23 July 2015

Catching Butterflies

We have a screened in back porch.  We removed a panel to allow easier access to the backyard for the dogs and for us.  That open panel also allows more leaves to blow in and flies and bees to get stuck bouncing off the corners, and occasionally we get a bird in there. The bird gets stuck flying in circles (always bouncing off the corner opposite the open panel) and the cats line up at the sliding glass door to watch while Leia looses her shit running around barking like mad.

I will go and rescue the bird; shooing it out with a broom and it usually doesn't take long. 

Once I rescued a honey bee by giving it some sugar water in a little dish and putting that dish outside so the bee could fly off on its own - no touching involved.  

The other day Carus called to me - a butterfly was stuck.  Having a butterfly get stuck on the porch is a new one.  I tried passive moving using a flower.  But it wasn't working.

I finally gave up trying to get it to walk/land on the flower.  I don't understand why the butterfly wasn't happy with the flower but whatever.  

So I let the butterfly step onto my finger.  I was worried that it would tickle or twinge me out and make me jump and shake my hand and incidentally kill the butterfly, but I barely felt it's little feet. 

Carus watched from a few feet back.  She was a little squicked out about it and/or me coming near her with it.  It's those little legs and antenna that are too reminiscent of icky squicky bugs.  She took the photos of it on my hand.

It flew off my hand a few times, but eventually it stayed still long enough for me to slowly - very slowly - walk out to the yard and place the butterfly on the leaves of the tree.  

After all that trouble the silly little butterfly didn't want to move off and onto the leaf; and once it finally did go onto the leaf it just sat there long enough for me to take a few more photos before I had to go back inside and back to work.  

It was nice to blow Carus away with me touching a butterfly, and it was really cool to hold a butterfly in my hand. I was surprised how light footed it was. It walked all over my fingers and I didn't feel it at all.  Crazy cool. 

19 July 2015

4H Horse Fair 2015

Well I'm a procrastinator.

Grooming contest team
(Kylie, Carus, Mitchell, Amelie)

But we already knew that, huh.

Horse Fair was June 28th through July 1st. I think I am able to finally get this up because I finally feel I've recuperated HAHA!

The week leading up to Fair was crazy busy and I stressed over remembering things and getting things done, and trying to anticipate everything we'd need when I didn't know what to expect because no one tells you anything except that it is hot and busy and crazy. I was so very confident that it wouldn't be hot because my birthday weekend is NEVER hot here in Oregon and most years we actually get rain often.

I probably jinxed it. Oops.

The 4 days of Horse Fair were crazy busy and HOT! and I stressed over things getting done.

It was really, really hot.  It is never in the 90s the last week of June, let alone the low 100s, but all that week it was.

The barn with all the people and horses and little to no breeze kept it feeling much warmer...though it didn't have the sun beating down on you so it sometimes it was better.
After In-Hand Trail hug 

There was lots of waiting and working in the barn (the kids have to keep their section clean for a Herdsmanship competition - we won one day but not the trophy overall), and waiting outside in the sun (very little shade and not where it was needed) and running back and forth to the campgrounds and the barn and the arenas and barn again.

I was fairly successful in keeping us hydrated and not sunburned - but I did get sick and sunburned the last day (Robert took over in the last chores as I went home "early" to rest).

The days were also very long.  Carus had to get up at 5 am to feed Scout as when one horse in the group is fed, the others need to be fed too, and there were early events.
Events started at 7 am and go until the schedule for the day was completed - sometimes 8 or 9 pm. Then there were the evening fun activities and bed wasn't before 10 any of those nights, and at least one night it was near midnight.

I stuck a pedometer in my pocket halfway through the first day and got over 35,000 steps that (half) day, and kept that trend up the rest of the week.

Our friend, Scout's owner, was a GOD SEND! for lending us her RV. The AC and nice bed to sleep on and fridge for cold drinks and food were very helpful.  It was very much appreciated.

Riding at sunset

Carus had a lot of fun too! She did great in all her events bringing home Red Ribbons in in-hand trail and riding trail, and Blue Ribbons in showmanship and western equitation.  She did so well in her western equitation she got a special recognition ribbon that was presented to her at the final meeting with all the participants in attendance.

Game night riding
The grooming contest was the first day.  Our group had two teams working in the contest.  Each team gets a dirty horse to bathe and clip and present in a showmanship-type presentation (in hand walking, trotting, and set up presentation for the judge).  Carus's team bathed Mitchell and they won that contest.  They each got a free ice cream for that.

Each evening they had fun activities planned like Game Night where they had games they could play with their horses - like the apple bobbing race, which she got to do, and the team ribbon race where each team of two riders hold a string of yarn between them as they ride around the arena at different speeds and stops and turns and Carus and her teammate didn't win, but they had fun. Another evening there was a potluck and another was a movie under the stars.

One of the 4H groups had a member holding a raffle contest to raise money for her to go to Nationals and Carus entered all the money allotted to her (some she got Daddy to put up and some she got Gramma Barbara to put up) into the raffle for a bridle with heart-shaped conchos on it.  She won that.

Waiting for their event.
We've enjoyed our first year of 4H though have been really stressed about things (they don't explain shit! and I need information and it drove me nuts) and there are changes being discussed with the 4H group we're with where there might not be a group next year or it will be extra small (we're already small) and I didn't want Carus to say she didn't want to do it again right after being exhausted by Horse Fair so I told her she can't decide until the first week of August at the earliest.

I'm thinking she will want to do it again; she really likes the competition and shows and the ribbons.

I'm also thinking next year would be better because now I know what's going on...well, at least I know more of what's going on.  And I'm determined to create a manual for new 4H parents because we need one!

Carus and I were in heaven with all the GORGEOUS horses.

I've put the rest of the photos on Facebook here.

The only video I took was of the last day's events - Showmanship and Equitation.

I edited those together into one movie seen below.  I'm not a videographer nor movie editor so you get what you get.

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