|Hairy Halawa Moon|
I see, hear, and smell spring everywhere at the barn. The horses shed hair in great billowing puffs. The woodcocks flutter, whistle, and spiral in the evening dusk. The melting ice and snow percolate--emitting little sizzling sounds. And I can smell spring mud, everywhere, MUD! All my favorite signs of spring countered by thick, oozing mud.
After a visit from St. Butch, our farrier, on Saturday, John and I set our with Rolex and Harley for a jaunt up towards Tatnic. The melted snowbanks re-opened terrain that was nearly impossible to get at for a part of the winter when the horses were not keen to clamber over chest-deep, frozen snow. Out on the Nature Trail, we moved along at a good trot until Harley decided to shift into high gear and try to pass Rolex. That "Little Miss", determined to stay out front, kicked up her heels at Harley, bringing the "race" back down to a more sedate trot.
|Out on the Nature Trail|
We rode home via the road, always good for de-sensitizing. The passing cars and trucks didn't really faze Harley, but sudden movement from a squirrel, a bird flying up, barking dogs along the roadway--all can made him jump. So though I hate riding the road, especially solo, I feel better when there's two of us. Once on familiar territory, Harley settled, heaving a big sigh when we got home.
But get him I did, and off I rode, headed for the trails around North Point. Unfortunately, we had to abort that plan until Mr. Skinner's land dries up. I appreciate the access he's allowed us, so in return , we won't tear up his property.
Harley assumed the ride was over since we turned back. Ha! So once we reached the barn, we had a bit of a tussle. I convinced him to head down the hill towards Orris Falls. But when I asked him to go up the power line, he had another hissy fit and tried to head home. Again, I won and we continued up the trail. But wait--what's that in the woods? Two hikers and their dog crossed the power line and went into the woods--enough to bring Harley to a halt, ears up, ready to spin for home again. To my surprise, he kept moving forward, cresting the hill and wading through two large puddles. But the third puddle, deeper than the previous two, proved his undoing. Another attempted spin for home, bashing under tree limbs, but I swerved him back around and let him think about things and settle. With much urging, he marched back through all the water puddles. Now that we'd passed the worst obstacles, it was smooth sailing the rest of the way. Oh, my poor Harley--it's a tough life you live!
Back home, I spent a bit of time clearing up the detritus of winter storm. Around the house, I notice the tulips were sticking up a bit--a promise of spring's arrival! Beneath layers of leaf mulch, the ferns, wild ginger, and other border plants are emerging, testing the air to see if it's safe at last to poke their greenery up to the spring sunshine. I think we've seen the last of winter. The remaining snowbanks melt back a bit further each day and the snowline creeps back up into the woods in the backyard like a receding glacier. Winter has given up her icy grasp on us and warmer days are right around the corner! Soon the bloodroot and bleeding heart will bloom, but not until that last snowbank on the north side of the house finally disappears! You can just make out some ferns near the brick foundation--early greenery to go with the rhododendron.
It's taken me a week to finally write this entire post. I've had many late nights at the barn now that it isn't truly dark until 7:30 p.m. Once the horses are out at night, our work load will be reduced with no more stalls to muck.We are ALL looking forward to those days!