Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Observations of Late Summer

Often, when I think about putting cohesive thoughts together for this Journal of Ravenseyrie, I am put off because I have some quirky feeling that first I should attend to writing more about the "How it Began" topic, of which we still have a few segments to catch up with. Such entries though (requiring revisiting the dustier regions of my brain and digging around for older photos) tend to be extremely time consuming. I enjoy putting together a cohesive and readable record of how Kevin and I have undertaken the establishing of our Sorraia Mustang Preserve--and I think it is important to document this all before the past becomes even dustier, but right now, really all I want to do is tell you about how marvelous the light over the grasses are in the mornings and how delightful it is to see foals playing in the fields.
The scent of late summer is in the air...colors are less voluptuously verdant as the foliage mellows. Though the cropped grasses are a vibrant green, the taller, mature grasses have gone blonde while waving leaves anticipate the touch of autumn's flame. The light is changing too...there is noticeably less of it upon waking and at the day's end. These changes, have not gone unnoticed by the horses either...while grooming some herd members this morning it was evident that Interessado, Fada and Animado are already growing winter hair! The rest of the herd is still sleek, but it won't be long and they, too, will become well equipped for colder weather.
The mornings, after the increasing chill of evening, have been consistently heavy with dew--a magical substance that illuminates the otherwise hidden kingdom of the grassland spiders! The effect is astonishing when viewing the prairie from a certain angle...everywhere, as far as the eye can see there are intricate, perfect spider webs of all sizes...yet, step sideways, look back over your shoulder and they are gone! It is not a parallel universe, or is it?

A little treat to close this rambling nothing of an entry today...a short video of Interessado trying his best to get a foal game going with Fada. Life is rich, isn't it?


Annemiek said...

Dear Lynne,

Your pictures and observations are always a treat. I am so happy I can witness some of your observations at the other site of the world. Now the season is changing, and isn’t it beautiful indeed. Watching your entry today also made me a little sad. When I look through the window of your blog I see a magic world for horses, one I am not able to give my horse. When I see Interessado and Fada playing there is so much communication going on already. At the same time they act as foals are supposed to, unconcerned, happy, playful, enjoying the moment. It makes it all the more clear, visible, what is taken from foals/horses in captivity. I don’t know what it is about this post, but today I cannot help but wonder how it could have been for Rudolf if he had the chance to grow up this way.

I really like to know “how it all began” Lynne, but please don’t stop adding these wonderful intermezzos.

By the way, what had Interessado on his back the first 20 seconds or so? Was it a scarf of yours?


Kris McCormack said...

I intended to stop by only to exclaim about the lovely entry and to say how gorgeous I find the photo of Mistral.

But Annemiek's comments reminded me of something. Photos of Altamiro from this past year show a very mature looking horse -- there is such wisdom and intelligence in his expression. And yet, he is only four years old. It occurs to me that the life experience Altamiro has had -- fatherhood, managing his family, etc. -- as well as the freedom to move continually over varied, rugged terrain have allowed his body and mind to develop in ways that are simply not available to a conventionally kept horse or one that is confined to small paddocks or pastures.

This realization made me sad for all the captive horses -- including mine-- who are so far removed from their own natural world.

eva said...

Lovely images of late summer, a glimpse into a magic world.

What Kris says about Altamiro is so true. It is also amazing how he developed from that scrawny little baby in he zoo. When i compare him as a yearling with his own children, you can see how much more developed they are for their young age, muscular and springy, but it also shows that his genes are superb and he blossomed once set free in a world of his own.

When I think of Shadow i am always glad that he had a childhood like these babies, something to dream of on a lazy hot summer day.

Lynne Gerard said...

Annemiek, Kris and Eva, thank you each for your comments...I was very moved by them.

Kris and Annemiek, the wistful feelings you've shared, especially, have prompted me to want to write something uplifting, but I'm having the hardest time finding a clear path to what I want to will come and when it does, I will make a separate post with it.

Kris, Altamiro is presently three years old--his third birthday came in April of this year. This means he managed to settle the fillies when he was just two!

Oh, Eva, when Altamiro first came he was so void of appreciable muscle...he was thin and slack and of course rather uneven in growth as yearlings tend to be.

The environment and having so many herd mates to explore it with have indeed aided in the already fabulous physical and mental growth he has made.

I appreciated that you noticed how his foals show much more muscling and vigor than he did when he was a little guy. I hadn't realized what a distinct difference can be seen in growth patterns until you commented on it.

I'm glad, too, that Shadow had time in his growing years to develop out on the range.

Thanks again for all the comments!

Oh, I almost forgot...Annemiek, the object you see draped over Interessado in the first part of the video is my "fly whisk". The youngsters love to play with it, and I often lay it over parts of their body to help them get used to having things place on their shoulders and heads and backs.

Kris McCormack said...

It occurred to me that Altamiro's transformation in his years at Ravenseyrie might make a wonderful article for Equine Wellness or Natural Horse. You wouldn't even have to write very much. The "before" and "after" photos say it all. :-)

Please convey my apologies to Altamiro for making him a year older. He is so wise and powerful looking -- it's hard to believe he's just a youngster himself.

Lynne Gerard said...

Thanks for your suggestion...I do think Altamiro's transformation would make an interesting article, demonstrating that a horse raised in a natural, expansive environment with lots of herd mates provides all that they need for optimum growth, both mentally and physically.

It was easy to mistake Altamiro was four years old because of how he looks and because both Belina and Bella are four. Ciente is the same age as Altamiro.

Believe it or not though, while looking through some documents I realized I have the past several years have been referring to Mistral as being two years older than he is! He's not 29...his 27! Yippie...he's still a young buck after all.

Now I'll have to go back through my journal entires and make sure I correct the error. :-)