Donkey and Storm Update

I’ve been so busy writing about Fiona that I haven’t had a chance to talk about the horrible weather that’s been going on here (what else is new? the weather has been bad everywhere!). But I know the donkey fans out there will also want to know how the little darling is doing.

Feisty Fiona

Well, she hasn’t injured anyone since Wednesday! Hooray! Actually, when Mandi and I went to feed and medicate her yesterday, it went really well. She is always so glad to see me that it makes my heart swell. It’s great to be loved! And with me holding her head and Mandi squirting the medicine in her mouth, everything was over in a moment.

You aren’t gonna give me a shot, are you?

Fiona even took a treat right after the medicine (when I first was working with Apache, he would not take a treat from anyone until at least a day after you gave him his worming medicine, but now he trusts me not to worm him twice).

She is not walking 100%, but is not hopping or anything. Whew.

Wait, are treats involved?
Continue reading “Donkey and Storm Update”

Hawks and Storms

My coworker and I were looking at the red-shouldered hawk couple with the nest in our courtyard. We both noticed they looked rather bedraggled.

We wondered whether the recent rather bad storms had caused the missing wing feathers we could easily see. The other possibility would be they are molting.

Sure enough, hawks molt beginning in spring and continuing through September or October! I also found that the word for replacing the feathers in a bird is spelled either “molt” or “moult.” I didn’t know that.

That’s all we can see. If the parents are there, you can see them .

So, I’m not sure whether they got storm damaged or are moulting. They still fly just fine. And we THINK there may be babies in the nest, but we can’t see them. We just saw an adult act like he or she was feeding.

And that’s the hawk news!

The view from the work conference room

Guest Post: Donkey Mayhem

by Mandi Shuffield

All of you who are following the woes of Fiona the mini donk already know that she has been dealing with a list of ailments (one, I really wonder about as far as accuracy in diagnosis goes) for a couple of weeks now. I’m going to recap just a bit, and explain why I’m involved at all in this.

I worked on a horse farm with many horses all at once, from the time I was 14 until I was 28. Before that, I grew up in the saddle with my Pa. When you deal with that many horses at a time, someone is always injured. Sometimes it isn’t bad, other times, it can be severe. I’ve seen simple scrapes, bone breaks, one stallion who put a T post through his chest and had to have wound care for months, colic, mares struggling with birth, abscesses on all parts of the body, mild and severe hoof problems, etc. I sure haven’t seen it all, but I have seen a lot!

Here’s my horse, Ricci, who I nursed back from a long illness.

I learned how to make first aid items from scratch in the field to save a life and stop bleeding. I’m fairly confident in what I can do. I also know when I need more help, a second opinion, or I do not have the tools/gear/equipment to handle a situation. 

How I helped Fiona

I originally felt like Fiona’s foot was trimmed too short. With the gap that developed in the way that white line disease (hoof wall separation, seedy toe) does, I felt like she may have developed that.

There is no conclusive evidence as to what exactly causes white line disease. Theories go from poor diet, wet/humid climate, soft feet, trimming the toe too short, injury/abscesses, and the list goes on. What the veterinary world has seen is that there will be horses and donkeys that develop this disease that do not fall into one category, or it seems to come out of nowhere. It develops on healthy feet in dry climates as well, although it is not as common.

Fiona’s foot

It is characterized by the gap in the hoof wall that was shown in the picture, and the gray, crumbling of the soft tissue behind the outer wall. Fiona had that, but she also had a bulge under the foot that seemed like she couldn’t stand flat on it. The cold water treatment probably helped by relieving the inflammation. Horses and donkeys typically do not become lame from white line until it becomes severe and the cannon bone begins to shift down. 

Continue reading “Guest Post: Donkey Mayhem”

Carlton’s Dream: Painting with Natural Pigments

What a happy moment it was yesterday when my friend Sean Wall bought me a painting I’d commissioned from him. What makes this painting extra special is that the painting was done with natural pigments he gathered in the wild (other than the white; I think that’s acrylic).

The painting is called “Carlton’s Dream,” because hard as he would try, he could not climb the barbed wire fence. He sure looks happy.

