Saturday, April 2, 2011

Spring is here? (tentatively spoken, with fear it may snow again!)

I am happy to say that the snow we got on Friday has melted off today thanks to 50 degree weather! It took over a week for the previous snow to slowly disappear, but thanks to it finally feeling like spring, this snow disappeared much more quickly! So, sorry, no flowers in the snow pictures! But I took pictures of my spring-y flowers anyway! I hope you enjoy these!

Tulips peaking out!

Daffodils finding their way out of the leaves along the woods.

I planted a bunch of springtime bulbs in this little stretch of woods out in the backyard. It receives a lot of sun in the spring before the trees leaf out, but then not much later. I figure it was perfect for spring bulbs. And I love to see some life and color showing up out there before the trees actually leaf out and things turn green. While the beauty of spring bulbs is fleeting, they come at a time of year when we so desperately seek something alive outside!

Wren waits patiently while I take pictures.

Another of my favorite signs of spring are pussy willows! Their presence is even more fleeting than the spring flowers. I picked a bunch to keep in my house. They dry beautifully and make very pretty decorations.

I almost forgot to mention that I spent most of the wonderful spring afternoon with my horses. I need to get caught up trimming them. I'm trying to get on top of it so I can do them myself like I used to. Unfortunately, I haven't gotten to them all winter, so they are all a little long, but not as bad as I suspected. The only horse I trimmed in the winter was Cody and I only did her front feet because I saw she was developing a crack and I wanted to get rid of it before it got worse (it was only about an inch long at the time and happily, it seems to be gone now).

So, I trimmed Catlow (all four), and Pumpkin (just her fronts). Catlow has THE hardest hooves ever. They are dark grey and super thick. I always have a hard time getting the nippers through her hooves, and since I had a hard time when I did Cody (I was so weak! I'm so out of practice!), I was sort of dreading doing them. However, we just got a new pair of nippers for the farm to use on the beef cows that need to be trimmed (I trim the cow's hooves too). They are compound hoof nippers, not just plain straight nippers. The way the joints are arranged gives added leverage when you squeeze the handles. There is supposed to be 18X more leverage than regular nippers! I figured they would do the trick on Catlow's hooves, and they did work well, however, the joints were so new and stiff that I still had difficulty. Although without them, I probably would not have been able to get through her hooves at all! But they are also thicker and quite a bit heavier so I was getting a workout just maneuvering them into position on the hoof. After the first hoof, I was already tired (I am SO weak) so I had my husband standing nearby to lend a hand and squeeze the handles whenever I became fatigued.

I didn't need his help when I did Pumpkin. Her hooves are so tiny and cute! I've never trimmed hooves that small before, nor mule shaped...they are just different shaped than horses.

It really was nice to spend time with Catlow. I haven't in so long, other than the brief scratch as I walk through the pasture as I do chores. She is such a quiet, honest horse. She would make the best kids horse, because she always does what you ask. She never tries to think up ways to avoid doing something or to try to get her way. She's not mischevious. She really is almost boringly honest. Unfortunately, she is very insecure. She gets very nervous ridden by herself. When ridden with other horses, she is almost perfect. Her only other fault is that she sometimes would rather not be with people and she's not very affectionate. Her affection is very subtle. And training-wise she does need finishing, since I've only been riding her for 2 summers (and then couldn't ride last summer). I don't know how I'll have time to finish her, but it doesn't really matter. She is one of my "heart" horses. She'll always have a home with me.

1 comment:

Linda said...

I'm doing the same thing you are--hovering over all the emerging flowers!! yay!!! Love the pussy willows, too.