Friday, January 11, 2008

Hay!

"Hay!" is a running joke in our family. As we are traveling down a rural road, one of us enthusiastically says, "Hey!" and points to the side of the road. The rest of us ask, "What?" as we wonder what is so exciting. "There's some hay!" the joker says.

Actually, the presence of hay is an exciting thing for horse owners, because around my hometown hay can be impossible to find come late winter and early spring. I'm currently due for a block of hay. I have put in my order and am waiting for the delivery. I asked for an hour's advance notice, so that I could have time to move the last layer of the old block out of the way. The reason why I don't just do that now is because I would be dismantling the home of a friend.

Last spring my son came into the house to inform me that a baby jackrabbit was grazing on our RV lane. Sure enough, there was this tiny grey baby bunny chewing on a stalk of grass. We were able to walk right up to about two feet from it before it hopped away. My first thought was that it was too young to think that humans were something to fear. However, when that rabbit didn't grow any by late fall, I figured out that it must have been some one's pet dwarf bunny, and it had escaped.

The bunny has taken refuge in the pallets beneath my haystack. When the weather was good, it would hop out and keep me company while I did my chores. As long as I didn't look directly at it or attempt to pet it, the bunny just hung out with me. I hoped to bond with it enough that I could catch it before winter to give it a warmer home with fresh water and feed, but it has remained wild. I take comfort in the fact that it made it through summer without being eaten by coyotes. In other words, that little bunny does know something about survival.

With so much snow on the ground, I don't want to displace the bunny by moving the hay bales until I know I have another block of hay on the way. I know a lot of people can't stand varmints for one reason or another, and some try to shoot them, but I have always been a big fan of bunnies and guinea pigs and whatever other fuzzy creatures I was allowed to keep at home as a child. They kind of made up for not being able to have a horse.

As I was inspecting my hay inventory, I found yet another rip in my tarp. I buy huge heavy duty tarps to cover my block, and find that I have to replace them every six months due to rips caused by weathering. I know there are some really expensive tarps available over the Internet, but with their high prices I don't care to experiment to see if they will last any longer. If anyone has any suggestions on long-lasting tarps, let me know. (Buying a hay barn is not an option.)

2 comments:

Callie said...

I'm due for some hay soon as well. I think I only have about 7 bales left. Enough to get us through the week. This time I'll let it get all the way down so I can clean the floor and sweep out the pallets. Welcome to horse bloggin'. I see you recently set up shop.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Thanks for the comment, Callie. I added your link to my blog list. I just got the hay delivery. Apparently, I'm one of the lucky ones to get the last in supply in our area. The bunny wasn't under the last layer of old hay at the time, so I didn't have to traumatize her. She'll probably come back and not even know that her home was dismantled and reassembled.