Manitoulin Island is now into "squall season". While our weather remains a bit buffered from extreme cold by the lingering, relative "warmth" of the surrounding waters of Great Lake Huron, these same conditions make for quickly changeable conditions--calm and sunny for several hours, then blustery with rain or hail for a short period, giving way to partial clearing and gentler air for another few hours, only to be followed again by a brief storm. It's an exciting time, filled with exhilarating clouds, colors and scents. I like to be out in the midst of all this and find it invigorating. The horses feel the same way.
Sunday was another day with repeated squalls and often times instead of slashing rain, there was biting hail. I ran for the house, and I thought the herd would dash for cover in the woods, but they did not! Instead, they put themselves on the lee side of our house and snugged into a fairly tight group while the hail pinged and bounced off them. Occasionally, they would lower their heads and shake them, but otherwise didn't demonstrate that it was as uncomfortable a situation as it seemed to me.When the storm clouds passed by the herd moved off to graze in the freshened grasslands. They appeared to be in grazers heaven--plenty yet to eat, no biting insects, no extreme heat--what's a little hail when the benefits are so terrific?!
The past few days as I was out among the herd, I was able to capture a lot of fun photos and moving footage because of the high degree of energy in the air from the unsettled weather. This energy found added expression in rambunctious behavior among certain herd members. Those who didn't feel a compelling desire to leap and run with abandon or get involved in "contact sports" were Doll, Dee, Belina, Bella and Ciente--everyone else cut loose from time to time.
Altamiro plays with Zeus, while the rest of the grullas mill about seemingly disinterested in the drama
The pups, seemingly ever present with me when I'm out with the herd were not on their best behavior, wanting to much to "play" with the foals which were so keen to be sparking about with abandon. This got Altamiro feeling he needed to demonstrate a bit of discipline by chasing the dogs off:
After the satisfaction of sending the dogs off a distance (temporarily) the young Sorraia stallion decided it was time for a roll in the close-cropped grass. Fada felt it was important to observe her father's efforts and then entice him into a sprint race:
Fada continues to look as if she is the reincarnation of an Upper Paleolithic cave painting. And while 2 month old Interessado's mane has begun to lay over, Fada's even at five months persists in remaining upright. So curious!
And one final photo of the lovely Zorita to end today's entry. Later today, or tomorrow, I will put in some more photos and moving footage of frolicking foals and a sparring stallion.