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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bobcat, deer, and our beautiful world

My luck seems to be turning at my wildlife cameras. A bobcat padded softly past one late yesterday morning. The tree that he was closest to in the photo below is a scent post that he chose not to mark yesterday.
But, he did seem to consider marking it. As he passed it, he paused and gazed at it. Perhaps he could tell that he was the last one to mark it so there was no need to "refresh" the scent.
I also checked the gully wildlife camera where a bobcat recently visited (see photos in Friday's post). A pair of does and their nearly full-grown fawns passed the camera. Fawns stay with their mothers for almost a full year if their mothers survive the hunt. I don't know how fawns fare if their mothers don't survive the year.

Mule deer are renowned for the size of their ears and the telescoping motion that lets them orient their ears in whatever direction they choose. One of the does demonstrated this perfectly. First, the doe in the foreground listened to world in front of her.
Then one ear monitored behind her while the other monitored in front of her.
Finally, both ears pointed backward, alert for an ambush.
The second doe who passed the camera with her fawn carefully sniffed a stump that I thought might be an animal marking post based on tracks at its base, scuffing of the wood, and fur stuck in the splintered wood (as if an animal has rubbed against it). Based on the doe's interest, I might be right. We shall see if any animals mark it while my camera is in this spot.

Today, K and I were up and ready to go easily in time for sunrise, a surprise after a tiring and long day yesterday.
This morning's sunrise started dark and then grew brighter and more psychedelic.
Due to low clouds on the eastern horizon, the world became bright later than usual. Once the sun peeked over the clouds, I reveled in the bright blue sky and warm air while K obsessed over the elk scent wafting from our west. A bevy of elk spread out over a meadow, nibbling the dry grass.
In the afternoon, our pack clown, R, decided that it was time for a hike hours earlier than usual. He paraded around the house carrying my lumbar pack which I usually wear for hiking. When we took that away from him, he countersurfed and trotted off with a Netflix DVD with plans to gnaw on it (he's done it in the past). Next was some paper recycling that he shredded for us. We finally got him focused on a dog toy so that we could delay our sunset hike until sunset. I'm beginning to think that the boy isn't ever going to grow up - and I love it!
When we *finally* headed out to hike, R was full of zany energy (surprise, surprise!).
During our hike, we explored some boulder outcroppings for the very first time. We've never before had access to the boulders or the expansive meadow that they adorn because an audacious landowner fenced in a huge area and claimed to own it. The truth has now emerged that the resident owned only a small fraction of the fenced area, and the people (and dogs) are taking back their national forest! I should be more shocked by the whole fiasco - but mountain people can be crazy.

The Duo examined the gaps between the lichen-covered boulders with exquisite care.
The Duo didn't get stuck under the boulder... although I was worrying as they slithered further and further into the crevice.
We enjoyed a long and warm hike. Unbelievably warm weather has taken hold here, ever so briefly. After temperatures in the 40's for the past couple of days, Tuesday's temperature is projected to bottom out at -17°F and reach a scorching -8°F during the day. That'll make for some Michelin Woman days...

For now, we'll enjoy the warmth and the hint of spring in the air!


  1. the pictures sure feel of spring! today in madison i could sense the feeling of spring too! tomorrow we are "hopefully" getting 6-8in of snow! busy week ahead for me, so i won't get to the ski hill...
    i also enjoy the dogs crazy antics...i love the energy they give to me!
    looks like your cameras are perfectly placed!! so exciting to see what meanders by next!

  2. Your description of R's antics made me smile. Both of your dogs are so full of life.

  3. You guys have the best places to play and look for pee mail!


    Mr. Nubbin'

    PeeS. We are not looking forward to the cold air that is coming either. :-(

  4. Oh yea, dats warm...NOT! Hehehehe! What happened to your snow?

    My mum wonders if I'll evers grow up and I just tells her "nope"!

    I am still amzed dat ya'll gets to live wheres ya'll so...sigh.


  5. Wow! How thrillin' to catch your post the same day it's posted! It's been very warm here in the SE too.
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  6. Okay, that picture of R completely cracked me up! I have to wonder if he and Morgan could possibly wear each other out! Nothing tires that girl out.

    Somebody just fenced the area off and clained that he owned it? I wonder if I could try evicting the Village Idiots that live next door to me...

    I think everybody got a taste of Spring but us this weekend! You're in the forties, The Herd was at fifty one degrees and we were lucky to get to a balmy thirty four degrees! That Groundhog better make the right call on Wednesday is all I know!

  7. HELLO!! You certainly do live in an amazing and beautiful world--I can't believe how little snow you have--I guess we got your snow delivery by mistake this week, and you got our warm temps!

  8. I've been reading along but haven't commented in a while. Looks like K is feeling better, right? R is such a scamp. He sure knows how to get things moving.

    The wildlife action cam is totally cool.

    Mango Momma

  9. So beautiful. Love the kitty bob cat
    Benny & Lily

  10. Your world is most beootiful! Mom and me luvs da wild life cam! :)

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae

  11. Ruh Roh - my mom had to look away from those pictures of K and R going between those boulders. She is kind of claustrophobic.

    I LOVE seeing the spots on the bobcat. I don't think we have ever seen such close up shots. And of course, the doe and fawn are just lovely!

    Your pal, Pip

  12. Great pics AND content!

    Thanks for sharing!

    I saw an 'R' whilst waiting in Hagerstown for my Sunday passengers! Handsome and friendly boy!

  13. you see such wonderful things! I am so glad you share them with us.

  14. I love how K's collar is as bright as the sky in the picture of her with her head turned over her shoulder.

    Impressive footage from the forest cams, too - especially the bobcat! I love how crisp and clean the pictures look. And, it doesn't look like winter up there at all.

  15. I had no idea R was such a little terror! I love it!!

    Lol-Michelin woman:)

  16. Great shots of the bobcat and deer! Those trail cams you have are the best!

    That crevice in the boulders looked like a lot of fun for K and R to explore :) Glad they didn't get stuck!

    Waggin at ya,

  17. Those trail cam pictures are fabulous!

  18. I'm jealous of your bobcat pics. I can't for the life of me get one on my cameras.

  19. Missed commenting on a few posts after a weekend of fun away from home, but as always just gorgeous photos.

    We have one very frisky girl here today after a long weekend at the kennel:) But there is excitement in the air for the big snow expected tomorrow. We missed the 55 degree day here Friday and will be subzero by Wednesday.
    The humans here say bring on spring, but not the pups.

  20. I love watching the deer when I'm stalking for precisely the ear movement you have documented. And I adore those bobcat photos! R is really funny, carrying around all your stuff to play with!

    Stay warm!

  21. That goofy R. I can just see him prancing around with your pack. At least you know what he is thinking.

  22. Once again, I'm amazed at the clarity of the wildlife camera photos. I've never seen such quality from a camera like that. Every time I see your dogs romping together, it makes me want to get a playmate for Java. But I want to be a much more proficient trainer and more settled into my new life before I take on more responsibility. It wouldn't be fair to the dogs otherwise.

  23. There's nothing better than zany dog energy. Zoe is our zany dog, and I love seeing her antics!! It looks like R had a very busy day. :)

  24. That was a little scary seeing K and R in the crevace. I think I would not be able to get out,, cause I am so little.

    We read this post a little late..
    its all springy in these photos,, you would never believe the temps that you now have!
    Mother Earth is stiring the tides.


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