Thursday, March 28, 2013

The first year that I saw them soaring up above with their long necks and elegant wings I fell instantly in love.
       Their call is unlike any around, kind of like a long gargled foreign bellow.  If they fly close enough I can even see the faint red on their heads.  Typically they fly together in pairs.  I always refer to them as “My Pterodactyls” because that is what they resemble to me.
They are breathtakingly grand and deserve respect. 

General Description
A tall, long-necked, long-legged bird with a clump of feathers that droops over the rump; flies with neck and legs fully extended; adults are gray overall (may have brownish-red staining resulting from preening with muddy bill), with a whitish chin, cheek, and upper throat, and dull red skin on the crown and lores (lacking in immatures); immatures have a pale to tawny, feathered head and neck, and a gray body with brownish-red mottling; average length around 104 cm, wingspan 185 cm.

Every spring we are graced with Sandhill Cranes of our own, so to speak.  They usually come in pairs and this year I have seen 4.
I have even been lucky enough to see their nest with eggs in it in the years past.  That was a treat.
I just love to watch them.  They are such majestic creatures almost like they are of another world.  To see them wild and free is such a reward!

This is a picture of the four living on our place!
didn't even see the two geese in the picture until I uploaded and went to put it here! 
That’s a great bonus!
The following link is where the technical Sandhill Crane information came from and the top picture as well!  This website was a plethora of great information

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Is it possible for horses to grieve?

I say YES!  Here’s why.
Last February we had our oldest horse on the place pass away, Chili Bean. 
 Chili Bean was about 28 years old.  
Chili was originally owned by my father in law and was a part of this family before I ever came along. 
 I say originally because since our 11 year old boy, Garrett, fell in love with horses as a baby, he laid claim to Chili as his horse. 
 My father in law loves every minute of it. 
Well, to get on with the story, a little over a year ago, Chili Bean took his last breath and laid down in our pasture claiming one last hug from all of us, 
and a kiss from our little heartbroken son. 
 Garrett lost his best friend that day; 
we buried Chili in our pasture with a fence around him under a tree to protect him. 
 Chili was the top of the pecking order around here.  This means he was the boss and second in command was my husband’s horse Yankee.
We didn't know it at the time, but Yankee’s heart had broken that day as well.  
It took Yankee weeks before he would leave the gate that we carried Chili out of. 

Yankee even tried to follow us that day, we didn't let him of course, but he stood and waited for his best buddy to come galloping home. 

 For months and months Yankees had no up giddy up in his step. 
 I began to be extremely worried. 
 He wouldn't come to treats or sweet grain with the other horses when called.  
He always hung back far away and kept his distance looking sad.
This February a year after we had buried Chili I was out on a walk in our back pasture.  I went to Yankee, who hasn't had any interest in any of us.  
I started to pet his neck and talk to him and I started to cry. 
 I told him I was sorry and that we all feel badly that Chili can’t come home.
He simply put his big horse head on top of mine, like I was his leaning post. 
 I think in a way, I was that day.  
We stood together like this for quite a while. 
 I fed him some sweet treats and he walked with me to the house.  
I think he’s has finally accepted the loss of his best buddy and the next day when our little boy called the horses in for grain, he ran!
 Ran up to his grain pan like he hasn't eaten for a year, maybe he kind of hadn't!!

This is a picture of YANKEE!