Speechless

Nothing to say today. Just can’t. Here, enjoy cute li’l animals and pretty flowers, courtesy of our ranch.

Fuzzy
Fearless
Funny
Fancy
Fabulous.

Nature is Tough. A Good Lesson

On my last morning in Wimberley, I decided to see if I’d missed anything on the property. Sure enough, after saying hi to the cows, I found a nice tent camping spot.

There’s something for everyone here, as long as you like rustic.

I found a few more plants for iNaturalist, and took this photo to show those of you not from the middle of Texas what our limestone rocks look like. they have lots of water holes and sometimes fossils.

Limestone and cedar elm leaf.

Most of the trees here are live oaks or cedar elms, just like at home. The difference is there are more live oaks here and more cedar elms at home.

Very old oak.

As I was trying to find more plants I discovered where there’s a waterfall and pool when it’s rainy. There were chairs to sit and relax, so I did.

As I looked around, I saw many flowers and plants growing straight out of the rock, many in the creek bed. They must pop up fast! Their tenacity and drive to grow, thrive and reproduce inspired me!

It’s just plain encouraging to see the native plants in their homes. No one planted them, but as they say, they bloom where they’re planted.

How delicate. Its a hairy ruellia, the only one of those I saw.

Finishing my walk, I saw more and more signs that autumn is here, even way down south in the US. I’ll leave you with these vines.

Virginia creeper, creeping away.

An Evening with a Black Dachshund Mix

Hi, readers of Mama Suna’s blog! I’m Vlassic, and I’ve been hanging around the Hermits’ Rest Ranch for the past two years. I like it here a lot. Wanna know why?

I’m long, but I have longer legs so I can jump high.

I have so many friends! At night I sleep in Jim’s RV. He is so nice to me, and feeds me (I don’t go in the big house because Penney acts weird in there). When I go outside, I spend half my time with my bird buddies, Bertie Lee, Gertie, Fancy Pants, and Clarence. We like how cool it is.

Stay out of our coop, dog! The black chickens don’t like me so much.

The rest of the time I spend with my new friends, the Bull calves. It’s SO much fun there! Calf poop is so delicious, and they have a wonderful water bucket just the size for me to cool off my black coat.

Wait, Rip, it’s my turn! Photo by Meghan Land.

On good days, Mama Suna takes me with her to visit my other friends. Sometimes we ride the little bumpy car. Tonight, though, we walked. It was a beautiful night.

Rays!

I chased two of the 18 series cows, but just a little, to remind them of how we used to play when they were babies. Mostly I was good, though, because I wanted to see my friends.

Here are two friends, Big Red and Apache. The horse is jealous, because the hen gets fed first.

I love this place! There are so many smells of cattle dogs! I have many places where I simply must pee. They need to know Vlassic rules…when they aren’t here.

Take that, other dogs.

There are other fun smells here, too. I especially like donkey poop. Mmm. Thanks, Fiona. Sigh, I was disappointed she didn’t get to come out and play. I love making her put her head down and shake it.

I sure love poop. Why does Mama sweep it up?

The other great thing about where my friends live is that they have an even bigger water tub! I like to swim in it, but not when it’s full.

Big Red and I like to drink from it when it’s full!

After all the friends were fed, we went back. I had to investigate this new hay. It looks funny and smells different. Mama said it’s sorghum, whatever that is. I made sure to pee on it, so it won’t smell so new next time I come.

Funny hay. Needs pee.

As we passed the cabin, Copper the dog came outside, so I ran like the wind.

I’m outa here.

I ran and ran. Meanwhile, Mama saw a new cow patty on the road, that had appeared since we came by before.

That cow patty has a head.

As she got closer, she realized it was a turtle crossing the driveway. She told it hello, but for some reason, she did NOT call me over to introduce me! Geez! I’m nice to all the other animals!

Pleased to meet you. You can leave now.

After rolling a bit in some silage (it’s an acquired smell, but I’ve acquired it!), I ran back to Rip, Poop Nugget, and Buster, to see if they’d pooped any more.

We were just digesting over here.

Then, to end the evening right, Lee and the other dogs showed up! We played! Then it rained a little. Not enough, but it made Lee and Suna smile. We need rain, because my pond is gone!

