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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Boot camp: sunrise to sunset

K and I hiked up high before the sun rose this morning, and we watched the show unfold.
When the first sun rays hit K, she glowed unbelievably.
In my photos from yesterday's sunrise hike, I noticed that K sometimes moves her "bad" paw very oddly when she wears a boot on it.
I decided to let her spend almost all of today's hike with a "naked paw".
She trotted with enthusiasm and no hitch in her stride.
She climbed rocks much more confidently without that slippery sole under her foot.
She jumped with amazing grace.
She trotted with long reaching strides.
And she galloped with an enthusiasm that made me forget the whole paw ordeal for a little while!
It was my lucky day. After the sunrise hike, I had R's ever-exciting companionship for a short snow bike ride.
With R, I alternate letting him run wildly and then asking him to "stay" so he can learn to harness his energy. Here, the black jet is stationary atop Hug Hill.
I left him in a stay all by himself on the peak, and I descended out of sight before calling him to me. Wow, that boy can move!
Later in the snowbike ride, I found mountain lion track superimposed on my bike tracks from yesterday.
I was both excited to see the lion track and had a nascent feeling of unease that a lion seems to be cruising our neck of the woods so intensively.

I did some research about how to determine a mountain lion's sex from its track. I discovered that scientists use the width of the heel pad as the main determinant. That's the triangular pad near the back of the paw. I discovered that this lion's heel pad width falls into the category of a large adult female (or a subadult male). I also learned how to distinguish individual mountain lions based on extensive measurements of every conceivable aspect of a track. I might try to do that so I can figure out if it is indeed one lion who keeps tracking all over our forest. I use my 3.5" long handwarmer for my scale to let me take measurements from my photos.
Later in the day, after resting, I took both halves the Labraduo for a sunset hike. Rottrover left a very funny comment two days ago about "boot camp" at my house, involving many hikes, bike rides, and photo shoots - all in one day. She's right! Actually, the amount of hiking has increased exponentially recently because K is not allowed to snow bike with me yet. Before her injury/amputation, I included her in part of my snow bike ride and did no morning hike and a very short evening hike. The net effect of our new program is that K is getting stronger, and I'm getting very very tired... I hope that K can snowbike soon!

The Duo didn't seem even vaguely tired during our sunset hike. In the photo below, K looks incredulous that she actually beat R in a recall! She's getting faster and stronger every day.
The sunset cast an orange glow on the whole forest.
Being in the forest for both sunrise and sunset with my duo of wonderful dogs is, without a doubt, my favorite part of winter.


  1. Oh, I take it back -

    THIS is the best series of pics -

    Until tomorrow's ;-)


  2. Once again being to share such incredible splendor with both K and R has to fill your heart to bursting! Just the photos make us all smile and cheer! I truly understand the magic of is my favorite time to run with dad at the Park!

  3. I found you through Bunny's post at Tales and Tails! I say we hike, but after viewing your photographs (breaktaking) I think I may need to go back to calling mine "walk"s lol.

  4. I cannot tell you how excited I am to see all those (amazingly captured) action shots of K. She looks so strong out there! Toe problem? What toe problem?!

    I think you could charge for folks to sign up for "KB's bootcamp." R could be your drill sergeant. . .

  5. Beautiful sunrise and sunset picture, it is wonderful that you get to experience such beauty each day!
    My heart beats a bit faster each time I see you and K and R enjoyng the world together:)

  6. That toe isn't going to hold K back from anything! I am not sure who looks more surprised in that race picture -- K or R. He sure doesn't look like he wants to concede defeat to his big sister! I am also glad that you don't have any Greyhounds because my pictures would look awful next to yours. K looks like copper!

    I love that series of sunrise pictures, especially that one where the sun finally just bursts over the ridge!

    Yeah, incurable daredevil on everything but a bike! I also went sledding straight down a cliff on our farm because my dad told me I was too much of a girl to do it. *snort* He had grand dreams of raising cowboys and had two daughters instead!

    I started thinking about it and forgot to mention that I found your blog because of Angus, Wilf and Digby. I just have to see what they've been up to every morning before I go to work!

  7. That does it. I want a dog that glows!

    Tank's Asst. (for now)

  8. I don't know, KB. It looks like you've got your girl back!

    I like Tank's concept of the "glowing dog." She truly looks like she does.

