Thursday, December 13, 2012

Stupid Human Tricks

Another beautiful morning
After Tuesday morning's run to T's mom's for showers and internet fix, T headed for H- for a round of shopping.  I stayed here and played with the pruning shears.  I managed to get the majority of the baby honey locusts cut off at ground level in the creek bed.  I also knocked the pointy clumps off the mature trees up as high as I could reach, collecting the spine clusters as I went.  That took a good chunk of the afternoon.  Good exercise, too.  As I pruned I was dumping the branches and small trees over the fence in piles, so then I had to collect them all and haul them back closer to the house to be burned.  (If we ever get wet weather.)

That was NOT fun.  The ends aren't barbed like burrs so they slide right out when they stab through your clothes, but you know how old barbwire forms big tangles and springs back at you?  After much cautious yanking, no small amount of cussing, and some gingerly squashing down, I had a truckbed full to brimming with one big spiny octopus load of trimmings.  Then I had to unload it all.  T missed all the fun.

Filled the horse tank, then put the hose in the cow tank and let it run for a hour or better - the cows were forming circle around the tank three deep when I got done unloading the locusts, so it wasn't a surprise that their tank was pretty well down.  While it filled I got the horses weight-taped and wormed.  None of them were thrilled, but they all behaved pretty well.  Even Sunny didn't put up as much fuss as he's been known to. 

Waiting for that last few inches of tank to slosh full I finally just stood there in the sunshine for a few minutes, basking.  I'd shed my quilted jacket sweating over the trees, and it dawned on me I was standing outside in a long-sleeve shirt and jeans, in December.  Not exactly the season's usual base layer of long underwear and additional woolies, topped off by heavy winter coat, scarf, hat and gloves I'd have on in SD....  Lovely, but something tells me I'm not going to enjoy June, July and August, much. 

Yesterday we spent most of the day working on horse-proofing the creekbed.  I clipped out more trees, T used the chainsaw to get some of the bigger stuff whacked off at the base, and we strung fence across to keep them out of the pile of washed-down trees and debris the county needs to come clean out of of the bridge base on the upstream side of the road. 

Well, you can almost see something....

Hooray for chainsaws!
The horses initially viewed all this noisy activity with suspicion... from a distance.

As far away as they could get

But it didn't take too long before they chalked it up to more bizarre human behavior and went back to eating, creeping incrementally towards the noise.

Finally, it was time to take down the fence and introduce the ponies to their new pasture.  I collected Sunny and led him over - they have to go down a short, sharp dropoff just past the fence.  Not surprisingly, Sunny and Rufus, the two who've been ridden through the most rough country, baled right down.  The other two weren't far behind. 

The first victim

Where's he going?

Down in the bottom
Initially they weren't too sure about staying down there - the wind had treetops rushing and squeaking together, and the leaves underfoot were loud.  Once they'd charged up and down through the gate a couple times, Sunny scrambled up the slope on the far side with Rufus a length or so behind. 

Rufus and Sunny explore the topside
The others followed, and they poked checking out the new boundaries.  Then they skidded back down the hill and back to the safety of more familiar space. 

"I think there used to be a fence here, George!"

When we turned them out this morning they cruised the pasture a couple of loops, then settled in grazing at the far end away from the creekbed gate.  But they were gradually easing their way that direction.  Once they're comfortable down there we'll run a temporary fence across the north section of orchard pasture  so that the grass there has a chance to recover. 


Kellie said...

Boy you all did a lot of work! Building some muscles!!

How great to have options for where to put your horses! Preventing over grazing in the dry times will help with errosion and all that.

My Uncle lives in Elk county and he told my Dad recently that they are so dry there that they've got cracks in the ground big enough to put your fist in. How crazy is that. Hope you all get some moisture soon.

Sure is pretty there. I spent a lot of summers in KS as a kid and melted, but course at the time I was coming from AK, so anything over 70* was torture lol.

SunnySD said...

And am I ever sore today! I do like having options, though:)

It is crazy dry down here - we had a 50% chance of rain today, but so far all we've had are clouds. I'm really hoping they deliver. Haven't seen any cracks as big as your uncle has yet, but if this keeps up,....

It sure is beautiful, though!