Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Mysteries that Go Bang in the Night

I managed to work with the horses four days in a row last week, alternating between riding the young ones and lunging the old ones.  Then I got busy over the weekend, and now I'm dealing with the winds, appointments, and taxes.  Like the majority of people in my state, I've been suffering from seasonal allergies over the past few weeks, so the only way I can function without gluing a tissue to my nose is to take one generic Claritin each day and one generic Benadryl each night.  The Benadryl, in particular, makes me fuzzy and disoriented after I wake up.

So, last night I had fallen asleep only to be woken by the sound of consistent banging against metal.  We had our windows cracked to let in the cool breeze.  I got up and shined the flashlight on the horses, which spooked them and they stampeded out of the barn.  The banging stopped.  However, I thought the banging was still going after the horses left the barn, but I was so disoriented that I thought I could have just been hearing a memory or an echo of the banging.  I turned off the flashlight and went back to sleep.

A few minutes later the banging started up again.  This was around midnight.  I did not think it was possible for anyone in the neighborhood to be sleeping with my horses banging the gates like that, so I got up again, shined the flashlight on them, and the only horse in the barn was Rock.  He wasn't anywhere near the gates.  Shortly after I turned on my flashlight, the banging stopped again.  The wind was still blowing, so I knew it wasn't the wind making that noise.  I was so tired that I just went back to bed and pulled the covers over my ears so that I could sleep, because shortly after turning off the flashlight, the banging started up again.

In the morning, with a clearer head, I thought through the night's events.  The noise sounded like it was coming from my backyard, not too far from my window, yet the barn gates were all secure.  I had shined the flashlight on the roof of the barn, thinking a bird might be banging a rock or something metal on the metal roof, but nothing was there.  Plus most birds sleep at night around here.  The only thing that made sense was that a neighbor was out banging metal at midnight.  Maybe the wind broke a gate and they had to fix it before their animals got out.  However, the only neighbor who has metal gates and animals lives far enough away that I shouldn't hear anything.

Then it hit me that the last time I heard an inexplicable noise of someone banging metal, some burglars were stealing my neighbors' metal statues out of their yard.  So, I looked around their property, but nothing was missing.  What the burglars did last year was swing a sledgehammer at chain laying across rock, because the statues were held down by chains.  Last night sounded more like hammering metal.  The only other explanation that sort of makes sense, but not at midnight, was that the race car driver crashed his race car again, was doing bodywork, and the wind was carrying the noise into my backyard.  Although, that doesn't exactly make sense either, because wind usually blocks noise.

I looked all around my property for evidence of something that might have been blown loose and was banging, but found nothing.  I really think it was something a human being was doing since it stopped each time I turned on my flashlight.  It's a mystery.  The horses were behaving like they were freaked out about something.

I keep my horse trailer and tack room locked, because I have this fear that someday I'll find some random stranger camping out in them.  Somehow I worry about that more than I do about having my tack stolen.  One year I looked out the window to find two horseback riders had dismounted in my back yard, tied their horses to my trailer and were fiddling with their tack.  It shocked me a bit that they were so brazen to not only be trespassing, but to be using my equipment in my back yard, and I kept an eye on them to make sure they didn't try to steal something out of my horse trailer.  That's what spurred me on to start locking everything.  I wish I had been able to wake up more and try harder to track down the source of the noise, because now it's going to be driving me crazy trying to figure out what was going on.

Last night I had a dream that two of my friends and I decided to go shopping together.  I told my friends I needed to change my clothes, and they said they'd be waiting in the car.  It was one of those dreams where I can't find anything I'm looking for, and in a state of panic because time is flying by while people are waiting for me.  I finally got out to the car and discovered that the car was packed with people and there was no room for me.  A bunch of strangers had invited themselves to go on our shopping trip, and my friends just let them join in.  I started panicking more, because I'm claustrophobic and can't stand being in crowds.  Then I saw that one lady in the backseat was smoking, and that was a total deal breaker.  Not only would I have to sit in someone's lap, but I wouldn't be able to breathe.  I waved goodbye to my friends and said, "You're on your own.  I'm not going with you."

I have a lot of these types of dreams where strangers take over my space, because that's what my life feels like in the winter here.  I understand that I have to share the roads and the parking lots and the stores and restaurants, and I just expect it and deal with it, but when people start trespassing on my private property and taking liberties with it, that's where all my angst comes from.  If my family is paying the mortgage and taxes on a piece of land, that should be our private space, and not the space of anyone who wanders upon it and makes himself at home despite the posted signs.

My son tells me stories about what it's like to live where he's calling home now, and his stories make me realize it can always be worse.  He and his girlfriend are living in an apartment in a less desirable part of a city in So. Cal.  They have two cars that they have to cram into one assigned parking spot, nose to tail, right next to a dumpster.  People dump their trash and miss, breaking glass all over their parking spot.  Neighbors steal their packages off their doorsteps.  Neighbors back into their cars and put dents in them, then drive off.  Neighbors play music, argue, fight, and throw things around at all hours of the day and night.  Hardly anyone speaks English.  Management won't fix anything that breaks.  My son's commute to work is two hours each way.  There's no way I could deal with any of that.  Maybe when I was younger and more patient, but not now.  I got out of So. Cal. 30 years ago for a reason.  I can only imagine how bad it is now.

I wish they could relocate to a quieter, safer place, but the job market is so flaky that they find themselves out of work every now and then, which makes it hard to pay a higher rent.  Of course, we've offered for them to come live with us until they find permanent, full-time jobs with benefits, but they need to be in So. Cal. to do the type of work they were trained to do.  Plus, I'm sure they are enjoying their independence and would way rather live as they do than to live with parents.

On another note, I suspect that the next couple of months are going to be a fly nightmare.  My Fly Predators hatched yesterday, so I had to release them before they all died in the package.  I waited until evening when the wind settled down, and then after releasing them, the wind picked up again and probably blew them all away.  I started putting fly masks on the horses this week and spraying the boys' sheaths.  I don't want anymore sheath infections from flies laying eggs in there.  It's really disgusting watching the vet scrape the skin off my gelding's penis and sheath sac while blood drips all over the stall floor.

I got some candid shots from the porch of the boys play-fighting again...


I think Bombay is just farting in Rock's face here.

Galloping in unison side by side.

The power behind Rock's haunches always astounds me.  You don't want to be within range of one of those kicks.

3 comments:

TeresaA said...

That is really weird about the banging.

I do like that farting photo. Reminds me of Monty Python: "I fart in your general direction" :D

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Teresa - LOL. That's one of my favorite quotes.

fernvalley01 said...

the boys look great, as for the things that go "Bump" or Bang in the night , that is frustrating!