Ain't nuthin like ridin' a fine horse in a new country - Augustus McCrae – Lonesome Dove

Monday, October 20, 2014

Oh That Smell!

The last of the leaves~
From a rainy morning, the day gradually got better & by early afternoon I thought that if I took my raincoat, I might get in a dry ride!  We were busy over the weekend, I'd cleaned out the greenhouse on Sat., then Sunday we stopped by Linda's & ate chocolate cake!  :-)  Well, we did do a few other things that Linda found helpful.  It was so beautiful - a great place to enjoy the incredible weather, but we both would have rather been riding.
Our neighbors jack-o-lantern :-)
Today I wanted to go back up & see if I could find my orange bandana that I managed to loose my last ride.  We headed out taking the same trails all the way.  From gray & cloudy - the sky started clearing off & patches of blue opened up!
Old road out to our newly discovered clear-cut
It's so beautiful out this time of year - everything so fresh after all the rain & the smell was incredible!  The deep, rich smell of Fall!  A few chickadees were flirting through the trees, but otherwise it was quiet.
We see Pilchuck!
With the clouds lifting - today we could see the mountains that are to the east of the ridge that we rode over to get where we were.   Next - the sun broke through the clouds - very pretty!
The end of the trail~
Farah was full of herself today - too full!  We were heading back when she started some of her antics & I yelled at her!  We rounded a corner & here was a hunter setting in his jeep!  As I rode up, I apologized for my yelling at the mare :-)  Tom laughed & introduced himself.  He's lived in our area for 30-years & said that a few people think that there might be a Cougar in the area.  Farah stuck her head in the jeep & I gave him a carrot to give to her - even if she didn't deserve one!  He told me that bow hunting is over - he had his rifle on the seat beside him.
Almost surreal~
It's so beautiful that it's easy to almost zone out as Farah cruised us back with her big - "We're headed back!" walk!  :-)  Once they switch us back an hour - these late afternoons will be shortened!
Last of the day's sunshine~
The grass is still growing!  Of course Farah's mind is on all that fresh green stuff!  I kept her moving - sure looking forward to seeing my new saddle one of these days - so that the last excuse that she may have - i.e. not a perfect saddle fit - will hopefully be Gone!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Passing Beauty Forward~

Tue. morning I went up to the greenhouse to find that one of my mini geraniums had a bright red, new bloom!  I've managed to get five starts from the two plants I had left at the end of last Winter.  They've all done great & the two mother plants are both healthy & growing.  I clipped off the bloom & took it with me on my way to lunch with friends in Snohomish.
Brilliant Red~
Machias Nursery was on my way - I stopped & showed the bloom to Chris & Dennis.  They were both impressed!  Finding a germanium with a clear, red color isn't easy - but mine are.  That they are small petite blooms that almost look like roses only adds to their appeal.  As luck would have it - Dennis is building a propagation shed.  We'd talked before about the responsibility that I'd taken on years ago - to keep this unknown variety of plant alive & how many times over the years I've almost lost them...  Then - I opened my mouth & offered to bring one of mine to Dennis for his new project.
Chris accepts one of my Mother plants :-)
So, today - as Butch & I were heading out for lunch & hog fuel, we stopped by the nursery & I presented Chris & Dennis with the nicest of the two hardy survivors.  It was akin to sending a child off to boarding school!  Sweet relief to know that I've placed it in good hands & that by spring - I'll be able to see new young & healthy starts that will be propagated over this coming winter.

If you've yet to visit this nursery - now is the time, with a Great Fall sale going on & some stunning plants with tons of Fall color & Winter interest!  Next spring - you might - just might be one of the first to be able to buy one of my geraniums for your own garden!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sunshine Afternoon~

Gorgeous Afternoon
Lynn & I had planned a longer exploratory ride for today - but I couldn't get up the gumption this morning - gray, misting, overcast.  More a morning for hot tea & my audio book.  OK!  I did that!  Then - the clouds parted & I called Lynn.  Yes - she was still up for an afternoon ride!
Harvey Creek
We met at Bracken & I told Lynn about my "new" little loop & she was game to ride it.  It was as pretty as I remembered & with all the recent rain - I wasn't surprised to see Harvey Creek flowing with a lot more water than on my last visit.
Mossy Woods
This trail goes through a section of woods where the moss thrives, along a ridge & above the creek - really pretty & the trails are now getting slippery again.  No more - those dry trails of summertime...
North Fork of the Stillaquamish
I wanted to go to Tin Bridge & see if the bees were gone, after Jerry made two trips over to spray them last week.  The first thing we noticed was obvious right away - the river was up & it was Full of silt!  All coming down from the slide area - the river there - making new paths I'm sure.
Swirling waters~
Now, I'd like to go back to the Haller Trestle & see how the two forks of the river are mixing as they come together there.  The river here had been running almost clear -with the water levels so low - but no longer.
On the bridge
We met a gentleman that had hiked out from the Bryant Store!  It had taken him just over 1-1/2 hours to get here - he was out on the decking as I rode out & soon said that there were bees on the bridge.
There sure were!  It didn't look like the spraying had done much of anything...  They are four boards from the upstream edge of the bridge - so anyone who walks or rides over - be aware!

