Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hay Arrives on a Gentle Summer Evening

We got a call from Bill Fogal last night. Bill is an island born cattle rancher--with probably more cows and land than he can manage--but manage them he does and yet still has the time and inclination to check in with us "vegan tree huggers" to see if we'll be needing hay for the herd. "How are you, Bill?", you might inquire, and the answer you'll get every time is, "Hmmfph! Still strugglin'," with a devilish twinkle in his eye. Excellent mixed grass hay, very fair price, and delivered...you bet we buy from Bill.

This will be our third year of winter forage delivered by robust Mr. Fogal. The first year we were here...we didn't know folks too well and they didn't know us, and as hay was scarce that season we unwittingly struck a bad deal with the hay bandit as I "affectionately" refer to this other fella. His hay was hugely over-priced and turned out to be more dust and mold than the usual sweet smell of rolled summer--which really irritated Kevin, who was always used to putting up his own spectacular hay back "in the old country".
One of the Manitoulin Island hayfields up the road from Ravenseyrie

These are 800lb round bales and you really have to trust your supplier because many times you cannot detect that the hay was inadequately cured and put up until you are well into peeling off the layers. Sometime in the future, we will make hay at Ravenseyrie, but for now we are sure thankful for the good efforts of Bill Fogal.

In anticipation of Bill coming with the long trailer, and Kevin needing some time to off load the bales with his tractor, I decided to take another walk with the pups out to see the herd.

It was an incredible evening...a fresh wind, cool low-slanting sunlight and no bugs. The horses were well over to the east and once I took care of providing the necessary greetings and itches, they settled back into grazing the tops of the mature grasses while I got out my camera.

You've seen photos of Animado playing his "Climb on Dad" game, now you can view a short session of moving footage:

This next short moving clip is from Animado's first introduction to my shawl. Grabbing the shawl off from my shoulders is one of Altamiro's favorite pranks, and I wasn't the least bit surprised that playful Animado reached for it in the same manner. He was so intrigued by the shawl that I let him have it all to himself and draped it over him. He wasn't quite sure what to make of this, as you can see:

This last moving clip occurred when the pups and I had bid the herd goodnight and were walking back to the house. There were some very loud metal banging noises going on while Bill was working at getting the big hay trailer turned around and this set the herd into a playful "stampede". Most of the herd loves these cross-country runs--especially Zeus (the ex-racehorse) who loves to come from behind and blow by the leaders. Mistral got in there after a bit too, but I had to pan the camera way, way, way back to the east before I located Jerry and Dee. These two mules rarely get caught up into these racing dramas, preferring to conserve their energies for other things.

I'm sure readers will note that another day has gone by where I haven't posted the journal entries I should be finishing up with--but I had such a pleasant evening last night, I wanted to share it right away.


Annemiek said...

Dear Lynne,

How good it feels to watch through the window of your camera every now and then. Animado is SO quite with your scarf! And the mules, aren’t they adorable?

Lynne Gerard said...

Hi Annemiek,
Animado is indeed quiet will wearing my shawl, and this is likely because shortly after he was born, I had a long scarf that he liked to play with and I would do the same thing--drape it over him. The shawl is heavier and has more fabric, but he wasn't the least bit frightened by it.

The mules are definitely adorable, each one with unique, wonderful personalities.

Thanks, Annemiek for your comments!

eva said...

Hmm, what is the story of the mules? How did they get to horse-heaven?

Lynne, in admire your proficiency with videos and all. I now have a new camera with all these bells and whistles and have made no headway figuring it out. I try to read the manual in bed before going to sleep, it puts me to sleep almost instantly, and i have no memory of what i read next morning.