Blanco, who played Shadowfax in 'Lord of the Rings', is gone. He was a beauty. Read the full story from his owner, Cynthia Royal, who valiantly tried to cure his mystery illness. The horses are among my favorite actors in Peter Jackson's 'Lord of the Rings' movies. Bill the Pony reminds me of a certain other, similarly-named horse, Billy the Morgan. Trivia: 'Lord of the Rings' could have used an equestrian continuity editor for scenes akin to when Aragorn was nudged and helped up by his horse, Brego, one moment in a bitless headstall, the next in a bit. Below, our Billy watching himself in the mirror. Click on the photo to see our album of all the other horses and what they learned last June at the Jackie Johnson horse trick-training clinic.
The Coloradoan reported on March 30, 2014 that the Poudre River and Big Thompson rivers are at twice their normal levels: Full story
"It’s not just the mountains and foothills that could be impacted. The NWS says that 'the flood risk is somewhat elevated in southwest Weld County, and also along the lower Cache La Poudre River in eastern Larimer and western Weld Counties due to flooding last September.'” - KUNC, story on report from the National Weather Service
A deer jumps over the fence as the herd prepares to move along the edge of the West Vine Outfall Project, North Shields Street, Fort Collins, Colorado
Herd of deer crosses North Shields Street, which is slated for more major changes in 2015.
Cars slow down as the remainder of the deer herd crosses North Shields Street.
The deer are coping with construction on the West Vine Outfall Project, across the street, just southwest of our property. Starting tomorrow, North Shields Street is closed for about a week, and if you want to reach us, you need to come from the north.
Along our border to the north, which fronts the Poudre River, big equipment has been digging for weeks to lower the river's north bank as part of the Shields Ponds and McMurry Natural Areas Project. In November, the city plans to build a sewer line to the other side of the river and stub it off.
The lowering of the river bank at the McMurry Natural Areas also marks the west gateway of the Poudre River Downtown Project, a plan to develop the river corridor for recreation, and bring big money to downtown Fort Collins.
Every year we get some hay that has been damaged, usually by water. We save those bad bales for ice-mud season. You can spread the hay out when the ice starts to get "greasy" looking. The hay stalks bite into the ice and will provide traction as the ice freezes again in the cooler evening temperatures. We prefer this solution to throwing down salt or ice melt, which are hard on the hooves and can percolate into the ground or plowing snow, which while needed for heavy snowfall, creates an erosion problem for our dirt lanes, is hard on the tractor, and time-consuming. The hay on the ground looks messy now, but eventually it will compost down to dirt-like footing.
The process of a manure pile "cooking" is hard to describe, but the video clip above captures the process nicely, complete with rising steam. We use the windrow composting method, which basically involves keeping the pile moist, and in our case, pushing the pile periodically with the tractor bucket to keep introducing air. You can also insert perforated PVC sewer pipes vertically throughout the pile to introduce air.
Garden plants like flowers and vegetables love this composted mixture of soiled wood shavings and manure! You can see our "end product" in the distance, a much smaller, darker section. To ensure all seeds are killed, be sure to store your "product" under a black tarp for a few months after it reaches the end composting stage to really cook the seeds under the sun. Remember, never compost your manure near water. We also use our compost as valuable fertilizer on hay fields, as fill under horse sheds, to fill low spots in the lane, and to build above-ground planting areas in old stock tanks or as stand-alone dirt berms.