“A wise old owl lived in an oak;
The more he saw the less he spoke;
The less he spoke the more he heard...
Why can't we all be like that bird?”
― Edward Hersey Richards




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I'm Back in the Saddle Again....

1

THE SADDLE
Years ago, while at Wyoming's Red Desert, where even today wild horses roam, a 'skeleton of a saddle' was found.. The desert itself is barren, and nearly waterless. It covers a vast area in Southern Wyoming and into North-central Colorado.  Bud has had it for decades. We moved it from Colorado, to our 1st retirement home in Tucson. Then, again, it came with us in the moving van to Texas. Now, over 10 years here in residence, it's been stored [hung] on the garage wall. During our time downsizing all the 'junk' out the area recently, Bud cleaned it up to move it inside our home where it was placed on our fireplace hearth.



It's a McClellan Saddle [circa 1874] - The McClellan saddle was a riding saddle designed by George B. McClellan, a career Army officer in the U.S. Army. The saddle was almost certainly a modification of the Spanish tree saddle in common use in Mexico during this period, and which had become common in some parts of the U. S. The McClellan saddle was adopted by the US War Department in 1859 and remained standard issue, in various models, for the remaining history of the horse cavalry. Think "Civil War" era. The McClellan saddle continues to be made in the US, and was used by endurance riders at one time. It is made for use as a pleasure saddle for those few who like it for that purpose, and as a saddle for historical reenactors. I found a photo of a refurbished 1874 McClellan HERE


Red Desert image courtesy of Google Search


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2


BOOK REVIEW

My most recent book I'm reading is by a local artist [Corpus Christi], Charles Clark, a physician who turned author upon retirement.  The book, the first of two in this genre, "Trails to Dos Encinos" is about a rancher and a young girl who washed ashore, barely alive, from a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico.  Charro [the rancher] has a cattle ranch called Dos Encinos [a loose definition would be two live oaks...a tree that is prevalent in this area of South Texas].  It's a good story...a story of survival and love.  Along the way, - - Mexican banditos, padres, church, religion and faith, devoted friendships, family.  It's filled with a richness of when Texas was at its beginnings and a young girl from Germany [Sarah, the one who survived the storm] experiencing the ways of the old west and her quest to become American.



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3


COMEDY RELIEF


Juvenile Yellow Crowned Night Heron and Loggerhead Shrike


Nutria's Orange Teeth and Brown Pelican [well fed?]


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4


NO, No...I INSIST!! - AFTER YOU

At one of the wildlife refuges on Mustang Island, there is a billboard near the boardwalk entrance. It's alligator territory. If you want, step up behind the board, and stick you head through its mouth. I'd be more than happy to oblige and get your photo!! Don't be afraid...this one won't harm you. Trust me!! No? Of course, what kind of hostess would I be if I didn't allow YOU to go FIRST!?!!....



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5


CAN YOU SEE ME NOW?


50 comments :

  1. This cute little toad is almost completely invisible! Good thing, too. He would make a tasty snack for some predator. This is a beautiful spider web. This pelican must have a belly full of fish! The Loggerhead Shrikes are horrid birds, I need say no more. Your saddle find is so well ridden! What a find, one of a kind for sure. You know so MUCH about saddles!! Have you ever ridden?

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    1. Yes, Ginny, I've ridden horses. We had a bay, "Lucky", for a while after we were married. Irene was about 5 when we sold her.

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  2. Not sure I would be putting my head into that mouth! The saddle is pretty special.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. Awwwww, are you sure you don't want your photo?!! ;-)

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  3. really cool saddle. horses are amazing to me, I just love animals. I didn't see that toad until you pointed him out. no thank you on a photo in the gator's mouth. lol that's awesome shot of the spider web. I like them much better when there's not a spider. lol we do take them down if we don't see a spider because I worry about little birds getting stuck in them. :)
    happy February,
    Marie

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    1. I don't like empty webs OR spiders. lol

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  4. Bravo Anni for such a great assortment of wonderful things....
    I'll tell you right now if I stuck my head in that hole with a spider web....you would have a clean up on aisle 7. honestly I do not like anything with 8 legs P E R I O D
    hugs cecilia

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    1. Me either...that's why I insist you go first.

