Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Through my lens - a country life

I did a little walk-about the other evening when it was too dadgummed hot to do anything else.  It would have been too hot to walk around, but I was dripping wet from a dip in the pool.  :)  

Have I mentioned how much I enjoy our little backyard pool?  Yes? Oh, well alrighty then! (I do!  I really, really do!)  

Anyhoo, it was after the horses were fed, the dogs were lying around panting, hubby was watching the tv, dinner was done and I decided to grab my camera and head outside for a little lookey loo.  See if the neighborhood had changed...

Look who I found slithering along in the grass, very near where I'd just been traipsing about in my bare feet!!  Yee-gads!!!  It's a good thing I didn't see this little guy until after I'd put my shoes on.  Seems he may have been thinking of joining me for a little dip in the old swimming pool.  *gulp*  

No worries really, we don't have any snakes that are harmful in any way around here, but STILL - it's a snake we're talking about here!!  I can admire their beauty, marvel at their unique coloring and artful patterns, but the fact remains that I do not enjoy being in close proximity to any kind of snake.  Period.  Still, he's kind of a cute little guy, don't you think?  He was kind enough to pause, take time out from his busy schedule, and allow me to photograph him.  Very considerate.

That's when I noticed the evening sky starting to change, and develop some lovely colors.  *sigh*  So beautiful!  I have no idea just how many times over the years that I've photographed this same scene; but it still captures my heart.  Our grand old, twin oaks.  I've always dreamed of building a house on that hill.  It's such a lovely view from up there.

We are fortunate to enjoy some very beautiful sunsets from our yard.  This is looking at the Coast Range...just beyond that is the Pacific.  So near, but so far. Speaking of dreams - one day I hope to be able to live on the beach again.  I always feel so much more peaceful and relaxed when I'm there.  To breathe in that fresh ocean air, feel the cool mist upon my face, hear the seagulls calling in the distance?  Such peace.  

Imagine a little beach cottage overlooking the ocean, white lace curtains fluttering in the breeze, cozy little fire in the wood in my rocking chair on the back porch.  Oh ya, I can see it.  *sigh*  

A girl's gotta have her dreams.

This is our view to the South, overlooking our neighbor's fields.  White fences, wheat field and pastures, horse barn and twilight.  After living so long in the country, I cannot imagine living anywhere else.  Well, unless it's the beach of course.  So ideally, we have the house in the country; and the cottage on the beach.  Yes, that's it!  You must be careful what you dream, or pray for, so get it right.

Our neighbor's old barn and his spectacular garden.  The guy definitely has a green thumb.  Probably two of them.  He's a very nice man and a wonderful neighbor.  Shares produce with us, comes over with his big tractor and helps us out whenever we need it.  People are so friendly in the country.  And...he takes lots of our prime, grade A horse poop.  He's worth his weight in gold for that alone!

Look at that.  Don't you just love sunflowers?  Now, that is what a country landscape is all about!  I have one, and it started to die.  So, I replanted it in a much bigger container.  It's looking a bit pekid still...and they say sunflowers are so easy to grow.  They are so hardy, even a child can grow them.  Hmmph!  I beg to differ.  I can't wait to sample some of that corn.  It's looking good!  

A twilight sky, a sliver of the moon.  There's something quite romantic about this time of evening, don't you think?  

Our stately old Black Walnut.  I dearly love this old tree.  It provides shade for us and a home for several different birds, also a perfect perch for the neighboring pair of Red-Tail Hawks who sit atop the tallest branches and scour the field below for a tasty morsel.  On this evening, when I was in the pool and didn't have my camera handy, I watched a pair of Falcons having a bit of a squabble, at first only vocal, but it soon escalated to a real tift.  They fluttered and fought down through the branches, then the male flew off and the female remained.  She voiced her objections and displeasure quite loudly before flying off in the opposite direction towards the twin oaks where they make their home.  Such aerobatic birds, and such lethal hunters!  Even in the most perfect pairing, squabbles will happen.  Such is life!

My own little rose garden.  I've never had much luck growing roses, but this year they seem to be thriving.  Oh joy!!!

This lonely little Nasturtium came up from last years' seed.  This flower bed was full of these lovely little blooms last year, but I opted for different annuals this year.  So this is a gift!

