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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Just riding

Yesterday evening, we hiked through our verdant meadow, with the elk herd waiting impatiently to the west and downwind of us. They'd spent the day grazing and seemed anxious to get moving. It provided another demonstration of how our dogs rely almost totally on scent to scan their surroundings - they didn't seem to notice the downwind herd of 100-150 elk. Overnight, the mass of elk marched through the forest in close proximity to our house, and our dogs launched into several bouts of frenzied barking as the cows and their almost year-old calves mewed back and forth.After crossing the meadow, we visited the closest lookout point for sunset. The rays of sun filtered through looming clouds just above the snowy mountains.
This morning, I mountain biked up to a higher point but saw almost the same view, looking much less foreboding.
K took advantage of a stump to get a better angle for checking out the mountains.
I rode my 'summer bike' for the first time since Moab in March. It's a Specialized Safire with a 'brain' that automatically adjusts the rear shock depending on the bumpiness the trail. The Safire feels so nimble and fast compared to my winter tank-like bikes. I had fun, zipping up steep hills and descending with as much grace as I can ever muster.

I stopped to soak up the beauty of dense patches of Pasqueflowers. I noticed that the pistils, located in the center of the yellow disk, have morphed from pure white to a pinkish color on some blossoms. I suspect that this color transformation means that pollen has found its way into the pistil and seeds are developing. In any case, the pink pistils with the bright yellow pollen-packed anthers surrounding them are a beautiful sight.
Aside from enjoying the Pasqueflowers, I watched for bears. I love seeing my first bear of the year, and I'm certain that they're awake and foraging. I rode a trail that a cinnamon-colored black bear mother and two cubs frequented last year. Despite my vigilant watching, I didn't even see any signs of bears today - no tracks and no scat. Maybe tomorrow.

Today, I reveled in the flow of riding my nimble and fast Safire on dry dirt trails and in warm sunshine!


  1. Gorgeous photographs. I especially liked the same spot early morning and sunset.

  2. What a view! I always hope NOT to see bears when I am out in the forest. In 8 years, I have only seen two actual bears, but have seen scat and tracks from more.


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