Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mini Breaks

Native berries - sudden bursts of flavor
An apt reward for cutting the grass
from the side of the road

Morning Ride

I went riding this morning while it was cloudy and cool. The horses have just had pedicures, so their feet are a bit tender. I decided to do a fairly short ride on each horse.

Trojan was startled by a deer bounding out of the way, but Bear hardly blinked when we almost ran over a fawn as it leapt out of the way. He's getting used to this wild trail riding. This is the first time I've ridden one right after the other, and it was really interesting. They feel quite different from each other, although both are gaited horses. Bear and his saddle fit me better; being vertically challenged, even fully shortened stirrups are a bit of a reach for my short legs.

What a great way to start the day.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Bath Time

One of my  peahens taking a break from nesting by bathing in the pile of shavings.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Snakes in the Hay

This seems to be a good year for snakes. Every time I turn something over I find young snakes curled up under it. They are loving my hayport.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Silk Moth

This lovely Giant Silk Moth (Antheraea polyphemus) chose to die by my gate. The moths live less than a week. Such fleeting beauty.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


My mother's sister Mary came up from California for a visit this week. My sister and I drove up to Seattle, and we all joined her son Dan in a lovely little park in the city.

We had a picnic in the park seasoned with great conversations and reminiscences of childhood in Australia. Later Dan made us coffee at his place before August and I headed home. It's been ages since we've seen Mary; it is such a treat to have her here again.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


A friend gave me 5 young guineas - they are so cute! They seem to have bonded with the chickens, so hopefully they'll both stick around and stay safe long enough to grow up.

Friday, July 22, 2011

New Bridle

I love summer. 70 and partly sunny, you can do anything on a day like today.

I took a short ride on Bear to try out our new bitless bridle from Sunset Halters. He was eager to go, and we went through more paces than usual. I'm learning about gaited horses, and getting more comfortable with the transitions. I'm also learning how to get him into the foxtrot rather than the r e g u l a r  trot. Hope I get that one down soon! It's a bit like learning to drive a stick shift. Bear seems to automatically transition into a foxtrot going up in speed, but coming down from a canter he hits the hard, bumpy trot. I'm supposed to cue him into the correct pace. This is where an instructor would be mighty handy :-).

We both liked the new bridle. Next time I'll try it on Trojan. Wahoo!

Bears favorite part of the ride? Getting to snack on fresh grass when we get home.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


The bunnies are out in force. There's a no-predator zone outside of my fences (I think they don't know just where the dog's zone ends) that is filled with fuzzy, long-eared beings. This one is right next to my trailer, and unwilling to take off in case I'm going to continue walking down the road and might not see him. They are very cute.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Sun Breaks Through

As often happens, the sun broke through just before dusk making beautiful patterns on the mountains and clouds.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


View through the ears of a horse.

My friend Trina visited for several days. Since we co-own the horses, it was wonderful to go riding together. My first ride on Trojan, the gaited Morgan gelding. Like riding a cloud. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Feeding Time

Polly pulled a bale down from the truck. She wanted her own private hay source.

Feeding Rebel, Patches and the lovely Penny.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Back In The Saddle

A couple of injuries have kept me from riding for awhile, but I decided that if I can move 174 bales of hay into storage, I can ride a horse.

Bear is wondering what the shifting weight and noises are about as I wrest my camera from my pocket

"What ARE you doing back there? And can we stop and eat?"

Home and happy after a short ride. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Another Day of Haying

Today Gil lent me his truck, trailer and crew so we could get a shelter's worth of hay.
85 bales on truck and trailer, vs 25 in my van.

I stacked on the first load, and drove the truck on the second. Getting used to trailers.

Securing the load

The rest of the crew

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Collecting Hay From the Field

I love getting hay out of the field. It smells so good, and feels like a valuable task.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Happy Birthday Zander

Shaman's Lone Wolf
Sire: Luck Hit's Shadow Kasif (Case)  Dam: Shaman's Dream Catcher (The Babe)

My precious, lovely Zander is one year old today.

He's overwhelmed with excitement.

Day one - it's hard to believe he was ever this small.

In honor of his birthday I've put together a series of pictures of Zander's life here with me, starting with the day he arrived. It's hard to believe he's grown so fast. I'm so delighted to have this dog sharing my life. Thank you Audrey, Shaman Anatolians.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Pretty Pair

Monday, July 04, 2011


My goal was to clear the blackberries, cottonwood and alder starts from the corner, providing more room for trailer turn-arounds. Part way through this pretty butterfly flew in and started tasting the multitude of blossoms. Butterflies have been scarce for ages, since all the spraying for gypsy moths. I love butterflies. Should I rethink, and leave these berries here?

No, that's just an excuse to stop doing a frustrating job. There are so many berries to choose from, the butterflies will be well fed here. Corner clearing continues.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Mountains in Summer

Mt. St. Helens

Mt. Rainier, extended by clouds

Contented Samoyed

Jesse, enjoying both the sun and his shady shelter.

Enjoying the Sun

Friday, July 01, 2011

Tufted Anatolian

Zander has been shedding for ages now. His fur comes out in clumps, a seemingly endless supply. Now it's down to two lines down his back, making him look like some unusual life form.