Damp and Dreary Can Be Cheery

Today started out bathed in fog, and as the sun sets it’s still drizzling. Nonetheless, it was a beautiful day. You can find beauty anywhere if you just look around! Just look at all these beautiful water droplets!

Anita stayed over last night, sleeping on my gradually softening air bed. Shoot, that was a GOOD air bed. We had the nicest discussion, just Anita, Lee, and me, as we drank our hot beverages and finished cleaning up after last night’s delicious Thanksgiving dinner. I felt so relaxed, with Carlton curled up in my lap, and the fog draped over the trees outside.

Web of glistening sparkles.

I got Anita to walk the dogs with me and pose like she is out on the misty moors. It was fun to walk through all the tiny air droplets. It wasn’t too cold, so it was good walking weather.

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Horses Heal Hearts

I feel so good right now. Sara and I just went on a long ride on Apache and Spice. Due to our schedules, we hadn’t been out for a while.

Look what we did! We put the bowl in the trough! Hee haw!

I was a little worried that Apache would be hard to ride after so long, but he seemed as glad to go explore as I was. We had a blast.

It’s so pretty.

The light and foliage were spectacular, and because we went way to the edge of the property, we got to see some longhorns next door.

Shining ranch. We love it here.
Scenic longhorns.

Spice started getting antsy when we saw some deer in the distance, and had trouble settling down. Fiona was too busy eating to notice the deer at first, so when they ran across the field, she ran all over.

There is a deer in the picture.

Going home was a challenge for Sara, but she handled Spice really well. She went round and round in circles a lot.

I was here!

I enjoyed myself so much. I wished the ride would never end. I feel so calm and serene, like I have no problems. I feel healed. And I think the horse is as happy as me.

Our newest calf, Grazzi. Sort of like thanks.

Ranch Return. Ahh.

Being away from nature for a week was hard on me! I was so glad to come home to the ranch and see familiar sights. The trees, the cattle, the birds, my dear pets. It even smelled like home.

Back exploring with my buddies.

I got to check out what has changed and what’s new this evening. I also got to walk the dogs through beautiful autumn light. Here’s a report!

The old cedar elm at sunset.
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We Invade the Plantation

Yesterday was a bit more of the same vacation stuff as the rest of the week. We have a routine where Anita works all morning (that’s why I have time to blog; otherwise I’d be doing activities) and then off we go. I made a lunch with our eggs and turkey and cheese all scrambled together, making me glad we got the grocery delivery package when we got here. That way, most days we don’t have to eat out but once.

We See Sea Pines

One of the negative things about Hilton Head Island is that lots of it is not easily accessible unless you live there. It’s divided into “plantations” (which were actual plantations with all the sadness that went with them), and they are gated, so only the well-do-do who live there can get in without a pass.

Entrance to the preserve we visited.

Luckily, for $8 they will let you into Sea Pines, so we made the most of it and drove all over the place yesterday. There’s a large forest preserve in the middle, which the developer of the property kindly deeded to the residents. We trundled through there and really enjoyed the boardwalk area with lots of labeled plants and interesting terrain.

Anita in her Halloween shirt enjoying the boardwalk.

The land was reclaimed from being a rice plantation and now actually provides drinking water. That’s a great story. We saw a couple of alligators and lots of birds, plus some huge trees that survived Hurricane Matthew.

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Apache and the Ants

No, that’s not the name of a new musical group. It’s about why today’s ride was rather antsy for my usually patient steed, Apache’s Smoke Signal, AKA Apache AKA Patchy.

The morning went as usual. It was hot and I dripped sweat all over myself, but Sara and I got the horses (and Fiona) ready for a ride. We want to ride as much as possible, so we’re going early on weekend mornings. She goes more than I do, thanks to all my volunteering and such.

I put up with a LOT from Suna. It’s a good thing she gives me so many treats and bushes me so nicely.

The entire time we were out in the pasture where the horses usually hang out, Apache kept turning around and heading toward the gate. I turned him back around and made him trot around, go over some logs, or up and down the “hill.” He kept turning around.

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Donkey Feet and Horse Teeth

So, I started yesterday feeling all fancy and business-like as we got our pictures taken by the Chamber of Commerce, because Hermits’ Rest Enterprises is the July Business of the Month. Mandi and I had on nice clothing and jewelry, and Mandi’s hair was all straight and fancy. (See the Hermit Haus blog for more details.)

Then, by mid-afternoon we were back at the ranch, and I had morphed into Cowgirl Suna, with jeans, boots, and hat to meet Trixie the farrier to look at the horses and Fiona. I asked Mandi to come along, since she’s the one who doctored Fiona and knows more about horse health than I do.

Fiona’s Footsies

Fiona went first, and she was pretty good, though she did get the idea to try to file her own hooves. It didn’t work out.

Now that I’ve got this thing, how do I use it?

Trixie said that Fiona’s “bad” foot was really interesting, and that she’d never seen one like that. The footbed still seems longer than the outer hoof wall. We went over a lot of possibilities for what could have caused it. We settled on the bag abscess she had on that front hoof causing the outer walls to not grow like usual, which caused separation and other issues.

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Horse Schooling

That’s right, two posts in an hour. I had two topics, you see… so. One of the things we found while doing things around the house yesterday was a beautiful black widow spider that we must have disturbed in all the work. I’m sorry to say we had to dispose of her, because I just don’t want to risk the safety of my family, friends, and pets.

I had never seen one of these spiders up close until yesterday. They are really beautiful! I’m glad they mostly hide, and sorry I disturbed so many this weekend!

Then, today, after Sara and I rode the horses, we went to replace the mineral tub with a better one, and were very grateful we decided to check carefully before cleaning it out to put in mineral. We found entire families of black widows in there, including the rarely seen male and a lot of egg sacs. I’d probably prefer the equines to not get bitten, too. Sara had gloves on, so she was the one to stick her hand in. Eek!

I’m proud of Sara. She did a week-long horse riding vacation in Montana, and did great, thanks to all the training she’d been doing. She is now focused on working with Apache more, to get him ready to wear a bridle and bit and do more precise work with her. He is really her horse, after all, so I’m glad he’s getting the work.

Really, It’s 7 am. We have to go out again? Yes, you do. No wonder Apache is hiding.
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