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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Action from sunrise to sunset

Although I yearn for more daylight and cheer each extra minute that we gain, I also love being out in the forest for both sunrise and sunset in one day. As K and I hiked upward early this morning, glow of the sun below the horizon set the treetops ablaze.
K led the way as we climbed out of a dark low meadow and onto a sun-bathed high plateau.
She stood stock still sampling the scents in the air.
The sun had just peeked over the rocky pinnacles to our east.
The higher mountains glowed in the sun's rising light.
K seemed to say "the future's so bright that I gotta wear shades"!
Ah, after days of stormy weather, my chocolate girl and I reveled in the sunshine.
 Alas, a ceiling of clouds still sat above the horizon. Soon, the sun disappeared behind them.
K and I hiked onward, investigating the tracks of a mountain lion who passed through our forest early on New Year's morning. I wonder if it was the same cat as I tracked a couple of weeks ago. She used a slightly different route but her paw size and shape matched the tracks of two weeks ago. Again, I barely missed getting any photos of the lion with my remote motion-activated cameras. I'm sure that my luck will change soon.

When we left the lion's tracks, I released K to run. Whew, did she ever run! We are in the only fun part of the paw ordeal where I can see K getting stronger every day.
We kept exploring - the snow can reveal new animal routes to me - wildlife camera placement possibilities - so we ranged far and wide looking for animal tracks. The animals had finally ventured out after days of extremely bitter cold and high winds. Deer had meandered inside aspen groves, bobcats had marched from one boulder outcropping to another, coyotes had visited the expansive meadows to hunt rodents, and a solitary mountain lion had cruised our neck of the woods, like a shark hunting for dinner.

When I nearly missed a wildlife sign, my faithful K pointed it out to me. I'm ecstatic that we're a team in the forest again!
At the end of our hike, we arrived home to find a content R snoozing in the sunshine on the dog bed by the roaring fire. R had run, eaten, and now was sound asleep in the sun. What more could a Labrador want?
During the day, a coyote visited our clearing. He was extraordinarily wary, watching and listening for any sign of danger.
His orange highlights glowed in the sunshine. It's been a tough few days for our wildlife. I'm sure that he welcomed the warmer and calmer weather even more than we did.
Finally, our foursome took a sunset hike to Hug Hill, seeing the brilliant colors of the setting sun in the eggshell blue sky.
I'm feeling as content and sleepy as R was, snoozing in front of the fire. It was a wonderful start to 2011.

24 comments:

  1. Looking at all of deese beootiful pictures was a wunderful start to 2011 fur me!

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae

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  2. Hi KB,

    Thanks for sharing those special moments...our hearts and souls are at peace enjoying all the wonders that God puts in our daily path.

    BrownDog's Momma

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  3. The coyotes never cease to take my breath away!

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  4. Love the glow of the sun on you K
    Benny & Lily

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  5. Great pics of the coyote!! So glad to see K getting more active :)

    Pugs & Kisses,

    Yoda, Brutus & Ellie

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  6. I love the K "red dog" pictures too.

    Every single thing is inspiring, and I look forward to your blog everyday.

    Cheers and hugs,

    Jo and Stella

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  7. Awesome pics... have I said that before? BOL

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  8. Awww little K wants sunglasses!

    Licks,
    Ruthie

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  9. K looks like she had a wonderful time exploring with you!

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  10. Wow, those coyote pictures are amazing!!! How close were you I wonder? He/she does look nervous.

    Your pal, Pip

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  11. Oh yes... a flying K! That's my favorite blaze in the morning sky!

    norwood
    PS- that coyote is beautiful. Is it unusual to be out during the day over there?

    Happy New Years to you all

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  12. Beautiful pictures.

    I have to tell you...I thought of you the other day when I was walking the dogs in the woods behind our house.
    During our walk I noticed deer tracks and possibly coyote tracks then we came across a puddle of blood...I began to get nervous and was looking all around, then I thought about all of your adventures and how you encounter bear tracks and lion tracks and I felt like a big wimp as I quickly headed home:)

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  13. I love all the pictures, but that last one just takes me away to somewhere else! It is wonderful to see K improving daily. You must be so happy as you watch it unfold!

    I feel like joining R for that nap. We didn't get to go out yesterday, but we got our first hike of 2011 in today! It felt so good to get back out there.

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  14. 'The futures so bright I gotta wear shades !' K should go to Berkeley.

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  15. Good to see K getting stronger every day. Infer her paw is not hurting her; is she still licking it? Happy New Year! May it bring perfect health to K and greater strength to us all.

    Jed & Abby

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  16. K seems so spirited, it's wonderful!
    Sure hope the end of 2010 means the end of all suffering of pups and kittehs and all animals everywhere.

    Wonderful peektures, as always.

    Woofs,
    Pepsi

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  17. So glad to hear the hope and joy in your voice again as K gets stronger by each day. It is wonderful to watch her warm free spirit jump and run with you. We are very grateful for the team is back together again.

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  18. Beautiful way to start off the New Year! Nope, don't think could ask for anythin more :)

    Waggin at ya,
    Roo

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  19. I'm so glad that I am getting this chance to see your world. It is so beautiful, and so different from mine. All of the wonderful creatures you share it with take my breath away. Though, truthfully, I don't know if I'd want to know that there was a mountain lion sharing my little woods by the Bay.

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  20. If these photos are out of that new camera, then you have just about sold me on it. Now if only I had the same scenery:) So good to see K enjoying her time out with you.

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  21. What a fantastic place you call home! We are glad your soulmate is well enough to run in the glory of the morning again! And though you are chilled to the bone, you are able to warm all of our hearts. Thanks.

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  22. Mr. Pip: I was about 30 yards away from the coyote but he was outside and I was inside the house!

    Norwood: Yes, it is unusual for a coyote to come close to our house in the middle of the day. However, I see them regularly in our meadows and forests during daylight.

    Jen: I think that you have more common sense than I do!

    Jed and Abby: K's paw is doing much better. She rarely limps, and she licks it only occasionally. The lump is still there but I'm starting to truly believe that I shouldn't worry about it. The next big test is stopping the antibiotics (she's been on them for 8 wks) - and seeing if the infection recurs.

    Thanks to everyone for their comments!

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  23. I do not know if you know,,,how much your blog means to me. The photos and the words that paint your world,,, take me away to another place and time.
    Watching K soar leap like a kangaroo- running with the wind,,, and the splendor in your sky and world,, I just need it,, and I thank you
    love
    tweedles

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