Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Down the Road with Smooch ~ June 2011

"Down the Road with Smooch" is a post that chronicles for posterity the who-what-where-when of our daily walk, on or about the first of every month. Somebody forgot to turn the page on her calendar this month and has been living in a time warp.

Date: June 6, 2011
Route: East and west on Rock Hill Road.
Distance: 2 miles
Time: 7ish to 8ish pm
Temperature: 85 degrees
Humidity: 21 percent
Wind: Enough of a breeze so that it didn't feel too hot.
On the iPod: Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes, a novel about the Vietnam war. Superbly written and narrated and critically acclaimed, but I'm having a tough time getting through it.
Attire: Shorts, tank top, socks, sneakers, sunglasses, baseball cap.
Observations: The smoke in the air from the Arizona wildfire was affecting the light in all sorts of crazy ways. One minute it was harsh and contrasty, then it would turn soft and dreamy. This time of day seems to be the worst for flies, and a big obnoxious one stalked me most of the way. Between swatting at it, snapping pictures, listening to vivid combat scenes, and hanging on to Smooch's leash, it was a busier than usual walk. We were both glad to get home.

There were some storm clouds to the northeast but nothing ever became of them. The weatherman is predicting our monsoon season 
might start on June 15 and might be monsoonier than normal. We are so hoping he's right.

Smooch is getting very good about her sit and stays.

Me: Smooch, look behind you! The masked avengers are coming our way.

For the last week, I've been putting fly masks on the boys and Lucy at dinner time, then confining them to the close-to-the-house pasture until it gets dark and the flies go to sleep, then removing the masks before I let them out in the big pasture overnight. I figure if any of the masks are pulled off by a certain burro (I'm talking about you, Alan), I'll have a better chance of finding it this way.

Lucy would be devastated if she lost her fly mask. She loves wearing it. Seriously. (Thanks, Estella, for sending it as part of her trousseau.)
I truly believe Lucy understands the cause-and-effect relationship between wearing a fly mask and not being harassed by flies.

I'm not sure how long this smoky-air scenario will last; it will depend on how long the fire in Arizona keeps burning and how soon the hoped-for rains might wash it out of the sky. We'll deal with it while it's here and be grateful that it's smoke turning our skies orange and not flames.


  1. Love those fringy things. Need to look for one.

  2. Those fires are awful, hope you get your rains soon. The skies are beautiful but they'd look better with some rain clouds about now.

    Smooch is such a good girl and so cute. We've got the masks on our guys too. Darn flies.

  3. I used to love the monsoon storms each summer. Not the dust they stirred up, but the grand looking stormy skies.

    Nice sun shot!


  4. So, where's your fly mask?! I know you don't have mosquitoes, but in Indiana we use Avon's Skin so Soft to repel them -- softens your skin, too. I don't know if it would work for flies, but it might be worth a try. Sounds like you got quite a workout!

  5. I was wondering what in the heck the red blur was in the third picture. Kind of freaked me out, actually. :) That last shot is awesome.

  6. Estella from Co.6/8/11, 7:22 AM

    You're welcome...I got thinking about the splint boot issue and I thought I send some with Lucy.....I should have (sorry). Have you decided to get a pair? They all look so cute with their fly head gear. Smooch is such a good girl...what a true companion she is. Have a good day and hugs to all.

  7. Carol in Colo6/8/11, 7:25 AM

    We use war paint on our horses. They seem to find a way to remove the fly masks. Avon's Skin So Soft works well for flies as we have used it for our pigs when showing them at County Fair.

    I love the fringed fly masks.

    Our sunrises and sunsets have been awesome here the last few days because of the fires in AZ. The air has been terrible for people with respiratory problems. Today no fire haze. I am praying for rain for AZ to help with the fires.

  8. i was wondering about you and those fires this morning. are they moving your way? i can't imagine evacuating your motley crew =o)

  9. Love those fringe masks on the boys! My guys have all been sporting fly masks for weeks now.

    No chance of the monsoon starting here any time soon. Our humidity has been in the single digits. The Wallow Fire near Alpine has been growing and the town has been evacuated. It's now the second worst fire we've ever had in AZ. Somebody please do a rain dance! We've got three huge fires going right now. :(

  10. So...does Hank have a mask too?

  11. Everytime I see your "kids" with their makes me think of gypsy caravans. I love the look.
    Smooch is so beautiful and such a great dog. You and she make a super team.
    As to the smoke and ash...ick, ick, ick. My car yesterday morning was covered with what looked like grey snowflakes. I feel really bad for the folks near Silver and also the border area of AZ/NM. Rain please rain, huh.

  12. The lighting is certainly GORGEOUS. Wow.

  13. Well, I read the rattler entry. Better you than me. I've got a raccoon in the basement, and while he may not be lethal, he's a very loud tenant and comes in at all hours of the night. He ignores all the formal eviction notices.

    Good luck with fallout from the fire. It's a horrible thing to smell, especially at sunrise.

  14. Those fires are affecting the light even here in northeast Kansas. This morning we had an orange sunrise and it's been hazy here all day. Hope they can get those fires under control soon and everyone is ok.

  15. What works better - the fringed fly masks or the other kind? I always thought the fringe would be annoying, but everyone seems to like it.