It's back to work here after the holidays. Time has flown by, January is upon us and, with it, no shortage of work.
A large load of firewood arrived yesterday. Therein hangs a tale. The firewood is a response to our taking a neighbour's wife to hospital just before Christmas. The ambulance has a 60km (40 mile) journey to get here. Her condition appeared sufficiently bad to warrant immediate transport by car, so we took her. This was in fact the right decision, since immediately after arrival at hospital she gave birth two months prematurely.
The neighbour and his son brought his loaded cart right in between my stable and woodpile for easy unloading. If hauling large chunks of wood is ever easy. Luckily some of the pieces are dry and will burn readily.
After the holiday idleness, a great deal of yard cleaning is required. Cornel, Nelu and Oprea are busy removing several cart loads of manure that is frozen like a mass of cobblestones stuck together. Fortunately the weather was cold enough that the droppings froze quickly as lumps, rather than forming a gooey strata that freezes like concrete. They are light, like pumice, and quite clean to handle: a rare winter blessing.
Later this week, we shall have to equip two pairs of horses with studded ice shoes, since we have more logging ahead of us. The trees allocated for cutting are poised on a steep slope high up above the village, in a location accessible only to horses.
The horses continue to look forward to their afternoon feed. For reasons best known to themselves, the horses requiring corn came down via a circuitous path, culminating in a downhill dash led (not surprisingly) by that eccentric mare, Olga.
I do wonder sometimes just what certain horses are thinking. The ones that take an indirect route when the direct route is perfectly clear and familiar. Something must motivate them to do this. Olga has always behaved in this way. When we bring the herd back from pasture loose together, Olga is the one who will dart off into a yard, even if there is nothing to eat there. A gelding would not behave like this, unless he spotted food. Mares can be strange.