My First Rodeo

Every year on Father’s Day weekend, Colville hosts a Rodeo!  Since my daughter is thoroughly, and completely a “horse girl”, I thought it would be fun to check out what other “real horse people” do for fun.  I’m glad I did!

 Cowboy hat, plaid shirt, blue jeans, cowboy boots (can’t see them), great friend, and a dog!  What else does a Rodeo girl need??

 I dragged the boys along.  I think they enjoyed the bull riding the best!

 When we first arrived, I felt like I was in a story book!  There were cowboys and cowgirls EVERYWHERE!  Not all of them were rodeo competitors, but people were just in the spirit of coming to a rodeo, and dressed for the occasion!  I loved it!  It completely had that small town feel, good wholesome entertainment, and country music was blaring over the loud speakers.  This is my kind of place!! As I took everything in, lyrics from country music songs began to fill my head!  The “girl in the ticket line with the mini skirt” was there…the “boy with the stain on his shirt” was there…the “big green tractor” was there…people who lived in “the house that built me” were there…and I’m sure lots of “broken hearts” were there!!    I grabbed a bag of kettle corn, after passing up ice cream cones, cotton candy, hot dogs, and barbecued ribs, and then headed towards the stands.  There were people dotted all over the stands, and everywhere we looked was someone that we knew!  How cool is that?  It’s another perk of small town life!  We found some friends, and claimed our seats.  Before the show began, two more groups of friends found us in the stands, and we had a large group of familiar faces surrounding us!!

The bull riding was first.  MAN, those guys are CRAZY!!  I seriously think they have too much testosterone flowing through their bodies.  Those bulls are mad, and they want revenge.  Only 3 riders the entire evening stayed on for the required 8 seconds.  Many were off after the second jolt, and one was sort of crumpled under the bull when he fell off.  While it’s exciting, it’s a little bit difficult to watch.  I certainly don’t want to see someone get seriously injured. 
The rodeo clowns are amazing!  One of them had headphones and a microphone, and he would banter back and forth with the Rodeo announcer.  They were downright funny, and added so much to the entertainment.  The rodeo clown brought out a mannequin dressed in the most vivid and wild colors, nothing matching, and everything clashing.  It was meant to be a distraction for the bulls, and it definitely did the job.  One of the bulls, after ridding himself of the rider, tore around the arena, looking for a way out.  Suddenly, his eye caught “lady gaga”, and he stopped in his tracks.  He eyed that spectacle, pawed his foot, lined up his head, and charged forward, sending the colorful dummy in 5 different directions.  He smashed her to smithereens, each appendage landing in a different direction, like a tornado had come through town.  I wish I had a video of the actual impact!  It was classic, like an explosion, with pieces going in all directions!  Of course, it was a huge crowd pleaser, and after that, the clown had to settle with a pile of parts.  He put the legs sticking up out of the ground, and the torso sticking up a little distance away, and then the jokes never stopped about how long waisted she was, how much pain she must be in, etc.  I was glad we made it through the bull riding without seeing any blood or broken bones, on a real human!

 I had some mixed emotions about the other events.  The barrels were fun to watch.  Seeing a horse turn on a dime,  and lean into the turn like a seasoned motorcycle rider taking a tight turn was quite impressive.  But I did not like the calf roping events.  Those poor little creatures, lassoed at the neck, just to have the horse and rider abruptly stop, resulted in a terrific pull, often spinning the calf around in the air, twisting the head behind it’s body in a very unnatural and painful looking angle.  Whenever a roper “missed”, I was secretly glad!! I also didn’t really like seeing the horses bucking around.  I didn’t seem to mind the bulls, because they are mean, but the horses seem like innocent victims.  I’m sure I’m just a softie. I will say that I’m looking forward to my next Rodeo, and will definitely go again next Father’s Day weekend to the one in Colville.  Kaelyn wants to ride the different events in the rodeo, barrells, poles, etc., so I guess I better get used to this environment!!


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Incredible Snake Tale

I will probably never witness anything like this in person again in my life.  It was one of those experiences that you only see on National Geographic Channel!!  I was driving home, and was on the very last stretch of the road, when I came around the bend of the corner.  Flying through the air was a HUGE Red Tailed Hawk, with a snake dangling in his talons.  I could see him flying, against the blue sky, gaining altitude with his soon to be dinner lifting over my head.