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  5. What a great treasure that saddle is.
    Very kind of you to let me go (face) first into that spider web

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    1. I thought you'd appreciate that I have you go first. 😆

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  6. The saddle doesn't look none to comfy. If it could talk what a tale it could tell.

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    1. I bet the stories would be fascinating.

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  7. Great photos today! I love the funny ones, the hidden frog and especially that cobweb! It's beautiful!

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    1. It does sparkle doesn’t it?

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  8. Thanks for sharing once again...The dew on the cob web sure makes it sparkle.
    Coffee is on

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  9. Great photos! What a wonderful old saddle and I enjoyed reading about its history. The toad is almost invisible against the stone:)

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    1. If it hadn't moved I would've missed it. Thanks Rosie

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  10. Good morning from the Pacific Northwest. A great variety of things to learn about and see, although I couldn't see that toad until you highlighted it! Hope you have a good weekend.

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    1. Have a good weekend yourself ellen.

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  11. Wow, that frog was well camouflaged! What an incredible photo, you did so well to spot him!

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  12. Oh what tales that saddle could spill out if it could talk! Thank you for an entertaining post.

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    1. Thank you for the visit...and the positive feedback.

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  13. I'm glad you put that frame round the toad, I'd never have spotted him. Amazing. Enjoy your weekend.

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    1. Enjoy your weekend too...and thanks.

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  14. ...I've never saddled up, neat spider web!

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    1. Never too late to try! It's exhilerating.

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  15. What a fascinating piece of history the saddle is. I wonder who rode it and why it was abandoned where it was found. The frog hides well in that forest scene.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the saddle story.

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  16. Hello Anni, cute shots of the birds. The Pelican is one of my favorites. I love the toad, great find. Great photos! Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

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    1. Thanks...and thanks for hosting.

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  17. I am always amazed at animals, birds and reptiles ability to camo themselves. I saw a photo like this on facebook, but it was a timber rattler . Took me forever to see it and of course I would have been long before bitten if I had been standing there.
    Great shots today- you have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Trust me...if thst toad happened to be s snake I would stop to get a picture. Lol

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  18. oh my gosh i love that saddle, what a great find! enjoyed the wildlife photos and the nutria is so cute! ha, i would have probably stuck my face in that spider web! yuck! that little frog sure blends in well! thanks so much for linking and have a great week ahead!

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    1. You're the first to get your pic in the alligator mouth. High 5

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  19. Wonderful array of critter shots ~ love the spider web and that little frog ~ lovely photography ~ thanks,

    Wishing you a Happy and Peaceful weekend ~ ^_^

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  20. Somewhere I have seen a McClellan Saddle! I know exactly what one looks like and how it was used. Maybe at the Smithsonian? I went there once. The frog was really invisible and I admit I never saw it before the reveal.

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    1. When we visited the Smithsonian I never saw one ...but I read they have in storage- they may have one on display now.

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  21. Quite interesting about the saddle! The book sounds interesting and I know there are German settlements in Texas--New Braunfels.

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  22. That book sounds like a good one...love that last 'find me' photo...also the spiderweb one.

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    1. Thanks...glad to know you like the post.

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  23. The saddle deserves a place of honor! Kind of neat to clean your own garage and find a long-lost treasure. (We could have done that when we had our house in Oregon, pre-retirement. When we got ready to sell out, there were all kinds of things in there and in the attic that we'd forgotten about.) Love your funny birds and the adorable hiding frog.

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    1. It's work...but rewarding when done.

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  24. Anyone not smiling after this happy post is just a mean old grouch.

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  25. I'd be saying after you ... you show me what to do!!!! I wonder if I'll ever get back in the saddle again, a rocking horse might have to do!!!
    Happy Sunday Anni
    Wren x

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    1. Hi Wren...wish I could leave you a comment in Google plus! As long as your fur baby will be with family

      ...hope he adjusts well.

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