The month kicked off with my trip to Biltmore.
I was home for a short few days and then headed off to DC to visit Austen and audit Janet Foy.
|Red bat with light detector attached (temporary - has already fallen off bat)|
Or, as I prefer, BAT RAVE!
|Some of the red bat's vocalization after we released her.|
Did you know: we can ID bats to species (or genus at a minimum) based on their vocalizations?
Isn't science the coolest?
Immediately following the clinic, I headed to a training on bat acoustics for work for the week.
|My less-than-enthusaistic yard helpers|
|While I was removing the native layer of vegetation (and rocks...ugh) to build this flowerbed.|
It looks small here but it's actually 8.5' x 6.5'
I had this past weekend home to enjoy some glorious weather and tackle some long-planned yard work, which felt SO good to accomplish. Though there is more yet to tackle in the coming weeks!
|Galloped up this hill. Stopped for requisite snacking. Duh.|
And yes, that is a leopard print bareback pad and a hot pink bridle.
|Heading back to the herd, pausing for model photos.|
I had Monday evening to briefly and quickly visit the horses, stuff them full of treats, and enjoy a lovely bareback meander on my forever best boy.
And now, I'm attending yet another work training out of town for several days. When I return home, it will be for less than 24 hours before bouncing off to audit a Mary Wanless clinic near DC - something I have been looking forward to for literal months since I found out about it!
If weather and luck hold, when I return, we'll be breaking ground on the barn! At which point I will put down roots much closer to home for almost 2 months while we complete the project.
But lo and behold, things are already moving forward for Starlight Lane Farm!
This past weekend, one of my farmer neighbors brought his tractor up to begin brush hogging my future pastures. I say "begin" because the fellow who helps and was doing the work this day busted a wheel on the brush hog and had to roll out without finishing the job, but I've been assured they'll be up this week to finish.
It's a long way from being where I know it will be, but it's a huge step in the right direction and that thrills me to no end because the land hasn't been mowed since prior to 2015. It's been a happy little field of goldenrod and hawthorne for awhile, but I'm very confident that with some TLC (regular mowing, a soil test, recommended fertilization and seeding), it'll become what I know it can based on the rest of the open, mowed spaces on our ridgetop (which was once a farm and is still partially maintained as such for hay). One step at a time!
Another exciting development? The wood for the exterior siding also came home the day I headed to DC.
It's remarkable to me how freaking heavy an individual board of this stuff is. White oak is dense, y'all. I don't think I could carry one board by myself. But the density and quality of white oak is exactly what will make it durable. It doesn't hurt knowing that my barn is most definitely not going to fly away in the crazy winter winds we get up here either!
|White oak home, white oak barn!|
House has been standing for 10 years and the siding is still raw (no stain or protectant) and looking great!
Bonus? It matches our house. Which was the impetus for choosing white oak all along.
In addition to the newly mowed pasture and the siding, the coated wire for the fence arrived. I've got four 70+ lb. boxes of brown coated wire sitting in my garage awaiting the day we install the fence (later in June).
And to top it all off, I found a local hay supplier! I am very happy to have that [very big] box checked off my "must do" list - it feels so good. Big bonus that it is a local friend with a quality hay pasture I've eyed longingly for years (and based on the soil map, it's the same soil type as I have so fingers crossed the pasture will be nice like this one day). I'll probably help make it, too, which will be a
|It's wild orchid season! These are pink lady's slippers. |
They're the "truck nuts" of the flower world....use your imagination.
I'm a bit sad to have to put seeing my horses on the backburner this month, but c'est la vie! Soon enough, they will be coming home and I'll see them all the time. For now, I'm grateful they've got a good situation with ample pasture to enjoy and friends to play with.
Things will probably [continue to] be a little quiet over here as May wraps up, but with any luck I'll have time to put together some posts on my Mary Wanless take-aways, and I will absolutely be updating about the construction process as more develops in coming weeks!