I’ve written about Sean before, so check this link to learn about the book he recently published. It has lots of his art, which is what I call hippie folk art, but I bet he has another name for it. I have a poster of one of the trees he painted, which will go in my office in Cameron, once it’s redecorated.

Continue reading “Carlton’s Dream: Painting with Natural Pigments”

Fiona Saw the Doctor

Hey there. It’s a three-blog day for me. Here’s a quick update on our donkey friend, Fiona. The vet finally arrived around 4:30, right when Mandi had just left to do something for her own family. Sigh. But, it worked out okay.

Also, Mandi hit a traffic jam

According to Dr. Richter, whose father apparently treated Mandi’s late horse, what happened was our first theory: her hoof had been trimmed WAY too short by the farrier. It’s made her swell to where the inner part of the hoof sticks out too far.

He gave her some pain medication to give for the next five days, to see if that helps. The cure, however, is for her hooves to grow some. Mandi plans to wrap her hoof again, and we are leaving her in the more dry paddock for the next few days, since more rain is on its way.

Fiona did NOT like the sound of the rain falling on the shed, so it got hard to medicate her. Whew, it all was a success, and we are now just waiting to see if she needs more treatment or not.

I was waiting and waiting!

I’m so grateful that she got looked at and it wasn’t the fungal infection. We now want to avoid getting one until things dry up!

Bugs to Distract Me

To take my mind off donkey woes, here are some fun insects I’ve been seeing this week. The first is a green stink bug. They’re out at the ranch and in Austin.

Cute as a bug on a wall

Next we have a really pretty green moth. It’s an emerald moth, I think the Texas emerald. I love the frilly edges on the wings, and the stripes.

Moth on geranium

And here’s a cool one Martha found at our old office location. It’s an eyed click beetle! Look at those false eyes!

I’m looking at you!

Have you seen any cool bugs this year?

Worse Donkey Woes

We’d hoped Fiona was over her rough spot with her hooves, but a sad sight greeted me when I went to feed her this weekend. She would not come up to be fed, so I gave her food to her in the field.

When Mandi and I went to check further on it, she was barely able to put weight on her left front hoof, and was even hopping around on three legs. That couldn’t be good.

Fix my foot, mommies! (This is pre-grooming)

Once we got her feet all cleaned out, we could see that it almost looked like her outside hoof was shorter than the inside. That would be like walking on your nail bed. So, we figured a vet visit was called for.

Continue reading “Worse Donkey Woes”

Blogging for Sound

Lately I’ve been writing my posts with a combination of the computer and the phone. I can type a lot better on the computer, but there are certain things that are easier on the phone, like adding photos and videos.

In fact, I’ve been starting posts on the computer, with the nicer interface and more formatting options, then switching over and sticking in photos, which I then go back and edit on the computer. Modern blogging, I guess. Or lazy blogging. Do you have any other techniques for less hassle in your blogs?

Sound?

This entry is about sound. I was listening to all the bird sounds on the front porch this morning, and I posted on Facebook that I was at church, with the birds preaching, saying amen, and singing. There were a LOT of starlings in one of the trees, so it was quite a cacophony.

The dogs and I listening to birds.

I decided to go out to the pond and record all the sounds there. I think it came out pretty nice, but it’s long, so I was not sure if I could get it into the blog. I ended up adding it to YouTube, which worked out well.

I do think the sounds of nature are as wonderful as the sights, so I am giving it a try! Now those of you who have never heard of a dicksissel can hear one and (sort of) see one!

Have a great rest of your Sunday.

Pond-ering

Since it’s rained like crazy and the rivers are still rising, I thought it would be a good time to check out our pond, the arroyo, and the riparian areas at the front of our property.

A meadow pink for my newfound love of the color.

Also, since it’s time for the second wave of wildflowers, I’d check them out, too. I’m always happy when these pink beauties are shining forth, so that was a good start!

I’m so glad they didn’t get all of these in the hay!

The dogs came along and enjoyed their own “pond” made by Lee’s unfinished drainage area.

Thanks for the pond, Dad!

Continue reading “Pond-ering”

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