Our two horse friends, Gus and Jack, no longer live with us. Their humans decided they were finally at an age where tending to horses was simply too tough on them and a young family with children would welcome the horses with open arms. It was a sad day when they were loaded into their trailer and headed down the road to a new life. My dad would have been heartbroken and so was I, not just for my own self, but on behalf of my dad who loved those horses dearly.
Their departure has brought a lot of changes–M, their person, and we, had worked out how to share the pole barn so the two horses could have a paddock of sorts, where they were fed, where the farrier could tend to their hooves and the vet could also work with them, but especially Jack, who suffers from equine COPD. Gates and partitions, equipment and hay are all gone now. The little space where M kept the feed and other supplies for Jack and Gus is now empty and we are looking at how to covert it into a larger, safer chicken coop and yard for the our girls, who are aging now, to have more space to enjoy the last years of their lives. We are also looking at getting maybe as many as 10-12 chickens next spring–though no rooster!!!
And of course, the fields on either side of the house are empty now. We’re planning to allow our current vegetable patch to lie fallow next year and put down our spring garden in the east pasture. I’m squirreling away money so my part can have raised beds–these knees and hips do not appreciate a bunch of kneeling to weed! There’s a lot of space to take care of (about 3 acres) and I keep telling Sherod some pygmy goats, a mean white goose, and a donkey, would offer yet more entertainment and keep the fields from getting overgrown. I have visions of little ones wearing PJ’s like these on Christmas morning!
All that is fun to dream about and in the meantime, Sherod plowed a swath of land close to the house in late May and scattered a bunch of wild and sunflower seeds. They are flowering now and the patch almost shakes with the buzzing of our bees early in the morning. This picture captures a tiny bit of the beauty they have brought to our home.
And then, there are the bees. Sometime they annoy the heck out of me. I go by the hive on my way to take garbage out to our dumpster. I have been seen running like the haints are after me when the bees are upset and cranky and decide to dive bomb me.
The hive is a collaborative venture between the Spouseman and two neighbors and friends.Today, they gathered around a centrifuge to collect the first honey. The colony has thrived on our land for over a year now and the honeycombs were rich, rich, rich with honey. There’s plenty left and more will be produced during the rest of the summer and early fall to keep the colony going in the colder months.
The three guys share the honey in equal parts and we got the first installment of our allotment this afternoon. Another moment, even in the midst of the bleakness of most days now, when “my cup runneth over.”