Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Second Mural Panel and the Batty month of June.

I was asked to do a second mural panel by the creators of the Cadeau du Cheval mural, and despite a tight deadline, I have managed to get it completed. I saw a white horse head in the middle of the panel, and was able to work it into a bald-faced paint horse. The setting is a county fair horse show, the Friday night horse show classes under the lights.
There are many more images added to the mural mosaic, check out the live grid at

It's been a crazy summer here, so far. Every day has a chance of thunderstorms, so it's difficult to get any riding in, for fear of being caught out in a lighting storm. It's been a time to catch up with farm chores and simply enjoy the backyard. The month of June is the batty month for us. Our old timber framed barn has a healthy colony of brown bats that raise their young along the top rafter. The only trouble is, the baby bats don't seem to be able to cling to the rafter very easily, and many of them fall three stories, only to dehydrate and perish on the barn floor. We rescue as many as we can, carefully using a stick to pick them up by the back legs, which eagerly grip onto anything they can. We sometimes place the babies on a board and move them as high up in the barn as we can, climbing into the loft and leaving the board with the bats on a high beam, hoping they can crawl back up to the colony. I have no idea how many of these bats actually make it, but we just can't leave them on the floor of the barn to shrivel up. Having been through this routine for eight years now, I've gotten used to the bats, but I love to show visitors the brown lumps up along the rafter and explain what they are, and watch them back sloooowly out of the barn. Admittedly, it is rather disconcerting to reach for a piece of equipment and find a bat clinging to it. One day, when one of the geldings refused to eat his grain, I was worried, until I looked in his feed tub and found a bat in there with the grain. I love having them around, though. We have never had a big mosquito problem around here.