being irrigated.IMG_0886 sunflowersHere is another week’s growth of the sunflowers.IMG_0658The best surprise for Ginny I think is that she got to chase the Toy into the water again. Rusty will have more of these photos on his blog.