The current Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Hands & Feet.’ See more responses here.
I wasn’t sure I had anything for this topic, but then I thought of these paniolos, who I saw at Upolu last month. Paniolos are the Hawaiian version of cowboys and these days they often ride four-wheel vehicles. But there are still occasions when they’ll saddle up while moving or tending cattle.
This scene occurred last month when they were moving a herd of cattle into a new pasture. I arrived at the tail end of the process, when the paniolos were walking back to their vehicles.
So what does this have to do with hands and feet? Well, it occurred to me that hands and feet are the main tools of the trade for communicating with the horse being ridden. And as for the horses, their feet are shod with lucky horseshoes and their height is measured in hands.
This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Your Favorite Landscape.’ See more responses here.
When I think of the landscape at Upolu, it includes both the ocean that borders it and the skies above. They are, in my mind, integral to the place. But here, I’ve focussed on the land, a relatively small area of a few square miles where I walk most days. It’s rural, agricultural, and coastal. It’s historic and modern. It’s also a place I never return from feeling disappointed. There’s always something of note that I see or that happens when I’m there.
Also posted in response to Becky’s January Squares challenge theme of ‘Up.’ See more responses here.
I saw these two horses in Waimea, near the Parker Ranch headquarters. Nothing remarkable about them, but I’m pretty sure that brown lump in the grass is a third horse. I mention this because one of the early things I learned about horses is that they sleep standing up. They can do this because they have something called the stay apparatus, which locks the knees so they don’t fall over. The benefit of sleeping while standing is that they can respond quicker to a predator attack from that position.
While I learned this bit about horses, it didn’t register in the same way that horses will also lie down to sleep. As a result, every single time I see a horse lying stretched out in the grass the way they do, I think it’s dead or dying. Despite knowing better, this response seems to so ingrained in me that I doubt it will ever go away.
These are the same kind of trees surrounded by the same kind of ground cover and occupied by two of the same kind of horses. But, taken together, they make a one of a kind image that many people on the island would very quickly recognize as Waipi’o Valley.
Posted in response to Becky’s October Squares challenge theme of ‘Kind.’ See more responses here.
I used to see these four horses frequently when I went for walks. They’re still around, but not as accessible as before. This pasture has been sold and is now used to grow Hawaiian heirloom sugarcane for use by a rum micro-distillery.
Another thing that’s changed is that the brown grass has been greened up by the last two hurricanes, both of which have dumped a good deal of rain, but generated very little in terms of wind, at least around here.
I often see these three horses on my regular walk. Usually they ignore me, but on this day one of them came to the fence and poked its head over the barbed wire. I suspect it was hoping for treats as I’ve seen people providing them. Sadly for the horse, I was a disappointment in this respect and it looked suitably unimpressed. Next day, the three of them were back to ignoring me.