Monday, June 8, 2015

What Happens When You Leave Your Farm for Two Weeks...

I was recently out of the country for two weeks and distributed the two horses, donkey, and two dogs to three different off-site caretakers. Apparently these are the things you should expect to find when no one uses or maintains the farm for a couple weeks:

  • A barn full of spiders. Thank goodness that was the worst thing in there. I closed up all the windows and doors hoping to prevent the starlings from moving in, and apparently that worked. The spiders, however, found the newly draft-free space very enticing. At least they're easy to evict and not so messy.
  • An overgrown pasture that takes twice as long to mow as usual. Normally two weeks is my mowing interval in the spring anyway, but I was asked not to mow it by the guy who was going to spray for weeds while the horses were gone (who, by the way, didn't show up until a week after I got back anyway). So it didn't get mowed for over a month and was completely out of control when I got back. On the right side of this photo is Dominick the Donkey almost disappearing into grass as tall as he is:
  • An arena full of grass, no joke. I dragged it right before leaving hoping to prevent this, but it didn't seem to help. I got my arena footing secondhand from a fancy dressage barn that replaced it after just one year of use for no good reason (lucky me!). They weren't as diligent about "removing organic matter" as I am, and this is the result:

  • Groundhogs living under your hay barn. My 17-pound dachshund has already taken care of one small intruder, but the others remain at large. I'm glad they chose their home there instead of in the pasture though, at least so far.

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