|Sunday March 9 2008|
Isn't it great when you ride with a doctor or dentist or lawyer - one of those useful sort of people? (Me being of the use-less variety). Be it kindness, ego, or resignedness they will likely answer your questions when you want to pick their brains, because that's their lot in life, being one of Those People, and, they are in a rather captive situation when you ride with them for 5 or 10 or 50 miles. What are they going to do, pretend they can't hear you for 50 miles?
Riding with Karen S, a Newly-Retired bird biologist is great; it's like having a captive doctor along. Instead of, "So, Doctor, I've got this problem..." it's "So, Karen, I have this feather/nest/skull..." and "What bird is that we're hearing?" and "When will the owls begin nesting?" and "Do the eagles prefer a tree or a cliff for a nest?"
Carol and I rode with Karen twice this weekend. While doing a loop toward the Snake River one day, and doing a loop toward Brown's Creek the other, we girls discussed birds and things. Like: the intricately woven hanging nests made of horse hair and baling twine, hanging in the bare poplar trees, waiting for the orioles to come back in May and the leaves to come out in March or April; Hoss the Raven and his girlfriend and how young ravens will nest (earliest known by Karen is two years old, and Hoss is 3 now); and the possibility of scouting eagles' nests from horseback in two weeks.
And, today, fittingly, we saw two golden eagles, and a high swirling column of at least 13 ravens.
Meanwhile the boys established Who's Boss Today of the trails. My horse Mac, usually low man on the totem pole wherever he goes, showed some gumption and enthusiasm on the Snake River day, pinning his ears several times at both easy-going August and cranky Gil, bulling his way to the front several times and merrily zipping along ahead in his big easy trot.
The boys had a couple of good rides, and I had some good rides, soaking up the bird info. I highly recommend riding with a captive Bird Biologist.