Saturday, June 29, 2019

November Hill farm journal, 79

We’re back into a higher heat spell here, but the humidity has been lower than usual so it’s not been too bad. Our upstairs HVAC unit had some trouble this week and I worried it was going to be the time they said we had to replace it, but alas, it was a dead capacitor which was replaced and we were back up and running in half an hour upstairs!

The horses and pony and donkeys are hanging in there. Biting flies are definitely out but we also have a good number of dragonflies this year and they seem to keep the numbers down some. Regular baths with tea tree shampoo and hosings on the other days have kept them comfortable and happy. Rafer Johnson and Redford both go to their dust circles while the horses are getting baths. The dust rises in clouds and is a good sign that the donka boys are doing their version of bath and fly control.

They were all extremely happy on Wednesday this week, when the new cutting of hay from Canada rolled in. Keil Bay and Cody were in the barnyard and they ran to the truck and sampled the new bales before they were even unloaded. 8 hooves up and that grew to 20 once the pony and donkeys had their say.

Nights are getting quite loud here with cicadas in full song, just in time for July 4th, when I’ll fret about fireworks and sit outside with the herd, only to realize that the cicadas are like a giant white noise machine, muting the fireworks enough to make them not quite so scary. If we’re lucky a big thunderstorm will thwart the entire thing.

They frighten wildlife, horses and livestock, dogs, cats, and sometimes people. They can trigger symptoms of PTSD for our veterans. There are so many other more considerate ways to celebrate. Shooting loud bright things off into the sky isn’t one of them. The smell, the debris, the risk of fire - I can’t think of anything good about it. If you MUST experience them, go to the nearest city putting on a firework show. Give your neighbors, including humans and wildlife and animals, a break.

Speaking of wildlife, we have goldfinches flying madly about the property all day long right now. The pollinator beds are buzzing with pollinators. Here are a few shots of what I captured in about 5 minutes this morning while weeding.

Monarch caterpillar seeking shade on a large weed, which I left intact. The milkweed is in full bloom just to the right of this. I’m so happy to see this caterpillar!!

Dragonfly on baptisia:

Bumblebee on coneflower:

Carpenter bee on rattlesnake master:

Honeybee on narrow leaf mountain mint:

Overall, a busy summer’s day here.


Grey Horse Matters said...

Great pictures! And I agree about the fireworks. Unfortunately, the neighbors have already started with the booming fireworks. Can't wait until the 4th when they really go nuts.

We need to get our hay in too. Just haven't had the chance yet. We've had hot and humid days but some days are nice too. It's just summer weather. We hose off on the bad nights when they come in too. The fly's are in full swing too. The ceiling fans in the stalls and sheds seem to help with them and the heat.

billie said...

Oh, ugh re: neighbors starting fireworks early.

Thank goodness for barn fans! We had hoof trims today and although there are some flies, it wasn’t too bad. The entire herd did especially well today and I’m glad it’s done for this month!

98 predicted for tomorrow. Hopefully we’ll get some rain even if it’s from thunderstorm!

Matthew said...

Yay for bees! Yay for pollinators! Yay for dragonflies eating the biting flies! :)

billie said...

It’s a whole world out there in the garden beds. I feel like I need entire spans of days to document all the stuff going on on November Hill these days!