And this is our own tiny little garden.  It has graced us with lots and lots of lettuce, a few Walla Walla onions, several zuchinis, some grape and cherry tomatoes and several herbs so far.  Soon we'll be savoring big, fat beefsteak tomatoes, more zuchinis, onions, brussel sprouts and of course more herbs.  
At least I'm hopeful about the brussel sprouts.  This is my first try at growing those.  

And here's Mr. Wonderful with those glowing eyes of his!!  He's wearing his eternal "dirty summer face", caused by his fly mask.  :)  It's better than having flies in his eyes and all over his face.  And truth be told, this dirty face does seem to perfectly match his grubby boy personality.  I just can't help but love this horse!!  

And here's our sweet boy, Harley.  *sigh*  I still cry over the loss of my awesome trail horse, but he does amazingly well sightless.  If it were me, I do believe I'd live with a lot of self pity.  No so, with this guy.  I pray for his protection, as well as all the horses, daily.  So far, so good.  

I have to keep reminding myself that he's still here, and I still get to love on him and enjoy him every single day.  And that is a blessing!!  He is a blessing.  God bless you Harley Horse!!

So that's our little piece of heaven, or at least some of it.  We're thankful to live where we do, it's a nice place to come home to.

In other news, we do believe we've finally got our truck repaired.  Big Grey is running like a top, just like it used to!  My car's back to normal too.  Our dear friend Claudia gave us over a cord of firewood that she wasn't going to use this year (Bless her heart!), and we've put some alfalfa in the barn for the two older horses to enjoy come winter.  Our eldest grandson Jack spent a week with us before returning home this week, and that was fun.  We watched some fireworks, ate too many cheeseburgers (Jack's favorite), spent time in the pool and got all the tansy pulled (again) from the pasture, unloaded and stacked all that wonderful firewood from Claudia and are looking forward to a camping trip soon.  We may be camping without the horses though.  My hubby noticed the hitch on our truck was at a funny angle to the ground, and had a look underneath...thank God he did, because our Class 5 tougher than nails hitch is ripping out.  So, looking back at our last camp trip when we borrowed brother Paul's truck to haul our horses was really a blessing we were unaware of.  We'll definitely need to get that repaired before we haul any horses anywhere.  

But...we bought a new-to-us camper!!!  It is totally awesome and perfectly clean, and as good as new.  We're planning on picking it up this weekend.  I can't wait!  We got a really good deal on it and were able to pay for over half in cash from our savings.  Of course we've officially wiped out our savings account now, but oh well! We got a very small loan and we'll have that paid off in no time.  Hopefully in less than a year.  

With the rest of my vacation time, we're hoping to take a trip to the beach, and if we stay in our camper, we'll reduce our expenses there significantly.  We'll see...either way, I'm looking forward to enjoying the rest of this summer.  So far, it's been pretty awesome!  And as always, we remain thankful.

Blessings everyone,


Karen Ann said...

I call myself a seahorse, Lori.. because I love the coast and sealife as much as I love my horsefarm and countryside living too. I go back and forth as to which would make the best home, but I know I'm not ready to leave the farm and horses behind for a little sea cottage. And around these parts, both at the same time is probably never gonna be affordable. Enjoyed your photos.. beautiful area you live in!

aurora said...

Thanks for taking us on your walkabout. Such spectacular sunsets & views, you capture them well. I can't imagine living anywhere else but in the country either, altho I grew up in a city. Cities are nice to visit, but I got the H outta there as soon as I was done with high school. Guess that makes me a city girl gone country. I miss our backyard pool :/ after 12 blissful summers, it blew out this spring. The perils of living on a hill. Sweet trusting face on your boy Harley, he is lucky to have such a caring mom. Congrats on the new camper! I've no doubt you will enjoy it thoroughly on your adventures.

C-ingspots said...

Karen: Real estate is quite pricey here too, so unless I suddenly come into a bunch of moolah, I probably won't be having both either. Oh well, we're just about an hour from the beach, so that will have to do for now.
Aurora: City girl huh? I've never lived in a city, but like you, I enjoy visiting from time to time. Thank you! I'm excited to get it.

fernvalley01 said...

lovely pictures, and good on ya for taking the snakle pic! I would still be running!

Guillaume said...

Lovely pictures. Thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog.

Carolynn Anctil said...

That sky is beautiful! Do you have neighbours? We do and wish we didn't. Enjoy the balance of the summer weather in your new camper!