But then he saw me, and before all the details of what was happening actually registered in my mind, the bird dropped the snake, and it flopped onto the ground, just a few yards from me.  The hawk landed in the tallest nearby tree, and both of us surveyed what just happened.  Reality began to take hold, and I couldn’t believed what I just witnessed!!  If the angle had been eerily perfect, the snake would have descended into my open window and landed smack in the middle of my lap.

Curiosity got the best of me, and I wanted to see if the snake was alive or dead.  The hawk and I both had the same wish…get to the snake first, but he let go of his desire, and promptly flew away when he could see that his dinner was gone, and another predator, bigger than himself, was on the scene.

I drove up to the snake and he promptly coiled himself up and swayed his body gently in each direction.  His eyes were piercing my own, and his tongue was in motion.  I edged the car closer, and he struck at my tire.  I took a good look at that snake and was horrified to see a triangular shaped head, skinny neck, and the behaviors of a Rattle Snake.  I was told there were no Rattle Snakes where we lived, but this was a living, breathing, very rattle-snake-like creature, and he was just under a mile from my house. 

I grew up in California.  I know what Rattle Snakes look like, and I know what they are capable of doing.  I DID NOT want a Rattle Snake that close to my house.  But while he had the mannerisms and look of a Rattle Snake, he didn’t rattle, and that was very puzzling to me.  I backed up the car and pulled forward again.  He coiled, swayed, spit his tongue, gave me the evil eye, but he did not rattle.  I threw a few pebbles at him.  He was not happy.  But he made no sound at all.  Something wasn’t right!

I called Daryl.  I knew I could take care of the snake and squash him, but if he wasn’t poisonous, I didn’t feel any need to kill him, so I wanted a second opinion.  Soon he arrived with our friend Rob, and both of them confirmed that they thought the snake was probably a Bull Snake. 

 If you look closely, you can see a bit of blood on his mouth.  I’m sure he had struggled with the Hawk, before experiencing his rude landing.  He did not like me one bit, and acted in a very evil manner towards me.  He actually should have been thanking me, because I saved him from becoming lunch.

 See that head??  That is triangular if I’ve ever seen triangular!

 I was quite happy to be safely up in my vehicle!

 A picture of the girl who was tormenting the snake with pebbles! We ended up guiding him away from the road and into the woods.  He took refuge under some bushes, in the deep grass, and hopefully found his way home!  It was a bad day for the Hawk, a good day for the snake, and a mixed day for me.  I was glad he wasn’t a rattler, but I don’t like knowing that there ARE snakes in my neck of the woods. Ewwwwww!  
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Again, these photos were taken a few weeks back!  I was excited to see blossoms on the strawberry plants.  It means only one thing….berries are coming!

 When these really get going, we will have a hard time keeping up with picking them!

 The one that actually enjoys his time in the garden!

 Albino Pea Plant.  I think there was something wrong with him afterall, because he did end up dieing.

 We had a nice time together!  More garden pictures to come!  
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Sabbath Afternoon

I just discovered that I have 6 drafts waiting to become actual blog posts.  I take pictures with my iPhone and then blog them with an app to blogger.  Then I finish the post on my computer by doing the typing and story telling on a regular keyboard!  So I have 6 groups of pictures, all waiting to become posts!!

A few weeks ago, when the river was still so low, we took a walk along the river.  It was a bit cool and cloudy, but the kids had fun looking for fish hooks in all the rocks.  It was a bit windy and it started to sprinkle right before we left, but it was a nice and refreshing walk overall.

 This is our “jumping” place, where the kids jump off the rocks and into the water during the summer.  I may have mentioned before how glad I was to see that there are no large, hidden rocks, under that dark water.  They can jump all they want with no worries of striking something under the water!

 Kaelyn was the chief fish-hook finder.

 The sky was warning us that rain would be coming soon!

 When it did rain, we took cover in the car!

 Self Portrait!  I just had my hair done the day before, so was getting used to the new highlights!

 We drove around a bit after the rain started, and there were these sweet, little yellow wildflowers.  I wanted to get a picture, and was completely delighted when I took a close look at this one!  I loved the raindrops on the petals, but on closer inspection, I realized there is a tiny spider walking down one of the petals.  I’m going to enter this photo in the fair!  I wonder how it will do.  I think it’s a great shot! (and with my iPhone at that)!!  
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