The difference between the farmlands of Eastern and Washington State are significant. We learned how much we appreciate all the greenery of our side (western) and how very much this depth and variance of color affects our own perception of life around us! All of Washington state is experiencing record heat and drought, but vibrant color is still apparent in so many places.
You can see that Mt. Rainier does not have much snow left on it's glacial exterior and there is nothing on the hillsides surrounding; but there is still life in the trees and the grasses that are grazed by cattle. After all the days and hours of dry, brown hillsides and sparse vegetation (with few exceptions around the rivers), we were so happy to see the greenery again!
We have had the great pleasure of enjoying some recent out-of-state travel and were blown away by the many differences we encountered in just a few states. Most importantly we came home appreciating all the more, the great greens and richness of color in the western side of our state. (Especially our own home and beds, but.... ) Oh, how our eyes value the look of life in the land around us! Even in one of the hottest, driest summers in history it is still so much more colorful on the well known wet, drippy & soggy side of Washington State.
We also were able to see the great WIDE areas of industrial farmland that grow so much hay, wheat, corn, potatoes, beets and more.
Lil Miss has taken several photos of her growing garden and we wanted to share them with you to inspire you in your own gardening endeavors. If you are concerned that you are too late for a garden, don't be discouraged...there is always something you can do! There is still plenty of time to plant and plan for an abundant harvest. In the past, Mom has direct seeded zucchini plants in July and still gotten more produce then purchased starts planted in June. You can do it!
As with all our animals, natural care and feeding is our goal; so for Dixie we have been learning more about the movement to model our domestic horse hooves after the wild mustangs, as well as keeping the horses in the type of movement they've been designed for. Words like "Mustang Roll" (referring to the hooves) and "Paddock Paradise" (referring to the best horse environment) make so much sense - as other words new to us years ago: "Multi-species Grazing" and "Hugelkultur".
We learned while a local farrier worked on a friends' horse, getting to ask questions while we watched him shape new horse shoes with his traveling forge and anvil. (Praise the Lord for these AWESOME learning opportunities!) We also studied the hooves of horses we were working with (Aren't these toes too long? What are these ridges?), we've watched documentaries on wild Mustangs, videos of hoof trimming styles and have seen there are many different approaches to the perceived 'perfect' hoof. What serves the horse best, as we have come to understand, is the model of those living most like they were designed (His way is perfect); therefore we sought a hoof trimmer that could help us enable Dixie's hoof healing, building her hoof strength, traction and movement, which = soundness.
We have spent several weeks with our friend learning natural care, groundwork and enjoying some light riding...but she suggested we visit her trainer and see if we might learn even more.
Going from a casual environment that all of us can enjoy together, to a more structured setting was only appealing for two of the 'gang' and because she only had two lesson horses for really young riders, Mom wasn't able to participate either. (Insert 'boo-hoo' emoticon here.)
Oh, the strange terms you learn as you delve deeper into caring for horses...We were excited to experience a rather drowsy (for Miss Cheyenne) version of this common practice called 'teeth floating' or 'floating the teeth' that this Quarter Horse mare was not very happy to endure. This method, with it's crazy apparatus and 'calming drugs' further prepared and enlightened us to the many perplexities of the 'modern' veterinary practice.
This is our journey.