Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cowgirl Dreams

In 2 short weeks we'll be riding our happy horses through the Arizona backcountry.
Ah, 'twas a glorious day. Up at dawn, working like a little fiend on the kinds of freelance projects that I truly love.

Promptly at one, I scooted outta that office, embarking on a premeditated playing hooky kind of afternoon.

It's farrier day ~ new shoes for both horses.

In two short weeks, we're off to Arizona, on our first trail ride of the season! The horsies are as restless as I am. Wild enough that I solicited help from a friend to calm them down.

 Still sporting thick winter coats, caked with layers of mud. (No need to photograph that mess!) In desperate need of a bath, though I doubt the weather will warm enough for me to make that happen.

And, that's okay. We'll go ugly. Just as long as we get to go.

I am sooooo excited for this escape to Arizona. 
Where it's summer! And, with any luck the cactus will be blooming!

Hey! A real live cowboy! Yet another fine reason to do these trail rides. :)
They haven't tried on their saddles in 6 long winter months. They're spooky and spirited with energy to burn. I've got my work cut out for me.... but this horse shoe day is a fun first step. Because it forces them to stand still. For nearly an hour while my kindly, old farrier trims up their tootsies and gets us ready for a new riding season.

I sometimes wonder what they're daydreaming about ~ while he's scraping and filing and messing with their feet.

Larry & Me
Perhaps they're doing the same thing I am...  

Remembering all the fun we had last year and hoping for a deliciously early spring. 

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Oxygen Garden

Re-Blooming Beauty: Phaleanopsis Moth Orchid
Geez! Where did this month go? Zipping by at light speed. When I plopped down in front of my computer this morning, I started to panic...

Perky Little Primrose
 Did I pay for the house? The car?

Have I taken care of the rest o' those pesky bills?

Surprise blossom on the "I thought you were done flowering" Rose
 Apparently, I did. {Breathing sighs of relief} Though I have little recollection of these mundane tasks...

Can't live without the Kalanchoes
Because I'm still in vacation mode.

And, I'd kinda like to stay there for a good long time...

Argh. Mondays. Here's hoping you had a good one.

These are all the bright bloomers in the Oxygen Garden (aka the flowers blooming indoors, while we impatiently wait for spring.)

These pics were all taken with my iPhone. Hence the sub-standard quality and bodacious frames! ;>)

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Riding the Sahara

This little bit of the Sahara is actually located in New Mexico, USA ~ White Sands National Monument. I just got home from warming my bones down there!

And, this horse is a rescue. {Who seems completely delighted with his new owner.}

For more {slightly} Wordless Wednesday participants click here!

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Valentine's Flower


One happy acre of gardening opportunities... and 4 square feet of shade. Which is why the teeny tiny bit of cool, quiet shade I do own is full to overflowing with these.

In honor of Valentine's Day, I thought I'd divulge... confess to the world what's my most favorite flower in the universe. Now, don't tell my other perennials, but I secretly think the Dicentra: Japanese Bleeding Heart is the most spectacular blossom in the garden. 

(Get up close and personal to appreciate her clever creations.)

Don't ya just love all those dainty, little hearts dangling from her stems? They sway back and forth in a gentle breeze.

In spite of her delicate appearance, Bleeding Hearts are tough cookies ~ thriving as far north as Alaska and as far south as Florida. (They're also available in white but why choose that when you can have this delicious pink?) She stands a proud 4 feet tall in one of the few shady spots in my garden that stays damp and protects her from the sun.

As the temperatures climb toward the triple digits, flowering stems drape themselves onto this ceramic fountain - perhaps to keep cool.

About the only thing she doesn't like is dry soil. A soaker hose works well. Rock mulch keeps soil cool and damp. Water fountains are a terrific way to help perennials cope with desert heat.

* In the mountains, Dicentra spectabilis (Japanese Bleeding Heart) blooms in June, hardy to USDA Zone 3, goes dormant in the heat of summer.

PS: Happy Valentine's Day!