Friday, October 4, 2013

Sing a Song of Seasons

Autumn Fires

In the other gardens and all up the vale,
From Autumn bonfires see the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over and all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes, the grey smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons! Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer, fires in the fall.  -Robert Louis Stevenson

Summer is gone and the garden needs tucking in.

 All that beautiful Black and Blue Salvia has been cut back, along with the hot pink variety, the bee balm, and a few other plants and heavily mulched. In fact I have spent the better part of mid morning hours this week giving the whole garden a light mulch.

 The garden tools have been stowed away in the basement, the hose rolled up, paths mulched and the wire cages removed from the little Arctic Willows. Rest well little garden and hopefully we'll see most of you in the spring.

What an odd fall this is. The trees all seem to be caught unaware here and in town. At this time of year the dogwoods are usually rosy and ready to drop their leaves. The aspens at the foot of the mountain are blazing yellow gold even through foggy mornings, the oaks going brown as the maples start putting on their 50 shades of red show. None of this so far, just a hint of change here and there.

The run in shed doesn't look pretty, but

 the new grading is working well to keep water away from the stall heads.

I can now get Bob all the way around the shed if I needed to and that big old dead tree leaning over the far side of the shed is now fuel for the winter.

The bonus is the horses hate to go through mud so once they go out, they pretty much stay out and hang around their favorite trees on high ground instead of in front of the run in shed. A pet peeve of mine and one likely to cause me to chase them into their open paddock and gate off the shed for the day anyway. They are good boys though and clean and take the time to poop and pee well outside their stalls. The goats are nice and snug if they choose to be and with 3 little doorway tapes have free access in and out. It also keeps one sneaky red horse from creeping in and stealing their hay. The gate proper swings all the way and lies flat against the plywood half wall.

 I have special small mesh hay nets coming for them all and am hopeful it will slow the munching down so it lasts for the majority of the day. All the animals are making the most of sunny times in late morning and early afternoons. Cooper has moved his favorite nap spot down close to the gate and feeders!

 Dandy still takes his siesta a little higher up and further back in the paddock. The goats have really been accepted as herd mates.

 Some nights I lock them in, others not. If it is clear and not too windy, I let them do what they wish, which appears to be roaming with the horses.

Cold, wet windy nights, they get locked in. They are growing nice thick winter coats and still enjoying some good browse. I have not seen a deer in two weeks so what there is they have all to themselves.

Parting shot: Ben, wearing his best "flying nun" ears.


  1. Lordie, it looks like so much work and it is weird with the trees not knowing what season it is. They have been holding on so long through this dry hot summer and like the migrating hummingbirds, have to click into resting mode. Your goats are darling!

  2. Love the pictures of the horses and goats. You sound like you have been so busy. I am behind on my tasks. The big storm we had here on the coast blew summer away. We didn't get our fabled second summer. The trees do seem to be lagging behind here too. Looks like your place is snug for the winter.

  3. What lovely fellas. Cooper is so dear-looking. And Dandy getting a goat kiss. What a moment :-)

  4. I have some small mesh hay nets for Tang - she ripped a hole in one so that she could get at the hay faster. A determined horse will figure out a way to get to their food...

    Lovely garden shots and your horses are darling. The goats are a hoot!

  5. Love to see pics of your animals and stories about them.

  6. Ditto what everyone else is saying. I took some time to read though posts I missed and have to add that I love your barn jacket. Very well done.

  7. Your creatures are so lovely. You sure do keep busy around there and I'm in awe of your creativity (I scrolled through other posts). Thanks for your visit to my blog via the other Hilary. It's always nice to see a new face in town. ;)