Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pick a Peck

A few days ago, I finally got back out into the garden and took down the pepper 'house' of Reemay. I read a gardening article about digging up the peppers and potting them up in the greenhouse for the winter, so I decided to give it a go and see what happened. To my utter surprise, I found two full baskets of peppers, waiting to be picked. So, I picked 'em. Ate a few of the 'Northstar' while I was at it. Cleaned, cut and frozen, they'll go well into whatever I come up with for future dinners. And I'll see if the whole greenhousing of the plants has any merits with my little greenhouse, stuffed now to bursting with the advent of night time temps in the mid-20's for the next several days.

The Light of a Fall Morning

It's been said many times. There's no more beautiful light than that of a fine, freshly washed fall morning in the Pacific Northwest, and here's the proof. And, these pix just don't do the real thing any justice

Cloud Cover

Fall and winter bring the most amazing cloud formations you'll ever see to western Oregon. Near sunset, things went really wild. You'd think that a massive storm was bearing down on us, but nope, just a massively awe-inspiring show of cloud sculpture

Looking east, from the north pasture gate, towards Bellfountain and the Willamette Valley

Hard to believe it could get any more awesome, but somehow, it did

If you look closely, you can barely see the tiny crescent moon to the left of the brilliant salmon finger of clouds. Looking south from the dog run

Looking south from the dog run

Weird, but captivating

Looking west towards Green Peak, thru the gnarly ancient Oregon white oak just outside the dog run. This was an amazing shot in real life

Way cool clouds. Looking NE from the big silver barn

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

In Memorium

Morgan Rivers Jarrah Rosy Dawn


13 July 1999 - 29 November 2011

After a short illness, Jarrah crossed The Bridge last night, surrounded by her loving family of 12 years. Jarrah led a very full and wonderful life, and when the young couple who chose her started their family, Jarrah found her true purpose in life - watching over the two youngsters until the day she crossed The Bridge.

I know that Jarrah found the right family when Jazzee, Jarrah's mom, 'approved' of them from the very start, when they ran into Jazzee and I in a Home Depot parking lot.

She is greatly missed by everyone who ever knew her, and we grieve with her family.

Enjoy the photo album/slideshow - click on the first picture to begin.

A young Jarrah playing with Chan's nose

With grandma Morgan, Pony (aka Dingbat the Wonder Horse - still with us at 28) and Katrina

Really cute pix of Jarrah emulating Pony's gait, except for the tail of course

Taking a nap with Katrina

With Chan, pretending she's a jungle kitten

First time on cattle

That Jazzee 'stare 'em down' gene, strong as can be in daughter Jarrah. Did I mention this was her first time on cattle?

This will end badly - for the steer. And yes, he did turn around and didn't challenge her again

Skiing with the family

Showing the toy who's boss

Jarrah picked up on the agility tunnel from the day she went home with Katrina and Chan. Katrina said that almost from the first day, she could send Jarrah out the back door, thru the tunnel, and back to the door at top speed

Learning to pull the cart

Young Ellen in the driver's seat

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Henry the Lizard King

Great-great grandma Jazzee's 'kill anything smaller than a large cat' genes, shinin' thru. Henry proudly poses with his latest conquest

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Henry and Catera

Dale just got home from his 'vacation' down in San Diego for the past week. He had a chance to catch up with old pals, see both of the old homesteads, and most importantly (oh yeah, there was a work thingy too), see 14 year old Catera and Sybil's bro Henry out in Poway. The first thing he said about Henry was 'gorgeous'. The second thing, 'nice low heel - too bad it was on ME'. Yeah, daddy Hoke, wonder where THAT trait came from, eh? Henry's stockdog trainer and daddy Hoke's breeder called Henry an 'Aussie's Aussie', and if anyone would know that, it would be him. So I'll take that.

Catera is happy as she can be, sharing her personal space with such a high energy hooligan. She turns 14 on Wednesday, and is a little tubby these days, but still wants to go for a walk when Henry goes with Guy. Funny, but I see some of her in Sybil now that I've got a few pix of her here. Catera is our first Hall of Fame dam, put there by her kids by Hall of Fame sire Chaps, of which Ho Dog (aka the ol' man) is one of. Her last remaining sibling is also living in Poway, just around the corner from Catera, and that is Sherman the red tri dog from the wonderful Hall of Fame sire Jack and Jazzee litter.

It's great to see the two redheads (oh yeah, and Kris and Guy too!), and it's also great that Dale made it back from the wilds of Southern California safe and sound and just in time to see our Ducks go down at the hands of USC (oh the SHAME of it!). He's happy to be home as well, and the dogs were all ecstatic to see him.

Enjoy the slideshow!

14 year old Hall of Fame Catera, Kris (age not disclosed) and 15 month old Henry

I recognize this sit. Great-great-great grandma Morgan used to do this lovely sit in obedience trials to show her contempt for what she was being asked to do. Seems to run in the family bloodlines, eh?

Wise old Catera and goofy great grandson Henry

I absolutely LOVE the look on Catera's face! 'I'm a good girl. I get it. I know how to pose. Just shove him out of the way and take pictures of me instead.'

The regal, if somewhat (okay, more than somewhat) tubby great-grandma. Hey, great-grandmas, especially ones this old, are allowed a little extra padding! Dale did say that a lot of that is just hair. Wish I could use that excuse

Morning Cows

Ruffie and baby Izzy amble to the barn against a backdrop of dark evergreens and a brilliant big leaf maple, burning in the fall sunrise

That's My Mom!

Ruffie and baby Izzy share some tender moments in the mist of a fine fall morning

Cows in Synch

Momma Ruffie and baby Izzy training for the 2012 Summer Cowlympics. Their event is Synchronized Standing. They are really getting quite good at it as you can see.

Around the Ranch in the Fall

I guess this is really more of a 'phlog', a photo blog, but hey - gotta love the new slideshow feature! Taken from the north pasture looking west towards Green Peak this morning after a fresh snowfall up there.

The 'Gravenstein' ancient apple trees are dressed to thrill in their fiery fall finery, a nice frame for the majestic, snow capped Green Peak in the background

This is looking east towards Bellfountain. In real life, it was simply breathtaking. Pictures just don't do it for scenes like this - you have to be there, with a hot cuppa in hand, breathing in the crystalline air, watching the sun rise and the mist swirl to appreciate the absolutely stunning beauty that surrounds us up here at the ranch

Ho Dog of the Fall

At some point, I'm going to take this shot with Dale's fancy camera instead of my 11 year old Canon Elph (which even at that age is a far better point and shoot camera than the 2 year old Nikon). Ho Dog at the north pasture gate with Bellfountain in the background on a very brisk, damp fall morning.

I know he's really fuzzy in this one, but he IS really fuzzy

Friday, November 18, 2011

Last of the 'Maters

What else do ya do when it's kinda cold, rainy and snowy out in the middle of November? Well heck, ya can tomatoes, that's what ya do! The tomatoes I harvested just before the first freeze last month had almost all ripened, so it was time to can 'em up. Another 9 pints of organic heirloom tomatoes in the pantry, waiting for their turn to make a fine stew or soup even finer.

Washed and ready to rock

The few remaining not quite ripe and green 'maters. I put all those tomatoes from the post last month in boxes and baskets, single layers, separated by newspaper, and put them in the nice, cool, dark panty to ripen naturally off the vine. They do lose some of their vine-ripened sweetness, but are excellent for either roasting and freezing or canning for sauce, which is the route I went