Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Yep, It's a Full Moon

Yep, It’s a Full Moon
“Catalon, I can’t believe you got sprayed by that skunk”!  Catalon is my friend’s blue heeler who is spending a few days with me. The first evening here she asks to go out in the backyard and runs right into a skunk. I should have looked first before letting her out. Now she is slathered in peroxide and baking soda.  This neutralizes the smell at least. Catalon just gives me this look of disgust and disbelief.

Yep, it’s a full moon.

“Red! What are you doing up on the highway?!” I’m also goat, chicken and horse sitting for the same friend. It’s 6:30 in the morning and as I round the corner of her driveway, I see Red, the pinto horse, running down the highway across a 35 acre pasture from where I am. Red must be on the road, cars are slowing down. The highway is just a two lane mountain road with a 40 mph speed limit and most folks who drive this road are used to watching for elk, still…..

 Izzy, the other horse, is dashing around the pasture as if to say “Red! You big idiot, you did it again! Every time you mess with the fence we both get confined to the corral.”

After parking the car, I’m able to call Red down off the highway into the neighbors pasture. How am I going to catch this guy? I’m a goat person, not a horse person. I grew up around horses, but have never been totally comfortable around them. Oh, wonderful, there’s a gate on this side of the pasture too, but it’s locked!  If I could have opened this gate now, Red would have rushed right in. Now he’s off and running again. Back to the corrals I trot to grab some alfalfa. If I put some alfalfa down, he should stay down here until I can get some help. Willard’s phone number is on the board in the barn. He is the older gentleman who has the team of Belgian horses a couple places over. After a quick call, Willard shows up with a bucket of grain and easily slips the halter over Red’s head. Now to open the gate… I have no idea where the key might be.
Back up to the barn again, find some pliers. Unscrew the bolt from the post and the chain comes free. Willard hands me the halter rope and I get to walk Red back to the corral. The sun is coming up over the mountain, hitting me in the face. We are walking in the shade/light area that is so blinding. I have trouble seeing exactly where the corral gate is located.  Just hope this big dingbat doesn’t decide to take off on me in the process. He behaves relatively well, except for trying to walk faster than I am. We arrive back at the corral, I swing the gate shut and remove the halter. Izzy is waiting in the stall like the responsible horse he is. Red heads for a drink of water and I take a deep breath.

Now the goats need attention. They are not happy to have waited an hour for breakfast and milking. It’s already 8:00 and they are all yelling to be let out and feed. I still need to get home and tend to my goats.  By 8:30 when I return home, the sun is fully up and blazing heat into the barns. The goats are yelling, the cats are yowling and the chickens are squacking as if to say “It’s way past chore time, where have you been?”

Yep, it’s a full moon.

My next chore for the day is to cover the hay stack with tarps. It was just delivered and I need to cover it before it is rained on. Unfortunately I don’t have a barn large enough to hold the year’s supply of alfalfa, so it must be stacked on pallets and carefully layered with tarps. The tarps must be layered so the rain runs down off of it and not into the stack and they must be securely tied to keep the goats from snacking on the buffet. A double high fence must surround the stack to keep the elk from feasting all winter as well. The 20 x 30 foot tarps act like a parachute with even the slightest breeze, so it is much easier if a second person can help from the ground. However, none of my help is available today, so it’s me, the orange baling string and the tarps. Oh, and the thunderstorm coming in with lots of lightning. This should be lots of fun walking around on top of the stack.

Yep, it’s a full moon.

But I timed it right to plant the fall crop of peas and spinach. Plants that grow up need to be planted with the waxing moon just before it is full. Root crops should be planted with the waning moon.

Yep. It’s a full moon.