It’s the holiday season and normally the ground would be covered in a blanket of white and we would surely be whining about the frozen pipes and all the snow to be shoveled in order to get to the barn. But this year it’s all about rain. Lots of rain! Spring (all fifteen minutes of it) was cold and damp, with steady pelting showers that scattered all the petals of our blooming plants. A hot, humid Summer brought lightening, thunderstorms, fireflies… and mud. Mountains of mud, in which the horses gleefully rolled and the dogs brought into the house in the form of cute little paw prints on our freshly mopped floors. Soon the leaves began to turn with the waning year, but rainstorms and whipping winds sent the foliage flying in all directions. So we enjoyed the Fall colors as a blanket of red and gold on the fields and lawns. Despite our damp boots and ruined hair, we recognize the blessing in this plentitude of water filling our ponds and wells. After the rain, the rainbow.
We had not one but two families of geese this Spring, who took their time in departing for warmer climates this Autumn. We typically see them floating and fishing on the pond, but this year they chose to spend much their time in the horse paddocks. The goslings were running between the horses, squeaking with delight and providing much entertainment for horses and humans alike. It’s really no wonder that the geese dallied before heading south, because, well… horses are cool to hang out with.
We have several new friends at The Lily Pond, who are not technically denizens of the sanctuary. The first is Missy, our neighbor’s barn cat. She’s a black and white tuxedo with yellow eyes and a gregarious personality who decided that the The Lily Pond is quite a very nice place to spend one’s time. Every day, she trots up the lane to the front porch of the cat house and vociferously demands a meal. Missy is too shy to allow anyone near her — we are lucky if she ventures into the aisle of our barn. But oh my is she talkative, happily chatting about the hunting conditions in our fields, the never-ending rain, and her preference for Friskies or Fancy Feast cat food over Nine Lives, which her discerning taste will not tolerate. We suspect that she has kittens hidden in a haystack in our neighbor’s barn, but we have not been able to find them. However, if you leave a piece of your breakfast sandwich on the porch, she will take it in her mouth and trot back down the lane toward our neighbor’s barn to share the riches with her family.
Another regular visitor happens to be an opossum, who we affectionately refer to as Opie. We’re grateful for his helpful contribution to the local ecology, eating ticks and other bugs. He hangs out around the horse barn and cat house, helping himself to the leftover food put out for Missy on the front porch. Opie appears to be quite affable, waddling past us without fear as he goes about his business. One night, Susan walked out the front door onto the porch to find Opie actually sitting in the bowl of cat food. He looked up with surprise in his adorable little eyes, blinked twice, then beat a strategic retreat under the porch. We have also been amazed to see a majestic bald eagle frequenting the property. He swoops in circles over the fields and perches at the top of the old oak tree by the beaver pond.
This holiday season, we take time to appreciate all the wonderful animals who are part of The Lily Pond family and to thank all of our friends and donors who make our work of rescuing animals possible. The lives of animals matter. You make a difference. And we are glad to be here together helping one another. May joy and blessings be yours this holiday season and always.