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Monday, April 26, 2010

So There, Mr. Truck Driver!

I woke up and peered at the skylights to see if we'd had more snow. I didn't like the answer the snow-shuttered glass panes gave me. But, then I glanced toward the east. Wow.
When I walked outside to decide whether I could ride my bike, a pristine white and blue world met me.
I perused our dirt road, and the snow hadn't started melting yet. With my gnarly studded tires, I felt certain that I could ride my mountain bike on the road. I rushed back to the house, donned my cycling gear, and headed out. Alas, while I'd been changing clothes, the road had turned into a roux of mud and slush, interrupted by an occasional pond of brown slushy water.

Most drivers around here are incredibly kind, giving me lots of room, and trying not to spray me with road slush. Some drivers even stop to let me cross a slush pond ahead of them to avoid spraying me. So, today, when a pickup truck driver stopped on the opposite side of a muddy slush pond and waved me to go through it, I initially thought "What a nice guy!".

But, his intentions were not as kind as I thought. He was setting me up for a mud and slush shower. As I started to pedal through the abyss, he accelerated directly toward me and swerved away at the last minute, covering me in a spray of muddy slush from head to toe. A not-so-nice string of words poured out of my mouth but I refrained from saluting him. A multi-ton truck will always win over a bike.

I was soaked to the bone, covered in mud, and couldn't see through the sludge on my sunglasses. It took a mighty mental struggle not to head directly home. But, I reasoned that if I aborted my ride, the idiot in the truck would have won. So, I kept riding, and the intense sun began to dry my clothes. By the end of the ride, I was comfortable again and having FUN. So there, Mr. Truck Driver!

The main reason why I went out on my bike in such horrid conditions was that I thought that my recent neck flareup had been caused by a snow-induced layoff from outdoor riding. It seems as if I was right. I felt the muscle knots ease while I rode, and they haven't returned. So there, Mr. Truck Driver!

Once I'd wiped the sludge off my glasses and had started to dry, I noticed the beauty of the world around me. The snowy and cloud-veiled mountains:
A half-thawed pond with two barely visible ducks paddling in it. Those are hardy souls!
By the time I finished my ride, the blue sky had turned to gray and snow drifted down from it. I took off my entire outer layer in the basement and stowed it in a garbage bag for direct transport to the washer.

In the subdued light of a mild storm, the Labraduo and I went for a wander. They obsessed over rodents. R stood with his ears cocked and then pounced like a coyote. He started digging and K soon assisted him.
K quickly lost interest but R had to be lured away from the hole. I suspect that there was a rodent under there somewhere!
Near a viewpoint, the duo practiced a sit-stay. R has finally matured enough to reliably hold stays for me in the forest. It's such a convenient skill for a dog to have.
I asked him to hold another stay a little later in front of a fabulous view. However, I don't think that it's possible to capture the details of a black dog's face AND the bright mountain background. So, this photo lets you see our handsome boy.
We meandered through aspen groves, and found a nest hole that a Flicker pair was renovating. They'd pulled a lot of dried grass and other nest material out of the hole, and it littered the ground below the tree. For many years, Williamson's Sapsuckers nested in this hole. Last year, the Sapsuckers moved to a tree about 20 yards away because the Flickers had usurped the prime nest site.
Actually, I'm surprised that it's a prime site. Look at the bear claw marks climbing up to it. Perhaps the cavity is too deep for a bear tongue to steal eggs or nestlings.
When I arrived home, I discovered interesting coyote interactions recorded on my wildlife cameras. A lone coyote often forages under our birdfeeders at night. Two nights ago, a second coyote arrived and immediately started badgering the lone, and probably less dominant, coyote. The aggressor briefly departed, and then returned, making a beeline straight for the lone coyote. I found the similarities to dog body language to be uncanny. Enjoy!


  1. I love the sky in that first picture!

    I guess some people just have to be jerks. I'm sorry! I'll keep my fingers crossed that he ended up with a flat tire further on down the road.

