Saturday, February 04, 2012

It was only about 40 degrees this morning when I got up, so I gulped some breakfast, read the news, and took off for the ranch to ride Dink out in the orchards before the bees were active. There are about thirty blossoms in the local orchards, and about a hundred bazillion bees in their bee boxes, so the little ladies are fair-to-middlin' angry when they go outside and find there isn't anything worth their while. I didn't want to get stung again.

Having scouted a riding route by car, (checking for bee boxes) I called Dink away from his breakfast and off we went. He was quite entertained by the change from the usual roads, and there has been enough work on irrigation systems that what we saw was different from the last time we'd taken those roads. A workout was good for him and good for me; we even did some trotting. He did the trotting, I did the balancing, and though his legs were moving more than mine, I was puffing more than he after the trot-work. Riding properly is exercise.

The other reason I was out there early was to avoid Wonder Woman, who spends hours at the ranch on Saturdays, messing with her horses. (Or maybe they're her clients' horses. Don't know, don't care.) All I know is that early in the day, none of the other boarders are around, and that makes for a quiet prep time, and a relaxing horsey visit.

By the time we got back to the ranch, the temperature was up to 56 degrees, and a bee was determined to land on Dink's face as I fed him his pan of Senior Feed. He was not amused, tossing his head and pinning his ears at the insect, who finally figured out that his white blaze on his face was not an almond blossom. Another bee landed on his rump to check out the white parts of his hide; Dink switched his tail and whacked the bee smartly, which caused the bee to zoom back and forth in tight circles, probably shouting threats and challenges.

Until the blossoms of the orchards explode into a sea of pink and white, Dink and I will probably stick to riding in the arena at the ranch. He hates arena work, and I hate convincing him to work in the arena, but it beats getting stung, for sure.

The birds in the picture are Brewer's blackbirds (I think) and they look very silly in the neighbor's trees. They're ready for Spring, too.

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