Monday, September 8, 2008

Dog Days of Summer

Saturday morning, Mom and Dad left for their road trip adventure, and they left poor Ranger with me. I got a wild hair to go plein air painting in the Wichita Mountains, so Ranger and I packed a picnic and some art supplies and hopped in the car.
The first time I ever went to these mountains I was ten years old, we lived in NM and were visiting our grandparents in Wichita Falls. They decided to take us to see they're mountains. I was unimpressed at the time - the Wichitas were ant hills compared to what I had grown up with. But now that I'm an Okie, I'm very grateful for these ant hills!
I rolled poor Ranger's head up in the window. We were on the winding road, near Meers. I thought I'd crack the passenger window a little for Ranger to enjoy some "mountain" air. But the window didn't crack - it went into that automatic mode where it just keeps going down even though you're not pressing the down button. Ranger was getting all excited about the fresh breeze and had half his body was already sticking out the window. Knowing that his little body could easily flop on out the window, I hit the up button. Automatic mode again, but this time Ranger's head was in the window. I panicked then, and went to hit the down button, but missed and accidentally hit the lock window button. At this point Ranger was kind of hanging, struggling to get his head free. I hit the down button, but nothing happened! Why isn't the window working!? I frantically started hitting buttons. I managed to unlock the window and roll it down far enough for Ranger to get his head free. Ranger fell back into the seat and just sat there. I don't really know what his little doggy feelings were, but he seemed to have that "what the heck!?" look. But I was already laughing at him! Even now it makes me giggle.
View from Mt Scott.

Ranger took this picture of me.

Ranger and I set out on a trail looking for the perfect place to paint. A good ways up the trail I found a nice shaded boulder with a this lovely view. Right as I sat down, some jets tore across the sky. How cool! Feeling all nice and giddy, I perched on top of my boulder and started getting out my paints and setting up.
After about an hour, I realize I hated plein air painting! My painting was terrible, the paint would dry before I could mix it and get it on the canvas, it was hot even in the shade, my rock was no longer comfortable, and the jets never moved on, so there was a constant roaring. And then the words of Thoreau came to me "Simplify". So I took the biggest brush I had and wiped out the everything but the purple mountains. Called it good (enough), packed my stuff, and trucked it back to the car.
Here's Ranger on the way home. We were both pooped!


Buck said...

Those certainly look like respectable hills to me! But my perspective has been admittedly skewed by five years of living on The High Plains of New Mexico... God's Own Billiard Table.

I had lunch with your Mom and Dad today. The first inning was semi-exciting, and not in a good way. After that lil incident was over we had a GREAT time. I really enjoyed myself... your parents are great folks. But I'm not telling ya anything you don't already know, eh?

inpassing said...

Ranger's getting pretty good with the camera!

I'm still waiting on a comment from your mom once she's reads about Ranger's trauma going to the mountains. Does his neck seem any longer?

Skybag said...

You know, I haven't talked with my parents since they had lunch with you. I'm curious about this first inning!

Your right, Patty! I should probably delete that post before Mom has a chance to read it ;)

Bag Blog said...

Too late, I've already read the "dog hangin" episode. I'll be checking Ranger for scars when I get home. He is getting so good with a camera, that he probably can record the terrible events.

annette said...

hi Jes

Inquiries said...

Poor Ranger. When I do something to Xena Dad calls me her wicked step sister.

Jo Castillo said...

I loved the story and hope the dog is well. He looks fine in the photos and he did take a great photo of you. Your painting, simplified, looks great!

Fire Fox said...

Hi Jess, I'm a day late and a dollar short when it comes to reading and catching up on my regular blog patrol... This post made me laugh! I loved the pic of the buffalo.... er bison? You got pretty darn close to that huge thing! Are they a common sight out there? Loved Ranger's pic of you and I'm sure he's no worse for wear after the window incident! Your painting is beautiful, and I can see why after trekking through the wilderness why you two were "pooped"!

Skybag said...

Yep, I'm Ranger's evil step sister too! But we actually bonded on our trip to the hills. Even after the incident, he still loves me!

Yes, the buffalo are a common sight out there, but they are so facinating I still have to pull over and gawk everytime I see one.

Jo and Fire Fox, I'm glad you liked my painting! If either of you want it... just let me know :)