Monday, September 27, 2010

A Reluctant Fall Finally Arrives

Today was the first day in many that I have turned off all of the fans in the barn. After 5 long months of the incessant whirling of their plastic blades in their unsuccessful attempt to make it any cooler, it is now quiet, it is peaceful, and it is cool. Yesterday the first, of hopefully more, cold fronts descended from the arctic and brought much needed rain and finally, the cooler temps.
This summer has just been so extremely, friggin, hot here, and for so many other places, due to the global climate change or just bad luck.  The effects tho, of this extreme heat to one’s psyche when one works outside all day is stretching the limits of mental and physical abilities to withstand such torture, much less function. I know my mental ability was challenged just by being out there, and physically I felt beat up by it. It needed to go away.
That was where I was on Saturday, burnt toast. I had finished two very intense weeks with focus spent on horse stuff. First there was the stress of the Keuring, the taking the foal and mare to inspection and all that entailed. Then last week was a dressage clinic, which I hosted here at the farm, with Jeff Moore teaching. It was great and we all learned much as usual, but the most important thing we learned was, to never have the clinic in September again. October is a much better choice, but wasn’t available because of folks heading to the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky this time. We all spent 6 to 8 hours baking everyday by the side of the arena, and then too there was the time spent on the horse as well. It was brutal. It is not sane to be doing anything when the thermometer says 96 degrees and means it. Who says you have to be sane to ride a horse anyway?
So after all the trailers had headed out the driveway, tents and arena taken down, and instructor off to the airport, I went and hid in the house to cool my body and relax some. My mood was dark and deeply depressed. I simply could not take anymore of this weather. Greenland, as a new home, was looking pretty good. Mark said the weather forecast was promising a good change, but I thought he was only saying that in self defense to cheer my dour attitude. I was a doubter and just added more ice to my water and whatever.
Typical that when you are at the end of the rope, another comes along. Seasons change, over and over. Thank the gods, or whatever planetary alignment and rotation of the earth’s axis that makes these changes possible. Suicide rates would be much higher if they didn’t. I was close. So with this cooling rain, the earth and all its creatures, including moi, have all been given a much needed reprieve from the brutal stress, for the moment. I am thankful.
We sat on the front porch yesterday watching the rain, with light jackets on, dogs laying around us without panting. The trees visibly soaked up the moisture and filled their parched and brittle leaves back out and the grass went from crispy brown to green again as we sat there watching. It was a nice day with no particular thing to do, and now the weather had turned itself into a polite thing again. My stress level slowly melted to about a 2 year low, (except for the sublime time we spent in August at Snowbird Lodge), and my attitude soared in direct proportion.

Often when it rains and we are sitting on the porch, we get to see animals come out of the woods as tho they think of the rain as some sort of invisiblity cloak for them. Once there was an enormous flock of tom turkeys casually walking around the pasture. Frequently a Red Shoulder hawk hunts the fence line in the rain.  Yesterday tho, I noticed one of our furry friends from this spring sitting alertly looking towards the house. It was one of the red foxes that Marley had befriended back then and had been scarcely seen since then.
Mark went to get  some binoculars. While he was gone, the fox ducked under the fence and trotted closer, and over to the persimmon tree, which is loaded with orange fruit right now, and some of the riper ones lay on the ground. I hadn’t known foxes were fond of this particular fruit, grapes, yes, according to Aesop’s little story, but this one was seriously chowing down on his find. It was apparent too by his, or her, actions that this was not a first time at checking out what’s under that tree. There was a look of major happiness as the fox stuffed his mouth with these morsels and sat and chewed them, then looked for more. Once the supply was done, off he trotted to the gap under the fence, and back to the dark of the woods he went.
Well if fall has come reluctantly and late, then Halloween has come early in barn world. Everyday I walk in and am met with spider webs of all description. These aren’t evil spiders with intent to bite me. They rather prefer flying bugs, I know, but the strands are annoying and creepy as heck. I feel rather simpatico with Gulliver with his trouble with the Lilliputions, some of the strands are so tough that they stop my forward progress into the barn aisle until I can extricate myself from their pull. 

There are few things more disgusting than walking face first into the center of one of the types that has baby fine strands, so you don’t see it or the spider, and are left with a sticky, tickling, elastic web that will not come off, stuck right to your nose, in your mouth,  in your hair, and across your eyes. That, and there is the wondering of where, exactly the spider is...nice. NOT. Just wish they would build somewhere else besides my barn and my house.
Somewhere during the day yesterday, I noticed my cell phone which does primary duty as my camera, would not turn on, locked, and unresponsive to anything I did to try to trick it back in functioning mode. I am pretty sure now that it is a dead thing. Hope remains that my data, contacts, notes, and photos are not lost. I don’t really mind that today I am alone from it, an excuse to be a hermit again, but missed the potential use of as  a camera. So I took my flip video along and recorded a bit of Marley and Frank doing the thing they do going to the barn and will try to post it here and also some of the beautiful views from my path today. It was a very nice morning to be on the farm.