A Little Farm Yard Excitement

It is a lovely day today.
-8*c, no wind, sunshine and blue skies for miles.

The ducks and chickens were overjoyed to come out of the coop today.
I pulled their feed pan and waterer outside too.
Then, I tossed a couple of huge flakes of straw into the coop…after I gave them some straw to play in on top of the snow drifts.
This, my friends, is very exciting for poultry.
Little things make little minds happy. 😉

Heading back towards the house, I saw Sable in the trough…
Well, of course she was. Where else would the most accident prone horse on this Farm stand to eat??

As I went to give her trouble for it (and help her out) I saw someone black and white sitting atop a straw bale.
In my excitement to see him, I got a little over-zealous with my greeting, and he hopped down and ran off a bit…
That’s when I realized it wasn’t Felix.
Because Felix always came to the sound of my voice.
Always. ❤
Hoping it was him was just wishful thinking…

❤ Felix ❤

I went back to the house, grabbed the camera and headed down to the pasture to see if I knew this black and white ball of fur.
Turns out, after I captured his picture, that I do know him:

Well hello there, Mr. TobyCat!

He showed up here 2(?) summers ago.
When we lost so much of the clowder to the stinking coyote, I thought he was gone too.
Nope.
He must have gone back over to the closest neighbour’s place for a while. And now, he’s back with us for a bit.

Looking down from the rafters in the horse shelter.

So, another feline mouth to feed, and, if I can catch him, he’ll go for the Long Ride to the vet for the check up/neutering work.
7 is a good number for barn cats, right?
We’ll see if Trouble, Ghost and Max will let him stick around long enough for me to catch him.
The boys may be fixed but they’re still territorial.
They ain’t sharing the food (or The Food Lady’s lap) if they don’t have to!

Finally, just so y’all understand what I mean by “Sable was in the trough…”

“Whuts yer problem, Food Lady?”
~Sable

Some people’s horses, I tell ya!!

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Constant

If there is only one constant in Farm life it is that there is always work to do.

Doesn’t matter the season.
Work on the Farm never ends.
Today, I working on a few different things…

1. Working on getting the library sorted out so I can get the seed starting stand brought upstairs.
See, my problem with it being in the basement is I forget about the seedlings. So they don’t get watered nearly enough, and they all too often die. Last year, I started seeds 3 times…LOL!!
This year, I hope to only start them once. 😉
The library is a big job though…

2. I’m starting my pepper seeds.
If I wait until the library is done, it will be too late to start peppers. They take a long time to germinate, and they grow slower than tomatoes.
So, it’s time.
I have a hanging lamp over one of the shorter bookcases in the library where the tray will sit until the work is done. Then the tray can sit on top the plant stand, while the tomatoes get going under the lights on the shelves.

3. Editing pictures.
Because thousands of pictures on the hard drives/flash drives.
And, because I’ve been out taking more images lately.
It’s taken some time (14 weeks, yesterday) for me to come close to feeling normal enough to not fall apart grabbing the camera and going out into the pasture.
Now, when the smallest urge tickles me, I’m trying to go with it. Encouraging myself to let the camera take me where it wants to go, encouraging the healing process.

This is what drew me out to the pasture yesterday:

Napping in the sunshine…

“I know you’re there, Food Lady.
I also know you don’t have cookies, so I ain’t movin'”
~ Ruby

Lol!
Fine by me. I didn’t want her to move. 😉

And then there’s this one…because yesterday my Kid turned 17.
*sigh*
Things that make a woman feel old…
Grey in her own hair, greying muzzles on beloved animals, and Kids growing up.

Kid and her Sable ❤

Sharing with Comedy Plus for Aww Mondays.

💞 Sweet 💞

Friendship
is always a
sweet responsibility,
never an opportunity.
~ Khalil Gibran

I love this quote and how it relates to my mares.
I know horses don’t recognize “friendship” like us humans do, but they do form bonds with each other in their herds.
And they have a structure within the herd where the higher ranked mares will feel a responsibility to the lower ranked ones.
I find herd structure a fascinating subject, truthfully.
I can watch my Girls for hours on end, studying the structure of their little herd. Especially on nice days and if there’s wine. 😉

Yes, more from this series.
I love this angle, and still have so many of the images from this shoot to edit.
So, today you’re getting a few of them. 🙂

Dang, but I love a horse tongue out image!

