Tobe Mule has a hoof injury, so we had to stick to civilized paths.
We were joined by our pals Jamie on Mosca and Kim on Kitty.
There is a lovely old bridge near the Mission and I invited the ladies to stop for portraits under the lace lichen hanging down.
Mosca the Appendix thoroughbred always poses like a supermodel, very alert, and Jamie has to be alert also to ride her!
Miss Kitty is a classic quarterhorse, and most of the time a relaxed trail companion.... except when she notices something out of the corner of her eye and Kim has to manage a bit of a rodeo reaction!
TobeMule is happy to escort the mares.
As we walked out from the Mission buildings area Tobe gave the ears up alert. Something odd up ahead.
What the heck? Up on the hillside behind the last adobe were five goats! According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a group of goats is called a tribe or a trip. Tobe was tripping on them!
are eight times larger than human eyes; in fact, they are larger than those of any other land mammal.
I'm still wondering what kind of goats they are and he can probably tell their sex and age.
We waved to the goatherd and went on.
The lace lichen was everywhere, lush and spectral, waving lightly in the air. I can imagine the original padres who settled this Mission feeling at home when they saw it, thinking it is similar to Spanish Moss.
Today we look wistfully up some of the hiking trails that lead into the hillsides, but for a while we are stuck on the flats.
LATER when we came upon a small bridge further up the trail the OTHER kind of bike rider came whizzing around a corner and right on top of us. Too occupied with keeping my seat as Tobe did a bounce to the side to get out of his way I was unable to take his photo, but I did yell "You're supposed to STOP!" at which point the thoroughly Anglo 20-something jerk yelled back "NO HABLA!" and sped off at warp speed. Yikes.
We know someone who was thrown from her horse here and hospitalized with injuries by an identical encounter, and she no longer rides.
“Courtesy costs nothing, but buys everything.”
And we stroll on.
Much as I like to go bashing and thrashing through the undergrowth of the hillside trails, today it was quite enough to be out for a walk with friends and look at plant life.
Just another way that nature reveals herself to those who pass slowly across a landscape.
The plant communities support a large number of birds and animals also, which we sometimes see or more frequently hear, scurrying about in the underbrush or branches.
Then, we attained the top of the hill and could look down across the Lompoc Valley. Allow me to brag that having a mule so steady and compliant as to stand utterly still for a panoramic photo is unusual!
and Kim and Kitty looking pretty.
And so another day has led us to a goal, and we could turn around and sashay back to the trailers and lunch for all.
"The reward of a thing well done is having done it."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson