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Pepper-chin-hairs

It’s time to wrap my head around winter feeding.

And if I’m being completely honest with you, I’d rather not be plunged into winter. Right now I can’t find my heavy gloves–something to remedy pretty darn quick!

I’ve moved the feeding time back to early afternoon, aiming for the warmest part of the day. By December I’ll be out with the Golden Girls around noon. Amazingly they quickly figure out the schedule and make the necessary adjustments to be at the gate waiting for their grain.

Coats, a little extra feed and a lot of TLC is what I can do for these old sweeties.

Both are heading into winter in good shape, which really helps. But it’s a tough time for old horses. And these frigid record-breaking November temps have been a rude awakening for all of us.

Hello Winter!

“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.”

~Nathaniel Hawthorne

Golden-Autumn

We’ve been having the most gorgeous Indian Summer here in northern Colorado.

And hasn’t it been glorious?

Every weed and leaf is sun kissed. I don’t know when I’ve seen the corn stalks seem so beautiful. Each day as I drive down the lane toward our sweet old girls, I usually stop to admire the corn stalks.

And the weeds.

And the leaves.

I agree with Hawthorne in the quote above. I want to be outside and not miss even a minute of this golden October.

Yet again I am grateful for our commitment to the horses. Otherwise I think I would be at risk to miss all this beauty.

And that would be a huge loss.

What gets you way from the computer or the desk or the house or whatever life expects of you that keeps you inside?

Chickadee-rain

Rain is one of those weather events that creates a love-hate response in folks. And probably in horses too! Here in northern Colorado we’ve had a summer of rain.

  • That means the land is still green, which is always a wonderful sight to behold, especially as we nudge ourselves into August.
  • That means our water bills aren’t quite as shocking as they sometimes can be in the middle of summer.
  • That means coming up with Plan B for those outdoor events like concerts, barbecues, parties on the lawn etc.
  • That means the scare of flash flood warnings.
  • That means muddy pastures and WET horses.

 

It’s been an interesting weather season with hail, tons of rain, flood warnings, and a few days of blazing heat.

But wait, we are in Colorado where the motto about weather is this: “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.”

 

Where do you stand on the rain? Love it or hate it?

 

P.S. Chickadee says she’s a little tired of being wet.

July-clouds

I miss a lot when I choose to stay tethered to my computer or planted in front of the television. When I’m working on a deadline or doing something much less important like surfing the Web or checking Facebook I lose track of the beautiful world around me.

 

Last night we were later than usual getting out to feed the Golden Girls.

 

The day had been beastly hot and we were mired in a heat coma, unable to lift ourselves from our chairs, waiting, we told ourselves, for the day to cool down before we ventured out.

 

A storm was brewing to the west with ominous pewter colored clouds building over the foothills.

From our vantage point at the pasture we saw the most amazing clouds.

Watching a storm build when you are at a safe distance is an awesome experience. The occasional bolt of lightning sliced the darkened sky and we could hear the rolling of thunder in the distance.

In front of us, Pepper and Chickadee happily munched on grain, a chorus of frogs sang from the now-full pond, horses nickered in the distance and life seemed pretty much perfect.

 

As Pepper, our slow eater, chewed her final bits of grain, the first raindrops fell. We led her back to the pasture, loaded things into the car and headed for home.

 

As we drove away I realized how relaxed I felt.

The stress of deadlines had melted out of my body and I had renewed enthusiasm for everything. Some of my best ideas come when I’m with the horses.

So why is it that on some days I fight going?

I don’t take the time to get myself outside, reconnected with nature. And more important, reconnected with myself.

 

We humans can be so stubborn can’t we?

 

Is there a place in nature that you’ve missed lately? Is today the day to reconnect?

Wishing you breathtaking cloudscapes and chirping frogs to guide you.

 

Ripe-Berries

Some days the simplest of things give me the most pleasure.

Lately I’ve been sitting on my back deck watching the robins stuff themselves on ripe berries from our Serviceberry trees.

I’m telling you these are happy birds.

They glide in, land on a branch and begin plucking the red, ripe fruit and offering satisfied chirps as they go. Sometimes the chirps are more like squawks.

 

My husband thinks the birds get a little tipsy from the overripe berries.

So be it. It’s summer after all!

 

This experience is short lived as the robins can devour every last berry in record time, which makes it all the sweeter for me. It’s become one of the summer events I look forward to each year.

