Friday, March 13, 2009

rainy friday

We woke up to rain, and when I went out to feed breakfast, two little donkey heads peeked out from the barn door, happy to see me with my arms full of morning tub supplies.

Life got easier when I realized I have an electric tea kettle that never gets used - so I've taken it to the barn and can heat up my water out there instead of hauling pitchers out every morning.

Rafer Johnson and Redford think the electric tea kettle is a fine and intriguing thing. For now, I have to plug it in in the barn aisle, until I can get some things moved around in the feed room, so I move my little wooden stepladder to the barn aisle outlet, put the kettle on it, and plug it in.

The donkeys are not afraid of the flax grinder, but they have not really wanted to get too close to it. They stand at the far end of the barn when I plug it in, and I call out "get ready!" and whirl the flax a time or two so they all know what I'm doing. Then I grind away.

The kettle, on the other hand, is quiet, and it sits there nicely on its perch. The first morning the donkeys stood at attention, monitoring this new contraption. Now they stand right by it, defying the adage a watched pot never boils.

Actually this one rarely does boil, because I only need the water warmed a bit, not steaming hot!

This morning they walked me back and forth as I prepared the tubs, and then suddenly the geldings lit out for the back field. Salina insisted that she be allowed to follow, and of course the donkeys were right behind her.

I'm not sure what it was - it sounded like maybe a bobcat capturing a bunny, but the screeching and shrieking was intense and the horses were absolutely determined to go check things out.

About the time they got to the bottom of the field, the rain intensified, the shrieking stopped, and they headed back to the barn.

After breakfast, we started a day of musical stalls. Everyone got turns on both sides of the barn today, and the donkeys were at the center of the action at all times, supervising the shift changes. We had apple chunks and more visitors at mid-day: three deer in the woods just behind the wood line fence.

All the equines have opted at various times to go out and graze today. I guess the green stuff is important enough to make the cold rain not such a big deal.

Right now I'm having a mug of Earl Gray tea and some spice cookies made fresh by my daughter, who has recently started getting comfortable with our gas stove. I'm going out in a bit to set up the horses with hay, fresh water, clean stalls, and close off the field for the night.

After that I think it might be time for a hot bath and a movie.


Victoria Cummings said...

What a delightful day- except for the bobcat and the poor bunny - musical stalls can make a rainy day not so stressful and boring. We had sunshine here so there was lots of rolling and getting filthy and just a hint of new grass in the pasture.

ponymaid said...

Billie, I'm so glad the boys have been introduced to the tea kettle - did they get to try the Earl Grey you made? We donkeys love both electric gadgets and tea so the combination of the two makes us very happy indeed.

billie said...

Victoria, it's good to hear you had sunshine after such a long winter up there!

This rain we're having is thankfully a relatively slow but steady falling that hopefully is giving the earth a nice deep drink.

And there is no wind, which makes it so much easier to take.

billie said...

Sheaffer, I have been reading about using various types of herbal teas to flavor feed tubs for horses and donkeys. I'm curious to try this and I suspect Rafer Johnson will be the one who loves it best. Then Redford will be eager to try it too, as he lets Rafer lead the way in taste-testing all edibles.

I have to get a photo of the donkeys watching the kettle. Basically, they need their own paparazzi to follow them around, capturing every charming moment.