Thursday, December 24, 2020

Christmas Eve day, November Hill

Yesterday was so lovely. I started the very dry morning watching these three crows enjoy what remains of the final Halloween pumpkin.

 Today, it is pouring down rain off and on, and we just had a very intense wind gusting for a few minutes, but nevertheless, we are warm (it’s 62 degrees outside) and hopefully I can get the pony dry before the temps go down to below freezing tonight. There are some dire predictions for parts of North Carolina, so I hope everyone remains safe.

The beginning of the stream that runs through the front pasture when we get big rain. I’m happy to see that it’s flowing nicely, in between the row of alternating elderberries we put in last winter. While not yet big up top, under the ground their root systems are securing the banks on either side of the water. Allowing the leaves to remain on the ground also helps with run-off water.

This is what happens when your farm helper thinks he’s doing the right thing by removing every single autumn leaf. I saw this today and remember last week when it rained and no water collected - the leaves were still there. I raked out the leaves he’d banked around the oak tree and put them back where they were. This area is the back of the donkeys and pony’s small barnyard paddock outside their stall and shelter. They put the manure on the leaves along the fence, which are then easily mucked. Today, they couldn’t even get over there. The one small pile was before the rain started early this a.m. After I put the leaves back, this standing water was quickly absorbed. I’m not even entirely sure what magic leaves perform, but after years of living here, I’ve learned that taking them away is detrimental in horse-keeping and in water run-off control. Leave the leaves! 

The horses and donkeys are hanging in there - yesterday was beautiful and 55, so I let them stay out until 8 pm knowing they’d be in all day today. They did some galloping, Keil Bay included, and they all seem peaceful and content hanging out in their stalls and shelters and paddocks in this big rain.

The dogs went out dressed in their rain coats. Is Bear adorable or what?

This shows how much of his body is actually fur! He looks so slim and trim with the fur pressed down by the jacket!

Baloo ripped his brand new rain jacket off and tore it up within minutes of being outside. Sigh. However, he won a Twitter photo contest and had a prize portrait painted from the photo, so perhaps we will just call the ruined rain coat a wash. 

Tomorrow will be cold but sunny - a wonderful combination for Christmas Day.

Be safe, be happy, celebrate whatever you celebrate this time of year! 

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