Sunday, May 08, 2011

week's end catch-up

Busy week - with a lot of little dramas here on November Hill. Mid-week Redford started a new conversation with me in the mornings during breakfast tub time. He has learned to open the feed room door while I'm inside, and then waits 'til my back is turned so he can sneak in.

We go back and forth, him sneaking, me saying "you stay there, Redbug," and then he sneaks in another step.

He got a bit too far in at one point and I had my hands full so called out "Redford! No!" He backed out in a hurry and gave me a look, then used his nose to slam the door shut. It was hilarious. Of course he couldn't stand it for very long, and opened it back up again, but now if I ask him to back out, he does, and slams the door for good measure.

On Thursday the Carolina wrens fledged the nest. My daughter went out to feed Salina lunch and I heard high-pitched squeals - I thought something had happened to daughter and went dashing out the back door. She was in the barnyard, trying to keep the baby wrens safe. They were in the barn aisle flying and then out into the barnyard. Dickens managed to grab and eat one nearly whole, but the remaining four or five were safe.

At one point birds were flying, daughter calling, Corgis barking, Salina neighing, donkeys braying, and a hawk was circling overhead. Mama and Papa wren were squawking. It was chaos until the babies got their wings enough to get up in the oak trees.

My daughter says the wrens sometimes have a second brood so we're watching the nest to see if they return.

This weekend is writing group, and tonight I read the first half of the first chapter of the second book in the Magical Pony School series out loud. It's amazing to me that when it's time, the book comes. I've been juggling three very different books in progress, and Fiona's voice is the one who came clear this weekend.

We also went across the lane today and met our newest neighborhood "herd." A Quarter horse named Pablo and his four goat buddies. Turns out Pablo is a Zippo Pine Bar baby just like Cody (although older, at 11) and it's easy to see the resemblance. He's still settling in. It was fun seeing the barn. A few years ago that barn was right by the lane and home to a herd of ATVs. Now it's back behind the house and a lovely space for a horse and four goats. That's the kind of transformation I love seeing!

In other news, we brought home the last round bale of 2010 hay and are keeping our fingers crossed that the rain holds off long enough for the 2011 crop to be cut, dried, and baled. Our hay grower has some square bales he held back that we will use in the interim, and if I have to, I'll locate some timothy to fill the gap. We've had so much rain lately it's been hard to find enough clear days in a row to do the haying process. I've seen a few farmers doing parts of a field at a time trying to work with what they had weather-wise.

And, it being May, I woke up at 3 a.m. and feel like the cicadas are buzzing from inside my head. Spring is always a "loud" season in general and I have found over the years that May is always an intense month for me. Everything seems busy and noisy and I seem to feel it from the inside out. About the time I think I'm going to explode, it all dies down and the long lazy summer kicks in. Here's to middle of the night blog posting, the slow fade of the annual buzz, and maybe, if we're lucky, a mild summer.


Grey Horse Matters said...

You have been busy. Love the Redford story, he's adorable. Have a great Mother's Day and writing weekend.

billie said...

You have a great day too! After posting at 3-something a.m. this morning, it started raining, so my husband and I dashed out to cover the hay that hadn't yet been unloaded from the truck. The horses had broken into the barnyard and got caught red-hoofed in the hay tent cleaning it out.

In an odd way it reminded me of being up with very young babies - managing the middle of the night upsets when the rest of the world (at least in our near vicinity) was asleep.

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Those sneaky equines - especially Redford! Did they have guilty looks when you caught them in the hay tent?!

I got very distracted jumping a temporary boarder's truck last week, and didn't latch Val's gate before I left. He spent several hours of freedom wandering the farmette... you could track his movements between hoofy skidmarks, torn up turf and of course some manure ;).

Now he tests the gate on a regular basis - there's no going back :)

I join you in the wish for a mild summer. Spring here has been delightful so far!

Victoria Cummings said...

I think that Spring fever has all our four-legged children playing pranks on us. I hear you about waking up in the middle of the night from all the ruckus. Now that the window over my bed is open, the peepers and the coyotes are really loud. I can just see you guys going out to the barn at 3 am - that's something we would do too.
Hope you're having a restful, fun Mother's Day!

billie said...

C, my crew seem to not spend much time feeling guilty. They pushed the back gate to the arena open and then came through the other arena gate that had been (ahem) left open. So to them it was "all's fair in open gates and green grass" - no guilt but a look of "too bad she woke up and it started raining - let's cram in as much as we can before we get moved back."

billie said...

Victoria, the 13-year cicadas finally stopped last night but this morning they were back in full force.

I went kayaking today and it was nice to be on the open water, still listening to cicada song but somehow the flow of the water made it all better.

Michelle said...

Man, I NEVER have a problem with sleeping! Unless there's a HazelNut involved...=) Glad you used your awake time to visit us...

billie said...

LOL - a hazelnut! I know what you mean about not having trouble sleeping. Mostly, I don't either. May is a different story though - and these cicadas aren't making it easy!

Máire said...

Love your bird descriptions. I can hear them as I read.

billie said...

Maire, we have the doors open to our house much of the time right now - and the wrens keep flying in and out all day long!

ponymaid said...

billie, that young Redford is a caution, as Jack would say. Very much a cause rather than effect donkey - he likes to get things moving. How are things on the Wren front - is the brood well launched and out of harm's way. I wonder if they eat cidadas...?

billie said...

Sheaffer, the wrens are all growing up - we are still seeing them around the barn and even inside our house - they have been flying in through the front door!

So far no second brood started, but we have left the nest in case they need it again.