Saturday, March 23, 2013

Caught a Jackalope

...on camera...

It's tough trying to snap the shutter fast enough to catch some of the wildlife around here.  I've seen bigger jackalopes, but this one was kind enough to freeze and pose for me.  One of these hares almost always crosses my path when I walk or ride out in the desert, and I am fascinated by their size.  When I blow up this picture I can see that the rabbit's ears are all chewed up.

I've had a hankering to pet a bunny, because we have so many bunnies around us, but they are all too elusive.  I had one desert cottontail trained to let me approach it and sit next to it, but I think a coyote got it.  It's always the wild animals that are the most trusting that get eaten first.  Anyway, the local feed store had a bunch of adorable bunnies hopping around in a water trough filled with shavings.  There was a sign giving us permission to pet them, so I got my wish.  I'm used to bunnies running when they see me coming, but as soon as I started gently stroking one on the forehead, two others hopped over to get their strokes too.  The rest were either snoozing in a pile or busy eating.

I wanted to scoop them up and squish them to my face, but the sign said I couldn't pick them up.  Waaaaah.

This morning I lost a back to one of my earrings while getting dressed and couldn't find it anywhere.  I wore the earring anyway, because it had a long hook on it and the chance of it falling off was slim.  I took Bombay out on the trails, and he was leading like such a gentleman that I had to keep stopping to hug him.  He has made such a huge improvement on the lead line since last fall when I first started hand-walking him in the desert.

Anyway, since he's so good about staying in that little box of space at arms length out beside me without pulling on the lead rope, and since I was feeling strong for the first time in over a week, I decided to jog.  Bombay could easily walk next to me while I jogged, so I sped up to a run, and he trotted beside me being very careful not to crowd me, not to get ahead of me and not to drag behind.  While running, we saw this bouquet of helium Mylar balloons in a ditch by the trail.

I stopped and tried to figure out a way to get down to them.  Long story short, yesterday I was out getting my morning exercise with Lostine and heard a man yelling, "Whoa!" repeatedly.  I saw a rider on a runaway horse just before they disappeared behind some brush.  I stopped my feet to listen.  He continued yelling, but I didn't see them emerge from the other side of the brush, so I walked further up the trail and found him off his horse doing something with the saddle.  He seemed fine and didn't ask for help when he saw me, so I moved on.

But it got me thinking that I'm not the only one who has problems with spooky or runaway horses out in wide open spaces, so when I saw these balloons right next to the bridle trail, I wanted to take them home and throw them in the trash before some rider gets hurt.  The wind was blowing them around.  Bombay wasn't concerned about them, so I considered tying them to a rope I had around his neck and see if he'd be comfortable carrying them home.  It would be a good, real life desensitization exercise at the very least.  But I couldn't get down into that ditch with him and there was no place to tie him, so I decided to just hike back later to get them.

On the way home I ran into my husband walking the dogs and told him about the balloons.  He agreed to put the dogs away while I put Bombay away, and hike back out to get them.  When we returned home from that trek, I discovered that my earring had indeed fallen out of my ear, probably when I was jogging, so now I get to go back out again to hunt for it.  I need all the exercise I can get, and I feel so much better now that I actually can exercise.  I think I'll take Gabbrielle with me on this next trek.

I guess the title of this post should have been, "Caught a Jackalope, Lost an Earring."


Paint Girl said...

What a cool Jackalope! I love those ears, anything with big ears and long tails I adore!
That would have been a great test with the balloons for Bombay. I am not sure how my horse's would handle balloons. Probably not well. I think it's great that you are taking so many walks with the horses. I need to get out and walk more too!

Tracey said...

That's quite the bunny rabbit there!

Dreaming said...

I hate it when I lose an earring. Bummer!
Good luck finding it!
Congrats on the nice walk/run - sounds wonderful!

achieve1dream said...

Aww I hope you found the earring!

That rabbit is awesome! I can't believe how big they are in the desert. I've been wanting a pet bunny too for some reason lol. I'm glad you got to pet some. :)

I meant to say this on your last post, but I forgot. Since Bombay rides out fine, could you not ride him out, get off before he has a chance to get stressed (I would also make sure not to turn around as soon as you dismount or that could teach a bad habit) and lead him home? That way you can enjoy the whole trip and then eventually someday you could probably just turn and ride him home because by then it will be such a habit... maybe? :D