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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bobcat spirit

A crystal clear day, with an azure sky behind snow-white trees, greeted K and me this morning.
It was the kind of day that we crazy mountain folks love. The air hung over our mountains as still as ever but below zero Fahrenheit. The cold and stillness preserved the snowflakes in the crystalline form that they fell.
K and I started climbing a ridge but her senses led her to high alert almost immediately. I tried to take her photo but she obsessed over something up the ridge.
So, I leashed her, and asked her to show me what was so interesting. She led the way, constantly moving her nose across the invisible trail to stay on course. K normally walks next to me or behind me on a leash so this behavior was extraordinary.

She led me to the only tracks on the slope, as far as I could tell. The tracks showed that a group of coyotes had contoured along the slope very recently. Only one set of tracks appears in the photo but several other sets paralleled it.
I let K follow them, briefly, on leash, and then we reset our course for our original destination. We emerged from the dark forest into brilliant sunlight reflected off the glittering snow.
As soon as we intersected a human trail and K seemed to have forgotten the coyotes, I let her run. We climbed Hug Hill, an astonishingly beautiful oasis this morning.
Despite the beauty around me, both my spirit and my body dragged me down today. I couldn't keep my normal pace. K peered down at me from the top of Hug Hill, with an inquisitive look that seemed to ask why I was so slow.
When I finally arrived, we reveled in the beauty and sunlight. K squinted at the bright world.
And then gave me the soft-eyed look that she's been showering me with all day long.
We found some elk tracks near Hug Hill and followed them for a while but my heart wasn't immersed in it like usual.
So, we turned around, headed back uphill and toward home. Again, K, the Queen of Hug Hill, waited for her faithful, but slow, servant at the top.
We headed home, albeit through some breath-taking meadows and past some active bobcat scent posts. I can't stop seeing more of their scent posts every day. It's as if my world is being taken over by those wonderful cats.
In fact, I got a short clip of video of a bobcat the other night visiting a scent post. But, it was so short that it's not worth showing you. However, I'm starting to wonder if I should keep a camera at the most active scent post throughout the spring to see if a mama bobcat ever brings along a kitten. Now, that would be a sight to behold!

We found R slumbering at home, tired from his long morning run. His fur shined and smelled like cinnamon. What a sweet boy!
And, K watched me pensively for the afternoon. Her face, half in shadows and half in sunlight, seemed to reflect how I feel.
Today, for some reason, the shadows kept creeping over my soul like they crept over K's face in the photo. I know that this mid-recovery slump is par for the course. After all, I've been through this process many times.

I wish that doctors would stop giving me warnings about the worst-case scenario for my spine. Those warnings echo in my brain at random times, leaving me feeling like my future is beyond my control. So much is beyond my control, simply dictated by the nucleic acids that make up my DNA, although I feverishly work at controlling the factors that I can affect. Staying physically strong, keeping my spirits up, and immersing myself in the things that I love.

I need to live, unfettered, seizing each day of this precious life. If a bobcat can not only eke out an existence but find the energy to play like a kitten, then so can I. I've gazed at my painting of the bobcat multiple times today and it helped me remember my aspirations for 2010. Be flexible and strong.


  1. Hang in there, bobcat girl! In the immortal words of Marge Simpson, "it's okay to be sad sometimes." (Just don't make a habit of it!) I know that this winter is wearing on me - maybe it is even getting to you crazy mountain folks!

  2. It was one of those Hollywood snow kind of days, fluffy and sparkling and crazy cold. Maybe it would help to see yourself as a heroine in an epic movie? Adventures of Bobcat Girl, perhaps. I could sew you a cape.

    P.S. Our blog redesign is up, but I hear it's messing with blogroll feeds. You may have to delete me, then reinsert me into your list to fix it.


