December 19, 2012

Walkabout, in the snow

We have been having some weather this past week. First it was a little over an inch of rain, then last night winds picked up with 45 mph gusts and we had another "chance of precipitation". It was still dark this morning at my usual get up time and consequently I overslept. When I hurried out in jammies and a robe to feed the horses, I was hit with horizontal snow! And who comes out of the blizzard to greet me but Cody, our youngest and omega, horse!

He was soaking wet and had apparently had a gay old time. He knew the game was up however, and let me put a halter on him without any protest. The door to the stall was closed but the gate at the rear had blown open in the wind. I put him back in the stall and pitched hay, but he was not interested. Heavens no, not only had he eaten his fill in the barn, he had opened the oat bucket too!

Once it was light it became obvious that he had enjoyed himself in spite of the weather. He walked around the barn, squeezed himself between two fences barely wide enough for a person to reach the back of Bueno's stall. I wonder if this was a gesture of "I am out here and you are not, and I can eat whatever I want in whatever quantity I want, so there!" Bueno is Cody's nemesis and regularly pushes Cody around, and was this retribution? Last week Cody had been kicked in the shoulder and had suffered a swollen limb for a couple of days. A small abscess even had to be doctored and stall rest was administered. So did Cody have the last laugh this morning?

This is Cody in better weather (March 2010), having another good time.

December 17, 2012

First visitor

At least a first visitor of this size. In November Dan and I put up a nesting platform for a red tailed hawk, of which we have many in this county. We were inspired by Big Red and Ezra rearing their hawklets on Cornell University's campus last spring, and thought it would be great to have our "own" pair of hawks. I know the platform is not quite high enough for a hawk's taste, but there are no places taller nearby. Not enough tall trees in the desert, and this pole on our small round pen (for horses) was the best we could do without erecting some scary structure ourselves.

Today we had a sighting! He, or she, remained while Dan drove up the driveway, and even stuck around for some photos.

If a hawk will sometime call this home, Roadie, our resident road runner, will have some competition but there is enough rodentia to go around for everyone. Just yesterday Roadie tried to open a live trap, with mouse, that Dan had set aside for a moment before releasing it (privately). And that not 3 feet away from where he stood.

December 14, 2012

It's winter now

No biking today. Perhaps not even a dog walk today. Yesterday morning, when there was not a cloud in the sky, the weather forecast predicted a storm blowing in with 90% chance of precipitation. Yeah, yeah, we have heard that before. But just in case, I gave the horses a spa day and we covered the hay. Good thing too: it rained more than one inch overnight, and it's still at it.

Snow at 5,000 feet, and the snow level is falling. I could be painting molding, but Dan convinced me to have a "play day" and read my fun book: Free country, a penniless adventure the length of Britain. It is also perfect weather to do some cooking, snert (Dutch pea soup) is good when it's cold and rainy, and I should get started on making Kerststol (Dutch Christmas bread) to have my version perfected for the holiday.

December 8, 2012


The weather is still quite mild, it is lovely having doors open in the beginning of December. It is not to last, I am sure, and the animals are giving signs too. Rodents are looking for warm places, and green stuff to eat.

I am normally quite tolerant and do not mind sharing, but when I found my lovely spinach gnawed and my kale assaulted, the gloves came off. Well, sort of, I bought out the live traps.

Over the last 3 days I have caught 12 mice in two garden beds, and 1 fat rat in the tack room. The wood rat taxied 1.5 miles away, the mice walked to the state land at the back of our property.