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Sunday, December 26, 2010
K and I have continued our routine of arising early and hiking up to see the sunrise. This morning, we arrived just as the sun crested the eastern rocky hills. Fittingly for this day, an airplane left its contrails above the sunrise.
I received a very special gift from my father for Christmas - a digital SLR camera. It's a much fancier digital camera than I've ever used before. My father gave it to me in the spirit of my mother who was an avid photographer and very accomplished by the time of her death.
I barely know how to make my new camera function but I used it for all the photos in this post. K's incredible sunrise fur glow wowed me again.
Below, K contemplated when I was going to stop pointing my crazy contraption at her!
The almost horizontal sun rays left a shadow directly behind K on a lichen-covered boulder.
Later in our hike, the rosy hue had faded from our world. K pranced to me through an aspen grove. She's been limping a fair bit, activating my "paw radar" as I monitor her recovery carefully. I'm supposed to continue to let her gradually increase her activity - to strengthen her paw despite the bumps in the recovery road that we've encountered. Tomorrow, a specialist will check it... Hopefully, we're just seeing a normal topsy-turvy recovery from a major orthopedic surgery like an amputation.
We arrived home to find R playing wildly with the stuffed toy cardinal given to him by our nephews.
Our nephews and K posed many times on boulders. R never stayed still long enough for a posed photo!
The elk herd has grazed near our house almost constantly for days. The herd is huge, more than a hundred-strong, so my photos never capture all of them. Sometimes, the coyotes come out and play on the frozen pond behind the herd. Usually, the herd completely ignores the coyotes. However, occasionally, for unknown reasons, the herd aggressively chases away the coyotes. My guess is that the herd acts protective when one of their own is weak and might be vulnerable to the coyotes.
The herd doesn't always completely ignore me. This photo was from about 75 yards away! I love my camera!
My recent sunrise escapades form the backbone of my strategy for keeping my spine happy despite the holiday hoopla. I need to be active to keep the pain tolerable so I arise in the dark to get out early while everyone else sleeps. First, I hike with K. Then, I leave K at home and head out for some mountain bike trail time - the key activity for keeping my back happy. I finally return home when my "regularly scheduled" morning muscle spasms have loosened up. (This whole routine was more compact when K was able to mountain bike with me...) This strategy works but I always need to catch up on my sleep when the holidays end! Here's one of the sunrises that K and I have seen.
I hope that you are all well rested and happy after this vacation time!