Early this morning, I sat on the deck with my coffee to watch the day begin. Hummingbirds frantically buzzed around the deck, vying for sugar water from our feeder. When the males became obsessed with their territorial squabbles and escalated to sparring, the females would silently sneak in for a sip. Meanwhile, the flycatcher couple called back and forth to each other, "I'm here", with the reply "I'm over here". Occasionally, one of them would flutter under the deck, trying to evade my notice as they tended to their eggs.
Then, from a nearby meadow, a lone coyote raised his head in song. Our black lab, R, lifted his snout to the air and joined the song. For a moment, the two canines seemed to sing back and forth, and then both fell silent.
I sat back and knew that this was why I lived here- the peacefulness, the beauty, and the animals.
Soon, R relaxed next to me, his coal black fur soaking up the early morning sun.
Eventually, I mustered the impetus to pedal onto the trails with K. It was a postcard perfect morning. K and I pedaled to a viewpoint and conferred about where to go next. A whole world stood open to us.
We decided to go west through wildflowers, pine forests, and aspen groves.
She explored over a small rise and I called her.
Over the rise, she sprinted a beeline to me.
As we swooped along, K stopped in an aspen grove that will soon be overflowing with columbine flowers. She sniffed the air. I wonder if she smelled the buds just opening all around her.
Oh how that gray muzzle that has emerged in the past year scares me. K is part of my soul and I hate to hear the ticking of the clock.
When we reached our turnaround point, two mule deer bucks stood statuesque in a meadow, each with soft velvet antlers. They pronked, kicking high in the air, in opposite directions, one toward the forest and the other toward the mountains. K restrained herself and did a perfect recall. I took the opportunity to practice a few more recalls, with K starting in a sit exactly where the deer had stood. Their scent must have been overwhelming to her. Can you pick out K sitting at the very end of the trail?
She galloped up the meadow's rise to me, with the enthusiasm of a puppy. Perhaps that gray muzzle is no big deal.
Those almost neon yellow flowers in the meadow were Golden Banner, the flower that I've mentioned frequently recently. This is their time to shine!
On our way home, K covered my back while I enjoyed a Boulder Raspberry blossom. These bushes flourish in the most harsh and unlikely spots, like in the midst of a boulder pile with no visible soil.
Today encompassed why I love my home in these mountains. Now, I have the luck of getting to hike with a favorite partner who is as fascinated with our animals as I am. What a day!