Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Of Steeds and Sandflies

We've really been enjoying a wet spring here. There is a downside, however, as evidenced by the horses gathered together next to the smoke fire...
Hate 'em.
Horses hate 'em even more!
Thanks to wonderful spring rain, the Dawson river has been running well, which sadly means that as the water level falls, the sandflies hatch and drive everything within cooee of the river totally nuts. Me, the men who share my days, our dogs, cattle and most of all, these noble and wonderful creatures are driven to distraction by the little suckers. And believe me, they suck...your blood right out! They are tiny, tiny insects who undoubtedly have a fascinating life cycle what with laying their eggs  - which can lay dormant for years - in the muddy river bed which are hatched to life by the rolling and friction of the running water.

They get in your ears and up your nose and bite! But, they seem to be deterred by smoke, which is where the smoke fire comes in...the horses come to the yard right behind our garden and congregate where they know some loving soul will build them a fire they can huddle in to get some respite from the tiny, nasty, black beasts.

Of course, they do have their own in built mechanisms for swishing annoying bugs, but the tail swish on it's own is just not sufficient to make life tolerable at the height of sandfly activity!

So, while they enjoy the relief the smoke fire offers, standing around it in a huddled mob day... after day... after day... after day, becomes somewhat tedious for our equine friends...so they start to chew on the trees. See all those little scrape lines in the trunk? Teeth marks. Lots of them.

I'm pretty sure this beautiful girl is trying to tell me something...What are those soulful eyes trying to say?
I bet it's something like "I'm going crazy...you wanna come?"
Honey, I'm right there with you!


Donna Iona Drozda said...

Oh Tracey
What a hard time for all...yet how wonderful for your beautiful friends that they can come to the smoke fire for some relief...how compassionate and helpful too!!


That's so awful ... bugs drive all living things crazy, especially if they are biting. I was jealous at first when you said Spring was coming, as we are heading into Winter .... but you can keep your bugs. I love your horse's soulful eyes. Absolutely a most gorgeous animal.

Tracey said...

Hi Girls...Thanks for your sympathy...I was feeling particularly frustrated with the bug population the day I wrote that! But it's easy to take care of these darlings...so much trust in those eyes!