Here follows a determined attempt at optimism, cheerfulness, a positive view of the present and the immediate future. I won't commit further than the immediate future because that would be asking too much, of me and of the future.
Firstly, it appears that I have started a fashion in horse head gear! Horses wear fancy, all in one, eye and ear protectors in stiff black mesh, to ward off flies. Pharao, daughter Clea's horse, managed to destroy the ear pieces on his. Presumably by rubbing his ears against tree trunks to get rid of flies – whatever. Clea asked if I could mend the headgear as it was urgently needed. So I cobbled something together out of black and white cotton fabric, not canonical but effective. Now, all the horses at Pharao's livery stables have multi-coloured ear coverings. The things mothers can do.
Following on the horse theme, today I managed to be present at a horsey meeting where horses were doing dressage, obstacles and cross-country. There were horses everywhere, some tethered, some in charge of persons seemingly much too small to control them. Although I almost always managed to make sure there was someone or something between me and the horse, I survived the day without going weak at the knees, or needing more wine than usual at lunch. I had forgotten what a friendly occasion such a meeting could be. Next time I might get to pat Pharao. The time after that I could hold out my palm with a chunk of carrot on it , eyes closed, and wait for him to eat it. And that is as far as I will go with that.
Today I also managed to go for an early evening walk to the far, Pump pond, partly to see whether the duck seen on the duck pond this morning, had moved there. A couple of them have been inspecting the Black Pond in the Woods but have not stayed. So far they have all been drakes, the ducks seem to be playing coy. The other objective was to look at the water and the grassland. Despite the lack of rain – we have had no water since the snow melted – there is water flowing in our streams.
Admittedly the flow starts fairly far downstream. The spring at the twin oaks bridge has moved a few feet further towards the Pump pond but the water flowing from it has managed to clear the leaves. One can even see some water-cress beginning to
grow. All we need now is a good, steady, down-pour to clear the rest of the leaves and the Pump pond will start to fill.
Again, despite the lack of rain, the grass is growing in the fields, patchily and not always the sheep's favourite grass, but it is growing. A neighbour has promised to scarify those parts of the fields being stifled by weeds and moss. Then grass should grow again. Warm days and new grass, being allowed out of the barn – who could spoil sheep any more? Letting them back in to fresh hay and best grains, that's how we do it. Selfish, of course, because it does mean they are more likely (no guarantees) to lamb inside.
And this morning, between breakfast and being allowed out, one ewe successfully gave birth to twins, all by herself. There really is nothing more to say about that.