And, an over-the-shoulder Mare Stare…just because.

Black as the devil,
hot as hell,
pure as an angel,
sweet as love.
~ Charles Maurice de Talleyrand

I Had a Plan…

But, Mother Nature thwarted me once again.
😂

Y’see, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and, even though we humans don’t recognize the “forced to prove how much you love your mate with cash and gifts” day, it can make for fun photo shoots with the horses.
Y’all remember the one with Cookie and the heart on her forehead?

My pretty Valentine.

❤ My Love ❤


Today I had planned on heading out and attempting something similar…
But Mother Nature.
Holy, she’s been a bit of a bitch this year!
While it’s only -9*c, the wind is gusting to 74km/h.
Which means ain’t none of my Girls can manage a decent thought in their heads. Too busy with wind blowing things right out. 😉

So, instead, I offer you these shots…

TroubleCat

The look mister gives me when I don’t make with the food fast enough.
LOL!!
He’s so cuddly. 🙂

Peek-a-boo!!
I see you through the willows!

Darn wind blew that poor horse right over.
Again.
😂

Edited to add:
Shared with Awww Mondays at Comedy Plus and Sparks:19 at McGuffy’s Reader.

Runnin’

I have spent the last 3 months feeling sad and tired.
I am, quite honestly, sick and tired of feeling sad and tired.
And the ridiculous cold has not helped at all.

So when Hubby had to pull the tractor out to move hay bales and clear snow, he asked if I wanted him to exercise the Girls while I took pictures…I happily agreed.
Both because I needed the camera time, and because those mares were getting fat and lazy.
😉

Galloping towards the camera…

I will admit, I lost my breath for a bit when I only counted 3…
Of course, I have the same problem every time I hang their beet pulp buckets. Every damn day, a tear escapes when I hang 3 buckets instead of 4. :/

Galloping away from the camera…

Took those nags a bit to get back into the swing of running about, having fun. When they caught on, they ran for a good 45 minutes.
Those were happy, happy equines!

I love Sable’s face in this shot…she looks so happy!

And then…

Ears!!

Ruby put on the cranky mare ears because Sable tried licking her muzzle…it’s something she used to do to Cookie.
Old habits and all that stuff.
To be fair, Cookie wasn’t thrilled with it either, but it’s something Sable does to be affectionate with her herdmates.

I’ve also been working my way through some old images on the hard drives. I have sooooo many that I need to pare down.
Including a couple of cute ones from the Stable where The Kid takes her lessons:

Joe the Barn Cat

The horses were coming in and Joe wanted to be out before they got there!

Brazzle

He’s a lovely, snuggly fellow.

I love that big door for taking pictures.
I get so many great shots there.

Sharing with McGuffy’s Reader Sparks:18

Also sharing with Awww Mondays at Comedy Plus

‘Til We Meet Again

Here we are, at the end of January.
It’s been an exhausting winter.
Either way too cold, or bouncing up above freezing.
Honestly, I’ve spent the last month being rather unsure what I’m going to find in the pasture every morning…

Y’see, rapid weather changes are hard on horses.
Hard to believe that such large, powerful animals can be so damn delicate, but there it is…rapid weather changes can cause upset tummies in a flash. And, often before we humans know it’s coming.
To counter act that, I make sure everyone has a good pile of hay to munch from, salt blocks within easy reach of the waterer (plus one away from it, in case someone wants to hoard it from the others), and an extra dash of salt in their beet pulp daily.
The idea is, keep things moving in and out on schedule, and hope that’s enough to keep tummies settled and happy.
All 3 are doing well.
🙂

And me?

Well, I finally picked up my camera last week.
Between Astrid looking gorgeous in the snow:

Little Red ❤

Beautiful Girl ❤

And the urge to create something to honor my Cookie…
Well, the camera and I got reacquainted.

Take a blanket, halter, crown, Cookie Monster and a bottle of whiskey to the pasture…

Funny how the good ones go
Too soon, but the good lord knows
The reasons why I guess

And this is what I get…

Sometimes the greater plan is kinda hard to understand
Right now it don’t make sense
I can’t make it all make sense

And this…

So long my friend, until we meet again
I’ll remember you
And all the times we used to
Sit right here on the edge of this pier
Watch the sunset disappear
And drink a beer


Until we meet again, my Love.
Never goodbye.
We will be together again.

