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Friday, June 11, 2010

Neck and neck

We hiked at sunset last night, enjoying the birds singing, the squirrels chattering, and the cool night air. As usual, we started with a couple of recalls to remind the dogs to listen to me during the hike.

On their first recall from a side-by-side stay, I captured the first stride, showing that the two dogs started neck and neck.Competitive R used his first stride to cut off K so that he could "win" the recall. It's interesting watching the interactions between two dogs with such divergent temperaments. K reticently lets him win every time. She seems to sprint harder when she does a recall by herself. Then, in certain situations, like when they play with stick, she turns on her afterburners and outruns him. I don't totally understand their relationship but it's fascinating to watch it evolve.
We scrambled up to our sunset lookout point just two minutes before the golden orb fell below the Continental Divide. The duo sat for a photo in the slanting sun rays like a pair of bookends.
As the sun dropped the last inch below the mountains, the green aspen leaves stood silhouetted in its light.
We turned and started the short hike home. Now that I know that the mountain lions roam so close to our house after their deer kill a couple of weeks ago, I hustle to the safety of home after the sun sets. But, during our hasty retreat, I did notice a harbinger of our weekend of tumultuous weather, including freezing temperatures and lots of precipitation, some of it snow.
This morning, K and I rolled out for an easy ride, and I immediately noticed signs of bear activity on our trails. I pass this tall stump daily, and it didn't have a cavern dug out of it yesterday.
Other stumps and trees showed signs of a bear foraging, including a lifeless Ponderosa Pine stripped of its bark, exposing an orange fungus with a spotted beetle on it. I think that the beetle was lucky not to have become bear food last night!
As K and I pedaled up to thin air, the view to the south showed a cloud front enveloping our world.
K seems to have decided that posing is *always* appropriate on our favorite hill. I love the look on her face in this photo.
Later, the clouds lifted for an instant, giving me a last peek at the mountains for a few days.
It's amazing how many new flowers are emerging each day. A parsley flower spread its canopy wide like an umbrella in the midst of a forest of flowers.
And, another yellow flower, a cinquefoil, just opened its rose-like petals to the sky.
When it rains it pours, whether I'm focusing on how many new flowers have blossomed overnight or the pelting raindrops ringing as they bounce off of our metal roof. I hope that the nesting birds and other wildlife parents can handle this winter blast while raising their young. I hope that the just-sprouted seedlings in my vegetable garden can withstand it. The wild vacillations in mountain weather must be tough for all of the animals and plants.

Happy Weekend to everyone!


  1. Wonderful photographs of your lovely area and, of course, the dogs. Our Lucy is a sprinter and will win the short one. In fact, Ellie seems to look at her and say, "Go for it." Ellie is a distance runner with a steady pace and great endurance.

  2. I like the idea of your two "watchdogs" - each looking in a different direction. Yes, we are expecting snow here, too - I hope my gardens can withstand it. I had hoped to hike and find more Calypso's tomorrow - we'll have to see what the morning brings.

  3. Do you have a fence around your veggie garden? With all the nibblers out there, I can't imagine how you can keep an eating garden!
    Great pics as always!

    Cheers and hugs,

    Jo and Stella

  4. Truly beautiful pictures. You can easily see that they have a special, heartfelt relationship.

    from Bark Of Love

  5. I love that bookend photo best of all, but I swear you never take a bad picture! They're all gorgeous!

    I hope the storm is fleeting!

  6. I concur!

    Never a bad picture here!

    I'm so glad you are kind enough to share them!

  7. Love the pictures of R and K racing (and the bookends!). Always fun to watch the oneupmanship (or is that oneuppupship) that goes on here at Chez Herd.

  8. The bookend photo is just grand as is the one of K alone on the hilltop - we think she loves to pose for you:)

    Always amazed by the unique (to us) and beautiful flowers you find.

    Woos - Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  9. Today we celebrate UNITY in DIVERSITY with Maxmom and with all of the wonderful dog-blogs that have taken the spirit of the World Cup and made it MORE - made it an exercise in understanding, tolerance and community.

    Today we cheer for the United States of America on our bloggy and welcome you with open paws to celebrate with us☺

    Momma says that dogs running and smiling makes her smile and cry tears of joy☺

  10. Always beautiful pictures. I especially like the colors in the last evening hike photo.

    I hope your vegetable garden weathers this next storm! I'm sure your forest will turn the extra moisture into more flowers! (I hope, anyway.)

    And a question: Where can I buy by own bookends?

  11. Stella,

    You are right! I have "cages" of fine wire mesh that I put over my veggie garden. Otherwise, every little sprout is gobbled up by animals!


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