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Tuesday, August 31, 2010


No doubt, autumn is overtaking our world. This morning, I had my first sunrise breakfast since springtime. It's not that my breakfast has inched earlier - rather, sunrise is getting late.
As I drank my coffee with the sky afire, the coyote pack started howling. K ran to the deck railing in alarm. Our coyote pack currently sounds like it has 20 members howling and yipping together. But, I know that their voices are deceptive - I've seen three coyotes singing but they've sounded like at least a dozen. I hope that I get to see the pack sometime soon to get an idea of how big it is!
Then, K and I headed out for a ride with K in a close heel to prevent any coyote tricksters from luring her into a dangerous chase. A dog owner recently told me that she thought that we needed to "cull" the coyote pack. They'd tried to take one of her small dogs by using their patented technique of having one playful-looking coyote lure the dog into the woods where the rest of the coyote pack is waiting. While I certainly understood how upset and fearful she felt after nearly losing one of her dogs, I didn't agree with her "solution". I think that I talked her down to a more reasonable stance... but I'm shocked by how quickly humans turn to killing wildlife as a solution rather than learning to keep their dogs safe. Yes, I know that means that you can't safely "let your dogs out" to roam without supervision. But, that's a small price to pay for the diversity of wildlife that we have here.

This morning, despite my screaming spine, we headed up high to play in the brief flashes of sunshine through the clouds jetting overhead. K gave me a sly look.
We posed together at the top. I finally realized that K has NO motivation to look at a camera propped on a rock. That's why she always looks at me in these photos! My mouth is always open as I smile because I'm telling her to look at the camera. Maybe looking at the camera is a trick that I could teach her.
K has recently resumed an old game - she hides so that I'll call her. Because recalls are SO fun, she tries to force me to call her by disappearing into the brush. Her hiding place in the photo below was not one of her most challenging!
I try to find other ways to draw her out to avoid encouraging her hiding game. If I do a recall, it's the biggest reward that I could possibly give her for hiding. However, as I stand in the forest alone trying to cajole K out of hiding, I get visions of the photographs that I've captured of our mighty predators near our trails and give into the urge to call!

As we rode, we spotted a weathered butterfly on his last wings. I think that he was a Black Swallowtail.
I lifted the aging beauty onto a fading blossom before leaving him in peace. Most butterflies live such brief lives, weeks at most. Whenever I see one fluttering next to me on my bike, I think that they're so courageous, living so beautifully but so briefly.
I think that there's a lesson in a butterfly's life for me.


  1. OK, but just promise you won't make it "The Year of the Butterfly" anytime soon.

  2. Bravo on the comment about the coyote culling - along with other similar animals affected by our insisting on building on their 'lands' -

    K's pics were so awesome to see and smile at!

  3. The butterfly is a good analogy! Those are great pictures, too!

    K seems to have you between a rock and a hard spot on the recall game. She's holding the aces! I agree, I'd give in and call, too!

  4. We think the butterfly is a good analogy too. Great pics. Always look forward to them. They are beautiful & I really like the scenery.
    Ernie,Sasha,Chica's Mom

  5. We recently had an invasion of Monarch butterflies and they are so beautiful. I love it when they are here in big numbers fluttering around in the trees!

    Great pics as always, if I had that sunrise shot, I'd probably get up earliers.

    Jo, Stella & Zkhat

  6. I also am amazed that a common solution to something people do not like is to kill it. Very extreme. Thank you for suggesting other options. Sounds like you had a wonderful time out and about with your friends.

  7. Human nature . Isn't it wonderful? Rather than keep the dog in the yard much better to slaughter the wildlife. Sigh.

  8. Kia ora KB,
    I love your thoughts on the butterfly. We should all live that way all the time.
    Our first day of spring here, a real beauty. Though I still have the fire going the thought of the warmer days ahead have me smiling. Having written that the snow covered mountains still look beautiful and call to me strongly. Soon! Kia kaha my friend.

  9. I did a predawn ride this morning for the first time in about a month, and boy was it ever pitch black! Can't believe how quickly the days shorten.

    I've come across many people who don't have a clue why we have the variety of wildlife we do and what happens when we eradicate one. (Beavers in RMNP... classic example.)

    Thanks for the book suggestion and uplifting comments. Yes, I've listened to both of Lance's books. (LOVE books on CD!!! You can do so much while listening!)

  10. The selfishness of our species really shows through your neighbor's comments about wanting to cull coyotes. There are so many nonviolent solutions to the problem.. but she probably finds them inconvenient, so would rather take the easy way out and destroy a beautiful, wild creature that really hasn't done anything "wrong"...

  11. I'm going to make a "live like a butterfly" sign. Really, really like that idea.

    It's been awhile since I've seen more than one coyote at a time. I remember hearing and seeing coyote packs during the cooler months. I wonder if the seasons have anything to do with it.

  12. I especially loved the "woman and her dog" photograph. And yes, the sun is rising too late and leaving too soon.

  13. Amen to the butterfly moral.

    re: culling. yes, it's amazing how righteous we feel, like we think we own the world. here's an idea: teach your dog to ignore all other animals and canines. let them play with a strange dog only after they've come to you for permission. ya, seems harder than it is, but with some basic behaviors, chained together, it can be done. I'm no perfect dog handler, but I'm not sure i'd want to waste my time "culling" when it could be better spent with my own dog!

  14. Oh those cayotes! Yes, the pack lure can be scary. Think just being cautious, as you say.
    Fun recalls with K! :)

    Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
    Sierra Rose

  15. The butterflies are waning just like summer. K is so smart - she'd rather look at her friend instead of the camera (and she is doing her pose on the rock). I'm in Denver, and it was even cool here today!


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