In the meantime, it’s time to stop the grief from stifling the creativity, and let it flow through and work with the creativity.
That’s the plan, anyways. 😉

So, I think I’m back, friends.
At 11 weeks after Her death, I think I can finally breath enough to continue on without being a sobbing zombie mess.
Can’t guarantee there won’t be tears here and there (of course there will be) but instead of letting that stop me, I’m going to just go with it…
We’ll see what comes from that.

Sharing with McGuffy’s Reader Sparks:17

Today’s musical inspiration provided by:

And…
Did ya notice the new thing?
😉

A Look Back at 2017

So, here we go into 2018.
Let’s take a last look back at 2017 first, ‘kay?

I’m not a Resolution kinda gal, but I do like that look back at the things that worked, the things that need a little tweaking and the things that were a fail. Then, we adjust from there, for the next year.
Plus, there’s all the pretty pictures to look at. 😉

So, since we’ve got 12 months of stuff to look at, let’s get at ‘er…

January

Very first image of 2017…first one I shot, first one I shared.


No Yule season is the same without a Yule pony picture…Ruby took that to a whole new level by trying to eat one of the decorations.
Jerk. 😉

“Hey Mom, you put apples on the tree??”
~Ruby

My Old Ladies… ❤
Practicing their long and low trot.
It may not look like much in a photo, but this is so beautiful in person…I could watch them do this all day long. Just look at how in sync they are here…gorgeous!

Holding the heat vent down…

It was a typical frigid winter, so Miss Daisy Mae did what any good cat does…stay warm on the heat vent, while I Dreamed about the garden and coming Spring.

My shoe box full of seeds…

February

February saw us playing in the snow…

I love this shot so much…feral or friendly Palomino?!?

Doing some hoof maintenance…

“Make sure it looks good too, Dad!”
~Sable

And doing portraits…

 

And then, there was this fun shot…

Who doesn’t like a pink mint?

March

March is when we start getting out more, thinking about the coming Spring. We can smell it on the wind, the snow is slowly melting…and the cats?

Ghost (in front) and Trouble

Out more, wandering, looking for trouble…but not these 2 ^^^ anymore. 2017 saw them become fat, lazy, neutered boys.
That’s a good thing, because those boys were going out fighting way too much!

“Do you mind??!?”
~Gabrielle

Gabrielle has a pee inside a hoof print in a snow bank.
Weirdo. LOL!!

Xena, asking for belly rubs…

Pretty Xena, enjoying the sunshine.

Max and Ruby

Aww, Max and Ruby. 😉

Then, the water came…

Luckily, Lake Midnight didn’t stick around nearly as long this March.

Splashing in the puddle…

Oh, but my Girl made sure to play in it. Splashy ponies are so fun to watch. 🙂 Do you see the heart I clipped into her coat? On her bum?

Then came the photo shoot to celebrate the arrival (if only on the calendar) of Spring!

“Oh! Hey Mama…whatcha doin'”
~Cookie

***Sigh***
“Seriously?!? Why do you keep doing this to me?”
~Astrid

“If I have to wear this, I want treats.”
~Sable

April

Easter, more portraits both at Home and at Home-away-from-Home, sleeping horses and mud…
So.
Much.
Mud.

Sable EasterPony

Oreo

Sable

The look I get when I wake Astrid from a snoring sleep…

And a muddy, stinky Palomino has a roll…

May

Pig babies!!!
Pig babies arrived in May…

Bacon Bits 2017

They are so cute when they’re little.
Before they figure out the Food Lady, before they fully understand their new world around them…I just want to snuggle them, and hug them, and pet them…LOL!!
But wait, later on, I’ll show you how much bigger they get…

This is our brave piglet…

See? Little, so adorable…
The grass is coming back, the sun is shining more, the Girls love to bask in the sunshine…they’re like giant cats in the sun.
Sunshine melts their bones into jelly. ❤

Sable just wanted me to know she was tired.