Time to go inside.

Sunset Photo Shoot

Here’s another post high on imagery and low on content. Because I’ve been out as late as possible lately working with the horses, and because the dusty air has made for such pretty sunsets, I decided to do a fun exercise and take pictures of the barn residents and caretakers last night. Have fun with moody lighting and sweaty masked caretakers.

Excited about photo time.

Sunset and horse and donkey butts.

Hungry Apache.

Very clean Fiona.

Suna unable to get the light adjusted. But cute sloth mask.

Big Red insisted on her own photo. So dramatic.

Socially distant Sara, with Spice and Lakota.

This is how you have fun in the hot Texas summer of 2020.

Prairie Patrol

The front pasture at our house hasn’t had herbicide applied to it, so it’s full of wildflowers, grasses, and riparian plants (by the arroyo). Since our internet tower got messed up and I can’t use the computer to write, I thought I’d share some images from walking around the pasture after a rain. It’s really windy, so the grasses are blowing around.

Lemon bee balm by the pond.
Meadow pinks and grass-leaved rush
Black-eyed Susan or something.
Grass arrangement
By the back fence.

What Color Is Suna’s Hair THIS Week?

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that my mid-life crisis has been to mess with my hair color. It’s my little inexpensive rebellion, I guess. Much less than lots of tattoos, piercings, or motorcycles. I’m not sure WHY I decided on bright hair, because I actually like my gray just fine. But, it’s my head and I’m a Free American Who Can Do What I Want. So, I had a major hair event scheduled for last March when I got back from vacation, only nope, the salon had to shut down.

(below are colors from the past couple of years, along with lots of glasses, which may be my OTHER mid-life crisis item)

I tried to refrain from putting any more Overtone color on my hair, so it could go back to more like the natural color, but I succumbed and used up the last of my coral mixed with red. Of course, right about then is when the Powers That Be in Texas decided it’s a great idea to “open up” the state and let salons open.

Before: Crap hair. A reminder.

I read all the precautions the place I go to is using, and felt comfortable with them. I decided to book that appointment. Admittedly, my long bangs and scary morning hair pushed me a little. And it gave me an excuse to drag myself to Austin so I can work in a different basement office, see Anita, and visit with the neighbors at a safe distance.

I washed my hair daily with Lee’s extra-harsh coal-tar shampoo as soon as I knew I was going in, to try to remove as much color as I could.

Off I went, yesterday, knowing I was in for a slog. Bleach was happening, so I can have more pale colors. Last time I got bleach, it wasn’t good, but Dan swore he knew what he was doing, and had tested a strand. When I got there, I was impressed with how nice the place looked, even with all the plexiglass dividers they’d hung up between stations. They hung them from macrame hangers, so it looked like it was part of the design aesthetic. Everyone cheerfully wore masks, I guess because they were glad to be able to work or get hair services.

On to the slog. First, there was like an hour of putting hair in foil (which looked fun, but I forgot to take a picture), followed by a lot of heat. I took a nap.

My eyes are trying to convey fear. This is still quite orange (and the roots are not done yet).

When that was done, I had white hair with rather scary orange edges. Whoever said Overtone was temporary didn’t know my hair. But Dan wasn’t worried. He proceeded to then put bleach on the roots that had no dye, and stick me back under the dryer.

Back under the dryer with the roots cooking. Please cook that orange, too.

The result of that was a much nicer peach color, which Dan declared would add dimension to the final color. Okay. Then, one last round of heat.

A little less orange. Maybe that’s cute?

I had planned to just stay pale until my light blue color came in, but Dan found some stuff that looked really intriguing. I said, “Sure, make my hair steel blue.”

The final result of bleach. It’s my Draco Malfoy look.

Back under the dryer I went. He promised it was the last time. And it was! It was weird when he rinsed the dye out of my hair, because the water ran clear. ALL the dye went into my newly porous strands. That’s never happened. I’m hoping that means this color will last a while.

Cooking the blue in. I’m heating up, too. Masks are so fun.

I really like the color it came out to be, and the salon owner said it would fade to the pale baby blue I was looking for, which means I can maintain it with the Overtone that should show up some day.

