Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Wednesdays with Tex

Tex is fabulous.

Remember when fly masks were the devil incarnate?  Now, he comes to me for his fly mask, stands quietly, and lets me fiddle with his ears while slipping it on.

I'm not careful, I put it on in the same matter-of-fact way I do with all the other horses.  The other morning, he leaned into it, turning his head and dropping it so I could more easily slip in his ear.

We aren't doing much that is "constructive" in a traditional training sense, but we continue to build our bond.

He will leave his hay and Flash to hang out with me.

He walks with me at liberty in his pasture, sometimes for a decent distance, and I'm able to pull him close with my energy when he drifts.

He has days where he is less brave and days where he is more, but I can always approach him and he always comes right back to me.  On his brave days, I walk around him, drape my arm across his back, hug his neck and rub him all over.  He cocks his hind foot, turns his head, and looks at me with a soft, amused expression.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Trying to Crow

Our new flock of chickens is (knock on wood) doing well.  The 12 chicks that survived the skunk attack are thriving.  Nothing gets into the chicken area anymore except an occasional ground squirrel, tunneling in from a distant location.
Two white Delawares and a Buff Orpington

We ended up with one rooster in the bunch; one of the two surviving Cuckoo Marans.

This week, he started to crow.  Well, started trying to crow.  A mature rooster lets loose with a loud, robust cock-a-doodle-do.  This little guy tries really hard.  But all he manages to eek out is a pretty weak cock-a-a.... and then he rests before trying again.

It's cute.  And I'm trying hard to like him.  We will let him stay as long as he isn't aggressive.  Any aggressive actions toward us, and he will be history.

Unfortunately, he bears a strong resemblance to Calvin, who was a mean barred rock rooster.  Since Marans are a French breed, I've named him Jean-Coque.  I'm hoping that giving him a name will help me like him.

In the meantime, his attempts to crow add an element of amusement to our morning chores.
Two surviving hens from our original flock in front: Amelia, a lagenvelter and an Auracana

Sunday, July 9, 2017

When You Need a Garden

I love my garden.

I love sitting in my garden; watching the goldfinches fight at their feeder and the sparrows sprint to theirs, grab a quick bite, and hop over to the fence.

I love watching the bees.  There are some really yellow bees on my lavender -- they fascinate me.

And, I love the sunflowers that the birds planted.

When I'm stressed, I walk in the garden.  I pick a few weeds, check the fruit swelling on the trees, and pluck the spent blooms from the flowers.

Or, I sit.  Just sit.  Drink in the peaceful, chirping, buzzing busyness of my garden.

This week, in particular, I am very thankful for my garden.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Summer Schedule

There isn't much to blog about in the heat of summer.
Pistol and Jackson, headed to dinner.
We are up before the sun to feed and finish barn chores before the heat of the day starts settling in -- around 7:30am.
Brett bringing in the hay cart.  Pistol has her nose in it -- they all ignore the manure cart.
During the day, we hide inside (I hide at work during the week).  Brett tosses more hay at lunch, but other than that the name of the game is trying to stay somewhat cool.
Wait for me!
In the late evening, we venture back outside to feed.
Brett always has cookies.
There isn't much else going on.
That's all?  Just one cookie?