Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer Memories

This is going to be a short post because the crazy season of summer has descended upon me and I am once again overwhelemed with all things related to horses, kids, Pony Club, and horse shows. Tomorrow I will be overrun by 10 girls ranging in age from 11 to 18 for a camp I was crazy enough to host.

I know it will be fun but at the moment I am am not quite sure from where I will muster the energy.  The one thing I do love about giving these camps is listening to the endless giggles and chatter that is inevitable when horse crazy girls get together.  It brings back wonderful memories of my summer vacations spending my days between riding and hanging out by the pool or going to the beach or best yet, riding on the beach. So I ask, what is your favorite summer memory from childhood???

All of mine involve a horse or some other animal from our familily zoo of rabbits, goats, hamsters, birds (even a raven named chester), dogs and a cat that was half domestic Tabby and half bob cat.

My summers were long and lazy and filled with friends and adventure. How about you??

For me, a favorite this summer is the newest addition to Rocking Horse Ranch. In my last post I chronicled my efforts to save 2 baby starlings that had fallen from a nest in my barn. Well 1 is still surviving and, dare I say thriving, and completely taking over my household.

He is flying, curious about everything, taking delight in tormenting my cats and confounding my dogs. His name is Thump and he spends his days between a large flight cage outside and a regular one in the house. Or his favorite thing is to just take off and fly from one end of my house to the other dive bombing cats and dogs on the way.

I have read that Starlings will mimic and learn to talk and I can already tell he is very intelligent and very opinionated.

As I try to type this, he is jumping on the keys and attacking my fingers when I try to shoo him away. I keep telling him it is my computer but he does not seem to care.

Hope everyone's summer is starting out well. My has certainly been intertesting so far and I feel will be filled with the antics of one little bird who is quite the survivor.


Laura Crum said...

Terri--You are a real saint. You do so much for both critters and kids. I love reading about your life--and Thump looks like great fun--though, like all animals, a lot of work.

My favorite summer memories, like yours, involve riding--long, lazy days horseback on the family ranch, picking blackberries, plums, and apricots from my horse, who would also pick and eat the blackberries himself, believe it or not. Riding through the redwoods, with big views of the Monterey Bay at summer camp sticks in my mind, too. I know you will be creating some wonderful summer memories for these girls you are hosting. What a fine thing to do (but a lot of work, again). Good wishes to you.

Anonymous said...

My favorite summer memory is of riding through the drive thru of a McDonald's with my aunt. She was on her appaloosa and I was riding her Shetland pony Tonka. The looks on people's faces! This was in the '70's and sadly both the appaloosa and pony are long gone but oh what joy they brought me.

This summer I am making new memories with the cat I adopted at Easter from the APA. She is a riot! Abby comes to you when you call her name and loves to play fetch. She has one really peculiar habit--her favorite toy is a small stuffed puppy and she dunks it in her water bowl before bringing it me to throw for her. I think she does it to make the toy heavier and that makes it go farther when you throw it. My husband thinks she does it because she's odd!

horsegenes said...

Blackberries! I love blackberries. My aunt used to make the worlds best wild blackberry jelly. Nothing beats homemade blackberry jelly.

We had 20 acres that all of the neighborhood kids rode horses on. It was a large gully between two main residental roads. In the bottom it was filled with blackberry vines and cherry plum trees. We spent so much time eating blackberries and plums, chatting, laughing and being kids. Very fond memories.

Laura - my horses were very adept at picking blackberries and plums. They loved the plums and ate them whole. The manure would be full of pits. That is probably why the entire bottom of the gully was filled with plum trees and blackberry vines!

Laura Crum said...

Kel--I LOVE wild blackberry jam. And I used to make wild blackberry pie. It didn't need much sugar--the berries were so sweet. There is nothing better than a ripe wild blackberry just picked from the vine--warm from the sun. Good summer memories for sure.

jenj said...

Oh, blackberry pie. How I miss it! You guys are killing me!

Thump looks quite adorable, and it sounds like he is well on his way to ruling the roost. Do you think he'll end up as a pet, or will he end up flying off to be part of a starling flock?

Susan said...

Riding of course. We spent a lot of time riding in the mountains and anywhere we could find.

Terri Rocovich said...


Well I have survived the first day of camp. The kids are having a great time. They had 2 mounted lessons. plus a lesson on horse nutrition and still after dinner they played "horses" until dark. They were running around my back yard taking turns with who was the horse and who was the rider. Oh do I wish I had that energy level.

Then we came in the house for dessert and Thump fly around the house entertaining everyone. I envy your childhood memories. I think the Monterey Bay area is some of the most spectacular beauty that California has to offer. My friends and I used to pluck plums and pomagranets from a neighors trees (without permission of course) as we rode past on the trail. One day he was waiting for us and nailed us all with a hose. We learned to be faster and sneakier after that.

Terri Rocovich said...

1sthorse. I love it, riding through the McDonalds drive thru. Bet you thought your Aunt was the coolest. My childhood town had a little burger joint called "Nip N Sip" and they even had a hitching rail and water trough for the horses. We would ride there for ice cream or slushies several times a week.

And I think your cat is just intellegent and maybe a bit eccentric but aren't all creative genuis'? You are going to get such joy watching her grow and just imagine what new tricks she will come up with.

Terri Rocovich said...

horsegenes - yummmmm - blackberry jam. There are few things better. I am impressed that your horses would pick the plums. That is one way to cross fertilize.

Terri Rocovich said...


I am not sure whether Thump will remain a pet. I am very torn to be honest. From everything I have read on the internet is that I should keep him as a pet because he is too imprinted to me. One article I read said that if the bird will fly to you, which he does, that they are too imprinted and would not survive in the wild. But I do wonder if he could join up with some other Starlings. I have not been able to find anything on how you reintroduce into the wild and I don't just want to chuck him out there and hope for the best. I am open for suggestions.

Laura Crum said...

Terri--I would keep him as a pet--given what you say. Though I did reintroduce the pigeon I raised to the wild and it seemed to work. But my husband raised baby squirrels as a boy and released them in the neighborhood, and one by one they were killed by cats--just too tame.

Alison said...

Thumper will eventually release himself into the wild.

Summer memories for me are still peaches!