Since her surgeries, K hasn't been able to mountain bike with me so our entire routine has changed. I now start each day by hiking with K, gradually going further as she gets stronger.
You can even still see K's IV fur patch on her right forelimb, a reminder that my girl is still healing.
When we have fresh snow, I realize that our forest teems with bobcats! Below, a bobcat walked up a trail and paused, leaning back onto his hocks briefly, even leaving a tail mark in the snow. He probably smelled, heard, or saw something that caught his attention. Then, he continued his dainty walk onward and upward.
This mountain lion was heading in the direction of the forest behind my house either last night or early this morning. I hope that s/he passes one of my wildlife cameras!
I also realized that the lion tracks originated in a gully where I'd heard magpies and ravens calling raucously almost daily over the past week. I bet that the remnants of a carcass lie in that gully... but I chose not to investigate today. See, contrary to what you might think, I have some common sense.
The rest of my ride was peaceful and relaxing under blue skies with cloud formations whooshing past me in our never-ending winter winds. Although I know that we *need* real winter weather sometime soon to nourish the natural world, I'm reveling in riding "summertime only" trails despite the approaching winter solstice!