Friday, May 15, 2015

Parade of Stallions

It's 5/15/15. So symmetric. On HI2, the 6/6 wild stallion drought continues. This has not kept us from finding tempting stallions so far this month, though.

Remember that Dutch Warmblood? Well, he has been named, and you know what that probably means. Meet Quincy and his adorable snip.
Then on Tuesday, we found this little dude in the livery.
Seriously, ponies don't get much more irresistible than this.

This evening, I was online at the same time as an HI2 friend who was selling this magnificent Maremmano. I tried to tell myself no, but it was no use. I could not let such an amazing stallion slip through our fingers!
We didn't yet have a fleabitten gray horse or a Maremmano, and now we have both!

So... we are failing miserably to wait patiently for that elusive 6/6 wild stallion and to keep to our one-new-horse-per-month rule. But it's May, Mom's birth month. And Mom loves the number 3. We can let this slide, right, Lily? Let Stormy love you!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

An Earthshaking Day

You probably think I'm going to tell you that we finally have captured 6/6 stallion on HI2. Like this stallion, perhaps:

Unfortunately, we have not. April came and went, and still no 6/6 wild stallion. This means Lily's going to win our contest, but she won't get her companions until somebody finally finds a 6/6 wild stallion. Seriously, where are they all hiding?

So what's with the stallion above? Well, I found him in the auctions the other day. He was going to the foreign bidder for only ~ $30k. Nobody else had bid with less than a minute left. I couldn't resist - it would be such a waste for him to leave HI2 forever. We haven't decided yet if we will keep him or send him on to the humane society for some lucky player to stumble upon. I guess we'll see how May plays out.

Back to the title of the post. Today literally was an earthshaking day here in the mitten. It happened at about 12:20 this afternoon. I was upstairs with Mom in her room. (Mom brought me up there to spend one-on-one time with me on my birthday back on April 21... and what can I say? My sisters and I always milk it a bit.) 

So, anyway, there we were on Mom's bed. I was snoozing against two ridiculously soft stuffed lambs. Mom was snuggled under a blanket typing one of her stories on her laptop. Then the house started shaking! This woke me up in a big hurry. The window, the TV mounted on the wall, and various other wall hangings rattled like crazy. It is sort of like what happens when a big garbage truck or thunder shakes the house, but this seemed more intense and kept steadily on for a good 30 seconds or so. Long enough for Mom to get up, walk to the window and look out at the seemingly oblivious neighbors outside, and start thinking she'd better get off the second story. Just as she disappeared down the hall to find her mom and sister, the shaking tapered off.  

The internet was initially quite unhelpful. It took a good 10 minutes at least before my sisters, who were in the basement all this time, could find any information about it on their laptops. But an earthquake did happen, alright, and we weren't the only ones who took notice.

It was a 4.2 on the Richter scale, which means it is considered "light." While felt by most people, earthquakes of this magnitude usually cause minimal to no damage. Even so, this earthquake is the most significant one to occur here in Michigan in decades, so people will be talking about it for quite a while. I'm glad I got to witness it, though I'm with Lily when she said she never hopes to witness anything stronger. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Sparkly Saturday

Lily here again. This morning when I logged onto HI2, I thought to myself, hmm, we haven't been to the mountains in a long time. I checked the mini map, and there weren't any red dots on the eastern mountain isles. So, Cider and I set out. 

Since it was Saturday, I wasn't expecting to make much of a mining haul. I was pleasantly surprised. We didn't run into a single player our entire time out there. From Cavern to Pinnacle, to Crater Mountain, through Long Low Cave, we made out like bandits. All of the gems were sparkly, all of the chests were shut, and all of the nests had golden eggs. It was incredible! I guess a lot of players slept in today... or else didn't feel much like staring at gray and black. 

It wasn't until we ventured from Alpine Isle onto Rocky Cove Isle that we discovered opened chests and mined gems. At that point, Bethany took over playing and switched to her Fell pony December. She figured, like I had, that somebody was out looting Rocky Cove and Rocky, so she left him or her to it and took the rowboat back to Alpine Isle. Alpine, to their delight, appeared not to have been touched. Bethany and December happily meandered their way through the ledges and the labyrinth mining and grabbing eggs. Once they were done, Pepsi's energy was nearly depleted, and it was time to head home.

Bethany had to log out in a hurry once she set foot on Blue Mountain Isle (Felicity was chomping at the bit for us to go out and ride our real horses), so we'll never know if the gems were sparkly there too. 

