Tuesday, August 4, 2009


We had decided long before summer hit us that we would be hanging around home a lot this year. Financially it makes sense for us, but Yvon also doesn't really get many holidays from work and we wanted to spread them out over the course of the whole summer.

In the past I've also been a bit annoyed about missing gardening time and produce. We've missed the weeks of raspberries before, and the only weeks of fresh beans as well. With my garden increasing in size this year, I didn't want to miss that. We wait for so many months for good weather that I don't really want to spend all of it away from home. I like my home. And I love fresh raspberries. And fresh beans.

That meant scoping out good daytrips to keep the kids entertained. They aren't as thrilled with beans as I am.

One Saturday we all took a trip to an acreage of one of Yvon's colleagues. The main attraction: horses! I'm not sure if I know any child that doesn't like horses.

The kids all cleaned the horse before we got on. This was the most gentle, patient horse I've ever met. And very big. He allowed all of them to rub him down.

I thought this was unneccessary because he looked all smooth and shiny to begin with. Then I sat on him and rubbed him with my hand. A lot of sweaty, greasy dirt hides under that shiny coat! I should have taken a picture of my dusty butt, but that's a hard angle for me.

We all took turns walking the horse around the arena. Alice needed a bit of help because of her 5-year old legs, but I think this was her first horse ride. I don't count the mounties in Banff because they didn't move at all.

Laura and Beth loved it, but getting the big guy to obey commands from their relatively unauthorative voices took a bit of concentration. I was a bit better at it - I'm bigger and speak to my kids in the same demanding tone!

After the rides were over, we brushed him again, this time understanding why. We were pretty stinky and dirty by this point ourselves.

Even though we understood the need for the cleaning, we were in a rush to get it over with. I wanted to take the horse out of the arena around the paths through the stinging nettles that make up the rest of the acreage, but even I wanted to move onto the next part of our day.
These stinky little guys! They were rescued by a neighbour, their mother having been trapped or otherwise done away with before they were weaned.

Five of the cutest little skunks. They scampered around, letting us hold them and play with them. If I were even remotely tempted to ever get a cat, this visit would have changed my mind. I'd much prefer a de-scented skunk.

I'm sure they've been released into the country by this point (we saw them a few weeks ago), and may be able to use their stinky defense mechanism. I sure hope they survive in the wild. They were terribly cute!


Tamara Jansen said...

WHAT?! You can de-scent a skunk? Shouldn't we do that to all skunks?! It looks like the kids had a wonderful time :) And by the way, I am one of those people who do not like horses....or dogs.....or skunks....or hamsters. Can you believe I'm rosa's sister?

Evelyn in Canada said...

Yes, you can have the scent gland removed from a skunk, but it seems a bit cruel. I wouldn't really have it done to a wild animal. These babies had a nasty musky smell that would be unpleasant in a house anyway. They were cute though and very interactive.