Sunday, July 24, 2011

Hot Animal Kingdom

Like almost everywhere it seems, it's been hot here. Official highs of over 100 at the airport for the last several days with heat indices of 110 and higher.

The result: hot sweaty horses.

We have been blessed the last couple of days by rainstorms though.

As always, cats know how to be comfortable. And they can create cute Hallmark moments with their tails.

A mockingbird pair raised a second brood in the fig tree next to the house and the young fledged Friday. DH said one of them was hopping on the ground in front of him and he could have caught it. Since then parents have been on hyper alert and while remain so until the young can fly. The babies managed to get to deep cover in one of the front garden beds. A couple of days ago I witnessed one of the parents opening a can of whoop a$$ on the Gray Fox in the front yard; he or she was scurrying as fast as possible with tail tucked with the Mockingbird in hot pursuit. I think the Fox is living in the woods between our house and our neighbors', as I've been seeing it near the horse trailer almost every day.

A male Bobwhite Quail has been calling nearby for the last week. Yesterday I happened to see him perched low in this tree next to the neighbor's pasture.

Wish I could have gotten a better picture but he was over 200' away. Bobwhites are so cute.

Speaking of cute, Saturday morning I was watering near a patch of Brazilian Blue Sage next to the driveway when a female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird flew up to feed and then settled on a twig to watch me, perhaps hoping for a bath. However when I raised the nozzle she elongated her neck in alarm and then whizzed off down the hill to the sage in the big perennnial bed. I could almost hear the tiny screams trailing after her. lol She will probably learn about hoses before the summer is out.

The temps will remain in the mid to upper '90s this next week, so I am extra grateful for the rain we got this weekend.


  1. Poor horses, cute kitties. Wishing you some respite from the heat. (Wish I could send our cool evenings your way!) :)

  2. You have amazing wildlife. We used to hear Bobwhite when we first moved in our house but never hear the anymore. WHy do the horses have those covers over their eyes?

  3. To keep the gnats out of their eyes. Otherwise their eyes get quite irritated and runny. The heat and dryness have even knocked down the horseflies' numbers but not the gnats. They are as aggravating as ever! mostly in the evening when it's too dark to wear sunglasses.

  4. Hot and sweaty indeed! I feel the pain of the animals too.

  5. I do hope you get more rainy relief soon Sweetbay . . . for you and the horses! Love the Bobwhite photos I think they are poetic and much fun to see them. What a thrill that must have been. I have had hummers come up to the water rushing out of the hose and bathe . . . yours will be back. ;>)

  6. I had a ruby throated hummer play in the stream of my watering hose a couple years ago. What a treat to have it so close by, flitting wherever I sprayed! I hope your hummingbird learns to trust you with the hose!

  7. Your temps are bad, I hope it cools off for you soon. It's been pretty miserable down here also. We will be so glad when Oct/Nov get here.

    Your poor horses.

    We used to have Bob-whites around here but not any more.

    Your kitties are sweet.

    Keep as cool as you can.


  8. Loved your whoop a$$ comment!!! I always have a can handy. :o) We have a lot of hummers. Such fascinating and fiesty little birds! This heat have been brutal! The no-kill animal shelter I volunteer at lost power on Friday when the heat index hit 120. We called the power co in a panic to tell thm we had 170 animals without a/c and they made us a top priority. Everything was fixed in 45 minutes. I'm glad your beautiful horses have you to give them such wonderful care!

    Painters Palette is a really fabulous plant that is very tough and reseeds easily. I was given seedlings by an older friend who has grown it for years. I can save some seeds for you, if you'd like.

  9. I hope it cools down soon. Your horses are so beautiful, even when they are sweaty... I love the quail pictures, it is so nice to see them so (relatively) close.

  10. I am not sure if you said before, but why are the horses wearing the 'blindfolds'?
    Great shot of the bobwhite...I hear them many nights but haven't had any opportunity to get a photo.

  11. haha, just read the above comments, I usually just jump to the comment block.

  12. Oh I feel for your beautiful horses and am sure they appreciate your love and care. I can almost hear you comforting them. The photos are lovely.

    Thank you Sweetbay..I really enjoyed your is outside our life here...and a pleasure that you share it.

  13. Sweetbay,
    I think we have another 3 days this weekend in the 100s, it never ends. We got tiny tiny showers hardly enough to cool it down. Last night we opened the windows and slept without the AC!

  14. Looking at the horses I want to grab the hose and cool them off..such a sweet Hallmark capture of your kitties! Staying cool at this end!

  15. Glad you got some rain. I know the horses must get miserable. We have a pair of Bob Whites that live around here, we see them every afternoon, but they do not sing.

  16. Randy I am sorry you have missed out on the rain. I justed looked at the weather forecast and oh boy. We got a 1/2" each day the last 3 days and if we hadn't I think I would be bowing out on the watering and just spot-watering some special things.

    The heat has been miserable for both man and beast. I've been hosing off the horses once or twice a day, giving them electroytes, and putting the hay and water in the shade in front of the stalls on the superhot afternoons. One day I put a sprinkler out there but the horses wouldn't go near it. lol The horses are still up in the paddock because the pony tweaked her ankle a little. The vet is coming for another check next week. She can trot a straight line with little headbobbing but flexion tests are probably another story.

  17. Hi Sweet Bay. Even I, a professed heat-lover, have had enough! We are in the same boat as you except less humidity but it's wiping me out. I never knew what the masks were on horses either until my daughter started riding. I think I need a whole body suit like them to keep the mosquitoes off when I'm out watering!
    Birds are amazingly brave and ferocious when they are protecting their young. I saw two western kingbirds practically landing on a hawk the other day trying to protect their little ones.
    Try to stay cool.

  18. Great photos of all the wildlife, Sweet Bay. I feel so sorry for the horses; this heat must make them miserable, too. Love the kitty tail photo. And I enjoyed seeing the Bobwhite--we used to see them around here, but I haven't seen one in a long time.

    We had a nice shower on Sunday and a brief gullywasher tonight, but it's still pretty darned hot. At least I didn't have to go out and water the garden tonight:)

  19. We bought these silly fly masks that have flirty eyelashes and lipstick on them. Have you seen them? They're a hoot!

  20. I'm so envious of you with your horses! I grew up with them but can't afford them at the moment. Luv their soft noses and horse smell. Thanks so much for sharing.

  21. The animals in your neighborhood provide you with a lot of fun stories!
    Your horses have the same style fly masks that our horses are sporting.

  22. Hi Sweetbay. I'm giggling at your description of the hummer antics. They are cute as can be, aren't they? We had a male bobwhite in the yard for several weeks and it was such a treat (a first for us). He was quite friendly and would answer me when I mimicked his call :)
    I can empathize with your hot, dry conditions. Our heatwave was horrible. It's so good to have milder temps back and we've even had a bit of most welcome rain. I hope your temps even out soon so that gardening will become pleasant for you again.
    That red lily is gorgeous, and your photo of the Bachman seedling is truly beautiful.
    Of course, I love all your lilies, and your summer garden is looking very full and lovely.
    Great kitty pic too :)
    Oh, those poor, hot horses!
    May relief come soon for all of you!


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