How To Scratch An Itch When You Have No Hands

 There is nothing that makes me appreciate my being born human more than watching my animals deal with the flies and insects of summer.  And though my hands are looking more and more like an old woman's, I am daily grateful for opposable thumbs and digits that still work!

Keeping our equines free from the annoyance of Summer's insects is something that we put a lot of thought and energy into.  We've chatted about all the ways we try to decrease our fly population in earlier blogs.   This is largely a task that has been taken on by Hubbs.  Lately, he has gone over and above the normal, in order to give the equines a comfortable summer.

He's been getting out of bed long before dawn and letting the horses out into the pasture to graze in the cool, early morning hours before sunrise, while the flies sleep.  (Just an example of how selfless my Hubby is!)   The first night that he did this, the horses were confused.  They are creatures of habit and this was definitely out of the normal routine.

However, it didn't take long for the horses to trot off into the dark and get down to the task of eating.

After sunrise, when I arrived at the barn, they were ready to come in for their chow. 

 By that time, the flies were already buzzing.  Breakfast was served and the day progressed as normal.

Breakfast quickly inhaled, the donkeys head for the only bright sunshine in their yard at that moment.  Donkeys seem to love heat.

Typically, the horses' first order of business after breakfast is mutual grooming.  This act has nothing to do with appearances.  They are not grooming for "looks", but rather as a way of scratching each other's itches.

This is how one scratches an itch without fingers.

 The substitute?  Teeth!

Moonie and Donnie Brasco are grooming partners - always.  

And, Red and Ollie pair up in the same way...

scratching first the top half and then the bottom.

This leaves poor Scarlet out of the mix - no partner with whom to share this ritual.  I've discussed this with her at length and she assures me that much of what needs scratched can be accomplished by rubbing on the wooden fence.  As for pairing up with one of the boys... she flatly declares, "no thanks!"

Last stop of morning chores is at the "treat corner" when the mailbox stuffed with graham crackers sits in the corner between the sheep and the pigs.

Why do we stop?

Because these gals are all shameless beggars, and to not stop would make us feel guilty.  They are very good at working these woeful, begging looks... and it works, every time!

We enjoyed yet another spectacular summer day, yesterday.  Temperatures remained moderate, with little or no humidity... perfect!

PS:  I am grateful each and every day that I have a life partner who shares my love of animals and nature and family.  There is nothing he won't do to make all of our lives better.  He truly is one of a kind!


Just thought I would let you know that my fairies are on their way to your place for the fourth. I told them to let our know but you know how fairies are. They have packed their satchels and the dragonflies have come to let them ride a bit on their journey. I hope you don't mind hosting them for a few weeks again this year as they do love your biscuits and jam.
I love these types of days too. Upstate NY has pretty good weather but perfect summer days are few. Going to the car this afternoon, I found this Swallowtail lying dead in the dirt. It didn’t appear like it was hit with a car, just dead. So I brought it in and perched it on one of my African violets. Beautiful!
Anonymous said…
The donkeys are too cute!!