March 2, 2015
A Snowy Sunday Horseback Ride
Well, despite the fact that we thought the snow would not come again, it did, and quite heavily, by the way. It started on Sunday about noon, just as I was about to go horseback riding. Despite the frigid temperatures, the horses needed exercise, as did I, so Betsy and I decided to brave the flurries and the cold and ride around the farm. It was very beautiful, and I am glad we went.
After the ride, I did a bit more housework - the Basement Project - and then drove into New York City to see Helen Mirren in The Audience. If you can see but one play this year, that should be the play. She is superb, fantastic, unbelievable, amazing, and so is the rest of the cast.
It is about Queen Elizabeth, the current Queen and her 12 (so far) Prime Ministers, and her once a week meeting or “Audience” with those ministers to be tutored about the politics of the country and the government.
We went backstage to visit with Dame Mirren afterwards and she was vivacious and beautiful, dressing to go out to a special premiere of her new film, The Lady in Gold, about Gustav Klimt’s painting now housed in the Neue Galerie.
Enjoy the photos.
1 At twelve noon on Sunday I decided to go for a ride with Betsy, the stable manager at the farm. Of course, it started to snow as we set out for the ride.
2 As you can see there is still a tremendous amount of snow everywhere at the farm. The terraces around the houses have three to four feet of snow and snow drifts - the big boxwood shrubs are almost buried, and with such cold temperatures it does not look like it will melt anytime soon.
3 We wrapped the smaller tender box with burlap and the larger shrubs we wrapped with plastic netting - George Bridge, our boxwood expert, assured me this would be all right for the box.
4 Betsy walked the horses up from the stable to my back door. Charles, security on the farm, helped her wrangle the Friesians.
5 I was very warmly dressed as was Betsy since the temperature was about 16-degrees Fahrenheit. The saddles were covered with towels until we sat on them - protecting them from the snow. The mounting block was covered with deep snow, so we used a short ladder for getting up on the horses' backs.
6 I decided to use the towel over my legs to add a bit more protection and warmth.
7 The Friesians love the cold weather - they spend almost every night out in sub-zero weather and snow, but stay in if there is wind or rain.
8 Rinze is ready to go. I am holding him back to wait for Betsy to mount.
9 Betsy rode Ramon today - he was frisky and fun. We did not even trot however since the roads are a bit icy, and the fields too deeply covered with snow.
10 Rinze was a very good boy today.
11 We have been storing the horse manure in the middle field - the older manure is covered with a plastic tarp to aid in the decomposition - this will be great to add to the gardens this spring.
12 The lighter colored trees in the background are the weeping willows which are budding out very nicely, even in this prolonged cold.
13 The Christmas tree field is doing well - I would say we have had about 75-percent success with all the seedlings we planted six years ago.
14 Some of the trees are almost big enough to cut! Although I don't think I ever will - I really want a small fir forest here.
15 Some white pines, which grow much faster than the spruce trees.
16 These white pines did the best of all - they will be a magnificent windbreak for the middle fields.
17 More of the white pines - you can see how heavily the snow came down.
18 These trees, planted six years ago, are already seven to nine feet tall.
19 Helen Mirren in one of her many dresses as she portrays Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience.
20 The cast, portraying among others, Mrs. Thatcher, Anthony Eden, Winston Churchill, and Harold Wilson. The play was written by Peter Morgan.
21 The staging is simple, but extremely effective. It is at the Shoenfeld Theatre on 45th Street in New York City.
22 We waited after the play to be escorted backstage to visit with the star, Helen Mirren.
23 Not a very good photo, but Helen looked vivacious after her extremely challenging role as the Queen, involving many wig and clothing changes on stage and off during the play.
24 The director and his lovely young daughter backstage. Stephen Daldry did an amazing job as director. He is highly acclaimed as director of prize winning plays, musicals and films, including Skylight, Billy Elliot, The Reader, The Hours, etc.