Friday, February 21, 2014

Slosh, Slosh, Slosh

Ten days ago I wrote this in an unfinished blog post:
Two more inches of rain last night.  The horses are beginning to think they are water buffalo.  We put them in the barn at night with plenty of hay.  If I were a horse, I'd be happy to stay in my nice dry stall in this cold wet weather, but they don't like to be stalled all the time.  I've let them out in the pasture where they are sloshing and squishing around in the mud and nibbling on the precious little bit of grass they can find.  I'm praying that a good crop of grass will make its way through the mud when spring arrives.  Spring!  The very word is beautiful!  I've never looked forward to spring like I'm looking forward to it this year!

Since writing this, we've had some spring-like weather with daytime highs in the upper 70s and warm, humid nights that required air-conditioning.  A line of thunder storms passed through last night bringing more rain, cooler temperatures, and plenty of sun.  I don't want to return to the ice we had earlier this month, but I'm not ready for the heat either, so I'm glad to have a little cool down.  It's a fine day!

I'm sitting at the tack room desk where I have a good view of the pasture.  I see that Rocky is celebrating the fine weather by having a good roll in the mud.  From the looks of Fay and Tesoro, they've already had their roll.  I guess it's just as well that I didn't spend any time grooming them this morning.

The barn kitchen/tack room project is coming along.  Originally these two rooms (with a bath room in between) were meant to be a general storage room and a tack room for all the horse stuff.  The walls and ceilings were finished, but we had never put anything on the concrete floors.  Over the years the storage room became Jerry's makeshift kitchen and the tack room became a catch-all.  Now there are new floors, new kitchen cabinets, and freshly painted walls and ceilings. 

The barn aisle is cluttered with stuff that had to come out of these rooms when the flooring was installed.  We are now at the inevitable slow part of any project - all the little details.  The clutter has to be gone through and decisions made about what's to be gotten rid of and how to organize and place what we're keeping.  

I miss the barn aisle where all the horse grooming is done.  It's not functioning very well because of all the clutter.   There's not much grooming going on, and the horses are overdue for a worming.  I knew we had wormers, but had no idea where they were until Jerry ran across them this morning when he was moving some boxes.  

Well, dear Reader, I must be off to clean something - or organize something - or steal a few minutes to read a page or two in Susan Branch's new book, A Fine Romance:  Falling in Love with the English Countryside.  I'm taking my good old sweet time reading it because I do not want it to end!  More about it later . . .

Friday, February 7, 2014

Life on the Bayou

It's not every year that we have a bona fide winter here in southern Louisiana, but we're having one this year.  We've had gray days with ice and sleet and bitter north winds over the bayou.  The horses started putting on their winter coats early in September.  I wondered then if it meant that a cold winter was coming and apparently it did.

The bayou is teeming with beautiful white pelicans, cormorants, and even a few sea gulls - from regions that make our winter seem mild, I guess.  I bundled up in two jackets, hat, scarf, and gloves and stood on our little dock with my camera, hoping to get some good pelican pictures.  I thought I might scare them away, but they didn't seem to notice me.

They have what looks like a well choreographed routine.  They float along like swans for a while.  Then all of a sudden they all take wing at once and fly a little ways up the bayou where they skid back on to the water to float a minute or two.  Then they all take wing again and fly back down the bayou.  This goes on and on - back and forth.  It must be nature's way of keeping them warm - and keeping them fit enough to fly home when spring comes.  As a
bonus - while taking pictures of pelicans - I got a lucky shot of a heron having his breakfast.

There's not as much boat traffic on the bayou as there is bird traffic these days.  But this morning the birds had to make way for a very large tow passing by - large enough to need a tug in front pulling and one behind pushing.  The spiffy red tug reminded me of "Little Toot," the tug boat in one of my favorite childhood books.  I don't know what the large vessel on the barge is - probably equipment for one of the local chemical plants.

Our latest project is a renovation of the tack room and kitchen in the barn.  Chaos reigns right now since a lot of "stuff" had to be moved into the barn aisle so that work could proceed.  More about this in my next post.
 I'm off now to do a little work in the barn.  It's still cold, but the glorious sun is lifting my spirits after a string of gray dismal days.  Spring will be more welcome than usual this year.