Friday, April 3, 2015

Whirling Along

I asked Rock if he wanted to go for a ride, and he said yes.

While I was getting ready to mount, I heard a loud whoosh getting closer.  The air was still where we were standing, but when I looked up, the trees at my neighbors' place were parting and swaying.  I could hear things crashing around.  A few seconds later we nearly got blown off our feet by a wall of wind.  I waited a couple of minutes for the air to settle down, and then rode off.

Right when we crossed the street I heard a BOOM and looked over to see my neighbors' trash can on its side being blown across the street by a really tall whirlwind or dust devil that looked like a funnel cloud.  The funnel released the trash can and raced out into the desert.  We followed it.

However, since most of the winds were coming from the north and east, I turned us south because I wasn't interested in us getting pelted by whirling stickers and pebbles.  When it was time to head north, I rode up a low trail with walls on each side, hoping that would protect us from those unpredictable, crazy winds.  When we got close to home, Rock didn't want to slow down or stop.  I was telling him to stop, and he just kept asking me why.

It reminded me of the time one of my horse trainers told me to stop.  I did stop, but I also asked why.  I thought she saw something going on up ahead that we needed to avoid.  She laughed and said, "Why?  That's what your horse is asking you all the time.  There doesn't have to be a reason.  You just need to get your horse to always do what you say."

So, I turned Rock to a stop and made him stand there for a minute.

He was looking around trying to figure out what we were stopping for.  I decided to do something totally unexpected just to mix up his expectations again, and I dismounted.  I took ten steps and then immediately regretted that decision, because the boots I was wearing were rubbing my heels.  However, I didn't think I could ride much further because my left hip was burning in pain.  I'm falling apart.  I knew I should have either led or rode him back out since he was rushing home and being fussy about stopping, but the pains in my hip and feet took priority, so I led him the rest of the way home.

Once there, we got hit by a couple of whirlwinds.  My back yard seems to have a topography that makes for a perfect playground for crazy winds.  All of the horses are fairly used to them by now, but they will take off running if the winds are carrying ouchy debris.

The cardinal returned.  Here are a few more pictures I got of it...

This is a long distance zoom shot my husband took of a large lizard.  He actually saw it bobbing up and down on a rock wall through a window from inside the house.


Once Upon an Equine said...

Crazy wind. Good think a whirlwind didn't chase you when you were in the saddle. Misty bolted forward on a trail ride one time and I had no idea why. My friends said a dust devil whipped up and blew right into her butt. When I lived in Arizona, I don't remember seeing any cardinals. Have they migrated there in the last 20 years or so? No cardinals where I live now. I had a lot at my feeder when I lived in Missouri. Miss them.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Once Upon - I don't really know about the cardinals. I've seen a few animals in my back yard that people have told me are not native to Arizona.

achieve1dream said...

I love Cardinals!

That's so interesting about the crazy winds you guys have out there. I think I've only seen three or four dust devils in my entire life. I'm glad they didn't scare Rock or anything. I hope you hip is feeling better!