A Day on the Mesa

A lazy day, with photos.

I spent the day at our place on Howard Mesa today. It was a lazy day. I read, ate (too much), napped, chatted on the phone, wrote and posted blog posts, and took a walk.

In the late afternoon, I noticed what I thought was a cow just outside the gate, alongside the road. Howard Mesa is open range land and the only way you can keep cows off your property is to fence them out. We’re one of only two lots on top of the mesa that’s completely fenced in. We did it primarily to keep the horses in, since open range cattle rarely come up here. But my friends had their yard destroyed by cattle one day, so I’m glad our place is fenced in — even though there isn’t much here for them to destroy. (Who wants cow poop all over the place anyway?)

I walked down to the road with Jack the Dog to check out the cow. And that’s when I realized it wasn’t a cow. It was a bull. How could I tell? Balls instead of udders.

It didn’t have any horns, so I think it may have been young. Of course, the horns could have been cut off. I think ranchers do that sometimes. It was very interested in us, but I kept my distance. I’ve been to rodeos and I’ve seen cowboys and rodeo clowns chased. I didn’t want to be a rodeo clown.

I took some pictures with my phone and sent them to TwitPic and my TumbleLog. But this photo, taken with my CoolPix, is much better, especially after a trip though Photoshop Elements for exposure correction and cropping.

Bull!

Later, I went for a walk, partially to walk off all the food I’d eaten. I find that I eat a lot when I’m up here — probably because there isn’t much else to do for distraction and I always bring along food I really like. Jack and I hit the road and took a right. I was hoping to see some other property owners, but I knew how unlikely that would be. There aren’t many places with less going on. I did see a truck drive by earlier today, but I don’t know where it went. I didn’t see it come back. I thought that there was a slight chance that I’d see where it went and possibly meet the people that were in it.

I didn’t. I didn’t see anyone. But what I did see was some neat textured dirt alongside the road. The ground gets like this in the spring, after numerous snowfalls and freezes have melted away. This stretches go on forever up here, with few tire tracks or animal tracks to disturb them. I like textures, so I took the picture.

Mud

I figure I walked about a mile round trip without seeing a soul. Even the bull was gone. It was so quiet, my ears hummed. All I could hear was the sound of the breeze in the pinon and juniper trees around me.

When I got back to the shed, I paused long enough to take a photo of Mount Kendricks (left) and the San Francisco Peaks (right) in the distance. The zoom on my CoolPix shortened up the distances — the snow-capped peaks are at least 50 miles from here but, as you can see, are clearly visible.

San Francisco Peaks

The sun’s getting low now and will set within the next 30 minutes or so. I’m looking forward to getting some shots of the moonrise. There are wisps of cirrus clouds in the sky, but I don’t think they’ll spoil my view. We’ll see.

2 thoughts on “A Day on the Mesa

  1. Hi. I am enjoying reading and viewing your photos of howard mesa. My husband and i have property there but have not been up in several years due to rough times. We used to park our 5th wheel on our parcels and spend every other weekend in the summers. I miss it so much. There really is a beautiful peacefullness there that i havent found anywhere else. Your photos are wonderful. I hope to spend time up there this summer now that things are better and we are a bit more sure footed. Dont know if ive met you but hope to one day when we are cruisen on our quads or relaxing in the evening. Thanks for the nostalgia. Robin

    • Thanks very much. Unfortunately, I am moving out of state and will be selling my land. Howard Mesa is a beautiful place, but my husband didn’t want to commit to building a vacation home there. We”ve since split and the land is one of the things we’re liquidating.

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