Dead Tree Trail on a Slow Poke

Monday, October 20, 2014

 What in the world? Is there a horse under all that dirt? I wish I had seen Lilly rolling away on the ground to get this dirty. I bet it looked supercute. Bill is so lucky to look out his window and see such supercute horse antics all day.

 Once I brushed all the dirt off of her (and inhaled it into my own nose), I was able to see how Lilly is starting to get her winter coat! How fleecy!

 Then I tacked her up and we headed out. I was traveling solo; Bill was at a wedding and the place was a ghost town.

This is Bill on his way to the wedding. I was so busy squawking over seeing him so dressed up, I couldn't even focus the camera. It is not every day you see Bill in a tie.

Lilly is my favorite trail companion, even if she takes two steps and stops to nibble ferns, and then takes two steps and stops to look around, and then takes two steps and pulls her head around for a treat. What an annoying way to get started. OK, it's cute. But it is also annoying, even if I really only have myself to blame for such behavior.

Since ferns have come up, let me make clear what ferns Lilly nibbles. She prefers the soft, feathery ones, shown on the bottom in this hilarious photo. Lilly the walking fern gallery. Wouldn't Audubon love her?

I am not sure how, if we are moving at practically a negative speed limit on the Short Trail, my crop could end up down there.

Oh oh! New road block on the Short Trail! Looks like a job for a chain saw.

I found this little fella when moving a rock in the middle of the trail. He's a redbacked salamander, the most common salamander in the bay state.

Another rump gallery! This one devoted to autumn leaves. Look at that giant one! I have no idea what tree that one is from. Which is pathetic because I have probably ridden by that kind of tree a billion times. Special thanks to my brumby for letting me drape her bum with nature.

I guess every generation has its litterbugs.

On the way back from the Ridge Trail, we popped into this pasture that Bill used to use a lot more when I first bought Lilly. Now the horses aren't in it very often. But on this particular day, it looked beautiful.

Here it is from the other side. Walking along the fence around the edge of this beautiful field, I felt like a real cowboy. I said to Lilly, I BET WE LOOK GREAT OUT HERE AND NO ONE IS HERE TO SEE!!!

By next weekend, all this color will be gone. I love that we got to be a part of it.

 The next day I was back on the trail. Bill was around preparing for the storm of biblical proportions expected on Tuesday. Lilly got the party started by tree hugging.

 She goes to the same trees for her love fests. First she rubs her head all over it. Then she bites it.

And then she tries to eat every yellow leaf within reach. She's like a very ridiculous giraffe.

 Before we headed out on the trail, I had Bill help me take Lilly's temperature. I had been wondering if she's moving so slow because of return of Lyme disease (which she has been treated for twice). I don't even know if Lyme causes a higher temperature. But why not check? I tried to get out of sticking the thermometer in Lilly's bum. I had never done it before and was worried. Bill made me do it. As it turns out, it is easy. When I took the thermometer out and read it, it said: HER TEMPERATURE IS FINE, SHE'S JUST LAZY.  I took this picture on the Short Trail because that weird bunch of whatever on that birch tree looked interesting enough to document. It could be a mushroom of some kind. I think it looks like hair that has been set in old fashioned rollers.

I named this post Dead Tree Trail because with all the leaves falling, I see dangerous dead trees more than ever. I noted again that we have been walking under a lot of scary looking dead trees without giving it much thought. This one we had to go around because now it is too low and unstable to slip under.

 There's my brumby standing next to another dead and rotting tree that looks like it could topple right on top of us if the wind was blowing just right.

Look at how cute Lilly is. She is just like a little kid making faces right when it is time to get photographed. She always puts her ears like this as if she is a silly old mule.

This is what she looks like right after she has been good enough to get a mid-trail carrot snack! Happy!

From far away on the road, this looked like a giant monkey in a tree staring at me. It gave my heart a little startle. But really, must I panic? There are no giant monkeys around here. It's just a tree! It's just a superscary tree!

I was at Bill's so late on Sunday that I was around for feeding time. It only looks like my brumby has no ears in this photo because she is trying t keep Sophie away from her hay.

In the end, it was Sophie who was in charge, not Lilly.

Much to Lilly's chagrin.

Parting Shot:

Here's what my husband's hair looks like when he stands in front of a bonfire.

Happy Anniversary, Lilly!

Monday, October 13, 2014

It's that time of year again! The town I live in has a Fall Festival every Columbus Day weekend.  So, before I could dash off to the barn, we went to check out the action in the center of town.

Who doesn't love a fall festival, I'd like to know! They are so much fun.

After having to pass up many pieces of pie, fried dough and cobbler, I finally found the perfect gluten-free yummy. And was so happy I snapped a photo.

