I hiked with the Duo yesterday evening, in the serene and soft moments just before the sun dipped below the mountains to our west.
Then, this morning, K and I started our mountain bike ride shortly before sunrise, reaching our favorite lookout point in the rosy hue of the first sun rays.
At the start of our ride, K snarled and growled with agitation as we departed from our clearing. Only later, I discovered that a bobcat visited the area under our birdfeeders last night. He managed to hide his face behind a fireweed plant but we can see the rest of him. I wonder if this is the same cat who visited us regularly last winter? Maybe I can tell if I do a side-by-side comparison of their leg stripes and tails.
Based on the stripes inside the front right leg, I think that our visitor is a different bobcat from the one who passed one of my cameras shortly before it was stolen.
Autumn is here. The temperature hovered at freezing when K and I started our ride, and crystalline frost covered green leaves of Golden Banner wildflowers.
The leaves that the sun had touched dripped with melted frost, like this aspen leaf whose gold is emerging.
After I dropped K at home, I accidentally rousted a hawk from the ground cover under a pine forest canopy. He tried again and again to take off but carried a heavy load in his talons. His expansive wings flapped powerfully but he couldn't get the lift that he needed to gain altitude. I quietly backed up, trying to undo my bumbling entry into the scene with no success. Eventually, he left his prey on the ground and flew up to a branch to watch me. I believe that he's a Northern Goshawk, a large raptor with a 21" body length and 41" wingspan.
I quickly investigated his prey, a rabbit whose front end had been picked clean but whose hind end remained, and departed. Like always, I felt mixed up - happy that the hawk had a full stomach but sad for the innocent rabbit.
Have a great weekend!