Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Year of the Skunk

Every year on the farm it seems to be the year of something. We had the year of the deer a few years ago. The farm was literally overrun with deer. One evening as we were driving along our driveway towards our house, Jason had to stop the car because a herd of deer were blocking the driveway. He honked the horn at them and they took their time moving out of our way. We've also had the year of the turkey. The farm was covered in wild turkeys. I learned that mommy turkeys with babies in tow will chase you despite Jason telling me it would not happen.  Before Ewen came along we had the year of the vultures. Ewen is an exceptionally dedicated bird chaser so we probably won't have another year of the vulture for awhile.

This year has been extra special because it has turned into the year of the skunk. Since late May we have had skunks everywhere. One skunk family decided to raise their babies in the run-in shed in our first pasture. I have to admit this is a cute skunk family and one of the skunks is an albino skunk. This skunk family is very playful. Jason saw them playing in the creek one day and even old hard heart thought it was cute. He said they were all splashing each other and having a big time. They've also decided to participate in morning feedings in the first pasture a couple of times. We feed really early at this time of year, starting at about 5am , so the skunks are still active. They like to sniff the feedbags and see if they can get any feed. They seem comfortable with the horses which is no surprise since they've raised their family in a run-in shed, and the horses ignore them. The people on the other hand have a much harder time ignoring them. We generally hide in the barn, go to another pasture, or stand far away until the skunk family decides to moves on.  

We have another skunk family in our very last pasture as well. Thus far they haven't tried to participate in feeding time, but we do see them out and about regularly. I consider it a miracle that no horses or humans have been sprayed by a skunk so far. Ewen hasn't been as lucky, but that's no surprise. Ewen appears to be incapable of learning that the black and white cats don't want to play, and he always gets sprayed a few times each year. As long as the skunks stick to being cute, playful and not spraying horses and people I'm fine with them sticking around, but I think we would all be happy if they stopped trying to participate at feeding time.  Is anybody else having the year of the skunk?

one of our fat, shiny skunks

Bear, Ascot and B-Rad

Lofty, George and Asterik

Moses and George

Sam, Mick and Ascot

Digby, Paramount, Johnny, Happy and Sam

Gibson, Lofty and Silver

Happy, Johnny (Mick hiding behind him), Quigly, Taco and Bear

Gus and Cocomo

Flyer and Donneur

Romeo and Lotus

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Sunday Stills

Charlotte and Jake

Sparky and Sabrina

Art, Havana and Baner

Trigger and Cisco

Calimba and Dolly

Duesy and Merlin

Duesy, Cody, Renny and Sport

Duesy, Cody, Sport, Bruno, Remmy, Alfie and Taylor

Maisie and Dolly

Dawn and Penny

Convey and Chance

Grand and Rip

Traveller and Dawn

Maggie and Cinnamon

Indy and Sebastian

Sam and Lighty

Paramount and Digby

Norman and Diamond

Lily and Cuffie

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Sweating Through My . . . Phone?

Summer in the south is always hot, it's the one season of the year where we can reliably predict what the weather will be. However, even by southern standards, the last couple of weeks were ridiculously hot. The actual temperatures didn't look horrible on many days, but the humidity levels were so high it made the "real feel" quite awful. It is no secret that I can't stand cold weather, live for warmth, and don't sweat easily.

The last couple of weeks I was sweating easily, much too easily. We always start crazy early in the summer and are usually out the door by about 5am, or if we're "sleeping in" we're out the door at about 5:15am. That usually lets us accomplish morning chores when it is still somewhat pleasant. Thus, I wasn't super happy when I had sweated through my jeans and shirt by about 5:45am each morning. Jason perpetually looked like he had just gotten out of a swimming pool or stepped out of the shower. Buckets of water were rolling out of his much suffering Canadian pores.

I knew it had gotten bad when I heard my phone ding one morning at about 7:30. I was assuming it was a text from one of our farriers who was due to arrive any minute. Instead it was an alert from my phone that I had literally never seen before. It said, "moisture detected in your charging point, do not charge your phone until dry." I was momentarily confused. It wasn't raining, which is another thing it has done incessantly this month (we're at 10 inches and counting in our electronic rain gauge for July which is significantly higher than normal), so that wasn't the problem. Finally my overheated brain realized that I had sweated so much, my phone had gotten wet in the back pocket of my jeans. This might be a common occurrence for some people in the summer, but it was a first time experience for me. I clicked on the message and read further instructions, and when I made it into the house a few hours later I dutifully dried the charging port on my phone with cold air from my hair dryer.

We must have finally decided to live right because both the temperatures and the humidity took a dramatic plunge a couple of days ago. I saw a meme on social media that described this weather change perfectly: "Temperature went from 95 to 65 like it saw a state trooper." I actually started out in a sweatshirt at 5am this morning. I rode my  horse Flower, smashing her hopes that she was finally getting to live like the other horses on the farm. I hope everyone who was suffering the last couple of weeks has had the same weather reprieve.

Apollo and Thomas

Roho and Gus

Levendi, Moe, Homer and Revy

Vinnie and Hemi

Missy, Dawn, Maggie, Penny and Jake

B-Rad, Blu and Ascot

King and Ricardo

Walon and Roho



Magic and Ripley

Ripley, Sushi and Squirrel


Toledo and Rocky

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Sunday Stills

Lofty and Donneur

Lotus, Silver and Cocomo


Romeo and Gus

Flyer and Gibson

Sebastian and Bear

Taco and Lighty

Asterik and Gus

George and Asterik

Quigly and Happy

Mick and Taco

Gus and Lofty

Donneur and Gibson

Baby and Chance

Lily and Diamond

Johnny, Taco, Happy and Quigly