Wednesday, August 29, 2018

2018/8/29 A Live Oak Ramble

The summer heat is beginning to abate, so it was time for a short ride out at the old favorite Live Oak Camp. A light breeze was blowing and the sky was filled with wispy cirrus clouds, known as "Mare's tails" and quite appropriate for 3 horses and a mule to take a walk.
In 2 hours we traveled 4.35 miles, choosing a trail to go see the relatively flat area that borders the Rancho San Fernando Rey.

First step, pass through the equestrian gate, funded by a generous local benefactor.

No dogs, no bicycles, no motorized vehicles..... heavenly.

Usually we would cross the Santa Ynez River and go to the left, and explore the canyons and forest rising above Lake Cachuma.
But today we opted for an easy short ride, off onto a grassland plateau where we observed lots of hawks, deer, squirrels, and friendly horse.
Across the fence is the Rancho San Fernando Rey, a relatively untouched Old California Spanish Land Grant. Lots of cattle visible, lying in the shade of the oaks, and many of the oaks suffering from the continuing drought.

            Tracking along the border fence line.

A hobbit home hole in the base of a mighty oak tree with beautiful bark.

 Then we were greeting by this charming friendly fellow.

He was glad to have some company, and greeted all of our animals across the fence with pleasure.

Then, as sometimes happens, I led the group astray. If you reference the map you'll see we followed a cow path until we got to this overlook above the golf course, but there the trail stopped and we tracked back.
 Souvenir photos for my riding companions, posed beneath a mighty oak.
A study of the reptilian bark on a blasted oak.
 We watched a herd of deer from across the grassland, darting in and out of the trees.
Then it was time to head back to the trailers and leave for home.

Another happy trail explored on the back of a fine Kentucky mule.

                          "I could never resist the call of the trail."
                                              -Buffalo Bill