Wednesday, November 1, 2017
The Same Old Trails
The Same Old Trails
We don't have a horse trailer. We don't have a truck to pull a horse trailer. We are stuck riding on the same old trails, ride after ride.
Actually, I’m not complaining. It may not be as exciting as exploring the world at large, but we do explore the small world around us. We ride in the Cleveland MetroParks, and we are so grateful to have them. Here we live in a large urban area--and we can go trail riding whenever we like! It is awesome.
We never know what we might encounter. Sometimes, we see nothing of note, at all. Other times, we can see wild turkeys! We love the turkeys. They aren’t much afraid of horses, so we can get pretty close to them. They are so beautiful. If we are lucky, we will see them fly up into the trees or across the river. Usually, they just walk on by.
We see deer all the time, so they are nothing special. I prefer watching the squirrels more than the deer. I think squirrels are adorable. They come in black, gray or red. We also have fox squirrels. My favorite are the red squirrels. The are more skittish than the rest and run so fast that we call them the speed squirrels.
We have a fox that we see on the hill, occasionally. A few months ago, we followed him up the hill, until he stopped at the side of the trail to let us pass. There was a pair of foxes that grew up in a horse pasture a few doors down. We think this might be one of them. He simply has no fear of horses, at all.
We do see a coyote, now and then. They seem to make the horses a little nervous. We know there are plenty out there, but they are rather elusive.
Once or twice a year, we may be lucky enough to see a mink.
Of course, we see lots of birds. On a good day, we will see one of the bald eagles that live in the area. There are a lot of Great Blue Herons along the river. Sometimes we see, but more often hear, a barred owl. Wood ducks, mallard ducks and geese are always in the river. They have been known to spook the horses when they splash down.
We will see turtles now and then. Kevin loves turtles. One time, Ellen placed a fake turtle close to the trail by a wetlands. As we rode by, she pointed to it and said to Kevin, “There’s a turtle.” We have never seen him leap off Starry so fast. We all had a good laugh when he realized the turtle wasn’t real.
A few weeks ago, we were crossing a river. I was in the lead, and I saw a dark creature swimming down the center of the river--low in the water. I pointed it out. At first, I thought it was a big fish. My second thought was that it was a snapping turtle. Kevin had seen one there, recently. As it got closer--I realized it was a beaver! It was so cool to see him go by. We have beavers in the nearby wetlands, but we have never seen one swimming by us in the river. We watched him as he swam away…
So, though we may be riding the same old trails, there is always a chance of seeing something wonderful.