 

I love this up close and personal intersection with nature.

 

Are there summer nature events that fill your soul?

I’d love to hear about them. Just leave a comment in the section below.

 

P.S. I tried many times to get a picture of the birds in the berries, but they were having none of it. Every time I got close, off they flew. I guess you’ll have to use your imagination on this one!

 

My garden is springing back to life as it does every spring. It’s just in time because I was getting really tired of dry crumpled leaves, dusty soil and no signs of life.

Frankly I’ve had my fill of dry and dusty and lifeless.

Really done with that.

 

So this post is a little love note to Mother Nature. Thank you for coming through for me and showing me how ripe and luscious life can be.

 

Iris

Aren’t these iris just the bomb?

 

Clematis

And clematis – oh my goodness you are amazing.

 

Lilac

The lilacs have just finished showing off (they were the late blooming version.) Every morning as I sat on my deck with coffee I was enveloped with the scent of lilacs in bloom.

 

Pure deliciousness.

 

What a girl that Mother Nature is!

She’s just getting started. In the front I have peonies popping out like the huge crepe paper flowers we used to make when we were kids. Pink and white balls of gorgeousness.

 

And the roses. How could I forget to mention those lovelies?

 

After a barren winter, my senses are nearly on overload. My soul is plumping up and I am reminded that life is good.

Really good.

Time for Tuesday Beauty

Apple-blossoms

The flowering trees have been gorgeous this spring.

What a blessing!

Thank you for your kind words about my sister’s death. It means a lot to me.

Mud-Season-3

In the horse world, and all worlds primarily set in the outdoors, there is a fifth season. It falls between winter and spring, often stretching well into the spring.

It’s called Mud Season, and this year it seems to have arrived a little ahead of the calendar.

All that moisture-laden snow covering the ground in late January and early February has yielded under the pressure of fifty and sixty degree days, first to lakes and now to gooey, sloppy mud.

And yeehaw, it is a slippery, dirty mess.

Mud-Season-2

The horses are caked with dried mud, my car–as you can see from the photos–is splattered with mud, and my clothes and boots are the same.

Mud-Season-1

 I know we’ll have more snow and frozen ground yet this season.

It is after all only mid-February in Colorado. I never thought I’d find myself saying this, but I think I will welcome it!

Mud season isn’t exactly my favorite time of year. But I keep repeating the mantra of the parched west: Be thankful for the moisture.

And I am.

Really!

Snowy-Pasture-Collage

News Flash: It’s still winter.

I know the folks on the east coast have no doubt about that, but here in Colorado, Mother Nature toys with us. She’s tossed fifty and even sixty degree days at us, only to snap us back to reality with yesterday’s snowstorm.

Luckily we got coats on the Golden Girls so they were prepared. I had to do a bit of self talk to get my head in the right place to venture out. But I did – can’t bear to think about those two sweet old things going without their extra calories.

Once I arrived, I was thrilled with the beauty of the snow.

The day was hazy and it was still lightly snowing. The snow had muffled the sounds so that there was only a distant hum of traffic on the Interstate and a slight buzzing of wires overhead.

But mostly it was still.

So still I could hear the horses chewing their grain. I was alone with my horses and it was magical. And such a gift.

It made me realize, yet again, that there is always something beautiful to be found when you really open your eyes and heart to look.

 

Hammock-in-Mexico

Every year about this time I get a strong case of cabin fever. I yearn to go somewhere, preferably somewhere warm with long stretches of empty beach.

My toes ache for soft white sand.

My mouth hungers for margaritas sipped on the veranda at dusk, with a pinkish sky escorting in the nightfall.

My soul hungers for something different.

New experiences.

New things to look at.

New people to meet.

A break in the everyday routine of life.

 

But this year it simply isn’t to be.

My husband is recovering from surgery.

Our animals are growing more and more fragile and we are needed here with them.

And I’m good with that.

Yesterday we were talking about how our calling right now is caring for our old animals–giving them kindness and care at the end of their lives. It’s not everyone’s calling. But it definitely is ours.

 

In the meantime, I pull up my pictures of vacations past, and remember. For now, it does the trick. I get a little “hit” of the tropics without moving from my computer.

 

This photo was taken in Mexico some years ago on a secluded beach where we’d gone to snorkel. It’s my Blessing of Beauty for this Tuesday.

 

What about you? Are you yearning for a vacation?

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