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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Springtime snow wimp

I have to admit it - I'm a springtime snow wimp. When I saw another layer of fresh snow this morning, I turned over and went back to sleep. Because I've banned myself from snowbiking this season to avoid hurting my recovering neck, I hiked with the pups today rather than riding outside. However, R seemed more interested in snoozing.

"Um, could you fluff my pillow please?", he seemed to say as I put on my snow hiking gear.
We headed out into an admittedly beautiful snowy scene. The sky beamed light blue with wispy clouds overhead. R gave me a funny look early in the hike.
We started on established trails so that the duo could work off their excess energy by romping with abandon.
K climbed a boulder for a better view when we heard the yapping of a large group of dogs and their human passing well below us on a trail.
Then, we started exploring an area that I feel certain will be popular bear habitat if spring ever truly blooms. It is a hidden valley of pole-sized aspen trees with a few gargantuan Ponderosa Pines mixed in. Those pines would provide great refuge trees for the bears to climb if they felt threatened while foraging in the aspen groves.
I found a towering pine tree skeleton towering in the aspen grove and looked at its dead wood closely for bear claw marks.
I found too many sets of bear claw marks to count. A zillion bears have climbed this dead tree or clawed at it over the years.
From the top of the bear tree, I think that this view of the mountains would be even more beautiful. I didn't climb to find out!
After tromping for quite a while, we found our first sign of recent animal activity. Deer tracks!
The tracks were extraordinarily fresh so I guessed that the deer had passed this spot within the hour. Because I've learned recently that doing a sit-stay calms R, I had the dogs do a sit-stay on the tracks.
Then, we backtracked the deer briefly with the duo on leash, and we found where the deer bedded down during the storm. Three bare spots stood out under the pine canopy. I had K sit next to one of them to give a sense of size.
The deer were shedding like crazy, leaving tufts of fur in their beds.
We practiced another stay in this spot that must have reeked of deer for the duo. I wish that I'd discovered sooner how much doing a stay calms R in extremely exciting settings. He didn't even pull on his leash toward the tracks after he did a stay.
After our exhilarating hike, we stayed in the warmth of the house due to the wintery cold outside. But, we took a sunset hike...


  1. When I heard on the news that you had more snow today, I wondered how you could stand waiting for Spring to get there when it seems to get everywhere else so early!

    The labraduo look like they're starting to feel it in the air! I love their pictures!

  2. Khyra and I will swap you!

    We are to get to 80 in the next few days!

    The last shot is awesome!

  3. Wow, almost May and still winter out there...makes you appreciate spring that much more, huh?

    Have you ever mentioned the Labraduos' real names?
    I have invented my own names for R and K, just to make them more personal...I refer to R as Rebel (I'm a southerner, you know)and K is Kate, because I like that name.
    Hugs and belly rubs to them,

  4. such wonderful pics of the duo! i love to see the bear claw marks...very cool..
    hope the weekend doesn't bring more snow! geez, it is spring after all!

  5. I can't believe how glossy K & R's coats look! They seem the epitome of health (thank goodness!). Your photos today are so interesting - that deer track and the shedding are signs I should soon be photographing, too- my snow is still so deep that the tracks don't show clearly. (And - more due this weekend, though thankfully, I'm in the city for awhile.)

  6. I've noticed a woman collecting similarly shed goat hair while hiking. I think she cards the wool into hair. Your deer hair picture made me think of her!

    R looks just way too comfy in that first shot!

    Once again, all your action shots are so fun. They make me want to escape my desk and run out to play!

  7. I think I'll join R for a bit of snuggle-nap time. He looks so comfy!

    Your title had me saying, "No way!" I just can't put you, R or K together with the word "wimp." The duo seemed to live it up out there on the snow.

    Thanks for the clicker suggestion for nose work. I don't use a clicker with Kona, but I'm am going to start giving her space when she searches and verbal-marking her find. That should help my fumbling with treats! Thanks for the tip!

  8. I'm going to say it again, I can't believe you got more snow! I love the photo of K's ears flying as she runs. I've got a lot of catching up to do on what you've been up to.

  9. Yay for snows! Our mountains had about 17inches recently... We're missing the snow already. Just beautiful snow covered trees! Great hike!

    Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
    Sierra Rose

  10. That 4th pic of K - ears!!!! Terrific! I just love visiting here, looking at the pictures and reading about your latest quest for wildlife "gold" in them thar hills! Thank you again for such great reporting!
    Huggers xoxo

  11. Those deer are in bad need of ... the Furminator!!! BOL Glad to be reassured you are still treating yourself well and are still in control.
    Now, YOU KNOW THE INVENTOR OF THE RATTLESNAKE VACCINE? OMD, I'm proud to know you who know him. Can we even guess how many lives have been saved and will continue to be saved in the future? Please thank your friend from me and my family.


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