Monthly Archives: October 2013

A Horse of a Different Color – a ST4S/ROW80 post

During some editing of photos from the Green Cty Youth Fair, I came across pictures I’d taken of the youth equestrian events.  A few of them posted here…

A female brindle Akita Inu.It wouldn’t be much for a Some Thing 4 Sunday post, if I left it at that though.  I almost did too, except that I kept reading about one of my favorite characters in Lisanne Norman’s Sholan Alliance novels (Dzaka) as having a brindled coat.  Now since these Sholans are supposed to be felinoid people, I was confused…  Isn’t brindling more of a dog thing?

Brindle HorseWell, turns out that it’s not just for dogs anymore.  There are cases of cows, horses and geckos even being brindled.

A brindled horse looks pretty much like one would expect an animal with that trademark striping on its coat would look like.  But there are many other cool colors to be found in the equine world.

Paint and AppaloosaDapples, roans, paints…  So very many colors to choose from.  If you’re curious, you can find out a lot from this Wikipedia article on Equine Coat Color.  I found out a bunch, and I’ve been thinking about all things horse for well over thirty years (my husband says that’s because I’m a girl–I wonder if he’d say the same for my father, since it was my dad, not my mom who was the horse-lover of my parents).

Akhal-Teke Stallion One of my favorite breeds gets its stunning coloration from the fact that its own hair acts much like the fiber-optic tubes of those fun color-changing lamps we all loved to brush our hands through as kids.  Originally from the Steppes regions of what is now called Turkmenistan, the Akhal-Teke are also known as “Golden Horses”.  The brilliance of their coats is not due to a lot of brushing or polishes.  And while their conformation is a bit long and lean compared to more common breeds such as Thoroughbreds or Quarter Horses, there is something incredible striking about the animals.

So how about you?  Did you ever take a look as something as common as the horse and find it holds a world of differences just under the eye?

ROW80 Check-In

Here’s to a … check-in, of sorts.

This has been a week of distraction.  I’ve been easily distracted by anything and everything lately.  Right now I’m fighting myself to write this despite the urge to get up and grab a sweater.  I know if I leave the computer, I’ll start washing dishes or grabbing a snack or making a fresh cup of tea or…

It’s been a week of avoidance and not sleeping, and…

Oh look!  I’ve gotten almost nothing done toward any of my goals.  I’ve tried to decaffeinate, and I’m starting to think that’s a bad idea.  I have the concentration power of a …  Oh, look! SQUIRREL!

So the daily total?  Since Wednesday, one photo edited, about 700 words written (total, not daily), a few chapters read in Risky Writing and nearly 1/3 of Little Princes…  Not nearly enough walking.

Yep.  Fell down off the wagon big time here.

It’s only a few days though, and it wasn’t a complete standstill.  I did make another couple batches of applesauce and add a bit more home-tending (I like this term of Shan Jeniah‘s…  so much less harsh than homework) than most days.

I guess it’s all a matter of focus.  My head says get things ready for the NaNoWriMo, and that means getting my house in order, I guess.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.  😀

Related Links:

Photo credits:

  • A female brindle Akita Inu. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Brindle Horse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Outdoor Dining – a WIPpet/ROW80 post


Another Wednesday and, as always, I’m stuck for a title for my post.  Starting out never works well for me.  (It’s the usual reason I end up being late with my posts.)  I almost always have enough inspiration to follow through on an idea, but picking one–just one–well….

So…  maybe (especially since it’ll fit into my ROW80 check-in ), I’ll begin with my morning.  I went on a field trip with my son’s school.

It’s not a big deal field trip.  His school goes on field trips every week to nature preserves.  Today we harvested black walnuts and horsetails, wild grapes…  mint and garlic mustard were plenty, but we only sampled those.

So YES!  I have kept up with my ROW80 Fitness goals.  In fact…  I’ve gone for at least a mile of walking every single day since last Friday, and most days, I’ve made it for three times that.

And all these nature walks have also helped me return somewhat to my own roots.  Back in my childhood, Grandma and Grandpa’s farm was right next to a nature center, and I spent day after day in the summer walking through the woods and learning about various nature plants via field guides.  I even went to college for a Biology and Forestry.

Acorns of Sessile Oak. The acorn, or oak nut, ...But I’m a bit rusty with my taxonomy.  And so…  RESEARCH!  Yep…  I’ve had a great time looking through info on native plants that could be used for food (there’s a story related reason for this…  in the Swan Song series, I have characters in situations where someone needs to know this sort of information).  On the Eat the Weeds site, I found a great  article on acorns, and yesterday I harvested a bunch of white oak acorns for experimenting with (that “Newtella” acorn spread looks delicious).

As for the rest of my ROW80 goals progress?  Mostly I’ve done in-depth character sketches for Swan Song.  I don’t like the idea of having eeeeevil antagonists.  The classic “bad guy” just doesn’t work for me.  I want my heroes to break up homes, my bad guys to save puppies from burning houses….  and I want everyone who reads the books to root for the protagonists and hope the antagonists “get theirs”.

I don’t ask for much, do I?

And on that note, let’s head on to the third book of the Swan Song series (I know!  I still don’t have a good name for it yet; good thing it’s the third book) for a October 16th ….


wippetwednesday_zps53e803c0Welcome back to Vissellii and ‘Listii’s story.  Yes, I said I would be covering Alanii’s story (Courting the Swan Song) for the time being until I finish (hopefully) by the end of  November’s NaNoWriMo.  But given that native foods seem to be part of today’s topic, I detoured for a moment to spend some time with two of my favorite characters.

