twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
I saw two ponies out in the western pasture flying kites. They were pretty far away so I couldn't see who they were, but the kites were flying close together so I thought maybe they battling kites, like I had read about! I swung my telescope around to get a closer look and to my surprise, the ponies flying the kites were Starlight Glimmer and Maud Pie. I hadn't known either of them were interested in kite flying. Maybe this is how they became friends?
twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
This day just flew by.
twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
The grass in Ponyville's hay fields is starting to get high. A few more spring showers and we'll be ready for that first cut, so that should be in a week or so. Cloudsdale sent us one of those showers this morning and I almost go a drenching myself. I had my nose buried in a book and I hadn't noticed that the clouds had thickened. The book is fine, I kept it dry as I galloped home. My hay larder is running low on first cut hay and some fresh hay will be nice.

Kites

Jun. 1st, 2017 11:19 pm
twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
I haven't seen kites that often in the Ponyville skies, but there were two of them taking advantage of a stiff breeze that Cloudsdale had sent us. I couldn't see who was flying the kites, some trees blocked the view, but the kites were close together. I've read about competitions were the kite strings are equipped with blades and the kite flyers try to cut the strings on the other kites. That could be exciting to watch.
twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
It's a warm spring night out here on the edge of Ponyville. The air is very still with not even a breezie-strength breeze to cloak the croaks and trills of the amphibians drifting up from the wet areas near the river. Above me is the slow dance of the stars and below, the fields blink here and there with the question and answer flashes of the early fireflies.
twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
Another day, another friendship puzzle, this time from Pinkie Pie. Her sister, Maud, was looking for a place to move to, preferably somewhere near interesting rock strata to study. She also told Pinkie that having a friend living nearby would be a factor in choosing where to live. Since Pinkie wants her favorite sister to live in Ponyville, she set about trying to find a friend for her. Thus the friendship puzzle, with a complication.

In true Pinkie-style clairvoyance, Pinkie found a friend for Maud, or if I understood the sequence of events properly, she put Maud in a path where Maud literally collided with her friend to be. That friend, surprisingly enough, is Starlight Glimmer. The complication in this affair is that Pinkie decided she would study the pair, evaluate their progress and influence the outcome. That's not quite good science. It's not good anything that I can think of. I mean, she gave them no space to breathe, she hounded them with questionnaires, she even went so far as to put cow bells on them so she could track their movements! It's like observer-expectancy effect gone mad. The effect was that the test subjects fled and were more interested in getting away from Pinkie's scrutiny than exploring their potential friendship.

But Pinkie wised up, backed off, and fortunately for her, Starlight Glimmer has become Maud's friend. So, Maud has moved to a cavern just outside of Ponyville and Pinkie has (hopefully) learned a Friendship Lesson. To wit, you can lead a pony to a friend, but you can't make them bond.
twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
Spike went prospecting for gems in the gem cave with Rarity this morning, as planned, but he came back early. He told me that while they were picking gems and keeping a weather eye out for some chartreuse, they met Maud and Pinkie in the cave. Rarity became distraught and abruptly left, leaving Spike holding the basket, after Maud told her that all the gems in the cave were common. So Spike came to get me.

We went over to the Carousel Boutique to see Rarity. We found her eating a lot of peppermint chocolate chunk ice cream. She had planned on enhancing a gown design with chartreuse and wearing it to Countess Coloratura's next album release party, but with Maud's statement that chartreuse, like all the other gems in the cave, were not rare, Rarity was having an existential crisis. Much of Rarity's inspirations revolved around gems, and the rarer the gems the better. So being told that these sparkly crystalline rocks were common, even though she had trouble obtaining them, was a blow to her muse. If chartreuse isn't rare, how could she call it, or a gown adorned with it, a Rarity? Ergo, she was drowning her sorrow in ice cream. Spike quipped that rare or not, they still taste about the same. I don't think that helped much.

