My sister showed up yesterday with her bag full of throwing knives, including a small axe - and we went a little nuts with it.

I've done this once before. A couple of years ago, we hosted the DFWWW Fantasy Day at our place and I got to play with throwing a tomahawk. (complements of Don Watson) BOY! It's hard -- but far from impossible, there is a weight and rhythm to it that I find both intriguing and appealing. It's the kind of thing that you're not going to be able to nail without thousands of reps to make the throw and the aim instinctual. But it's FUN!

And I found myself feeling like a toddler ("mine!") not wanting to give up the weapon.
Every thud and flop miss makes me want to go again and again. (and again)

Just one more time, one more time, just once more.....

I know, I know. It's bad policy to throw away your weapon, in spite of how cool it looks in the movies. Especially given how hard it is to perfectly time the throw with the distance, balance and force. I can't bring myself to actually use a throw in one of my stories ... I haven't yet, but that hasn't yet stopped me from butchering the nearest hay bale with everlasting attempts and the oh-so-exciting occasional success.

Marah's Belly - Six Weeks Due

We didn't have any foals born here last year and only have one due for '09, so we're waiting anxiously. Marah is (officially) due on July 7th, about six weeks from today.

I just love watching their sweet round bellies fill out and imagining the foal.

Colt or filly?

It could be grey or chestnut .... maybe black, but probably not bay.

The sire is my endurance horse, GWAIHIR TOS.

Interestingly enough, we didn't have breeding dates on Marah's previous foal. She went into labor in October and didn't deliver until January. We don't know if she was having early labor or if she carried a long time, but we'll be keeping a close eye on her over the next few months.

Spring time in Texas

... didn't I already do a 'Springtime' Post?

well. I'm going to do another one, and probably at least one more before I'm done. We don't usually have much spring, but this year has been a good one.

We have yellow and bright pink cactus roses, I can never decide which I like best.

The wildflowers are rioting this year, with all the rain we've had. The pastures looks like a busload of kindergartens finger-painted all over them, but the photos just don't do them justice ... I'll have to keep trying, but I do love the cactus flowers.

And, of course, our other most notable springtime herald, the infamous 'rattlebugs'. Ug. This was just a baby, only about 2 1/2 ft long.

For the most part, we live in peace, but these guys are much too common and dangerous in our area to let them be. We've had dogs and horses bitten, lost one dog, and they've come much MUCH too snapping on one of us. They tend to be sluggish early in the spring -- slow to move out of your way -- as well as being foul tempered (more than usual) and aggressive. They're more awake now, but that doesn't mean they'll really get out of your way if they hear you coming. It's funny I've always been told that, but it's not been my experience. The last one I got close to, walking, coiled and prepared to fight until I backed off. So it doesn't hurt my feelings too much to see them on the road like this.

edited to add another flower pic: I'm not really a warm fuzzy about flowers and such, but I love to contrast of the delicate beauty of our wildflowers in their rugged rocky beds and the cactus.


... I .. um..... ...never mind.

It's All about Telpe

Telpe.... yes, regular readers will remember Telpe.

So I captured a couple of shots of her nose a couple of weeks ago ... and have been debating as to what kind of jaws she had poked her nostril into.

The top ones did look like punctures to start with, so at first I guessed that she had battled a fanged snapping turtle of enormous proportion. (you can't tell as well in these photos, but the bottom wound was "V" shaped.)

I've revised this theory several times as it heals, because it really looks like -- of all things -- a human bite, on the top. I say that because it looks like it was made by blunt teeth in a half-round pattern. Of course -- I can't imagine any human being able to open their jaws wide enough to get the whole horse in their mouth like that. ...

The obvious answer would be a horse bite - but isn't that much too simple? (and of course, the pattern seems to narrow)

... and so while I've been pondering this mystery - the kids
run in last night to inform me that the grey filly had ripped her leg and a bone was sticking out.

- yes. Could there be any doubt that it was Telpe.

Thankfully, they were wrong about the bone, but she did skin her left gaskin.

This snap was taken the second day. Since it was sliced and torn down from the top, it couldn't be stitched because with the skin tag attached at the bottom there isn't any blood flow to the flap. So the vet simply snipped it off, gave her a couple of shots and we're starting with a simple spray on bandange. You can easly see the thickened edges of the skin. The bare muscle is an area larger than my hand and yes, the blood (and stuff) is seeping through. It's quite sore and swollen, but Telpe is happy as the proverbiable clam since she's tucked back into the indoor stall and is getting lots of extra special attention each day.

From Where ...?

In our area we have a lot of natural cedar and an equally overwhelming amount of invasive juniper.

The so-called trees in our pasture look mostly like this:

or even, the few that we've trimmed to look like a more normal kind of tree look like this:

But, after nearly 15 years in this area, this year I noticed something a little different. I noticed this tree.

and not just one, but I could see two others who'd had similar treatment from where I was standing.

Closer examination revealed a tortured and destroyed inner circle.

My mind being the overly complex and complicated kind, didn't consider anything like a wet spring and unusually heavy growth following a couple of years of dry or take into consideration the high winds we've had -- it immediately leaped to thinking how I could use such a thing in the world building or conflicts of my next novel. What could be the meaning of so many random trees being flattened from above? Spacemen? The Hand of God? Monsters or Monstrous Beasts?

What wonderful ambiguity, misunderstandings and conflicts these 'topped' and flattened trees could cause naive or superstitious characters. ...!