Sunday Stills: Furry Friends

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Two friends playing tag.

The theme for this week’s Sunday Stills is Fur and Feathers. Since I currently don’t have any feathers in my barn, I’ll share some of my furry friends.

Yesterday I caught two of my furry friends, my German Shepherd Gretchen, and my young horse Ghost playing tag. These two are hilarious. They take turns chasing each other around, splashing water at each other, and taking naps in the sun together. It took me forever to finish my outside chores, because it was so much fun just watching them.

Terri, one of the hosts for this photo challenge educated me this morning, by telling us that today is National Animal Rights DayI did not know that. Thank you Terri. She also raised the question; To what extent do we continue to banish native animals from their own environments due to urbanization? I’ll say, a great deal. Of course our human endeavors affect every animal now living on the planet.

My heart bleeds for the mustangs in our neighbor state Nevada. I’ve been observing a few herds there for the past 6 years, and noticed how they get a harder time getting to their water sources. One of the side effects of this is more horses crossing highways, causing accidents, and human deaths every year. All because of new housing complexes and fences erected around private properties. In some places they are cornered in, and I wouldn’t exactly call them wild and free any more. The complex question about our wild horses living situation is not a new one. Did you know that tax payers in America currently pay more than $120,000 per day for wild horses in holding facilities? They are in holding facilities due to round-ups. Wild horses are caught under stressful situations when they “cause trouble”due to being horses = when we have taken to much of their habitat for our human needs (cattle, housing, and other urbanization.) The number of wild horses removed from the range far exceed adoption demand. Which leads to stockpiling over 50,000 wild horses in holding facilities. Which is insane. The holding facilities are like small jails for the former wild horses. I’m all in for keeping wild horses wild, but if I had the funds, I would dedicate my life to getting as many wild horses as possible out of those holding facilities.

I did publish a Coffee Table Book with beautiful photos of wild horses, and facts about their situation back in 2013; NEVADA MUSTANGS – LIVING SYMBOLS OF THE WEST. The purpose of my book was to raise awareness of the situation, not only here in America, but also world wide. Here people either love, or hate the mustangs. In other countries many people see them as something very exotic. I withdraw my book from Amazon, when the facts got a little outdated. You can still view my book, by clicking on the title. It is available for purchase, even though I haven’t promoted the book after some of the facts got outdated (numbers of mustangs, and my website/business info. etc. I used to have an Equine Photography Business.) The photos are still very much enjoyable. I am thinking of making a second edition. I patented the title, when publishing the first edition, with this in mind. I do donate 50% of the proceed to a non-profit that works hard for our wild horses future. (It’s been a couple different during the years, depending on what project they currently are working on/needs.) National Animal Rights Day got my brain going haywire.

I hope your weekend is awesome ! I think I’m going to escape the heat for a few hours and drive up to the mountains.  Can’t wait to catch up with my favorite blogs later tonight. It’s one of my favorite things to do.


Ms Zen

Weekend Coffee Share 

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Good Morning, (or good day/afternoon/night?) it’s 5.30am here. I’m sitting with my first cup of coffee. I’ve actually been up for almost an hour, but just took my first sip of the black gold now.  Morning is my favorite time of the day. It’s true, it is Saturday today, but my body is so used to get up early, that it doesn’t really care about what weekday it is. A few times a year, if I’ve been up very late, or working extra hard, I sleep in until 6am. That is rare. Ghost (my horse) will expect me in about 30 min. If he doesn’t see the light come on in the feed room at 6am, he will wake up the neighbors. I wrote a post about Ghost earlier this week. 

How is your week? What’s the weather been like? We’ve enjoyed an unusual spring. We actually had a spring. Most years it goes very quickly from winter, straight to summer, with maybe a few days of spring. This year we had several pleasant weeks of actual spring weather in the 80’s (a few days in the 90’s,) and yesterday we had rain! My daughter and I enjoyed the rain very much. Rain is a treat when you live in a place that had a severe drought for many years. Hopefully the pasture can become at least a little bit green again. That would be nice. 

