Thursday, March 17, 2011

busy week in the neighborhood

Lots of interesting activity has been going on this week around November Hill. I was gazing out over the front field a couple of days ago and thought I saw the pony walking across the back yard of our neighbor across the lane.

After doing a double-take, I realized that no, our painted pony was right here where he was supposed to be. But our neighbor, who told me sometime in the fall that she planned to get a horse, had gotten one, and there she was - a painted mare!

She's being kept on the back side of their property so is not that visible, but periodically this week I have heard her calling. So far, none of this crew have answered. It will be interesting to see if they begin to pay attention.

Next door to the new painted mare, the new neighbors are in the process of having a small "barn" moved to the back of their property. They plan to use the very nice structure as shelter for their horse and four goats who will be moving in sometime in the next few months.

The moving of this small barn has taken many steps, which everyone here, especially the donkeys, have monitored with eagle eyes. I think today might be the day of the actual move, as they finally got it up onto wheels yesterday.

For me, this is a wonderfully symbolic event. Folks who have been reading here for awhile might remember me posting about the previous neighbors, who had ATVs and used our private lane as their own personal race track. They also used other folks' property as their playground, and there are still scars on the earth where the ATVs drove around and around and up and down.

I had several unpleasant encounters with the family patriarch, who took great offense at my request that they keep the ATVs on their own property. At some point they built the very nice barn-like structure right by the road at the end of their driveway. I didn't realize at the time that they had defied the neighborhood covenants to do so, but simply wondered what in the world they intended to do with it once it was finished.

That barn became a symbol of noise and annoyance and ongoing frustration for me. Because what they used it for was to store the ATVs! And they'd built it right by the road so they could throw open the doors, crank up those annoyingly loud engines, and burst forth right in front of my front pasture.

As far as I was concerned, that barn became the hellmouth itself.

When the new neighbors came to look at the house, which sat empty for several years, in foreclosure, I marched right over there to say hello and to find out what we might be dealing with. It was a lovely surprise to find a couple with grown children, horse lovers, animal lovers, who assured me they have never owned at ATV and have no desire to do so!

This week I've watched with great interest as a small crew of workmen prepare the barn to be moved - so it can be used to house a horse and his goats.

I took a walk down to the woodland path and the labyrinth path, and discovered that everything looks really good. I have a little work to do back there, but for now, it's perfect for walking and thinking and listening and looking.

With all this activity going on, I've kept Salina and her donkeys in their paddock and the barnyards, in case the geldings go wild and start running. We've had some rain and the footing was slippery for a few days, and I didn't want Salina trying to keep up with the herd on that ground.

She has not minded the separation, and the donkeys don't mind as long as they're with her. The reward is a few hours on the increasingly grassy back field in the evenings. When we start monitoring time on grass, you know it's really spring.


Grey Horse Matters said...

I'm happy to hear that your farm will soon be surrounded by horses and goats. There's nothing worse than obnoxious neighbors with ATV's and no regard for animals and how they are affected by the noise. We have our obnoxious (across the street neighbors) on noisy snowmobiles all winter. I'm thankful the snow has melted and they're grounded for a year!

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Does "hellmouth" set off the spellcheck? ;)

It must be quite a relief to have your annoying neighbor situation resolved. Having more horse friendly neighbors - a bonus! Happy for you :)

ponymaid said...

billie, much as I enjoy most machinery, I am with you when it comes to an abiding hatred of those noisy, smelly automated ants that tear up the countryside. Where are they going? What are they doing? They never have an answer. They come on our place sometimes and leave tracks of devastation. Jack knew what to do - he always saved up some manure to deposit on their tracks.

billie said...

Arlene, I am sure the snowmobiles rival the ATVs in terms of noise and annoyance. Maybe one day your neighbors will move!!

billie said...

C, I didn't even notice if hellmouth set off the censor warning! I use the word a fair amount - a vestige of watching Buffy... :)

billie said...

Jack has the right idea. Although I might be tempted to take it further and do some manure tossing!

Worse things crossed my mind, I confess. My most evil fantasy was doing target practice with moving tires as the target...