Yesterday evening, we hiked among the thunderhead clouds, which skirted our slice of he world but looked beautiful on the horizon.
In the cool of the evening, we practiced recalls. With all the wild animals who have been active near our house, recalls are a major key to safe walks.
This morning, K and I headed out, just the two of us, for a fun ride. Although she enjoys playing with her brother, she also loves solo bike rides when we're on our own.
We rode quietly, not crossing paths with another human, and listening to the calls of birds rising from the treetops. Our favorite, the hermit thrush, sang his mournful song from the pointy top of a Douglas Fir tree that towered over an aspen grove.
It was hot, at least for us wimpy mountain folks and dogs, so I gave K all the water that she wanted. I carry water in a camelbak and squirt it toward K's muzzle for her to drink. My photos show that she gets cross-eyed as she tracks the water into her mouth!
I think that it's time for our annual shift to an earlier start for our bike ride. While the "heat" (all 70 deg of it) doesn't bother me too much, it can be dangerous for a running dog.
I spotted one of my favorite flowers, the understated skullcap, a low and tiny flower that has just started blooming.
After I dropped off K at home, I explored the same area as yesterday but without any major revelations. All that I know is that some very fun trails negotiate tough terrain, and animal signs abound. On one little section of trail, I took a break for a snack, and I noticed how many of the aspen trees had "bear art" on them.
Some of the art was very recent, like these deep slashes in a live aspen tree left by a bear raking his claws across the tree.
Near the end of a quiet ride, I noticed a sun-soaked spot in the forest with a Serviceberry bush blooming with glorious white blossoms. Our bears will enjoy the berries later in the summer!
After arriving home, I checked two memory cards from wildlife cameras set up about a mile from each other. The first was at "Bobcat rock", a major scent post where bobcats frequently leave scent marks. The second was at the location where I've captured so many bear photos and videos recently. I suspect that this is the same bobcat as patrolled these two sites on May 27. On both May 27 and June 3, the time interval between visiting the two sites was about the same. Moreover, I can't find any tell-tale differences in the fur markings.
The main reason why I'm leaving a camera at Bobcat Rock is that I want to see if the bobcat ever brings young to site. I suspect that she's a female, and earlier this year, I thought that I saw tracks that indicated that she'd met a mate. My fingers are crossed for a photo of a mother cat and her kittens, but it will still be a while before that occurs if indeed she's a mother cat. Gestation is 60-70 days, and biologists say that the young don't start traveling extensively with their mother until they're around 3 months old. My cameras will patiently wait to see if we can get bobcat kitten photos.