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Friday, November 12, 2010

Nature's distractions

K seems to be healing. We had a surgeon's appointment today so that he could check her paw. He says that it looks good. Now, we just have to wait, rest K, and keep our spirits up.

The beauty of our nascent winter has helped distract me from worrying. The frost laden aspen twigs caught the sunrise light outside our bedroom window this morning, reminding me of the good in our world.
K now has a shaved belly from her abdominal ultrasound and a shaved forelimb. Since we're under winter's siege, we've dressed her in a fleece jacket both in the house and on walks.
On walks, her poor naked elbow is fully exposed to the 10°F air. It must be so cold.
Her spirits are good. She started our tiny walk this morning acting worried but gradually became more confident.
Behind K, you can see an aspen grove to the left. Each tree glittered with sun rays bouncing off the frost on their branches.
I saw and K sniffed small cat footprints carefully following my snow bike tire tracks directly into our clearing.
I believe that this cat is our resident adult bobcat. He left a scrape and scat in the middle of the trail, perhaps attempting to tell the kitten who has recently been hunting on our land that this is his territory. Bobcat territories tend to be held by a single cat, with little overlap so a confrontation between the kitten and grown-up may be inevitable.

I think that the bobcats heard that we needed their spirit infused into our life. I've never had so many bobcat photos in such a short period of time.

After K and I went for our little walk, I left her home to rest while R and I went for a snow bike ride. It was a glorious day, albeit a bit chilly. The temperature at the start of our ride was 15°F!
We almost immediately came upon a violent and confusing scene. I could see that R's body language shouted that something extraordinarily interesting was ahead of us on the trail. That usually means trouble so I called him and leashed him to investigate. Despite his excitement, he sprinted back to me.
The forest floor was churned in a 20X30 yard area, with dirt kicked up to cover the snow that fell last night.
Several pine saplings had lower branches broken off.
Then, I noticed the blood in the snow. There were areas with much thicker blood than this but I didn't want to upset anyone with the photos.
My next find was tufts of deer fur on the top of a fallen tree, as if a deer had been dragged across it. However, the drag marks ended just beyond the fallen tree.
Further investigation revealed nothing. R and I walked a big circle around the scene. The only tracks going in or out of the churned area were deer tracks. I expected to find mountain lion tracks and then a drag mark where the lion had pulled a deer carcass to a secluded spot. I found no such thing. R was fascinated with scents on the lower branches of several pine trees in the area.
Finally, after searching exhaustively, I cautiously let R off leash and continued the ride. He didn't show any sign that there was a carcass in the area. My best guess is that two male deer fought. It is mating season... so territorial spats can be expected. Does anyone have thoughts to share as to what might have happened at this scene?

I do know that a big buck passed near this area late yesterday afternoon... This is a very big buck for our heavily hunted population.
In any case, the forest spoke to me today and completely distracted me from my worries about K, albeit briefly. It's amazing how often nature serves a peaceful and calming role for me, even when I run across a violent scene like the one today. I know that territoriality and predation are part of the natural order so they don't disturb my emotional equilibrium.

Thanks to all of you for your well wishes. We're taking the best care possible of our precious K while we wait for news. I wish that the lightning blades of terror that keep shooting up my spine would disappear.
One last note - I'm sorry that I haven't visited many blogs in the past few days. I've been a little overwhelmed with everyday life.


  1. It is good to see K up and about and looking happy. Perhaps a large t-shirt would help cover her elbow without causing problems with the bandage?


  2. I'm glad to see K up and about after her surgery! I'd say that's a pretty good sign. If her elbow is cold, you could try putting some tall knee socks over (or under) the cast cover. Even better if you can find some to match her coat!

    I think your guess about the bucks fighting is a good one. My dad has seen some pretty nasty fights between bucks during the rut. If they happened to get their horns locked together for a time, that could have contributed to the ugliness. The scene definitely looked like a good distraction to me!

  3. Glad to hear that K is doing well and that the surgery went good.

    Your picturs and posts never seize to amaze me:)

  4. We KNOW Bob The Khat's visits have to be a furry good thing ;-)

    As for the visits, please don't push yourself -

    So much has happened in your world in too short of a time - it is totally understandable -

    Enjoy your weeKend!

