Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Signs of Spring

Because of all the rain we've had lately (rain is falling as I post this entry), the fields are green.

Green fields are one sign of spring; another is horsehair. The mares are shedding copiously. Especially Cupcake. I'm not talking just handfuls—think bucketfuls. Every day.

Picture the equine equivalent of a woolly mammoth. That's Cupcake. The first day I used the shedding blade on her, she produced this hair pile:

For the last few days, I've been removing even more excess hair. I've combed, clipped, and—or course—scraped with the shedding blade. The hair comes off in piles. And there's still plenty left.

I don't pick up the hair. I leave it on the ground for the wind to scatter. And for the birds to recycle. A few years ago, I found this nest made almost entirely of horsehair:

Here's another look. The pen will give you an idea of the idea of the nest's size:

It's kind of neat that what a horse no longer needs, a bird can use.

I searched for a poem about horses and shedding hair and spring, but I came up empty. I did, however, find this poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay that mentions spring and horses.

The Goose-Girl
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Spring rides no horses down the hill,
But comes on foot, a goose-girl still.
And all the loveliest things there be
Come simply, so, it seems to me.
If ever I said, in grief or pride,
I tired of honest things, I lied:
And should be cursed forevermore
With Love in laces, like a whore,
And neighbours cold, and friends unsteady,
And Spring on horseback, like a lady.

If Spring rode a horse, odds are good she'd be covered in horsehair. And probably muddy.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I laughed outloud at the pile of hair!
Love the poem, and your thoughts on it!!

9:27 PM  
Blogger Amy Hanek said...

My cats (especially the outdoor one) are dropping their hair by the handfuls. A very annoying trait when you are wearing black pants!

5:10 PM  
Blogger Debi Kelly Van Cleave said...

Those nests are beautiful.

9:04 PM  
Blogger Kira said...

hi, i am doing a science project and i found a nest very similar to those. Do you happen to know what type of bird built those nests? Thanks!

3:25 PM  
Blogger Becky Mushko said...

I'm not sure what kind of bird it was. But it had to be a very small one.

4:51 PM  
Blogger Feathers in the Wind said...

Nothing in nature is past recycling -- we humans should take a clue from that, methinks!

Fascinating nest -- the bird that made it must be small. It reminds me of a hummingbird's nest I found once. So tiny! Almost invisible. I'd say that the horse-hair nest is a high-tech equivalent, very gracefully done, of the more common sort. How beautiful it is. :)

Thanks for sharing it with us.

11:27 AM  

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