For ten years I wrote a blog about chickens. There was also a webcam on the Ladies, a rabbit, and the goats. I used to say that it was a “small window of sanity.” Tens of thousands of people got comfort from my view of my backyard.
Although the HenCam is now a loop of archived footage, the blog remains available, and it might be just what you need to distract you from the big scary news that every one of us is dealing with.
I’ve left the backyard that you see in HenCam, and now I’m incredibly fortunate to have my own window of sanity on 11 acres in southern Maine. Despite the snowstorm predicted for this evening, it’s beginning to green up. It’s getting busy and noisy here. Wildfowl are returning to the marsh. So far I’ve seen buffleheads, Canada geese, wood ducks and mallards. Hooded mergansers are paddling in the water. Ravens announce their presence with loud rasping calls. Beaver have resumed the cutting down of trees. I’m sure the porcupine is out there eating leafing buds. Somewhere the bobcat is hunting. I’ve smelled skunk.
I can still get to the barn to take care of Tonka and take lessons. I am sorry to hear that many of you can’t get to your horses (and am baffled by regulations that don’t allow people to be outside, with plenty of social distance, at barns – but I won’t get into that rant here.)
Like the HenBlog, I keep this one focused. In these trying times, I have been pondering what it is that I could do here that would make your days a tad better. I could continue to discuss training and horse behavior, but perhaps you’d like more of the sort of posts that bring a little joy? Like the last one about Scooter?
Does it help to have videos of Tonka grazing?
Are you apartment-bound and find comfort in a running brook?
Or do you want intellectual stimulation? Do you want to know about the research into whorls? Or more about displacement behavior? Or how to improve the balance of your horse’s canter?
Or do you need more of this? Silly horse kisses?
Writing this blog helps with my sanity, too. Let me know what you want here, and how often and I’ll oblige!
As always, I am available for Skype, or other type of distance consults. I am reducing my fee during this time of crisis. Email me if interested.
Hi, I love your updates on all the critters and wonderful world right outside your door. I am stuck at home, the office is now set up looking out the front lawn. There has been a busy squirrel running around so I followed it and found there is a nest in the tree by my front porch. How’s that for exciting! My barn is still open, it’s private with only 7 boarders so we do get horse therapy time. A post on whorls would be interesting. But it’s all interesting. Thanks
When we took the nature hike with Dan, he pointed out that what I thought were large bird nests were actually squirrel homes. I didn’t realize that they constructed them with small sticks. One way to tell the difference is that bird nests are easy to fly into, squirrel nests are a jumble at the edges.
The migratory birds that show up around horse barns in spring could be fun to see covered. Spring conditioning for horse and riders who may not have stayed as active through the winter may be even more relevant for people who have had access to riding limited this year.
Great topics. Thanks for the suggestions!
i am apartment-bound in Germany and I am a bit worried because I cannot visit my horse.
Enjoy your time with Tonka!
I can sit on our balcony and while doing so I enjoy seeing blue tits, sparrows, magpies, pigeons and a buzzard that circles in the sky. They are very beautiful in their spring feathering!
And I loved to read about Scooters strategies, I would love to read and see about your hens, about spring in your area, about snowstorm and, sure, about your research and insigths about horse behavior.
We don’t have blue tits or magpies. They seem to be interesting and busy birds. I hope that your barn owner is coping and is able to pick hooves and keep a close eye on things. It *is* worrisome! But your horse needs you to stay well.
All of the above, actually! I enjoy the wide variety of things you blog about, from Maine wildlife to technical horse training details. Thanks for checking in with us 🙂
It’s good to hear from you!
A post on whorls would be interesting. I did some study on that a long time ago, but have forgotten most of it. While I like your posts on horse behavior, etc. the ones with a little joy would be good right now. Loved the one with Scooter. My horses live on my place, so I get to see them, mostly to feed, brush the constant mud off, and muck out the barn. They live outside, but we opened a gate into the barn so they can come and go as they like. It has been so constantly muddy here and not too much hope for it to go away in the near future as more rain is forecast. I would like to take them to hand graze, but it’s so soft their hooves sink more than halfway into the grassy places.
I’ll work on a post on whorls. There’s some good research, but of course some people have taken it and overblown it into all sorts of notions. I, too, would like the ground to dry out. It was on it’s way to doing so, but we’re going to get 6-inches of slushy snow tonight. Sigh.
I’m new to this blog and so enjoying it! My horses also live on site…waiting for grass to come in. I let them graze along the driveway now and have sacrificed the drainage ditch so they can have a bit of green. I have no idea how I’ll repair the 8 inch hoof holes! 🙂 Stay sane!
I read all of the blogs but would love to see and hear more about your 11 acres. I still access your blog via hencam so have still got the loop of the chickens and goat boys in the snow which seems so odd now we have sunshine. Keep sake 🙂
There’s a lot of nature going on right outside our house. I’ll be posting!
Always thinking of others, you are certainly a blessing to both humans and animals.
I’m in a much better place than so many others… take care!
Really enjoy all your posts! Must admit I love Scooter posts. I am also learning lots about horses. Here in Gatlinburg the turkeys are putting on quite a show. The males are courting and fanning. The Bears are awakening. One has already visited our bird feeder. This tells me it is time to stop feeding. I am sad about that. The birds are singing and preparing nests not much out to eat yet. I try to think of all the normal things in nature that are happening. It is comforting to know all is not in chaos.
We’ve had turkeys strut by, but none seem to call our field home. Which is fine by me! Not my favorite birds to have as neighbors. You remind me that it’s time to start wearing my bear bell when out hiking. I don’t want to surprise and bears that might be hungry and grumpy as they wake up.
I would like to see a full video of you grooming him…from start to finish.
Great idea! I have some techniques, learned many years ago at riding school in England, that bring out the health and shine.
Anything. Everything. Any time. All the time.
I just love your blog posts, they always calm me down. I used to watch the hen cam, even before I had chickens. It would always calm me down then too.I like the different topics that you cover.I can’t suggest anything specific, but I read the other comments and they all sound interesting, especially the one of you grooming Tonka. It might give me some tips on grooming my horses.
I will work on a grooming video! I’ll have to find a good place to film it – with better lighting than the aisle. It’s a good project for me right now 🙂
I love Nature in all dimensions, love that you share about your new environment and beasts… The special moments with water are always welcome, remember how many asked for a cam if it could have been done. Learning about horses awakened me to a fascinating world and inside knowledge that is not often found. Anything that makes you happy as you are the provider, always happy to receive a link from you. Thanks for everything and looking forward to the *greening* evolution of the next weeks.
That “greening” is coming in fits and bouts! Today the marsh has a skim of ice and the ground is covered in snow. I’ll keep sharing!
Have followed you for years and shame on me as I rarely comment. But I must say I appreciate all your information and ideas. I do miss the feathery girls and goat boys but very much admire Tonka and all your adventures. Lily is still very much missed so keeping up with Scooter is wonderful. You provide a calm and soothing voice in a crazy world right now. Keep up the good work and thank you!
Camille, thank you. Lily is very much missed here, too.