The only advantage to the inexorable shift of sunset earlier into the day is that I see many more of them. Lately, R and I have been combining training and sunset viewing. The other evening, sunset viewing took over for a while.
Storms over the Continental Divide painted a tumultuous picture just after the sun dipped below the mountains.
I'm keeping up with our program of mentally stimulating R by doing lots of training - both basic obedience and games. Today, I had R do one more stay on Hug Hill before whooshing downhill, through crunchy aspen leaves that smelled like autumn.
Today, while I rode with R, I noticed that we were following the path that a bobcat had taken last night. Scrapes and scats marked the route about every quarter mile or so. I stopped to examine one and, suddenly, I thought that R had disappeared. I started to freak out, and then I realized that he'd assumed K's post, guarding my back. He was sitting directly behind me, surveying the half of the world that I couldn't see. His gesture, perhaps learned by watching K or perhaps an instinct, touched my heart. This boy and I have a long friendship ahead of us.
After noticing all of the bobcat scats, I feverishly hoped that the bobcat had posed for one of my trail cameras. Alas, he triggered my slowest camera (the first one I ever purchased before I'd discovered Trailcampro.com) while scraping the dirt to mark his territory but darted out of the frame before the picture was taken. All that I had to show on my wildlife cameras was about eight does sprinting through a clearing (completely unrelated to the bobcat's patrol, I'm sure). Here's one doe partially hidden behind a tree taken by my very best camera that is so fast that it never misses a thing, not even a sprinting deer.
Amazingly, some new blossoms have just emerged in the few wet spots in the forest. These precious purple clovers seemed to leap out of the landscape today as I mountain biked through the forest- a small sign of new life in the midst of a forest that is going to sleep.