Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Scent of Yarrow, Sensuous Skies

A magical morning mist at sunrise over Ravenseyrie

There is a rapturous singing within me, even as I walk over the drought-stressed landscape, taking note of those plants that have shriveled and died prematurely and the parched, cracked soil--cement-like now.

The heat intensifies on days when the humidity raises to an oppressive level, yet Ravens sit in the sun, calling to each other from tree limbs, fence rails and field rocks shimmering in the searing temperatures, seemingly unaffected -  unlike the wilted, weary sensation that overtakes this author when sultry summer days envelope the island.

 If I feel light-hearted and joyful inside despite the outward heaviness of the weather...it is because such torrid days accentuate various elementals in the wilderness:

Sandhill Cranes stride across the parched landscape.  Perhaps they, like this author, savor the spicy scent of Yarrow and marvel at the sensuous skies?

--the tantalizing spicy scent of dried Yarrow mingling with the soft perfume the essential oil imparted by the well heated Cedar trees,

--the drought-tolerant wildflowers like Tansy, Queen Ann's Lace, Bull Thistle and Chickory standing
strong and blooming in abundance among the subtle pleasing frosty-green hues of Wormwood and Sage,

--the merry song-making of Field Sparrows, Goldfinches, and Winter Wrens dining on the many ripened grass and herb seeds dangling in the fields faded to Naples Yellow,

--the admixture of crickets, tree frogs, cicadas, and buzzing flies, sounding like intimate chamber music despite how wide-open the landscape is...

Such things delight the senses and prompt me (like our visiting seasonal Sandhill Cranes) to take in stride the lassitude sticky, humid weather provokes - the balance is clearly in favour of grandeur over sweltering torpidity - so one endures with a certain pleasure, that which is otherwise a less than optimum temperature for human comfort.

 The family band of Sorraia horses enjoy a cooling breeze and refreshing drink on the shore of the North Channel of Lake Huron.

There is no longer any source of water available to the horses up on the tableland of the
East Bluff here at the Ravenseyrie Sorraia Mustang Preserve and both the "Family Band", the "Tribe" and the other wildlife dwelling here now make a pilgrimage descending the various trails that wind their way down the bluff to the shore of Lake Huron's North Channel 300 feet below. They, too, are affected adversely by the heat and humidity but, like me, find sweet reward for their exertions upon reaching the beach where we all are rejuvenated by the sparkling water.

 Your author stands on a rock on the Ravenseyrie beach taking photos of the amazing "wild" horses.  How magically the sun and shadow play tricks!  Only here, would an outfit consisting of a tattered maillot one-piece swim suit, a sarong, patched Le Chameau rubber boots and broad-brimmed straw hat, with a camera bag off one shoulder and a basket of brushes off the other, appear in shadow as the attire befitting a well-heeled Edwardian lady!

Some of the things that have transpired here at Ravenseyrie during these summer days
are the birth of two more fine Sorraia colts, one to Zorita (by Altamiro):

 and one to Pinoteia (by Interessado):

 I will post an entry soon with more details on these latest colts.

Altamiro expelled Zorita's 2011 colt, Legado from the family band on the very day the van came to pick up Tocara and Levada:

 Yearling Sorraias, Legado and Esperanda nibble sedge grasses on the Ravenseyrie beach

Destemido sustained a frightful orbital contusion to his left eye which has subsequently healed, but is likely irreversibly impaired.  Nevertheless, this 2011 colt of Fada's carries on like any other young horse:


The two 2011 fillies from Ravenseyrie--Tocara and Levada--have nearly completed their term of quarantine and (barring any further delay) are due to fly to Europe next week. A journal entry specifically devoted to this historic event will be entered as soon as I have word they have completed their journey and are at their new home in Vienna, Austria.

Arrangements are being made for a satellite preserve on a splendid piece of property owned by Mark Seabrook and his wife Michelle Hrynyk, who will host a bachelor group of Ravenseyrie offspring, this, too, will have its own journal entry posted this autumn after the first colts are delivered to them.

Though I may not be devoting enough time in front of the computer this summer to provide frequent entries to this Journal of Ravenseyrie, readers can trust that I am capturing great photos and video footage and keeping track of all the interesting things happening here to weave into informative and entertaining stories for you to enjoy later on.

 Altamiro courts his senior mare, Bella

 Gosto and Fidalgo are growing and looking more handsome day by day

When the hot summer sun loses intensity in the early evening, the horses come out from the shade of the forest and graze, surrounded by the spicy scent of dried Yarrow and a variety of sensuous skyscapes overhead.

Like the horses, after the sun's excessive heat begins to yield to the shadows of evening, I come out to enjoy the cooler air as well, sipping the last of my herbal "medicinal" (AlpenBitter#7) accepting the extremes, the play of opposites, the joys, the sorrows and finding the beauty in all of it.

Remember:  click on any photo to enlarge it for better viewing


Don'Qui said...


Lynne Gerard said...

Where have you been keeping??
Nice to see a comment from you again.
Email me! (My studies continue with new material to be put into the Journal of Ravenseyrie soon!

Anonymous said...

These photos are astounding and wonderful -- the Edwardian Lady is truly a surprise and who knows. . . . .island spirits of yesteryear joining you --
disguised as your shadow?

There are several photos here which are eye-poppers. Thanks again for taking the reader on this amazing journey with you. . .

Janet Ferguson

Lynne Gerard said...

You know the "island spirits of yesteryear" would more likely be Native American than Edwardian, as it wasn't until 1882 when a rather underhanded treaty opened up Manitoulin Island for non-native settlement. After that there used to be quite luxurious steamer ships that would cruise the Great Lakes and bring visiting fancy-folks to the island - so maybe the apparition is an Edwardian tourist? Laugh! I still cannot imagine how Wellies, a sarong tied around a swimsuit and a straw hat translated in-shadow to such a fully dressed lady. Fun, crazy stuff, eh?

I'm glad you enjoyed the photos in this journal entry. Between terrifically user-friendly digital cameras and the always interesting island vistas to capture images of--it is very easy to make photos that are "eye-poppers".

Thanks for reading and leaving your comments. I always appreciate it!