Friday, March 01, 2024

November Hill farm journal, 206

 We’ve had a rainy off and on week which has been helpful in keeping all the viburnums and other newly put in plants watered. I did some pruning today of one of the button bushes and the beauty berry that is just in front of it, on the lower native bed tier. 

The invasive mock strawberry (Potentilla indica) still needs to be removed from the two beds I started working on and doing that is how I got hold of poison ivy. I’m going to wait for some of my natives to come up and once I can see them and where they are, I’ll use a weeding hoe and clear out the nonnative things. 

There are a few larger invaders who I’ll dig out and remove individually. I really look forward to seeing these beds this spring, summer, and fall with this good clearing out done early on. 

In other news, the saddle fitter arrived today as scheduled and I cannot tell you how excited I was as she made the tracings of Cody’s back and then took me to her mobile fitting very large van where she set out a work table, three saddle racks, and a model “horse” for me to try saddles on. She brought out saddle after saddle and all I had to do was hop on, say yay or neigh (ha), and save the ones I liked. In the end the one that I liked best of all turned out to be a very good fit on Cody, in the reasonable middle range cost-wise, and oh, the comfort. We didn’t saddle Cody up today for the trial ride in the saddle I picked, mainly because he has dental care scheduled for March 11 and I’d like to get him on the other side of that before putting a bridle on. The saddle fitter agreed that was a good plan. 

I don’t even know how to describe how it felt to be sitting in saddles. I feel very ready for this new journey with Cody. He was cooperative and very curious about the saddle being put on his back. 

Of course the rest of the herd were clustered by the barn whinnying and braying for their own saddle fittings. 

The rain held off until the very end of the fitting, and I remembered days when rain came just as it did today during rides with Keil Bay, who always put on his best movement as the rain began, knowing that I would want to end on a very good note. Today he was absolutely with us as we went through this big step. 

My daughter captured this photo on my birthday and I love it. It felt like the perfect image for that day. 

The whole wide world pours down, as William Stafford wrote in his amazing poem:


By William Stafford

You will never be alone, you hear so deep
a sound when autumn comes. Yellow
pulls across the hills and thrums,
or the silence after lightning before it says
its names – and then the clouds’ wide-mouthed
apologies. You were aimed from birth:
you will never be alone. Rain
will come, a gutter filled, an Amazon,
long aisles – you never heard so deep a sound,
moss on rock, and years. You turn your head –
that’s what the silence meant: you’re not alone.
The whole wide world pours down.

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