Thursday, 24 September 2015

Apple Picking and A Visit With Donkeys

On Tuesday, Skip and I headed out to pick apples. For the past three years, I've processed and canned applesauce. Last year, a hail storm in August wiped out the crop at our favourite orchard. This year, however, was a perfect year. We picked Cortland and Spartan apples. I like to let them sit for a week to ripen more before I process them. From past experience, it makes a huge difference in the sweetness. I don't add sugar - the apples are sweet enough.

On the way, we stopped by a horse farm, carrots in hand, ready to give a treat to the horses. Unfortunately, they were way over by the barn munching on a fresh load of hay.
They were not interested at all in us. Dejected, we got back in the car and headed to the orchard.

They're all ready for autumn decorating. I purchased a few small pumpkins and squash for decorating our table.
The proprietor of the orchard gave us a map showing which species of apple were ready to pick. There are several rows of each kind. Many are easily within reach. There were lots of apples on the ground that looked pretty good. I hope they get them scooped up and washed as they'd probably make great cider.

Skip got a shot of me looking (wistfully?) at the sheep, a couple of fields away.

I assume they're raised for their meat.

After picking about 25 pounds of apples and paying, we started back to visit Jingles, a donkey that lives on a farm not too far from our home.

Along our route, we found a donkey farm with several donkeys in the paddock by the road. They came right over when we got out of the car.

They communicate with their ears. They seemed quite eager to get the snacks we brought.
The carrots we had were huge so I broke each one up into three or four pieces. The donkeys were very gentle with me when I fed them. Ears forward show their curiosity.

This one let me pet his muzzle after taking the piece of carrot I offered her.
In the next field, the rest of the herd noticed us and wandered over to check us out.
Several of the donkeys were nursing mothers. The babies (colts?) were not interested in carrots at all. But they were very cute and fuzzy.

A couple of them were real mooches.  But alas, we held back a couple of carrots for Jingles.
Once at Jingles' farm, we didn't see him. His paddock looked overgrown and the sound of our car door closing didn't rouse him. Sadly, we believe Jingles has gone to donkey heaven as we realized we'd been keeping track of him ('The Lone Donkey') since Scooter was a little boy - almost 20 years. It was very sad - an end of an era for us.

Happily, though, we now know where we can visit other donkeys on our travels around the county.

Rest In Peace dear Jingles. You gave us lots of happy times as we drove past your farm and occasionally stopped to give you a carroty treat. I hope you are cavorting with other donkeys and having as many treats as you like. We will miss you.

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