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.