The Dancer

The Dancer
Graceful dead tree up above Deep Canyon.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Raven~Wild Bird Wednesday~042314

I often see ravens either in Garner Valley or up at the horse ranch.  This fellow was sitting on a chain link fence about a block from the ranch last Sunday.  There is a pair of ravens who are residents of the ranch.  They boldly strut through the horse corrals and land on the railings there.  Sometimes I see one of them with something in its mouth (occasionally that is a mouse!).  One of them loves to sit at the top of one of the hemlock trees and caw.  I often see them on top of the telephone poles along the ranch driveway, too.  I find them quite amusing actually.  We also have several around our home here in the desert.  Wild Bird Wednesday for April 23, 2014.  To visit WBW, please go to:

Another Monday is GONE!

We have officially started out countdown at school. I teach 3rd grade.  Only 8 more weeks to go.  The last two weeks are pretty chaotic with award ceremonies and the last 3 days of school are half days. And, teachers will be tearing down their class rooms. Now, don't get me wrong.  I'll be HAPPY to see this group go!  And, Mondays they are in top form! (Did you note the sarcasm?)  By the end of yesterday, they had to put their heads down for 20 minutes so that I could get some peace & quiet and think clearly!  Obviously, they were FULL of Easter candy.  In fact, I took eggs away from two of them...sigh...
 This group is a talkative one.  And, not just talkative.  They are RUDE!  One boy belched loudly.  Another farted loudly.  I mean, COME ON!  So, the math lesson that was interrupted will be attempted AGAIN this morning...sigh...

On the other hand, there is a family of orioles which has lived in the palm trees at school.  I've seen them now for over 10 years.  They disappeared one year and another year, when the district gardeners came, they chopped down the branch with their nest.  A couple of times we've seen babies on the ground and one of our 5th grade teachers gently places them back up on the palm tree where eventually it makes it back to the nest.

So, another day in the countdown.  I'll be happy when summer is here.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunni havin' some FUN!

You know, I don't often post about my horses here because I have a separate blog for them (, but my gelding, Sunni, had so much FUN down in the arena today, I just had to post these photos.  He's usually the last horse my trainer works with, so he really doesn't get much time or attention.  But, he's totally trusting with me, so I try to work with him whenever I go visit the horses.  I can pretty much do anything with him, except ride him, and I'll be working on that this summer.  He now trusts my farrier (a man) and he LOVES the ranch owner, Bill.  He's the "babysitter" for the little colt in the corral next to him.  For a long, long time after I got Sunni from United Pegasus, I often had the feeling that he really didn't know how to act like a horse.  He probably didn't.  He was the unwanted byproduct of a mare who was bred only to harvest her urine and he was plucked from her quickly and stuck out in a field with other babies.  So, he wasn't socialized properly.  I'd often look at him and feel that he really didn't know WHAT he was.  He bonded with me, however, quickly, although for a couple of years he REFUSED to go through a gate (I have NO idea what that was about...).  My cousin spent one summer saddle breaking him.  I told her to NEVER take him up to the arena alone, which of course, she did, and she rode him and he bucked.  She ended up being thrown against the metal round pen rails and bruising her ribs.  Thus, his training came to a halt for a year until I found my current trainer.  Maia comes once a week, stays for two hours, and works all 5 horses.  But, Sunni always seems to be last.  He has broken 3 halters now and has "escaped" several times from the tie rack.  One time, he ran headlong through the neighbor's barbed wire fence and stood trembling in their yard.  If I had been there and seen that, I would have fainted.  It happened on a school day, and I wasn't there (thus sparing me from having a heart attack).  He was a bit cut up, but his physical wounds healed.  The mental ones...well, we're still working on them.  I took him to the tie rack today and just stood and talked with him and he was fine, but I didn't TIE HIM there.  We just don't do that yet.  I did walk him over to the arena and lounged him and desensitized him with the lead rope, then let him have some play time.  He really enjoyed his time there and the colt whinnied to him the entire time!  I think he missed his babysitter!

And, here's the little colt who he babysits:

Sunflowers in my garden~Today's Flowers~041914

I currently have about 6 sunflowers blooming in my garden.  I haven't officially counted them, but that is a ballpark figure.  The largest one is on the bottom.  That's a 6 foot chain link fence which it hangs over, as you can see.  I also have sweet peas along this fence.  Once the sunflowers go to seed, they will attract more birds.  And, with temps supposed to be 99 and 98 in the next couple of days, I think my sweet peas will be done.  Today's Flowers for April 19, 2014.   To visit Today's Flowers, please go to:

Saturday, April 19, 2014

We had RAIN yesterday!!!

I kept watching the Toro Peak webcam and it was cloudy all day, with rain forecast for Anza.  So, I didn't drive up to the horse ranch.  No sense driving for 45 minutes only to be out in the rain.  Instead, I did the dishes here at home and puttered around the front yard.  By 2:00, however, I had to drive to north Indio to babysit the granddaughter, so off I went.  By 5 pm the sky was completely dark over Deep Canyon and, on my way home, I could see rain pouring down!  I drove out to the sand dunes off the Washington Street exit and took these photos.  We even had enough rain here in Palm Desert to get out streets wet and our cars dirty!  But, it sure was nice to open all the windows and smell the wet cement and feel the breeze!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ranch fence~Good Fences~041814

I took this photo of the ranch fence last weekend.  Roses grow along it and if you click on it and enlarge it, you'll see my dark bay gelding, Sunni, watching me from his corral.  He's such a goofball.  He enjoys babysitting the little colt next to him!  Good Fences for Friday, April 18, 2014.   To visit Good Fences, please go to:

I made it through the week! Now I have a 3 day weekend!

Well, I made it through the week.  Had another testing day with the kiddos on Wednesday, but it went very well.  Today was the day before a 3 day weekend and they were BONKERS!  First, we had an assembly to honor 4 kids from each class as students of the trimester.  I stopped at Dollar Tree, bought 4 pretty Easter bags, and filled them with pencils, erasers, colored pencils, and boxes of crayons.  They were THRILLED!   :-)  After the assembly, we went back to class and did a poster of Easter baskets and eggs.  They couldn't wait to try their colored pencils and new crayons.  Do you have ANY idea what crayons look like mid-year?  FORGET IT.  They are nubs.  Actually, considering how much excitement they had, they were pretty well behaved.  I really can't complain.

Now, for the weekend!   :-)

And, for my Canadian friends, it was in the mid-80's here today with cloud cover.  Right now the humidity is 20% and my knees are aching.  Ouch!  Oh, well...

So, I'm PLANNING on visiting the horses tomorrow, zipping home about noon, and then babysitting tomorrow afternoon for a couple of hours.  Saturday, we go to the McCallum Theater to hear our daughter's middle school band perform.  Sunday is Easter...

Photo taken up at the horse ranch last weekend.