Sunday, September 06, 2015


The last few days have felt like fall.  In the desert you certainly can't go by the leaves changing colors, but it's beginning to get that fall feeling.  Temperatures are still in the 90's but the nights are cooling off nicely.  Had to pull the comforter up last night......!!!

No, we have not started putting lipstick on the donkeys.  But this is what Cisco looks like these days when he comes in from an afternoon of eating prickly pear fruit.  I don't mind the color, but I do mind the accompanying tiny little spines that get embedded in his lips.  We try to pick out as many as we can find, but I'm sure we miss most of them.  Obviously they don't bother him as much as they bother us, because he goes back just as soon as he can get out of the pen.  This morning we had to put a "clean" fly mask on him.  The old one is laying out by the door, while I try to figure out how to get all the little spines out of it before putting it in the washer.  I can just imagine where all those spines would end up.  I know from experience they won't soak out, and you can't wash them by themselves, so WHAT TO DO?  I'm afraid the answer is above my pay grade........!!!  

We've got 3 volunteers here today, leveling new gravel in the pens.  John is using the tractor to haul loads of gravel out of the wash.  He dumps it and they are spreading it.  The monsoon makes a mess of the pens and we end up with high and low areas.  They really are doing a good job and we appreciate them working so hard.   Must be nice to be young and strong, we've gotten to the point where we look at the pens and hope for a miracle........LOL  I guess they are our miracle this year.  

A few days ago we had another volunteer out for a couple of days, bathing donkeys.  He did the ones with the worst skin conditions with medicated shampoo and I can really tell a difference, their skin sores are much better.  Bathing might have to become a higher priority around here.  We usually don't bathe because the donkeys really aren't fans.  But actually all the ones he did just stood and let him soap them up and rinse.  I was afraid we might have fireworks.  

Finally got the medication for Boaz from Dr. Lindsey and after 2 days of putting it on his sheath it is already looking much better.  The scraping showed he had a bacterial infection.  The salve she sent is homemade and I recognized it from past experience.  I e-mailed her and asked if that was what it was and she said yes, but it also had some other stuff in it too.  Whatever, it seems to be working.

 One of the volunteers today has a degree in bug studies.  I know how to pronounce it, just not going to try to write it.  Anyway he says our little dung beetle is call a Gazelle Dung Beetle, they are from Africa and Asia and were introduced in the 1970's by cattle ranchers to help with the fly and screwworm problem.  We've always left any pile they are working on and he said they are good beetles.  The reason we never could find out what they were is because they aren't native and we never thought to look for African dung beetle info. 


Susan Bates said...

When I was researching making prickly pear jelly it was suggested to use duct tape to remove the stickers from fingers. It might help with the fly mask

Tish said...

I'm ignoring the mask, hoping John will do it......LOL I'll suggest this to him, maybe he'll quit walking by it on the porch. I wish we could get all the stickers out of poor Cisco's muzzle, but there just isn't any way. The duct tape would pull out his hair and I would imagine he would get tired of it quickly. I think the season is just about over, thank goodness, he's coming in with less stickers every day.