Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mid to End of May at Czar of the Woods Farm

May has to be one of the most beautiful months there is.  Everything is bursting with life and it simply put, it feels good to be alive.  With the mild winter we had and unseasonably warm weather we had in March and April everything has sprung forth with life and become green faster than I can ever remember, complete with Alice in Wonderland sized weeds.  In the 3 years that we have been on the farm I don't ever recall the pasture grass growing so high so quickly.  I would imagine those that make hay might be able to get 3 cuttings in this year as opposed to the usual 2.  Certainly good for those of us that have horses, etc. in that it might bring the cost down with supply being up.  With the cost of fuel for tractors though it will still likely cost more than it did last year.  A local hay farmer called me out of the blue the other day and asked me if I wanted to purchase some of his early cut bales.  Sure do, the stuff is beautiful (he gave me a bale for the horses to try and they loved it)!

Speaking of horses...on May 1st our boarder Divo left so that his owner could move him to a barn where her sister also boards and so that they could ride together.  That same day we were lucky to have a new boarder arrive at the farm, Rocket; a 20 year old Quarterhorse who is absolutely wonderful in every way.  Since Czar was so very attached to Divo I was worried that he would miss him so I made sure that Rocket arrived within a few hrs of Divo's departure so that Czar wouldn't have any time to miss Divo.  You never know what to expect when 2 horses meet.  Czar, is a 27 year old Arabian who is still very much full of life and still has a feisty side.  For every horse he meets he wants to desperately be their buddy but in horses when this is the case it is often up to the other horse to decide and accept, or not.  Luckily Rocket seems to be accepting of everything in life and is easily one of the most easy going horses I have ever met.  He really could have cared less about Czar and simply wanted to check out his new digs.  I guess that was all the acceptance Czar was going to get so he took this as a cue to try to mount Rocket, fully erect.  Rocket, the poor guy, hadn't even gotten a meal in his new home yet.  Luckily these horses don't live in North Carolina and luckily for Czar's old man heart this didn't last long and they became true buddies.  From day one they bonded very quickly and are pretty much always right next to one another or eating from the same hay pile.  The weather has been amazing, and dry, almost too dry, for the past 3 weeks and the new couple has been outside, even at night (which is real good for horses), so they have continued to develop and incredible bond.  Watching this unfold has reminded me just how amazing horses are and we are really lucky to not only have them in our life but on our property.  In the middle of winter when owning horses is as difficult as it gets, it is days like this that I long for.  Thank you to Judy, Rocket's owner, for being an excellent boarder so far and we welcome both of them with open arms to Czar of the Woods Farm.  Rocket is truly one of the nicest horses I have ever met and we hope that he stays here for a good long time!

Rocket on the left and Czar on the right love to eat from the same pile of hay.  This means that horses are buddies, accepting of one another and safe together.

This has been and remains one of my favorite vantage points at the farm.  Standing in the northeast corner of the property, looking southwest.

We have yet to finish installing all the new fence posts in the back pasture due to a partial barn rebuild project taking precedence (sagging roof in one corner due to foundation rot) but I really wanted to get this new duo out on the amazing green grass that has grown so quickly.  So I installed temporary fence posts where there were no posts and now there is a combination of permanent and temporary with electric tape to keep the horses in.  While it's not ideal it does the trick for the time being and the horses couldn't be happier.  They didn't know what to do with themselves and didn't know where to start eating.  They looked as though they were eating their last meal the way they gorged and move to another area so as not to miss out.  Can't keep them out there too long as if they eat too much too fast so early in the season they can colic (which can be fatal).  I have been putting them out there for a few hours each night and seeing horses in our back pasture again is sublime.  After having it closed for the better part of 3 seasons so the grass could re-establish itself after over grazing from the previous owner's horses it was a long time coming and what a beautiful sight it is.  Nothing quite like seeing horses in their natural environment in a sea of green as they nicker to show they are content.  It really is perfection.

Here the boys enjoy the luscious green, spring pasture grass.

Our rescued Western Box turtles are loving life in their outdoor enclosure that is rapidly filling with all sorts of plants that make for great hiding places and homes for the insects that they eat.  The warm sun is a turtles best friend.  While the turtles don't do a whole lot I love having them and knowing that they have a really sweet enclosure on our property that we built for them.

 Can you spot them?

I also opened up the bee hive to see how they have been doing as well since the weather we have been having is perfect for bees.  They are drunk on pollen and nectar right now bringing it all back to the hive in the process of making honey and more bees.  It is quite a production and seemingly effortless yet chaotic choreography.

The light yellow "capped off" areas are what will eventually become honey.  There are other capped off areas that are darker and not seen in either of these frames that contain baby bees known as brood.

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