Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I Am Ready for Spring on Orcas!

Outside my window the bright green madrona blossoms glow. Sometimes even in the dark of night they glow like coals in a fire, and in today's light rain, the red-gold bark and chartreuse flowers glow, emitting a peaceful energy. These holy trees, burial trees, these dancing maidens of the northwest glowing in my yard.

My tulips are beginning to bloom, a riot of red, yellow and deep purple and shades of pink. I never remember that I have so many bulbs. They fight off the invading morning glory aiding me in my battle against those tenacious climbers and stranglers. The lilac leaves are baby green along my back fence, fed by my urine soaked hay at their feet. I am hoping for better blooms this summer. Given to me by my friend of  25 years, Moriah, I had hoped for deep purple but most of them are pure white.

In the front garden, the peony stalks are burgundy and some are already over a foot tall. This spring I know I'll get hundreds of blooms on each plant, the stalks bending with the weight of each huge ruffled pink or white flower. This year with a bit of recovery in the economy we splurged and got wire hoops to help hold up their showy heads. I look forward to giving blooms to dear friends, Mary and Jennifer. Last year, they traveled as far as Doe Bay to grace that end of the Island, purchased by the manager a few weeks running.

I wanted Cosmos this year, tall graceful in whites, pinks and burgundy, waving in the breezes their cheerful faces almost transparent. I started the seeds inside by our French Doors, and I believe every seed germinated. Now out in the garden, backed by Peonies and Hollyhocks they do nightly battle with the slugs and snails, not all have won their lives, but I have replacements, I am persistent. My Allysium seeds have sprouted, tiny green heads in their carefully prepared beds of potting soil, fed with warm water from the house.

We keep hoping to plant potatoes. But, it keeps raining. The soil too wet yet, although I did get my onions in, and the are about one inch high. Ken dug up an entire bucket of Shallots and then decided he wanted me to replant them, but it's cold and rainy.

I am ready for sun. I am ready for spring, I am ready.

In Bliss

This winter, my boys taught me about being in bliss.  Every evening as the light was leaving, I'd head out to be with the herd. I begin by shoveling the arena where they hang out during the day playing with each other, sleeping in the sun, rolling in the sand. As soon as I enter the arena, all the boys would come to me and hover around. I greet each by name. Rascal is always the first to greet me and is soon glued to my side, Shaman is next lowering his head by my knees, Ranger quiet but present, waiting.  Usually Black Elk is in the rear, bigger than the rest, trying to push them out of his way.  I am honored by their attention.

I head down to the far end to begin to shovel, Rascal at my right shoulder, his head perfectly vertical at attention, ears upright curved at the tips, like many mustangs. He stops on a dime when I stop. Shaman full of Spanish Brio and Black Elk at 16-3, built like a war horse, jostling with one another to be on my left side.  Shaman, small but strong winning this round. As I move to shovel, each horse steps aside and moves quietly without  a word or a touch. I make a game out of it, I back up, they back up, I move towards a hip, and a horse circles, I move toward a shoulder and they turn on the forehand.

A few more scoops. Pretty soon I forget about shoveling. I am singing. Different songs, repetitive lines, my energy is shifting. We walk, we waltz, we circle and back up, we cha-cha, all the boys who want do a 'chorus line' with me facing them. I smile and laugh. I sing, I am in bliss. We wander the arena as a herd, matching steps, matching hearts.

Black Elk heads to the stump. Look, I can do this he is saying. The competition too fierce for his quiet nature. Yes, standing and waiting is a great trait. A few treats are shared. They are all up on their stumps. They are stumping it, a waiting game, an attention game, eight eyes all on me. I sing. I invite Shaman to circle the others with me. He gets a few pellets, the ones who wait get a few pellets. I back up. They wait. I call them, one by one they come. Rascal and Shaman first, Black Elk slowly leaving the biggest stump taking his long steps to me, nodding his head, feeling like he's grinning. Ranger quiet but persistent, don't forget about me.

I am singing, they are with me, I am one of the herd, we move together, sideways to the right, sideways to the left, a few steps forward a few steps back, a bite of apple. Black Elk bites Rascal, and now he is at my right side. We move forward in bigger steps, I am by his shoulder, I let out my air, he stops. Rascal pushes Shaman out of his way, he's on my left now, a big boy by each shoulder. Shaman is off looking for escaped pellets. The sun is setting, I am still singing, I am in bliss, I go back to shoveling. Pretty soon we call it a night, I am in bliss....

Monday, February 25, 2013

Horsemanship on Orcas Island

Travel and Learn about Horses on Orcas Island. Come stay in our yurt and re-connect with yourself and your loved ones, take some natural horsemanship lessons with our mustangs. "After a 2 hour lesson.. I felt like I had been meditating for a week!" Dawn T.  Watch the birdlife in the meadow and adjacent waterfowl refuge. Frogs will sing you to sleep, mustangs will entertain you, the farm is quiet and peaceful, our guests say it's paradise!

Students range from 5 to 65. They come to learn about  Connecting with Horses and Natural Horsemanship.  This is a great learning experience for those new to horses, those with fear issues, and if you are planning to get a horse. Come spend a  week or so, learning about horses, ground skills, liberty work, how to connect naturally.  Learn to ride, once you are confident on the ground. Our mustangs are personable and friendly, responsive, respectful and well trained.

 You can snuggle down under a down comforter in our Queen Sized bed and truely rest.

There is a table and chairs and candlelight for dining. A woodstove to take the chill off, a fire pit for outdoor cooking and a hamock to hang out in...

Bottled water and a one burner propane stove for heating up some tea or a small meal. A warm shower can be found at the Deer Harbor Marina about 1.5 miles away. You can also launch a kayak or rent a kayak there, or go whale watching. (See my blog about Deer Harbor)

Soft light will glow inside the yurt and you can see the leaves gently moving in the breeze.

Love Bird Watching? This is a birder's paradise! Heron Rookery, all types of water birds, gold finches, eagles, hawks and lots of owls..can be seen on the farm.

Formerly wild mustangs can be watched while playing and eating in the nearby meadows.

This very affordable get away is $65/night.     Email me at
One bedroom cottage also available.
See our website:                 360-376-4642