Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Elementals of Autumn

The 2010 fillies head off to better grazing on a different sector of the landscape.
(front to back: Levada, Tocara and Pinoteia)

My delay in typing up entries to the Journal of Ravenseyrie chronicling my week in Portugal has been hampered by two things...

A view of Gore Bay from the vantage point of the East Bluff during the autumn
(photo: Kevin Droski)

Long time readers may recall that I have a studio and art gallery down on the Gore Bay waterfront, which typically I keep open all year round.

The space I lease for my business is in a marvelous, yet derelict structure that has come to be known as the "Wharf Building".

Thanks to the dedicated efforts of the Gore Bay Heritage Museum curator, Nicole Weppler, grant monies were gathered to save the building (owned by the town of Gore Bay) from further ruin and now the renovation work has begun! This means, however, that the all of Ravenseyrie Studio and Art Gallery had to be carefully packed and stored in a safe location for the five months that phase one of the renovations will take.

A view into the working studio section, where author Lynne Gerard creates arty things
(Photo: Angie Timan)

A short view into the gallery

I will move back in next spring, along with more creative studios and businesses. So officially, I am on a sabbatical and can spend all day, every day up on the bluff where we live among the horses of the Ravenseyrie Sorraia Mustang Preserve.

Levada (Altamiro x Zorita) in October, looking oh-so prehistoric!

After I returned from Portugal, there were many preparations for the packing up of the studio which rather upset the normal routine of things and also, at home there has been the press of finalizing as much as one can around the house and land to be ready for winter. These two situations made for very little time to tap away at a computer, and even now, I do so with the pull of decent weather calling me outside.

So, until the next day of inclement weather, I will continue to put off writing about the rest of my Portuguese trip...but trust, me...what further experiences I wish to share from that interesting week are worth waiting for!

As a reward for dedicated readers, however, I could not resist taking a little time from the busy-ness of winterizing to share some of the stunningly beautiful scenes of autumn I have photographed here at the Ravenseyrie Sorraia Mustang Preserve.

Altamiro, the Sorraia stallion who knows precisely how marvelous and special he is!

Please enjoy the array of images and forgive me for the delay in reporting on my Portuguese adventure, won't you?

Tobacco poses for the perfect October beach scene, with the North Channel of Lake Huron uncharacteristically as still as glass.

Zorita nurses Legado, with a bit of autumn colour still present in the background trees.

Altamiro posing with impeccable nobleness while his 2011 foals romp and play up near the bluff's edge.




Another hike to the beach on a different day reveals the more typical character of the North Channel in autumn.

How splendidly the shades of grulla mingle with the landscape, especially in autumn!

The grulla colour has the marvelous ability to appear as grasses, darkly shadows, tree bark, dried herbs, distant shrubs, soil, etc....any elemental that the horses are surrounded by!

This past Monday I was finally able to connect with the three year old stud colt, Interessado while he was dozing--this allowed me to completely liberate his mane, tail and forelock from the copious wads of burrs that he had been carrying around for several weeks.
I did not photograph him until Tuesday, but still his tresses flowed freely. But this morning, the dark handsome fellow had managed to adorn himself with no small amount of Hound's Tongue burrs.
It is a good thing I like (truly, I do!) spending time deburring the horses and mules, because this particular task is one that will continue to need my attention all throughout the wintertime. ( I should note, here, that on Friday--unless the weather turns foul--Interessado and his full brother, Silvestre have a date with the veterinarian. We should have had them gelded before now...but it is not something I necessarily wanted to do, but find we must do, out of necessity...)

Mules look pretty lovely in the autumn, too! And how great it is to see Jerry's tail blowing in the wind instead of hanging heavily bound by burrs.

Doll yawns in the unseasonably warm morning sunshine...makes you want to take a nap, doesn't it?

I found this morning's light irresistible and stopped house work to go out and photograph the horses. Legado found me and my camera irresistible so he came over to say hello.
Unfortunately, our timing of this little visit didn't suit Altamiro at all, who was ready to take his family band to the northwest sector. Needing only a few steps in our direction with a lowered head and glaring expression, Altamiro impressed upon his son that it was time to leave.
and so off they go...
and so must I!

Confucius instructed:
First, set your HeartMind on the One.
Then listen,
not with your ear,
not even with your HeartMind.
Listen with your Qi,
the very essence of your ultimate self.
The ear can only hear.
The HeartMind is typically
entangled in evaluation.
The Qi is completely open and receptive
to every subtle level of being.
--Zhuang Zi, Inner Chapters, Fourth Century B.C.E.

There is SO much magic in these elementals of autumn...I hope you felt yourself enraptured for a little while as you mingled with them vicariously through the Journal of Ravenseyrie!


Anonymous said...

I love looking at the herd especially in the Autumn months. They are magnificent creatures.for sure.

June said...

Lovely! Thanks!

Annemiek said...

I absolutely love these photo's Lynne, thank you so much for sharing them. Legado looks so handsome!As do they all.....

