Sunday, April 7, 2013

How I Know that Spring is Really Here

Subtitle for this post is "Signs of Spring."

First Sign--My horses are so disgusting I don't want to brush them.  Long hair that is shedding plus constant and caked-on mud (they do love to roll this time of year) make brushing impossible. I don't have the luxury of  a wash stall or vacuum so a shedding blade has to do. A brush and curry are basically useless against the dried mud and forget about getting the 'dust' out of the long coats. I end up covered in dirt and hair, meaning my clothes must be dumped in  the laundry room and I dumped in the shower. Still I spend spring sneezing and blowing out wads of yuck from my nose.

Second Sign --Bell my fat pony has to be penned away from the grass. Because I had access to a large pasture this winter, I was fortunate not to spend any money on hay. I think I fed two bales from November to March and that was during the snow (which never lasts long.) The horses actually turned up their noses at hay, so I knew the winter grass had plenty of nutrition. However, at the first signs of spring, Bell has to come off the large pasture. She already was starting to look like Porky Pig, and the grass was still brown! Neither horses are happy, but it's definitely tough love until summer drought dries up the grass or next fall's frost.

Third Sign of Spring -- YARD SALES.  OMG there are ten every week plus church flea markets and indoor sales. What's an addicted treasure hunter to do??? Three Saturdays in a row, I have been up at five a.m. Two were to 'pick' with a friend who is almost as bad as I am (aka "an enabler"). This Saturday was to sell at a giant yard sale where I sold enough to buy cool stuff and ended up with a profit of $20. Yeah, kind of like the horse business. My friend actually brought a ton of horse stuff to sell and found two BIG buyers who are horse crazy, too.Several inventive gardeners even bought saddle racks to hold hoses and dressage letters for a funky sign.

Fourth Sign of Spring -- and the best one -- Flowers!  This year I am combining my love of vintage with my love of gardening. I am adding flea market finds to my yard.
You can see how it works -- I'll post before and after pictures. For example: this lovely and empty flower pot is actually a tire rim from my son's Landcruiser. He had three, and since no one wants a set of three, mom snatched them for free. I am planting chard in two of them, and impatiens in one.
The second is an old bed frame I got at a thrift shop for four dollars. It's going to be a backdrop and trellis for my tall phlox that always topple in the wind. In the summer, I will post more pics and you can vote if what I do ends up as cool yard art or too close to flamingos and tires (apologies to all of you who have flamingos and tires in your yard.)
I am super-glad spring is here, and of course, these signs of spring were slightly tongue-in-cheek (but true for me.) What are you signs of spring? Long walks? Horse packing trips? Dogs getting into skunks? I'd love to know!


Gayle Carline said...

You'd think in southern California, we wouldn't be able to tell when Spring arrives. But we do have massively shedding horses (even my show horse, who lives in a box stall with lights to trick him into thinking it's summer). We also have things that bloom and set off everyone's allergies.

Oh, and the birds! They are relentless AND LOUD in their search for mates, and the mockingbirds attack everyone in their flight path, including me.

Laura Crum said...

What a timely post, as I have just spent the last week brushing huge quantities of hair and dried mud off my four horses. Not my favorite chore. They all seemed to decide to drop their winter coats (completely) at the same time. Can't wait for the shiny coats of May. But the spring flowers are a joy. I'll look forward to seeing how your garden projects turn out. One man's junk is another gal's pink flamingo...or something like that.

Alison said...

Gayle--such different ways we all keep our horses! You would be appalled at my muddy, fat critters.

Laura--And I look forward to your garden photos. East and west really do have different flowers.