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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The aftermath

After a long day yesterday, I'm struggling today with the aftereffects on my spine. Despite the lingering pain today, I loved the Mark Knopfler concert. Seeing and hearing such a guitar virtuoso is a treat. Moreover, I find it inspirational to observe someone who is so passionate about his calling. He obviously loves making music and was born to do it. I think that having passion like his is what life is all about.

This morning, I woke up feeling like my neck would never turn again because the long drive and the concert hurt it. It still dumbfounds me that I am capable of so many active pursuits but anything that involves staying still (sitting, standing, or even lying down) causes me pain. Normally, I just avoid things that require staying still but I broke that rule yesterday (for good reason!).

I rolled out onto the trails with K this morning, hoping that riding would have its usual magical effect. We had an easy and flowing mountain bike ride. Pedaling worked its magic and my muscles started releasing their spasms.

We stopped to enjoy a view that showed storms already brewing.
While we were stopped, I noticed a buzz of activity around the Pasqueflowers. They timed their blooming perfectly as flying pollinators have just appeared. One blossom had a bee gorging itself on the nectar.
And, a ladybug and a fly enjoyed the second blossom. If you magnify either photo, you can see the pollen sticking to the bugs' bodies preparing them to pollinate another bloom.
After we got moving again, K and I explored a deer/lion trail and found pine-needle cushioned bed where snowy tracks have shown that a mountain lion likes to lie in ambush. I've been debating whether to put a wildlife camera here because I don't want to give away the lion's ambush spot. However, I have a 'covert' cam (the infrared flash is almost invisible) that I'm getting very tempted to put on this trail. K didn't look too comfortable with sitting next to his scraped out bed!
After riding with K, I took the two pups for a hike and the horizon looked beautifully tumultuous.
As we hiked, we crossed a churned elk path where the entire herd had marched very recently. I took advantage of the opportunity to practice recalls with the Labraduo in the presence of very tempting and strong elk scent.

On one of his recalls, I thought that R had decided to veer away from me and head for someplace more exciting.
But, he resisted temptation and corrected his course.
We followed the elk path over hill and dale. They have a secret route up a north-facing slope that winds among the snowbanks! We climbed and climbed, never stepping in snow, all the way to the ridgetop. I think that our wildlife must have amazing spacial memories, with detailed topo maps inscribed in their brains.

Along the way, we found the remains of an elk kill from much earlier this winter. Fur covered the ground but the coyotes had dispersed the bones over a large area. The elk use this route so regularly that I'm guessing that lions lie and patiently await the elk when the herd is nearby.

We finished our hike by clambering through a boulder ridge. As I hiked below the line of boulders, R suddenly appeared above me, like a gloriously handsome jet black statue.
Now, it's time for yet another walk. My neck and low back muscles are screaming. My motto is, when in pain, get moving! I guess that my recovery isn't complete - a theme that my wise physical therapist keeps emphasizing.


  1. Oh KB - wish I had a magic wand to free you of your pain - my DOG - that must hurt so much. I can't believe that you are able to go out on your bike or hike to those remote places of wild discovery in that kind of agony. You certainly found some beauty today - love those photos of the bee, fly and ladybug on the yellow flowers. Beautiful! And, of course, adore the photos of the labs and descriptions of their training - the elk smells must be so tempting!
    Hugs xo
    Sam and Ma

  2. It's better that the pain is helped with activity, how worse it would be if activity aggravated it.

    Your posts of the excursions on your bike and hiking are a pleasure to read and the views of the mountains and sky must be wonderous for you!

  3. How lucky you are to have such beautiful scenery and company to enjoy while you are out moving and doing your therapy!

    I'll be curious to see the shots you get with the new camera spot!

  4. I loved enlarging the two flower pictures, there is a threesome in the second one, the fly, the ladybug and a little whatsit thats very plain.

    The picture of R above you is wonderful, too.

    Hope that tomorrow finds you feeling better!


    Jo and Stella

  5. Thanks for sharing the highs and lows of your past day -

    Great pics as usual!

  6. It's too bad that your payback for an enjoyable night out is a day of pain! But, you know how to manage better than anyone else I know, and you seem to be keeping with the theme you set of bobcat spirit.

    I have to admit, the picture of the bee gave me the heebie jeebies. I really hate bees. We have a few that swarm near the roof of my house every year -- we've called the exterminator, but he says they'll just keep coming.

  7. Hope you'll feel better soon and get back to the best of health in no time!!
    Very nice close-up of the pollen and bee!!
    Thanks for sharing with us!!
    Paws crossing for you!!


  8. Hey KB! Isn't Mark Knophler great! :) We really get your hesitation, as we used to go see many concerts, but it has just become too uncomfortable! Still LOVE music, but more armchair enjoyment that attendence. Great hike with K and R! Keep on movin'!

    Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
    Sierra Rose

  9. We figured your day of firsts would leave some unpleasant residue, but we also knew you would accept it and move on. Hope today is less painful for you.

    What a gorgeous shot of R in that last photo. Gloriously handsome indeed.

  10. Bummed to hear about your pain after the concert. I have no idea what it's like to have your kind of back pain, but I feel ya when it comes to needing to avoid being still. It's funny how what seems to be restful can make our bodies feel worse.

    It's fun to see your forest transform into Spring.

    Thanks a ton for the bike and recall training info. I hope this will be a year of trail training with Kona and I'm always up for your insights! You have two great trail dogs!

    I need to work on the "sniff recall." I can recall Kona when she's running full speed ahead (not chasing anything), but getting her off a scent is harder for her. Always work to do!

  11. I'm six years into my surgery, and I still can't stay still. But that's not such a bad thing.

    I do wish, though, you could be free of pain.

    Loved the close-ups of the pasqueflowers with the pollenators!

  12. Sorry you had to "pay" for all of yesterday's fun, KB! Great wildflower photos.


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