Thursday, August 30, 2012

Rest in Peace, Val; Bike Rider; and New Foal

Val - Rest in Peace Sweet Boy

Hazel lost her big boy, Val, early this week.  He was a rescue Greyhound, 11 1/2 years old, and was the sweetest big dog.  He was favoring his foot and when Hazel checked, she found a mass.  She took him to the Vet that afternoon, and he was diagnosed with advanced bone cancer.  Hazel made the hard decision to have him put down and release him from his pain.

Of course Hazel is devastated, and her other Greyhound, Fleur who is 9 years old, misses Val, too.  Hazel has had Val since he was 4 and she got Fleur soon after, so they have had a good run together.  These two gentle giants have had a pretty exciting life since they hooked up with Hazel, traveling all over with her in her Class A motor home.

Following are some of the photos I've taken of them all:

 Val and Fleur at the grinding holes in Quartzsite, AZ

Hazel took the dogs everywhere with her; they loved walking alongside her recumbent bike and also alongside her car with their leashes in Hazel's hand while she slowly drove around the campsite.  She made sure they got the exercise they needed. Once in a while she'd take them out in the boonies so they could just run off-leash, and they loved it.

 Val, Hazel and Fleur taking a walk at Quartzsite.

 Val and Fleur. Aren't they beautiful dogs?

 Another day trip with Mom.

  Come on up, Fleur!

I'll miss Val, along with everyone else who ever petted his long, beautiful nose.  He was one of the sweetest, best behaved dogs I've ever known.  I still tear up when I think about him. Rest in Peace, Sweet Boy.

On a lighter note, I want to show you some photos of a little camper who was riding bikes with her big sister and her dad.  They were here for a few days, and I so enjoyed watching her "ride" her bike past The Palms.  This little girl must have strong legs and a determined spirit, because she pretty much kept up with sis and dad.

 Here she is, riding by The Palms.
As you can see, there are no pedals on this bike.

 Foot Power, keeping up with dad on the downhill.

Heading home after their ride, she finally got off and walked the bike on the way back, going uphill.  So cute!

I thought this was a nice photo, mom, big sis and little sis.
Filly and big sis's bike.

Anyway, I don't know these people, but they were so interested and respectful of the horses, and I loved watching them riding their bikes.  Seemed like a nice family.

The other family I enjoyed watching so much, the five horses, is gone.  According to another RVer, on Tuesday their owner put them in a horse trailer and drove them out of the park. It sure was fun living in The Palms with these beautiful animals right outside my windows for so many weeks.

So, on Tuesday Katie and I took a long walk (for us) down to the boat ramp, planning to cross the sand to the road up to our old site overlooking the lake. Once in a while we take that walk, and walk around the two campgrounds in that area, too. When we got down to the lake, I saw the large herd of horses across the lake.  I hadn't seen them in weeks, so we walked over that way for a closer look.  There's another new foal, and I think some different horses that were either new in this herd, or I hadn't noticed them before. Or maybe this is a different herd.

 Partial herd of 19 - the rest were further up and around the hill.
I counted 25 total.

Yesterday some of the horses from that herd were up here across the field from us, and the foal was with them. I got some good photos of the little cutie.  She's really a beauty.   She is still stumbling around a bit, but has so much energy - when she walks alongside her mom, she just hops and jumps and bounces.  Katie and I walked over closer to them to see them up close.

 Mare and new baby.

 Taking off toward her mom with a little hop. 

 I wonder if this white horse is the one from the baby photos when I first got here in June.

 Sweet.  Look at that tiny little tail. :)

Nuzzling mom.

Hello.  :)  Such a short tail and long legs.

Labor Day Weekend is coming up. The park has LOTS of empty sites, but I think the electric sites are all reserved for the holiday.  Hazel and Cari are heading East on Wednesday to another New Mexico State Park, and I might tag along with them.  I haven't seen that state park yet, and want to see what it's like - for next year's list of summer parks.

