Monday, October 10, 2011

Weekend Turnout

The weekend turned out to be better than it began.  I feel better now because I communed with nature and rode a horse.  Riding a horse heals all ailments.  I went to Spooner Lake in search of fall colors, but was disappointed to see that every tree that had changed colors lost its leaves in the early snow storm, and the majority of other trees had not changed colors yet.  I took pictures anyway and was pleased to see that the grass was gold and red -- something I hadn't noticed with the naked eye, so I guess I captured some fall colors after all.

Being a photographer is more difficult that one might expect.  I have several lenses.  The four that I use the most are a 35mm prime for my studio shots since the room is so small, a 50mm prime, a macro zoom and a telephoto zoom lens.  The first three short lenses look very much alike and I am too blind to read the numbers on them without a magnifying glass.  Anyway, after my photo shoot I discovered that I had been taking all these landscape photos with a macro lens!  Amazingly, they came out alright.

I stopped at the location where I hid two letterboxes to check on them.  I found that one location had been renovated.  What used to be just picnic tables in dirt was suddenly picnic tables on gravel with advertisements and well-maintained paths with totem poles and signs.  Someone had removed all the large boulders and tree stumps.  I was upset because I had hidden my letterbox in one of those tree stumps.  I looked high and low, and then gave up, sure that it was gone.  Then I noticed some chopped wood on the ground, as if someone chopped up a stump but didn't haul all the wood off.  I lifted a piece of wood, and there was my letterbox.

The forestry people found it, signed it, and left one stack of wood to hide it under.

The last person to find my other letterbox mentioned that it is easy to see.  I spotted it immediately...

It was still in good condition.  I looked at the signatures in the booklet, and then put it back, but did a better job hiding it deeper in the rock. 

At one point I hiked partway up a steep switchback to see if there was anything good to photograph.  I found these signs...

Then I turned around and saw three men staring at me.  I was like, "Really?  I come all the way up into the mountains to be alone, and I still have people staring at me?"

I walked back to my car just in case the men were up to no good.  They spoke another language and just seemed to be loitering in the parking lot.  I got in my car, started the engine, put it in reverse, turned to look over my shoulder, and the three men were standing directly behind my car.  Again...  Really?  We're out in the middle of nowhere.  There's plenty of space to spread out, and they had to block me from backing out of my parking spot?  People are so annoying.  Once I started backing into them, they moved along and got back into their car.  There's just no escaping people around here.  I don't know what to fear more:  Strange men who stare at me or mountain lion and bears.

I did something I've been afraid to do for a very long time.  Eleven years ago I received some psychic knowledge that a little girl had been raped and murdered, and her body was thrown over the edge of a vista that I drove past every day.  I couldn't bring myself to stop at the vista and look over the edge.  That's selfish, I know.  I could have brought closure to the case, but fear paralyzed me.  Anyway, sure enough a little girl had been raped and murdered, and the police found her body over the edge of the very vista I was told she would be.  The family erected a memorial in the location, but something happened to the original one.  They replaced it with a birdhouse.

I stopped and took pictures of the latest memorial and all the stuffed bears that mourners left on it.  High winds and wet weather did a number on the stuffed animals.

I saw some fall colors down in the valley by the slope her body was thrown down and began taking pictures.  If you look closely, you'll see a stuffed panda bear had rolled down the hillside.

When I got home, my annoying neighbors had gone to church, but the younger couple who lives with them now had been out all morning weeding their front lot, probably to make room for more junk vehicles.  I said to my husband, "I'm glad I left.  I was thinking of riding the horses while they were in church, but apparently their new live-in friends don't attend church."

My husband said, "Oh yeah, they've been out here all morning."

I started cleaning stalls, and the couple drove off while I was doing so.  I decided to take advantage of their absence by riding a horse in the afternoon.  I was contemplating taking Lostine for a trail ride, but my husband was finishing the job of swapping out all the wood panels for metal poles, and there was all this wood and tools blocking my horse trailer.  I didn't want to disrupt his work, so I just rode my most neglected horse of the year, which is Bombay.

