In the morning, I went out barefoot to feed the lambs and goat, and let them out of their pen. This afternoon I called the lambs (who were rather furious, as they are every other afternoon, to discover that they weren't being fed) back in so that the dogs could go out. Princess had heard me and was already waiting by the door when I came to get her, and she and Jack flowed out the kitchen door in a river of brown and black fur.
For some reason I don't ever want to drive the 4-wheeler, so I picked up the throwing stick, God knows what it's called, that lets me throw the ball a respectable distance, and Jack brought me a tennis ball, and we set off on a meandering walk around the property, me throwing, dogs fetching, returning the ball to me if they wanted it thrown again or running ahead with it if they just wanted to run for a while. The wind and the light and the grass and wildflowers and mountains, the landscape of the fall, were gorgeous. We walked through the upper pasture and then down toward the pond, where we stayed a while so I could throw the ball into the pine shade for them, or into the water. Princess likes to run after the ball, but only if she knows she can reach it before Jack. Whenever she gets it she walks off a little ways and holds it in her mouth, teasing him. He is utterly obsessed with anything spherical, and stands literally inches from her face, panting, waiting for her to drop the ball. It's out of her mouth less than a second before he's carrying it back to me.
The property here is in an L shape, with the pond sort of on the inner corner, if that makes sense. We began on the upper branch of the L, and after staying a while by the pond we walked over the other branch, throwing and catching, losing and finding the ball. I found a rock in the middle of that pasture and sat down to extend the outing, and grinned and threw my arms wide and spoke to Jack as he ran back to me. At one point I asked him, "could anything be better?" And then I realized: no.
At the end we hung around the cave, which is now named Wishing Well Cave, in case I hadn't mentioned that before, and I took a picture of the streamers that have been attached to the structure covering the opening. The structure is there because the cave is entered by climbing down about forty or fifty feet of ladders, and the streamers are there to blow in the constant cool wind that flows out of the cave on warm days. The air coming out smelled of fresh lumber and spray foam, both of which are being used to shore up the loose-rock parts of the cave, of which there are many. The lumber is also used for the ladders, of course.
In other news, I am finally (once again) putting pictures up on the internet, even if most of them aren't being posted here at the moment. I made a photobucket account and uploaded some yesterday before realizing that photobucket makes its money by trying to get you to buy a "pro" account, and thus only allows a limited amount of storage space. So now I'm uploading the rest of what was on my camera to snapfish. Here is a sample:
Tell me this isn't a fairyland. I fricking dare you.