Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Happy Birthday, Redford!!!

 This February we have two sweet 16 birthdays happening. Redford turned 16 on the 19th and I will have my 16th Leap Year birthday on the 29th. I’m very happy to share this milestone with Redford, who has been and remains the caretaker equine on November Hill. 

When he first came to us around 6 months of age, he came earlier than planned to help keep Rafer Johnson, who had a broken leg in a big cast, company. Salina had gone temporarily awol due to hormones and Rafer needed a companion at the barn. Redford came and took the role beautifully. Of course, once Redford came and Salina saw him, she immediately reverted to mama bear and would not leave the donkey boys, so then we had the trio who became deeply bonded until Salina passed away at age 30.

As the herd reconfigured Redford began to attach himself to Keil and Cody, always offering to stay with either one of them if needed. When Keil developed EPM, Redford stayed by his side and that continued until Keil’s passing in October. 

The herd is still settling into its new order after losing their long-time leader, but Redford seems to float between Cody and Little Man and Rafer Johnson. I’m sure he’s going to the one who needs his company the most - that’s just who he is. 

Since Salina’s death, Redford also tends to me. He began to leave the herd to come be near me around that time, whenever I’m out doing chores or just spending time with the herd. He has been sticking to me like glue when I’m at the barn since Keil’s death, and I appreciate his presence and his care. He is such a special little donkey. We’re honored to have him here, keeping his eyes on all of us. 


Here he is last week, sticking close as I worked in the back pasture. 

Happy sweet 16, Redbug! We love you so much!

Monday, February 05, 2024

November Hill farm journal, 204

 Much work in the upper pollinator bed this weekend, removing some winter foliage and thinning out the potentilla, which is native but can get overbearing. I also ripped out many tall/Canada goldenrod (native and terrific but have taken over this bed and need to go!) and several Japanese honeysuckle vines. Not done but unearthed many of the original native plantings which had gotten overshadowed by the tall goldenrod. 

No photos yet!


Spent time with the herd yesterday afternoon and dear husband did hoof trims for the donka boys while I groomed. I visited Keil Bay’s grave this morning and stood awhile with, for the first time since he passed, no tears. I had a visceral image of him coming up from the grave, shaking, jumping into the arena and doing a very fancy dressage test while I watched. This is how I remember him, the beauty of his movement, his amazing personality, and how happy I felt and still feel when I see him go. 

It’s a beautiful February day that started when I woke up early to find an acceptance email for my flash fiction piece titled She Wants To Swim With Narwhals. It is forthcoming in Permafrost Magazine, and I’ll post a link when it publishes.