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Saturday, October 16, 2010

An autumn Saturday

Picking up right where I left off last time, the bobcats are tracking me! This guy visited a wildlife camera in an anonymous clearing in the forest. One sign that he's a bobcat and not a mountain lion is the tufts on his ear tips.
Then, just to make sure that he wouldn't be misidentified, he showed us his striped tail!
Early each morning, after these carnivores usually go to sleep for the day, K and I shuffle out for our little hike. Lately, our destination has been the same every morning - the only magnificent aspen grove within 200 yards of our house! The rising sun sets it afire each morning, just for us.
We trudge up the hill, with K's cast making deep clunking noises as it hits the ground, to visit the yellow paradise. K's graceful athletic movements are absent for the moment but I hope that they'll return.
It might not be our normal whooshing mountain bike ride but I simply love these few minutes in the peaceful forest with my K.

Yesterday, K had her weekly cast change, and things didn't look as good as I hoped. The toe with the surgically repaired tendon jutted up above all the others. The vet felt that it probably was still OK because, when the vet tickled K's paw pads, K was capable of pulling the toe down. Despite that, I still felt a wave of unease... a sick feeling that maybe her repaired tendon ruptured in the past week. However, all that I can do is wait patiently...

Regardless of how her surgery turns out or whether she can romp again, I still have K by my side. I know that is a gift.
Do you see the flower or star in her eye in the close-up above? I've never seen it in any of my other dogs. It seems mystical. However, the scientist in me had to look in a dog anatomy book to figure out what structure looks like a star in a dog's eye is but it's not mentioned! I'll have to ask my vet when I see her next week.

Some days, I have the honor of taking my black whirlwind, R, for a romp on my mountain bike after K and I walk. He and I are becoming more like a team during our rides, with R anticipating my movements and dancing along side me. I even asked him to "heel" next to my bike, and he did it! I won't kid myself - I know that he isn't yet ready to heel next to my bike in very exciting environments but we're moving slowly in that direction.

I find myself noticing the differences between my normal riding buddy, K, and my new partner, R. The most obvious thing is that R doesn't know the specific places where I've had scary crashes in the past. K has catalogued all of them, and she backs off to let me clear each obstacle before rejoining me. In contrast, R just blasts along as if those spots aren't notable! 

The second difference is R's rodent obsession. Hug Hill with K is a very relaxing place where I take a deep breath and give her a hug. With R, it's an exercise in controlling his chipmunk hunting! In the photo below, he started his search as soon as we arrived.
If I have "good" treats with me to reward him, I can convince him to "leave" the rodents and hang out with me. However, he's not yet as focused on me as K is. While he holds a stay for me, he usually samples the scents flying off the Divide rather than gazing at me.
On occasion, I can convince him to look me in the eye. His eyes are bottomless, warm and very brown! I love my black whirlwind!
A series of photos from one of my remote wildlife cameras shows why I work so hard to keep my off-leash dogs under control in the forest.

Early in the morning, a mule deer doe foraged on an animal trail. She wandered out of view to the right of the camera's view. A moist draw lies in that direction. My guess was that she was grazing down there after this photo was taken.
Then, a dog arrived on the scene, clearly following her scent. I know this dog and he was at least a quarter mile from his human. You can see him in the far right of the photo. My guess is that he didn't hurt the deer but he certainly provided extra stress.
This morning, after my short ride with R, I did a Tour de Aspen.
I climbed brilliant ridges, trying to immerse myself in the gorgeous aspens rather than obsessing over K's toe.
It wasn't hard with views like this one!
Have a great weekend everyone!


  1. Stunning photos as always. An absolutely gorgeous area you live in! Great post!

  2. Oh yes!

    What Mushing Kodi said!

    I love K's eye pic!

    Of course, you know which ones Khyra likes!

  3. K and R have a gorgeous part of the world to explore. :)

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae

  4. I think I need to make a trip to the Rockies right before winter blows in. The aspens with the divide in the background are amazing. This time of year seems so special.

