Oh, February

That dreary tag-end of winter while we wait for the light to come back? It hasn’t been so bad, all foggy mornings and moon-lit nights. Fires in the fireplace and books to read. Then this:

Ryan showed up with his shiny new tractor hauling what he informed me is a field cultivator. Time to work on the west pasture, been lying fallow all year. But first he had to thread the needle through gates below the barn.

Love the way Ryan solves problems! An old board and a stump from the burn pile, and there’s a ramp. Do you wish you had a farm? This cultivator opens like a book, and soon there were wide swaths of brown earth where green weeds had been. Nice.

Next on the calendar was Martha’s arrival Saturday mid-day, in Corvallis to take her sister (me) to the ballet in Eugene Sunday afternoon. Apparently the word “ballet” can refer to individual works of varying length. In this case, we saw five individual pieces, all choreographed by women. Traditionally, we were told in the program, men wrote the steps, women simply performed them. The way of the world. The best dance of this new order was the story of ghosts, come to frequent the stage after a performance when the audience has gone home. Those gorgeous bodies. Sigh.

The next week, my neighbor-across-the-field, Marjorie, invited me to join her on a trip to Inavale, a riding academy. She was “auditioning” her dogs for a place in the kennel there, which one does when we’re talking about a kennel in an academy. No worries, her two dogs are beautifully trained, and were accepted for a spot when called for.

Here’s one of the boarders in the academy. Seriously:

But honestly, we’re talking about a completely new world here. Thoroughbreds, and silk jackets, and beautiful boots. You know, a fox and hounds? Right here in Corvallis? There will be a show later in the spring, and I can’t wait to go. That afternoon, we were lucky to watch a rider schooling a young Icelandic pony (?) in a training circle. Just sitting in the sunshine while I learned about such things as “shoulder in” and “hard stop.”:

But back to the farm. Larry has been engaged in a battle of wits with the local herd of deer, members of which have determined his garden is a good lunch spot. They can jump over anything we’ve posited so far, and just laugh as they hear us talk about getting a dog. They know Larry, they know that’s an empty threat. But spring is in the air, the seed catalogs have arrived. What to do?

I think this is called hog wire, which Mitch and Chance spent all day yesterday attaching to the existing rail fence. See the tall post in the corner? That will brace posts of equal height attached to the current posts, and strung along that higher level with wire strands. Think this will work?

In the background, you can see the field I mentioned earlier. And those straggly plants in the foreground are baby leeks. Yum.

Larry has descended from his atelier where he was watching golf and reading the Economist, asks if I’m ready to go. We’re looking for a dimension of mirror which I can hang on the bedroom door, to enable some attempt at fashionable hair drying in which I can see the back of my head. “Atelier?” It’s because I was writing about that riding academy. Was also reading “The Other Bennett Girl,” in the style of Jane Austin. Must make a course correction! Yikes!

Until next time . . .