Valley Tack’s Midnight Sale!

Help me kick off the print release of “Frosty and the Nightstalker”

Frosty Trial Cover #3

at the annual midnight sale held by Valley Tack Shop, Inc., 6780 Center Rd., Valley City, OH 44280.

This is the second in the Backyard Horse Tale Series. Autographed copies of the Mom’s Choice Award Winner “Backyard Horse Tales: Sox 2nd Edition” and the adult novel “Fateful Waters” will also be available at the sale. Stop by and say hello. All books are 10% off at the checkout.

Join us for a great store wide sale, great door prizes, food, and fun. Drop by Valley Tack Shop’s web site for a list of activities.

Here’s a new site that offers free autographs for e-book and online paperback purchasers.

Hope to see you tonight!

Grass is much greener on the other side of the fence!

The yummy grass has been buried under a blanket of cold white stuff, in like forever. We’ve been confined to the back three sections of the farm for most of the winter. Last week the snow disappeared, but there wasn’t a blade of grass to be found.

I guess that’s why my human dad has been throwing us some hay when we are turned out.

Mud! Churned up mud is easier to run and play on that the frozen rutted turf. Anna and I are having a good time splashing in puddles and rolling in the mud. We wandered back to the work paddock behind our cozy warm barn. We nibbled at the sparse blades of grass along the edges of the fence. I stretched my head through the middle and bottom boards and munched as much as I could reach.

IMG_0149 Four month old Bella & Anna 10/25/11

            Anna has a much longer neck and could reach more grass than I was able. For those of you who may not know, Anna is my foster mom. She’s a Quarter Horse about sixteen hands tall. Yours truly, my name is Bella by the way, only tops out about thirteen hands. Well…heck, I won’t be a two year-old until the end of May, but I doubt that I will ever be as long and tall as Anna. I’m a Haflinger.

I was getting frustrated, and tried to reach a bit farther as we worked our way down the fence line. Pop! Crack! The boards gave way to the pressure that I applied with my chest. Whoopee…there was much more grass on the other side. It didn’t seem that we were on the new grass very long when a neighbor driving by tattled on us.

She and our human mom came after us with lead ropes and a bucket of sweet feed. I just can’t resist that tasty grain mix. Humans are tricky. I was snared in two shakes and my lead handed to the helpful neighbor lady while mom went to get Anna. Darn it, she took the bucket of grain with her, and Anna had her face in the bucket pigging out. Mom made a comment to her helper, “let me lead the older horse first, and Bella should just follow.” They passed me up! Anna went first with Mom and the yummy grain bucket.

I can be a bit much for a beginner or a non-horseperson to handle, so it was easy to escape the tentative hold the helper had on my lead. You bet! I was in hot pursuit of that grain bucket. Mom was leading Anna into her stall when I whizzed by with my lead rope dragging the ground. She closed over Anna’s door then picked up my lead to guide me to my box. The helper had caught up, and she said something about my getting the better of her. I got the remainder of the grain dumped in my feed bin, and Mom threw us some hay.

Dad came back from a trip to town right after we were confined again. He was not happy with our escapade, and I tried to look real innocent like I didn’t know whodunit. He didn’t buy my act and mumbled something about electrifying the fence. I asked Anna what that was, but all she did was give me a horselaugh. Doc is still out at a boarding stable, so there’s no one else to ask.

We didn’t get to go out the rest of that day, or at all the following day. The first thing I did on the third day when we went out was to run over to the point in the fence where we had broken through. Large metal panels line that whole section. It was the same stuff that the round pen was made of, and I knew from experience that it would hold. I think that I messed up by heading right to my former escape point. Dad was watching me and sure didn’t look happy.

IMG_0210 Summer 2012 Bella & Cali

            We aren’t allowed out whenever the folks have to go to town, anymore. So our time outdoors is much shorter, until they get the electric up. I still don’t know what that is, but Anna says that I will find out real soon.

Follow the Ohio Eagles….

A few days ago I posted a set of beautiful photos from an e-mail I received. Now, the title caught my attention and piqued my curiosity. I have had a couple of comments that the photos couldn’t have been taken on the shores of Lake Erie. Those of us who have grown up in this area of Ohio know that the land often visible from sections of the lake can be the islands, as well as sections of PA or NY who also border the Lake. That said, to me the photos show a large cloud bank over one of the islands, not mountains.

Mail Attachment-1

Hey guys! Quit with the photos. We’re perched on the edge of this deck looking for more fish handouts!

Hinckley is, indeed, inland a good thirty to thirty five miles from the shore of Lake Erie, but the branches of Rocky River where the eagles hunt fish wander through Hinckley, my own backyard in Medina Township, Valley City, Columbia Station and many other communities on its way to Lake Erie.

We are blessed with a network of metro parks that provide a habitat for much wild life. 2009 I was working on Chippewa Rd., in a tax office with a huge southern window, when a shadow flew past the window. I glanced up expecting to see a turkey buzzard or a hawk, but was amazed to see a pair of bald eagles soaring  past and heading for the section of the Metro Parks across the street. That was my first encounter with the awesome birds. At the time, I was not aware that we had a population of the U. S. Bird in our state, let alone in our relatively flat part of it.

There was also a news article about a mating pair atop of one of the high rise buildings in Cleveland! Great care was being taken to protect the nest. Then a few years later my husband and I were walking our dog on the trails in Hinckley and we saw several more eagles. Evidently they’ve made themselves to home, in this part of Ohio, where they’re not hunted.

As near as I can figure the author of the e-mail lives in Hinckley and has seen the eagles circling his/her home. The sender shared the beautiful photos that a colleague, who does live on the lake shore, shared with them. Could the sender have made it more clear in the first part of the e-mail? Sure, but it was a neat hook that this author could appreciate. Most of the comments have been positive, and many folks loved the photos that I shared. As for the downers, I did not write the e-mail and only attempted to share the photos with other wildlife enthusiasts. It is my policy when posting other folks work, or e-mail, to give them credit and not change their input.

Here is a photo that I had not included:

Mail Attachment

The caption on this photo said it was taken from the front porch of the original photographer’s home, and that the eagles were comfortable enough to perch near enough that you could touch them.

What an awesome experience! They knew where their fish hand outs were coming from. The daylight is with us longer and the weather is warming up, so the eagles should have fish rising closer to the surface of the thawing rivers and warming lake. Let me know, if you enjoyed these photos.

Note: The caption on the first photo in this post was mine. What were the eagles thinking? I doubt they were there for a photo shoot.

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