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Monday, August 26, 2019

The Hachi Chronicle

In spite of the odd lifestyle of separating Hachi from the Duo in the house, we feel that we must be sure that all three dogs have happy lives. They need time to snuggle with us, be petted, and run around happily.

R gets the running time every morning with the Runner and Hachi. Both dogs are off-leash together, and they happily run together. R is beyond the age where he wants to play chase like Shyla and Hachi do. But he has lots and lots of fun. I'm not there on their morning runs - so there are no photos of it!

Hachi starts getting excited about his evening romp with Shyla hours ahead of time. Any movement toward the door or me putting on my camera strap leads to crazed barking.

As soon as we unclip the leashes, the games begin.

Seeing them so exuberant is truly a highlight of our day.
Our happiness is for both of them. Shyla has a friend with whom she cuts loose in play. Hachi is her first friend like that. R has never been into this type of play. Hachi also has a friend with whom he shows nothing but affection. They run so hard and are so joyful.

Often, the Runner, R, and I just stand and watch as these two make circles around us.

This is a wonderful part of having Hachi join our pack.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Black Dog Sunday

Our Black Dog isn't afraid of many things in life but one is flies and bees. You may be wondering how he looks so happy in the midst of a sea of wildflowers if he's afraid of the flying bugs that live among them.

I don't know the answer to that question. When I ask him if he wants to go to the meadow, he barks ecstatically. And he seems happy while we're there. So, I guess that having lots of fun can outweigh his fear of bugs.

If only everyone's fears could be washed away so easily!

Happy Black Dog Sunday!

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Shyla on Saturday

Shyla and I spent many hours atop Hug Hill this summer. Believe it or not, we were not just playing.

A very aggressive noxious weed had completely covered Hug Hill at the start of the summer. It's called "cheat grass", and it's a problem throughout the Western US.

Every day, Shyla would lie in the shade covering my back as I pulled some cheat grass. I put it into bags that my neighbors hauled out of the forest and to a disposal site. For now, Hug Hill is almost completely clear of cheat grass. It feels good to see what we accomplished.
Shyla and I can now return to our "play all the time" ethic atop Hug Hill. I'm sure that we'll have to repeat these efforts for a couple of years but that's okay with me. If I love a place, I'm willing to work to keep it beautiful.

Friday, August 23, 2019

No, the Cubs are not Dancing

The bear family is staying in a fairly small area where my cams see them regularly.

Brownie is now a lot bigger than Blackie. Brownie also plays very aggressively. Whether s/he is leaping out of trees onto Blackie or hitting Blackie in the face, I find myself incredulous that this is the same cub as the very timid Brownie who we first saw in May.

This is a really fun video of the two cubs playing. Be sure to notice the first scene in which Brownie ambushes Blackie, and then the scenes where the pair are like a pair of boxers.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Thankful Thursday

Thankfulness is not coming easily to me this summer. It's such a tough time.

But, I am thankful for how our pups can make me smile. Hachi is getting better at snarfing!
Tossing a few treats to him in the flowers can lift my heart.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Male mountain lion crosses paths with kittens

Late one afternoon, a male mountain lion began walking along a ridge from west to east.

It took him about 2 hours to cover a mile. That is very slow walking for a big animal.

Then, I checked another cam on that ridge that usually does not feature lions. It showed a mother mountain lion and 2 kittens walking the same ridge *at the same time as the male was walking in the opposite direction*. These were younger kittens than in the family who we've followed recently. Their early life spots are more visible than the spots on the other kittens.

Here was the first kitten just ahead of mom.

The second kitten was lagging behind mom. Here he was when he caught up.

They almost certainly came close to the male. Believe it or not, male mountain lions kill kittens - even their own. So, this was a scary scenario. When the male appeared after his path had crossed with the family, I didn't see any sign that he'd hurt them. No blood was visible. Moreover, Shyla didn't indicate to me that there was a dead animal anywhere along that ridge. So, perhaps it turned out okay. Here he was as he reached the end of the ridge.

I compiled the video clips of the male cat and the family into one video which I hope that you enjoy!

Monday, August 19, 2019

The Hachi Chronicle

Every evening, Hachi and Shyla play together off leash during our hike.

Hachi loves to be chased by Shyla.
Much to our surprise, Shyla gets pretty rough when she catches him. She sometimes "tackles" him. They both fall into the grass in a tumble of legs. I always hold my breath, afraid that Hachi will get mad. But he never has.

They get up and happily chase each other again. We smile. We feel so happy that these two enjoy playing together.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Black Dog Sunday

Look at our happy R! He's so happy that he makes us all smile along with him!
Everyone needs an R in their lives. He lives with unabashed joy!

Happy Black Dog Sunday!

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Shyla on Saturday

Shyla wants nothing more than to make the people around her smile. I think that's why she and I have so much fun doing photography together. If I ask her to sprint, she sprints as fast as she can - every single time.
That's how Shyla lives - trying to make everyone smile. We love her.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Nature Friday - More Cub Water Fun

Mama bear went for a swim by herself in deep water but, very soon, her cubs had splashed toward her.

They swam a circle together before heading toward shore.

I compiled a video of mom's and the cubs' water fun from one recent weekend day. You'll see that the black cub is still hanging close to mom while the brown cub is off exploring. Moreover, the brown cub is now bigger than the black one. It's been an interest role change.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Thankful Thursday

For most of the summer, I had breakfast with the Flycatchers. Like every summer, they had a nest under the deck. Due to our very late spring (remember the snow in June!), they were late with starting their family. Their first nest failed. I think that a predator got their eggs.

They started a second one very very late, with 3 eggs on July 5. They persevered, and three little Flycatchers fledged on August 5.

Here was the father, on one of the last days that the babies were in the nest. He snatched a fly out of the air and sat on a perch next to our deck. He wouldn't take it under the deck to the babies until I pretended that I wasn't looking. Then, he fed them.

Without fanfare early on August 5, the three babies took their first flights. I can hear the family in the forest around our house calling to each other. It makes me smile to know that they've had a fruitful summer.

Soon, they will fly south. Safe travels, my friends.

I am so thankful for these birds that captivate me with their determination every summer.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Coyote Pup Siblings Who Play and Play

Some people hate coyotes. I am not among them. Coyotes are closely related to wolves and even to our dogs. They somehow have flourished despite the extreme efforts by humans to exterminate them.

I choose to celebrate the fact that we have a den nearby.

And to revel in seeing the pups' love for each other.

If you want some smiles today, check out the video of them playing. I think that it's the best footage of the coyote pups yet.