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.
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.