Friday, June 17, 2011

Top ten ways you know it’s finally summer at Phoenix Farm:

1)   The deer have fawned, the coyotes have pupped, and the barn swallows have moved in under the barn eaves. Now if I could just talk the fledglings in to staying in their nests a bit longer, before the rain of the baby birds (or as the dogs and cats call it, brunch) commences.
2)   Zeus, the 160-pound Great Pyrenees/Italian Maremma mix livestock guarding dog is transformed, via my terrible dog grooming skills, from Hot, Panting Ball Of Fur in to The World’s Largest Chinese Crested. He’s so embarrassed by his new look, he hides in the doghouse for days.
3)   The pregnant Nigerian Dwarf goats begin to resemble furry watermelons as their due dates approach.
4)   The horses trade their therapeutic layer of mud for a therapeutic layer of dust.
5)   The morning fog carries with it the sweet, heavy scent of sage, and the hills transform from emerald, to gold.
6)   The first thing we do in the morning, on our way to feed, is turn on the sprinklers in the arena (because I don’t need a therapeutic layer of dust).
7)   Summer means Babypalooza in the horse business--the two-year-olds are learning to longe, and the three-year-olds are getting backed.
8)   Clancy the barn cat (and ruler of the known universe) abandons his usual napping spot on top of the hay, and instead opts for the middle of the cooler, cement barn aisle. The fact that this is extremely inconvenient for everyone else does not enter his consciousness, and he hisses at anyone attempting to move him.
9)   Lesson hours shift from afternoon and evening to mornings, as kids and adults switch from school hours and opt for earlier rides.
And finally,
10)                   I am giddy to finally put away the turtlenecks and fleece hats, and break out the short sleeves. Let the farmer tanning commence!

Let’s hear it for my favorite season!

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