Thorny predicament yields treats for two

There’s a beautiful and restful riparian preserve in my area.

And it was packed yesterday.

Not surprising in the new state of affairs.

Additionally, the pandemic is intersecting with the finest weather Phoenix offers in the year — day temps around 73 F (23 C). Pandemic or not, now’s when residents of desert southern Arizona flock outdoors.

To remain positive, I’ll refrain from comment on my observations and state them simply:

Many people showed no respect toward others by social distancing;

Wide paths felt ironically cramped;

Achieving a sense of solitude and healing in the great wide outdoors is rather challenging.

Hence I ventured far afield — no pun intended — to escape cramping crowds. This fortunately landed me in delightful discovery!

Along the preserve perimeter is a stretch of ranch-style houses — eh. With big backyards — nice. In some yards: horses!


Two horses in one yard.

Initially I tried to connect with a strikingly handsome tall brown horse. S/he was disinterested. Continued to pace back & forth back & forth along a stretch of fence. I acquiesced to the horse’s will — no choice really!

Looked toward the second horse. White. Shorter and stockier than the other. Wearing a coat of dirt — evidence of mud baths that protect against annoying flies and such.

He stood smack against a chain-link fence chomping away at a tree.

Botanically it may be a bush — but its height suggested tree so I’ll go with that. A quite thorny tree, I discovered as I sought to wade through toward fence and horse. Effort aborted.

Whatever that tree with hefty thick thorns is, it’d certainly make a deterrent to nefarious characters at a residence!

White Horse (I’ll call him) had already done an exemplary job stripping branches within his reach of their bright soft ferny greenery!

Still he kept on poking, nudging, stretching, reaching for morsels.

What opportunity!

I tore off — carefully I might add! — pieces of brush. Took a spot along the fence some 50 feet away from dangerous thorny tree. And waved them.

Suddenly White Horse who minutes prior was paying my presence no heed had a change of mind.

He lumbered over. Houston, we’ve made contact!

He took hold of that offer of brush I held firmly in hand. And he pulled.

I mean puullllled. Hard. Really hard. Even alarmingly hard — for me who hasn’t been around horses much — or nearly enough — since childhood.

What an awesome experience!! The power of a horse!

Suddenly equine eyes were riveted on me!

Time and time again I clambered to dangerous thorny tree for treats delivered to a horse waiting with unabashed anticipation.

To illustrate my human brain, once I even did my best to blunt thorns before feeding.

Totally unnecessary! Waste of time too.

The dude’s cinder block-like teeth tore through that fibrous feast, thorns ‘n’ all, like an errant child’s hand through delicate shoji.

He got his treats and I got mine, for sure.

I, lover of animals, got up close to a horse. A horse!

I caressed his cheek and muzzle.

Listened to the gnarly crunch crunch crunchcrunchcrunch. (Music of the animals!)

Inhaled chlorophyll woody mouthy scents.

Sighted incisors browned with age rising and falling in awesome mastication (Just how many pounds of pressure are happening in there?)

What beautiful moments!

And synchronicity. Now for the rest of the story.

Earlier, a strolling man, 60-ish, happened to stop to view the horses. Turned out he knows horse-racing.

He opined that that tall handsome brown horse — named Hotshot, said a passing neighbor dishing out carrots — has the physique of a racehorse. (Is Hotshot possibly a retired competitor?)

And, the man continued, White Horse has the build of a lead pony.

What’s that? I didn’t know either. Lead ponies conduct highly important roles and tasks paired with racehorses. (google it)

White Horse may too be a racing retiree, who knows.

Dusk forced departure. I thanked him for being before he resumed efforts at dangerous thorny tree.

But return I shall and soon!

Counting one’s blessings these days is vital.

None of these blessed moments would’ve happened were it not for this pandemic. It’s forced me — all of us — to get creative, do things differently, do new things, reinvent lifestyles, move differently and ideally mindfully in this world.

Today’s Pretties in a Pandemic goes hand’s down — no pun intended* — to that equine. *Horse heights are measured in hands; a hand is 4 inches (10.16 cm).

Plus a little sumthin’ I picked up on the way home to make someone very happy.


White Horse … lights up my day


A mouth hard at work


2 pounds of effortless thornless treaties



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