Late September in the forest was...hard to put into words, but there's plenty of pictures to tell the story. It was a time of every-day adventures.
Skye had spent some time in the meadow below the ranch, and at sunset, that meadow glowed with magical light. So one evening, Grace and Skye rode to the meadow, where Skye has placed a canvas and a pencil, and as the sun set golden on the landscape, Skye sketched what she saw.
Bringing the canvas home was a bit awkward, but they were guided as dusk fell by the rising of the moon. It was glorious! And so they made a point of seeing the moon's rise over the ridge the following evening.
Skye worked on her sketch momst of the night. she had a canvas meant for paint, but all she owned was watercolor pencils. It was difficult to get the materials to cooperate, and she lost much of her original drawing, but in the end, she was pleased. It was her first flat work. And it wasn't terrible. Grace was actually rather impressed.
The full moon always rises just after dark, as if its glory must be noticed without the distraction of the sunset. And the full moon in September did not disappoint.
Not too far away, Petrichor, the wild stallion that seemed to have a fondness for Grace, watched the same moonrise.
September is also a time of fires. In 2020, it was the Angeles National Forest that was burning in the Bobcat fire, a fire that was never more than two miles away from the ranch as the raven flies. In September 2021, the northern forests were burning; the redwood forests and beyond. The smoke spilled in to the Angeles and clung in the canyons for days, making red sunrises and hazy afternoons.
Finally one morning, the wind had shifted the smoke away, and Grace and Skye hurried into action. They brought horse after beautiful horse out to a temporary arena that Grave had set up at the entrance to Meadow Campground. The day was perfect! One horse after another got their glamour photos taken. The morning went smoothly. As the girls were packing up the camera equipment, the dogs became alert to something. Petrichor!
All the horses had been brought back to the ranch, so Grace decided she would approach him. He wanted something...and if it had been horses, he would have come when there were horses present. And so Grace approached him, just a bit slower than she might have approached any other horse that she she was just becoming acquainted with.
He let her come close. He moved toward her. He stopped. Grace told the big stallion if he wanted to be a ranch horse, somehow they would figure it out. Then she turned, and walked away from him. He started to follow.
Skye and the dogs watched, frozen in place. One, two, three, four steps, fix, six seven, eight steps...and then Petrichor changed his mind and whirled around, slipping away like the summer itself.