Thursday, August 31, 2017

November Hill farm journal, 36

I'm taking a hiatus from Facebook, which means I have more time to write blog posts, and since I have things backed up on my blog post list, I'm eager to get rolling.

Right now the thing making me the happiest is the approach of autumn. I have been counting the days and watching for the signs. The dogwood tree leaves are starting to turn slightly, and the signature red berries are formed. Wild muscadines are everywhere on the ground beneath the tall trees where the vines have climbed high. The tulip poplars, always early to drop leaves, are letting a few go these past few weeks. Yesterday geese flew overhead, calling as they went. That is a sweet sound for those of us loving fall.

All summer as spread the stall waste and grass seed I mowed a few areas where we tend to get weeds. Now I'm spreading with pelleted lime mixed in and instead of mowing weeds I'm mulching leaves into the beds around the trees in the pastures. The seasons change and the chores shift with them.

Keil Bay and Rafer Johnson had chiropractic work done this week. The vet who does this work is my touchstone on how the herd looks. Before she arrived I was fretting that Keil looked a little thin, then as she drove up I glanced and him and thought he looked good. After she adjusted him he was standing tall and, truly, looked like a horse in full work, ready to head off to a cross-country course! She assured me that he looks amazing by any standard, but for 28 years of age, especially so.

About Rafer she said, well, he's a little chunky monkey! He needed a few adjustments and was quite happy to get them. That morning he and Redford did a half-hour runabout through the fields and as cooler weather sets in there will be more exercise being done by all of them. I constantly bemoan the abundance of pasture we have and the need to keep something for erosion's sake while not allowing it to get so lush they can't turn out on it. I keep the grazing muzzles hanging in the barn aisle in case anyone needs them. Both donkeys and the pony could live in them from April through October and I'm sure would be sleeker and healthier but I hate to do that to them. It's a tricky call - thus far we have healthy animals and no laminitis.

They're all shedding summer coats and I'm so tempted to trim the manes into our annual "sport cuts." I'll leave them long until the summer biting insects are gone though.

Cats and Corgis are all doing well. Baloo and Bear are signed up for basic obedience and canine good citizen classes starting in October. The cats are, I think, in need of a new "cat space" to peak their interests. Things are going to change some when the perimeter fencing is installed. The contractor was here last weekend to do final measurements but unfortunately the work is pushed back to November due to heat and rain through the summer. Once we have the fencing done, Corgis will get to have the run of the farm a few times a day, and I can move forward with locating the Maremma pups!

It was exciting to finally walk the perimeter of the new fencing on the back of our property. I have several areas set aside now for bee hives which will be out of the way of horses and dogs. Even without the additional property. I still wish I had it but I'm seeing that (of course) I can live without it and do the things I want to do here on the farm.


Grey Horse Matters said...

Sounds like you're very busy. Autumn is my favorite season and there are always a shift in jobs that need to be done. I've been weeding (which I'm not crazy about) and trying to get things done while it's fairly cool out. Our geese left and I guess they're heading your way. We have one poor soul who got left behind. My neighbor, who knows about such things, told me it has a broken neck and can't fly. But it does toddle around and swim so I guess we're going to have to find geese food for the winter.

billie said...

That goose knows what a good home looks like and is settling in! I hope he/she stays healthy through the winter. Have you ever seen the movie Fly Away Home? It was a favorite of ours when the kids were young and a good movie no matter what the age. You and your grandkids might enjoy it especially if there is a goose on the farm to take care of!