I didn’t play too much with the WIPpet maths today.  Just sixteen sentences to match today’s date.

The meeting had been pleasant enough. ‘Listii had been relaxing by their small camp after a morning of hunting. He’d proven to be a very creative and skilled cook. Some of the food had been strange, the little ground nuts that he’d dug up and put into their oat mash, but those had proved delightfully tasty, adding a crunch to their porridge that she’d already acquired a craving for. His hunting skills were far beyond her own, and they had a surfeit of meat, some of which the man had taken to drying out on small wood frames, the rest of which he’d coated in rich fat to store for later.

Where had he learn all of this she’d wondered. He wasn’t giving her any answers now. After that incident last night, he’d close to, but not completely withdrawn back into himself. It was as well, since Visellii was not sure she was ready to deal with the idea that the man was …well, a man, a man in his prime and one with same urges and needs of any other man. Or that, in the heat of his dreams and need for his lost beloved, he’d mistaken her for Atara.

And though perhaps they could have moved from that awkwardness with some discussion, that he had insisted that he’d sensed his ‘tianiel was too much. He was quite mad.

Though now, she reconsidered her opinion. It was not as if she’d ever seen the young girl’s body laid in state. As far as she’d heard the girl and her mother had been attacked by Wanderers on a pilgrimage to the desert. No bodies…

As always, a ginormous “Thank You” to K.L. Schwengel at My Random Muse for her hosting of WIPpet Wednesdays where writers post pieces of a draft (Work In Progress) that somehow relate with the date for commentary and consideration.  Feel free to visit other #WIPpeteers at the linky.  Company, comments…  even gentle (or not-so gentle) critiques are always welcome.

English: Yellow nutsedge, common North America...In case you’re curious…  those little ground nuts that ‘Listii found for their porridge are the corms of nutsedge. a generally disliked weed-grass.  It infested our yard for a while, and so I figured I’d try the nuts since they destroyed our garden.  YUMMY!

Photo credits:

  • Acorns of Sessile Oak. The acorn, or oak nut, is the nut of the oaks and their close relatives (genera Quercus and Lithocarpus, in the family Fagaceae). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • English: Yellow nutsedge, common North American lawn weed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With Her Head in the Clouds — ST4S/ROW80

Windy and cloudy...  on Greylock Mountain

Windy and cloudy… on Greylock Mountain

Yesterday we took a bit of a drive across the Massachusetts border to the little town of Williamstown and its friendly neighborhood mountains Greylock, Raimer and Smith Hill (where Petersburg Pass is located).  There are a bunch of wonderful hiking trails in the woods there.

There’s also a lighthouse on top of a mountain.  Not that you could tell yesterday….

The Greylock War Memorial Lighthouse

The Boodle didn’t mind–he was thrilled to be running in a “cloud”

This is more or less what we saw, as a cloud had decided to settle on top of the mountain for the afternoon.  It’s amazing how easily something as big as a lighthouse can hide in that much water vapor.

I took this at 1:30 in the afternoon.  Imagine what this must cloud cover could do to a small airplane at night.  Not that the Veteran’s Memorial Tower was really designed as a lighthouse, but for many years it was the brightest beacon for over 70 miles round it.  At the very least, its (nearly) perpetual light would have helped prevent someone from flying into the tower itself or any of the many television antennae that use Greylock as their transmission points.

In Bascom Lodge

Relaxing and playing games

Another thing about being on a windy cloud covered mountain that one might not know…  It’s cold.  Fortunately there was plenty of warmth in the Bascom Lodge (as well as very yummy ginger lemonade and maple cookies).  No fires were lit in the fireplace, but lots of people gathered around it anyway.

But as nice as the lodge was to spend a few moments in after the chill of the summit, we hadn’t gone to the mountain for crowds.  We’d gone to hike.  Since the observation deck of the Memorial was closed off for repairs, we quickly headed off to find a trailhead.  The Overlook Trail ended up being our best choice as it was on the sheltered side of the mountain.  Not even three steps into the tree cover and that sweatshirt I’d been desperately zipping up around my neck came off and got tied around my waist.

A mile and a quarter downhill, then back up…  It was a good two hours of pictures in the woods, occasional peeks into the Hopper (as the big conical hollow in Greylock is called), but very little “overlooking”.  The tree cover (and the tree color) was too omnipresent to  see far into the valley.

Another year, I guess…


Meeting at the Reservoir

Meeting at the Reservoir

Not too much has happened since Wednesday’s check-in.  I’ve slacked off a bit on my plotting for Courting a Swan Song.  The editing of photos has gone well; I’ve averaged three pictures a day with extras today because I took so many images on the mountain yesterday.

What I haven’t done is finish my sponsor post for the ROW80 blog.  I have lost my notes somewhere along the way on my computer.  I’m making it my goal to finish the post by Friday.  That gives me a chance to get the other stuff done I need to do and lets me look over the finished piece after a day’s wait.

Just one more picture to enjoy (though, if you wish, I have uploaded a few to my Flickr feed finally)….

A "moss-tasche"

Look, Ma! A “moss-tache”!