Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘portrait

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Written by johnwhays

September 13, 2019 at 6:00 am

Sun Basking

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This time of year around these parts, when there is warm sun painting the afternoon, you best soak it up to the fullest extent possible. After tending to the horses when I got home from work yesterday, Delilah and I were making our way back to the house and were overcome by an irresistible urge to pause and bask in the glorious warm autumn sunshine.

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After I took a few portraits of her, Delilah said she wanted to take some pictures of me. I gave her the phone and struck a pose.

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She said she needed to fix something. My nose was runny.

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If I used Facebook, I’d have to update my profile picture with that one.

img_ip1760e.It was pretty funny watching her hold the phone in her teeth as she reached up with her paw to touch the button for the photos.

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Written by johnwhays

October 25, 2016 at 6:00 am

A Portrait

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The author, in a rare moment of leisure.

DSC06645eCHCyndie took the picture of me reading while keeping an eye on the fire last night. See, I was still working. I was tending the fire so it would be hot enough to cook burgers when company arrived. Oh, were those burgers good! Probably made even more so by the homemade buns that Cyndie freshly baked moments before.

DSC06647eEarlier in the day, Cyndie had hosted guests who had some lawn games out and it inspired me to improve the croquet setup. I made my own little “sport court” out of grass. It is set up for croquet, but could just as easily double as a bocce ball space.

Now all I have to do is figure out how to find time for that much leisure.

I need to move composting manure to make room for piling the fresh collections. Production never slows, despite my running out of space to cook it.

Before I can get to that project, we need to head out with the trailer for another load of hay to be purchased. We will be silently chanting, “No rain, no rain, no rain” the whole way there and back.

With our lawn growing faster than I can tend it, it’s a shame I can’t bale it up and save those clippings for feeding the horses in the dead of winter.

Our experience with trying to acquire good quality grass hay for horses this year, hoping to improve on the several years of less than desired content we’ve previously had, has been enlightening. We initially dove into the task of getting hay with such naiveté.

We have discovered that what constitutes “good,” when it comes to baled hay, can be a very individualized opinion. On top of that, what nature provides and farmer skills harvest, in terms of moisture content, involves a very narrow target range. Too dry and the nutrition value to animals drops considerably. Too wet and it will mold and/or spontaneously combust in a conflagration that destroys storage buildings and turns planned food stores to ash.

Different livestock have varying needs from baled fodder. One version of hay does not work for all cattle, sheep, goats, and horses. Some of the local farmers are growing hay for their cows and are kind enough to offer to sell some of it to us if we want to feed it to our horses.

It can work, but it’s a bit of a guessing game. We ended up with a batch that had too much foxtail grass which caused mouth sores in our horses. We’ve had some with an annoying amount of sour dock weed and woody stems that the horses labor to work around when grazing. It creates a mess and interferes with them getting what they want. Both horse and human get irritated.

This year we found a batch that looked like ideal grass bales. They turned out to be too wet. Then we found an even better batch, and got caught in a downpour bringing it home.

We are hoping the third time’s the charm this morning. Then maybe I’ll sneak some time to finish that book later this afternoon.

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Written by johnwhays

July 29, 2016 at 8:13 am

Ignoble Perch

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Last week, when the snow was rapidly vanishing in the sun, Cyndie captured this poignant portrait of Delilah perched regally on one of the manure piles in the paddock.

IMG_iP3105eCHIt must have improved her vantage point to see the property in the distance where a certain 2 dogs who keep showing up on our trail cam happen to reside.

It surprises me that Delilah can come in the house after mucking around in the mud and manure in the paddocks for hours, and somehow, she won’t smell bad. It’s like she has a natural odor barrier that wicks off stink. Well, simple stink, anyway. The time she tangled with a skunk, she smelled awful for weeks.

Of course, it didn’t help much that one of the concoctions Cyndie purchased to get rid of the skunk odor left Delilah smelling like she’d just had a perm (hairdo).

Hey, I just noticed this image also shows a pretty clear representation of how good the footing looks where we have limestone screenings compared to how bad it is everywhere else this time of year. This solution sure has worked out well for us.

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Written by johnwhays

March 28, 2016 at 6:00 am

Posted in Chronicle

Tagged with , , , , ,

A Picture

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A portrait today, of our Hunter, on his own in the sun.

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Written by johnwhays

November 13, 2015 at 7:00 am