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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Vicissitudes of puppyhood and fog enshrouded flowers

Evening sun rays, almost parallel to the meadow, lit the flowers and our dogs while we practiced recalls yesterday evening. Our little black bear, R, sprinted toward me, his pink tongue and white teeth flashing in the sunlight.
Our brown bear, K, looked like rich chocolate in setting sun.
For our next recalls, the dogs galloped with carefree happy strides through a forest of Mariposa Lilies. K used her ears to turbo-charge her recall!
Of course, R's stride buzzed with intensity, just like every aspect of him.
Yesterday, I noticed how mature R has become about not attempting to eat from K's bowl when their meals are at different times. This respectful behavior emerged in the past month. What a good dog he's being, lying on his bed staring longingly at K's breakfast, in the photo below.Then, today, my husband prepared both R's and K's breakfasts but K was still out bike riding with me. When my husband briefly left the room, R put his paws on a high table, leaving scratch marks, and ate K's entire breakfast. The moral of the story is that R is still wildly oscillating between mature behavior and naughty puppy behavior!

This morning dawned gray, drizzling and cold - dismal for July. Once I overcame my reticence to ride in damp air colder than 50 degrees, wearing leg warmers, arm warmers, and long-fingered gloves, I enjoyed pedaling through the forest. The horizon that usually shines with mountains was shrouded by a gray wall of clouds except for a five minute period when the mountains barely glowed through the thick fog.After yesterday's ride, today's seemed mellow with no exciting animals crossing our paths. K and I moved in synchrony with an easygoing bond, enjoying the forest sounds. We passed through raucous crow cawing, chickadee alarm calls, grouse wings fluttering loudly, and complete silence. As we stood together in the depths of a pine forest, we heard... nothing. I stayed a little while, enjoying the silence, feeling at peace with the world.

We spotted a patch of Black-eyed Susans decorating the floor of an aspen grove. Its eye looks like a birthday cake on careful inspection. Its pistils, the female tubes in the reproductive system where the pollen needs to be carried by pollinators, look like burning candles on the edge of a cake.Miniscule spiders crawled on the eyes of almost all of these flowers. Perhaps they're pollinators for Black-eyed Susans? In the photo below, a reddish spider appears near the bottom and in the center of the black eye.A bit later, I spotted a female Broad-tailed Hummingbird feeding in a meadow of wildflowers. She had a choice of a huge variety of flowers but solely drank nectar from Indian Paintbrush.Finally, just now in the late afternoon, the sun has burned through the clouds, and the temperature has soared to 60 degrees. We may have a sunny evening hike!


  1. Hi KB - I'm in Denver for a few days. Cooler here, too, and a storm last night but no major damage in this neighborhood. My son rides the Courage Classic this weekend to benefit Children's Hospital, so we'll return to Breck on Thurs. Love your wildflower meadows. Pic of spider on Black Eyed Susan is terrific!

  2. so interesting to see how the range changes from day to day....

  3. Oooh, naughty R! We can't leave food unattended for even a moment... or the CATS will get it! They are quick, opportunistic little buggers, grabbing a meatball right off of a plate of pasta and running with it, or yanking a muffin out of a tin. I've never had a dog counter surf, but those cats are so bad!

  4. Barb - It must be hot in Denver today. Enjoy your time with your son! Great cause to ride for.

    kks: I think that the switching back and forth between puppy and adult behavior is so hard to be ready for. Once R acts like an adult in a given situation, I assume that he's passed a threshold and that's it - his puppy naughtiness is over. He proves me wrong time and time again.

    Dog_Geek: R has been our first counter surfer, and time-outs have worked perfectly in curing it until now. We need to set him up with K's food out and us spying!

  5. hey, thanks for the comment...i think your next "career" should be a book...??

  6. I'm not sure what kind of behavior Java is moving into. She never chewed up anything while she was a puppy and one would expect it but lately she's chewed on the back of the leather couch, a carpet edge, and a pillow covering was torn to shreds. She's 14 months now. Maybe the change in our household situation? Or just latent puppy naughtiness?


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