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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Our lone coyote and hibernation

The whole pack headed out for a hike. My legs felt rubbery with fatigue but having my whole family with me helped push me through the snow and up the hills. At the start, we passed a group of towering and graceful aspen trees reaching toward the blue sky. This cluster has become a symbol for me as I watch them change with the seasons. Today, they remained dormant, no bulging buds obvious on their twigs. However, beneath the surface, they're more active than we know. Their bark contains the machinery for photosynthesis, and on a sunny winter day, they likely use that machinery to convert sun to glucose and store it away for later use.
Based on the blue skies to the east, we thought that the mountains might be visible from a high point. We hiked upward, with the dogs leading the way, and returning frequently to 'check in'. I began to notice some clouds on the barely visible western horizon.
A loose layer of powder deposited atop a deep base snow layer made the trekking tough but the dogs didn't mind!
The fresh snow glittered in the sunshine like millions of diamonds tossed recklessly across the ground. Every color in the spectrum emanated from them, and the colors changed as I shifted my head from side to side. What glorious gifts nature gives us!

When we arrived at the summit in the tracks of our dogs, the mountains were invisible.
But, a blue view with puffy clouds caught my eye to the eastern flatlands. It's rare that I love the view to the east more than the one to the west!
After arriving home from our hike, a noble coyote came by our forest clearing. This young canine obviously felt nervous about being close to a house in daylight. I don't blame him, after seeing what cruel humans can do to such a beautiful creature due to unfounded fears and hatred.
He repeatedly fled, with this crouched posture preceding a sprint.
This coyote seems to be our new loner. I wish that I could sort out the coyote dynamics in our home range. I know that, for the summer through February, we seemed to have a trio living nearby, two of whom acted like a mated pair, and a third who mostly traveled solo. One was shot and killed, and I believed that he was the loner. However, within weeks, three coyotes appeared together in a wildlife camera photo. Now, the pattern has returned to normal, with a pair traveling together and this young guy forging his own path.
He might be a newly arrived young coyote, searching for his own range. In any case, I hope that my fellow humans give him the chance to find his way in our world.

Now, I'm going into hibernation to get some serious sleep, just like the young cub has done with the resurgent wintery weather that's hit our mountains recently! I think that I've pushed myself too hard recently - a mistake that I repeat time and again - but which is usually reversible with some rest. The problem is that I hate resting - look at all that I might be missing in the grand outdoor world!


  1. Thanks for the tip on the shirt! I will have to order that really soon.

    I love your views! I love those days when the snow sparkles the way you described it today. It looks like everyone in your pack was enjoying it, too!

    I'm surprised the coyote would be so bold during the day. I suppose that all the animals must be creeping out of wherever they hid from the storm now, though!

  2. Are you having a normal amount of snow this year? It looks like a lot to me! The pictures are gorgeous as usual :) I was raised around Aspen tress and they have always been my favorite. I love the way their leaves look in a breeze. Get some rest now!

    Emma Rose and the Duchess

  3. You have a wonderful way of describing your incredible surroundings. Such a gift! Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. I can't believe how gorgeous the coyotes look where you live. I'm going to try to capture one from my area, on film, duh, and see what you think.

  5. I love it when R gets invited along, he seems to bring such joie de la vie to the outing!

    Sunday is a day of rest . . .so do it!

    Cheers and hugs,

    Jo and Stella

  6. I followed coyote tracks today and thought of you, KB. Rest and rejuvenate!

  7. beautiful pics! you are so lucky to live in this beautiful forest!!
    glad you are listening to your thing i am good at is relaxing...sometimes too much...(that's why i have bill:)
    hope your sunday is filled with peace and beauty...

  8. Great pics!

    All of the species are so intriguing in their own ways!

    Don't forget to take easy a bit!

  9. WOW!

    We just stumbled upon your blog and boy oh boy you guys are living the good life!

    Look at all that snow you have!

    Those coyotes are scary. We have those around here too.

    Chasing my tale...
    Addie, Lucie and Hailey

  10. Yes, you are like a kid who doesn't want to miss out. Or like Java, who I tried to wear out with a frisbee session but as I had company over, it didn't work. She did not miss out on a moment of possible action (or food). You are lucky to see/get photos of the coyotes. I mostly hear them but don't see them. Their group/family dynamics are interesting to observe.

  11. How awesome that your family was able to join you this outing. I am green with envy!

    I hope you got some much deserved rest. Yes, we miss photos when we sleep, but those critters seem to know when we need a new fix!

  12. wow, he's a pretty coyote. ever notice some can be down right gorgeous and some can be gosh-darn ugly (but still wonderful creatures of nature)?


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