We finished up our ride by 5, so I had time to make it to the Centennial Trail meeting in Arlington.  So much going on right now - lots of excitement over the Whitehorse & getting the bridges decked!  What would have taken at least ten-years - will now be done in just over a year - we all hope!  The state has decided that a Hawk Activation System will not work for the trail where it crosses 530, so instead - there will be two underpasses built.  Very similar to the one that goes under Hwy 92.  Cost?  1.5 million for each!  Next?  Finding the funding for that!

Monday, October 13, 2014


Someone has time to decorate~
It wasn't a good morning - nothing I do or do not do suits some...  Then - a ride I'd looked forward to was cancelled.  I walked up into the woods & could see Three Fingers as clear as a bell.  Even though the weather report wasn't promising - & the morning was almost gone - I loaded Farah.  Feeling the need to blow off some steam -  I could tell once I was in the saddle - that Farah felt the same - she was trotting before I had my seat!
Fall trails~
 The wind was really blowing & the clouds looked heavy when we left - I put my rain coat on the back of the saddle & since Farah's shoes are ready to fall off, thought we'd just do a loop & call it good.
One of the wetlands~
Then - I got caught up in the ride, the horse, the weather, the wind & we went on & on.  I tried a couple trails that looked like they might go through - but we were soon stopped by the overgrowth.
Another trail to clear - where does it go?
Linda has been talking of doing some fall trail clearing - but she's swamped for the rest of this year.  This might make our list for next.
Here too - the peaks were ultra clear!
The wind didn't let up - at times there were some really good gusts that had the big trees groaning. 
Incredible out here too~
I ate some grapes, Farah did some grazing - but we were both still wanting to move - so move we did.  Farah's shoes managed to stay on - even with some really nice trots & smooth transitions into flying gallops.  We'll see tomorrow if there are any hooves left!
A snack~
Once we left the top of the mountain, the wind actually felt warm!  There was a touch of drizzle in the air - the clouds were getting darker.  We ran into one group of mushroom hunters who'd driven in.
This was a cool looking purple shroom~
I didn't see any edible mushrooms, but did think this one was pretty.  With more rain coming I'm sure we'll see a lot more popping up.
Another old trail~
We tried this trail, it was so pretty, but as it dropped down toward a lowland area, it started getting really boggy & Farah sunk in pretty deep, we decided to turn back.  By now - the rain was looking more imminent.  Farah did her "air-above-the-ground" & we were galloping - hitting just over 26 mph when I started pulling her up.
Our day's end reward~
Her shoes didn't fly off & we were rewarded with this amazing view at almost 4 in the afternoon.  Mt. Rainier looked touched with gold...

It helped - when in life I've needed spiritual or mental relief - I always head outside - as far away in the great outdoors as I can get & there - I find the peace & quiet I crave.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Good Riding with Friends - Old & New!

Sharon, Pat & Betty
Now that Pat & Donnie are back in the saddle again - it's like ole times!  We also have a new neighbor who has ridden all her life - Sharon - with her gorgeous half-Arab paint.  Betty rode her very nice Morgan mare & works with Pat & Sharon.  Donnie was riding Rao - who Farah has taken a liking to. (The other horses had been out on the trail together & since Farah was the new girl - everyone wanted to kick her :-)  Rao just keeps an eye on her as he moves out with his super nice walk that matches up well with Farah's.
Donnie, Betty, Pat & Sharon
  It was really hard to believe that October is already well under way.  The day - seemed more like early Sept., warm, sunny & just perfect.  Donnie & Rao lead most of the way - we took about any trail we could find & found one twice :-)  I put Farah in back most of the time & she handled it well - only one or two impatient grunts :-)  She thinks she has competitive & non-competitive horses figured out - well enough that she stopped to eat & watched them go off.  But - when she does decide to catch up - she thinks she has to buck & pitch a fit on the way.
Down the trail~
There were several trailers in the parking lot when we arrived before noon - most had left when we returned, but we only saw two other riders on the trails.  We all laughed at ourselves, talking about the coolness in the woods compared to the open sunshine - in October?!
Taking a break~
The Vine Maples are all yellow now & look so pretty in the dark of the big woods - my camera still won't capture that color to my liking.  We were out just over three-hours & it still seemed too short.  In Arlington on the way home the temperature was still 72 degrees!   If this keeps up, I won't be getting anything done around home!