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My dog Gretchen loves that I spend so much time outdoors this time of the year. She is usually seen within a few feet from me.

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My daughter is helping to care for a rescue tortoise. Shelley has been living with us for a couple weeks now, so I thought I’d share a photo of her. She is a Russian Tortoise, and rather social. If she hear someone talking, she moves in that direction. I think she’s rather cute. What do you think?

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I love sitting under the twisted branches of my fig trees.

My garden is doing great, and I expect a growth spurt now after the rain. I’ve spent a lot of time mulching my garden the past two weeks. As a preparation for the heat to come. I’ve been using organic matter that I have around the property. You can see it clearly in the first photo 🙂



One funny thing happened. A few weeks ago I planted some lavender in a big container. I usually buy the plants, but this year I figure I was going to plant some seeds. I did. At least I thought I did. I bought a seed package with lavender seeds, planted them in a pot, I glued the package to the pot directly after planting it, so that I knew what I had planted in the pot. I’ve been watering the lavender, and they started to come up a few days ago. Since I never planted them from seeds before, I didn’t know what to expect. While walking in my garden the other night, I thought to myself that looks a lot like basil!  They also smelled like basil..and tasted like basil. For the first time in my life I didn’t reap what I sown…or thought that I had sown. I thought it was kind of funny. You can never have too much basil, so that’s OK. Have you ever discovered a different kind of seed in a package, than the seed you actually bought? It never happened to me before. 

I did have one other funny episode including seeds, several years ago. Not so funny when it happened. I found a seed package in the freezer, of a rental house that I just move in to. I had no clue what kind of seed it was, but decided to plant them come spring. I did. Several healthy plants came up. Not being a native Californian, I did not recognize them at first. When I understood that it was marijuana plants, I got scared, not that I’m against the use of marijuana, but I knew that back then you needed a prescription by a doctor to use, or grow, medical marijuana. I ripped the plants out and threw them away. I remember being so scared to get in trouble for it. I understand now that it’s very unlikely that anything would of happened, but I didn’t know then. I was just picturing all the trouble I would of got in where I originally come from. jail time.

I’ve been contemplating wether to add citrus trees to my container garden, or not. I’ve been doing a lot of research in the matter this week. I’m still undecided. I really would like to have a variety of citrus trees, but they require a lot more extra care and water, compared to the pomegranates, and figs I have in my container garden now. I’m sure I could do it, but do I want to have trees that require that much care? I think I do, but I’m going to think a little more about it. I’ve already decided to build a greenhouse for my container trees this fall, so I do have a place to store them during winter. 

Talking about fruit trees, do you remember my experiment with different ways of cultivating fig tree cuttings? The cuttings that I started in mini greenhouses, are starting to sprout new leaves. That is a sure sign that they are growing roots.



I can’t see any growth on the cuttings I just placed in pots, without a mini greenhouse. The cuttings that I used the experimental method I found on youtube is growing an abundance of roots, so that one is really working. I tried to take a photo of what’s going on inside the plastic bottle, but it was difficult to show. I’m going to let it grow  little more, and then open it, and show you, before planting it in its own pot. 

I think I’m going to grab another cup of coffee. Do you want one? Now it’s your turn, tell me about your fun plans for the weekend. Are you having a three day weekend?



Ms Zen



Redtick/Bluetick Coonhound Puppies

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Not sure f it’s possible to find cuter models, than these Redtick/Bluetick Coonhound puppies, I had a photo session with yesterday. Located in Anderson (CA.) Will be ready for new homes in about 5 weeks. Females photographed on red, and males on blue. They are all so stinking cute, and so soft. I just wanted to take them all home!

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If you’re interested in a puppy, or have questions, let me know in a comment, and I’ll put you in contact with the owner. I only know that they are super friendly, smart, and curious, just like their parents. Both parents on site. Would make awesome family/hunting/ranch dogs.


Ms Zen