Spring means warmer weather, and that brings lots and lots of people out to the farm! By Saturday evening, between regular lessons, Parks & Rec kids and adults, grandchild pony riders, special visitors, little siblings jumping in, and my fantastic birthday party helpers taking their "Thank You" trail ride (pictured above), around thirty folks will have enjoyed our excellent horses and ponies this week - a record! And about a half-dozen new enrollees are ready to get started after the school vacation, so the schedule is filling up, which is great. The students who have worked hard all winter are really improving too, with a couple of girls jumping through their first lines this week, one rider taking Henry around a nice flowing course, Shadow doing some superb work over the cross-country jumps in the big field (where was my camera? Doh!), and quite a few tiny riders trotting independently down the long sides.
Speaking of the big field, you may have noticed a huge puddle there from the recent rains. It's actually a vernal pool, which forms every spring and provides a place for amphibians to lay their eggs. Because the pool dries up before summer, no fish can live in it, and that's a safe spot for the eggs to hatch into tadpoles (and whatever hatchling salamanders are called), which develop in the water, grow their legs, and are ready to hop off into the woods when it dries out. I've taken some neat photos of these developments, so check them out at the nature blog.