Photos and text copyright Romping and Rolling in the Rockies 2009-2014.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sweet walk with K and final installment of lion story

K and I managed to tramp up to Hug Hill this morning, enjoying a view that we haven't seen in a long time! The hill itself was barren of snow but the north-facing hike was entirely on well-packed snow.We hung out, gazing at our mountains and feeling lucky to be capable of hiking to our favorite spot on our trail network.
K seemed energetic and even insistent about checking out scents and bushes during our hike. I thought that was a good sign that she's recovering from her major surgery. After her staples come out tomorrow, she'll be allowed to gradually ease back into off-leash hiking.
On our way down the hill, we checked on the second spot where the mountain lion had hidden his prey (see the previous posts about this saga here, here, and here). The only hint of the drama was the bed of deer fur covering a small area where he'd hidden his cache for the second time.
We checked our wildlife cameras. Here was what the scene looked like when we departed more than a week ago. A small pile of bones lay under the pine trees.
That very night, at least one coyote arrived. The bone pile is barely visible above his head.
After a frustrating 3 minute gap in photos, all the bones had vanished.
A coyote checked the area once more the following afternoon at sunset.
After finding no more bones, he posed handsomely for the camera before departing for good.
From that date forward, no more wild animals visited the spot. Amazingly, it seems as if wild animals ate almost every last morsal of the deer. Barely any calories from the mule deer were wasted. The deer became an integral part of a mountain lion, a raven, a magpie, and a coyote, living on in their bodies and spirits.

Indeed, a few days after the last photo of the coyote, we found a fresh deer leg that had been dragged toward our house from the site. We carried it home to put in the garbage. We don't need any more excitement involving our dogs eating deer bones, let me tell you!
Finally, a sunset photo, from yesterday.
Despite the beauty of yesterday's sunset, today's afternoon hike was one of my best ever because I had the company of my friend SMRP. I'm an extraordinarily lucky person to have a friend like her.

19 comments:

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

How cool you had such a great hike and great visit too!

The coyote surely knew how to work the camera - what a shot!

Here's to an easy 'unstapling' tomorrow!

Sam said...

I'm glad you had company today! I'm sure it lifted your spirit even more.

BTW, I am, indeed, 19 years old (almost 20). I confess, I do get the "you sound a lot older than you are" comment pretty often!

houndstooth said...

Gorgeous photos, yet again!

I'm curious. Why would the lion drag the deer carcass away from his cache and then just leave it for the scavengers?

Stella said...

A great walk with a good friend is the best spirit lifter there is.

Good luck to K and her staples!

I look for your blog first everyday, hoping you feel good enough to write. You lift my spirits.

Jo and Stella

Brenda's Arizona said...

Are you on track to get our rain? It has poured all day today - up to 3 inches in our gauge. Thanks for the lead on the Gentle leader harness. I thought that is what they were. Any suggestions for the strongest of dogs?

-Broke my palm on Wed Jan. 6. You asked if I had anything on my post about it? yeah, the Jan. 8 post - ("I just could not tell"). Thanks for asking --- and may healing continue all around!!

NinjaPonyDad said...

Wow,talk about "Babes in the Woods"
you AND smrpie? What a nice time you must have had......I share your feelings for that whole crew. Seems like we live in a place with little pockets of extraordinary people! To have a friend share time with you when your world is a little tentative is so valuable.
Thanks for the closure on the lion kill as well great story from start to finish, you guys did a beautiful job of showing us this fantastic event.
Thanks,
NPD

Barb said...

A wonderful post, KB - the sunset is grand and a visit from a good friend even better! That coyote looks healthy, doesn't he?

Angus said...

Photos are wonderful as always, as is the update on the lion kill but the really great thing is that your recuperation is progressing by leaps and bounds.

MAX said...

Hey there, KB
That sunset pic is awesome! Its great that you have good friends around - it helps. Please consider us one of them. We love you and wish you well. Keep up the pain meds.
Luv C

Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart said...

Love that sunset photo. Jealous you had company on your walk. I tried to scare up someone to go with me and Lil on Thursday but had no luck.

Anonymous said...

When you wrote yesterday that you were extraordinarily lucky to have a friend like Sue I immediately thought of the old saying " Birds of a feather, flock together" :)

I'm glad you had a good day and hope today was a repeat !
x0

Bibi said...

I didn't mean to be Anonymous..........it's Bibi

Ruahines said...

Kia ora KB,
Glad to know you have such fine souls to keep you company in your back yard. Thank you for pointing out the gift that deer gave to the whole cycle of nature. Interesting the word verification word right nnow is Fallow - which is a type of deer here in New Zealand. I continue to be amazed and inspired by your efforts. You rock. Kia kaha!
Aroha,
Robb

KB said...

Brenda,

For the really tough pullers, Gentle Leader makes a head collar that is like a horse halter. Another company makes a similar (but better, in my opinion) halter-type collar called a Halti collar.

To all of you: Thanks for your words of support. These days have been tougher than I usually let on, and your encouragement makes all the difference!

The Thundering Herd said...

Isn't Mother Nature amazingly efficient in everything she does - including the consumption of a large mammal to sustain so many other lives. I am always in awe of nature.

Wild Dingo said...

Isn't it weird how coyotes can look extremely ugly or amazingly handsome? I'm always amazed at the variety. we've had some really gorgeous and ugly ones. a car hit one and it fell down the side of the mountain into our walking trail when we first moved here. It was a beautiful creature and it made me sad that industry killed it senselessly and not nature.

we had our dingo at the time who notified us early on of the carcas. she certainly didn't eat it as she knew it was canine. she seemed genuinely upset about it.
sigh.

wags-n-wiggles,
wild dingo
ps: can't wait for the documentary!

Maery Rose said...

Glad to hear you and SMRP had a nice walk together. The sunset is beautiful and that is one lovely looking coyote. Good to know that K is on the mend too.

Ms. ~K said...

Beautiful coyote! I wish I could get a look at "my" coyotes...
Friends make everything better,
but I feel you are a lot like me, you can be alone w/out being lonely..especially as long as we have our four-legged furiends!
~K

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Really enjoyed the mountain lion posts!