Saturday, March 29, 2008

This and that

The pile of wood you see there was deposited by the flood last spring. Blue had to step over some driftwood in places on the levee.

Yesterday was a sunny, breezy day... too cool for a comfortable motorcycle ride, but perfect for a horseback ride. The Missouri River has the nickname "Big Muddy", and normally it does look muddy and brown; but yesterday, as you can see here, it was blue.

I should explain that I don't own the river bottom land where I ride; most of the local farmers have given me permission to ride there, and others don't seem to care when they see me riding my horse on their property. I avoid riding in the corn and soybean fields when crops are growing, keeping on the access roads or on the levee as much as possible. From November through April, it's all wide open to me; oh, there are patches of winter wheat, but riding a horse across wheat doesn't damage it.

There's something about the vastness and solitude of the area that I love. Yesterday Blue and I scared up a couple of deer. He always sees them first, and will stop, put his ears up, and stare. Then I'll look in that direction to see what has his attention. One deer stopped and stared back at us for a minute. When I get a camera with a 20x zoom, I'll be able to take pictures of things like that.

The pictures in the preceding entry are taken on our property; we own forty-two acres at the top of a river bluff made of sand that the wind blew here. There are no rocks on the place that weren't brought here, except at the very back where our land goes to river-bottom level. The picture at the top of this page with my husband on a tractor was also taken on our property; you can see Cliff's shop in the background.

We aren't farmers, although Cliff has so far managed to raise enough hay for our horses and the two that are boarded here. Cliff works in a factory some forty miles away. He car-pools with a neighbor, which is a wonderful thing with gasoline prices at an all-time high.

To answer a couple of questions left in my comments:

From Diane: Is the grass any longer down by the river? Have you ever tried riding Blue and leading Libby? Maybe you can lead Libby to some longer grass and get her used to being outside the fences.

Indeed, Diane, I have "ponied" Libby many times on this place, and a couple of times away from here and down on the river bottom. Unless you're on slow dial-up, you can see a video about that HERE. It'll give you sort of a tour of our pasture. (You'll also see our renters' trailer house, our barn, our neighbor's house, etc.) The video was taken in December, 2006 when Libby was still a yearling. As far as leading her, she leads anywhere just fine. This part of Missouri just isn't warm enough for the grass to grow; it's been a long winter. The horses have plenty of hay, so they aren't hungry.

Muhd asks:
One question if you don't mind. Do you bury or cremate a dead horse? It would be a big grave.

Our Son just buried Andy, his hamster under a palm tree beside our block a few days ago.

I've never had to address that question. I've had several horses, but none of them died while in my possession. If I can remain here until Blue dies, he'll definitely get a proper burial because he's so very special to me. He'll be fourteen years old in May, so he's middle-aged; I'm hoping he's one of those horses who lives to be thirty or so. I'll be eighty years old if he lives that long, and I imagine we'll both be pretty tired by then.

We have buried a couple of special dogs in a peaceful spot in our pasture.


Anonymous said...

Our farm was big enough to bury both our horses when they came to the end of their days.
It sure helped to have a tractor with digging and covering abilities.
Lee & Ray

Diane J. said...

The grass is just beginning to green up here but it's still pretty sparse for grazing.

I didn't realize that Libby is still so young. She seems to be coming along just fine and she has a nice gait.

Hope you have a good weekend, although we're having soaking rains which we really don't need to add to our flooding rains, and it's only 47ยบ at 11:30 am.



Spyder said...

We buried our Great Pyr Bianca on our property (4 acres) under a redbud. We hung her collar on a lower branch.

Mike S said...

Is there stuff actually UNDER all this white?? We should set up a trading business. Not much sand here so we import it, but we grow one heckuva crop of rocks every spring. Can't find much use for so many of them, so we just pile them into fences:):)

Rachel said...

Oh, I just love all your pictures and the video!! It's so nice to see pictures taken while you are on a horse! I haven't been on a horse in ages!! Blue and Libby are both beautiful!!

Stacey said...

Oh Donna this is beautiful. Not gonna lie, I'm kinda jealous of you. Maybe you can ride Blue over to Lee's Summit someday so I can hug his neck! xo

Midlife Mom said...

I too wish I had all of the open spaces that you have to ride on. Our land is mostly woods and at the stable we have to ride on a busy road to get to some trails. I hate it when those big long haul trucks go screaming by us! Doesn't seem to bother the horses but scares me to death. We try to get as far off the road as possible while they go by.

Back home again and back at your project. Got more done last night and am going to start in on more today. It's been fun.

Celeste said...

We have not had to address the horse burial yet either. I have a place picked out just in case and a friend with a back hoe to help.

Muhd Imran said...

Hi Donna,
Thank you for taking time to answer my question.

These are indeed beautiful creatures. The vast open spaces are therapeutic to the senses.