From me and Katie, have a great Thursday, everyone!  :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Back to school photos and lightning shots

My grand kids are back in school now, they all started this week.  My daughter Kristy and son Tom sent me a few "first day of school" photos of the kids.  These are of Kristy and Matt's two kids and Tom and Trish's two older kids - Graydin is still in preschool and didn't want to be in the photos.

The first three are of Kennedy and Gavin.  Kennedy is 9 and going into the 4th grade, and Gavin is 7 and going into the 2nd grade. They started school on Monday and Tom said they both had a great day and really like their teachers.

And next, we have Drew, who is 7 and going into the 2nd grade, and Lauren, 5 - yesterday was her first day of Kindergarten.  I haven't heard yet how Lauren liked her first day of school, but after they brought Drew to his classroom, Kristy e-mailed me,  "So far Drew's teacher seems great, organized and very nice.  He has all his friends in his class, and luckily they are sitting at different tables.  He has a desk for the first time.  Lauren's teacher is the wife of Drew's Kinder teacher and in the same classroom, so she is familiar with the class and routine as she volunteered with me a few times.  She doesn't seem nervous, yet." I hope Lauren did well and that she and Drew had fun and liked their first day of school.  :)

Don't you just love those four beautiful, happy, fresh faces?  They are all good kids and so far good students. I hope they all have a good year in school.

I used to take Tom and Kristy's first day of school photos on our front porch every year, and now my kids are doing the same thing - photos in front of the house.  I just noticed they both have photos in front of bougainvillea blooms.  Tom is in Southern California and Kristy is in Northern California, and they both have healthy bougainvillea plants in front of their houses.  The house I grew up in also had that same plant climbing up our fireplace chimney. 

Not to leave out Graydin, he was 3 in April and he's in preschool - this is his second year.  It's an all day, year round preschool, his sister and brother both attended the same preschool and I had the opportunity to pick up the kids and attend some events, and it's a really good school. Graydin loves it, as did his older siblings.  This is my most recent picture of Graydin, taken with Kennedy and Gavin at Lake Tahoe this summer:

I've got the best grand kids - bright, beautiful and super well behaved.  Their parents are all doing such a good job raising them, I'm so proud of them all.

I haven't seen the horses for a few days and I asked the Ranger, Kelly, where they were.  He said someone picked them up in a trailer a few days ago and took them down to Bluewater Creek - below is a photo I took of the creek, it's beautiful - and they have slowly made their way back up to the campground.  I mentioned that it's really green and lush down there with lots for the horses to eat, but he seemed to think they like to graze in the campgrounds and prefer the grasses up here.  I guess, even to horses, it might look good, but maybe the taste isn't to their liking.

He said when we were talking yesterday afternoon that he just saw the horses grazing at the entrance gate to the park, so hopefully I'll see them today.

Kelly said the horses are all branded, except the filly, and that if a filly is with it's mom, it goes with the branded mare, so these horses have owners and are not up for grabs.  Kelly said they were probably dropped off to roam free here in the park, and when the owner is ready, he will pick them up and take them away.  In the 50s when the State took over this area for a park, there was an agreement with the Native Indians that horses could roam free on these lands, which is why we have horses here.  They aren't really wild, just free ranging. 

We are supposed to get some really bad weather today, it's gray and a little windy now, but no real storms yet.  These are the clearest of the photos I took a few days ago of lightning in the skies on the other side of the lake during a good thunderstorm.

Cool, huh?  Click on the lightning photos to see larger, clearer shots of the way the lightning is traveling down the sky, especially the last one.  It's pretty interesting.  Today we should get lots more, I hope.

From me and Katie, have a great Thursday, everyone!  :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

More about the horses

I'm back at Bluewater Lake in the electric section of the campground.  I met up with Hazel and Cari, and they said there were some non-reservable electric sites available, so I decided to try out that part of the campground.  With my New Mexico State Parks Annual Pass, the electric sites are only $4/night.  I only get one good TV channel that I like, but with all the clouds lately, I thought the electric site might be a good idea to keep the electronics charged.