Ruby

Sunshine jelly bones means I get to practice my sunrise photography.
Sunrise is my favorite time of day to shoot. ❤

Ghost

June

By June, school is almost done for The Kid, the garden has seeds and some plants, and we’re looking ahead to meatie chickens…

Tilling my soon to be garden space…

The Kid forking green food to piglets…

Pig babies are figuring out, and loving the weeds getting forked to them…and growing like weeds too!

Andy Piggie says “Listen Food Lady, if you aren’t bringing us food, then why are you waking us up?”


Daphne rests after running like a maniac (her everyday normal) and throwing weeds around the yard, while barking and growling at them.

Having a rest in the long grass…

Max helps me in my early morning photography, and our Blonde Girl…

Sable looks on with interest…

Is bright gold after shedding out her winter fuzzies.

July

July brings us the first hay cutting…I did good this year!
Near onto 700lbs of cut with a scythe, hand raked and baled hay.
Yay, me!!

Filled, strings tied…

July also brings us flowers, rodeo trips and bugs…

The air this bull got was amazing.

“Oh. Hello.
Did you want to pass?”

The deer in the middle of our road…we’d just turned off the highway towards the Farm, and youngster was standing there. Such a beautiful image of our road to Home.


All those bugs means smudge fires…Our Ruby, she does love a good smokey fire. 😉

“It’s just so relaxing, Mama!”
~ Ruby



August

Blankets, a birthday, apple slices, ducks and more…

“Ermagerhd!!! I’m being eat…oh, wait, this ain’t so bad.”
~ Cookie

Old Ladies need to know they *can* wear blankets. Especially when it’s frigid cold, and Mama needs to know Old Ladies are safe. ❤

I turned 45.
My Pony and I had a photo shoot together…
My Kid captured this perfectly.
I love everything about this shot.

“Oh, hello there Ladies…would you like some apple slices?”

My 4 moochers…
Kid has a bucket full of apple slices, I lay on the ground by the fence.
Wholly and completely inspired by Underlook and his Under-Horse project…

Ohoh!!
Some one got a sour one!

And then these 2 arrived…thanks to a friend from the Stable…

Quack quack quack

Gotta tell ya, these 2 boys have grown a lot!
Looking forward to spring, when I can get them some girlfriends. 🙂

Heh.
The ears tell you how much she appreciated being photographed.

My BabyGirl doing a normal horse thing…enjoying the relief from bugs in the smoke of the smudge. ❤

September

My biggest accomplishment for September was helping my Cookie get over her fear of having her breakaway halter taken off.
It was huge for her…
In fact, you can read about it here:
They Don’t Need To Understand

October

In October I met a horsewoman that I have long admired at a clinic I was beyond excited about…

This was a preview image from the Anna Blake clinic…
I still have to finish those images to share them.
But, I learned a lot at the clinic and come home ready to share that knowledge with my mares.

Winter coats are more obvious…

Fluff from the poplars rests on long fuzzy hairs…

Naps in the sun are still a priority…

And the Pig Babies begin their journey to Freezer Camp…
See? Not so little and cute any more!

Joining their neighbours, the meat chickens…

November

The land is getting ready for sleep, its cooling off, and we’re ready to do the annual Remembrance Day shoot…

This year I wanted a simple image, with a big impact…
A yellow ribbon, placed on one who would always wait for her Love to come Home to her…


2 days after I took this picture November broke me.
Ripped my Heart right out of my chest and destroyed me.
November 13th.
I can never, ever forgive November for this…

Sable saying goodbye…

November 13th…
My Heart.
My Soul.
My Best non-human Friend.
My Cookie…crossed Bifrost, the Rainbow Bridge, taking a huge chunk of my Heart with her.

Hubby took this while I was working on convincing her to wear that ribbon…she loved cats. I love that they’re sharing breath here…Coal was an amazing comfort to her. She was the only cat other than Cookie’s Felix who was allowed to sit on her back. ❤

A funeral pyre fitting for my Warrior Queen.
😥

December

I have no pictures for December.
I’ve taken nothing on the Farm since that fire.
I am, in truth, so glad that 2017 is finally done.

I have things to do.
I have places to go.
I have things to learn.
I have a Heart to heal and a camera to learn how to love again.
That’s all on the list for 2018.

Hope you’ll stick with us on that Journey.

Happy New Year.