Tuesday, March 10, 2009

an interesting turn-around

Earlier in the day I was down in the labyrinth area spreading manure, and I noticed the most fascinating shift.

Last spring and summer and on into fall, the entire area down there was green and almost jungle-like with the wildflowers and brambles and brush growing like mad. My labyrinth path was a fairly narrow band of pine shavings and manure that wound around through this jungle. By summer's end the walls of the labyrinth were taller than my head, and because of the chiggers, my husband was often down there cutting back the growth to preserve the path.

Over the winter the trees were trimmed back down there and the machines made a mess of things. I decided to work on the woodland path for awhile instead, until I saw how to proceed on the labyrinth itself.

Today when I went down there I noticed that all the brush areas are the browns and faded tans of late winter, but the path itself is a vivid green. Apparently, the manure and the hay scraps that were spread along with the shavings had seeds, and now a gorgeous swath of orchard grass is winding around the area, like a giant reached down with a big paintbrush and made a spiral of green.

It was sad to see my labyrinth the way it was last spring and summer fade into the winter and the tracks of huge machinery, but I smoothed it out as best I could and let it sit, figuring something different, but equally good, might come of it when I finished the woodland path. And so it has.


And another turn-around:

Last week we were fighting to keep ice out of water troughs. This afternoon Keil Bay is in the back field doing hoof trough baths for himself, Cody, and the pony, who line up beside him while he goes to town with his hoof. They all get a cool-down and the tub - well it then needs to be cleaned, but the Big Bay knows his personal maid service will be out in short order to take care of it.


Grey Horse Matters said...

That's just amazing and so cool. I'm sure it must look like the yellow brick...uumm emerald green road on the way to Emerald City in the land of Oz. I can only wonder how much more beautiful it will be when the wildflowers bloom.
You'll have to share the pictures with us. I'm imagining you starting your own magazine on different ways to use manure to make your life more peaceful and lovely.

billie said...

LOL - you should hear the dream I had right before waking up this a.m.

I was going around the house and all the cat litter boxes were full of manure. Upstairs there was a sort of gigantic bin with a really big pile of manure in it, that appeared to be of human origin. I determined that no one in my house had done it, and then contacted the local police, who tested it and determined it had been done by a 36-year old male with reddish-brown hair, but that was all they could figure out.

While pondering that, I went out to look at the back field (still in the dreamscape, just to be clear) and found that beneath the grass there was a huge tarp that covered the entire field. I pulled the whole thing up and discovered there was CARPET underneath the tarp. So I tried to put the tarp back, while keeping all the grass on top in place, but it was really hard to do.

Then I found a huge sink hole and went to get my husband to help fill it in. While he was filling it in, the whole thing cracked open, and it turned out there was this huge, REALLY huge, underground shavings/manure pile hidden away, and new manure was coming out of it, almost as though someone on some other side were piling it on as we stood there.

So maybe you're right - I must have manure on my mind!!

Grey Horse Matters said...

It's a wonder you got anything done today, you should have been exhausted after running hither and yon in your dream.

Anonymous said...

wow. I wish I could illustrate this reply with the image I have in my imagination of your labyrinth.

something out of Tolkien.

thanks for the image!

billie said...

Arlene, the funniest part is that I ended up doing all the mucking today, which is highly unusual, but even after all that in the dream, it wasn't too bad a day. :)

billie said...

Kim, I wish I could see it too!

Victoria Cummings said...

I love the green paintbrush image of the labyrinth, but I think I love your dream more. I can so appreciate that all the manure and compost has sunk into our subconscious minds - hopefully, it will fertilize creative thoughts for your writing. Yes, the horses know that they have a personal maid service. Some people around here complain that the barn is always cleaner than the house.

billie said...

I love that idea of it - the manure in my subconscious fertilizing the writing. Thanks!