Monday, October 26, 2009

Last of the Fall Color

On Monday I headed out for another quick fall ride through the part of the woods we hadn't ridden on since the wind storms. I was expecting a LOT of storm damage, but really, there wasn't much.

When we headed out, Mercy and I found one of the last remaining clumps of vibrantly colored maple leaves. Mercy just wanted to eat them...

... but once I got her situated better I was able to get a better close up. The colors were so much brighter then my camera portrays, but the range of colors is still impressive.

We walked up the rocky hill and slowly made our way into the woods (Mercy is very suspicious in this area. I don't know why...). Besides a few branches and most of the leaves from the deciduous being down, there wasn't anything else different from our normal rides. At least, that was until we were loping up a curvy and 'dippy' hill and almost ran right into a tree. Shoot. We almost got through this trail with no worries.
Mercy gnawed on the tree while I got off and checked out the path around the downed tree. No problem! We just stepped to our left and walked over an older stump and back onto the trail. Next time I will just ride her through, if no one has taken care of the tree by then.

While we wandered back to the rocky hill, I noticed that the trees in the woods that still had leaves never got really bright. This most certainly is because they are located in the shade of the trees, but it was odd seeing almost paper white leaves still clinging on.

When I got back from my ride I noticed the huge branches that had fallen from our large maple tree in the pasture. Good thing too. I have been wondering how to get the dead limbs down without hauling out a ladder. Thank you Mother Nature... this time...

I was desperate to ride on Wednesday. After a long day of more rain and wind, I grabbed the girls out of their "turnout." I had let them out to roll and stretch their legs at the neighbor's. Ewww...
Yeah, I didn't even bother cleaning Star; I wasn't riding her, so I didn't care how clean she was.
I thought I had a little more time to ride then I actually did. There was a very dark black cloud heading our way, but what I didn't realize was how fast it was moving. I jumped on Mercy and as soon as we headed out it started raining. It wasn't that heavy, so we continued. Well, that didn't last long. We quickly found the short loop home and jogged home. I hadn't worn my Outback, so we were all soaked by the time we got back. Oh well, we rode!

Both my mom and I got home early on Thursday, so we hit the trails! We stopped by the apple tree on the way out to the train tracks. Of course the girls got one each!

The leaves on the track are almost all down now. This is my FAVORITE time of the year to be on the track. I love the crunchy leaves and the colors all around us! Beautiful!

We just walked along until the end; no jogging or loping, too wet. We did decide to explore the 'biker trails,' a trail system we, until recently, had no desire to explore. Well it turns out we took a loop, a short loop, so we didn't have that much to explore and it was good enough for the day.
We entered the woods and stopped for a photo op.

Then I spotted these pretty leaves on an old growth maple:

Mercy enjoyed smelling the leaves on the ground...

... until they became too irresistible not to sample.

Before heading back to the barn, we stopped to give the horses a snack:

The next day we wanted to head out for a but this is what we discovered on Star...

... and this...

After further investigation, we discovered where the blood from the mouth was coming from. She had split her gums on her corner feed tub in her stall. There was blood splattered in and around the tub. Poor girl! We cleaned her up and discussed what to do. We ended up having me ride Mercy and pony Star while my mom walked along. It worked out pretty good. I did have to pass off Star a few times when we either got the chance or I needed to work with Mercy's patience issues. And get this, Leo was off the leash again! GRRR!!!!! Freaking dog. Thank goodness her responds to "Go HOME!" We only rode to the lake and then headed home along the creek.

We got back home and I fed Star an apple. The poor girls gums started bleeding again. Her mouth is doing much better today and I picked up a new feed tub. But, her legs are really stocked up. Standing in her stall and walking around her small paddock is tough on the old girl when it rains hard all day and night. Good grief Star.

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