Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘fall color

September Eleven

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Twenty years later, I’m pausing to remember my trauma of that day, witnessing so many other peoples’ trauma over the unimaginable death and destruction unleashed by fanatical terrorists hijacking commercial jets containing passengers to use them as explosive missiles.

I spent the first moments, and then the unfolding hours, trying to grasp the reality that such things could be happening. We didn’t learn of the events after the fact. We witnessed much of it as it was happening. I’ve never really liked hearing the sound of a commercial jet flying overhead after that day twenty years ago.

This morning, I turned on some of the television coverage of memorial events being held at the three locations where the planes crashed. In Minnesota, they read the names of people from the state who were killed that day, as well as Minnesota members of the military who died in the wars since.

Thinking of John Lennon’s lyric “Imagine there’s no countries…,” how many more names would need to be recited if loved ones from Afghanistan were to read the names of all who died in the twenty years since.

Meanwhile, in the idyllic surroundings of our home on this beautifully warm September day, we are living life in peace. The first hints of color continue to slowly transition in the panorama of trees along the edges of our woods.

On this third day of being the only person feeding our animals, they are all settling into my way of doing things. On Thursday evening, the horses demonstrated a fair amount of uncertainty navigating the feeding routine, but as I have adjusted my methods and they’ve responded willingly, this morning was as serene as ever.

Having watched Swings lose as many pellets out of her mouth as she consumes, I’ve started soaking her servings in a little water first and that seems to be making it easier for her. We had hoped having their teeth floated would help her more than it appears to have done.

This morning I decided to try again to use the hay boxes I built. They were powering through a single bale so fast the last time we tried using these that we switched to providing the net feeders from which they were used to eating.

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If they make it through a bale too fast today, I’ll plot a modification to the grate that might slow it down to something comparable to grass-grazing speed, if I can guess what that actually is.

It seems illogical to me that they would prefer dry hay bales over the two large fields of fresh grass that we provide them full access to day and night, but I’m not a horse. I trust they know why they make the choices about what to eat.

As rescued thoroughbreds, they know about memories of trauma.

Today we are soaking up the peacefulness we have been afforded and adding another day of distance from the source of our past traumas.

We will never forget, but we will always seek that world where we all be as one.

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Written by johnwhays

September 11, 2021 at 10:01 am

Red Leaves

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On my drive home from work yesterday, I accidentally allowed myself to hear news on the radio as it blathered nothing but bad vibes, one after another. It knocked me for a loop that needs an antidote of something hopeful or some promise that better days for all might lie ahead. I can only assume that promise remains somewhere beyond the horizon because it’s not visible to me yet.

I am lucky, though. Home is a sanctuary with Cyndie and our animals happy to greet me when I arrive and the scenery around our house offering a soothing view.

Check out the maple tree leaves turning red over Cyndie’s gardens.

It’s an early adopter.

Surrounded by love in our paradise, I was able to leave the gloomy news behind for the time being.

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Written by johnwhays

September 18, 2020 at 6:00 am

Early Success

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Part of me is hesitant to claim success about a recent transplanted tree, well, trees, but we have decided to enjoy it while it lasts. The truth really won’t be revealed until next summer, as to whether the four oaks we hastily decided to dig up and move out in the open field beyond the paddock ultimately survive the transplantation.

In the weeks since we moved them, these four oak trees have barely showed a symptom of shock. Now they are displaying the best of fall color, just as if nothing had happened to disrupt normal routine.

I don’t know if this apparent good health is a valid indicator of the overall success of our bold plan. I am prepared to discover otherwise next spring, but for now, we are tickled to see the normal fall behavior playing out.

If these work out, I will definitely be emboldened to do more of this to expand the range of oak trees on our property in the years ahead. There are so many little volunteer sprouts that show up¬†every spring¬†where they aren’t wanted or can’t be allowed to grow to maturity, we always have many opportunities from which to choose.

It is part of a long game, dreaming someday of tall trees that will provide natural cooling shade under which our horses can benefit.

It all starts with acorns and involves a little effort to nurture young trees in new locations.

Here’s hoping for success.

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Written by johnwhays

October 14, 2018 at 9:59 am

Waning Days

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In the slow but steady march of days away from one season and toward the next, we have now arrived to chilly mornings, complete darkness when I wake up for the day-job, and leaves changing from green to red.

Last week when I mowed, I noticed this sprinkling of color in the grass beneath the maple tree that always turns the earliest. It’s become a reliable harbinger of the beginning of the end of summer for us.

I should be thrilled. Autumn has always been my favorite season. But I think that is changing. Maybe, with age, I am developing a more balanced perspective. I think it feels more accurate now to frame my view as appreciating all the seasons equally.

Today is the first day of the Minnesota State Fair. That means a lot more to me in theory than it does in practice. I rarely attend the fair anymore, however, the memories I hold from past visits, and the one year I worked a booth there, are a thread that keeps me feeling connected, whether I go or not. It is a blast of activity that serves as an exclamation mark at the end of summer.

It all has me feeling a little melancholy, which is rather uncharacteristic for me this time of year. Luckily, it can’t last, as the season of wood fires brings me great joy, and we have already lit a couple in the fireplace to ward off a bit of chill in the last few days.

Bring on the fall sports, the spectacular colors, the crisp air, the end of bugs, the time between mowing and shoveling, the harvest festivals, and Cyndie’s apple crisps.

The waning days of summer become the waxing days of autumn. Bring it on, I say.

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Written by johnwhays

August 24, 2017 at 6:00 am

Fall Arrives

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Fall has definitely arrived. Suddenly, all the essential tasks of preparation for freezing temperatures and accumulating snow take on an increased level of urgency.

Last spring, I removed the snow plow apparatus from the Grizzly and discovered one of the welds on the frame was broken. All the welds have been repaired or enhanced, but I need to reattach the components of the plow and get it remounted on the ATV. Can you say, memory test?

I am thrilled to have one essential project taken care of in advance of freezing temperatures. On Thursday, a plumber arrived to replace a soldered frost-proof hose spigot that was leaky. While he was here, I had Cyndie ask him to look at the filter on our incoming water line. It has always bugged me that it appeared to have been installed backwards, but involved way too many plumbing joints to change than I felt comfortable messing with.

He was more than happy to fix it for us, and I am more than happy to have a correctly installed, spanky new filter in place. In addition, he made improvements to the routing of the water line which raised the filter up to a much handier height for maintenance.

I don’t mind paying for the services of a tradesman who can efficiently do work that I have no experience with, especially when they make improvements that exceed my expectations. I can’t help myself pausing just to stare at the new filter, as if it is a work of art, on display.

Yesterday, while walking Delilah on the perimeter trail through our woods, I was enjoying the layer of brown leaves that now cover the ground. I always love the way fallen leaves create the look of a spectacular carpet beneath trees.

Suddenly, the ground changed to a brilliant glow of color that inspired me to pull out the phone camera. Why all the color in this spot? All I needed to do was look up.

Things have really taken on the appearance of fall around here this weekend. Time to get ready for what comes next.

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Written by johnwhays

October 10, 2015 at 8:59 am

Enticing Trail

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DSCN3997eDuring the transition of seasons we are rewarded with a mix of lingering green complimented by the new colors of changing leaves.

Golden sunlight bathes the distant slope on the far side of the shadowed tunnel through a short section of woods between the back pasture and our house.

It beckons the curious soul to investigate.

Now multiply that by 10, because all of our trails are equally enticing right now.

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Written by johnwhays

October 4, 2015 at 9:51 am

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