I'm reading a book called "The Smart Woman's Guide to Midlife Horses" by Melinda Kaitcer, Clinton Anderson, and Koelie Simpson.  It talks about training your horse to stop and hold still when you relax, which you do by taking a deep breath and imagining that you are pushing your breath down your body, through the saddle, into the ground.  I worked with Bombay on that.  I had to gently pull back on the reins the first few times to help him associate between the deep exhale and his old cue to whoa, but he very quickly caught on that he was to stop as soon as he felt that deep breath.

I also worked on the one rein stop, because I always thought that if you get into a bind, you just pull your horse's head around to stop, but the book explained that you actually have to train your horse to stop when you pull his head around so that it becomes second nature.  Lostine may handle getting attacked by dogs on the trail well, but I'm sure that both Bombay and Gabbrielle would bolt.  Since everywhere I go to be alone is so crowded now, specifically with people who have no common sense, I have to prepare my horses for the worst.

After riding, we took the horses out to pasture.  Lostine put on a show cantering around and mugging for the camera.  Normally, I'd be upset if she ran in the pasture causing divots in the grass, but since it's the end of the season, I figure she's just helping aerate the pasture.

This morning I let the dogs outside and they were barking non-stop. I was running around looking for a sweater to put on so I could go out and bring them in. Then I noticed the horses were all lined up at the fence looking in the direction of where the dogs were barking. I knew something was definitely going on out there.

Well, do you remember how one of my annoying neighbors spent the past month doing construction? She was having a boulder, vegetable, and flower garden installed in her backyard, as well as extending the length of her guest house patio. When I finally found my sweater and ran outside, I found six young deer chowing down on her brand new garden.

My neighbor wasn't home, so I chased the deer off since the dogs and horses were having no effect on them. You see? I really am a nice person. I could have easily stood there and laughed, enjoying my neighbor's karma.


Crystal said...

Sounds like a decent weekend! i love that last shot of Lostine, so pretty!

Leah Fry said...

Have you ever had other such psychic visions? I can certainly understand why you did not act on it.

Cool you were able to find your letterbox.

I think I would have watched the deer feast instead. I'm not so nice.

Anonymous said...

"specifically with people who have no common sense, I have to prepare my horses for the worst"

Exactly how I train my horses for sale, even the babies.

I'm not so nice anymore, so I would probably have enjoyed watching the deer.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Leah - Yes, I've had all kinds of paranormal experiences off and on. This one was not a vision, but a voice telling me what happened. It wanted me to go to the vista and find her, but I thought it was my imagination gone wild until I heard on the news that a little girl was missing.

Allison said...

Hello! I just discovered your blog. I know all about annoying neighbors. . . It sounds like you live in a beautiful area, minus the people without common sense! I look forward to reading more!

whirlwinddals said...

I would of enjoyed the karma.... :)

fernvalley01 said...

Glad the weekend straightened out for you . And Wow Lostine is a still a beautiful girl!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

So tragic and very sad about the little girl...Did they catch the man who did it? Gave me goosebumps that you went to visit the place where she was dumped.
Those trails looked lovely. I would enjoy hiking them, too. How nice that the Forest Service folks didn't confiscate your letterbox. I've heard many a story on the message boards about that happening. It's cool that they even signed in and rehid your box.

Weird about those 3 men, though. I've been thinking about getting some bear spray just in case I encounter any lions, bears, and weird men while out hiking and letterboxing.

Lostine looked beautiful running around on the grass. Seeing my horse run makes me happy, too. They look so free and full of the spirit that draws us to these amazing creatures.


achieve1dream said...

Lostine is so beautiful!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Lisa - They did catch the man who did it, and he hung himself in jail before his trial. The worst part about it was that he sent his teenage son out to get a girl and bring her to him, and the son was the girl's after school program leader. So much for trusting authority.