Thursday, November 16, 2017

November Hill farm journal, 42

After a rainy couple of days it seemed the color was dying down here, but now that things are drying out again we are in the midst of wave two. It is simply brilliant out our windows in every direction. I try taking photos but I can never get the camera to pick up the quality of color that happens when sunlight illuminates changing leaves. It makes me happy, this elixir of light and color that I only see this time of year.

About once a week while spreading stall waste with the Newer spreader I do some mulching and blowing as I go, aiming the out spout of the mower toward the trees, and letting the winter grass see the light again. Once I get up the hill and look back, there remains a mystery of swirls and circles, a design that holds the slight vibration of the mower in my lower back, the sound, the turning on and off of the blade as I make the circles, and something I’m not sure how to name, but which goes all the way back to when I was a girl and my dad bought the first John Deere riding mower and taught me how to drive it, in our huge yard that had hills and roots and tricky spots, just like November Hill has.

The horses and the pony and the donka boys have thick coats now, and it’s pure pleasure to lay hands on them and feel the give of the fur as it shines in the autumn sunlight. They are enjoying the days out of the barn, and seem to love coming in when darkness falls to hay and fresh water before they are served their dinner tubs and then go back out again with hay for the night.

After the rain I’ve been using the muck barrows until the fields dry out some, and enjoying being out in the midst of the herd as I work, with sky and trees and at least a few times pure silence which is its own elixir. Like I imagine it was in the time before cars and planes and trains and machinery. Just the air and occasional soft snort of equines.

Monday our delivery guy with the very wonderful little dump truck is bringing screenings for the arena and part of the paddock, and some to resurface the stall floors, and that, aside from the fencing, is the last big thing I’m doing this year. I have a few small repairs (and as I type this I smile because on Monday evening we went to hear Shawn Colvin on her 20th anniversary A Few Small Repairs tour, which was absolutely wonderful) to make and the last coats of tung oil on the gate and then it’s going to be a quiet end of year and new year on the farm.

Except of course for the sounds of hoofbeats and a new sound of Corgis running wild in their enlarged space (at first while the equines are in stalls with hay, then hopefully herding dogs will learn that this herd is not for herding!) and inside the snap of wood in the woodstove and my holiday music playing endlessly because at this point I’ve narrowed it down to the songs I love best.

The time since summer has flown past.

And my son is not coming home for Thanksgiving! But I booked the train ride home for Christmas and that’s going to be a fun summer solstice event - picking him up and having a nice span of days in which all my little birds are in the nest again.

Right now though husband is working at home for the day and local bacon and eggs are cooking and there’s a good, peaceful day ahead of me.


Grey Horse Matters said...

Rainy here off and on too but the sun is shining now and it’s 54 degrees. If you can believe that. We have almost no leaves left on our trees,except for the oaks, they always fall last. Sorry to hear your son is not making it home for thanksgiving but it will make Christmas even more special. My older daughter is heading to North Carolina for thanksgiving with her family to visit with her father in law.

billie said...

We are having a string of nice days too! I hope you are getting in some good rides on your new beauty!

I am sad son won’t be home but he didn’t want to fly around the holiday and the train just took too long to be practical. Wahhhh! But glad daughter is here and with husband and the menagerie we will always be a full house. :)

I will think of your daughter and family traveling to our area - safe travels and a happy time for all.

Matthew said...

I always forget what it's like to put up hay bales. I put away 50 today in the November Hill barn and hay tent, a lot fewer than 100 last month. My hands, arms, and legs are feeling it though. The hay long-haul delivery guy had to move 730 bales by himself, which he does once or twice a week.

Some people have very hard jobs, and I thank them for their service.

billie said...

I can’t imagine. Thanks for thanking him and also for getting in our hay!