Friday, June 17, 2011

In which I wander around with the camera to see what's blooming

While packing up stuff to go to camp for a week (!!!!) I realized that, despite a very winter-esque springtime, there really is stuff growing in the gardens and flowerbeds around Haiku Farm.

I took some pictures for y'all to look at while we're gone to the mountains.

 chives in bloom (above) and cilantro next to it (below)
 purple sage, green sage in bloom, and a few stalks of voluntary rhubarb.
 I would've predicted that the dill I planted (below) would HATE our exceptionally wet chilly spring weather, but it seems happy.
 Looks like I'll be having blueberries (below) in my oatmeal when I get home from camp!

 We didn't get a single grape from our vines last summer...because Twelve ate them all!  This year, I'll throw nets over the vines to keep that pesky chicken out!
 The tomato plants (above) are pathetic, as you might expect in a cold wet Spring.  We'll be lucky if we get anything more than cherry tomatoes from the garden this year, unless the weather changes dramatically in the next two months.  Sigh.  It's unlikely.
 The beans don't mind the weather, bless their little legume hearts.  Lisa didn't like to eat beans when she first arrived at the Farm, but she's changed her mind.  I guess somebody told her that beans are the favored vegetable of all the women in my family.   Gee, who could have said that?   Hmmm.
 Occasionally, poppies (above) appear in random places around the yard.  We've never planted them, but I think I will throw some poppy seeds out next year, because they're such cheerful flowers.
 I've always considered iris blooms to be lugubrious, especially compared to poppies, but the plants are co-habitating pretty nicely this year.
 Little pear pippins are appearing in the orchard.  The cherry trees seem to have some strange kind of leaf blight, which probably means no cherries this year (it also means I must visit the Master Gardeners when I get home so I can get some good advice from them!).
 More flowers....

...and of course, there are always a few weeds.

Have a great week, everyone!  

Thursday, June 16, 2011

In which our farrier comes early because he's a Morning Person

I love my farrier, but he is a Morning Person.
He showed up this morning at 7:30, half an hour early.  Yawn. 
 The mares are not Morning Horses!
 I've kept notes for all the horses' feet for at least 8 years.  The form includes the date of each appointment, foot angles before/after, and notes about what Ron sees when he watches them walk before he starts work and what he sees when he trims them--extra growth on the inside or outside, excess wear on a foot that might indicate soreness on the opposite side, or evidence of stress or old abcesses.

Sometimes we see something in a foot that doesn't make sense, but when we go back through the old records, we discover that a horse was lame or stiff earlier in the year, and the evidence shows up months later in the hoof tissue.

I also include information about what kind of work each horse has done since the last farrier appointment--lessons, trail work, rides, etc.  and the type of terrain they've been on during that time.
Fiddle's foot (above) after trimming.  She shows the typical flat-footed conformation of a Swamp-dwelling horse.  

 It's important for me to keep notes about the sort of work she's been doing;  I know that Fiddle has been doing a lot of miles on very rocky terrain, and her shoes showed the impact of that work: she lost two shoes this time, (very unusual) and the nailheads on her remaining shoes were practically gone, although they are only 6 weeks old.

In other words, she wore the nails out, and trotted right out of her shoes!

I hope I'll find the missing shoes some day, because, although the shoes were worn out, I can re-use the pads.   We use Shocktamer  pads on the front; I'm not convinced that they actually reduce concussion significantly, but the pads last a lot longer than normal pads, so it's money well-spent.

 Fiddle:  not a Morning Horse.
Also:  Me.  Not a Morning Person.


I'm off to pack the trailer for camp now....ummmm, maybe I'll have another cup of tea first.