On a day hazy with smoke from fires, with a 40% chance of rain in the mountains, and a general lack of initiative, we ride in the Cedars, an expanse of arid juniper and sage land close to home.
Our usual route, about 8 miles, takes us down to a creek with a beaver dam, where Daisy can refresh herself with a swim.
Non-native plants (tamarisk and Russian olive) have mostly taken over the creek bank. A few native cottonwood trees remain, but no dwarf willow, which would almost certainly be here naturally.
The only plant still blooming is rabbit brush.
This area has been overgrazed in the past, but Indian rice grass and some other native grasses survive.
For us, though, the sand hills and two tracks make for a ride that’s easy on horses and riders, and always good for a lazy day.