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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Jaws, coyotes, and winter reigns

Today's post will be short. My wisdom teeth extraction ordeal is continuing to hamper my energy and enthusiasm. Now, I have 'dry socket', a complication that seriously slows healing after a tooth extraction, leaving raw nerve endings open to the air and causing screaming pain. Fortunately, my dentist was enthusiastic to meet me at his office and work on my jaw today, a Sunday, to try to alleviate the pain. It seems like it might be helping but I won't know for sure until I get up the nerve to try to eat. On the bright side, I feel lucky to have such a caring human being as my dentist!

Yesterday, I couldn't open the wildlife camera because it was frozen closed. So, today, I had two nights worth of coyote parties to peruse! The coyotes have come and gone from our territory all night long for the past two nights.

On Friday night, snow fell heavily and blanketed their luxurious coats. On that night, I captured about 35 photos of 1-3 coyotes at a time. Their time seemed evenly divided between eating fallen seeds, staring at the ground (hunting for mice?), and scanning the forest edge.
Last night, a solo coyote arrived and checked out the scene. Then, he howled.
Soon thereafter, two others appeared in the distance approaching him.
Again, the pack seemed centered on our territory until dawn, with our wildlife camera capturing about 30 images of various combinations of 1-3 coyotes at a time. I think that even more coyotes lurked behind pine trees in some photos because pairs of eyes glowed from between the boughs.

Yesterday evening, our domestic dog pack took a hike on seldom-used trails, including one informally called 'Wildcat Alley' because I hoped to see some interesting animal tracks. Alas, it appeared that the cats and bears had slept since the snow. Smooth, unbroken snow met us everywhere except where the orange-bedecked dogs had gallivanted.
Today's ride was short. My only goal was to spin the spasms out of my back muscles before visiting the dentist. But, in the process, I enjoyed the beauty of the forest and being with K.
We passed through the meadow that wildflowers completely covered a couple of months ago. It's hard to believe that it's the same meadow! Today, in the snow, I saw and K smelled that a small band of elk had meandered through the meadow. I hope that they stay hidden from the prying eyes of hunters.We saw a small herd of mule deer, who half-heartedly ran away from us, with the largest one stopping to watch us. I think that the deer can distinguish K from other dogs and know that she won't truly chase them.
Dim gray light dominated the ride, with a thick soup of clouds hiding the mountains which normally shine like stars behind where K stood in this photo.But, near the end of the ride, the skies briefly cleared, causing the snow-covered pines and yellow aspen trees to sparkle.
At this instant, two dogs are standing staring at me as I type, silently yelling that it's time for a hike! One of my favorite things about dogs is that, even when my mind and jaw are pleading for a nap, the dogs get me moving. I almost always feel better after a walk in the woods with them!


  1. That is SOOOO furry nice of your dentist to be that kharing!

    Mom and I have to say it is just special to see the khoyotes gathered like that -

    We know they get such a rap but they need to survive - and nature has a way of seeing that the strong ones do -

    Please take khare -

    Rest up!

    Our best to ALL of woo!


  2. My momma thinks that when you are out into the wilderness like that you could reach up and touch the face of God. We don't know what it means but we think it is something PURRty special to her.

  3. I remember when I had my wisdom teeth out, all of the warnings to avoid dry socket. So glad I did not get it, because I do understand how painful it is supposed to be.

    Someday, you will need to explain your wildlife camera on your blog. I love the pictures it captures and am intrigued to set up a similar device.

  4. So sorry about your tooth! R and K are lucky dogs to have a mom that takes them out even when she isn't feeling well.

  5. Cool photos of the coyotes! I hope you're feeling better soon.

  6. Hi Kb

    I hope the teeth have settled down or the lack thereof...

    What a difference two weeks can make...the snow clad trees are so wonderful to see...and you are so tough and disciplined to keep on biking in this weather...

    I too would love to know more about the night camera...

    Happy days

  7. Hello! visiting from Kim's blog. What amazing coyote pictures! Fabulous! Sorry about your jaw, hope you feel better soon. Looking at your snow reminds me we will have some of that soon here in Anchorage although we had a very balmy, springlike weekend!!

  8. Hi there KB
    Your pictures are exquisite! I so wish I could experience what you have there. It must be quite surreal to be able to ride along on your own (kinda) with that beautiful environment.
    So sorry about your painful jaw...ouch! Hope it gets better soon.
    Your questions about MAX's park:
    (I hate to answer this because of the negativity atttached)...
    The river is "UNWELL" since it has raw sewerage running into it. Our waste management systems here are shot ..yuck!
    The park is "UNSAFE" because we are the crime capital of the world - and unsavoury people hang out in the bushes there. It is a great sadness for me, because my hearts desire is simply to just walk, run, hike in the beauty around. Too much violent crime happens here, so we have to be really careful where we go.
    Having said that, I prefer (in my blog) to highlight the positive aspect of our country...that way I can keep sane.
    Thanks so much for visiting us- and of course for inspiring me with your beautiful blog. We look foward, eagerly to all your posts.
    Get better soon.
    MAX's mom in SA

  9. Glorious fall photos, KB - or should I say "winter"? I like the splash of color the dogs' vests make in your white scenes. Hope you're feeling better today. We're heading back to the Mts after a few days of Grandchildren.


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