Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Times of Plenty

Fall is the very best time of the year, in my opinion. The air is perfect, the light is perfect, the color of everything (sky, grass, trees) is clear and burnished. The first smell of wood smoke is - let’s face it - magical. I have had a fire going for a few days, as the tactile analog of comfort food. So nice to come into a room with a fire, I think. The dogs agree.

Second cutting came in yesterday - as usual, a miracle. I didn’t know for sure if it could be cut at all until the day before. We had over twenty-one inches of rain between Irene and the aftermath, and there was standing water in that field not too long ago. I was hoping for four days of drying, since the dew stays late and arrives early in the afternoon and the days are so much shorter, but I had to make due with three (since it is raining AGAIN today) and the hay seems fine anyway. By the end of the day yesterday the dried grass had that nice crackle when you picked it up and the bales were beautiful. We will need to be careful when we feed it - it is horse fudge (or worse) and they would gorge on the bright green-ness of it, if allowed. And, typically, I had no idea how I would get the bales into the barns until the 11th hour when help just showed up. These bales were heavy enough that I was extremely grateful for the assistance. It turns out that my back still has some limitations on how much weight I can throw, and 50-60 pound bales exceed it.

It was a little bit of a scramble this morning to find sheets to fit the horses which need protection - my blanket collection was still at the cleaners but the rain was so cold I didn’t want to send horses out without some portable shelter, at least. It was a hoot fitting a 75" rain sheet to a rather large Hanoverian but we managed. All these horses’ own sheets, of course, were tidily put away at their owners’ homes until needed

I am also pretty psyched about the open house this coming Saturday (details on Facebook and the backacresfarm.com webpage). It is a good excuse to get everything cleaned up and tidy which is this week’s job. Recently, however, the large water pressure tank failed and it was an interesting exercise to get it changed out this past Monday. It was originally installed in the new barn feed room on a pedestal, and boarded up in place after being seriously insulated - since it gets quite cold out there. It is the main tank for the houses and all the barns, so when the wooden walls began showing suspicious wetness underneath the tank it was time to Take Note. Thank the lord it was still under warrantee - but the repair made quite a mess. The cloaking boards are still off in order for the underneath and floor to dry out and I am really hoping to get it back together before Saturday. Doesn’t make a good impression to have boards and screws lying around a tack room.

See you on Saturday, I hope!

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