I pointed out that what a specialist like Maud considers a rare rock might not line up with what most ponies consider rare. Furthermore, it's not the materials that matter, but what you made with them. For instance, the Hearth's Warming dolls she had made with our shed winter fluff and how she had created a whole line of chic wear out of hotel curtains, bed linens and such the like. That cheered her up. And there you go, a Friendship Lesson!
twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
Spike is back, tired and full of sparkly rocks, except for the few he kept for his rock garden. He has a bi-colored tourmaline rod that he has grown to almost the length of a Spike-sized walking stick. He plans on helping Rarity go gem hunting in her favorite gem cave tomorrow, just outside of Ponyville.

Busy

May. 27th, 2017 11:52 pm
twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
Spike is away at the Fireworks Festival, Rarity and Dash too, following their careers. Applejack and Fluttershy are very busy, and even Pinkie Pie is preoccupied with something today.

Roctorate

May. 26th, 2017 11:58 pm
twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
Pinkie a bit more excited than usual today. As she bounced off the walls in my library, and the ceilig too, come to think of it, I was able to piece together that her sister Maud has earned her doctorate in rock studies. Then she just about flew out the door and down the hall, apparently to catch the Friendship Express to the Equestrian Institute of Rockology to join her family and celebrate Maud's achievement. Rockology is a very specialized field, I wonder how many ponies will be receiving degrees alongside Maud at her Commencement Ceremony.
twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
Cloudsdale sent us a chilly wind from the north this morning and then parked a whole bank of rain clouds across the entire sky over Ponyville. It was a good day to stay inside. I didn't have anywhere to go, my kitchen pantry is stocked, and Spike baked two loaves of oat bread and made some sweet and sour silage soup. Warm food, good company and a quiet library full of books. The day just flew by.
twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
It was Spike's hatchday today and we played it safe by celebrating it with a low-key lunch at Sugarcube Corner. All six of us were there at lunch and there was sparkly rock cake (the Cakes used Pinkie's rock candy so that we could eat some too with out breaking any teeth) but no gifts. Just a good time with good food and friends, and a wobbly rendition of It's Your Birthday which, had we sung all the verses, surely would have sent everypony seated in Sugarcube Corner fleeing for the exits.

Later I gave Spike the biography I'd purchased for him in Canterlot. He gave me a strange look after he opened it up. Maybe he had been hoping for something more practical, like a Pony Latin dictionary of his very own? I could get him that next year.
twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
I'd thought that maybe I wouldn't be writing an entry tonight in this universe spanning journal, but here I am. There was a chance that dinner with my brother's family in the Crystal Empire would finish too late for Spike and me to come home. They had invited us over when I'd foalsat Flurry Heart so Spike and I caught the Friendship Express to the Crystal Empire early this afternoon.

Dinner was at 7. Flurry Heart started her dinner at 6:30 and by the time the kitchen sent up our entrees to the royal dining room, both Cadence and Shining were coated in mashed peas. Flurry got cranky halfway through the mane course, so Spike and I waited while Shining and Cadence lulled her to sleep. Flurry's crib was right near the dining room table. Dinner finished at 8:30 and we moved to the sitting room for tea and cookies. At 9 PM it looked like Cadence and Shining were going to fall asleep on their feet. There was a train at 9:30, so we beat a hasty exit and trotted to the station just in time.

The Crystal Empire streets are so lovely at night. Quiet and clean and with the geyser of light from the Crystal Heart washing everything with a flood of contentment. An "air of contentment" is a real thing in the Crystal Empire. That's why I didn't gallop in a panic to the Train station, we were just feeling too mellow. We made it anyway, and the conductor was happy to see us, even as we hopped in through the door as the train was starting to move.
twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
I went biography hunting in Canterlot today. Moondancer is quite busy at the moment but she gave me a list of booksellers to try. For Spike's hatchday gift, I found a biography called The Astounding Stall Ion, and because books, I picked up a new book on spells. Transformations and Transportations, The Magic Of Being Two Places At Once. I started reading it on the way back. The technique promises to allow a pony to throw all five senses at once into a remote object, but I don't think it gives you a better understanding of that object, unlike the Haycartes spell. This could be useful should I need to, say, accompany Spike to the Dragon Lands, incognito. Better than going disguised as a rock or a dragon.

