Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Winds, Heat, Fire... Can We Just Have Winter?

And thus it came to pass that Autumn, 2008 began just as Autumn, 2007: Cold winds, hot winds, and raging wildfires...

It's almost sad that Wally has become used to empty pizza boxes flying through the air. He doesn't seem to care much anymore when the branches of the trees surrounding his turnout paddock are waving furiously like kites tethered by the merest of strings.

"Ho-hum," Wally seems to say. "Another windy October day in Southern California. Now on to more important matters. When is Cindy serving the carrots?"

Of course, the advent of the windy season means that Ron and I are scrambling along our hillsides, double-checking to make sure our young trees are anchored to stakes and poles. Several times, while trying to push against a trunk while Ron straightened it in the wind, I felt like I was doing some weird mime impression: "Woman Attempting to Remain Upright while Facing Headlong into 80 mph Wind."

Meanwhile, property owners in the areas to the north, south and east of us were attempting to win battles against a crop of wildfires. If you live in Southern California, you know fire season comes every autumn. You sort of prepare for it. The only uncertainty is where the first flames will erupt. For a couple of days the network news was filled with images of people fleeing their homes. But there were also plenty of images of horses being rescued and then, fortunately, cared for at evacuation centers. Each horse wore a wide strip of silver duct tape all the way around its neck. On the tape was written the owner's contact information. That tactic helps eliminate the confusion when one horse's personalized halter is "borrowed" a dozen or more times to aid in rescuing other equines.

If you didn't catch Horse Channel's coverage of the first edition of West Coast Wildfires, 2008, you can click on this link: Welcome to Autumn

For now, the wildfire danger has passed, although we're still dealing with very hot, dry, breezy conditions. Personally, I'd just as soon transition directly into winter. Seriously. Rain and cold snaps I can deal with. I just snuggle into my parka, lace up my waterproof boots and drink a lot of hot apple cider. Wally, I think, would agree with me.


Anonymous said...

well here I sit with chilled toes and you are enjoying blasts of hot breeze! Hope winter comes your way soon :):):)

Anonymous said...

Cindy's sister in:

This is the point at which I will remind you that I read this blog, that I have to listen to the complaints of how cold you are when the temperature dips below 70, and that I know just how many sweatshirts, sweaters, coats, etc. have been bought on trips because you didn't pack enough layers.

So ... now when you complain, I will merely point to your comments here about welcoming rain and cold and laugh gleefully. :D :D :D

Moonlighting♥ said...

hey Cindy!
Its Kailey.
I really do hate this weather. We went to the barn hoping to ride but instead my mom and I were coated in brown dirt.
Zach is taking on a nice, dirt brownish hue (that wont come out unless I bather him, which doesnt make much sense during a 25 mph windstorm). I find it very pretty with his teal polo wraps.
And since my dad is off fighting those fires, I have really learned to despise this windy weather. =[

Anonymous said...

Its cloudy and cold here in Kentucky and needed rain is on the way here. My Percheron mare is one big furball and the cold weather has made her frisky. I enjoy the colder weather except when the snow and ice come--then its not so nice. :)

Anonymous said...

It went from being so cold htat i could literally see my breathe and was shivering, THEN wen to 80 degrees. but I LOVe the cold weather, maybe it comes from living by a lake! haha! Hope winter comes soon! i'm definatley waiting for snow!

Cindy Hale said...

Yes, it's true. I do complain about any extreme of weather. However... When it's really cold, I can just snuggle into a wool sweater and a parka. But what, precisely, do I do to get comfortable when it's hot, dry, dusty and windy? A tank top and sunscreen just doesn't do the trick. And that's why I'm waiting for winter. Okay, a MILD winter!

Anonymous said...

Your town sounds like the place to be around the holidays - where do you live? I live here in Acworth Georgia. It used to be known as a pretty rural area but since we've been here 11 years it's grown to be more urban with its proximity to Atlanta - (30 miles north).We're originally from Walden NY which was and still is pretty rural and country, but because of ITS proximity to NYC, too expensive to go back to. I would love to find a place like where you are - what town do you live in?