Friday, March 6, 2020

Our Fifteenth Winter on The Manitoulin

Viewing the Zen Elm Over the Back of a Sorraia Stallion
Ravenseyrie Sorraia Mustang Preserve

Here am I
On The Manitoulin,
An island in Northern Ontario.

The Zen Elm

Living on a preserve with wild horses,
In rhythm with Nature.

Three Ravens in the Zen Elm

Mutual support
And admiration -
Husband, horses, elementals.

Breakfast at dawn for the wild boys
Late afternoon with some of the wild boys

Finding pleasure and sound health
In a way of living that is comparably austere
And difficult.

East Bluff Laundromat 

From inside looking out

Right where I want to be,
Thankful heart and soul,
100 times over.


Friday, January 31, 2020

Forever -- is composed of Nows --

Raven flying over the Ravenseyrie Sorraia Mustang Preserve
East Bluff, Manitoulin Island, Ontario

There is a timelessness for me, living up on the wild East Bluff among the horses and working down in my studio on the bay within the human realm.  

Seasons come and go...That which was once young seems less so...and yet walking in winter fog among such elemental things - especially when away from the hum of humanity, one feels very much like the plants and animals feel...that there is no meaning in a calendar that says it is the year 2020 A.D.

This delights me!

This is endlessly inspiring!

This keeps me sane!

Contentment presided over by the Red Osier Dogwood and the Fog

In the distance, the Zen Elm, meditative as always

The Maples in their advanced age

What a idea for an abstract painting this presents!

Forever -- is composed of Nows --
'Tis not a different time --
Except for Infiniteness --
And Latitude of Home --

From this --experienced Here --
Remove the Dates --  to These --
Let Months dissolve in further Months --
And Years -- exhale in Years --

Without Debate -- or Pause --
Or Celebrated Days --
No different Our Years would be --
From Anno Domini's --

                -Emily Dickinson

View of the East Bluff from my studio down on the bay
Gore Bay, Manitoulin Island

From time not so distant...when the mares were home at Ravenseyrie

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Wild Horses in Freezing Rain


Our winter on the Ravenseyrie Sorraia Mustang Preserve got off to an early start with a snowstorm on November first, followed by a determined freeze.  Thankfully we had a thaw not too long after that and though we have had more snow and freezing since, there has not been the harshness of persistent, prolonged storms like we had last year.

Frozen Hawberries

On December 9th, we had some freezing rain, which did not last long, nor was it as severe as we have experienced here on Manitoulin Island - in fact, it had a certain allure to it because the wind was not wicked and the air temperature was somewhat mild.  I wanted to get out in the elements, so donned my rain gear, put my camera in a plastic bag and went out to check on how the horses were coping with the inclement conditions.

Hawberry Tree

The bachelors who live out on the range* on the Ravenseyrie Sorraia Mustang Preserve are our Portuguese Sorraia stallion, Altamiro and his sons and grandsons out of our Sorraia Mustang mares.


Legado (Altamiro x Sovina's Zorita)
Fidalgo (Altamiro x Belina)
Gosto (Altamiro x Bella)
Capaz (Interessado x Pinoteia)
Sedutor (Altamiro x Sovina's Zorita)
Ousado (Altamiro x Bella)


Interessado (Altamiro x Ciente)
Silvestre (Altamiro x Ciente)

*Two other Ravenseyrie residents are our 33 year old draft mule Jerry and the escape artist stallion, Destemido (Interessado x Fada) who have adjacent pastures near the house.  Our eight Sorraia Mustang mares continue to reside on the Twinravens range in Tehkummah, thanks to the generosity of Mark Seabrook and Michelle Hrynyk.

The bachelors do not congregate all together like they did when the boys were young, but have been keeping in clusters that are not always fixed. 

For the most part, Altamiro prefers to keep to himself. 

Ousado, the youngest of the bunch laid claim to the geldings, Interessado and Silvestre, as if they were mares and does not allow the other stallions to have direct contact with them, though he will tolerate the other stallions nearby.  This arrangement has lasted for several years now. 

Fidalgo used to often hang out nearby Altamiro, but has now attached himself to the fringe of the main band of boys, while Capaz now hangs out nearby Altamiro.
Sedutor likes to float between the main band of boys and wherever Altamiro might be.  Gosto is a firm follower of the main band of boys as is Legado.

These herd dynamics are likely to shift again, depending on the moods of the bachelors.  We would like them all to be "best buds" and stick together as one group, but this is not up to us - they call the shots and determine who gets to hang out with who.


Although I found it difficult to keep the horses in focus while the freezing rain fell, I decided the activities the fellas were engaged in, despite the inclement weather were interesting and attractive enough to put into a video for my YouTube channel.  I hope you enjoy it!