Let me backtrack before I go, though. I haven't yet talked about the most exciting finds, the Dutchies and wilds, and I have screenshots! 
Dutchies #1 and #2. I'd already grabbed the golden egg from the tree on the left. ;)
Dutchie #3
Dutchie #4, a light brown Budyonny, and a sooty palomino Grade Draft
Dutchie #5
Dutchie #6
Dutchie #7
Dutchie #8. Tread lightly, Cider!
Dutchie #9 and a dark grey Highland Pony
Dutchie #10. Pardon us, Mr. Duck.
Yep, that's right: 10 Lost Dutchman mines and 3 wild horses in addition to all those eggs and gems! Talk about a productive mining expedition! =D Is this the mountains' way of telling us they've missed us?

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Where's Your Star?

Look who Flora and I lured with the flute early Tuesday morning! 

She did not want to appear inside the sheep pen. XD

This is the 5th 6/6 horse I have found while riding Flora. (The first 4 were Zephyr, Mistral, Vinca, and Della: 2 stallions and 2 mares.) What a lucky girl Flora is! <3

As you may recall from an earlier post, I am rather fond of HI2's Furiosos. For having the older-style artwork, I think they're really cute - even if their hind legs are a bit wonky. Also, back when we first got our flute and Bethany posted about our first 10 fluted horses, you may recall that 3 of them were mahogany bay mares. Maybe she's right about that flute being made of mahogany wood. At any rate, we couldn't help but laugh that it gave us a 6/6 mahogany bay mare.

This mare is sadly lacking a facial marking. I was really hoping for a star, since the Furioso is also known as the Furioso-North Star. She also has a rather difficult personality and is, of course, yet another mare to further unbalance our mare:stallion ratio. But wow, +97?! With that much natural talent, there's no question that she's staying! Even though she doesn't have a star on her forehead, I couldn't resist naming her after a star anyway: Vega. Vega is the 5th brightest star in the night sky, and this mare is the 5th 6/6 horse the Flora has found - it only seemed right.

On Thursday when Julie and Fort used the flute - again on Bend Isle - it gave her another Furioso! This one was a stallion, but of course he wasn't anywhere near as fabulous as Vega. He didn't have a star either.

Am I the only one who's noticed that the avatars of seal brown horses on HI2 tend to look darker than the avatars of black ones?

This morning, Julie and Fort used the flute yet again on Bend Isle. (We've been parked there for most of the week - haven't had time to do anything more than flute.) We just had to share her with you: another gorgeous Spotted Draft Horse mare.

Julie thought this would be a lucky place to use the flute.  =)
Also note Fort's perfectly camouflaged hooves.

I just love champagnes. Throw spots and blue eyes into the mix, and wow! I hope somebody decides to adopt her. She came with a rhino beetle companion, as you can see - our third one. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

An Impostor!

Happy Easter, everybody! It seems like it's quite early this year, doesn't it? The plants are all still in hibernation in our backyard. Hence, there will be no picturesque photos of us in our Easter best outside among the flowers. Oh well. 

Here it is only April 5, and already April has been an entertaining month on Horse Isle 2.

We didn't get a chance to play HI2 on April Fool's Day, but I guess HI2 wanted to pull something on us anyway. Mistral, my grey Camargue stallion, and travelled to Sunny Glade Isle yesterday morning to use the magic flute. What did we flute? A grey Camargue! This is the first time any of us has ever fluted the exact breed and color of horse we were riding. Not only that, but this Camargue was 13.3 hands and a stallion just like my Mistral! 

Hanging out with the Mistral impostor. This is one of several screenshots I took, lol.
The wild:


If you click on these photos to see them full size, you will see that there are some subtle differences between these look-alikes. The wild has a freckly face, a darker muzzle, and darker hooves. Well done, all the same, HI2! My sisters and I were all quite amused. We decided to retire the wild to our ranch so that we can visit him anytime we want. We named him Marin, which is another French wind.

After catching Marin, Mistral took Pepsi around the isle to look for any other wilds lurking about. We don't usually have much luck on this isle, but for once we actually found one. 

I immediately thought "Abaco Barb" when I saw this one. Nope. Spotted Draft. XD

She is so lovely that I just had to share her here! It's not every day one finds a black silver dapple tovero with blue eyes! Her stats aren't quite up to our standards, so we won't be keeping her. I think somebody's going to be very pleased to find her in the livery, though! <3

Saturday, March 28, 2015

We Feel Lucky

Well, it's looking like I'm not going to be winning the competition. March is almost over, and we still haven't lassoed any 6/6 wild stallions. Ravine and I came close this morning on Twin Rivers, though:

This Gelderland stallion was only 6 stat points short! So close yet so far.
I think we're all in agreement that the Gelderland's artwork on HI2 leaves much to be desired, but the breed is still pleasant to behold. And c'mon, this guy is cute - in a blocky, angular kind of way. He makes me smile.

