Thursday, July 1, 2021

PNW Heat Wave: Day 4, This Too Has Passed


The extreme heat has passed, and we are now in the 90's with higher humidity. Still hot, but not as life-threatening as the last two days. . 

We lost another swallow, but there is still one remaining, who seems a little more cautious about trying to fly when he can't.

His parents keep calling him, and showing him how it's done.

He's like, I'll take a hard pass on suicide by cat. Bring me some worms, please, and a bit of water.

Epona has done really well throughout the heat, and I continue to feed her small bits of grain. She pushes it around with her nose, and makes sounds like she's munching down, but I don't think she gets much in. As far as drinking water, she licks it.

My, what big eyes you have, Epona.

Birds and foals have been the theme of my spring and early summer. Father Robin, who died, but his three babes survived and flew to freedom. And now, the barn swallows, prematurely fledged from their nest, due to extreme heat.

Most years, it may not have affected me the same, but because of the situation with Epona, I feel the parallels in my heart. The sense of failing the birds, makes me wonder what I can save. 

Last night, Cowboy got down and had a hard time getting up again. I know that a decision will have to be made, not now, but in the nearer future. Some days, Epona feels like a success story, and other times, when milk comes out of her nose, I feel dread. 

And my dad is facing struggles with his prostate cancer that seem insurmountable, too.

These are the seasons of life: Birth, struggle, beauty, love, hope, death.

There are moments in life where it is all stripped down, and you realize, more fully, that it is almost entirely out of your hands. We do everything we can do, and still fall short. These are the thoughts of a woman in her 50's. The fragility of life. It's not even so much a thought, as a full realization. 

Shiloh represents the beauty, love, and  hope part of life. It is quite something to see her pregnant and working with her foal. 

I recommended that she introduce Epona to the crop, because when I was leading her the other night, she decided to rear up and strike. She didn't get me, but it was a reminder that we will need to enforce our bubble and stand to her side now.  And, it's not a bad idea to have a crop ready, in case she needs a gentle reminder.

After Shiloh did the gentle rubbing with the crop, she threw it onto the ground and disregarded all of my warnings. It worked out fine, of course. Epona seems to know she is the mama, and she readily follows her everywhere. It might be something that Cowgirl has imparted to her.

Since the heat is more manageable now, we plan to take the boat out in the evening and jump into the lake! It's time to celebrate what we have accomplished so far--surviving the most extreme heat our city has ever seen.


  1. I think I just Epona drinking water. Yay!

    1. Oh yay!!!!! That makes life easier for you if you end up having to get her to drink a milk replacer.
      We are still in the heat wave, 100 in the shade today and a hot wind. But it is supposed to start dropping after today.

  2. Yay! Glad she's drinking water. She's so beautiful, love those eyes. Sorry about the bird, maybe the last one will be just fine. I feel sorry for your daughter being pregnant in this weather she must be miserable. Hope she's due soon. Also hope your dad will be ok. Glad you're cooling off and are planning on jumping in the lake!

    1. Thanks! We did get to jump into the lake. The water was warmer than usual, but still refreshing. I saw Epona drink again last night, and so we know without doubt she’s doing it. It appears when she drinks from the low bucket, no leakage. But from the high bucket, leakage. I removed the high bucket. It was there for cowgirl. My son in law told me he read that horses with this problem can take months to mature out of it, but go on and live full, normal lives. It helped to know we are looking at months, and not weeks. The vet implied that, too, but wasn’t as clear. We couldn’t haul Epona in 109 degrees, so rescheduled her appointment to next week. Getting the lungs ultrasounded is a big part of determining next steps.

  3. You are so right about life being stripped down at times. Sending you support and understanding from another 50 something woman.

    1. Thank you. It is an interesting season of life which, I hope, produces something better in me once I get through it. Wisdom? Strength? Understanding? Resolve. I’ll take any silver lining.

  4. Your first photo of co-grooming is super sweet! I am of the "caught in the middle" life stage too. It is harder than I thought. So sad seeing our parents health decline. Best wishes for your dad.

    I have to say, I cringed seeing your daughter wearing sandals. Especially around a young horse. My adult kids wear them too, even when I ask them not to around the horses. All we moms can do is keep trying.

    Glad to hear you are on your way out of the heat wave. I keep thinking about your misters, they were genius! I showed the videos to Brad, to plant the idea ;) We have too many projects this year, but will eventually add some shade/cooling pasture options. Too bad, because the heatwave is coming our way starting tmr. Our temps won't be as high, but with humidity. Until then, I am soaking up the gorgeous Summer weather while we have it, cool mornings etc...inspires me to get moving outside!

    1. I’m sorry you have the hot temps coming. Humidity does make it seem much hotter. We don’t have that issue out west. At least, not inland. Yes, sandals make me cringe, too, but it was so hot last week even I wore them. I was cleaning stalls in them, which felt disgusting on my feet. I looked like a wild woman, constantly dirty from all the trips to the barn. When it’s 109, just looking at a shirt with sleeves makes me break out in a sweat. My beloved boots sit, forlorn, in a corner, gathering dust. I am NOT a summer person! I love boots and jackets.

      The misters really saved our bacon with Epona, but the older horses weren’t keen on getting wet. Except, Beautiful Girl, whose Mustang survival instincts prevailed. Tweed acts like I’m spraying acid on his delicate skin. He will stand for a bath, but not being sprayed while loose. Beautiful backs right into the spray. Nevertheless, it is nice for them to have the option of misters. They are very, very easy to install, if you can find them to buy.

      As for shade, I think I said this in my post, but the horses often didn’t choose the shade option. They go back and forth. We took the choice away from Epona, but gave in to the others. I just go back and forth a lot, and when they want back into the barn, they let me know. I’m their summer slave. Winter is actually much easier on me. Go figure!

  5. I had a foal that tried the rear/strike thing. I got lucky in that, I caught her just right while she was up in the air and was able to tip her over with the lead rope. She landed on her butt, injuring nothing other than her ego. However, she was incredibly polite on lead thereafter. :)

    1. Haha! I can picture that. I did the same thing, but she didn’t fall, just lost her balance. You have to move quick! They’re very resilient at this age. Bones seem to be made of rubber.


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