Sunday, November 20, 2011

Saturday, November 19, 2011

New Tool

I'm in love.

This quad is going to make my life SO much easier! I can't get my two-wheel drive vehicles down (or rather, up) the steep hill in snow and ice - but the quad doesn't blink. And it carries hay and will pull a trailer...

November Snow

I woke to a cold black and white world of snow and fog.

The geese don't care - as I took the picture I heard splashing, as one of them bathed in the kiddie pool.

Even early November snows are very pretty...

but the wet snow overburdens trees. Young cottonwoods bend down to the ground, making the lane impassable by vehicle. While I fed the horses I heard a large branch crack and fall to the ground.

The trees make beautiful patterns in black and white.

By 3PM the world regained color as the sky cleared and snow melted off the trees.

But not the ground. The clearing skies guarantee a cold night, and a couple inches of frozen slush in the morning.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Northwest November

Temporary safe harbor

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Clouds Taking Off

Monday, November 14, 2011


With limited turn-around space by the house, backing down the lane is often required. As I turned the first bend I noticed traffic in the middle of the lane.

There is room for passing between vans and Alpaca, but they were skeptical.

Who us? Move?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Tapestries in Yellow and Green

Autumn colors in the Pacific Northwest are subtle. Most native trees turn yellow and brownish orange. It may not be splashy, but it is beautiful.

Even the grass changes to yellow.

And the ever-present green. Conifers seem to darken this time of year, as the rain washes off dust from the summer. 

Hay Nets Revisited

My new slow-feeding hay nets are working well for most of the horses, but not for the two Spotted Drafts. They pulled the netted bale out of the trough I was using to keep it out of the mud, carried the bale around, tossed it down a hill into the water, and generally refused to eat out of the netting.  I decided to try tying it up.

On the left are the first two trees I used. I wanted to keep the net out of the middle of the path, but those trees were too small and in 3 days the leaned together tepee style. I moved the net to two sturdier trees, and filled in the soft muddy area on the slope with bark shavings.

This seems to be working. The horses still eat out of the top rather than the netting, but at least the hay is being kept mostly off the ground and mostly into the horses. I need stronger ropes, and maybe a pole across the top to help secure it closed.

I'd like to set up a second net, but with as many trees as I have, finding two sturdy ones the right distance apart (and not over a mud pit) and close enough to fill up is difficult.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Problems or Opportunities?

Just before dusk yesterday I realized that my horses had broken their frost-free water faucet off at the underground joint. Water was pouring down the hill, emptying my well. After a moment of panic, I realized I could shut off the water to the faucet while I called around to see if I could find a plumber on a Saturday evening.

The shut off wouldn't close completely, so I cut power to the well and started calling friends for references. I got lucky on the second call, and not only was the man referred home and willing to work, he lives just down the street. He came to dig up the pipe and assess what parts were needed. By the time he got back from Home Depot it was dark, and he fixed the faucet by flashlight.

This young man and his mother - who is about my age - are steeped in the values of presence, self love, and appreciating the Universe. His mother teaches Feldenkrais. We had interesting, heartfelt discussions during and after the repairs.

What could have been a difficult problem for me was resolved in a few hours, and led to meeting a new friend, one who lives less than a mile away. I am enriched.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

A Cirrus Sky


These streaky cirrus clouds covered the sky this afternoon - predicting the deterioration of weather that happened at sunset. The rains have returned.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Sharing Resources

These two tiny deer mice scampered across the lane and up to my new hay storage building just as I was pulling up to collect a couple bales. They were surprisingly unafraid. I think these are young mice, considering their small size and lack of fear.