Today we joined our widower friend in a first exploration of potential fishing sites on the Nehalem River. And see wildlife like, well, eagles.
We were almost to Jewell when the first of this pair flushed from the right hand side of the road and flew across, quickly followed by another that flew down the road for a few feet before joining this one.
They were still there when we got back from visiting the Jewell Meadows elk meadows.
Final wildlife count for the day: Seven eagles, starting with the two we spotted on our way to Clatskanie, plus the five after. Nearly 100 elk between the bull herd of around 34 and the cow herd of around 60.
Lots of cool river views.
And the fishing? DH hooked into a small steelhead that flipped off his hook. I got a distinct strike, fish grabbed the lure and started to run with it, then slipped off. One pole died (a cheapo from 30 years ago), two or three lures eaten by snags or river bottoms, and lots of pictures. Raccoon tracks everywhere and I think I found an otter slide.
Much fun was had by all. It’s been a few years since we’ve been fishing, and I actually spent more time fishing and less time wrestling with the line this time. Sweet.
Learning how to manage a fully clipped horse is–um–interesting. Mocha was cold this afternoon–39 degrees in the barn, 35 degrees outside, and a strong east wind with gusts powerful enough to rock my Subaru on the way out. Fully clipped girl needs more than her winter blankie in such conditions, clearly….anyway, a gust of wind caught her in the hind end when I brought her out and started to take her blanket off, enough to start her shaking. Pulled her out of the wind and she settled, though she quivered any time I started to pull the blanket off.
What to do, what to do…Gregg suggested I not ride but put her fleece cooler underneath her regular blanket. I noticed that she settled out of the wind. so decided to ride her with the cooler on to get her warmed up a little bit and see how she felt. Only how to do it with a Western saddle? It’s a full cooler, not a three-quarter, and I wasn’t sure about juggling saddle pad, cooler and saddle by putting it under the saddle like you’d do with English. Plus I wasn’t sure of drama possibilities. So, cooler over saddle. And I saddled with the regular stall blanket rolled back, and immediately replaced with the cooler once the saddle was cinched.
She was tense and tight when I first climbed on, but I think that was cold. We walked a little bit and she relaxed as she warmed up, and then she wanted to GO. We compromised on a quiet walk-trot session (and trot was collected posting trot, not zoomies) because I wasn’t sure about cooler over saddle. When she showed she was calm about cooler flapping, we did some trotting, and then a very short lope in each direction. Both times she wanted to GO–not because of the cooler but because she was finally warm and feeling good. So not a long-term cold but a quick chill.
Still, not a lot of time under saddle, just enough to get her warmed up a little, I could tell she felt just fine under saddle once she was warm, but I wasn’t sure how much she’d been drinking or how long she’d been cold. Just wanted to get her warm and moving. She’d been out playing with the other mares earlier, so I think she just had cooled off and then that one stiff gust nailed her in the rear and blew up underneath the blanket just as I started to pull the blanket off.
When I left the barn (after helping clip a couple of difficult horses), she was happily noshing down on hay and quite comfortable in her double layer. By the numbers it’s not that cold here, but for a freshly clipped girl, I guess it is.