Saturday, November 19, 2011

Making Friends

Like many of you, I've been finding blogging at the very bottom of my to-do list.  So apologies if I haven't been "stopping by" some of your blogs as frequently.  I'll be back, sooner or later.

At the back of the pond in our neighborhood's common area is a fairly narrow strip of woods.  It's wide enough to let Rosie off-leash, out of sight of ducks and bylaw-waving neighbors, but small enough to see daylight through the trunks.

On the other side is a large field, broken by lines of trees, and seasonally occupied by a herd of beef cattle.

Larry, Curly and Moo

Cows intimidate me, especially these large beefy specimens, but I've recently started taking more of an active interest in the denizens of this field.  Perhaps you can guess why?

Which of these is not like the others?

Those of you who read the blogs from the 7MSN Ranch and Morning Bray Farm have an unfair advantage.  Especially if you've noticed any of my comments regarding a couple of dark-eyed boys named Alan and Nigel.

Yup, living alongside these placid bovines is a sweet-faced little equine.

(Unfortunately for me, the field is on the west side of the woods, so I've had to adjust contrast and brightness on these photos in the computer.)  I think this donkey is actually the second to be put in with this herd; there was a gray one until a year or so ago, but I haven't seen it since this beautiful black beauty showed up.

For lack of a better idea, I've been calling her Jenny, waiting for something more inspiring to strike me.  Last weekend, she came close enough to the fenceline to stretch out her neck and sniff briefly at my hand, but she was very shy.  This week, when I spotted the herd feeding close to the fence again, I trotted back home with Rosie to grab an apple and the camera.  (Rosie was very confused when we headed back out!)

It took awhile to attract Jenny's curiosity enough to drag her away from the fresh hay bale she was munching at.  She was quite standoffish.  But when I waved an apple quarter at her, she deigned to come close enough to at least check out what all Rosie's rustling about in the underbrush might mean.

I couldn't convince her to come close enough to grab the apple from my hand, so I ended up tossing the quarters onto the ground.  Once she got a good sniff, she didn't need any convincing to chomp them up.

As you can see, once she was done with the apples, she was done with me!  (You might also notice I had the attention of most of the herd by this time.)  Hmm, not the friendliest donkey, but maybe over time she'll decide I'm at least a nice diversion from those slow-moving hamburgers on cloven hooves.  Problem is, it's only on the weekends that I can get out there at feeding time.  And the farmer moves the herd from field to field throughout the year, so I'm not sure how long I'll get 'til she's out of reach.

Still, it's a fun little project to befriend a hoofed stranger.  And when I'm sweet-talking a donkey, I'm surely not thinking much about lesson-plans, chores or work.  I tend to walk away feeling a bit lighter, and mentally refreshed.  I see how one can get addicted to these brushy-maned enigmas!  Even if I never get to stroke her soft muzzle, I'll still enjoy spending time talking to her.  And confusing the cows.


As we made our way back through the woods, I noticed the subdued light was bringing out fascinating blue highlights in Rosie's coat, so I stopped for a short photo session with her.  In spite of the fact she refuses to look at the camera, I got a couple good enough to brag with!

Since our run-in with Tia's family I described in my last post, Rosie's been getting lots more walking,  attention and affection from me.  It was a good reminder to enjoy every day with her.


  1. Larry, Curly and Moo...LOL Good shot as if they posed for ya.

    Sweet donkey. I'm glad they're not spooked by Rosie.

  2. Hey! How did you get them calves to line up like that for you?

    Suggestion: Instead of throwing quarters at the donkey, how about dollar bills?

    Have I ever told you that you are one of my favorite commenters? And I am not just saying that so you throw food to me. (Although that would be nice too!)

  3. Oh, she's beautiful! I love the contrast of her dark and her light muzzle. What a pretty girl.

    Rosie is looking good - all glossy.

  4. What fun to befriend Jenny. I love the last shot of Rosie - she's beautiful!

  5. What a beautiful place to live in! I could smell the cool, outdoorsy smells of the cattle and woods in your pictures.

    Me, I just post snaps of my office. Can you smell the stale coffee and burned popcorn from the breakroom down the hall?

  6. I would like a donkey next door. I wonder how that could be arranged...

    Rosie is a beautiful girl!

  7. I really, really, really liked this post. In an instant I was back to a schoolgirl lusting after the neighbors livestock in Switzerland... So hard for me to think that now I'm the farmer where folks stop to throw apples. But I don't have a sweet donkey. Yet. Hope one day you'll stop in here on your travels and hand out treats to critters and take some pretty pics for me. My photog skills still suck. Maybe in Jan I'll find time to learn?? You inspire.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. Jenny is beautiful!!! :) Awww, she'll come around... and I'm sure she's loving your visits.

    You didn't say what kind of apples you took out... our herd loves Granny Smiths. I'm sure Jenny will also find baby carrots to be a good treat. :D

    Your second shot of Rosie is gorgeous.

    And - I'm with you on blogging going to the bottom of the to do list. Doesn't it seem like we all get on the same blogging cycle sometimes? :)

  9. Rosie iss very beautiful!

    Great photos!


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