Feels like Fall

By Patty Wilber

Over the last few days, the weather seems to have taken a turn towards autumnal, without the polar vortex prewinter plunge that resulted in snow on Sept. 9th, last year!

Flowers and grasses are going to seed.  Grasses! This is the first time in a long time that we got enough moisture during the summer monsoons for good grass growth, so I am still getting a kick out of the waving seed heads on my place and along the roadsides!

(The gallery caption feature would not let me italicize the scientific names below the pictures!  That is making me a tad cranky.)

I found a fall caterpillar! We often get the black and brown woolly bear caterpillars but I had never seen this type.  I first thought is was an Io moth, but the stripes did not match and those don’t seem to occur in NM.  Finally I found that is is Automeris zephyria, common name, Zephyr-eye silk moth.  That is the same genus as the Io moth, so pretty close.  I took the photo of the caterpillar.  The moth picture is from the site linked above.

The horses are starting get their winter coats.  LT gets dark hairs.  Lucy gets redder.  Penny and Cometa just get hairier. I did not get a good photo of Lucy, but at the show last week, my friend Natalie told me she always has to do a double take when she sees Lucy because she is a different color every time.

Lucy is going to the Appaloosa World show in about a month, and too bad so sad, will have as slightly longer coat than some of the barn babies we will compete against. So, far, I have never been penalized for this, and this time we are showing the ranch horse events, so it surely should be even less of an issue!

LT with her darker winter shading.

I also got fall photos of Sombra, and Heidi with Penny.  The angle of the fall light is always pretty to me.

Heidi and Penny and me and Lucy had a very fine time playing cow horse out in the pasture. We are working on getting those turns on the cow with our hands down (yes, I am still working that myself, as is Heidi).  For one exercise, Heidi was the “cow” and I was on the cow horse. She and Penny did a roll back and ran off as instructed and when me and Lucy tried to “ease past” to turn our “cow”, Penny said “heck no, i am faster than that roany pony!” and as Heidi said, Penny went “pony express”.  We decided not to match race, and Heidi slowed Penny down so I could catch up!

Always a fun time!

The days are getting shorter, too, so definitely, Feels like Fall.



About BlogPatty

Here's the skinny: I have a thing for horses. They make sense to me. I have a small horse training business (it's a "boutique" training business, not because it's super fancy, but because the horses get a lot of personal attention). I also go by Dr. Wilber, and teach biology full-time at a Central New Mexico Community college.
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4 Responses to Feels like Fall

  1. I’ve never seen the grass go to seed like this before! Here and there, but not so thickly! Amazing what a little rain at the right time will do, even when the rest of the year is astringently dry.

    I let my agility field go fallow so the grass could do its thing (though now it’s mowed, as dry grass = fire fun), and still have a large border of unmowed grass in the field north of the house. Grow, roots, grow!

    • BlogPatty says:

      I have kept the horses off the north lot for the very same reason. They can go knock down the weeds in November sometime!

  2. Elizabeth Moon says:

    Definitely feels like fall. Here, where I have oak trees in the yard, they’re dropping leaves and then it rained, so there’s the wet-oak-leaves smell of fall, too. I love the smell of leaves in the fall…almost a baking smell (and it’s not been that hot since our wildfire…aside from the very small breeze, we picked the worst kind of day to have a fire! (Well, we didn’t exactly PICK it…there was no intent to have a fire.)

    I should take more pictures of our grass in seed. The Indiangrass this year (Sorghastrum nutans is spectacular with its waving spear-tip-shaped golden heads 5-6 feet up.) We had a very wet year, until it wasn’t, which caught the late-season stuff by surprise. But two good rains this week. So thankful the wildfire didn’t get bigger (thank you, RVFDs!!) The burnt-out corpse of the tractor is gone, but for the melted tires. R-s twice lugged the cart out with some of the composed manure to put on the burn scar (something around/over 5 acres, but very irregular so hard to judge.)

    • BlogPatty says:

      Oh I missed the fire incident or somehow I forgot?! (That is a bit frightening if I forgot.) I am so glad it was only 5 acres. How did it start? Something with the tractor? It will be fascinating to see how the area regenerates. I have had fun watching the burn scars in the wilderness. Ooh you can compare the manured area to the not manured!

      Gras 5 to 6 feet tall! Wow. Tall grass prairie size!

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