But there's something else special about Columbus Day weekend. Besides the gorgeous leaves, and the appeal of a fall festival, this weekend is the anniversary of my meeting Lilly for the first time and buying her from Bill. I'll never forget the very first time I saw her. I fell in love!

After a day at the festival, it was time to get to Lilly. Was she extra cuddly when I went into the pasture to get her? Yes, I believe she was.  I tacked her up and we headed out to the New Trail. (Which, in my own head I  call the Gnu Trail. Because it would be totally awesome to be riding on the trail and see a gnu race by.) This photo depicts the Gnu Trail right as you enter it.

The new trail doesn't last long at all. Then you get on the regular trail for about 20 feet. Then you hang a quick right onto the resurrected Reflector Trail (named for those orange reflectors that Bill hung up a decade ago). This photo depicts what you see at that moment. 

When you start the Reflector Trail, there is a giant rock up ahead. In this picture we have passed the giant rock and are looking down on it. There is no real footpath but thanks to some fancy footwork from Lilly, we always make it up to this point.

Up in the saddle on these new trails, there are small tree limbs that are right at face level. Very inconvenient! Plus, I don't know this part of the woods at all. And this makes it both exciting and [me] slightly fretful. But it's doable. It is definitely doable.

Especially when this kind and patient mare is with me.

After the Reflector Trail, we crossed the main trail that the snowmobilers use (which is perfectly lovely and worth meandering around on), but then ventured off-trail again to possibly scout out another new trail. I marked our path right up until we encountered this large mossy rock.

At this rock I had no idea where I was. That is the joy of having trail markers with you. You can just follow them right back home. Just like Hansel and Gretel...but smarter and less tragic. Well.....let's be perfectly clear: I needed to follow the trail markers; Lilly did not. 

After returning Lilly to the pasture, I climbed into the hay shelter to spy on her.

Hmmm. She found me.

Then this curious george came over. 

Now look who has shown up. This nosy pair.

After shifting position in the hay, I was able to get this cute shot.What a funny little mane.

After leaving the farm, I went home and made this.

This is me trying to be a corn stalk while the apple cake was baking.

There goes Brandon again with his homemade atlatl.  Good grief, is he aiming for me in the corn!? Maybe he's finally had it with being a horse husband!!! BAH!

Finished apple cake, posing by a Lipizzaner stallion.

Another great weekend in the hills of western Mass!

Parting shot:

The world's most peculiar pumpkin!

Meanwhile...south of the Massachusetts border...

Thursday, October 9, 2014

I have not been able to blog about brumbying around with Lilly because I took a short trip to Florida! I made it, even if Delta airlines did attempt a tiny sabotage! USAir to the rescue!

I love visiting Florida because they have cool things botanical gardens featuring this ant plant!

As well as these super cool pitcher plants!!!!!! DON'T FALL IN!

And weird trees that have their roots above the ground!  I've never seen anything like this in Trollwood!!

You won't find country fried gator on the menu in New England!

There are also family members to see in Florida! Here I am with my dad Tom and my sister Molly. Don't you love how I am taller than both of them? For the record, they do not ride horses. In fact, while in Florida I saw not a single brumby!

Here we are in Siesta Key. That is my dad with his wife Joelyn in the zig zags on the right,  and Molly with her partner Annie on the left! And that is me in the middle, all alone since Brandon and Kestrel could not come. Hmm, looks like I am managing to have fun without them.

Did someone say fun? Pools are SO MUCH FUN. Here are Annie and me trying to cannonball into the pool. All I can say is that I thought I was in better formation than the picture reveals. And Annie is not in a ball form at all! Bah!

That's Molly's cannonball. Hmm, pretty good, but not great. Do you know who is really great at cannonballs? Teenage boys, that's who. You know who would be terrible at cannonballing? My brumby, that's who.

Here are a few fun pool videos that have nothing to do with my brumby, should you like to look:

Cannonball #1
Cannonball #2

One of my favorite things ever was visiting the Save Our Seabirds Sanctuary in Sarasota where I met this guy who was blind in one eye....

...and this guy who was one of many storky birds with prosthetic legs!!! This kind of care makes my heart sing.

Alas, then it was time to come home to a chilly climate where I am seeing lots of these guys wandering around! The autumnal wooly bear!

I also observed this mottley slug nibbling on a mushroom known commonly as witch's butter. Creepy and fascinating!

This weekend I am back in the saddle and cannot wait! How I have missed my brumby! Even if she probably has not missed me one bit.

Parting Shot: 

Label of a bag of pet food at the store:

opinion: There must be a better way to combine the words turkey, duck and chicken!