Monday, February 18, 2013

Horses and their poop

DH and I drove out to horsey northwest Marion County for another load of composted horse manure. It is a truly beautiful, scenic trip over rolling hills with fenced pastures to the right and to the left past farm after farm along Highway 27. After last night’s dip into the 20’s most of the pastures were not as lovely as on the last trip, now tan instead of emerald green. I took my camera with me, so you could watch the compost acquisition.

That's steam coming off the manure compost! Never saw that before.
Brown gold is on its way.
The nice fellow driving the tractor has very good aim.
One of the perks of rose gardening... watching heavy equipment.
More steam. Very cool.
Three heaping buckets all tied up. The tarp makes it easier to remove the compost from the truck. His bucket is the size of a long bed whereas ours is a short bed, so we leave him a mess to clean up. Like I said, he's very nice about it and glad to have someone take it off his hands. Probably will need a fifth load.
Since I had my camera, I thought I'd take some pics of the beautiful horses that are usually on the farm, but they must have been inside having dinner.

Down the road a piece I spotted a couple in a pasture close enough to the fence so as not to embarrass my lens. He's a nice one.
He/she decided to mosey over to see who was looking at him.
And then his young friend came over, too.
I like horses... in movies and books, but in person they are very foreign to me, very big animals known to have teeth. Teeth in animals bother me.
But this fellow had such a sweet face.
His look made me wish I could read horse-minds, but probably I don't need to be Freud to figure out he was looking for a snack. Sorry, buddy. I really wanted to stroke his face, but the coward in me prevailed. I left without letting him know my true feelings for him. Do you think he can read human-minds? I get the feeling that he reads hearts though.
Frozen azaleas are not pretty, and they are very sad. I guess it would take a miracle for the rest of the buds to open now... rather than rot. Ahhh, the fragrance of the rotting Florida landscape after a freeze. Not nice.
No sad endings here (did everyone watch 'Downton Abbey' last night? OMG, how could they?) so I'll end with the lovely Reve d'Or from a few days ago. Amazingly, she looked pristine today after the freezing night. Maybe, she'll be fine... in my dreams.
Stay warm… wherever you are.

2/19/13 Postscript:  Dare I say it? Great minds think alike. Yesterday my blog was on compost, and today  Martha Stewart's blog is on compost. She doesn't mention horse manure, but she's got plenty of heavy equipment.  So dare I say that I may have inspired the inspiring Martha? Uhhh... probably not.


  1. You are sooo creative! This made me smile....thank you! .

    1. Hey, Suze!! YOU made me smile and thank YOU! I didn't know you read me. How sweet. So... you love tractors? And steamy poop? Mike is rubbing off on you. Take care!!

  2. I haven't watched Downton Abbey in a while...I watched up until the war peaked my interest...that being does one go about asking for horse dung? Just call around?

    1. Well, Janie, the normal term is manure, composted manure. That means it is aged, also called "rotted". What I'm getting isn't completely composted, i.e., nothing in the compost resembles what it used to be and just looks like dirt. Mine still has some visible droppings and sawdust, but they will compost in the garden with no problems. Horse farms generally have an over-abundance of it and advertise to give it away. Check out your Thrifty Nickel or Penny Saver or some such local ad publication. We have an online classified here. That's where I found this source. If you have a truck or trailer, then you can get big loads, but you need the source to load it, because you really don't want to shovel it twice. It's worth looking for. The roses love it, and it's a great soil amendment, mixed into new beds or top-dressing on established ones. Spring is compost time. Have fun!

  3. Lovely horse manure post! I usually give cow manure, actually last week. Like to see the horses on your photos, love them very much, and I do think too that you can talk with them more or less, they are very sensitive animals.

    1. Janneke, he did seem very sensitive to me, like he wanted to make a connection. So glad you liked the post. I think the horses made the manure more personal. haha

  4. What a load of wonderful horse poo you got. No wonderful your gardens do so well.

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

    1. So funny, FlowerLady. When someone says "What a load of...", they don't usually follow it with "wonderful". I had to laugh. Thanks! You have a great week, too.