Don't ever let anyone try to fool you by saying that Arizona doesn't get any rain. As the above photograph of the lower portion of our inner paddock area shows, we were what a racetrack might call "sloppy" this past Saturday. The small pen you see is for the young ram lambs who were wethered about a month ago. They were not Happy Campers when I left them in the barn Saturday. Nor would they listen when I told them it was for their own good.
We have come to view storms like the one we just had much in the same way people living along the Nile view its flooding...with mixed blessings. Living on one of the few places in Arizona to actually have a stream flowing through a pasture, we have to visualize these periods of wet as a replenishment sorely needed by all manner of plant life here. Maybe I should amend that statement to include bird and animal life as well. Ducks returned to the stream and open areas both on our property and our neighbor's. I really enjoy listening to them "laugh" in the mornings. I, myself, have to chuckle - it almost sounds as if they are auditioning for the duck in Groucho Marx's old TV show. I wonder if any of them has a mustache and cigar as I make my way from the house to the barn.
This old bridge is in desperate need of replacement. I keep reminding my DH it is dangerous to cross now, unless you're walking along the point where the beams underneath support you. The ram lambs love the creek and the bridge. All throughout the day they play their version of Billy Goat's Gruff, or vie for the position of "troll" by knocking each other senseless, one starting out on either side of the creek and meeting in the middle. It gives me a headache to watch them. Each time they "clunk" together resounds in the air. You can almost feel the ground reverberate sound transformed into mini-quakes. The muscles in my shoulders are sore in empathy for their little necks and foreheads making me glad not to be a sheep.
And remember the discovery of elk hoofprints in my previous post? Well, here you see the findings when I took time to look further into the Visitation. We had nursed this little Blue Spruce since we moved into this house in 1992. The former owner had planted a very small potted Christmas spruce near the deck. When we moved the driveway over we moved the spruce as well. It was growing into a beautiful little tree as well as giving refuge to all sorts of birds as well as the occassional gopher snake. When I found it I felt like drying. Around the base of the once beautiful tree were all the torn off branches. The elk didn't eat those, but instead tore the precious inner bark off. I noticed the elk had also stripped a young aspen across the driveway as well. While part of me knows they, too, need food just like I do...but they don't need to eat my trees when there's still graze to be had in the field behind us! Maybe there's a way to make the elk pay for their damages as I know our state's fish and game department won't reimburse anyone for their damages....
All I need to do is rearrange a few items then there would be plenty of room in the freezer for their "payment"! ;-)