When I showed him to Lily after I caught him, I guess she could tell I really liked him. She told me to keep him, and then when it was her turn to play, she put that little 6/6 POA she found in the humane society back into the humane society. Lily said that despite his good looks and personality, he was pretty tiny and his stats weren't outstanding. She hadn't come up with a good name for him either, so she wasn't yet very attached. She says she'd rather hold out for that wild 6/6 stallion that has to be coming eventually. I think she was still rather sad to see him go, but, happily, we saw that he was adopted within 5 minutes of his surrender. 

Because we have been creeping up towards our current maximum of 76 horses, my sisters and I also made the tough decision to surrender two of the three 5/6 mares we've been reluctant to part with. 
+67 Maremmano
+50 Datong
(This isn't actually her, but our best attempt to recreate her likeness using the BBB. We regret that we forgot to take a screenshot while she was ours. She has a sock or stocking on her right hind leg. No other markings.)
They took longer to be adopted than the 6/6 POA, but when we checked back a few hours later, neither one was up for adoption anymore. They are both so lovely that I doubt they had long to wait. 

The third 5/6 mare is the Russian Heavy Draft we've had since November. We think her markings are picture perfect, and her persona is really cool: four 4's and a 10. She is also +33, and 33 is Mom's favorite number. Because of her breed, rather common coat color, and lower stats, we feared no one would adopt her from the h.s. Nobody wanted her when we tried to auction her after she reached 1000 exp either. We've finally made it official and changed her status to "not for sale now." Jolly, my porcelain gray RHD, couldn't be more jolly. The two have become quite close since his arrival back on New Year's Eve.

I'm not the only one who's been lucky this weekend. On Friday night, Felicity happened to discover this +94 ASH in the livery. My goodness, is she ever lucky! First Jenga in the auction house, and now him! His former owner had found him in the livery herself (hence the message you see on his profile) and apparently decided to pass him on the same way.

Felicity had seen this stallion's surrenderer enter the NarrowTon livery just moments before - talk about lucky timing!

As appropriate as the name "Lucky" is for this guy, it was a bit too unoriginal for Felicity's taste. She instead chose to name him "Gromit." Why? That'll take some explaining.

If you live in a region of the world that gets accumulating snow like we do, you will know how vehicles collect a dirty, frozen slush thing behind their tires when they drive on snowy roads. Here's a really big one:

When Mom was little, her dad decided it would be amusing to tell her that these things were called "grommets." He'd point to one and say, "Look at the size of that grommet!" It caught on, and Mom was never sure why he was always so happy when they talked about them. Mom was utterly shocked to learn, years later, that there isn't really any official term for these things, that "grommets" are actually those little metal rings that reinforce holes in fabric. 

To this day, everyone in the family calls those slushy tag-alongs "grommets." Felicity, in turn, was utterly shocked to learn that the word for the metal rings is spelled "grommet," not "gromit" like the dog in Wallace and Gromit. She'd never had reason to see it in print before.

So, to make a long story short, Felicity has been waiting for a gray stallion to name "Gromit" (spelled the way she likes) for ages. It was meant to be. =)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Lily's Lacy Lapse

Now that we are keeping Jenga and that 6/6 Dole mare (way to screw things up, Felicity ;)), we sure are overdue for some stallions. Predictably, there still haven't been any 6/6 wild stallions for Pepsi. I'm liking my chances right now to win this competition.

My sisters and I have been clicking through those livery horses quite a bit, only pausing to check the stallions. Because really, this stallion dry spell is getting ridiculous. 

I found two worthy of mention this weekend. The first:

I seriously considered adopting this Rocky because of his cute socks and great stats. I was able to resist because...
1. his avatar sadly lacks black lower legs. 
2. one of the coolest things about Rocky Mountain Horses is that they come in silver dapple. Hence I will hold out for one of those. Someday. Maybe.

Later on, though, I came across this plucky POA. 

And, well...

I know, I know. We already have a March horse. It was an embarrassing lapse in self-control. I still don't know for sure if he will be staying with us permanently, but by adopting him we earned the Caring award. Maybe that was a sign?

If we do keep this guy, I think he should be named something old fashioned and sophisticated. After all, he has lace decorating his rump! I am uninspired at the moment, but hopefully something will come to me.

I have one more entertaining HI2 moment to mention: running into somebody with similar choices in avatar fashion.
I thought about saying something to her, but I'd already followed this person from the general store into the dock house (coincidence - honestly) and didn't want to seem creepy. =)