Where I work we do not have to show up on our birthdays. So on Tuesday, instead of going to work, I went to ride my brumby! She was in the BP, so Bill drove me there with all my gear so I could pluck her from the pasture and start riding right away. There is all my stuff strewn in the grass.
A few things went awry immediately. First of all, I forgot to bring the bug spray and bugs were everywhere. Deer flies, mosquitoes and those annoying tiny flies that dive into your eyes. YUCK. I had some All Terrain bug repellent for Lilly's face, but didn't have enough for her whole body. Then when I went to put on my brumby's new fly mask, it was too small. What? Too small? I had to cut it up to make it right, but then I realized my swiss army knife was not in my bag. A trail ride with no knife? I had to use my teeth. And on top of all that, the battery charge in my cell phone was at the nil to none--not a great thing for a solo trail ride! But the good news was that my new pink seat cushion fit perfectly!
Here is my ever-so-patient brumby with her new fly mask. It is actually a very cool mask and I wish I had gotten the right size. I'll have to get out the sewing machine and put new seams in it where I ripped it up.
And we were off! I'm really lucky that Lilly is not herd bound. Sometimes she'll try to sneak a direction change in to head back toward the pasture, but 9 times out of 10 she is perfectly willing to go anywhere just with me.
I decided to start off the summer right with a maiden 2011 trek through Trollwood. We ambled past the blueberry patch (Lilly trying to snatch huge mouthfuls of the hay there), and to Trollwood's entrance. I realized I felt a little funny going in there alone. What if a bear was in there? But I squashed any feelings of insecurity and into Trollwood we went. I sang a few Debby Boone lines to scare the bears away. I can honestly tell you that my singing is in fact very scary. Alas, the bugs were so bad in Trollwood, all I could see was giant cloud of mosquitoes all over Lilly. Her tail was swished wildly. We ended up backtracking because it was too terrible without bug spray. I felt bad for Lilly. Plus, Trollwood has some very rocky parts and Lilly's synthetic hoof had crumbled away leaving her with a crooked foot.
But there are plenty of other places to roam! Look at all this delicious hay!
And here is some more yummy hay! This time in the Winter Pasture. This is right around the time I got off Lilly to adjust my stirrup and she ended up stepping on my foot. Ouch!
We did see this pretty collection of Ganoderma lucidums, also known as the mushroom of immortality! (I am pretty sure that's what they are anyway, but they could also be Ganoderma tsugae)
Ganoderma lucidum mushrooms are known to provide success, well being, and are used to treat many maladies. Here you see it in this tea! Admittedly, in the US we tend not to revere mushrooms as much as they do in Asia. This is our loss in my opinion.
Here is another interesting creature found on our travels, Mr Newt! These little guys are so darn cute. They are as orange as carrot though, so when I am sure my brumby isn't going to step on them, I fret she might reach down and eat one!
Uh oh. Looks like we have reached an impasse on the trail! This tree must have just fallen in the last week! Good grief, good thing we were not on the trail when that happened. You can just barely see Bill in this picture.
He came out to make sure we were OK since my cell phone was out of commission. It was just luck that he didn't have to go far to find us. Next time we are on this trail, I'll bet Bill will have chopped up the tree and cleared the trail for us.
Saturday is supposed to be a nice day. There were some tornadoes near here this week, so Mother Nature has been demonstrating some real fury. But it looks like this weekend will be nice. You'll find me on the trail!