I passed a long line of ponies waiting to enter the Epona Exposition at the Canterlot Cultural Equinology Museum. The lineup still stretches around the corner. The exposition was to be moved to Manehattan in the fall, but with the persistence of the crowds in Canterlot, that plan has been put on hold.
twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
Spike is back from Crystal Empire fireworks festival, none the worse for wear and toting a fresh bag of mixed gems to snack on. From the look of the lights and the wash of joy coming down from the north, it seems Spike wasn't the only one who enjoyed the fireworks festival yesterday.

It's Spike's hatchday in three days. While I was putting together my checklist for the hospital visit, on the day I also foalsat Flurry, Spike dropped a few hints about how cake and presents cheer him up when he's down. Spike isn't exactly subtle. So I think I'll get him a book. Maybe a biography of a comic book artist? I should be able to find one of those in Canterlot. Moondancer would know where to look.
twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
Already the East Pasture is starting to recover from the pounding it got on Picnic Day. Those pasture specialists are good at what they do. This evening we got another spring shower delivered by Cloudsdale, which should help.

It's just me and Starlight Glimmer in the castle tonight. Spike is in the Crystal Empire again, hard at work as a Pan-Equestria Fireworks Festival VIP, and Trixie is out touring. Starlight said she wanted to try out the new and improved magic show she's developing. I think she said Trixie had a stop in Appleloosa planned. I hope they like tea cups.
twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
I had a pretty wild day today. It started out sane enough with Nurse Redheart who came trotting up to my door. She has a whole classroom of sick foals who have wound up in hospital with the horsey hives. According to her, something happened to them during the Picnic in the Fields. Since it fell on a school day, they went to the picnic as a class. All the foals had a great time picnicking with their classmates, but the next day, the foals in one class started looking a little bleary. That afternoon had been set aside for the class picture, and by then it was apparent that the entire class was breaking out with urticaria. It turns out that that class, in a fit of high spirits, had gone rolling in a sandy area during the picnic. There may have been ants there or all the foals may have become overheated in the sunshine. Whatever the cause, 24 hours later they looked lumpy and miserable, just in time for the class picture. So now they're recovering in a hospital ward. Most of them are feeling either itchy, feverish or both, and all of them are feeling down about the whole ordeal. At least this urticaria isn't contagious. So this morning Nurse Redheart had the idea that a visit from me could cheer them up. I thought that was a great idea and after she returned with a time for my visit (lunch time), I made plans with Spike to sweeten the deal with cupcakes, read them a story, and give them each a small gift.

Then Shining Armor and Princess Cadence showed up with Flurry Heart and asked me if I could look after her for the day. Of course! I could run all my errands with Spike and my niece, she would get nice long walk through Ponyville, meet a bunch of foals and I would read a story to everypony! What could be simpler? Turns out that keeping an eye on a highly mobile foal while running errands and holding conversations isn't quite that easy. I didn't give Flurry Heart enough attention and she knocked over a few too many things in the shops I went to. And erased Cheerilee's notes off her blackboard, and caused havoc in the hospital. Next time I foalsit my niece I'll give her my undivided attention the whole time.
twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
Some parts of the east pasture are looking a little worse for wear this morning, especially from the view from the castle balcony. All those thundering hooves running the steeplechase and the six-legged race churned up the ground quite a bit. There were pasture specialist ponies out trying to smooth out the damage today.
twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
Spike got back from the Crystal Empire in time to join us at the town picnic event. I went down to the train station to pick him up. He looked pretty tired when he arrived so it was no surprise when he flopped down on our picnic blanket and fell asleep. Pinkie and Rainbow Dash had already picked out a spot for us near the grandstand and they took off as soon as we arrived. There were ponies everywhere scouting about for a flat spot with a view and the field about me was filling up fast with picnic blankets. Fortunately, Rarity and Fluttershy arrived soon after I'd spread my blanket and I didn't have to explain to anypony why I was taking up so much space. Rarity had Applejack's blanket as well as her own. Applejack was already setting up her beverages at the contest area in a part of the pasture reserved for most of activities that Mayor Mare had promised us. From our picnic blanket, we could wave to Applejack and see Pinkie too as she unpacked a cart laden with sparkling rock candy. We couldn't see Rainbow Dash anywhere, she was probably suiting up with her Wonderbolt cohorts.

