As I finished throwing hay to Star, I saw this sunlight in stalls and thought it artful.
Category Archives: Horses
Lately, some of my blogger friends have had fires break out near their cabins, farms and ranches. George Catlin (1796-1872) in Prairie Meadows Burning (1832), portrays the flight of people on horseback from fire.
Three days ago, fire erupted thirty miles to the north of my place, near Possum Kingdom Lake. It has been mostly put under control at this time.
(See another post of mine about George Catlin: ‘The Day I Saw the George Catlins.’)
I suppose we all have nested away some items, some event or photograph we cherish. I published a photograph several weeks ago on the feed bin in the far field with clouds that I had set aside in the files, but every time I came across the feed bin and clouds photograph I wanted to post it and share it with readers in the blogosphere. I present two things here with a short story line, one is the long shadows in Stall 1 of the stables, the other is an artwork of Eric Andrews of Taos, New Mexico.
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When this photograph was taken on January 28, 2011, the late afternoon shadows of the stall panels were surrounded by cold mist of a winter’s day. I was terribly sad because I had recently sold three of my prize horses at an auction in Oklahoma City, and the absence of Hija, Fanny and the foal-to-be was anguishing. The economy had gone sour and I had — through my own ineptitude — lost money on the stock market. So had other people lost money, but they had not be forced to sell their companions. I sold the horses — no small relief, to be sure — to fine people in Canada and Missouri and I was comforted in the transfer. The photograph illustrated to me the emptiness in my life at the time.
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Eric Andrews’ painting, Walking the Acequia 2, is one of his current paintings for sale and is a good example of his art. I possess one Eric Andrews painting. He and his wife own the 203 Fine Art Gallery in Taos, New Mexico. After the death of my mother in 2003, I wanted to invest my inheritance in either fine art or land. I eventually settled on buying the Flying Hat Ranchito. Before I bought the Flying Hat, however, I traveled to Taos and Santa Fe to put together an ensemble of southwestern paintings of the Taos Society of Artists — Bert Geer Phillips, Ernest L. Blumenschein, Joseph Henry Sharp, Oscar E. Berninghaus, E. Irving Couse and W. Herbert Dunton.
As I made a laundry list of the paintings I might purchase, going from art gallery to art gallery, I met Eric Andrews at the Parsons Gallery in Taos. It was an immediate friendship. I traveled to his studio out on the High Road to Taos from Santa Fe to visit with him and his wife and see their work. Although I made the decision to buy my ranchito, I bought Eric’s Vadito II that hangs over my fireplace (you can see it on the “About” page of Sage to Meadow). The painting above, Walking the Acequia 2, illustrates my acquaintance with Eric and my deep interest in all things acequia.
- LeDoux Street Art Stroll Allows Visitors to See Why Taos is Considered ‘Center of Art World’ (prweb.com)
When I cut the split tree down yesterday, I recovered two bird nests I had seen in the tree. The fledglings had already flown away and no new eggs had been laid. I would have continued to anchor the split tree if fledglings had remained or the parents were sitting, and then I would fell the tree. All birds had flown away.
The nest on the left has more black horse hair than white. Some sorrel hair is intertwined. The nest on the right has more white hair woven in. The black horse hairs came from Sweet Hija and Lilly. The sorrel horse hairs emanated from Shiney, Fanny and Wild Flower Gal. The white hairs came from Star.
Star remains on the ranchito. Lilly is buried on the place. Sweet Hija is in Canada. Shiney and Fanny are resettled in Missouri and Wild Flower Gal is still in Texas. Scattered as the horses be, their hair has remained in north Erath County, Texas, for other creatures to use and as a memento for me to see.
Sweet Hija foaled a colt, Lonespurs Shining Badger, on April 11, 2011. Kim Elliott, the owner of Sweet Hija, has selected the paper name for the colt: Lonespurs, the name of their ranch near Calgary where Legends of the Fall and Open Range were filmed; Shining, after the sire Shiners Lena Doc; and Badger, after the King Ranch bloodline of Sweet Hija.
