Moose River Farm Blog

Friday, November 22, 2013

Fantasy Farm Shopping

     Good Evening,
     Actually, it is the middle of the afternoon, but it is the darkest day I have seen in November.  That combined with the saturated dew point and plunging nightfall that comes early this time of year, are challenging me to keep my spirits high.  It is after all, Friday and next week a short work week is followed by a busy Thanksgiving weekend to be spent with animals and friends.  The doom and gloom however, is prompting me to surf the net for sunny Florida properties that are available for sale.  Are we considering buying property in Florida at the moment?  No, but clicking through the listings of elite horse farms in the southern region of the Sunshine state is a welcome distraction before heading outside to do chores in drizzly cold conditions.  Besides, it doesn't cost anything to look, dream and imagine how those with an endless limit of financial resources avoid residing in the north over the winter months.  Join me and let's peruse the elite offerings in the Wellington, Florida area near West Palm Beach.  Feel free to be picky.  At these prices I expect perfection! 

Wellington Horse Farm; $34M
      Good thing this one doesn't come with a house because I would rarely be in it.  The barn has plenty of amenities that provide living quarters.  Besides, after playing with my horses all day, I would be too tired to entertain, let alone cook in a fabulous kitchen!

Wellington Horse Farm; $27M
     When would there be time to tend to the landscaping?  Of course the goats would gladly help out.

Wellington Horse Farm; $13M
     I wonder if these surroundings would elevate the goats and donks to a new level of sophistication.  That goes for the eclectic members of my horse herd too! 

Wellington Horse Farm; $10M

Wellington Horse Farm; $1M
Before you get too excited about this one...there are no paddocks, barn or ring... yet!

Had enough?  Me too!  The more I look the more I appreciate what I already have here; simplicity, coziness, and the ability to care for my own animals in an efficient well designed facility.  Escaping the gloomy afternoon for awhile to peek inside the realm of mega-wealthy horse owners provides some degree of satisfaction.  Despite the long, cold, winter that's on its way, I will keep what I have and be thankful for all of it.  Happy Thanksgiving everybody!
Photos by Michele deCamp
Me with half of my herd...
...Rod with the other half.
Goats and donkeys gorge on apples
The dogs, Rosemary, (iguana) and Fiona, (pig).


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Whinnies of Change

     Good Afternoon,
     Accepting change is necessary.  The ability to do so however, is not always easy.  As the caretaker of so many animals with lifespans that vary from single digits to several decades, there always seems to be a geriatric family member to manage.  A year ago, I wrote a post about Sandi, (Just a School Horse), MRF's tried and true beginner lesson horse who celebrated his 28th birthday this year.  The post was a tribute to his loyal career as confidence builder for many budding equestrians.  I wanted to acknowledge his gifts while he was still very much alive and healthy.  
    What a difference a year makes.  Compromised, (but not limited), by the surgical removal of his right eye years ago, it was only a matter of time until Sandi's other eye would succumb to Uveitis, (periodic opthalmia).  Although medication slowed the process, it has become evident lately, that the battle is being lost.  Despite the inevitable, Sandi's ability to adjust to change reminds me of the power in each of us to accept and adapt.  Once the most amicable horse in the herd, Sandi is now rather aggressive toward other horses who venture too closely into his space.  His reaction includes lunging full force with ears pinned against his head, mouth agape and teeth bared.  The maneuver is shocking to witness by those of us who know the gelding as nothing but a gentle soul.  However, the gesture is understandable as Sandi clings on to the remaining vestiges of his dignity.  I was forced to change the turnout routine so Sandi could eat in peace. Therefore, he was allowed to spend summer days grazing freely around the property by himself without competition from other horses that might cause stress. 
     Sandi was mostly content with this arrangement except for the fact that it isolated him from belonging to a herd.  His pitiful high-pitched whinnies were proof that horses are happiest when they belong to a group; feeling more secure no matter how low on the pecking order they rank.  But Sandi's negative behavior risked injury to other horses as well as to himself.  
    Meanwhile, donkeys Bing and Frankie were also forced to accept significant change in their lives at MRF this week.  While dragging the donks home after dark with Mary, my neighbor, illuminating our way from the headlights of her car, I was forced into making a revelation.  The donkeys can no longer be allowed to roam freely.  With maturity has come the confidence to explore farther and farther from the barn.  Fearing for their safety, (not to mention my neighbors' safety), it is necessary to secure them in a paddock during turnout hours.  Only on supervised walks are they permitted to run freely in the big field below the barn.  
     Fortunately, Sandi's and the donkeys' situations bumped into each other this week creating an acceptable solution to both dilemmas.  The pictures tell the rest of the story and once again remind me that every problem is solvable.  Once we accept that change is inevitable we can channel our energies to adapt.    

Bing and Frankie to the rescue!
Sandi is curious about his new companions who have lost their privilege to roam the property freely.
Alex assures Sandi that he will be cared for and loved forever. 
The donkeys pose no threat to Sandi...
...therefore, providing companionship and...
...a herd to call his own.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Winter is Coming

     Good Morning,
     For the first time since school began, I spent an entire weekend at home.  It was a chance to catch up on chores that have been neglected for too long.  In addition, I got to spend some quality time with all of my animals.  That pleasure alone, gave me a much desired lift despite predicted bitter cold temperatures and snow.  
     All around Moose River Farm evidence of the beautiful extended fall weather exists. Some of my flower boxes are still maintaining dashes of pink and yellow blooms against barren tree branches.  Even the garden continues to produce winter squash and carrots while cherry tomatoes ripen within the trapped heat of a tiny greenhouse.  The longer all of this goes on, the shorter winter will seem.  
     Choosing to live in the Adirondacks requires us to accept that summer is short and long winters extend from late fall into late spring.  The goats sleek fur is thickening with cashmere that will keep them warm in the months to come.  The horses' shiny summer coats have been replaced with teddy-bear hair that will insulate them under blankets.  Donkeys, Bing and Frankie have established a fuzz from ear to hoof in just a few days.  Even Rosemary is beginning to slow down, consuming fewer calories as her body prepares for semi-dormancy.  Along with four inches of wet snow that fell this week, these signs remind me that the inevitable is on its way.  Together, Rod, the animals and I will stick it out, thankful that we have each other to see it through.

Despite several inches of wet snow this week, our farming endeavors keep producing. 
Tondi, (the collie), spent the weekend with us, keeping warm by the fireplace.
Rosemary doesn't need a costume this time of year. 
My petunias have survived many freezing cold nights this fall and are still blossoming.
Green grass this late in the year is unusual but Spirit and Tango are not complaining.

The chickens have been liberated to the garden to clean up.
Like my goats, the deer are beginning to grow thicker coats.  This one is looking in my classroom window.
Three Gerbera Daisies add color against the grayness that is November in the Adirondacks.