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Friday, January 22, 2010

A sleepy day and mountain lion clarification

I started my day with a wander in the woods with K by my side. Although the day dawned with a low cover of clouds, the ceiling began to retreat while we walked.

We headed up to Hug Hill, and the juxtaposition of blue skies, wind-shaped clouds, and snowy mountains reminded me how lucky I am to have this spot easily accessible from my home.
K's dark silhouette loomed dramatically against the sky.
From Hug Hill, we plummeted down a north-facing slope to a favorite trail. Actually, I very carefully found a safe route to avoid falling, mostly following a packed path left by our elk herd. I love following in their tracks.

We reached a beautiful viewpoint that we haven't visited in months due to deep snow. I gazed at the mountains.
And, K wriggled on her back. I believe that wriggling in the snow is K's way of expressing joy.
We turned around at that point, hurrying home so that K could go to the vet and have her staples removed from her belly incision. The surgeon declared that she needed one more week of leash-only walking before we gradually allow more activity. I don't mind - I've enjoyed having my chocolate friend right by my side while we both heal. However, I suspect that K is eagerly anticipating a rambunctious romp through the snow.
While K was gone, R decided that he needed to take on the 'guarding KB' role. Everywhere I went, R hovered nearby.
Finally, I decided that I was too sleepy to try to write a blog post (I really didn't expect the extent of fatigue that I've had since surgery), and R and I snoozed together. He's such a sweet soul. And, he has impeccable taste in human friends. He and K worship SMRP, as you can see in the photo taken during our hike yesterday.
Houndstooth asked a good question in a comment yesterday, asking why the lion expended so much energy to move his deer carcass, only to allow scavengers to steal the remains. One thing that wasn't clear from my presentation was that the lion moved his cache on Jan 6 (Day 4 - see the video here).

Then, because we didn't know about the sneaky lion's move, our cameras remained at the former cache site, recording no photos for days. It wasn't until Jan 10 (Day 8) that we checked the cameras and discovered that the cache had been moved. I suspect that the mountain lion ate the remainder of the deer meat during that interval. Interestingly, mountain lions don't eat or gnaw on bones because their teeth aren't specialized for that tough job. Consequently, mountain lions always leave the bones for the the coyotes, who do the hard work of extracting nutrients from the bones themselves.

I'm still working hard on the 'documentary' style video montage of the hundreds of photos and video clips we collected. It's slow work but here's one of my favorites so far from the day the mountain lion moved his cache.


  1. Khyra says SUCH a nice 'khytty'

    Once again, more great pictures!

    After all you've been through, you've earned many a nap!

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Do you have less pain than you did? It seems like you mentioned that. Wouldn't that cause your body to relax more and get into a snoozy mode?

    Just more deep thinking from

    Jo and Stella

  3. A ha! The four day interval would explain a lot! It just seemed strange that he'd go to the trouble to move it and then leave it for the other animals to eat. That makes much more sense! I admit, I'm kind of going to miss seeing what he'd do with it next. That was a fascinating (and sometimes scary) episode.

    I think a lot of times, we forget how tired we were after we recover from a major surgery, accident or illness. Sleeping a lot is probably helping you to heal faster, though. I'm glad to hear that you and K are both on the road to recovery still. R looks so sweet there!

  4. Nah, K doesn't actually LIKE to roll in the snow. he's just got an itch to scratch. (insert cheeky grin.)

    good for R for stepping up! yay!

    I agree w/Khyra: NIIIIICCCE Kitteh! scary. you lead a wonderful life. i love the wild. well of course i would. it's in my name!
    wild dingo

  5. Nothing like a good roll in the snow, is there, K? We humans should try it some with you.

    And excellent guarding work, R.

    Really look forward to the mountain lion montage.

  6. Mrs Smrp looks about 12 years old in that photo !

    I believe that feeling sleepy is nature's way of reminding you she needs your energy to heal

  7. Hi KB, Great photos of the mountains and the Pups - I love seeing "our" mountains from your lens. Remember that rest heals - I keep telling myself this! Don't YOU start wriggling on your back in the snow with K - just yet! Have a great weekend.

  8. I love the way nature works. It's amazing just seeing this little slice of how the cougar's kill was consumed in different ways by different creatures. Some people get grossed out by scavengers but I'm thankful for the great clean up work they do. I hope the pain is lessening. Getting lots of rest is good even though I know it's frustrated for someone who is normally so active.

  9. What a beautiful day you and K had for a walk. And R is such a wonderful boy to take good care of you in K's absence. We hope the weekend is a good one for you and the pups.

    Woos, Phantom and Thunder and Mom

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