I was starting to get hungry, so I opened my picnic basket. The picnic I'd packed was utilitarian. With Spike out of town, I didn't embark on any fancy preparations. Hay chips, carrot sticks, some hay, peppermint tea, a few cupcakes. La haute gastronomie. I swapped a few bites with Rarity and Fluttershy. Spike woke up long enough to eat a few of the gems that the Crystal Empire fireworks organizers had given him as a thank you. We had Pinkie and Dash's baskets too, but we resisted the temptation to see what they contained.

By now the East Pasture was pretty full of picnicking ponies, all riding cloth rafts in the sea of grass. Pinkie bounded in, gave each of us a rock candy necklace and proceeded to dump out the contents of her basket into the mix that was what Rarity, Fluttershy and I had brought to eat. Downslope from us, Mayor Mare climbed up onto the bandstand, unfurled a Picnic In The Fields banner, recapped all the events that were in store today and declared the picnic begun. The stomping applause, muted since we were all standing on blankets on grass, was the cue for the Wonderbolts' precision flying routine. When that was over, we remembered we had food to eat and down on the bandstand, the Ponytones began to sing. Pinkie had bounded back to her rock candy stand to make sure everpony had enough string and to replenish candy where she could. Rainbow Dash had still not returned, but as the Ponytones sang, I noticed several pegasi pulling a bunch of clouds to somewhere by the edge of the picnic area. Rainbow Dash was with them and I could see that they were sculpting the clouds into an obstacle course. I'd wondered how winged ponies were going to compete in the steeple chase. Jumping over the ditches, hay bales and fences is just too easy with a few wing beats.

After the concert, Mayor Mare announced the winners for the beverage contest. Zecora got a blue ribbon in the hot category, Applejack won in the juice category, and two other ponies got top honors in the slurry and cold categories. None of us had gone down to try the drinks, there were just too many ponies there already. Applejack and Zecora, their blue ribbons tied to their manes and picnic baskets in their mouths, made their way up the hill to join us. They'd barely taken a few mouthfuls of hay when Mayor Mare announced the sporting events: the six legged races, the steeplechase (ground then aerial) and the round robin netball tournament. Applejack, as the local rodeo champion, was one of the judges for the ground event. She told us that Rainbow Dash was on the panel for the aerial event, so we wouldn't see her until that was over. We packed a light lunch in a saddlebag for Applejack and wished her luck. Then we toasted her after she had trotted off by eating the apple pie she had brought to the picnic.

Pinkie came back and we watched all the sporting events while we polished off all the food. Mayor Mare awarded more blue ribbons and Rainbow Dash and Applejack came back from their stint at judging. Pinkie had rock candy necklaces for them, but otherwise, there was nothing to eat. So I invited everypony to the castle for supper. We fixed up a hot meal and took it out to the balcony overlooking the East Pasture. Apart from a few games of netball, most everypony had collected their things and gone home for supper. As Celestia lowered the sun, ponies were returning to watch the last event, the fireworks. We could just see Mayor Mare on the bandstand, addressing the crowds one last time, but we were too far to hear her. Then darkness fell and fireworks bloomed in the sky.
twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
The Picnic in the Fields extravaganza is tomorrow, ergo the last day of teasers from Mayor Mare. For her last big reveal, she told us that there will be fireworks over the East Pasture. I hadn't really planned on staying all day at the picnic but with everything there will be to do and see, I guess I should pack extra food. Or leave mid afternoon and watch the fireworks from the castle. We'll see.

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Twilight Sparkle

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