Photos and text copyright Romping and Rolling in the Rockies 2009-2017.

All photographs and text within this blog are copyrighted.

You may not copy or repost any photos or text without specific permission from the author of this blog. When in doubt, please ask.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Nature's mystique

About three weeks ago, we spent an autumn weekend in Aspen. The dogs and I hiked in the morning sunshine on the first day. As we climbed up to a panoramic point, a photographer, with much fancier equipment than mine, asked if I would pose the dogs for him. He just sent me a pair of special photos of R and K, with a blur of autumn leaves in the background.

He also wrote in his email: "Your dogs are the best behaved of any who I've ever met." That comment made my day. We certainly work hard at training them so that they are good citizens. But, the other half of my brain blurted out: "He must not have met very many dogs"!

Seeing his photos makes me think that I could learn a thing or two from a photography course. His images are so crystal clearly focused on the dogs with the rest of the world in a blur. That's a gorgeous effect.

Today, I felt tired from riding a lot over the past couple of days. Despite the fatigue, the amazing natural world drew me into another fun ride. The sun was warm, the air was still, and sunlight bathed our forest. The only clouds in the sky hovered over the Divide, sitting behind K.
K and I rolled through the forest, to the accompaniment of myriad chirping birds. Chickadees shouted warnings of our arrival. Stellar's Jays squawked their disapproval. Robins flew overhead with their rusty breasts glowing in the sunshine. And, the magpies seemed to know that deer rifle season opens tomorrow, as they rarely visit the depths of our forests but were omnipresent today. They clean up after hunters, working over the 'gut piles' left behind after a hunter field dresses a deer or elk.

The first weekend of deer rifle season always feels like the most dangerous weekend of the year in the forest. I'm glad that we're clad in orange. Even from behind, K's orange catches the eye.
However, K's orange vest needed repair after this sequence during which she crawled under one of the many barbed wire fences left behind in the forest. She started under the fence.
She's almost all the way under.
But, as she emerged, the tongue flick indicated that something had stressed her out. I realized that she'd snagged her vest on the fence and was stuck. I freed her but the vest was ripped.
We rolled further, past the spot where I think that I saw a lion, and perhaps a recently killed buck, the other day. I'm not planning to investigate for a few weeks. A lion might hang around, protecting his kill, for as long as two weeks. So, as we went past that boulder-filled area, I called K into a heel next to my bike.

I called my contact at the D.O.W. to report the horse leg that I found two days ago. As we chatted, he asked me to alert him to any fresh deer or elk kills in our area so that he could capture and radio collar the lion. Hmm. Believe it or not, I'm not certain that I want our lions collared because they lose some of their freedom and mystique if we can turn on a scanner and locate them. If a lion hasn't threatened humans, should he lose his right to roam unseen and unknown to humans? I have my doubts even though I know that radio collars provide incredible scientific information about lion behavior.

However, it's likely a moot point. Whenever my dogs strongly indicate that a carcass sits nearby, I call them off of it and don't go near that spot for weeks to give the lion time to move on. So, I doubt that I'll ever be absolutely certain that a fresh lion kill is stashed in a specific place unless I accidentally stumble on it.

Today, as K and I rolled through the forest, we caught a glimpse of a snowy mountain. Winter has, without a shadow of a doubt, taken full control of the high mountains. Soon, it'll overtake our forests, meadows, and aspen groves as well.
I think that it's time to fully enjoy the remaining mountain biking on dirt trails. Soon, I'll dust off my snow bike to slip and slide my way through real snow. That's fun but I love 'real mountain biking' the most.


  1. We were glad to see you got some of the pikhs he took that day -

    We khan understand your mixed feelings about reporting a potential lion sighting -

    Happy Weekend!


  2. I can't remember now how we found you, likely through another cycling blog, but we're glad we did. We're enjoying your posts and adventures.

    And don't discount your own photography! The pro's work is good, but you have a lot of good shots of those two characters!

  3. Those pictures from the photographer man are absolutely gorgeous, but so are yours!

    I'm glad it was the vest that got caught on the fence and not K.

  4. Hey there KB
    Those pictures from the photographer are stunning! You have two really beautiful and super-fit doggies and you are right to be proud of them.
    Even if we say the same thing daily, please forgive us, but its true...we love your pictures and the opportunity to go on the wheel with you. Thank you for allowing us along! That snow-capped mountain looks absolutely freezing.
    (Mountain biking is also a big thing here in SA. There are so many venues available if it's your game. Unfortunately we aren't involved in it...much too strenous and we are happy to merely tag along with you!)

  5. Those photos are great! I've been thinking that I want to take a photography class too. Some bloggers have such clear, crisp photos and their colors just stand out so. I don't know if it's the camera, the technique or both. I need a new camera too as my photos have been blurry lately. It's like the shutter is not working right. Probably more expensive to fix than buying a new one, which is too bad really.

  6. I agree with you. This post is truly inspiring. I like your post and everything you share with us is current and very informative, I want to bookmark the page so I can return here from you that you have done a fantastic job. Judi Bola Online


If you are a Blogger registered user, you can skip the step asking you to verify that you are not a spammer. For posts older than 5 days, I have comment moderation turned on.

Thanks for your comments!!!!!