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Thursday, October 14, 2010


Bobcats seem to be following in my tracks. First, one walked in front of a remote trail camera shortly after I'd visited it to change its memory card.
Then, very early this morning, a mountain cottontail rabbit fled as a bobcat arrived on the scene.
The bobcat didn't start by going toward where this rabbit had just hopped away. Rather, the cat went under our bear-proof birdfeeding station, which hangs high above this photo at the top of the metal pole. Initially, the bobcat crouched and slinked, as if he had spotted prey. Notice that this bobcat is shaped more like a kitten than the first more lanky one.
Then, he moved fast and low to the ground, passing behind the birdfeeder pole.
Finally, he stopped, looking or sniffing something unknown to me.
He patrolled our property for about 7 minutes before walking past the same camera as the bunny hopped past when the bobcat arrived.
This morning, when K and I started our little walk, she told me that someone interesting had visited overnight with her excited body language and sniffing. We walked to a spectacular aspen grove. It's funny - after the past two days, K has decided that I always want her to peek at me from among aspen leaves. She found an appropriate spot. It's fun having a canine friend who is so sensitive to what I like.
After meandering through that aspen grove, we wandered among pine trees on our property. The sun still lazily hung low in the sky but a shaft of sunlight found K.
Aside from our walks, K and I are still playing lots of training games, including "identify the toy". She's doing amazingly well with that game except if there's a ball among her choices. She always picks out the ball, regardless of what I say! Another fun activity for K is that she and her brother play, usually with K lying down and R dancing around her. I had to end the game shown below because I can't let K jump around and play. She needs to lie still while playing!
After taking care of K this morning, I went on a long and wandering mountain bike ride. I've had this notion that I could figure out how to connect two fun trails without going on any roads. After consulting maps, Google Earth, and a friend, I was ready to try this morning. It's amazing to live in a place with so much open space that routes exist that people rarely travel.

I passed through unmarked and unknown areas with vast granite walls and open meadows of dry grass. Sometimes I was on slightly trodden paths, and, at other times, I was technically lost because I didn't know where the path had gone. In my wandering, I came upon two hulking mule deer bucks who split up when they spotted me. One kindly posed for the camera - he's a much bigger buck than I've seen near my house where the population is more heavily hunted.
At one point, I muttered, "it's time to turn around" because I hadn't seen any sign of a path in 15 minutes. Then, I changed my mind and pedaled a little further. Voila - the yellow brick road! It took me where I wanted to go without seeing a sign of another person. I love it when my wanderings lead somewhere. I think this route may become a regular one for me.

Then, I connected to a path that I've ridden before, and I almost skidded when I saw the size of the very fresh bear scat in the middle of the trail. It was filled with bird food mix... so this bear had raided someone's accessible feeder very recently. It's not surprising since natural bear foods are almost impossible to find in our forest these days. I think that some bears are hiking up from lower elevations to den up here where snow will hide and insulate them later in the winter.
From that path, I caught a stunning view. I will never take my world for granted.
And, I rode past aspens still wearing their autumn finery.
At the end of the day, I took the Duo for a short walk within K's range. Then, R and I scampered up to see the sun set. As I gazed at the stunning sunset, an elk bugled. It was so out-of-place that I halted in my tracks... but then I knew for sure what I'd heard. It must be that big bull elk who I captured on my trail camera recently. Although he's not up in the alpine zone participating in the herd's rutting ritual, his hormones are still telling him to make that ethereal high pitched bugle.


  1. That snow-covered mountain photograph is amazing! I loved this post, not the least of which was the rabbit really moving along.

  2. Another winning post -

    It is truly hard to top K's Aspen in the sun pics -

    BUT Khyra is still voting for the 'khytty'

    Thanks again!

  3. Speechless...your surroundings are breath taking.

  4. So, was the skidding because you almost rode through it? *grin* Sorry, I had to ask!

    You truly live in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, with two of the most photogenic dogs ever!

  5. This post is one I will come back to several times and look at. The snowy mountain and down in the valley dark green pines bordered by yellow aspens! K nestled in the aspen leaves. All just a feast for the eyes.

    Stella and Jo

  6. Sounds like a good day...wish o had your trails by me!

  7. K looks very pretty in the sunbaked leaves!

    The kitten bobcat looks very cute but I am guessing he isnt one to be messed with!

  8. I hope that bunny escaped the bobcat!! What kind of bears are in your area? Do they come out during the day or just at night?

    Beautiful pictures as always!

    Your pal, Pip

  9. Hey KB! I'm romping around the blog this morning trying to catch up with everyone! Your pictures are SIMPLY AMAZING!! I have my own place in the Smoky Mountains now and I hope to start hiking when I'm there in hopes of making my back stronger! XOXO

  10. Mr. Pip: We have black bears here. We used to have Grizzlies until they were exterminated early in the 1900's. The black bears prefer to be active during the day. In the remote parts of the forest, they stick to moving around during the day and sleeping at night. But, when they want to move through areas with lots of people or raid birdfeeders, they tend to shift to nighttime.

    Mr. Koda MD: The bobcat looks ferocious but is too small to attack a human unless absolutely cornered. I've also never heard of a bobcat hurting a dog around here. The bobcat prefers to climb a tree and taunt the dogs from above!

  11. Hmmm... perhaps a few bobcats out there have dubbed 2010 as "The Year of KB" and they are following your tracks because you are their living symbol of feistiness and resilience. Just a thought....

  12. Phew KB, what fabulous post! Where to start?
    Your pictures are outstanding!....I am curious, in the 3rd picture is a 'red eye' in the that another cat or is that the infrared?
    Secondly, I can see the immense bonding which is happening with you and everything (even adversity) there is investment!
    Thirdly - that antelope picture is truly amazing!
    You live in an incredible environment! you are so blessed!
    Sending lotsaluv to you, your pooches and your hubby.
    Have a happy, healthy weekend.

  13. What a Most Magical place you live in! Did you know we have kittehs, too? But they're smaller than yours and they live inside.

    I think you're very wise not to take your world for granted. It is Most Special!

    Wiggles & Wags,

  14. I wish we saw more bobcats around here. I've never seen one. Tom once saw a very young one near the road.

    That is a hoot that K knows you want photos of her in the aspens. Smart girl!

  15. We could stay at your blog forever.
    Thank you for showing us more splendor from your world.
    The buck was awsome. We have deer and wild animals around us all the time too, but have never been so close to a buck as you.
    K is so gorgeous, and I think she like to pose for photos, and if that is so, we are happy, because we love to see her.
    Thanks again for sharing your world

  16. That was a killer mountain shot! Breathtaking!

    You really have some 'wild' rides and hikes :) Always enjoy seeing the bobcats, bunnies, deer, and whatever else comes your way :)

    Glad so far all you've seen of the bears is their poop :)

    Waggin at ya,

  17. WOW! Just stunning photos! The bobcat ones are amazing and love the one of snow covered mountain. you are so so lucky to live in such a beautiful place! :)

  18. You Have the best Photo's Ever! That has to be the biggest Rabbit I think I have ever seen i my life. Love the view, we would love to live there minus the mountain lions.
    Are you ever scared when you are out hiking?


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