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Out at the Ridge

I was out at the Ridge today, the Ridge is a wide expanse of prairie, mesa, and cliffs. I’ve visited there a few times, and use it as the backdrop for some important scenes in my books. It’s a little southwest of New Parish, and the place New Parish is based on. I’ll attach a gallery of pictures taken today so you can see how beautiful it is and maybe get an idea of how enormous it is.

As I sat there today taking in the majesty of the nature I was surrounded by, the vastness of it and the little details that I always look for, I was amazed once again. The places where the mesas meet the prairie, the rock outcroppings, the cliffs, the cacti, the gnarly cedars, the small pinion pines, and the wildlife, they all come together out at the Ridge like no other place around here.

Today I saw a very brave little chipmunk. It was scurrying around on top of a largish rock outcropping. The reason I thought it was brave was that there were four hawks hunting in the skies above. The chipmunk stopped and posed for a picture, which was taken, (check the gallery and see if you can find him) then ran off to his next adventure. One of the hawks flew so close that I could see the details in his wings. His wingspan looked to be about four feet, I was very impressed.

I love both experiencing places and writing about them…

Excerpt from New Parish:

“After a few moments Brother Michael spoke again, “Below us now is what we call the Ridge, it’s a great place to explore. You might even be able to hunt a jack rabbit or coyote down there.”

            Just as he said that they passed over a mountainous region which had a steep cliff drop off where a prairie began Mary pointed and said, “Look!”

            Max saw what she was pointing at before she said it, he was already swooping down toward a huge part of the prairie. Sarah couldn’t see what they were so excited about at first then she saw something moving across the prairie like a little brown wave on the ocean, with antlers.

            “Antelope,” Mary said smiling and nodding to Sarah, “I love it when I get to see them, it’s a small herd so you don’t always get to see them. For some reason it’s always made me happy inside.”

            “Wow,” sighed Sarah the cliff drop that was several hundred feet below to the prairie was incredible enough but to see the antelope down there made it completely amazing, “they are beautiful.”

            “Amazing!” declared David shaking his head in unbelief.

            “Sometime when you have more time to come out and visit we can take you out to some of these places on horseback, you’d love it,” Brother Michael invited.

            “I would!” David agreed, “I’ll start making plans as soon as I get home.”

            Sarah was enchanted by the Ridge, it had it all, mountainous regions with huge prairies and tall cliffs. The Ridge and its beauty was very near New Parish, Sarah made a mental note, ‘explore this place soon.’”