visible progress ~ build-an-arena

While eating breakfast and checking Blogger, out the corner of my eye I notice workers getting a wall ready to stand. Yikes!! Threw some warmer clothes on, grabbed my camera and hustled my not quite awake self over to the barn. When building parts start flying, it is game on. They waste no time. I got there just before they finished setting the first wall:

first wall

high in the sky
un-tying straps attached to the liftee bar thingamabobber

Surprise!! You are on candid camera! I had asked Brad if I needed to request permission before taking photos (I usually do) but he said no, so I didn't. He has been the one communicating with them, so I figured...when the foreman saw me, I felt kinda bad when a couple young guys got hollered at for not wearing their hard hats. It's all good, bunch of nice guys. I briefly chatted with a few of them in between "where is Aurora going to show up" as I popped in/out of their view, while doing chores. 

view from the other side

waiting for the first wall to go up on the East side

31 second video of setting wall

first East wall is up

I shoot active building with my 70-200mm medium zoom lens. My long time favorite lens. Length can be limiting, but works well for most things and allows me to keep a safe distance. The tree line is fairly close on the East side and too thick to shoot through. Trust me, I thought more than once about bush wacking and shooting in between the trees.

another section is up

I kept popping in/out of the barn, and listening for the track machine to fire up. I was hoping to catch them lifting the wall frames, and had no idea which side or order they would be lifted into place. Patience. It requires waiting and watching, and patience.

third and last East wall

wider shot taken with my phone

Side note; My phone does a great job with clouds and general exposure. Straight out of phone. For me to get a shot anything like this I would have to expose for the builders, then take a second shot at that exact spot exposed for the sky and combine the two photos. The only time I bother to go to that extent is with special (to me) landscape or sky photos.

second West wall going up

look at that arc bend!!

going swaaay

can't be easy matching up moving posts

removing back of barn overhang

I left the guys alone for the rest of the day and told them I would be back when these go up:

trusses got delivered
(my favorite part of framing)

There was a lot to think about during my daily walk with the labs.

the barn and arena to date in the distance

early evening thoughts swirl around my head
on the way to see our arena

Never ever (ever) once did I dream of having an indoor arena. It was way too far fetched. The little girl who had to be sponsored just to attend horse camp, dreamed of one day being able to have her very own horse. That dream came true in my mid-40's, when Koda (and Nemo) joined our family. Up until then it was borrowed, lesson and trail horses. Brad on the other hand grew up on a farm , and has always dreamed of having his own indoor arena. Yep, by the end of the day we were both feeling emotions. Guess it just kinda hit us...

end of day three

back of barn overhang is trimmed

16 sec video of end of day three


building dreams


getting real ~ build-an-arena

Can you build your arena early? Sure, we will get things ready. There is an opening in builders schedule. Great. Is the foundation done yet? Hurry up. Check the site. Wait. Check the site. Wait longer. Another person checks the site. Building might start at the end of the week. Check the site. We are on hold. More people check the site. Sorry, still working on another project. Drop off materials. So, next week? Check the site. Maybe, the week after the next week? Problems with other project, we are starting on your arena tomorrow. Yaaay!!  Work on the arena begins. Ohhhh, the joyful ebb and flow of building!

Nothing moving back here but a little deer

We got two more loads of fill delivered last week. Apparently 1299 ton wasn't enough. Over the weekend, Brad spread and leveled them and also removed a couple more trees for better access. One of the oaks came out easily with nice roots, so he transplanted it. It will most likely not make it, but it doesn't hurt to try. 

Leo approved

The first day couple hours the builders were here was pretty anti-climatic. Maybe that was part of the plan, it was rainy off/on. 

building site at the end of a short first day

When I saw this, I knew shit was about to get real

unpacked building supplies

our windows

two looong side walls are built in sections, ready to go up

side wall rectangle windows are framed

We will have 5 windows on one long side of the arena & 4 on the other (because of service door) up about 9' high. We hope it will help brighten our arena, along with an enclosed ceiling and LED lights.

Exact placement of the south wall windows we added after the fact is TBD. I have some concern with the potential horse kick and/or a human hitting one. We better decide quick, maybe with grates or ?? 

my building trade guy

Brad measures everything as he explains window sizes and placement. I am used to it, but still find it funny. I just smile and nod. He is so excited about the arena (me too)!!

Very funny.

I am frequently saying "get out of my shot" and THIS is what I get!!
I told Brad I was absolutely posting this photo.

See what I have to put up with!!

end of day two

plans for day three include ripping the overhang off the back of the barn
(so they can attached the arena) and standing the side walls up

I am going to try to catch them in action with my good camera!


first walk-a-bout

We continue visiting Padame and Cierra weekly. They are both starting to shed, our horses at home not as much. Perhaps because they are outside all day. Padame loses buckets of hair every time we brush her, and yet a lot of hair is hanging on. Both horses enjoy a double dose of brushing, Brad on one side me on the other. He always lets me brush their mane and tails out, because he knows I love doing it!

a tiny hair pile compared to last weeks

beginning to wonder if there is going to be anything left of Padame
she gets brushed and brushed, and still looks the same

Brad said his ground lessons with Padame are going good. He adjusted some positioning (body blocking) with his lunging and it has made a difference. Weeks have passed, and he said the consistency is showing. I do not typically go up on lessons days, but might make the drive to observe a few. He continues to find every thing Padame's breeder said about her behavior/personality to still be true. She is 100% a thinker, and if given the chance to process, whatever is okay and just rolls with it. We have yet to see her come anywhere close to "exploding" or overreacting. I am very happy she has a Brad to help her get acclimated to her new scary world. Someone who lets her think, and assures her. A perfect match for a horse like Padame.

