January 2010


Water, water everywhere – record rains and melted snow……………..

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All is well, soggy, sunny, and sodden, at Mountain Meadows today…………………

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Yesterday was a day filled with sound. You might say, every day is filled with sounds, and you would be right.

But, we don’t often take the time to REALLY listen…….The sounds of the day are just background noise, an accompaniment, largely ignored, as we scurry about, deep in our thoughts and errands of the day.

Yesterday became a mental health day for me – directing my attentions to the outdoors, my horses, and things other than the roiling thoughts that make being in my head, some days, a tumultuous ride!

I was mucking out the stalls, basically stripping them down- a kind of repetitious shoveling of what amounts to be a giant litterbox!

The steady and musical drip, drip, drip of the remaining snow on the barn roof changed its tune only when a curious horse came to check on me, and his back caught the drips, silencing their song.

The cacophonous chorus of a crow colony alerted of an intruder in the area. A few minutes later, an ear splitting baying broke the silence, as a neighbor’s beagles broke thru the woods running a rabbit.  Noses to the ground, their voices made everyone within earshot aware that they were on the trail!

I took a break from the barn duties, and took a walk with the beagles- a portly 10 year old little lady with graying muzzle and youthful stamina, a younger male, and a 6 month old pup with endless energy, who kept the others on their toes, using his new found skills as a tracker.

When barn duties were over, the 1st warm, sunny day of the new year, demanded that I pull down a saddle and go for a ride.  The outside of a horse is definitely good for the inside of me!!!

The ‘big guy’ was definitely happy to be out on the walk with me, and as we walked down the trail in silence, the keeeee-aarr screeches of a pair of red tailed hawks bounced off the mountains. They called back and forth a few times, the crows again warning each other to watch out for these two!!

The breeze does whisper thru the trees- its message is one of peace and tranquility, if you really listen. As we got farther down the trail, the unsettlingly loud crack of a shotgun pierced the air. Hunting season is over, but it is no less unnerving, when gunshots come from out of nowhere.

The rattling chatter of the kingfishers, disturbed by our passage, mingled with the sound of the rushing river. Melting snows have filled the river and widened its banks. It can be heard, whooshing along, from as far away as my front porch.

The day ends with the chatter and chip, chip, chip of all the birds settling in for the night within the sheltering boughs of the scrub pines and cedars.  The eerie  hoo hoo hoodeee hoo hoo of the great horned owl, the distant quack of the mallards, and the overhead honking of the last stragglers of geese, brings the day to a close.

All is well, peaceful, and  filled with the din of life, at Mountain Meadows tonite…….

(with a tip of the ol’ chapeau to Simon and Garfunkel for my title…..)