    And please, sign me up for Boot Camp!

  9. So great to see K out there running, trotting, galloping, climbing, and yes, glowing! That sunrise series is just phenomenal. I so admire that you get to do that every morning!

  10. Outstanding pictures of the sunrise and sunset, but my favorites are always of your dogs. You can see/feel their joy in each picture and I'm so glad K is coming along nicely.

  11. beautiful pictures of K!!
    wish i could part take in your daily boot camps!!

  12. I agree with kks. It would be wonderful to hike those trails. Of course, I can say that, safe in NY. In reality, I think I'd have to change from a fat old lady, to a fit old lady before trying it.

  13. We have to agree with Khyra's comment too. Mom thinks she really doesn't need a new camera - she needs to hire you as her photographer:) We are all very happy to hear of the tremendous progress K is making. Have a wonderful weekend.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  14. That layer of thick clouds in the view from Hug Hill was magnificent...just as R & K are.

  15. K is truly responding well...activity and love...what more good a puppy want? Again, spectacular morning and evening shots.

  16. Hi Y'all,
    So great to see K stretch her wings.
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  17. These photos are ALL just purely splendid and it looks so great to see K having a good time again.

    Cheers and hugs,

    Jo and Stella

  18. I don't know what it is about sunrise and sunset photos. No matter how many I see, the feeling when I look at them is never lessened. They always lift me up. Thanks for taking them as I miss having my own in person sightings and look forward to seeing what you capture.

  19. Your pictures are breathtaking!

  20. Your sunrise/sunset shots are spectacular, KB! That lion is either walking your path or you're riding his! I'm so happy to see K romping again.

  21. It's great to hear that K is growing stronger by the day! She and R sure do wear terrific smiles on their faces as they race about! Now about that paw print in the snow . . . it looks huge to me! It's amazing, and kind of scary, to know that you walk the same paths as such creatures. Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

  22. Oh, how it warms my soul to see K running again. Lovely photographs of your beautiful area and canine pals.

  23. Gosh, there sure are some happy doggies in this post. And that makes ME happy, too!

    Wiggles & Wags,

  24. It's wonderful to see K's recovery progressing so fast now. Did she have any ill effects after the most recent boot-off day? Maybe she doesn't need the boot any more?

    Your photos, as always, are stunning. Aren't mountain lions territorial? If you're seeing the tracks in the same general area every time, wouldn't that suggest the same animal[s]? Seem to remember reading once that a male mountain lion has a huge territory which he may share with 2 - 4 females who each have smaller sub-territories. Of course, a young male from last year could be trying to find a vacant territory now in anticipation of Spring. Most interesting. Watch your back.

    Jed & Abby

  25. Your "backyard" is an amazing and beootiful place. I can only dreams of doing snow zoomies in it. :)

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae

  26. It IS a sort of boot camp!!! But a wonderfully appreciative, and learning-encouraged style of boot camp! Love the format of this post - from sunrise to sunset - can't imagine what it must be like to live in such an amazing place. Also am AMAZED by K's recovery - and naked paw - she looks good as new, KB!!! I know you weren't sure if she'd ever run again, but she looks as if she's already outrunning R - even earlier than you hoped? WHoooohoooo! So much here and such gorgeous pix - your new camera is indeed amazing! Such an amazing job to keep "track" of all Mtn. Lion tracks - you are incredible!
    Hugs xoxo
    Sammie, AValon and Mom

  27. it's really too bad the pups and i can't come join ya'll on these gorgeous hikes of yours! i'm happy to see that K did well without her boot, and it made me smile to see her jump and put her weight down on her "bad" paw first. awesome!

    the booker man and asa's mama

    p.s. -- i can not stop giggling over the picture of the bear's nose on the wildlife camera from your last post. too funny! :D

  28. All these advenures and journeys that you take into your world,,,
    well the photos of them,,, and just you telling about them,,, is just what i need,
    gorgeous, gorgeous photos
    beautiful words

  29. How nice to see R and K together again. I think we all missed it!


  30. Oh my dawg. those sunset photos are stunning.

    if you have a boot camp, please send me an invite!

  31. Awesome! I love these pics - joyful and beautiful, especially that running R one ;)

    As far as K is concerned, "She's baaaaaackk!!"


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