Saturday afternoon saw me in Eureka at the stables that Heart of the Redwoods Horse Rescue uses to board some of its rescue horses. We were meeting to create training teams for one of the horses currently housed by the rescue. It ended up being a really nice, relaxing afternoon of brushing horses with other volunteers while it poured down rain outside. After we got Angel cleaned up we took her to the arena to do a little longeing. She was difficult at first, and would trot in the direction she was sent, but stop and do a quick change in direction if she got the chance. Everyone tried their hand at sending her in a circle. While I'm a bit out of practice, I was thrilled when she circled for me without any of her direction-changing tricks! Then, as I could tell I had her attention (nose and ear pointed in, etc.) I dropped down and looked at her hindquarters, and she disengaged perfectly, turning to face me and stopping as asked.
Then this morning I did something crazy. I woke up at 5 am to watch birds. Which isn't really so crazy. My roommate Jordyn and some of her classmates were going to the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge for the 9th Annual Aleutian Goose Fly-Off, and I snagged the last seat in the car. We left Arcata around 5:30, aiming to be at the refuge by 6:45, the anticipated time of sunrise. We got there at 6:28, just as the first wave of geese were flying away. There must have been thousands of them, and it was amazing to watch. There wasn't much light most of the morning, so the pictures aren't great, but the little black specks should give you a general idea of how many birds were in the sky.
We wandered through the reserve watching the geese and other birds for about an hour. The other people I was with are all taking an ornithology class right now, so they quickly and easily identified just about every bird we came across. 27 species in all. It was a pretty fantastic morning.