Mares and Mushrooms in the Summertime

Sunday, August 4, 2013

If I had known this summer would be so wet, I guess I would have waited until next year to buy  my killer sprinkler and install a rainbarrel under the gutter! Anyhoo, it's nice to see the local farmers able to harvest hay in between the raindrops, and even though these round barrels are for cows and not brumbies, they sure looked nice in the hayfield as I drove to the barn on Saturday.

Very close to Bill;s house, Brandon and I had spied these oyster mushrooms while running an errand. We almost grabbed them to gobble up! But decided against it.

The funny thing is that about an hour later, Bill's wife Jackie C spied them while on her run and then went back and grabbed them for herself! They made an excellent mushroom soup for lunch, she reports.  We do love our wild fungi around here.

A few hours later, I was on the trail with Bill, having been instructed by Brandon to keep an eye open for lobster mushrooms (I found two). This is the Sunset Trail. That's Bill on Ruby.

If you pick up the trail that is on Bill's property behind the ring, you start by going up a huge hill. Then eventually you end up in Trollwood, but backwards, so you leave Trollwood by the blueberries instead of entering there. If that makes any sense. Here we are en route to Trollwood, the backwards way.

There is no question that the trails we ride on are beautiful. But every once in a while, they need some on-the-spot maintenance. This was one such occasion. The stream that we usually walk through here had a big dead tree laying over it. There's Bill wrestling it out of the way.

 I forget what part of the trail this is, but I think it is toward the end of Trollwood, by the blueberry bushes where last week Bill saw the momma bear with two cubs. As we were riding through here my cell phone rang: Brandon calling to report the neighbor's cat had broken the wing of a fledgling but Brandon had rushed out to save it. Oh dear. This did not help keep me relaxed while ambling through bear country.

When I emerged out of Trollwood, there was Bill and Ruby right by the bear-loving blueberry bushes. Yes, there are a ton of them. They are remnants from Warren Harris, who is dead now.

If you'd like to see a film of all the events from our trail ride, you will love to watch the video montage that Bill made. Here is the link to it:
Just click on these words!

Fresh out of Trollwood, now we are in the Blueberry Pasture. Bill has been haying out here. This machinery is called a Hay Rake. I am pretty sure that's what Bill said it is. It arranges all the cut hay in rows...if I remember correctly. My brumby (who incidentally was PERFECT this entire ride) was not too interested in the hay rake.

She was also not very interested in this other thing across the road in the Winter Pasture. I think this one is the Hay Tedder. I might be spelling it wrong. The tedder fluffs the hay up so it can dry. Well, I think that is what a tedder does anyway.....Since I have personally never made hay before I am not really sure.

Ruby was looking exceptionally pretty that day. She's pretty anyway. She is the quintessential quarterhorse in every way. I wonder what my brumby is looking at in this photo?

On the way back, going up the Short Trail, I made a video while cantering. What is usually a perfect place to canter was wrecked because I let Lilly get too close to Ruby who didn't like Lilly on her tail. My fault completely! I guess Lilly and I really like to zoom up that hill. If you'd like to see the video, Just click right here! Just take a dramamine first. Personally, I laugh each time I watch it. What a mess.

There's Sophie, the welcome wagon, as we arrive back at the barn.

Look who was out on the trail the next day! Christine and QTee! Christine has been super busy with a thousand other things so far this summer which has cut down on her riding time. BUMMER! But there is still August! Summer is not over yet!

As Christine and I were riding along, Bill came by in a truck full of hay. QTee and Lilly immediately started grabbing mouthfuls of it. It was hilarious--like the ice cream truck for horses!!!!

My parting shot is of a Reishi mushroom. The medicinal qualities of this mushroom are extraordinary. Look for these mushrooms growing on dead or dying trees on your next trail ride!

Bird Update: The bird that Brandon saved was a fledgling female grosbeak. We took it to a bird wildlife rehabilitator in the next town over (Cummington) where it will be nurtured, if possible, back to health. It was a very stoic little fledgling and bit my hand hard as I was moving it into a shoebox for travel. OUCH. Those beaks are dangerous!

Good night for now.


L.Williams said...

Those mushrooms are beautiful!

lmel said...

Great 'shrooms! My grandmother used to make my father climb a dead elm to get her some oyster mushrooms--yummy.
Love the videos. I'm glad I haven't encountered any bears with Harley. I'll need a western saddle if I do so I can hang onto the horn as he tears for home!

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