Thursday, July 4, 2013

Pleasant Valley 4th

This morning I headed out to Pleasant Valley early. I wanted to check the pasture for star thistle before it got too hot. Star thistle is a non-native toxic weed. Horses have to ingest quite a bit before it affects them -- but the effect can be fatal so we don't mess around with it. Star thistle is ugly:

It likes vacant lots where it thrives in hard rocky soil. If you give it water and rich soil, it dies. There was a big clump of it growing out in the back corner of the pasture.

At 8:30 it was already hot and humid. I took a sharp shovel, my hat and my leather gloves and got to work.

The ground was like cement. It was hard going. I cut down a few, threw them in a pile, and then sat in the shade of an oak tree for a few minutes.

After an hour, the star thistle was gone and I was ready for a break. I rinsed off my hands, arms, neck and face with the hose and headed down the lane to the Independence Day parade.

The parade was led by the local Boy Scout color guard. A high school sophomore who won the local talent show sang the National Anthem. All the spectators were crammed into the shade under a big tree and we stood, sweating, with our hands on our hearts. The girl sang with no accompaniment and she didn't miss a note.

There were old cars, a group of small boys in Uncle Sam top hats singing "I'm A Yankee Doodle Dandy," people throwing candy or squirting the spectators with water. This group of women was very popular with their synchronized rolling pin routine.

After the parade, the kids headed over to the dunking booth.

There was a gold fish toss and other game booths. The BBQ was fired up, the rootbeer float table had a long line, and people sat at tables in the shade.

One of the things Brett and I thought we were going to miss was the 4th of July celebration and other activities in the Rancho Capistrano community where Aspen Meadows is located. After today, I don't think we need to worry.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. What a great introduction to your new neighborhood. Loving the Synchronized Rolling Pin ladies! On occasion we have a Clam Rake Drill Team in our Xmas parade. :D

  2. it all sounds so 'homey'. good for you!

  3. Very cute celebration! Good luck with the weeds :)

  4. Sounds idyllic. Well, except for the heat.

    Were there no horses or horse-pulled wagons in the parade?

  5. Sounds like good wholesome fun.
    Love the new Title Picture :)


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