The Dreaded Russian Olive Arm

How to spot a pasture junkie

Yep, I’ve got it…the dreaded Russian Olive arm. Better than a chainsawed knee, which was what HM ended up with last fall when he got his knee in the middle of our removal project. He swung the saw around, and instant hamburger. I had to drive him 45 miles for stitches, leaving our offspring to pick pieces of their father’s jeans and flesh out of the equipment.

I’ll spare you the photos of the damage, but suffice to say that chainsaws tend to mangle human flesh quite efficiently.

Anyway. It’s been a monster project. These horrible “trees” tend to be more like giant shrubs, armed all the way to the ground with sharp thorns. And simply cutting them down isn’t enough–the tried & true method is to cut in the fall and then spray the stumps liberally with Banvel in the hopes the tree will absorb the poison down to the roots (and therefore prevent the inevitable sucker fiesta). Then you have to keep your horses off the pasture after the spraying, which doesn’t make for happy ponies.

My job now is making big piles of the twigs/trees so the horses can easily avoid the spines. Not so much an issue before we had all this rain, but the grass is so tall now that it’s camouflaging some of the fallen branches. I have a friend whose gelding got a raging infection from a puncture wound he sustained from a Russian Olive thorn, so I’ve been tootling around with my wheelbarrow and loppers.

Of course, I have all the horse assistance I need…

Friday and Dove to the rescue (note suckering olive to right of wheelbarrow).

And of course boss mare was lying down on the job….

What, I was supposed to be helping...?

Now I have one more problem. I’ve had a rough week as far as baby animals go (more about that in the next post). Our neighbors in town got a new puppy, which they are ignoring like they’ve done all their other dogs, and I dragged HM over to their house to confront them because I was about to snap listening to the pup scream, locked in the backyard without food and water…for two days and nights…damn. Nothing makes me angrier than that kind of crap. Neighbor: “Oh, I don’t like dogs and the mess they make, but my husband got it for the kids…”

Anyway, this is on top of all the drama about Skyler’s pups and what I’ve been through trying to help them with those. Then this was the scene in the barn today:

They’re scared to death of me (there’s a gray one that’s even more shy that’s hiding) and now I have to figure out what to do about them. They’re past the age where they’ll accept people, and I either feed them and watch them get torn up in fights and by disease later on, or I just try to ignore them. (You can see I did a great job of ignoring them…that’s a drink of water I put there for them.)

I don’t think it’s right that some people spend more time and money on animals than they would on another human being who was suffering…but I get so tired of being the one who has to CARE about everything. I can’t shut it off.

Some days I really wish I could.

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1 Comment

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One response to “The Dreaded Russian Olive Arm

  1. I feel the exact same way in not being able to turn “it” off and having or feeling as though I have to help all suffering/abused animals. I guess when they say things can be a curse and a blessing, well this is one of those things at least for me. I would also like to say that I would gladly help a child or young person with money before I would give money to/into any animal but I am sorry most of the times the adults whom are still suffering because of blah, blah, blah, and expect a handout without doing any of the work……O yea I would put my money into animals before that person. LOL

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