More wonderful pictures to oooh and ahhh over! Thanks @SueC
! The flowering bush with the bees is beautiful. If you manage to get a "between the ears" picture of kangaroos in the bush, I think you will be my new hero! We need a kangaroo icon...
I'm glad you enjoyed the little tour; I always enjoy your photos from another world!
I was quite surprised how well Wednesday's photos came out, considering the iPod really doesn't compare with a "proper" camera. Especially once I'd gotten off the horse and was taking group shots!
I will try very hard to capture a kangaroo photo off horseback for you!
Might leave the iPod in my hand while riding through that stretch. This will work fine until Sunsmart gets fitter again!
The fire issue seems so complicated. I know at least in many parts of the states, there's a refusal to acknowledge that burns are actually a needed part of many ecosystems. It seems smart that you all follow the traditional practices of using controlled burns. Here, it seems that there's a lot of opposition to that, yet if people insist on building towns and cities in the path of areas where fires will occur, then humans will suffer.
In Australia, there's a lot of opposition to controlled burning as well, especially amongst city people who complain about the smoke and are never confronted with managing an actual ecosystem. There's usually less opposition to controlled burning when there's been another major wildfire with people, houses and livestock burnt into oblivion, such as the infamous Black Saturday in Victoria in 2009, where 1,100,000 acres were burnt completely black, destroying most of the wildlife in these areas (because too big and hot a fire to get away to safety) and damaging a lot of the flora, which copes well with cooler burns, but not with infernos from hell. In that fire, 173 people died, 414 people were injured, 3,500 buildings (including over 2,000 houses) were destroyed, and it is estimated that over 1,000,000 domestic animals and wild vertebrate animals (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians) burnt to death.
Nobody wants to see that repeated, but we're set for more extreme bushfires, both due to climate change, and because so much of the Australian bush that remains has been neglected instead of managed since the Aboriginal people came off the land post-colonisation. Fuel loads are now higher than at any time in recorded history - often tenfold or more per acre than what they were when Aboriginal people did their firestick farming. The area around Sydney Harbour, when Europeans first encountered it, used to be open forest / open woodland, with a lot of native grasses. These days, there's thousands and thousands of acres of impenetrable thicket instead, which is like a tinderbox and burns fiercely when ignited, by lightning, arsonists etc. It would take a lot more time and resources than currently allocated to patch burn the Australian sclerophyll to the level that the Aboriginal people kept it for tens of thousands of years. However, people are slowly starting to listen to the voices of those people - especially amongst bushfire brigades: https://volunteerfirefighters.org.au...urn-revelation
Local people in our area are also a little more positive about doing controlled burning since we had a really uncontrollable fire which became a tense, house-threatening emergency, that started less than 8km down the road from us. Boy were we glad we'd done our controlled burn that autumn, despite the opposition we ran into at the time about doing it. Our burn was legal, yet community members were trying to dissuade us. They can now see that it was the right thing to do. It was hairy enough at the cool time of year in good conditions - it would have been an inferno had it accidentally started in the summer. We're feeling much safer this summer, than we were last summer. It's been another dry, windy summer.
Thanks for the pocket gear link! I like seeing what options other people are using.
I'm considering wearing a bum bag at the moment - just a small pouch on a belt strap, that goes around the hips. The more comfortable models may work, and would be cooler than my winter vest...
I'll steer clear of the arm band holders, thanks for the hint! And I think a high-viz vest is great if you potentially encounter traffic on your rides. Not to mention, you probably need it for hunting season? 7.5 FEET, A POX ON ALL MARCH FLIES, AND A LOST iPOD
Yesterday, I'd trimmed Julian's front feet, which were hard as marble, which is why I left it at two, and focused on doing a great job on them, instead of getting all the way around. I was happy with the trim, but not so much to be doing it - normally I get out Greg Coffey for the end-summer horse trims, which is when hooves are hardest. We like to see him yearly anyway, including for feedback on the feet, so that's the best time to get him out.
Today, I worked on his rear feet. The March flies were plaguing us, which is why I got Brett to assist, and hold the horse for the rear feet, and be our March fly sentinel. I'm happy to work on a tie rail with the front feet with March flies around, but not to be working on the rear end in that situation.
Those beasties bite, and their bites really hurt. The horses hate them, and jump all over the place if they get bitten, which is also exactly what I do! Today, I managed to get 1.5 of Julian's rear hooves trimmed before the March flies got so bad that I decided to leave the proper post-nippers rasping of the offside rear hoof until later this evening, when these monsters aren't around.
I'm skipping the luxury of the midsummer trim this year because I managed to lose my iPod.
I don't know how this happened. The iPod is either in my pocket, or it's just inside the front door, ready to take to its permanent spot next time I go in the house. Except this time it wasn't, and I have no memory of this at all, but I must have been distracted and put the thing on the roof of the car for a moment on a particular Friday night when Brett came home, and then not noticed it for the entire weekend, even though it's white and quite large and I walked past that car a few dozen times, as our exit door connects to the carport. And then I must also not have noticed it when I got in the car to see Brett off at the front gate on the Monday morning, which is extremely strange.
But here are the facts. On that Monday evening, Brett came home and said to me, "This is so weird! There's a set of iPod headphones wrapped around the roof rack. I noticed there was this strange clicking sound when I drove home, and I pulled over and found this."
Oh no! We looked for the iPod in case there was an alternative explanation, but could not find it. So a replacement was ordered - a refurbished classic series iPod, because we like to support electronics refurbishing instead of dumping, and because we both prefer the classic models with the click controls, that don't have cameras in them either. (Brett has a modern series one though, with camera, which I borrow on the occasional documented ride.)
That was $270, ouch, so I decided I was saving $200 by not outsourcing the summer trims this year.
We'd had the lost iPod over 10 years, and it had started to develop a screen fault, so at least we got a lot of use out of it. No trace of the thing anywhere, of course. If someone picked it up in town, and it still works, they will now suffer my peculiar taste in music and podcasts, bwahahaha, and of course, you can't re-load found iPods... you're stuck with what's on them... DONKEY FEET PROGRESS
The other 6 feet were all of Ben's, and Nelly's fronts. With Ben, I finally managed to level up his most badly deformed hoof today, the near fore, which had the inside hoof wall broken almost to the coronet when we first got the new donkeys. At last, enough had grown out for me to be able to lower the outside below the level of the injured inside, and so take pressure off that section, and allow it to grow properly outwards again - it's actually caved in at the moment. So he's looking good all around now in terms of angles, and the hoof walls in the broken places should be grown back where they belong in another few months.
With Nelly, who had badly collapsed heels in front, today, we got the hoof angles
back exactly where they should be. The heel is growing back strongly, but still somewhat deformed from having been walked on so long; but the way she's looking, and considering that there's no pressure on the backs of her heels anymore (that were part of the walking surface when she arrived
), nor untoward pressure on the walking part of the heel, and with the mustang rolling of her toes today, her stretched white line should also grow out normal again before too long - it's already improving, but she has to replace the entire hoof at least once before we're back to completely normal. Attached photo: Me with the old iPod, may it rest in peace...