The sky is a seamless soup, the color of old bath water and the remaining snow that hides in the leaves or just under the pasture gate is a pockmarked froth.
As my wife, Carol, said recently on her Facebook page, "Every day begins with the horses and cats." That's just the way it is and today is no different. We take the truck, my old faithful Dodge Hemi, eleven years old now, but still a workhorse. I add three bales of hay to the tailgate and drive across the lower part of the pasture, hoping I'm not leaving a rutted trail behind me.
Today's load is large: eight bags of bedding, one hundred pounds of feed and the hay. We feed, water and clean up after the girls and drudge the truck's load to the feed room in the wheelbarrow.
I use a three wormer rotation on my horses and today Stormy and Callie will each get a dose of Panacur. Stormy is an easy horse to medicate, she sucks on the syringe and is on her way, just the way she is when the vet gives her shots or draws her blood. Callie is usually a head-tossing diva when it comes to taking a dose of wormer, but today I gave her a treat or two and when I rub her mouth with the syringe she opens up and...all gone! Wow, that was easy. Give credit to Carol whose patience in dosing Callie has been greater than mine.
Stormy trotted along beside me when she saw Callie's syringe in my hand. No doubt she'd figured a treat must be hiding somewhere in the folds of my sweatshirt. She was right, of course, but no sooner had I finished with Callie, when Stormy, who had been facing Callie, wheeled 180 degrees. Her movement was so swift and fluid that I felt her absence before I realized she had gone.
Someone might pay big money for my jeans, but I think I can still get a little more use out of them,
I watched the the coyote's rusty winter ruff flow like wind-blown grass across its shoulders. As it trotted, the coyote never veered from its path. When a white service truck slowed to have a look, the coyote slowed as well, raising its head, its yellow eyes watching. When the truck passed, the coyote dropped it head and ran faster than I could have believed possible, crossing Princeton Road and angling out of sight. In the truck the coyote saw a threat and its eyes never left it until it drove out of sight. The coyote never seemed to worry about the horses that were now in full flight.
*I Am A Rock by Simon and Garfunkel
Copyright, December 24, 2014 by Loren R, Schumacher
All photos by Carol Lang and Copyrighted, December 24, 2014