Joseph got to go explore our creek today for the first time. The others watched on from a distance.
Our first stop was a place where it's usually easy to cross the creek, but this year the floods remodeled it in a way that made it a little scary to jump across. The grass is incredibly tall and it overhangs the edges, so you don't know where the land ends and the water begins. He would have been happy to jump to where I was standing, but of course I didn't think that was such a good idea. He did think about crossing, without any prompting from me, but his feet slipped into the water and that shook his confidence. Given my poor footing and the fact that we didn't need to cross, I opted to leave that area.
We went to another area where I didn't think we'd be able to go down into the creek, but I found a place that kind of stair-stepped down. He was really scared. Again, he wanted to jump on top of me because he knew I was on solid ground.
I almost decided it wasn't worth the effort, but then I realized if I let him feel insecure and give up twice in one outing, it wouldn't set a good example. He eventually made it down the bank.
We wandered a little ways upstream until the grass was just too thick and I was feeling too closed in and it was hard to navigate. He was so brave walking under an overhanging bank with the wind blowing the grass above our heads.
Then we found another area where it was easy to get down in the creek, and it was so nice and cool! The water was gone, but the ground was still wet. Just downstream the water made a large pool.
Blue enjoyed jumping up and down the bank.
Huckleberry did his "hangdog" thing. I don't know, can dogs be emo? I really lean toward thinking there's something wrong with him. He's only 4 years old and he's like an old dog. He often burps during an attack of the hangdogs. I should take him to the vet. But maybe he just ate a mouse that didn't agree with him.
He does cheer up nicely when you get his attention.
Next we headed farther downstream and into a pasture that hasn't been grazed this year. Blue was a springy-sproingy mousing fool.
We hung out in one of the ponds and ate some of the wetland grass the horses like so much. Well, he ate it, I just took pictures. The pond is dry now but in spring the water would be up to his withers here. I like how the sun rays in this photo are reminiscent of being underwater.
Later on I took Joseph out again. He hung out with me while I picked chokecherries. I didn't even know until today a large hedge of bushes down by the creek are chokecherries. Going to try my hand at preserving them.
Another lovely sepia photo of Pedro:
When we got back I sat on the ground under the fence and the horses gathered around. It was like a popularity contest, and poor Bob was the awkward kid wishing he could be part of the group.
Joseph was the hottest guy at the party, and he knew it.
But it didn't stop him from having some quiet time with his compadres.
I titled this next photo, "Lovingkindness." That's Bella, in one word.