June said...

Why do I like Interessado so much?

Christine said...

Oh Lynne, you are so in love with the beautiful Altamiro, aren't you - perfectly understanding of course! I loved this set of pictures as well ... the mules looking especially handsome in these. The black beauty is amazing, in person he must be so much more so. And the final picture of the horse rump was humorously fitting as the final shot in the group!

Don'Qui said...

because he's black......
he stands out among the rest of the grullas,
and that is precisely why horsecolordeviation went so fast after domestication...


KimJ said...

Have you confirmed yet if Animado is the sire of Destemido?

Anonymous said...

Too many times I have not heeded the call of the light and, though I may have finished the laundry or some other task, I make sure I consciously note of what was lost so in a way I can 'pay homage' to the day. Thank you for bringing your sojourns of autumn at the Preserve to us. On a personal note, we now find ourselves with no dogs after 20 years of their company, and so I need to find another way to get my 'nature fix:' reading The Journal of Ravenseyrie!
Janet Ferguson

Lynne Gerard said...

Anonymous, June and Annemiek, thank you for enjoying these photos. They are magnificent indeed, even as they continue to lose their sleek summer look and clothe themselves in shaggier warm attaire which, while making them a bit less majestic looking, nevertheless allows them to cope so well with our winters here on Maniitoulin Island.

Lynne Gerard said...

June inquired:
"Why do I like Interessado so much?"
and Peter replied:
"because he's black......
he stands out among the rest of the grullas"

I don't doubt that Peter is right, oftentimes the unusual and the rare capture one's fancy more than that which is common--but in this instance, from my perpective, there is a unique "presence" and "charisma" that Interessado possesses that has earned him so many fans.

Interessado is now the most handsome black grullo half-Sorraia half-Kiger Mustang gelding I have ever met...I fully expect him to continue to evoke admiration even though he is no longer a young stallion. And he can now stay here at Ravenseyrie out on the range with everyone else!

Lynne Gerard said...

Christine wrote:
"Oh Lynne, you are so in love with the beautiful Altamiro, aren't you - perfectly understanding of course"

Yes! I'm a definitely Altamiro's most devoted groupie. ;-)

Thank you for reading Christine and for appreciating the autumn photos.

Lynne Gerard said...

Kim inquired:
"Have you confirmed yet if Animado is the sire of Destemido?"

Not yet...probably next spring. Would you like to wager whether it is Animado or Interessado?

Lynne Gerard said...

Janet wrote:
"On a personal note, we now find ourselves with no dogs after 20 years of their company, and so I need to find another way to get my 'nature fix:' reading The Journal of Ravenseyrie!"

Oh Janet! No doubt you are hearing the patting of phantom canine feet around the house and feeling a big emptiness. Kevin and I are on our second group of doggie friends and went nearly a year after our last pooch died before we felt ready to bring in puppies again. It was a very long year! I don't think I could go that long without a dog companion again.

You are always welcome to getting a nature fix from the Journal of Ravenseyrie! This is one of the reasons I share more than just information about the Sorraia horses.

Christine said...

About the dogs (because I have 4)- it's the end of the day that's best, when everyone's tired out from their daily activities and their warm, furry bodies are lying about and snoring lightly, and I'm stepping over and around them, where they lie.

I never tire of that, and it always feels right and good !!

Notwithstandng the holes in my heart from those fur babies that have already left me, it always feels good ... :)

KimJ said...

I would wager the sire is Animado. I consulted color expert Dr. Sponenberg on "dark grullas" and he wagered that they would genetically test out just regular blacks. The buff ear coat was also not a characteristic that would point directly to the dun color pattern. Being that the Sorraia does come in non-dun color shades, it is not surprising to me to see that Altamiro produces non-dun color horses (also being that the Sorraia was in fact selected for dun color and the original herd came in other colors according to the Andrade family that Dr. Sponenberg quoted in his report). Nor should dun color ever be pin-pointed to indicate pure Iberian heritage (the Icelandic horse that has been isolated for over a thousand years also has dun color, but they are the result of Scandinavian breeding). Dr. Sponenberg pointed out long ago that the horses in North America lack the genetics that would indicate the Sorraia of Portugal as an ancestor. To me, I agree with Dr. Deb Bennett (expert on equine anatomy), the Sorraia is just another modern Iberian breed and not ancient. Which for her her conclusions came from their conformation.

Being that Desi's dam is black, I can only say that Animado is the sire. If Intressado ends up being the genetically proven sire, then that would be a breakthrough and totally new understanding on dun factor (this being what I have gathered from Dr. Sponenberg). You should google Dr. Sponenberg's report on the Sorraia and North American Spanish descendant horses. Very informative!

Máire said...

You have such good quotes as always. My time on the computer has been very limited recently due to building an extension to our house. I had no idea how much this would take over our lives for a while.

It is lovely to catch up here and be transported to Ravenseyrie by your photographs.