  5. Glad to see K up and about! Sharing your spikes of fear down here in the lowlands. No snow in Greenwood Village or bobcats, either, unfortunately. Just a different sort of wildlife at Park Meadows Mall, esp in the parking lot...

  6. Its good to hear that K is doing better. With a snappy jacket to wear, she will be comfy enough out in the chill, and yes thats colder than us. We are having 40s day and 20s at night.

    I love the color Bobcat pix even though he is walking away from us. It would be good to see him head on!

    Cheers and hugs all around,

    Jo, Stella and Zkhat

  7. Very encouraging to see K out and about, enjoying her time in the open air, looking good. Paws crossed for a speedy, uneventful recovery and favorable test results.

    When mama had Great Danes, she used to use old sweatshirts to keep them warm. The sleeves covered the front legs to the "wrists" and it's stretchable enough to fit over a cast [and a fleece undercoat]. She'd cut the ribbed bottom and turn it into a tie around the waist to hold the sweatshirt up.

    Jed & Abby

  8. Its so cold on your moutain!
    Jeeper,,,, I hope your home is warm and cozy.
    The photo of the bob cat is soo cool. That is the best! And all the other photos you share are awsome too.
    We wish the fearful shivers down your spine would go away too.
    We are with you

  9. Glad K was able to get up and about a little bit. She looks good. Love the resilence of a dog.

    Can't believe the low temps you are already experiencing out there! Wow! That's real mountain living.

    I agree, there is nothing like nature to put your world back in harmony. Sometimes it is the only thing that show me that things are good. All of it's beauty and grace, and the cycle of life. Glad it works for you too.

  10. That is such good news about K.

  11. The Year of the Bobcat is so fitting. They are surrounding you with Bobcat spirit right now.

    K looks really good in those pictures. Here is to quick healing and good results.

    P.S. - And don't worry about blog visiting at a time like this.

  12. Cold but oh so glorious!

    Heal well, beautiful K!

    Woofs, Purrs and Hugs,
    Tommy, The Chans and #1

    PS: Our word verification is "graced" which is what we feel by reading your blog.

  13. Glad to hear K is doing so well.

    We had a similar distruction on several small locust trees in our field, lower limbs were broken or severely twisted in place. Deer I imagine!

  14. That's quite a mystery. I wonder what happened? I am glad K is in good spirits.

    Your pal, Pip

    P.S.: Rosie says if you can "hat" that bobcat she will post the picture! Just kidding.

  15. Brrrr, it sounds too cold there for me. We have had a sudden drop in temps here, but nothing like that. All the cold and rain make my old bones ache.

    It is so encouraging to see K up and about and ready to be outside. Your feeling of being overwhelmed is totally understandable. We hope that the weekend will bring some peace. And those bobcats are surely good signs.

    Hugs to you and the pups.

  16. Brrr... that must be so chilly on her shaved elbow. I'm glad you have such nice winter gear for K to wear.

    Ginko's haunch is just now fully filled in after his knee surgery in July.

    Get some rest. Take care of yourself and your sweeties.

  17. Good to see that K is out and about - she does look tired, though. Temps (windchill) in Breck were in the minus digits yesterday (we're still in the city and it's even cold here). Maybe two bucks were fighting over a harem. I'm learning a lot from the book, KB - now reading about placebo and nocebo effects. Fascinating!

  18. Oh, please don't be sorry. We all understand that you've got more impawtant things going on right now.

    I'm so very glad that K is up and around and feeling good.

    I luv that you take the time to looks and listens to the stories in the woods.

    Wiggles & Wags,

  19. So happy to see K up and around!

    I'm fascinated wif your life and environment and all the fings that you do...

    I know you are goin frew "some stuff"... and I fink you and my the Mom should talk. Just a fought.

    wif love from the Luke

  20. K looks good!! (Despite the best intentions of the tech shaving for surgery - we really do try to make it look as pretty as possible! lol) I, too am glad she's up and about. She's a tough girl and that always helps :)
    It is amazing how much positive energy we can harness from the natural world all around us...


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