Monday, April 8, 2013

Spring arrived today

For many people in New England, spring's arrival is determined by the day the ice goes out on the big lakes. But for me, it's when the peepers start singing. Today spring arrived as the peepers began trilling in a vernal pool we passed on our trail ride by the quarry. Even though ice and snow are still present, the water reached that magical temperature of 42 degrees when the peepers wake up and announce it's spring.

We decided to ride the same loop as yesterday, but without the dead end detours--just the Jepson Farm, quarry, North Point loop. It was such a beautiful day without the chilly winds we've had for so long. Today's breeze was refreshing. I finally left the jacket at the barn and rode in a t-shirt and flannel shirt. It's time to stow away the fleece breeches and the Carhartt overalls until next winter.

Both Harley and Rolex were in a lazy mood today. I think they'd rather have stayed in the warm sunny pasture, dozing. They did have spunk, enough for Harley to have a good spook and pass it on to Rolex, but overall, they picked their way along the trail at a leisurely walk. Harley, always afraid of being left behind, kept trotting to catch up to his girl when he wasn't in the lead position. And Rolex, every so often would just stop and tuck her face in behind my leg, along Harley's flank.

Since they were both behaving so well, I decided to take photos. Standing was NOT a problem today; they both seemed happy to stop every so often, get a bit of carrot, and just relax. Sometimes it was hard to get them started again. It was a race to see who would take the first step!

As you can see from the first two pictures, there's still plenty of snow under the hemlocks. I think Harley was peering at the open water at the bottom of the hill. Yet he gallantly walked through all the water and mud today, no matter how deep. As the rotten ice floes slowly melt, Rolex's bravery increases. She's smart enough to question stepping on ice, but will go forward when she's decided it's safe, especially if Harley goes ahead of her.

We left the icy, snowy woods near Jepson Farm and stepped out into sunshine by the old homestead and up around the quarry. The soft footing was perfect for a good trot, buy our sleepy steeds only gave it a half-hearted attempt before stopping for a rest and another look and what might be up ahead. Rolex decided it would be nice to have Harley walking beside her and didn't make any snake-mare faces at him today. I think she was enjoying his company.
She's a funny one; sometimes she wants him behind her and sometimes she just doesn't care. Today was one of those days, "Go ahead, Harley, I'd rather sniff your stifle".  
Here's a moment when they just stood and gazed up the road, and munched on carrot bits.

 The horses were enjoying each others company--they couldn't get much closer. Our knees kept hitting against one another! Note the bag for camera, bandana, hoof pick, and CARROTS.

Then we passed the peeper pond. That got their attention! "What's all that squeaking?"

The pace picked up once we turned for home, and got especially quick when John urge Rolex to canter along our little cut-off for home. Harley, already trailing, suddenly stepped on the gas and took off, leaping over a tiny branch like he was clearing Becher's Brook at Aintree. And all the while, I'm saying, "John, uh John, JOHN, hold up!" And when he did, Harley stopped so hard it nearly unseated me--good golly!

I left the barn around 7:30 tonight, serenaded by a chorus of peepers and a woodcock BZZZ'ing in the field. Yup, spring is finally here, I can smell it in the air.


  1. Love That"Peepers" Mean Spring For You!!!
    Very Nice Rides, Both Days. Beautiful, Between The Ears Captures, My Fav!

    I Adore The Warm Lazy Rides, When The Horses Don't Care~

  2. THE PEEPER POND!!! yes, yes, I could not agree more. Isn't it the most wonderful thing? FOR so many reasons. Spring spring! Peep! Peep! One of the most tenacious and promising sounds of the year. It is wonderful. Ans also wonderful: packing away those carhardt overalls, as much as I love them, I never have a problem putting them away. So many dreamy things in your post! It is nice sometimes, to have a sleepy horse who isn't off to the races all the time. As usual, love your pictures. Good old Maine. You are one lucky lady.


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