I was so impressed with her on our last visit. I brought Koda & Nemo's grooming bag up, and used my tiny face brush on her. Hair was flying everywhere. She didn't flinch while I brushed all over her face. I would cover her eyes while running my hands over them to brush excess hair off, then blocking her eyes again, and again in an effort to keep the fine hair out.. 

We were happy to see Brad's request was fulfilled. Padame was moved out of the super dark box stalls and into a corner stall. She is now in the much brighter show barn, with
bars along the top of two sides and near a door that is seasonally opened. She hasn't enjoyed outside turnout yet, but Brad took his girl for her first outside tour!!

I got distracted by the lonely employee who really wanted someone to talk to. When I went to find Brad, I was surprised they were already waaay out by the furthest pastures. He is a man on a mission 
and doesn't get sidetracked at the barn, like I do. I grabbed my camera, and hustled out to join them.

love the waves in her tail

taking in the sights with her guy

meeting some of the residents

Padame was not a fan of this tiny temporary resident
even tho the rest of his herd that came to greet her are horses

apparently this mini doesn't like adults

taking time to think

there is scary horse eating stuff literally in every direction outside
and consequently, very few areas for unobstructed photos

she matches the color of the season

heading back in

walking past another scary structure

Padame did really good! I am so glad she got outside for a walk-a-bout!!


world of wonder

We continue to bounce back and forth between Spring & Winter. I am trying to stay inspired with daily hikes, regardless which season shows up.

Dreaming, reminiscing and sorting thoughts. In other words, fueling my tank of wonder.

color contrast caught my eye

one lone highlighted leaf 

hanging around for days, even through high winds

all things nature found it's way stuffed into this hole

cactus cove

The area above is covered in cacti. Not so hidden. I transplanted surplus daffodils from my old house here last Spring (typically done in Fall) as somewhat of an experiment. I know, I know...daffodils are not native. As you may recall, I am was huge into gardening and over 20 plus years have amassed millions of bulbs and perennials that either needed to be relocated or discarded. I do not do well with the latter. I want my usable stuff to live on and serve another purpose. I gave bags & bags of plants away. SO experimental naturalized plantings in less than ideal soil it is. It was a never ending project that kept me busy during earlier months of covid. Many areas on our property will be "kept wild" and (hopefully) the prairie area will be dedicated to native plants.  


artist nook

The above area is where I aspire to sit and be creative. Someday. When we first bought the property and walked it, I told Brad if he was ever looking for me he could find me here. Lousy phone photo of a sweet spot. Doesn't show how it feels, will have to try with my good camera in better light. This special area is open, yet hidden. It has a soft bed of pine needles for a carpet, among some of our larger pines that tower above providing shelter and vibes. The tan area past the tree's is the lower pasture. If the horses come down by the fence I can see/hear them :)


Have you ever noticed when deer tracks melt in the snow, they form hearts?

a heart in the making

Walking along the paths, I think about how much the horses will enjoy them. Once the arena is up, and the stumps from cleared paths get yanked, and we connect more of them and I lose some weight, and, and, and...I know it will all happen. Eventually. Much is waiting on Brad. I am not up to taking the horses in the woods alone. Maybe some day. I started venturing on my own back at the "family farm" and then we moved the horses, accidents happened etc.

For now, I work on the things I can. Like me. Changes don't happen on their own, you have to facilitate them.

More wandering and wondering about our little slice of heaven:

bright green stuff growing 

The tree below is on the Y path. I posted about the tree years ago when I used it for orientating myself in the early days. I was going to engrave it with the year we bought the land (2016) or our initials or ?? but decided not to deface the tree. I still smile and think about it every time I walk past. I gave up looking for that old post to link back to, but came across posts from 2016 with cactus & wild flowers, mushrooms and even a post that included a skull find!

Guess I've been posting about our land and all that occupies it ever since we have had the honor of being it's caretakers.

knotty heart shaped tree

I can (almost) see a prairie in the distance

One of my favorite things to discover in our woods are highlighted tree stumps with moss growing on them. The light was nothing special the day I took these phone pics, but in a sea of brown shade the stumps still glow.

a little guy

the tree with the huge woodpecker holes
has new holes made lower down, again knee high.
Must be common.

another beautiful stump in the woods

Our pines were logged right before we bought the land.
 They left a mess for us to pick up, and some beautiful stumps.

I walked over this tiny bright white feather
and went back for a quick pic

I wonder which birdee lost it?

Imagine my surprise to find early crocus blooming
in one of only a few garden beds

Many beautiful things revealed themselves on this wonder-ful weekend!! Hope to process photos of the horses soon, and that some of my winged photos turned out too. Until then, be well my friends!