    Paws still crossed for K. Can tendons re-rupture that easily while in a cast? Did the vet mention why her toe might go back to that position? Keep healing, dear K!

    Oh, I think a Kona-R combo might tear the forest down! I usually think that Kona is so spacey and vigilant on our trails because she's nervous, but I have a feeling it may also be because she's a young whirlwind.

  5. Several of us saw the star in K's eye from a week or two ago, and commented on its beauty. I have never seen that in a dog before.

    I agree with you about the Aspens, they are gorgeous. Here we have white birch, with yellow leaves, another beautiful fall tree.



  6. The views you captured are simply amazing!

    LOVE K's starry eye :)

    R it is too tempting not to chase those little creatures. Lucie enjoyed them very much too.

    Chasing my tale...
    Addie, Lucie and Hailey

  7. Somehow, through my 10 KB/s connection (internet's still not fixed), your blog managed to load.. A symbol of your and K's perseverance, I think. You will get through this!

    I am so thankful to be able to see the photos of R romping in the autumn forest. Glorious pics!

  8. I'm sorry the news on K's toe wasn't better, but don't give up on it yet! If it's been "resting" in that position in her cast, that could explain why it's pushed up. It might right itself when the cast comes off.

    I love that shot of her eye! Well, all of them! You take the best pictures!

  9. There is so much beauty in all of our worlds, if we couls just take the time to find it. Lives get filled with so much clutter that our souls get drained.
    Looking at the splendor that you see every day,,, takes my breath away,,,,, and it reminds me to take the time and look for the beauty around me... to take a breath and listen to the quiet.
    The photo of the star in K's eye is beautiful. I will never stop wishing on the stars in the sky,,, for K's foot to get better.
    You have something special in both of your pals.
    Thanks for sharing your world

  10. Both are looking beautiful in todays photos.

  11. i have never seen an iris like K's....really cool...K is a special dog indeed.
    love how you and R have bonded during K's recuperation....hopefully her surgery will be successful, no sense stressing about it now...
    i just love the aspen groves...such a calm, peaceful feel...and the beyond measure...
    what a naughty dog chasing the deer...but cool it was caught on the trail cam..
    and the bobcat, wow, so much activity this time of year!
    as always your blog and words bring me comfort...

  12. Your aspens are certainly treasures :)

    Very interesting flower burst in K's eye. Beautiful and unique :)

    Waggin at ya,

  13. that star in k's eye is something else. be sure to ask the vet!

    and i'm so glad you're spending time with R too... with every change in life, there's opportunity. he must be really getting a lot of workouts in with running AND your cycling!

  14. Beautiful photographs of an amazing fall, KB!...and that photograph of K's eye is incredible too! I'll have to show it to our Miss R...quite amazing!
    Sending lotsaluv to you and holding thumbs for K's foot.

  15. Such beautiful pictures. It always looks so serene. Eye see you..BOL
    Benny & Lily

  16. These pictures are just breathtaking ...I would try to ignore your inner scientist and believe that the star in her eye is a sign that all will work out ...

    Your pal, Pip

  17. Wow, never seen a pups eye look like that!

    Gorgeous scenery! As always!


  18. Hi AC,

    To answer your question, she could have ruptured the tendon without any movement at all. Tendons connect muscles to bones. If the muscle contracts, it pulls and stretches the tendon, even if there's no toe movement. That scenario might cause the tendon to rupture despite the cast.

    For the moment, there's nothing that I can do about it so I'm going to try not to worry. Her new cast is holding the toe in a different position so we'll see if that has any effect in the coming week!

  19. I have noticed that star pattern in K's eyes in some of your other recent close-ups. I've never seen anything like it. So pretty!

    When K is out of the cast, I wonder if you'd be able to shape her pulling that toe into position ... like physical therapy.

    In the meantime, we'll send her normal toe position and healing vibes.

  20. Your fall color is really something this year! I love the magic of K's eye. R looks so glossy framed by yellow!

  21. I love that gorgeous photo of the detail in K's beautiful eye. Leave it to me to be inspired to quilt that! If I could do stained glass, I think that would be awesome, too!!!


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