After the cut. I’m all fogged up and Dan is trying to convey happiness in his eyes.

I think after all the experiments, I’m back to blue for the long haul. I’ll be a happy blue-haired Austin-style hippie, and I’m sure people in Cameron can handle it.

Once dry, it’s quite a nice shade.

The hair didn’t scare the neighbors when I attended one of their social-distancing happy hours last night. It sure was great to see them, and we could hear each other just fine. I feel all caught up with the news and like I’m back to being part of the community. Now, of course, I miss everyone at the OTHER house.

Socially distant neighbors with anti-social Anita. Is she really glad to see me?

Hey, if you are “of a certain age,” did you have a mid-life crisis? Are you still having it? What did you do about it? Or are you having a mid-pandemic crisis?

My view during Zoom meetings in Austin. Now my hair matches the chairs.

Just Watching the Sky: A Photo Essay

After all the rain yesterday, there was a regular parade of colorful clouds, especially just before sunset. Kathleen and I sat on the porch providing commentary. Nope, you can’t get bored at the Hermits’ Rest.

This is my favorite, taken while out with the shiny horses.
Pinks and blues.
Sun shining on ominous clouds.
Slightly shaky panorama, with Carlton.
Carlton.
Shadow of the house.
Looking north.
So many colors. I love this one, too.
New pond all full.

Willows and Wildflowers

Wandering around the ranch this evening a theme for a photo essay came to me. We have so many river willow trees and so many wildflowers, why not showcase them in a photo essay! Enjoy.

Willow, thistle, and Mexican hats.
Pink evening primrose, stream, willow.
Thistle, willow
Indian blankets, willows, pond
My favorite. Vetch and old bent willow.

Where Did I Go?

True, the blogging machine known as Suna didn’t write anything for a few days. Just the effort I was taking to keep on an even keel over the weekend was all I could manage. I was already feeling pretty useless and unhelpful to the people in my life, and it all came to a head, and I felt crappy. I realized I hadn’t been doing a good job supporting my family, their business, my friends, and blah blah blah. I slipped back into my old habit of telling my own self I suck.

Scarab beetles and thistles made for Mother’s Day cheer.
A phaon crescent butterfly visits an Indian blanket flower.

I know I am not Suzy Sunshine. It’s just not my nature. Maybe it’s being a Pisces. We tend to have melancholy in us, and to always see both sides of things, happy and sad. I like it that I enjoy feeling all my feelings and honestly think that’s healthy, for me. But, I know it comes across poorly to others sometimes, and I’m sorry.

Because I certainly didn’t want to burden others with my own self-inflicted issues, I put a lot of energy into trying to have fun this weekend. Then, boom, Lee told me this morning that I’d seemed all mopey yesterday. That was with me TRYING not to be! Lordy!

I love watching roses blossom. Thanks, Lee.

All you can do is try to do better, right? But, once I get into one of my rare really down periods, I am not able to immediately crawl back out. I will, though! I know I actually don’t suck. And usually my brain, subconscious, or whatever it is that sends me into a downward spiral, agrees with me. I don’t appreciate how poorly it deals with negative feedback one bit! But hey, I’ll work on it!

The wildflower bouquet I made, after the beetle flew off.

Not much could have made my Mother’s Day any better. Everyone was so kind. Chris made perfect omelets for breakfast for me and Kathleen, Lee sent me roses on Friday, I got a little box of cheer from Chris and Kathleen, I got calls from all sorts of friends and family, and I heard from many of my sweet children and bonus children. A friend even dropped off a little trinket for me in my mailbox. What a sweet surprise!

Pure white beauty.

We spent the day relaxing, while Chris fired up his extra cool barbecue machine and made his professional quality ribs and chicken for dinner, which my sister was able to come and enjoy. It really was a lovely day, and I truly appreciate everyone’s efforts and kindness.

A yellow rose, in Texas.

Shoot, if I can manage to be a mess through all that great stuff…I’ll just blame the virus, the stress it puts on all of us, and just being a human. I have a book report and some beautiful horse photos coming for you, when I get breaks from work, and I hope they bring YOU some cheer.