Wednesday, December 14, 2016


Yesterday I got home from late from hunting. I got swept up in the chase and the drama of it all. What was supposed to be an hour turned into two and as I crawled over fallen logs and ran to catch up with a flying beast - I was grateful I wolfed down some leftover bacon and chunk of cheese. I was using calories, all right. It was in the thirties and I was covered in sweat. The energy from those was four pieces of thin bacon and slab of sharp cheddar (the chunk about the third the size of my palm) - was perfect fuel for cold-weather slush scrambling after rabbits. Aya swooped after three different rabbits (caught none, these guys have an established warren with escape  hatches every 3 feet it seems), she finally found the ass-end of another hawk's rabbit in the crook of a tree. I called her and she was gulbing down a rabbit foot. "Where did you get that?!" I hollered. I watched her eat a leg - lucky furry foot and all - in a gulp before calling her back. After her take-out it was time to go home.

We stopped at the mansion on the property that belongs to the Common Sense Commune here in Cambridge. I visited with friends in their apartment inside the mansion, had tea, talked farming and realized how late in the day it was getting!

When I did get home it was nearly dark. Maybe an hour of light was left in the day? I took off my leather boots. They are not anything special, but they are the best shoes I own so I try to take care of them. I don’t wear them for chores anymore - just riding, hawking, hunting and the like. I set them by the fire to dry. Before bed they would be brushed down with a stiff-bristled horse brush and coated with mink oil. They need that level of care after what I put them through. In the last 2 days they have been crossing freezing streams, leaping fallen logs, ankle deep in snow, mud, and ice. I have owned a pair of these boots before and after one winter of Jenna-level=wear they had cracked oven at all th stressed areas. The boots are designed for being on a horse - not hiking - so they protect the inner calves with reinforced leather and allow ultimate flexibility of the foot for the saddle. This is great for walking through the woods like a cat with a hawk on your fist - lets you walk on the balls of your feet and silently creep up on squirrels. The downside is zero ankle support. Ankles need to be shock absorbers on a horse and to be held tight while hiking. So if I demand my horse shoes do triple the work as hunting boots - they need some TLC.

So when chores were finished and the farm was content I sat down with my brush and oil and treated my boots and hawking leathers by the fire. Gauntlets and jesses, also rubbed down with oil. When it was done I set into my first knitting project in year. My hands have been hunting, butchering, baking, and farming - but the delicate finger tango of knitting had been neglected. Last night I started a simple casting on of a hat. I was using the black wool sent from Ireland. It came back as easily as humming and old song. It will be a few nights before the hat is done but I am excited for it. I mean, it doesn’t take much to excite me these days. I did just write two paragraphs on boot care?


Blogger Ngo Family Farm said...

And those to paragraphs were fascinating as usual! xo

December 14, 2016 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger live pura vida said...

I love my Dublins. I think I've had them about two years now and they were definitely worth the investment. They really last when taken care of and kept from the really dirty work like mucking stalls.

December 14, 2016 at 3:50 PM  
Blogger Julie Davenport said...

Can't beat dublins!I had a pair a while back and I think I just may get some again. Well made!

December 14, 2016 at 10:37 PM  
Blogger Julie Davenport said...

Great boots! I had some a while back and I've been thinking about getting some again. It's hard to beat some good leather boots!

December 14, 2016 at 10:39 PM  

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