I'm right across from an open field where the new 5-horse herd of horses hangs out a lot.  They graze through the campgrounds nearby, and are fun to watch.  One of the camp hosts told me a local woman saw someone drive into the park with a horse trailer and dump the horses, and they have been here ever since.  They are beautiful.  They stay together in a group, sometimes the stallion (with the spotted rear) or one of the others wanders away, but they always come together and move on to another area. 

The other day they split up, the stallion was at one end of the field, the little filly laid down in the middle, and the three mares were at the other end of the field, then walked across the road to one of the campgrounds.  The Stallion made a loud Neighhhhhh, then went racing across the field, a beautiful sight for sure, toward the filly.  She quickly got up and started running toward the mares with the stallion chasing her.  When they got to the mares, they just stopped running and started grazing.  It was pretty exciting to see.  I don't know what was going on, but I sure wouldn't want him chasing me!

They are such beautiful horses and seem to have enough food and water here; I just hope they continue to do well.


This is the filly's mom

 The second mare

 The third mare
The filly in the field in front of The Palms

The camp host said the stallion really protects the others, and as I've watched them, it's obvious he's the boss.

Every so often they lay down and roll on the dirt.  When they get up, they are covered with dust.  Yesterday the stallion rolled around, then each of the mares laid down and rolled around and over and back and then got up, all covered with dust.

The filly doesn't roll in the dirt, she just lays down and rests.

The filly was nursing the other day, and after a while the stallion came up to her and grabbed her tail in his mouth, and pulled her away.  He's pretty firm with her.

Then the filly nuzzled the stallion.  She is so cute.

Later she stood for a while rubbing her back on this low limb.

We've had some nice weather, but now it looks like we're in for more thunder and lightening storms.  It also rained a little today and it's raining right now. There were alerts tonight that came across the TV screen - hail as large as quarters were expected, but we didn't have any hail here, thank goodness.

 Last night's moon.

Nothing much going on except taking it easy, enjoying the horses and the great weather, and listening to books on tape.  What a life!

From Me and Katie, have a great Monday night, everyone!  :)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A gorgeous sunset

Welcome to Tammy Fletcher, who has a new blog, It's Good To Be Us. She and her husband and two dogs are new Hardin Ridge Campground Hosts and bloggers since just this month.  Tammy, tomorrow I'm going to read your first six posts - I got a quick peek at the photos, that looks like a great place to be a host and the fawn you snapped is darling. Good shot! I look forward to following along with you on your adventures. Welcome Aboard, Tammy!  :)

I took some shots of a waterbird during our walk to the lakeside the other day.  I couldn't get close to it to see what kind of bird it is (blue heron?), and when I tried to sneak up on it, away it went.  I often see it standing there at the edge of the water in the afternoons. I should get my camera back early next week, and the good zoom lens will help with this kind of shot. (I just learned that my repaired camera was mailed out three weeks ago and is siting at my mail service.  I had no idea they would repair it this quick. Yeaaaa, Nikon!)

 Took this one late afternoon through the bushes in our site.
See the bird at the water's edge?

We are in a new location nearby for six nights, then we'll return to the campground above the lake, hopefully in the same site.  If it's taken, we'll go across the road to one of the other sites and that will also be good.

During slow blogging days, I like to put little Katie on the post.  Here she is - Katie with her baby - she flips it around, rolls around with it, and when sees me looking at her, she stops and lays on it, like she's embarrassed. :)

 I think I ruined her fun! :(

Here's the last sunset photo I got around the lake the other evening - it was gorgeous.  Probably the prettiest sunset I've seen yet.  There was a group of professional photographers from England down the road taking photos of the sunset for a National Geographic TV program in England.  One of the men said they are traveling Route 66 and taking photos for the program.  He had a thick accent, and I think that's what he said.  When it got dark, they left.  Here are a few sunset shots taken close, further, and furthest on my camera zoom lens:

From me and Katie, have a nice weekend, everyone!  :)