It was feeding time, and the wind was actually raging. (Woohoo) As I took hay to the horses, the wind whipping my hair in my face, I looked up and smiled. Living in California, it seems like if it rains, it is considered a storm. I have to say I miss Washington State and Pennsylvania, where the storms truly rage and the thunder and lightning rock your world. (I do have to admit that those types of thunder and lightning storms would not be a good idea in dry California, so again, God's plans are best.) But there is nothing like a rockin' thunder storm as long as it is not starting fires :). It is like God's power is so big and we are so small, and when the thunder shakes the mountains it makes me want to dance, the wolves get excited and the horses will run like the wind if you are riding in it. Yet it is like a falling eyelash from heaven. There is so much power out there and no human can ever truly harness it. Kind of like a wild stallion tearing across the plains, hooves pounding, mane and tail flying and their hearts pounding as can only happen when you are truly wild.
All around me the trees were swaying to the point where surely they would snap; instead they whipped back up tall and straight, as though they were doing a rapid dance. The horses were jacked up, snorting and pawing and prancing around, their ears alert and their eyes wide. Hmmmmmmmm I wondered, what amazing or scary smells does the wind bring to their world. Living here makes you so aware of how much we humans miss. Hundreds of smells, some of predators, some merely skunks and squirrels come flying through their world when the winds blow like this. I wish I knew who and what surrounded us, as they surely do. So many nights the dogs go crazy, barking at some wild animals in the woods. We know the neighbors have seen the bears, (I only got to witness the log that was torn apart by those long claws as he/she grubbed for worms. We know that although the cats stay away from our property PTL! and thank you Donkey, they are still in the woods surrounding us. Several weeks ago a large bull elk was spotted near our road. How many times are you riding in an area like this and the horses are spooking like crazy? How do you know when they are being silly and how many times is their heightened awareness based on a true predator following us through the trees?
I continued feeding the horses, on one hand tired of all the flooding and standing water and mud; while so grateful for any bit of moisture on the other hand. After being evacuated for 5 days a couple of years ago, and having the fire so close that it was a roaring freight train of orange and red, dropping embers over the house and buildings, one can never be appreciative enough of the life saving water we are given with each precious drop of rain. It's kind of funny how Magic can walk through 6 to 8 inches of muddy water just fine when he comes to ask for his dinner, but on the trail, each and every drop of water wants to kill him.
We were doing some desensitization with Precious the other day. She has had very little training due to the fact that she is supposed to run free and Mikey and Ikey needed to be adopted out. I had some very large-bubbled, bubble wrap. So I put it out in front of their feeder. DaBubbles, of course, walked right on it and then he stopped, put his head down and started pawing, popping bubble after bubble. This of course freaked out Precious to no end, but after a couple of days she was not nearly as startled when she heard the pops. We also put out a bright blue tarp for them to eat on and she figured that out in a jiffy. (And yes, I always have an alternative spot so if she is too nervous she still gets her munchies.)
It will be very hard to load her up and take her back to her forever home, especially because the nursery is absolutely empty. It is so hard knowing that there are babies out there and only some of them will be found in time to help them. Every time the phone rings, I wonder, is it a baby call. The first thing I do now every single day is check the computer, because that is where I found out about Precious and Mikey and Ikey. We are getting lots done with no one in the nursery, but how my heart breaks at what could have been if Angel hadn't been hit so badly by that car. She would most likely have been rehabbing here right now. So please say your prayers that if there are babies out there and need us, they are found in time.
Shirley, (my mentor and "sister"), recently went and picked up an orphan who was standing alone by some big rocks. The ladies that found him were on a ride and did everything perfectly. They did not approach him, or touch him, but simply rode off and came back about an hour later. This gives the foal time for his momma and the band to come back if they are going to, and he won't smell like a human. Luckily for the little guy who is now named "Chance", the girls called Shirley and she went out and brought him in. He is thriving in her nursery, although he still is under 24/7 observation and care, as he is still not for sure out of the woods. Again, we do not know why he was left behind. The band could have been scared off or the discharge in his eyes could have meant he would not survived without meds. Only God knows, and I am so grateful it was His plan for this little one to be found in time. The next day would have been too late, most likely.
We will keep you updated on the "baby status". The rest of the critters are doing well and enjoying their romps in the mud. Please contact us at Palomino.firstname.lastname@example.org to come and visit or if you know of an orphan in need.