  3. Maybe part of it is winter doldrums. They seem to have hit me pretty hard right now, and I haven't had major surgery! I know some warm weather and longer hours of sunshine would do wonders for my spirits right now. I recall as I recovered from surgery that I definitely went through a blue period. Fortunately, mine was in warmer weather! I hope tomorrow is a better day.

    I have to say, I'm darned impressed that you can walk through the snowy woods with uncertain footing, hold the dog on a leash as she forges ahead, run a video camera and wear a neck brace all at the same time! Heck, I'd probably fall over a tree stump just trying to run the camera. You have talent!

  4. Stay strong and stay focused on your goals - victory will be yours.

    Just breathtakingly beautiful photos today.

  5. What a beautiful day there? I love when the sky is that clear and blue.

    Glad to know the Bobcat is so inspirational!

  6. Stunning photos.

    I think strength and flexibility really shine when you're able to experience the low points, even if they last awhile, and then get up and out there again when it's time.

    Even if your body and spirit were down, your pictures and words exude strength and inspiration. Thanks for the post!

    @Roxanne-thanks for the laugh! I can see the Bobcat Girl cape now!

  7. Here in Minniesnowda, we just call them The Februaries, and I have been sort of lost in them myself.

    Morning I am Up, by noon I am blue,
    and so goes the day. I can't wait to get out of this deep snow and bone chilling cold but at the same time I love it here.

    And on it goes, we will both be OK,
    don't you think? I do.

    Cheers and hugs,

    Jo and Stella

    I'm glad the Bobcat makes you happy, too!

  8. Khyra says to remind you:

    That Bob is quite the KHAT!

    Great pictures again!

  9. Oh, KB, I'm sorry that your spirits and energy were low on such a glorious day. I must tell you that I intend to come back to these photos again and again - they lift my spirits! K looks regal in that white and blue world. I know what you mean about worst case scenario - we need to be aware but not tarry on the negative. Tomorrow is another day, KB - that's what we need to remind ourselves.

  10. I am still shocked every time a see you post a bobcat photo. They are like a different species from our local bobcats.
    Mom's note: KB after your full recovery, I suggest you take matters into your own hands. Find out what strengthens you and what hurts you and just listen to your body. Use your gut, your instinct. It's all about you. I know about those shadows all too well.

  11. Holy frosty crystalline world! WOW! KB: if I'd had your op. - even at your age and physical conditioning, at minus 0 degrees, I'd be a bit sapped. I think you're moving forward at a most inhuman speed with the sort of motivation that inspires a heck of a lot of people (and animals hehee!). That bobcat is just so gorgeous with furry jowls that proclaim him/her king/queen of the winter wonderland you live in. I'll bet all those creatures you (and K) follow get lots of R and R after a big hunt all over the front range. (And we love the pix of R!) Rest! So LOVE your blog!
    Hugs xo
    Sammie and Mom

  12. I think these pictures are some of the best I've seen in my time reading your blog. I am such a sucker for blue skies and white snow! K's chocolateness adds some nice color, too. She is looking gorgeous as always.

    Keep me posted if you decide to train R to do some retrieving. Marge is so smart and gets it perfectly, except for the mouthiness issue.

  13. Mind over seem to have it figured out.

    That lone tree pic is brilliant. Superb perspective. I'd love to share it on our fan page if you don't mind.

  14. Sorry to learn that your spirit is down to day, but you still are able to make wonderfull pictures and climb the hills. So I do hope that you are feeling better to day.
    Love EM

  15. absolutely beautiful pictures! i'm hoping to get a few days like that around here....
    love the pic with the tree against the sky...
    hang in there my hubby would say.."everyday can't be a home run"

  16. Your courage and honesty are as inspiring as the scenery you shared with us today

    The look of love for you in K's eyes is astounding !

  17. So much white beauty, with a little K color thrown in! I'm sorry to hear you are dragging a bit. I guess it's part of the ebb and flow of things. I'm glad you recognize it for what it is and that things will come back around. You are better at that than I am.


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