Friday, October 9, 2015

An Apple (or ten) a Day

The apple trees are absolutely loaded this year.  There are four apple trees in the pasture that I usually don't think much about because they rarely produce anything.  This year, the apples are an issue.

I didn't really notice at first when the herd started spending a LOT of time at the far end of the field.  I just noticed that they donkeys, who had been nagging me incessantly to take them for walks or give them more hay or more grass or more something, were suddenly very content to hang out in the lower field.

I should have known better.  Like any parent knows, silence means trouble.  

Fortunately, a couple of weeks ago Tessa decided that the lure of green grass was just too much and she went through the fence.  I was highly annoyed at the time and we had words about it, but that is how I discovered the apple issue.  The trees are fenced off, but the deer had knocked it down (which is where Tessa got the idea in the first place) and the herd were out there snarfing up every apple they could reach.  There was a bunch of brush under the tree and the donkeys had even made little tunnels through it all so that no apple escaped their bloodhound noses.  

It was OK early on because it was just a few apples falling every day.  The herd was spending hours hanging out down there and scouring the area for just a handful of apples.  However, about the time Tessa went through the the fence, the apples started falling in ernest.  Ramsey, who is an absolute truffle pig when it comes to apples was acting a bit off and actually walked away from his food dish.  I was just about to hit the panic button because Ramsey doesn't ever walk away from even a story molecule of food, when I realized that he just couldn't be bothered to eat his vitamins when there might be an apple falling right that very minute.  The very idea was more than he could stand.  

The apples have been getting progressively riper and are falling by the dozen now.  

Which is why I now have two layers of hot fence around each tree, good thing I had to fix fence.  The donkeys are not pleased.  

Every day now, I go out to check the fence and test the security measures.  I grab up a half dozen apples and toss them out for the herd to find.  They think this is great fun while it lasts, but that thier apple quota is far too stingy.
It is especially unfair that Tessa is big enough to reach over the fence and occasionally get an extra apple that they can't reach.

The unfairness of it all is just awful.  The donkeys are feeling terribly deprived and I sure am hearing about it.

The whining is OK though, I rather like hearing the incredible variety of woe-is-me brays, squeaks and snorts that they produce.  Their repertoire is astounding.  They have an especially dirgeful duet that they have been working on.  I may have to get some kind of automated voice recorder because the camera doesn't have the range needed to record and you really should hear these two.  Th apple lament is just priceless.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Brief, Beautiful Ephemera

It's been an interesting summer for fungi.  I hike with my dog in the woods every day and I always keep an eye out for the small oddities that pop up throughout the year.  I find it fascinating that I can walk the same trails every day and yet always find something new.  The fungi never disappoint in this area.  There are some that I always see in the same place and about the same time every year.  However, there are always a couple of unique specimens that show up out of the blue and just as suddenly disappear, never to be seen again.  At least not yet. 

There hasn't been the variety or fantastic colors that I have seen in previous years, but this summer did bring out a couple of notable appearances.  This showed up under a log that lies right on the path.

I've walked past this spot a 1000 times.  It wasn't there one day and the next, there were three patches of these luminescent icicle fungi.  

That is what I named them anyway.  I have no idea what they really are as I never bother to look up these little treasures - I kind of enjoy the mystery.

I tried hard to capture the color, which was a pure, creamy white with a sort of bio-luminescent shimmer that the camera just couldn't see.

I guess you'll just have to take my word for that part.

These showed up overnight and by the third day, their luminescence had faded and become a powdery substance on the ground underneath them.  

By the fourth day, they were gone.

I've never seen these before and may never see them again.

I'm sure that someday though, when the conditions are just right, they will show up again somewhere.

Hopefully, I'll still be out in the woods looking for them.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Changing of the Guard

We took all the dogs hiking over at the lake this afternoon. There are nice trails around it that Tanner and I used to walk on nearly every day.

I realized this afternoon that I haven't been back there since we took Tanner for one last visit just about a year ago...

 This crazy pup certainly takes up a lot of space in the world, but I do still miss Tanner.

The new generation had tons of fun though...

Bess and Connor's first trip to the lake.
Kelsey, the middle child, always getting overlooked.

It's not easy being the middle child, as Kelsy and I can bot attest....

....especially not with big, squishable puppies around

And the last of the Old Guard, Scout (Tanner's litter-mate) will be 13 this month

Last year, there was a Blue Heron fishing along the shore, annoyed by our presence.  Tanner was too sick to do anything about it.  This year, Connor spotted him and herded him off to the other side of the lake just like Tanner would have if he could have.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Inscrutability of Cats

"Hey Mom, what do you suppose is wrong with that Yellow Cat?  Rolling and squirming around like that - there has to be something the matter with him don't you think?  Maybe Ma should call the vet?"

"Beats me. Maybe he's got colic."

"I mean really, have you SEEN what cats eat?  Disgusting!!  It's a wonder they don't have colic all the time.  Seriously, anyone who actually eats moles has just GOT to have problems, right?"

"I don't know Mom, it's hard to tell.  Cats are just so weird, strutting around one minute, flopping all over like a fish the next then leaping up a running for their lives just cause I twitched an ear.  Cats are weird."

"I guess that's why people think they're so inscrutable and mysterious.  All that hype about curiosity and sphinxes and nine lives and blah, blah, blah..."

"Personally, I think it's just a bad case of gas.  I mean really - MOLES?!  Blech.  Ick!  Yuck!"

Friday, October 2, 2015

Donkey Drill Team Practice

The computer and I seem to be suffering the same malaise this week - an inability to boot up, slow thought processes, frequent crashes, overwhelmed by small tasks....I never knew computer diseases could be zoonotic.  I think I need to give myself a good swift kick, but I haven't got the energy.  I guess  I'll go out and sit in on the Donkey Drill Team practice instead, it's just about the right energy level at the moment.