Sunday, September 18, 2016

Out Exploring and Another First

As I'm sure everyone knows, I've been waiting for cooler temps so that I can get out, get some exercise and fresh air, and start working with my horses again.  It did drop out of the triple digits this month, but it has also been a busier month than usual for me, so I've been trying to make due with what free time I am given.  Of course, by the time I had a few days without visitors and appointments and places I needed to be, the temperatures got back up above 100 and my right leg took a turn for the worse.

The magic pill I've been taking seemed to stop working in warding off the pain and inflammation, but I didn't want to let that or the heat to stop my momentum.  I went hiking with a cane, but had to leave the horses at home, because I didn't have enough hands, balance or strength to deal with them if they decided to be obnoxious.  Apparently, my bursa broke, because I've been having the feeling of cold fluid spreading around on my knee, thigh and hip.

This morning I found a trail I've never taken before and followed it.  I'm feeling a bit frustrated with the number of people who have been painting graffiti on rocks and trees in the desert.  I go hiking to get away from people and to commune with nature, and the last thing I want to see is someone's name or religious beliefs shoved in my face along the trail.

On this trip I came across two memorials, which are somewhat less offensive to me since I understand the need to create a shrine for someone dear who has passed, but it is still an encroachment on the natural surroundings, and for me, ruins the ambiance of being alone in the great outdoors.  I probably need to just start driving further out away from civilization in order to get away from this.

Anyway, one was a large rock with a religious saying on it, surrounded by smaller rocks with pet names on them, so it must have been an informal community pet memorial.  Then I found a cross made of rocks, some painted, some not, in honor of someone's great grandfather.  I pulled out my camera and took a few photos since they painted a picture of an Appy.

More proof that the people who do this sort of thing are not year-round residents.  I've been tempted to take a rock from my yard and paint something like "graffiti is graffiti" on it, and put it out in the desert by one of the rocks where people painted their name or a religious saying.  I suspect that since these people are offering positive spiritual messages or not writing bad words, they believe it's okay.

I have a long history of posting pictures of graffiti on this blog.  I remember finding cuss words spray painted on boulders up at Lake Tahoe.  I was pissed.  One of the funnier photos was where someone carved the words "poo poo" into the trunk of a tree.  Not funny, but funny.  I felt sorry for the tree, but cracked up over the thought of someone going to all that trouble to carve such a silly phrase.  I guess they never progressed past their anal stage.

In my old home town, we had a fence to a farm at the main intersection in town that had been used for decades as a place to post political and event signs.  This year the farmer posted a sign that read, "NO SIGNS ALLOWED" and someone else posted a sign next to it with an arrow pointing at it reading, "Ironic."  That made me laugh so hard.  These memorials don't make me laugh, though.  They make me sad.

Also, when I'm out horseback riding by myself, I am aware of all of the potential dangers.  The last thing I want to see is a grave marker or a memorial.  I saw one memorial last year that gave me the impression that someone died in a horseback riding accident in that location.

While I was recovering from my hike, my husband startled me by yelling out my name super loud in an urgent voice.  I dropped everything and ran to him.  He said, "There's a bobcat on our porch!"

I gleefully grabbed my camera and took pictures through the french door windows.  My husband had to call to the dogs repeatedly to keep them away from the window, because once they saw the bobcat, they'd jump against the door and bark, scaring it away.  The bobcat was just a few feet away and didn't seem to hear all the commotion inside our house.

Cute tail.

When I first moved here, my neighbors told me about all the various wildlife in the area.  I hoped to see all of these animals, and I got very lucky in seeing some of the rarer ones like gila monsters, but others remained unseen by my eyes.  Just last year I finally saw a family of javelina, and the only animal left for me to see was a bobcat.  Now I can say I've seen all the common desert creatures in my neighborhood.

Within the first few months of us being here, my husband saw a mountain lion crossing the street and going into our next door neighbor's yard, and everyone tried to convince him that it was just a bobcat.  Now that he's seen this bobcat, he can say for sure that he previously saw a mountain lion.  That's one creature I hope to never see so close to me or my horses.

I have to admit that sometimes I do worry about venturing out on foot by myself because I would be defenseless against a mountain lion or a bear.  A few years ago a news helicopter got footage of a bear running across the desert and through farm land in central Arizona headed toward a heavily populated city, so I know bears do come around occasionally.

The trail I was on today took me down into a thicket of trees and shrubs, so I veered off course to avoid being under cover.  If I disturbed a wasps' nest or bee hive, no one would find me down there.  I did see a young gal riding a white horse bareback by herself, and that sight made me wish I had been able to venture into horse ownership when I was younger.  Right now I'm struggling just to mount and dismount using stirrups, so I had to admire her for being healthy, strong and brave enough to ride bareback alone on a hundred-degree day.


Cheryl Ann said...

I haven't been able to do much with my horses this past summer either. And, now I'm injured...Just seems like one obstacle after another.

I've seen bobcats twice up in our local mountains. I've seen foxes, too, but only dead ones on the road, unfortunately.

Take care. I'm going to hobble around for a couple more days...

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

My husband reminded me that I did see a bobcat a few months ago sitting on my neighbor's fence. I forgot about that sighting since I didn't get a picture of it. That's sad when other people remember incidents in my life more than I do. I've graduated on to doing dangerous things like leaving the burner on and the oven running. Time for a new brain.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Having the bobcat close enough for pictures is really neat. Hope your leg feels better soon. I had the same thing a few years ago and it's annoying. I agree that people should stop the graffiti in the desert and all over it ruins the natural landscape. Another pet peeve of mine is all the memorials on the sides of the road. I guess that seems insensitive but I don't think it's appropriate. Have you thought about taking along some sort of protection in case you run into some sort of trouble with animals?

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

GHM - I've explored a variety of ideas for protection. I won't go into it here, because then the know-it-alls and unsolicited advice givers will feel the need to start a debate and go into great detail about telling me what choices I should make when they don't have all the facts, and I don't like to explain why I've made the choices I have. I'm a simple person who blogs because I like to write stories and take pictures.

Crystal said...

I've never seen a bobcat in real life, supposedly we have them around here and we think we saw the tracks but that it, same with cougars. No bears tho, whew!
I too hate all graffiti and I'm with Grey Horse I don't care for roadside memorials, as a matter of fact one mom said she never put one up for her son cause it causes distraction when people look at it and she doesn't want anyone else to die there.