Over the last hundred years some wonderful people have given or sold land bequests back to their local towns to keep as open spaces for all of us to enjoy. Towns come together to share responsibility for stewarding these places, and they partner with state and federal agencies to manage them. The Goss family aggregated some 583 acres in Guilford along the East River, and after years of allowing public recreation, they sold it to the town in 2009.
Jeremy told me about it, and a few days ago, we found the entrance and took a quick loop around the first big meadow. However, it was one of the hottest, haziest days of the year, so we didn't stay long, and I didn't take any pictures.
However, I went back there today with the dogs, including our new friend Riley, and struck a bit deeper into the preserve.
It was quite a trick to get a good shot, slip the camera back into the bag, and to have my hands free in time to reward the pups, but I did OK.
Red-winged Blackbirds and Barn Swallows, but this guy was a bit more difficult. After a bit of review and research, though, I'm fairly certain he's a juvenile Brown-headed Cowbird.
I'm looking forward to coming back again and again to find what else this space has to offer. Apparently, there's some old-growth forest hidden somewhere in the uplands, and while there's no trail map I can find of this place, I'm perfectly willing to turn on my GPS and go looking.
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Then off to home for a bath, towel dry, brush, and a quiet evening.
I do enjoy our dark gold boys' color, but there are certainly some occasions that merit a lighter shade.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
The hybrid's actually called a supertunia. I didn't just make up a silly pun (this time).
Monday, June 11, 2012
Comet is now four-and-a-half years old, and calling him a faithful companion doesn't do justice to the absolute loyalty and cooperativeness of this dog. I took him to be my demo and distraction dog at a private lesson this afternoon, and he made me look like a genius trainer. He snapped to attention at every command, pranced through every exercise with pizzaz, charmed the client with his manners, and played with the other dog like a gentleman. He even held his stays while the client and I were making silly noises and throwing treats at the other dog twenty feet away.
I'm a good dog trainer. I'm not the best or the most experienced or the most versatile trainer, not by a long shot, but I do OK. My communication is sometimes garbled, my consistency is mediocre, and my timing is only decent, but I'm patient, kind to my dog, and creative in finding ways to motivate him. Comet has made me a better trainer by showing a loyalty and a willingness to work that far, far outstrip my abilities as a handler. He inspires me to be a better human, even if I'll only ever be half as good a person or a trainer as he deserves.