Monday, November 18, 2013

Sunday Drive


Yesterday Gregg and I went for a Sunday Drive.  We headed over to Middleburg for a late lunch at our favorite sandwich shop, and later  turned left on the road that leads to The Plains.  Both picturesque, quaint towns but I didn't take any photos.  I did, however, spot a lovely sculpture of a horse on the turn. When we read the sign we saw that it was the National Sporting Library and Museum.  Their link is here, and they have a Facebook page which you can look at here.  

At first I saw a beautiful statue but then a comment from TexWis Girl at the Run-A-Round Ranch made me think twice, and I decided to learn more about this statue.  I found the following information here, and it is a very somber and symbolic sculpture.  It is in fact a war memorial.  

"The monument in front of the National Sporting Library and Museum depicts in heartbreaking fashion the result of horses being pressed beyond their capabilities.  Note the gaunt condition of this horse.  The empty sword scabbard signifies that his rider has fallen in combat.  Over 1,500,000 horses and mules died in the Civil War."

I learned something important today and thank you TexWis Girl for making me see the real meaning of this sculpture.



As we drove on we saw more deer than normal but it was getting late in the day and I think the overcast sky had brought them out.  It was dreary weather-wise and it drizzled steadily, but we decided to stop at the gate entrance just past Half Way (that's the name of the community), where we usually see lots of goats and a solitary Mediterranean donkey.  They weren't as close as they normally are, so no real good pictures.  We observed one interesting interaction between the donkey and a younger goat.


There was the donkey, doing what donkeys love to do, chomp on tasty grass.


He looked up as you can see in the above photo, and then went back to eating.  My attention turned to the metal cut-out of the goat on my right.  It wasn't there on our last visit a few months ago.


Again a little grainy but I then saw a young goat eating out of what looked like an enormous pumpkin.  He was looking towards to the rest of his tribe/trip.  What do you call a group of goats? A tribe or a trip.  Go here to see other interesting group names.


He decided it was time to join his family, maybe its mother had called him, who knows.  As he was walking past the donkey, something odd happened.  


The donkey's ears flattened and he started chasing the goat.  


That young goat took off as fast as his little legs could carry him.....


When the goat rejoined his 'tribe', the donkey stopped and they were joined by a little white dog who saw us looking from over the gate, and barked very loudly at us.  We thought it was time for us to move on.  Good little guard dog, for such a tiny body he sure had a very loud bark.


Something else I learned today, a group of goats is called a tribe or a trip, and I didn't know a donkey could move that fast!  Why do you think he behaved that way?  Normally whenever we have seen both donkey and goats, they have been quite amicable towards each other.  

One quick stop at Wegmans to replenish a few groceries, and we headed home.

31 comments:

  1. Haha what an adventure, Denise! I love seeing the white furry dog barking in warning much like my Sweepy ;-)

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  2. not sure about donkeys chasing goats. i knew they did not like dogs or coyotes.

    i like that statue, but it is rather sad, too.

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  3. we took a sunday drive yesterday too! enjoyed your photos!

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  4. You never know what's going through their minds! That donkey looks exactly like Eeyore!

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  5. ah. i did think war horse when i saw it. exhausted and weary...

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  6. I had no idea so many horses and mules died during The War Between the States!

    I think your photos of the donkeys are neat. Grainy is what you get when the sky is dark. ;)

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  7. Horses, mules, dogs and even birds are often forgotten casualties in our wars.

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  8. Having been involved with breeding thoroughbreds I immediately realised the symbolism behind the horse sculpture - Australia lost hundreds upon hundreds of beautiful horses in the name of war. That particular sculpture you presented Denise is exceptional and made me weep. The artist has captured the tale (for both man and beast) so accurately and poignantly it took my breath away.

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  9. The statue is a beautiful tribute and very realistic.

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  10. My grandfather and two great uncles were in a horse troop in WWI.My grandfather always loved horses...I wonder how he felt about the horses in his troop, knowing their eventual fate.
    Jane x

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  11. I enjoyed your photographs and story from your Sunday drive. Thank you for doing the research about the Civil War horse.

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  12. Lovely finds, I can't believe a goat was outdone by the burro.

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  13. It is sad about all the horses dying in the Civil war. The statue is beautiful. And I love the cute donkey. Great post, Diane!

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  14. Lovely and interesting post, wonderful photos. The horse memorial is fascinating. Thank you for sharing. Glad I found your blog, looking forward to reading about your adventures. Thank you for your kind words as well.

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  15. Fantastic pictures! Love all your details. Animals are fascinating.

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  16. Great post, Denise! Oh my goodness, you and I both posted donkey photos today. I love your photos!

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  17. I would say the donkey wasn't having a good day ... you know those days when you're just happy to be by yourself and think your own thoughts and move on?

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  18. Yes, a beautiful statue, but sad as well.

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  19. Your photos are nice, but it is sad about all the horses dying in the Civil war
    Greetings, RW & SK

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  20. Looks like a great Sunday drive. Sad about all of the horses in the Civil War. Great sculpture.

    Good photos of the goats and mule.... Have no idea why the donkey was chasing the little goat... Looks like the dog was a good 'watch dog'.. ha

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  21. Lovely sculpture . Have you ever seen the movie War horse the sculpture just reminded me of the movie ! Lovely photos ! Thanks for sharing . Have a good day !

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  22. I would have totally missed the meaning of the horse statue. I learned something because of you. Ineresting interaction between the goat and the donkeys. My wife's cousin in western Oklahoma keep donkeys on their ranch because they keep coyote's away. They don't have cattle now because they planted winter wheat. The donkey are apparently well looked after by the roustabouts who service the nearby gas wells and a county road crew who give them food also.

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  23. Some thought provoking images/stories.

    I thought donkeys were shepherds. Always on guard.

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  24. The beautifully-detailed statue of the horse reminds me of all the animals that have a strong bond with the owner and of the horses that died in the Great War. My father loved horses and also was involved with horses and mules when in the Army (in the 1940s).
    Interesting behaviour of the donkey. Perhaps the goat had been annoying the donkey. They can be quite a nuisance with head butts if it was sharing the donkey's food. Maybe the donkey had had enough and was standing it's ground?

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  25. You prepared such a great article dear Denise, the horse sculpture is wonderful!
    Léia

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  26. Since moving out to the Virginia countryside, my daughter has discovered that all sorts of animals are dumped by their owners. The countryside is full of unwanted creatures. My daughter and her family provide many of them sanctuary. Male goats are especially an issue.

    David and I used to drive out to the Red Fox Inn in Leesburg frequently. Try it. Dianne

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  27. I love how you and Gregg are enjoying so much fun times together. That horse war memorial is absolutely beautiful. That is the cutest donkey!

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  28. Some story...the pics of Goat being chased are real funny :)

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  29. Interesting sequence. Always neat to photograph behavior of animals, especially if it seems out of the norm.
    The horse statue is very well done, but so sad looking.

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