Friday, August 12, 2011

Down the Road with Smooch ~ August 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. We're late again. No surprise there.

Date: August 10, 2011
Route: To the northwest corner of the ranch and back, with a detour through the pasture to remove fly masks.
Distance: 2 miles, more or less
Time: 7ish to 8ish pm
Temperature: 88 degrees
Humidity: 12 percent
Wind: Not a bit.
On the iPod: The Thornbirds by Colleen McCullough. I remember reading this book originally in the late seventies, while sitting in the waiting room of a Midas Muffler in Alexandria, Virginia. They could have worked on my car all day for all I cared because the story was that good. Thirtysome years later, it's still a great story.
Attire: Shorts, tank top, socks, sneakers, baseball cap. If you follow these Down the Road with Smooch posts, you're probably wondering if I ever wear anything else. I don't. At least not in the summertime.

Three inches of rain have fallen since the July edition of Down the Road with Smooch. It's possible to sit and watch the grass grow.

Smooch: You make a better door than a window, mom. How am I supposed to see who's coming down the road?
Me: Smooch, when was the last time you saw somebody coming down this road?
Smooch: February? But you never know. I must remain ever vigilant. It's my job.

Smooch: You've been stepping out on me. I can tell.
Me: Yes, I have. Those are Lucy's hoofprints. If you'd promise not to run away, you'd be able to join us.
Smooch: I promise!
Me: You lie.

There's a story behind these tire tracks. Here's the condensed version: I saw smoke Tuesday afternoon. Hopped in Ranger to investigate. Drove down road. Saw flames. Turned around. Went home to get truck (it goes faster). Drove to flames.
17 slash piles were on fire, obviously an intentional burn, but the yahoo who set them didn't stick around to keep an eye on them.
Lucky for him, the wind didn't kick up, but I'm still burning with rage.

 Anyway, back to our walk. Rain does the most interesting things to the parched ground.

 It also brings out the wildflowers and mushrooms. Mushrooms in the desert! Who knew?
Must be all that cow poop natural fertilizer.

Have I told you that Smooch wants to be a paw model when she grows up?

The grass is always greener at the low spot in the road.

Home on the the August...after it finally rains. Sigh.

 Smooch: This is the part of the post where it ceases to be about me, isn't it?
Me: Sorry, hon', but we've got to go take off those fly masks.

 Lucy: It's about damned time. The flies went to sleep a half hour ago.

Smooch's ears may be short, but she can point them in any direction. 

 Hank: Where have you been? And what's up with the dog? Since when does she get pasture privileges?

Me: Come on, Smooch. Mission accomplished. Let's walk on home.


  1. I loved seeing a post about Smooch, and it was almost like I was along with you. Love how green everything has gotten and the pretty flowers, even with Smooch sitting on a cluster of them! Ha.

    Can't believe someone would start fires and then simply leave ... well, yes I can as I have neighbors like that too. Frustrating!

  2. How about training Smooch to walk on a long leash while you ride Lucy?

    Do you really think she would run away? When we take my friends dog riding with us, he always stays right with us. I think he's afraid we'll leave him behind if he doesn't. Is it too dangerous to take a chance on a trial ride to see if she'd stick close?

    Just wondering...

  3. In the last picture Smooch looks as if she wants to say something.
    Glad all was well with the fire. Nothing scarier in a drought than somebody lighting a fire then leaving it to burn. Yikes. This happens at my friends ranch in Texas. She rides around with barrels of water in her car.
    Best always, Sandra

  4. Lovely post. Smooch is a sweetie. Thanks for a nice start to my weekend. Glad the burn piles didn't turn into something worse :(

  5. Thoroughly enjoy these walks together.

    Do Hank, Lucy, George and Alan now go wild eating that lush emerald grass? I can not believe how delicious it looks.

  6. Love the picture of Smooch against the dramatic sky. And her flower-butt picture!

    It's so nice to hear your contentment right through the interwebs. :) Thanks for sharing your greening acres with us.

  7. I almost feel like I was along for the walk.
    Seventeen piles? That's real over-kill. That person needs a talking-to.

  8. Rain glorious rain! :-) Hmmmmm, maybe smooch needs a visit from that dog whisperer fellow to help her on that coming back when called stuff.

  9. Does Smooch "ground tie" like a horse when you are doing other things, or do you have to find a bush or something to tie her to?

  10. Estella from Co.8/12/11, 7:32 AM

    Your comments just crack me up. LOVE to start the day reading 7MSN just for that reason. What a great way to start the day.

  11. I would think unattended brush fires are a desert rancher's worst nightmare - unthinkable!
    I enjoy your travels with Smooch. Love her very talented ears - I've seen donkeys and horses turn their ears in different directions, but never dogs. :)

  12. C in Wi, even if I could train Smooch to not run after rabbits, coyotes, antelope and cows, I'd have to worry about her encountering snakes and cacti. The ride would be more stressful than fun.

    JMG, Lucy and the boys have to work hard to find the really lush portions of grass. I'm monitoring their weights closely and will restrict their range time as soon as I notice any hint that they're getting wider.

    CeeCee, Smooch will do a fairly long sit/stay while I step back to take her picture, but I'm always ready to run and step on the leash in case a rabbit jumps out of a bush.

  13. That's a great panoramic shot of the desert and the rain in the distance. Really depicts an August storm. Still missing those wide open Southwestern skies.

  14. Smooch is lovely, as always. What a good dog and companion.

    I think my favorite shot is the one where she is sitting on the patch of yellow flowers.

  15. Unbelievable that some knucklehead would start a fire and leave it after all the fire related horror NM has endured. Stupid uncaring people abound unfortunately. Your vistas sure do reflect the beauty of NM.
    Smooch is such a great dog. We have all said that so many times but she really is such a beauty.

  16. Unbelievable the guy who set the fire! I'd be fuming also if there weren't already too much flame!
    Smooch ... keep demanding your fair time out and about!

  17. Smooch has the most beautifully perfect sit/stay I've seen! And I also see that she "poops" talented!!!

    Nancy in Iowa

  18. Smooch is such a gorgeous dog!

  19. Smooch has such a beautiful face.

  20. Boy, it is fun to chase rabbits. But it's no fun to pick out cactus thorns.

    Lovely walk...

  21. What a wonderful (and humorous) critter family you have! The photography is stunning.

  22. I'm almost pawsitive I heard thunder rollin in the distance of those clouds. Oh how I miss hearing the thunder coming in along with the rain! You can practically plan your day around the storms in the afternoon.