I have to be honest - I'm having trouble foreseeing a positive spin to put on this blog post. So be it. Maybe I'll find the light as I write this.
One interesting thing that I discovered on a wildlife camera memory card yesterday was the previously featured doe and her fawn in full flight up an extremely steep hill in the evening. Except for the flat bench trail, this hillside is so steep that I use my hands to help me clamber up it.
First, the mother deer appeared but had already exited the frame a couple of seconds later.
It took a full 17 seconds for the next animal to blur through the camera's view. I'm 99% sure that it's the spotted fawn who we saw a few days ago in a wildlife photo.
Here's the photo of the pair in the same spot a few days ago.
Don't worry. I didn't get photos of any predators chasing them but the mountain lion who swaggered through a few days ago isn't far from my mind.
A host of things have me stressed out, including some legal stuff, R's unexplained loss of appetite, and indiscriminate shooting in the forest.
As for the shooting, during yesterday's mountain bike ride, I found teenagers, barely old enough to drive, preparing to shoot along a forest road. Believe it or not, they stood at one point on the road, their target was 50 yards further down the road, and they were just about to start shooting. It's a road that I use as part of a loop. Due to random good luck, I chose to go counterclockwise, which meant that I came up behind the shooters rather than behind the target where I could have been shot. I politely pointed out the folly of their shooting plan. Their response, with their vehicle next to them showing the stupidity of their reply, "we didn't think that anyone uses this road". Fortunately, they seemed to listen to me and I didn't hear any shots while I was in earshot. However, as I rode past them, I felt distinctly scared - every iota of power is in the hands of a shooter, not an unarmed mountain biker.
As one friend pointed out, the only person who is safe in that situation is the one shooting the gun. There's something wrong with a law that endangers unarmed citizens who want to quietly enjoy nature. I don't think that the 2nd amendment was designed to protect the right to shoot beer bottles, littering the ground with glass smithereens, and endangering hikers, runners, and mountain bikers who are quietly taking advantage of their unalienable rights to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness".
I also mentioned R's loss of appetite. We can't explain it although he'll haltingly eat "special" foods but not his normal kibble. We have a vet appointment for Wednesday and are hoping that our fabulous vet can figure it out. Nothing else seems wrong with him - no GI upset, no lethargy, no other signs of illness. It's very odd for a Lab.
Here's R moving in his usual zooming forerunner mode in our meadow.
To his east, the stormy skies told us to hurry.
This morning, K and I had a quiet ride together with no tumultuous events. I tried very hard not to let my dark mood affect how I acted toward her - she's such a sensitive girl. This pose, with her dark silhouette against the mountain backdrop seemed to sum things up. A beautiful dog full of love but my view is slightly dark at the moment.
I did, however, notice the gorgeous interplay of the clouds, green slopes, and craggy mountains in the shafts of sunlight.
I also noticed the gorgeous reddish chocolate color of K's fur against the mountain skies. I'm biased but I love it.
On our path, K and I found a massive rock flipped by a bear within the past 24 hours, for what appeared to be very little food beneath it. K is standing on it for scale. You can see the area where the rock was before being flipped in the lower left of the photo.
To test its weight, I jumped on it with my 110 lb weight, and it didn't even wiggle. So, I was curious about how much it actually weighed. I used my arm to guestimate its dimensions and used the density of granite to roughly calculate its weight. I got 117 kg or 260 lbs (yes, you now know that I'm truly a geek). Imagine how strong a bear must be to randomly flip a rock that huge, without knowing ahead of time that a feast awaited him/her under the rock. Wow. Thank goodness that most bears are timid rather than aggressive!
As I did my solo ride after dropping off K, I noticed that the last of the wild columbines had dropped their petals in yesterday's rain. I'm sure that the columbines are still blooming up at higher elevations - but for now, I have my very own columbines to enjoy. I planted them from seed a few years ago and they finally bloomed this year. They still have many buds nodding from their slender stems. What a treat!
I think that I found the light while thinking over my day. I had the good fortune of having the time and the physical capability to do some things that I love today. And, I have columbines blooming outside my door!