The Wild Stallion

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One of my absolute favorite things to do, that keeps me grounded, and sane, is to watch horses be horses. I particularly enjoy observing wild mustangs. There’s a few bands of horses in my neighboring state Nevada, that I try to check in on a couple times a year. Naturally I don’t always find them, horses move around a lot, up to 50 miles a day.

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Some bands (family group of horses,) live closer to civilization and are easier to find. (As much as I enjoy seeing them, I wish that they were further away, but that’s a story for another day.) The pinto stallion in the two photos above live very close to the city of Reno. Sometimes he’s a little higher up in the hills, but sometimes he wander very close to the houses in the suburbs of Reno. I took the photos above yesterday.

I’ve been following this stallions adventure for five years. The first time I saw him, I was with some friends in a vehicle, he was prancing around with another young stallion in the middle of the road. As he grew older he learned to stay away from the roads, (at least I hope so.)

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This photo is from December 2014. I did see him last year as well, but he was injured then, and seem to be agitated. I always stay on a respectful distance, and only take pictures with a telephoto lens. However, last year, I choose to not even do that.

Of course he noticed me before I noticed him yesterday. When I did see him, he was looking straight at me. His eyes were soft, and I swear he recognizes me by now. This is a very intelligent horse. He is a master of building friendships with other horses, not something stallions are known for. The horse in the first photos is another stallion, and they have been friends for years. When their friendship started the pinto stallion was the protector. When the pinto stallion got injured last year, the chestnut stallion never left his side. I saw them several times during this period, and he was never more than a few feet away from his friends. Horses are very loyal.


I took this photo 4 years ago. I have it as a canvas on my wall. Here he was a young, rather hostile, insecure, but very good looking stallion. Dangerous to even be within a few hundred feet of. Can you see the tense wrinkles in the corner of his mouth? Seeing this beautiful horse grow from a young stallion, to a mature horse, still wild and free, is something that gives me extreme pleasure.

Watching wild horses is one of the most intense experiences in mindfulness one can have. Your mind have to be completely still. I want to have room in my life for this kind of experiences. It means something to me. I hope you enjoyed the experience as well.

The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact 
with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit and freedom.

~ Sharon Ralls Lemon



Ms Zen


© Copyright 2017 NorCal Zen. All Rights Reserved. If you’re interested in prints of a photo use the contact forum in the top menu, and I’ll be very happy to help you. Regular photo prints, and canvas prints are available.

My Wild Garden

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This year my garden have done an awesome job keeping up with my wild and crazy side! To begin with, I planted seeds that someone gave me several years ago, during a road trip. I had put the seeds away, in a sealed bag, in a tiny pocket, in one of my backpacks (an old one that I mostly use for storage nowadays.) I found the seeds this spring. I knew I was going to move at least once during the gardening season, so I planted them in small pots, replanted them in bigger posts a couple times, before finally planting them in the ground a month ago. It’s been tough being a plant in my garden this year. I thought they all died many times, and then they magically came to life again.


Despite seeds that were several years old, my infrequent care, and several moves, this is what my garden looks like now.


…and yes, there is a lot of grass growing next to my Goldrush Zucchini. Next year I promise I will make proper garden beds from the beginning. With all the fixings. This year I’m eternally gratefully for all the good things that magically came into my life. One of them being 3 acres to do anything I want with, a dream coming true. I’ve fenced in the garden area, and will keep making updates until next season.

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I’ve never tried growing eggplant before, but I found a few eggplant seeds among the other seeds this spring. The plants are getting bigger, and hopefully we have enough season left to produce a good harvest.

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I think they are beautiful. Spending time in my garden is so incredibly rewarding. Not only because I enjoy growing my own food, but because of the process of seeing plants grow, feel the harmony of nature, the whole nurturing process. The actual harvest is only a small part of it.

From time to time friends volunteer to help me in my garden, to get things done quickly, to take me with them to another activity. I usually decline, gardening is not a thing to get done quickly with. Even thinking in those terms feels like a sin, almost. It gives so much joy to quietly tend to the garden. I’ve never had a garden big enough to be a burden work wise. I thoroughly enjoy working with my hands. It’s pure pleasure.

My container garden had around 40 fruit trees at the most this year. I sold some, and saved some for myself. Some of them grew too big for their pots, and I had to plant them. I was planning on waiting until the end of September, beginning of October, which is the best time to plant trees in our area, but they really had to go in the ground now. Some of them made the transition nicely, but some will probably not make it. I’ll find out for sure next spring. I’ve seen miraculous recoveries before! I’m looking to add more trees within the next two months, before winter hits us, and everything is resting. (I have plenty of indoor projects on my hand this winter, so I won’t be bored!)

I’d love to “meet” likeminded gardeners, and here about your projects!


Ms Zen



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Last weekend we visited the quaint little seaside town Carmel. The town is situated on the Monterey Peninsula, and known for its natural scenery, and rich artistic history.


Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.

– Seneca


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I also discovered that it is a very dog friendly town. Me like that a lot! All the restaurants with outdoor seating welcomed dogs of all sizes. Bringing my German Shepherd was not a problem at all.

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Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.

– Helen Keller




September seem to be a perfect time to visit, if you’re looking for a quiet, peaceful place to rejuvenate your soul. I thoroughly enjoyed the visit, and I hope you did too!



Ms Zen