Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Archive for the tag “Rocky Mountains”

My Big Backyard

ImageToday I rode my horse, Woody, about seven miles with a friend, Bob, who took this picture between the ears of his horse, Moose.  This was taken on the ranch next door, Roberts Ranch.  The view is to the West.  The snow-capped mountains in the background are the Rockies.  Rocky Mountain National Park is about 25 miles away.ImageWe startled an elk further up this draw.

ImageThree amigos:  Woody, me and Beau.

ImageThis view is toward Signature Rock on the Overland Trail.

Dog Psychology

I have not been diagnosed with a personality disorder, at least not by a professional, but I freely make diagnoses of others, particularly of those who share my home.

I ain’t talking about Miss Sugar, my trophy wife.  That would be dangerous.  Her only mental health issue is more a heart issue, as I wrote in Return of Rover.  Hers is too big, too soft and too kind.  I am talking about the mental health of our critters.

Max, our male Yellow Lab, clearly suffers from an Obsessive-Compulsive disorder.  He has a compulsion to fetch over and over and over.  He brings balls for me to throw and never quits.  It is up to me to end the game.  He never chooses to quit.  When he does not have a ball, he carries around rocks, which are plentiful here in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. 

Sadie, our femaile Yellow Lab, appears to be Neurotic.  As a non-psychologist, I’m not sure what neurotic means, but I can describe her behavior.  She seems worried about being excluded from anything.  She eats first and tries to eat out of Max’s bowl as well, going back and forth.  She is a hypocondriac.  She started limping one day so we took her to the vet immediately.  He asked when her symptoms started.  We said forty minutes ago.  It seemed so bad we came right in.  He took x-rays, not for free, and examinied her.  He pronounced her fine.  She quit limping.  As I recount this, I wonder who was neurotic.  We were over-protective, but her feigned pain seemed so real. 

Our new dog, Rover, who recently adopted us, looks like a Springer or German Short-Haired Pointer.  Like our other “hunting dogs,” Rover has excessive energy.  He chases rabbits.  He swims in the river and the more fragile water feature.  He sweeps for unseen and imaginary birds.  He creates tasks and then goes from task to task.  I diagnose him as having an Attention Deficit Disorder. 

Despite their afflictions, we love our dogs.  Actually, those personality traits are integral to who they are and, thus, whom we love.

By the Dawn’s Early Light

My trophy wife, Miss Sugar, had a good idea several years ago.  Her idea was for us to build a waterfall in front of our house, on a slope.  So we did.

Here in the Rocky Mountains, God placed plenty of rocks suitable for landscaping.  We have a place on our ranch that is our own personal quarry.  We made many trips with our pickup truck to gather suitable rocks and bring them back to the construction site.

I dug an artisticly shaped hole for a pond at the bottom of the slope.  We covered the pond and waterfall with special plastic liner material from a pond store where all the cool people with  “water features” shop.  We put in a pipe to carry water from the bottom of the pond to the top of the waterfall, powered by an electric pump, also available at the water feature store where the cool people shop.  We ran an electric line to the pump, which pushes the water from the pond back up to the top of the waterfall.  We covered up the liner and the pipe with rocks.  We covered the pump with a piece of driftwood.  It looked natural.  It worked well.  We were cool.  We had a cool water feature. 

We got some goldfish to add to the atmosphere.  The goldfish ate algae in the pond.  They grew fast. 

Also, birds are attracted to our water feature habitat.  Miss Sugar is a bird watcher, so she likes the extra birds.

In addition to the fish and the birds, our Yellow Labrador Retrievers, Max and Sadie, share in the water feature habitat.  Also, rabbits, drink there and, apparently, hide in the rock “cave” we created at the top, out of which the waterfall emerges.  Sadie is aware of the rabbits’ hiding place.  Consequently, she digs around and walks on the rocks and, apparently, disturbs the plastic liner, which has resulted in leaking.  We keep trying to find leaks.  We also have to add water twice a day or the water gets so low that the pump makes a sucking noise.  The sound of the waterfall is soothing.  The sound of a sucking pump has the opposite effect.

We are now on our third pump.  They get clogged up.  Even though we occasionally clean the pumps, they eventually wear out.

By morning light, I can usually hear the pump sucking so I go outside and put a hose in the water feature to refill the pond until the pump stops sucking.  Also, in the morning, I let the dogs out.  (They sleep in the house.)   The dogs and I let Miss Sugar sleep a bit longer.

We live on a road that does not get much traffic.  As a result, I have a great sense of privacy.

Confident in my privacy, I do not take the precaution of emerging fully clothed from the house.  A couple days ago, not fully clothed, I emerged from the house as is my custom, walked down the steps off the front porch, went around to the side of the house, got the hose, and put it in the cool water feature that was sucking air. 

I have always figgered that I could hear any approaching vehicle and hide behind a wall by the water spigot.  That theory depends on the vehicle making a sound.

After I went back inside, I noticed a motor home parked by the bridge.  It is not a camping spot, but I thought maybe someone parked there to sleep.  It is a pretty place.  The occupants were probably still sleeping. 

Then it quickly drove away.  It seems they were awake when I was outside.

Today there were fifty vehicles, including motorhomes, campers, pickups and several luxury cars parked on our road along our fence.  I guess they heard about the cool water feature.

How do I explain this to Miss Sugar?

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