Saturday, February 7, 2015

A Glorious Day

6.30am on a school weekday finds me porridging in the kitchen, wrestling with packed lunches and devising new ways to encourage small humans to arise and face the day - preferably with school uniform on.
Winters at Opportunity Farm can be long and each morning the fire needs tending and the house warming before there is much success at getting the others up. That's why some summer weekend days it is great to leap out of bed, throw on some clothes and head out the door before anyone else is up.
This morning the dew was heavy and glistening as I walked up through the paddock. The final section of fence where I have been adding Hinge Joint to keep the goats in was beckoning. At our corner post there is a stile over which the human kids climb on their way to catch their bus to their NSW school. I climbed over to tie on the wire and looked back over Opportunity Farm and soaked up the sights and sounds. There were lots of sounds. The separated goat kids and mums were still calling to each other, the dogs were barking, the calf was asking for his mother back and the birds were announcing that it was a beautiful day. I tried to capture this natural cacophony but my camera is old fashioned technology and decent sound was beyond it.
Opportunity Farm from its SE corner
Once I had secured and tightened the fence with Gripples the sun had dried the dew and heat was promising much. Time for breakfast and the morning chores and to chase those children out of bed.
More apples to dry, the air conditioner to build into the wall of the hanging shed and some shelves to put up in the pantry. Outside jobs but out of the sun.
The girls wanted to ride. Opal didn't think this was such a good idea and ran away when approached with a leadrope. She was finally cornered and the tacking up could commence. She snorted and stamped but submitted to the indignity and discomfort of being saddled. It was a fine day for a ride but progress was painfully slow. Harley just wanted to put his head down and eat. My six-year old daughter just isn't strong enough to pull his head up as often as he wants to put it down for another mouthful. Opal would walk for a bit and then stand still despite being spurred on by an enthusiastic though not strong girl on her back. Still as long as I was there to encourage all four of them the walk progressed. I have no experience with horses and am in the dark about most equine activities.
 As a child my older sister was keen on horses and helped out at a stables for a while. This came to an abrupt end when we were sheltering from the wind and rain at a Welsh lake. To our amazement a Mr.Whippy van made it up the hill to the almost empty car park tootling 'Greensleeves'.Taking pity on the entrepreneurial or simply dim ice-cream man we purchased some 99 cones. The Welsh Mountain ponies obviously knew the van as a source of food and approached us for a lick. When my sister turned her back on the pony to protect her icecream it was so offended it took a chunk out of her back. Horses were off the agenda after that.
 Anyway I am happy to encourage pony riding and to see the joy on my girls' faces makes it a very worthwhile project.
 The day ended with a thunderstorm and downpour that cleared the air and watered the gardens. Only three more summer weekends to go. I hope they are all as glorious as this one.

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