This was unexpected

Ran across a couple of odd things on the hike today. We’re still exploring the El Corte de Madera open space (many trails in here), and today’s ramble aimed to explore the fantastically named Steam Donkey trail. We got close to the Donkey, but veered west down a different trail for various reasons. Along the way, we saw two weird things. First off there were some tiny flies that kept landing on a stone and facing the same direction. If you came close, they’d fly away for a couple of seconds, but then land again all facing the same way. I think they were facing north, although I did not have my compass with me at the time. I read somewhere that animals will tend to align themselves along a north-south axis when grazing. Are flies getting in on this now?

The other weird thing was a balloon with an LED light inside, sitting on some leaves near the hiking trail. I didn’t know that you could now get balloons with lights inside, which shows you how out of it I am. This one likely had helium inside at some point, and floated away from a balloon fancier somewhere to the west/northwest of our location, lost its buoyancy, and landed here. This is a fairly dense forest, and so the odds of it making it through the trees and landing near a trail were not good. So this qualifies as a weird thing, even though balloons with LEDs inside are common knowledge to people other than me.

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