Kim said that Sweet Hija was as big as Mac Truck before she foaled and that she had the foal all by herself, no problem. That’s one of the reasons we bought Sweet Hija in 2003. She was strong and bred for ranch work and could take care of things quickly.
I thought that all my tears had been shed about Sweet Hija, but Brenda and I gave a few more tears to the good earth when we learned of Hija and Highway 101, the barn name for the little colt named, Lonespurs Shining Badger.
Kim Elliott and her family — I talked to them on the phone — are so very proud of Hija and Highway 101 that I think (don’t know for sure) they will keep Highway 101 intact and have him sire a whole new bloodline in Canada. We’ll see if my hunch is correct.
In any case, watch out, Canada, for this little man!
Kim Elliott and her family operate and own Elliott Equine Transport, the premier horse transport for North America. Highway 101, Kim told me, is the coastal highway they travel between Canada and Mexico and the place in between and a fitting name for the little colt.
Earlier this week on the first full day of Spring 2011, I received a communication from Journey North that the monarchs “were pouring out of Mexico” and that the leading edges were entering Oklahoma, about a 100 miles from our place in north Erath County, Texas. A day before the e-mail, I had seen a monarch in our front field feasting on nectar of wild verbena, but I did not have my camera to take a picture.
The next day, March 23, 2011, I spotted this leading edge monarch in our live oak tree out in front of our house. Twenty-three live oak trees live on the knoll of our home, a hill really, that is known as Poprock Hill in local folklore. These trees have been the roosting place for monarchs, I am sure, for several generations. We have seen monarchs every year since we have moved here and last year I snapped pictures for the blog of a large roost of monarchs in the Fall as they flew to Mexico.
I have known of butterflies all of my life, but only in the last fifteen years have I begun to look deeply into the ecology of where I live in north Erath County, Texas. This blog I write, Sage to Meadow, has become a platform for me to the rest of the world, a medium of communicating my love of nature, its greens and browns, births and deaths that encompass us all. Butterflies such as the monarch abound where I live and I did not know milkweed was a prime source of its nutrition.
Milkweed, like many other things, is an example of nature’s complexity and diversity, for although it is a prime source of food for butterflies, its over-indulgence by horses and cattle is toxic and may result in death if untreated. When I learned of that last year, I quickly researched the milkweed and its correlation with horses and found that adequate grass and grain prevents the livestock from consuming large quantities of milkweed.
So, the lesson here is balance for farmers and ranchers. Keep good stands of grass in the field, do not overgraze, and horses and man and butterflies can co-exist. It’s not the final lesson of life, but it’s one of the best lessons to acquire — for the monarchs can continue to find food to and from Mexico, horses will graze elsewhere and be pacified, and we will be able to look upon all their beauty and grace as we observe from close and far away the interconnectedness of us all.
- Monarch butterfly makes colorful comeback (cbsnews.com)
- Showy Milkweed (findmeacure.com)
- Let’s try this again – El Rosario, Mexico (travelpod.com)
- Casa De La Monarca Group : Mexico (kiva.org)
- Monarch butterflies in Mexico: Kings of the sky (economist.com)
The temperatures rose to 35 degrees and the sun came out, melting the snow about the place. Corrals turned to mud. Meadow Lark, White-crowned Sparrow, and Chickadee scattered away from their emergency ration station in the barn alleyway and I turned Star out so that he could run about the pastures and go to the county road to visit his friends at the Nowack place. I saw deer track along the grove lane and vowed to throw corn near the salt block tomorrow.
Star galloped through snow and mud to the pond and as we both made our way towards the barn, ducks flew upward from their browsing, but circled back to the pond, dousing their beaks, grasping algae and minnow. A west wind blew across the snow and I wore sunglasses to reduce the glare of the sun. After I fed Star, I walked up the hill to the house, strongly striding because cold air filled my lungs and I was content with Winter.