Sunday, June 15, 2008

Enlightenment - one second too late

Have you ever had that flash of insight that tells you "I really shouldn't be right here, right now"?

I had one of those today when facing a 1200 pound beastie who was thinking about bolting and I was standing smack dab in the middle of her only escape route. I noticed her decision to "spook" in the tensing of muscles, the flick of a nostril and the roll of her eye. (Never mind that she was escaping from a big block of dock styrofoam that had somehow ended up in the middle of the riding path. And that she had stood quietly while I dismounted and removed it from the path. And it was styrofoam and she is a big horse... The equine mind is one vast vacuum.)

I now have a slightly swollen, bruised foot with very little skin left on the top. It's not too bad. I can move all toes and walk with only a slight limp. I only have three more days at camp. But I am rather angry with myself for standing in that particular spot at that particular moment. In her defense, once she stepped on my foot she did a rather agile twist (thus the removal of skin...) to avoid taking me completely out.

Monkey has had a rather positive time with the horses. Today she had a private lesson with me as the campers all left for the weekend. She says she wants to gallop, but for the moment we are staying at a walk. I did let her trot today. She's my girl. I'm thinking Charlie and I better start saving for a pony...

Monkey and Champ

Oh, and I saw the fox kits again. I think I'll go out early tomorrow morning with my camera (if I can walk...).

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Living in the woods


One of the things I love most about summer camp is that it allows children to experience the world at a different pace. There is a schedule, of course; but within that framework there is time to see the world in a different light.

This morning I was on a trailride with 10 girls. As one child decided not to ride, Monkey rode along with us. As we came into the cover of trees from an open field, we had an issue with one of the horses (they've been out to pasture all winter and the first week or so they can be rather "frisky"). While I helped the one girl, the rest of the group stayed still around us. A camper heard something in the woods, just off the trail, and then three of them saw a grey fox kit in the shadows. Then they saw another and the mother. Amazing. We were all able to see them (twice, as we had to pass by the spot again). A grey fox is a rare sight. Her den must be right there off of the field and near the trail to the lake. I guess living that close to camp has made her a little braver than most and we were graced to see her little brood in the shaded underbrush.

One of the girls commented that if the horse hadn't acted up, we may never have seen the foxes. Quite true. If we hadn't stopped in just that spot, we wouldn't have noticed the rather well camouflaged kits. Today we were thankful for a difficult situation that allowed us to glimpse the magic all around us.

Take time to look in the shady spots and to the sides of the path you are on. No telling what you will see.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Monkey Hood

Monkey Hood, originally uploaded by maggies farm.

Monkey is taking to the summer camp lifestyle swimmingly. We've canoed, swam, and shot arrows. We are working on a bird house in arts and crafts. We are here to mainly be training the horseback staff. Monkey is turning into quite the little equestrian. Hmmm, should we make Charlie buy a pony? It could live with the goats...

It is hot as Hades here in Georgia. The Monkey trotted on a trail ride yesterday - a big deal. I've been sweating my butt off in the barn on a daily basis. Hot, hot, hot. I was much more resilient in my 20's. So, this afternoon we are heading to the pool.

Charlie sent news from Little Creek Farm. There was a hidden nest of eggs with one little hen on it. So, that's where all my eggs were going. Good thing to know, I suppose. Let's keep our fingers crossed for a few new chicks. The first carrots are coming in. Oh and it's hot. Hot, hot, hot.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Yes, we are alive...


Has it really been since April 10 since I last posted anything? Well, apparently so. Sorry.

I needed a little "me" time. I basically shut down all non-essential things in my life for awhile - it was the stress of closing a business. If you haven't figured out by now, the economy is taking a big down-turn. We laid off employees, circled the wagons and hunkered down for a month or so.

Things are looking much better. Charlie was offered a rather high-paying job from a client, and accepted. The garden is rocking. Monkey just started summer vacation. And you wouldn't believe how big the puppy has gotten. He's a monster. A golden-eyed, shoe-stealing, monster.

The Monkey and I are taking off for summer camp today, but will be back to the farm in a week. I promise to post more frequently and am thinking of wonderful things to write. (I actually had several fantastic posts that never were written in May...)

I'm excessively happy with the results of the Democratic primary and the winner of American Idol by the way....