I was hoping when we turned the calendar to May, we would be blessed with some really Springlike weather, but rain and cold seem to be the order of the day.
Yesterday was warm and sunny, but today we are back to a cold rain, and the forecast is for more of the same for the rest of the week.
The pasture is lush and green, and normally my horses would spend all afternoon out there chowing down, but today they are huddled in their shelter, unwilling to brave the chill. Now that the longer days are here, they like to stay out until after eight o’clock, but it looks like I will have to bring them into the barn early tonight and give them extra hay.
The exceptionally wet weather is producing a fine crop of Dandelions. Although they are a terrible nuisance in our lawns and flower beds, they really are quite beautiful, and I read something the other day, encouraging us not to kill them as bees rely on them because they are one of the first things to bloom in the Spring.
Managed to get some shots of my apple blossoms before the rain spoiled them. The wind made it quite challenging. Anyone who considers flower photography ‘Still Life’ has never tried to photograph them on a windy day!
Just back from a trip to Canada to visit my daughter and her family. The first time I have been able to get away in about 2 years, so it was a very welcome break.
We were blessed with lots of sunshine, and mild temperatures, and Lake Ontario, as always provided some wonderful photo ops.
I am not about to let all this mild weather fool me! I know that Winter is coming, and am trying to prepare for it as best I can. On Tuesday, I brought home the first of two large round hay bales to help keep my horses happy once the pasture grass dies off. If they don’t get enough ‘chew time’ they will take out their boredom on my barn and fences, so the round bales are a good investment!
These bales are large and extremely heavy. The farmer I buy them from loads them onto the truck, but once home, it is up to me to unload them. My husband figured out some time ago, the easiest way to do this is to simply reverse the truck a few feet and slam on the brakes. If all goes well, the bale simply rolls off and stays right side up. With luck, two bales will keep the horses happy until the pastures begin to green up in the Spring.
Our weather continues to be wet and stormy. We had another inch and a half of rain overnight Monday, but at least we were spared the worst of the storms and tornadoes which hit other parts of the state.
There are several Mulberry Trees in the Park, and the fruit is just beginning to ripen.
My container gardens looked a little beaten down after the heavy rain, but perked up when the sun came out.
We did get enough dry days for our builder to finish the new run-in shelter for the horses, and he did a great job.
The horses took to it right away, seeking shelter whenever the sun got too hot, or the bugs too annoying.
. We haven’t decided yet whether to demolish the old building, or just let nature (or gravity) take its course! 🙂
At this time of year it is so good to see the snow melt away, but what it leaves behind is less than attractive. Everything looks beaten down and lifeless, with little color, unless one is very fond of ‘earth tones’! 🙂 Now we are waiting for things to start to green up and look pretty again.
Some warmer temperatures and April rain have begun the slow transformation, and if I look hard enough I can find some nice photo ops on my walks.
The Park is full of Redwing Blackbirds and Robins, and this one was good enough to pose for me this morning.
Our pasture has greened up enough to give the horses something to nibble on, which helps keep them occupied and out of mischief!
I have been able to put away the heated buckets for the season, and barn chores are much easier now that even nighttime temperatures are staying mostly above freezing.
Life is good!
We are still in the grip of Arctic Air, but the forecast promises some relief soon. After only about an hour outside, the horses’ noses and whiskers were covered in frost. They don’t seem to mind, and, like the barn cats soak up as much sunshine as they can.
The barn cats, Boo and Otis have been spending much time cuddled up together on top of the hay, and are growing quite fat. I am giving them extra food, as the calories help generate heat, and they have a carpeted Kitty Condo to curl up in at night.
The days are growing noticeably longer, and on a sunny day, it stays light till well past six o’clock. This will allow me to adjust feeding time for the horses so they come in later at night. The less time they spend cooped up in their stalls, the better for their aging joints.
Whenever there is fresh snow overnight, I see many Fox tracks, both in the Park and across our own front yard. Abbie always finds them quite fascinating and would stop to examine each and every print if I had the patience to allow it! 🙂
Once the leaves are gone, I am often surprised to spot bird nests located quite close to human activity. I found this one right next to the road in the Park, and must have walked by it many times this Summer, never knowing it was there.
After a chilly start, the day warmed up to around 50 degrees, giving us a fleeting taste of Spring.
Since then we have been mostly in the deep freeze, and I would actually welcome a little snow to soften the footing for the horses. Their turn-out area is frozen so hard that is making them a little tender footed.
At least we are now past the shortest day, the sun is setting a little later each day, which makes it easier to begin to think about Spring, even though it is still a long way away!
I noticed a beautiful cumulus cloud from my front window. It wasn’t until I stepped outside with my camera that I spotted a pale half moon peeking out from behind it. I enjoy taking photos of clouds. The shapes and lighting change by the moment and I find it often pays to keep my eye on the sky, especially if storms are approaching.
As long as I was out there with my camera, I took the opportunity to take a few shots of Sunny and Twiggy. They spend much of their days grazing side by side like this. Not too surprising, as they have been together since Twiggy was born 26 years ago, and hate to be separated.
After a couple of days of rain and storms, cooler weather has moved in and I had to hunt up a jacket for our walk this morning. A few leaves are beginning to fall and there is an unmistakable scent of Autumn in the air.
We have had so much rain, it has been hard to keep up with the mowing, but I took advantage of a few dry days to catch up. Just as well, as rain is in the forecast for at least the next couple of days.The extra moisture has been good for our pastures, and the horses are making the most of the lush new growth.
I was pleasantly surprised to find a purple Iris growing next to the back lawn. I have no idea how it came to be there – I certainly didn’t plant it. It is a very hardy plant and requires little to no care, which makes it perfect for me, since I did not inherit my Mother’s ‘green thumb’.
The unseasonably cold, wet weather has finally loosened its grip on us, and we have been blessed with some summer-like days. Those who have been hesitant to make outdoor plans for the Memorial Day weekend, can breathe a sigh of relief and fire up the barbeques.
On Friday, I was inspired to visit the nursery and it was a beautiful sight. So much color, it was almost overwhelming. On the way out I spotted what I believe to be a Flowering Crabapple tree, which was so beautiful, I had to stop and take some photos. I thought it might not be a good year for Lilac blossoms, but mine is now putting on a beautiful show.Sunny and Twiggy made the most of the warming trend by sunbathing until it was time to go out on the pasture. They obviously enjoy the sunshine as much as we do!
I was quite pleased with the photos I took. Considering they were taken with a point-and-shoot camera from the back of a moving horse, they came out quite well! 🙂Our young guide, Devon, did an excellent job of leading us through some difficult and challenging trails. The horses they use for this ride are born and raised here, so they are used to picking their way carefully through steep and rocky terrain. My own horse, I am sure would have tripped and fallen flat on her face as soon as we left the corral!The ride lasted about two hours, and I was only a little sorry when it ended. The scenery was just breathtaking, but my seat bones and knees were starting to protest, especially on the steep down and uphill parts of the trail. Health issues and bad weather have kept me off my horse for many months, so I am sadly out of shape!