"Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better, whereas enslavement is a certainty of the worse."
~ Albert Camus 1913 - 1960
Volunteer marigolds...choosing a life outside the 'mainstream' garden.
My symbol of freedom are the herds of Mustangs that wander the mountain valleys near my house. They are an icon of the western expansion, from the Spanish explorers to the Eastern farmers and prospectors, who trekked across the land looking for a better life.
These Mustangs waiting patiently out side the garden gate...wondering if any of the apples on the ground are meant for them.
The Big Bay Herd getting themselves into trouble. They sometimes behave like over-grown rabbits by grazing on the front lawn of residents who have moved into territory the horses' genetics whisper 'this is my home' too. Citizens call the state and the state rounds up the animals and puts them up for auction. Sometimes FREEDOM carries the ultimate huge price tag: life or death.
A Bachelor Herd pondering the question of "how much" freedom (their side of the fence) or plenty of apples, grass and water (my side of the fence) is for them. Freedom is always about deciding because in freedom there is choice: which side of the fence (particularly pressing in an election year, eh!).
Cooler air, gentle breezes and a few clouds. Perfect. The flowers beds seem to enjoy the change in the weather. The color in the garden is magnificent. All the flowers that are still blooming are so beautiful just before it is time to call it quits. Have to get some mulching hay and decide which plants to prune and cover in the next month. Some succulents will be re potted and come indoors until spring some will have to be replanted in safer less wind exposed places and a few will move with the potted roses to the side of the house. The cycle of life...who stays, who goes.
Small progress is being made in the storing food department. So many apples so little time. Am taking bushels to the soup kitchen and food pantry. Wild horses get some and of course the neighbors. Still there is apple sauce and apple butter to be made and apple slices to pare and freeze. I often think of my great-grandmother Hattie at this time of year. I've mentioned her here before, a hard-working farm woman. Managed her family and life with skill. Found time to be a mid-wife to neighbors. Every fall she, like so many farm wives, prepared food to get the family through the harsh winter that was to be theirs on their Spanish Fork (Utah) farm.
Yesterday we had new Mustang visitors:
Another small band of bachelors. I don't know if they have been chased off by stronger stallions or if their herds were rounded up for auction in Fallon - some Mustangs always escape the helicopter round-up. Several are very young. Many had bite marks on their hides. Life is not easy for these guys. They gorged on apples and the sage brush blossoms. They are very wild and stampeded off if I or the handy man move too quickly in the garden. Still they are curious about these humans and the three dogs that follow us around the garden.
The dogs don't bark until the horses eat apples. Then all hell breaks loose. They think those apples are doggy treats. They hate sharing.
Time to get another cup of coffee and organize the day. Hoping your is peaceful.
Yesterday three people (my cousin, a friend and me) spent hours harvesting apples, tart cherries and peaches from the trees in the yard. My hat is off to real farmers and their family. I humbly salute all of you! I have one peach tree, several cherry trees but the only one bearing fruit in the early fall, an apricot tree, a small raised container for strawberries and two apple trees. This morning my aching joints and tired muscles are so thankful that the apricots are not yet ripe. The garage and kitchen are now full of fruit that needs to be canned, juiced, jammed or frozen. I'll bag some of this produce and take it to the food pantry later today. Still there is much cooking to be done.
Coxing food from the earth is gratifying work. Thank you farmers of America! What a hard job. One I doubt many if not most of us give much thought to that on any given day. I don't have to hire farm hands to pick acres of produce and then get the bounty to market.
The flower garden is also demanding my attention. There are 37 roses bushes that were planted by some other soul. Now I find myself the unwitting steward of this plot of land. Time to stop fertilizing and reduce the watering. I'm not sad to stop the endless deadheading. I think we will have one more bloom in early October, then I will prune. Containers will need to be moved close to the house, in-ground plants will be tidied and mulched with hay. The plants and I begin the slow preparation for the winter that lies just a few months away from us. Once again, I love the crisp aroma of autumn in the air but I also already miss summer.
My life, when not caring for my aged mother, has become wrapped up into several tidy little packages: the treatment of wild horses, learning about the ups and downs of free range chickens and getting myself involved in a local food bank. I am particularly concerned about hungry children. So am learning to volunteer in my new neighborhood.
First, take a look at the you tube video by a 12 year old girl, Brigit, from Texas. She did a great job of explaining the complex issues around mustangs and management of same.
Now ~ the Mustangs that frequent my front yard and it's apple trees. I've come to know three bachelors: Winter, Marco and Sarge. These are gentle, steady guys. They sleep in the shade of trees behind my gate, now allow me to gently brush them and they eat all the dropped apples my two trees can provided. Am thinking about adopting them. They are sturdy little horses, with strong legs, calm with very sane minds...if you've ever had a nervous horse you understand the distinction. Here are a few of their photos:
Sarge (because he is a little bossy and reminds me of the cavalry horses of the wild west)
Sarge and Winter cleaning up the dropped apples
Marco the baby of the group
Sarge taking a nap
Sarge helping himselft to leaves and apples.
As for the chicks...got love fresh eggs. Taste like no other! The down side, chicks in Nevada peck at ankles just as hard as in other States...booo!
Lastly September is National Hunger Month. No one in this country should go to bed truly hungry, most especially the children. Just think about it. Better yet, join a soup kitchen, help at a community pantry, drop off a can of food at a food drive.