Wednesday, December 30, 2009

ending the year on November Hill

Daughter and I took some photos today as we worked, marking the end of this year on November Hill. Redford asks, you want to take WHOSE photo?

Here is Rafer Johnson, who I believe wins the award for the kindest eye:

No barnyard is complete without a cowboy, and here you see the thoughtful demeanor of our resident "desperado."

Not much more to say than this - I give you... the diva and her donkeys, whose favorite pastime is tipping round bales.

For those who don't know, Rafer Johnson is an aspiring medical professional, thus his nickname, The Amazing Dr. Johnson:

The ice I removed this morning from Salina and the donkeys' water trough. Note the donkey sized nose hole:

I titled this one Redford sky. But it basically denotes who seems most dominant in the herd right now, in terms of which equine puts himself front and center NO MATTER WHAT!

I love Rafer Johnson's photos, which often reveal something that gives away a secret - one that I've told here before. Rafer is a being of light, and lest you doubt it, look at the beautiful light fairy hovering near him here:

This is the Rafer Johnson version of Matthew's magnificent Tree of Life Bay photo which turned into my profile picture:

The wonderful humor of donkeys:

And Redford against a winter blue sky. The spirit in that small body is just about that big!

More tomorrow, with more of the amazing animals on November Hill. They make our days bright, and I'm looking forward to another year with all of them!

Need to add on the Keil Bay story that probably summarizes the overall wisdom of the Big Bay and the ongoing human-ness of me.

This afternoon I was cleaning his hooves and applying oil of oregano to frogs. He is quite taken with the scent of the oil of oregano, and can barely contain himself when I'm opening the bottle to get the drops ready.

Today, he kept craning his head to the bottom of my barn jacket, and I kept saying "what? there's nothing in there." At which point he would look at me and then crane his neck again, gently inserting his muzzle beneath the hem of my jacket and lifting it up toward me. I kept offering to let him smell the oregano, which he enjoyed, but then he'd go back to the coat.

I just thought he was being treat-obsessed, after all the Christmas goodies I've been doling out. But I felt in the pocket and found nothing. He gave a big sigh and went to wait by his stall door.

Lo and behold, when I came in just now, and did my ritual cleaning out of barn jacket pockets, I found a lone apple treat that had worked its way down into the lining of the pocket, and no surprise, really, the Big Bay knew what he was after all along!

Tomorrow I will let him sniff it out again and this time I'll listen.


Grey Horse Matters said...

Oh, those little guys are so adorable and very photogenic. Salina looks like the grand dame presiding over all her kingdom. Great story about the big bay. They do know when you have a treat hidden even if you don't.
Can't wait for more pictures of your wonderful gang at November Hill.

billie said...

I'm hoping to get some today - we had RAIN last night and now it's very misty out - will see how the day unfolds.

Michelle said...

Those donkey boys sure do have a lot of personality! I really enjoyed the photos of them. And Keil Bay sure showed you, didn't he? Guess now you know not to question the man! Can't wait for more photos. Hope you have a Happy New Year, Billie and friends!

billie said...

Thanks, Michelle - Keil Bay got the treat this morning, after his breakfast tub. His reward for dealing with my denseness yesterday!

Happy New Year - I'm carrying the camera around but have to leave the farm for the first time in a WEEK - to buy beet pulp and local honey and maybe some champagne. :)

Matthew said...

Your portraits of the November Hill crowd always show so much energy and spirit!

billie said...

Don't forget - daughter took many of these! :)

She will get me if I take credit for her work!