The sun hammers straight down onto the anvil of the earth from its zenith in the bright blue sky. The land is hot and getting hotter and the heated air of the desert rises, creating a ten mile thick wall in the path of the trades. The relentless wind slows and mellows and the trees sway softly. The dogs laze in the shade, Jesse on her bed in the garage and Widget under the truck, each waiting for something, anything, out of the ordinary to happen. When it does they will burst into action, running after Francolins or doves or barking diligently at perceived intruders. I go to the refrigerator, get an apple and walk out to the fence line of the pasture behind the house, holding my hand aloft. Mystic, a five year old gray warm blooded gelding, sees me and considers. He knows the drill and after a moment begins ambling toward me from the sisal patch a few hundred feet away. I close my eyes and listen. The wind sighs softly in the trees to the north and soon I hear the crunch of dried grass beneath hooves. Mystic whickers and stops a few feet away, regarding me warily, as is if to reassure himself that I'm not a mountain lion in disguise. I chide him gently and offer the apple. He takes it in two bites, happily chewing and probably hoping for more. I return to the house, stopping to rub Jesse's stomach on the way by.