In horse lingo, the term babysitter refers to a good-natured horse. A horse specializing in being kind and protective of an inexperienced rider. The term bomb-proof is sometimes used interchangeably with babysitter.

Babysitter describes my ‘best old-lady horse in the world’, Rodney.

rod The wonderful time spent on his back, I count among some of my most contented hours. He kept me safe on many occasions in the show pen when lesser horses were losing their minds.

rod1He’s shed his winter coat and the new summer hair is absolutely brilliant and shiny. I love this gelding.

He hasn’t been babysitting me lately. Seems he has a new batch of children.

The ceiling in Rodney’s stall.

These babies are only about 18 inches above his head when he’s in his stall. Like a good babysitter, he takes their hungry chirping in stride.

This nest is one of three nests near his stall. The other two are directly outside his stall door up in the eaves of his metal barn.

I hear quite a symphony of bird sounds at feeding time. These little birds have lifted my spirits. Something to keep me from being morbidly obsessed with this dreary drought. The birds have a steady source of water when they are near the horses.

Last evening was terribly hot and windy at the barn, but I had fun looking at the babies.

Seems a certain sidekick found an activity to keep her mind off the drought.

**singing** kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit, kill the WAB-BIT!

Ahhhh, the sights and smells of a freshly-dug rabbit hole.

roxy1Bingo. Dachshund nirvana.

Hope your week is shaping up to be a great one.

Me? Choose either one of the following faces.

birdfacesThat’s me..until it rains.

Led-by-the-still-waters love to all.


litany for drought

When waters flow, when waters fail:  You remain the Author of life.

When dazzling, crystal skies


Become horizons filling us with dread.


We cry out,

Lord, heal our broken and parched land.

When grainless fields produce only clouds of ash.


When trees gasp in unison


We cry out,

Lord, heal our broken and parched land.

When homes are scorched by wind-danced flames

aerial fire photo
photo Amarillo Globe News

And we wonder where we will lay our head


We cry out,

Lord, heal our broken and parched land.

When our rainbow window


Morphs into the mouth of Armageddon.

picturewindowWe cry out,

Lord, heal our broken and parched land.


wild things

Can’t take credit for this blog post. Render all applause to the rancher/cowboy Sprout #1. Seems he placed a few motion-sensor cameras around the ranch in Union County, New Mexico. This ranch is nestled in northern Union County, near where New Mexico meets the Oklahoma Panhandle and southern Colorado.

The southern portion of the ranch is rolling grassland. As one travels north, the country roughens into cedar breaks.

The cedar breaks.
The cedar breaks.

The northern apex of the ranch is regally crowned with a colorful, wind-swept canyon. It conjures Louis L’Amour, Zane Grey and Larry McMurtry novels for me. Fancy myself freely galloping horseback with my handsome cowboy sidekick (Robert Duvall) riding into the crimson sunset.

This portion of New Mexico is in severe drought. Worst we’ve ever seen. Therefore, the watering holes are popular hang-outs for wildlife. A veritable Studio 54. Watch closely….you might spot Bianca Jagger or Biebs. Will you have to bribe the bouncer to gain entry?

We see you, crafty elk. Wearin' night vision glasses.
We see you, crafty elk.

Is this the same animal? Who knows?

Check out the dead grass. Pretty slim grass pickins the last few years.
Notice the dead grass. Pretty slim grass pickins the last few years.

The elk shed antlers every year. Sprout #1 has picked up some huge antler sheds.

Check out this handsome turkey. He’s lucky it’s not November.

Sprout #1 spent plenty of hours this winter doggedly tracking the big cats-mountain lion. He saw a few, but never got a shot off.

This hunter killed the mountain lion on a neighboring ranch. Look at the size of this cat! Wonder how many newborn calves he’s killed?

We’re always hearing of ‘bear and rumors of bear’ around the ranch.

bear track
The Sprout’s size 13-14 boot. Look at the size of the bear print.

Makes me remember the time Sprout #2 and I bravely camped out with the cowboy crew during branding time. The ranch foreman told me they spotted a bear near the campground. We slept (uneasily) with a loaded 9mm in our flimsy, two-person pup tent.

bear walking
Not sure our 9mm was a powerful enough caliber. He looks like he could make short work of a pup tent. Yikes.

We provide the wildlife with the most modern, convenient amenities.

Where’s the fluffy white towel?

Had the bear realized he was being filmed, he would’ve worn a swimsuit. Modesty demands it.

Hope your week is packed with surprises.

Untamed wild and beastly love to all.