Thursday, July 14, 2011

Evening meander in the woods

Home from the forest
This hot steamy weather doesn't inspire me to ride, but ride we must to keep Harley fit (and the exercise won't hurt me either!). A breeze kicked up as we prepared to leave, but once in the woods, the deerflies were horrible. I planned to do the Jepson Farm loop, only in reverse to keep things interesting for Harley.

About half way through the ride, with flies swarming around us both (nothing works except the face mask) I decided to cut it short. By this time, I'd made him cross a mucky brook (one he's balked at a few times now), and we had a nice trot down the trail through hardwoods and hemlocks. When we reached the beaver pond, I made Harley go off into the open woods, along the pond edge (Yikes, open water). There are a few hardwood stumps showing the chew marks of beaver, but I didn't hear or see any critters. I think the crackling of sticks and needles warned them off.  It was a little after 6 p.m. a good time to see wildlife. I don't know if Harley thinks that's such a great idea, and maybe I'm a fool to try wildlife watching aboard him! As I thought about this, something started screeching across the pond--two foxes? Bobcats? Definitely not housecats! Harley's ears perked up and he swung his head in the direction of the sounds, then started moving away, as if to say, "Time to leave. I don't like the sound of that". But he didn't spook--good boy, Harley. Not there he hadn't already had a few shudders at "things in the woods", but he didn't try to whirl away. We trotted along the trail complete with a nice halt and canter, all done quite gentlemanly. He's doing so well in the space of 15 months.

I think we were both happy to be home--rumbling sounded in the distance, and roiling grey clouds amassed over the barn. Harley got a nice bath, and so did Callie Lou! (Thank you, John.) As you can see, I have a sweet birch fly swatter in my left hand. We may have to invest in a nice whisk, and a neck cover, to keep those pesky bugs off poor Harley. I love the long days of summer, but I'm always glad when the flies fade away with the coming of fall!


  1. I think they hate the flies more than the winter. I am looking forward to their demise, also. I enjoyed reading some of Harley's history. $50K! Wow. Your trail rides and consistency with Harley are inspiring!

  2. The heat and flies have been horrible. Harley has dropped some weight, probably from stamping off flies (does any repellent work?), and lack of interest in grain. He'd rather eat his hay. I guess it's like us--steak and potatoes when it's 100 degrees, or a light salad!


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