Prior to finding the Hermits’ Rest, I knew it was possible to have a physical attachment to a specific location. I may have written before about how my body feels better when I’m in the place where I grew up, in Florida. Is it magnetism? Pleasant memories? A placebo effect?
I don’t know, but I’ve become attached to our ranch just like with Gainesville. When I get to the creek, my body relaxes and the clutter lifts from my mind. Just like that.
One possible explanation is that I really knew the plants and animals, the weather patterns, the sounds, and the smells where I grew up. And over these past years, I’ve become that familiar with the ranch, working pretty hard at it with all my Master Naturalist classes and book learning. Oh yes, and just by being observant. Doing this has made me a part of this place.
Brody was lying by the gate. He didn’t get up when I honked the horn at him. My poor boy had decided to chase one last car. The dogs were out with Lee, because he was mowing and keeping an eye on them. My heart broke.
It hadn’t happened long before I found him. Thank goodness I didn’t see someone hit him and drive off.
He was a very loving, perhaps a bit too protective at times, strong, intelligent dog. He brought us much joy, and sometimes worry.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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!
First, don’t worry. No one is hurt. However, on yesterday’s ride, a bit of freak-outage did occur with Apache.
Oddly enough, our ride Saturday was practically idyllic, as we traipsed all over the ranch, through beautiful tall grass (pre-baling) with Fiona in tow. Fiona always needs to be rounded up when it’s time to go through a gate, so our herding practice is fun (however, Apache sucks at it).
But yesterday was different. First, we decided not to bring Fiona, since she was still limping a bit. And second, the baling operation was going on pretty close to where we were riding. Some combination of these things did not please Apache, though he was doing what I asked him to, including squishing over a wet spot.
He kept turning around and looking urgently toward his pasture, ears up, all attentive. We finally figured out he was hearing Fiona braying in her loneliness. I guess he’s used to having her around now!
Then, when the tractors got close, everything he encountered suddenly became A Big Deal. Trees, cactus, the overhead power lines. He’d turn around, start randomly trotting, and basically act like he was on his last nerve. He used to act like that often, when I first started working with him four years ago, but he hasn’t done that recently.
It’s the time of year when the lush grass of spring becomes the forage of autumn. Just yesterday we were riding the horses through the tall grass, up past Fiona’s belly. Today it looks like this:
While my friends and I were out frolicking in Temple and eating great food (Megg’s), the Vrazels had baled a lot of silage. Silage is hay that ferments a bit. Cattle love it.
They did our whole meadow, which delighted the dogs. They can run without having to bound like deer, which they cannot do amid all those wildflowers in front of the house.
The other residents who love baling season are the raptors. When I was driving back from horse riding, the air and ground were both full of hawks. I counted eight red-tails as well as the harrier. I saw a hawk leap in the air and land on a creature. Boom.
I hope there weren’t too many nests of the local sparrows destroyed. I remember finding one last year, but haven’t seen any today. I also worry about turtles. Spice nearly stepped on one yesterday!
I guess that’s how it goes here in ranching land. Life and death.
I must say that the baling machine is cool. It picks up a round hay bale, then spins it round and round as it wraps it in plastic. And that’s a life and death thing, too.
Where does that plastic end up? Lots of it’s in landfills. Even organic farms use the stuff. I just hope the advantages of silage over hay are worth the cost.
But wait, nowadays hay tends to be baled in netting, not with wire. That’s a mess, too. I’ll have to look into this more.