I started out by driving out to the stable, with Java as my copilot. I've been too busy or the weather's been too cold for me to get in a ride for a couple weeks. Maybe that's what's wrong with me...
This was after my ride. As you can tell, I didn't work Luke very hard. We both needed a light, loose ride.
I tried to get Luke to play with the red ball under his nose, but he's above that sort of thing.
Next stop, was the Sand Dunes State Forest, which is not too far from the stable. I've ridden Luke there a few times and there were actually two horse trailers parked in the lot. The horses share the trail with snowmobiles, which I would not hazard.
Besides the snowmobile trails, there is a cross country skiing trail. Java and I could not go on either of those trails so we had to hunt for something that was a little less of an "official" trail.
By this time, it had reached 30 degrees, but the wind was still a bit nippy out in the open. Java and I walked down the road and found a path that appeared to have been taken by one snowmobile so I figured there wasn't a whole lot of traffic. I wanted to do some skijoring training on foot.
Java and I went skijoring a week ago on a short loop at another park. Java all out ran. With the hills and turns making it hard to see very far ahead, I didn't want to go that fast, so I snow plowed and frequently yelled "Easy!"
Occasionally, Java would leap into the air and face me. I think she was saying something like, "Would you quit with the dragging! I'm trying to get some momentum going here!"
Anyway, more training is in order. I am trying to fix this sort of thing - stopping and sniffing.
And this - going off course to stop and sniff.
There is a lot of "On by!" commands going on. And occasionally Java looks at me, like "What?" She does look happy though.
Here's a nice straight, head-up walk.
After walking the trail out and back, we went back to the truck, where I gave Java a drink of water and then put her into the truck so I could go skiing with a friend.
It was overcast but that made it very magical looking in the woods. The shielding from the wind was nice too.
A pileated woodpecker flew over while we were skiing. I think this may be some of his handywork. They are amazing looking birds, but destructive. This tree is marked to be cut down.
I've recently been following a new bunch of blogs that are geared towards myth, story, art and music. They seem to feed my soul with what it needs most right now. I travel to these places online to experience treasured moments of musical, visual, and story bliss.
I'd like to share two (well three really) of these blogs with you right now:
- The Drawing Board's author, Terri Windling, does beautiful drawings but is also a wonderful writer. This link will take you to a photo of Terri's dog sitting on a beautiful hill. You'll just have to go there to see what she's written. Be sure to click on the photo so you can read it. All you dog lovers will know her words ring true.
- At the blog John Barleycorn Must Die there have been a couple interviews with Rima Staines, who has a blog called The Hermitage, which I also enjoy visiting. The first interview was about blogging as a form of art and of creating community. The second one was about the act of creating art. The part that made me laugh was when Rima mentioned that "If I had to work in an office, I’d go mad, and probably run naked down the street, screaming!" Uh, doesn't that sound familiar?