Monday, May 19, 2014

Belly Ache

Good morning, everyone. Here it is Monday morning again. The weeks seem to fly by, still. I thought that after I retired, life would slow down and the weeks would leisurely pass by. Not so. The Head Gardener went on his annual fishing trip, putting me on chore duty for the week end. Mostly feed this, feed that.

  • 1 cat a meowing
  • three chicks still in the living room brooder a chirping
  • salt water aquarium fish a swimming
  • fresh water aquarium fish ditto
  • 7 hens a laying
  • 2 horses a neighing
  • 1 dog a whining
  • wild birds always happy
All went rather well until Saturday evening when I brought the boys in from the pasture. Sundance wasn't his usual self. He didn't rush to his stall for his grain. He seemed agitated, pawing the air with his front hoof, kicking at his belly with his back hoof, and swatting his tail as if he had flies. I knew he was in trouble. I called Jen to see what I should do. I called my sister in law who has horse experience, both agreed that I should start walking him and not let him lay down. I had left the horses out in the pasture too long, and it was apparent that the big guy had a belly ache from too much rich, green grass.

Jen, living 45 minutes away, came over to help walk him. We had him in the round pen so we were able to trot him around instead of leading him. We wanted him to pass the gas and other stuff, too, which he did, but he still wanted to lay down. I called our two standby vets, neither could attend him. So I called a new vet who came soon.

Sundance indeed had too much green grass, but he was also dehydrated, indicating that he had not been well for a couple days. As the vet explained, with our fluctuating temperatures--warm, hot, cold, rainy--he probably wasn't drinking enough water. She sedated him, stuck a tube down his nostril, and pumped in an elixir of remedies: a Malox type of antacid, a soap-like lubricant, and a few other goodies to help him feel better. She also gave him a pain reliever. He was very good and cooperative given that he is a bad boy and hard to handle sometimes.

The vet was very young--30sih--, tiny, and really good at her job, handling Sundance with a kind voice and gentle hand. Real Girl Power. I felt awful for having left the boys out for so long. I should have known better, but she reassured me by saying that her vet clinic has been treating a lot colic in horses this spring because of the weather and really good pasture grass. 

Sundance is back to normal, though on a restricted diet and not allowed in the pasture for another week.  I knew he was feeling better when I saw him pacing the fence, wanting out to pasture. In all the years that I have had horses, I have never had a sick one. Dumb luck, I guess. 

Jen spent the night so that she could be the one to get up in the middle of the night and walk him. She was exhausted, but left at 6 in the morning to go home to get the family ready for church. I don't know how she did it. Youth, perhaps. She said she needed to go thank God for answering her prayers, which while she didn't say much as we were treating Sundance, she was silently scared that we would lose him. Thankfully he has recovered. We will just have to be more careful.

Along with lush green pasture grass, the garden beds are transitioning from spring blooms to summer flowers.

The last bleeding heart for the season.

Lilacs sweetly perfume the Garden Spot. While we have several bushes here, the neighbor's windbreak is full with lilac bloom. I have been thrift shopping for pretty dishes to make those gorgeous glass garden flowers; however, so far I have yet to get to that project, instead I am using the glass on the table. I rather like the effect of glass stacking for a center piece, an old Anchor Hocking deviled egg plant on a green serving dish, with a depression glass candle stick, compliments of ARC (a very dangerous place).

I waited half the winter to fill my lovely white pitcher with lilacs. I added a couple of sprigs of crab apples blossoms, but they didn't last.

With the newly finished patio, I will find myself lingering outside as I did yesterday just relaxing, watching the birds at the feeders. We have new visitors, the bullock's oriole. They love the grape jelly that we put in the little cups. Here the female gets caught chewing with her mouth open.

The male is this brilliant orange. We think we have 3 males and probably 3 females, but is hard to distinguish the females from each other. We also think that they are nesting in the neighbors tall cottonwood trees. They don't seem interested in the peanuts or regular bird seed; they also like oranges, but they are too expensive to feed to the birds. So grape jelly it is.

And look at this gorgeous beauty, a western tanager. You cannot image how excited I was to see him. We had tanagers at the old house, but never saw them here until we filled our water garden just last week and put a pump in it to move water. These birds are, as are many others, attracted to sound of running water. I hope to see more of him and of his mate. We had 2 or 3 pairs at the other house. They should go to the feeders, too.

I love watching the birds.

Serious gardening this week as long as the weather cooperates. I have a kitchen counter full of plants that I have been collecting that need to go out. We have so many projects to get done that have been on hold because it has been so cold. We have yet to plant the garden, which I suppose we will spend Memorial Day week end doing. I hope you have serious garden plans in place, too. Get out and get some sunshine. Commune with nature.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful week.


  1. Yesterday we saw a very yellow bird! I wonder if it was an oriole or a tanager! I was thinking it was a goldfinch,but now I don't think so. Yay!
    You're so right, Ann. I am going to be happily busy at home. I have longed for home for all ten years that I have been teaching. Hmmmmmm.
    I can't wait for our Botanic Gardens field trip!

  2. Ann, so glad you didn't lose Sundance; I don't know a thing about horses, but who would have thought lush green grass would cause tummy ache?

  3. I love watching Dr. Pol on TV and you just had your own episode with Sundance. I'm glad he was able to be brought around to good health again.
    I've been busy in the gardens and think I have it all under control now so that I can sit and watch the birds. ;-)

  4. Glad to hear Sundance is feeling better. Your lilacs displayed in arrangements look great. And the birds in the garden are bright and lovely.

  5. Weekends are so busy at the moment but I managed an hour or so after work today, I think it needs more than an hour or so though!
    Glad Sundance is feeling better too xxx

  6. So glad that you managed to get Sundance well again - I hope your husband didn't give you too much earache for leaving the horse out too long. But he did leave you a long list of things to do, which made me chuckle. Our lilacs are going over now - they shave been lovely this year. We have had a few good days of sunshine which helps get a lot of gardening jobs done, unfortunately it is raining this morning, but at least I won't have to get the hose out this evening. Enjoy the rest of the week.

  7. I am so happy Sundance is ok! scary.
    My Mom always said when she retired the days went faster and there was always too much she wanted to do.
    Thanks for stopping by to visit me, I always look forward to it!

  8. Ann, how scary to think that grass would hurt him so. I'm so thankful that everything turned out OK in the end, what a scare that must have been.

    And the birds, I've never seen one like that, maybe one day for me.

    Thank you so much for the kind comments.


  9. I'm so glad Sundance is ok! What a scare. I didn't know too much grass could cause problems. Your arrangements are beautiful! Happy gardening! :o)