    For some reason, I have this picture of you sitting in your control room like the leader of SPECTRE watching all your wildlife camera feeds. :P I don't know why that image came to me! I always love your pictures and footage!

  2. What great coyote observations!

    It looked like a great game of bitey face and bod ready to break out!

    I found Vince and Prince quite captivating - they are now listed as an adopt together pair on The Last Resort Site - I was thrilled to see that - along with some of my pics!

    Khyra says she'll be watching for her snow - she sat out in the rain for a time today hoping it was coming!

  3. Was that truck a military type vehicle? He got me a couple days ago and also got two other neighbors. I heard him laugh as he totally drenched me in mud. Can we do something?

  4. How horrible - the occupants of that truck ought to be reported and arrested (yeah right). So sorry you were subject to such abuse. As always, the wildlife and photos of K and R are amazing. The first photos look as if it must have been freezing out, but then you mentioned all the slush. Views are incredible, however and love the coyote pix - poor beta canine!
    Hugs xo

  5. Oh my blood is still boiling from your truck encounter. I don't think I would have responded so reasonably. I have a bad habit of chasing down jerk cars and trying to catch them at red lights. Luckily (for me) by the time I catch them, I usually have a shot of endorphins in me from sprinting, so I typically make eye contact with the aggressor and give them a nice smile. That usually bursts their car-bubble and I'll occasionally get a laugh from someone who realizes that the person who they just screamed at to get off the road just passed them.

    But you're right, big truck wins.

    Glad to hear your ride helped your neck...muddy clothes and all.

  6. Hope that guy slid into a ditch. Makes me so mad.

    Great coyote video.

  7. what an a-hole (the trucker)! good for you to not let him ruin your ride...
    fascinating coyote video! he wants the bird seed all to himself! i know mounting is a dominance position....but could this be a male and female? or wouldn't a female let him get that far?

  8. So glad you didn't let such an offensive person ruin your day, DJann! The snow views are magnificent.

  9. What an a** that truck driver is!
    Good for you for not letting him win!
    Love your wildlife camera, it's so cool!
    K&R are both so beautiful!

  10. Hey there,
    The nerve of the truck driver! What a rotten maneuver.
    The video is fascinating. And, always love seeing K & R!!

    Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
    Sierra Rose

  11. I had so much fun going over the older stuff taking in mainly the beautiful photos. Such beauty, I especially loved the Labraduo on its back :) The coyote video was amazing, it made me long for sound. As for the truck drive, you told him! So there, Mr. Truck Driver! Thank you for your comment yesterday. It appears that Linguini doesn't have any mast cell tumors :) Same for Frankie. Good news.

  12. Fabulous sunrise, KB - glad you got up! That is a handsome photo of R, too! I'm afraid that truck driver has earned some bad karma - glad he didn't ruin your ride or your day.

  13. amazing how much wildness you share with us in each post. Wonderful that you have a wildlife camera to capture these things!

  14. I was so joyous to see that gorgeous first photo, and then my mood took a polarizing turn as I read about Mr. Truck Driver. Surely related to some of the motorists I have encountered on my training rides. I admire you for not saluting him. And good for you, keeping your cool and pedaling on even though he was such a naughty boy. BOY. Love that word. BOY. Maybe that's the worst thing we can say about him!!!

    Man, I get some of the best word verifications on your site! Today is CraftU. How appropo!

  15. PS: Forgot to mention how much I love the coyote video and transitions!

  16. i read an article this a.m. on FB about a JERK who owns 40 some-odd grey hounds and uses them to hunt coyotes--FOR SPORT! not for keeping his livestock safe or anything like that. his poor greyhounds have suffered many injuries and even death from jumping off a cliff (4 of them did that) in the hunt for a coyote. he seems to enjoy being a rebel against "too many laws" (his words). jerk. dogs hunting other canine species for sport not even for protection of livestock. it's almost like promoting dog fighting.

  17. BOL - did we forget to tell you that Ciara and Thunder came to visit that night? ;-)

    Woos - Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  18. I love your spirit to keep going! I think about all you've been through to get back on that bike. Grrr! The photo of the pond is gorgeous!


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