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!
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.