1. The weather last weekend and at the beginning of this week was damp and unsettled. I was happy for the delay in the march towards summer (my least favorite season). The break, while welcome, was short-lived and we are back to warm weather. I will admit that I am glad it is a bit warm for my first time back in the saddle -- Lucy will hopefully be pretty mellow; sluggish would even be nice.
2. We might have to give Pistol a new nickname. She currently goes by "Mama" or "Mamacita" -- right now Scar Face is in the running. Earlier this week, Brett noticed that she had scraped her face and asked me to take a look when I got home. The wound wasn't bleeding, but it was on the bony part of her face, halfway between her nose and eyes, dead center on top. There was a flap of skin that had re-stuck itself at an awkward angle. I got a warm wet washcloth and soaked the wound until the flap released and it was clean. She was not very happy with me picking at her wound so I took her outside the pasture and let her have bites of thick grass while I worked. I sprayed it with an antibiotic (the blue stuff that works so well on everything), and put her in a fly mask to keep it clean. It is healing up well but I wasn't able to get the flap lined up very well so she may end up with an interesting scar there. We can't figure out how she did it -- maybe rubbing on the fence and snagging it on a rough part. And there isn't enough flesh on the bony part of her nose where this happened for stitches. The scar will give her a rugged western cowgirl look to go with her sweet disposition.
3. The other evening we sat on the front porch after chores were done with a glass of wine. We watched the horses and birds, and listened to the sounds of evening settling. We noticed Flash slowly and painfully picking his way over to the water trough. The poor guy has arthritis everywhere. Brett said he thought it was Flash's front that was bothering him this time, and I said I thought it was the back since he was short-stepping behind. In the end, we agreed that it was all four legs and feet. Brett looked straight ahead from his chair and, with wet eyes, asked me if it was time to put him down. I said, no, the Previcox helps and the quality of his life in the middle of the day is good. He has a hard time in the morning before the drug kicks in, and sometimes he has a hard time at the end of the day when it is wearing off, but he seems to be happy and to be enjoying life most of the time. I told Brett that Flash will tell him when he is ready to go and we don't need to do anything until then. Brett nodded, "Its going to be so hard for me to lose him. So hard. I think about it a lot."
4. The Canada geese made a brief return this week when the weather was wet and cool. In general, though, the sound of geese honking has been replaced by wild turkey gobbling. We have a very vocal flock in the area, discussing whatever turkeys discuss at length. During the day, the sounds of mowers drown them out but we hear them loud and clear in the mornings and evenings.
5. I lost another tree in my orchard this week. My White Pearmain tree succumbed to fire blight. The plum tree is infested with plum aphids so I bought a container of lady bugs on my way home last night. At dusk, I dipped the ends of the branches into the container and watched the lady bugs clamber onto the leaves and up the branches. I put the remaining bugs at the base of the tree and they promptly created a freeway up the trunk. The container contained about 2,000 lady bugs. Those aphids don't stand a chance.