Friday, June 30, 2017

The Boys Of Summer

My two horsey boys, Remy and Blue, don't really have any jobs to do other than to be cute and friendly, so they simply enjoy their summer idyll - or, in their case, I could also spell it "idle:"

Blue is plenty cute and friendly, but he is also shy and tends to avoid being captured. Once in hand, however, he truly loves affection:

And both boys love their bovine friends. They follow them everywhere:

Life is leisure, and leisure is life:

A brand new mineral salt block was an occasion for much interest:

I never leave the barn door wide open like that except when I'm cleaning the soiled bedding, so that's what I was doing when I snapped this photo of Blue, grazing:

The guy up the road still brings a load of grass clippings as a treat for my animals once each week. Of course they have plenty of grass, but this pile requires no grazing or picking the grass from among the sour weeds. Remy and Blue ran to get their fill before the cows arrived:

Blue, true to his nature, shied away once the neighbor began forking off the grass clippings but Remy had no such fear. He just wanted to swallow as much of the grass as he could before the big, hungry cows arrived:

Both boys like to lounge in the barn. I often lock them out in nice weather when the flies are not too bad, but give them free access otherwise. They do make a mess in there and they also chew on the wood:

They chew the wood out of boredom but I've been painting their favorite chewing spots with Ivory Dish Detergent mixed with bitters and red pepper. It has helped a lot, but not solved the problem:

Gentle breezes, lush pasture, no work to do. Life is good for a this pair of miniature horses:

Blue was the first to get his summer coat, losing all his brown hair and turning a glistening, jet black:

Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Beautiful Season Indeed

Just as the Iris began to fade, a wildflower, AKA weed, began to take over and bloom. I was glad I hadn't weeded them out. By the way, the Rhododendron on the left has never flowered since I've been here, though I added a lot of compost this year and it sure looks healthier. Maybe it'll bloom next year:

 The wildflower which began blooming is Bladder Campion, and it is really quite nice to look at:

 And then the old fashioned rose in the side yard began blooming:

 I like the buds even better than the open flowers. They don't really look as neon pink as this looks, but every camera I've tried on them comes shows color like this:

 The fully open flowers perfume the air with fragrance, and just look at all those buds in the background:

 The pear tree doesn't have many fruit this year, but it does have a few:

 Tiny baby pears:

 And baby cherries. They will be abundant this year - unless the birds eat them all:

 And baby apples. Oddly, they seemed less developed than the pears and cherries:

 Several years ago I rooted a cutting from that old fashioned rose. It's done well ever since although it has stayed small. It's going to have at least one flower this year:

 Inside the barn, one pair of fantail pigeons has made a nest on the floor, behind a shovel. There have been no baby pigeons so far, but maybe this pair will be able to raise a couple:

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Dogs And Cats Who Make This House A Home

All five dogs love to congregate on their ramp, a place where they can keep an eye on me, beg to be let back inside, or enjoy the shade from the Rugosa Roses. At this time of year, they also get to enjoy the aroma of the roses. I wonder if dogs appreciate that smell the same way people do?:

 Rocky and Clover, cuddle buddies:

 Little Jack, hiding in the grass by the fence. He keeps his head out though, so he can watch me:

 Bugsy and Rocky, proof the black cats are GOOD luck:

 Daphne, Clover and Fergus on their ramp:

 Little Daphne and gigantic Seamus, keeping company:

 Seamus found some shade on a hot day in the grass by the fence:

 A typical collection in the kitchen corner - Fergus, Bugsy, Clover, Seamus, Rocky and Daphne:

 All five dogs. Yes, Jack is there also, though you can only see his ear above Seamus' shoulder:

 Daphne, Bugsy, Rocky and Daisy. Daisy is atop the dog food bin, a position which puts her almost eye to eye with Georgette on the kitchen table. So far they've managed to stay peaceful, but I watch them just in case:

 Back on the ramp again, enjoying the summertime:

Fergus, Clover and Rocky. I made the giant green bed from a laundry bag and pillows, intending it for Seamus - but he usually prefers the smaller beds and the little animals use the big one:

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Catherineville State Forest - Part 2

The dogs and I were hiking in the Catherineville State Forest (see also Part 1, posted yesterday). It was a beautiful location on a near perfect day. I only felt a few mosquitoes, although they became more numerous as the day warmed up:

To my surprise, the trail became narrower and the trees smaller as we proceeded. I would have expected to find bigger, more mature trees farther into the forest:

It was a happy experience:

We came to a small, winding brook with big rocks - a perfect place for thirsty dogs to get a drink of water:

Clover went upstream and Seamus went downstream for their drinks:

And then we got back on the trail to continue on our way:

The trees kept getting smaller and I began to consider turning back toward the car:

I kept saying I'd go around that next bend, and then if there was nothing new, I'd turn around. Eventually I did just that. We'd already gone farther than usual anyway:

The flowers were pretty well spent, but these Foamflower plants were looking healthy. I also passed lots of Wild Ginger, whose odd flowers I've never seen, but we were too late to see them on this hike:

We were on our way back to the car, retracing our steps. There were no side trails to confuse us or provide a bit of variety:

The dogs were still feeling peppy, and bounced through the Bracken Ferns along the side of the trail:

And then we saw our red car. It's wonderful to live in such a beautiful part of the country, where we can access such splendor only 8 miles from home:

Monday, June 26, 2017

Catherineville State Forest - Part 1

Our hot, humid weather suddenly ended and we had a cool, sunny, breezy day. It was just right for a day in the woods, so I took the dogs to the Catherineville State Forest, just 8 miles from home:

There were lots of Wild Blackberries in bloom. Pretty soon there will be ripe berries along the sunny parts of the trail:

I pulled into the forest, far from the road. That gave us a head start and hid my car from passersby. We strayed from the trail soon, though, as the open forest was so inviting:

The dogs ran and played while I searched for wildflowers in bloom and took note of the tree species in evidence:

Back on the trail, I was thinking that I could have driven in much farther. We soon came to a tree fallen across the road so I decided it was a good thing I parked where I did:

Jack was running full speed and in big circles. He's a happy little dog:

As usual, all the dogs were a bit wild at first. I told myself I'd let them run and not yell at them, but it wasn't long before I had to start hollering for them to stop and come back. It seems they think the object is for them to run as far as possible, until I call them back, and then they run full speed back to me. They do, however, take time to sniff and pee on everything:

It was a beautiful forest and an easy trail, a near perfect day:

The forest alternated between deep, dark woods and bright, open spaces. There were also many forest types, clustered together in small groups. There were Hemlock, Spruce, Fir, mixed hardwood and Maple/Beech sections:

Seamus was our lookout. After all, he was the only dog tall enough to see over the weeds:

I saw the first Daisies of the summer on that trail - in the sunny spots, of course:

The dogs began to slow down, allowing me to relax more and enjoy the forest beauty. But we had farther to go, and I'll post Part 2 tomorrow: