I knew this day would not yield a huge number of work hours, and indeed it did not (still quite respectable though!). That's okay, other days compensate for that.
I woke up shortly before 8am with the sun shining in my face. That was one thing I had forgotten about when my bed was turned the other way. My feet never really noticed this. My eyeballs do. I either have to hug the wall or hang off the side of the bed to avoid the blinding sunlight (either of which I'm entirely willing to do for the sake of sleep, I love sleep, sleep loves me). Or I can just get up. So after hitting the snooze button once, I did.
I fully intended to go bike riding today. I often intend to do that, but rarely do. I used to do it every day back when my neighbor was going with me. Those were good times, and we kept each other on track with it. Now I pretty much find any excuse in the book except on rare days when it's just so nice that it seems like fun. (Lately, weather = not nice). Anyway, I got up and put on bike shorts and a tank top, ate breakfast, fed and watered all the chicks, fed the horses, and was out in the corral in the already-hot morning sun cleaning up horse poops when I found myself paying particular attention to the blackberry bushes out along the creek. They're ripe, and not going to last long in the heat. Hmm. So then it was a huge quandary. Bike and then pick? Pick instead of bike? I decided the latter option made more sense. After all, biking doesn't really accomplish anything on my ever-expanding list of things I need to get done (other than "shrink butt." However, I think what actually happens is my body says "ooh, if you're going to be riding around on this silly little seat we're going to add some more natural padding!" I hate you, genetics!) And blackberries, well... they're yummy, they're seasonal, and I hate to see them go to waste. And they're mostly in shade. Besides, all I really need to accomplish is to do something other than sit on my butt for at least a small part of the day (hey, I have to sit, I work at a microscope!) and teetering precariously out over blackberry bushes in warm clothes on a hot day is a workout in itself.
So after finishing with the horses and giving the ducks a clean kiddy-pool of water, I changed into jeans and ancient cowboy boots with no traction on them whatsoever, grabbed a bucket, and headed out to the creek. As everyone knows, the best berries are the ones that are just out of reach. I'm not one of those people who just picks the ones on the edge, my style is to wade into the middle of the plant (yes, this often hurts). The vines are growing out of the creek bed, the embankment of which is pretty steep and pretty slick. I'm not too worried about falling in the water, it's just the tangle of thorny vines between me and the water that worries me. And the boots with no traction are a challenge. But I didn't fall, never have. And I'm sure Shylah would be like Lassie if something happened to me (yeah right). I teetered precariously all over the place and in an hour ended up with 5 cups (enough for a pie!) and was roastingly hot.
I was also entirely surprised to see that the neighbors across the creek had put a fence on our property. Eh? Yeah, obviously I don't walk along the creek very often. Between our pasture fence and their back fence there's maybe a 30 or so foot wide strip of land, the creek runs down the middle of it. It's my understanding that each parcel goes to the middle of the creek. Anyway, I've noticed recently that their pretty buckskin horse has the run of their back property (which is NOT fenced on their side). I thought that was weird, since if the horse opted to cross the creek onto our place, it could then feasibly step through a small opening onto someone else's property, and end up on the main road. Bad idea. But apparently they decided to contain the horse by putting a really crappy barbed wire fence through the creek and up our side to the pasture fence. It's just mildly strange that they didn't bother to ASK if this was okay. And seriously, how long has that been there and why did I not notice?!?! Cripes. It's not like I don't go out in the pasture. Oh well.
I have to tell you about this neighbor though. I don't think I said this already (did I?) I think he learned to ride from watching westerns, all I've ever seen him do is canter that horse around while he yells "hyaw!" Or h'yah! Or heeyaw, or however you spell that. Not yee-haw, but more like hee-yaw. You know, like they do when they are rounding up cows in the movies...
Anyway, I could hear their diabolical dog barking in the distance and didn't feel like getting any limbs chewed off today so I went back to the house. It was about a billion degrees by then. I had to go into town and was feeling gross, so, um, I hosed myself off in the back yard. Don't laugh! Nobody was around, it uses less water than a shower, and I wasn't up for dealing with the daily collection of dead bugs in the pool.
I changed into shorts and a decent shirt, sat down long enough to gulp a glass of iced tea, got in the car and headed for town. I was about a quarter mile down the road when some roadkill caught my eye... because it didn't seem to be dead. Uh oh. I pulled over right away onto a side street, turned around, and headed back. I slowed down.... and there on the shoulder was a juvenile red tailed hawk, sitting there sort of rumpled-looking, quite calmly looking at me. Crap. It was definitely old enough to be flying well, we're not talking fledgling here. Their nest was in the tree above the road. I glanced in the back seat, yup I had a beach towel back there but would be much more comfortable with some gloves. So I drove back home, changed back into jeans (for safety sake, those birds are pointy!), grabbed welding gloves and a net out of the barn, and headed back down the road, grumbling about the fact that now I was going to have to take this bird out to the raptor center at Davis, which would take almost two hours of my day, maybe it could wait til tomorrow since I was going out there anyway, blah blah blah. But this was not a situation I could ignore. Once a Wildlife Care girl, always a Wildlife Care girl.
I was pleased to see that the bird was now on a fence post, that's a good sign. I turned the car around and was going to park in a driveway on the other side of the road when the bird flew across the road ahead of where I was. Flew pretty well. Yay, good!
So I went back home (my neighbor must have thought I was nuts with all this back and forth stuff, I'm forgetful but not usually that bad!) changed back into shorts, and headed off for town, again. The hawk was perched up on a telephone pole, looking a little fluffed up, but obviously much better than it did on the ground next to the road. My guess is it got hit by a car just enough to kinda stun it, but thankfully nothing was broken.
Among other things, I had to stop at the fabric store to get a spring-loaded scissors for something I'm working on, and I also like to wander around the air-conditioned wonderfulness and look at craft projects that look entertaining but that I will never do. And of course, I have to check out the fabric. I was extremely entertained to find this one:
CS, remember when we saw this one at the store in Monterey? Okay seriously, what on earth would someone make out of hunky-half-naked-cowboy fabric?!?!?!?! Throw pillows? Curtains? Seriously?! I like hunky-half-naked-cowboys as much as the next girl but this just makes me feel awkward! Actually, I know a few people who might enjoy this as a quilt...hmmm? >;-)
The things people do.
Came home, mixed up ingredients for a blackberry pie (and froze it, did not make one today), and then figured with all the fruit around here maybe I should try to make a smoothie for lunch. Two problems. One is that freshly-picked fruit on a 106 degree day is pretty warm. Second is that the blender doesn't really chop the ice, it just whittles it down into nifty little ice balls, and liquifies the rest of it. So I ended up with lukewarm blackberry/nectarine/plum slush with nifty ice balls. Flavor was okay but ick, warm. I was ravenous so I downed half and stuck the rest in the freezer for later (mmm, much better when cold!).
Emptied the dishwasher, reloaded it, washed a few things by hand, cooked eggs for not-feeling-good dog, made hummingbird juice, and finally time to get to work! Whew!
Then I got in a bunch of hours of scrimshaw before dinner time, fed critters, ate dinner, did a little more work, watched a documentary about human evolution, showered, did a little more work (which I accidentally typed as "mork" I must be tired). And here I sit. I am almost done with the pendant I'm working on, I plan to finish this weekend so I can start the next set of pistol grips on Monday.
Just another day, aren't you glad I don't give you this much detail every day?
Time for bed.