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Monday, January 24, 2011

Silent and still forest

The air is still freezing but the wind is quiet today. I rolled out on my snow bike into gentle snow and silence with K by my side. It was novel not to hear whooshing sounds from wind buffeting the trees, creaking of trees threatening to fall, and flute-like whistling as wind rushed through narrow openings. It was so still that snowflakes accumulated on K's back as we stood on Hug Hill.
I circled the bare top of Hug Hill, whipped clean of snow by yesterday's wind, to search for tracks below the snow line down in the trees. Often, mountain lions traipse close to this summit on a route that follows the elk herd but I found no lion tracks today. As I searched, the snow stopped and sun shined. This photo shows the brief moment when the snowflakes clinging to K's fur hadn't yet melted in the sunshine.
Amazingly, when we were ready to rumble down the steep hill, I could see the Continental Divide which had been completely invisible behind clouds just minutes before.
In the afternoon, I took the Duo for a hike. I had only a short time so I let them run their hearts out. Here, K gave R a searching look as they waited for me to call them. It looks as if she's seeing him for the first time and is wondering, "Who is that guy?"!
Then, they sprang into action kicking glittering snow crystals up behind them. They focused on each other rather than on me.
After a few recalls to "prime" them in case of an emergency recall, I let them romp freely. I felt like the three of us were a tsunami rolling through the meadow.
K's playful side, which has been slow to return after her months of convalescence, briefly possessed her. She tucked her butt and zoomed in circles.
There's nothing like time playing with the dogs to energize me. They live in the moment, and I try to emulate them.

This morning, while checking wildlife camera memory cards, I discovered that a coyote had visited in the middle of the day yesterday. It's amazing how they emerge from the shadows, just outside our windows, yet no one in the house notices.
I've been working on identifying the individual coyotes who visit our clearing, and I'm starting to think that the pack includes about seven coyotes. One in the pack is injured and usually shows up alone. He has a big scab on his right hind carpus. I hope that he recovers well. The coyote shown below looks healthy to me.
I'm glad that they're part of our world.


  1. I love the shot of K looking at R!

    And YES on the coyotes!

    Thanks for sharing them with US!

  2. The cold and snow doesn't seem to ever slow your two down. What magical photos. I can just feel the stillness and silence in the air. You guys were out there all alone!

    Hey, how is R doing with his OCD? Any new tricks or behaviors to report?

  3. Is that dandruff orsnow, BOL
    Benny & Lily

  4. There is nothing more sublime than beling alone in the quiet of nature with pups who share your soul! Thanks for the glimpse of your happiness.

  5. Looks like they had a blast with one another. Great Photos. The Coyote looks really healthy! What is the average weight of one?

  6. Yay! Those are awesome shots!


  7. Happy pups and happy humans - the perfect day!!!

    I awoke this morning to an email from my son-in-law who is attending a conference in Arizona. About 9:00 p.m. last night he left his room to head to the conference center to get his laptop that he has left there earlier. As he left the patio area of his accomodations, he was astonished to see no more than 15 feet away a very big kitty - as in mountain lion. He said both he and the lion were very calm, he turned around and headed to his room, convinced that the laptop could wait. My reaction ? - you mean you didn't get me a photo??? Just thought I would share.

  8. I love the pictures of them playing! I wonder what K was telling R. It's funny to see them being competitive with each other.

    The coyotes are beautiful! Seven sounds like a pretty decent pack.

  9. What wonderful pictures of K and R romping together! They look so alive:)

  10. Like everyone else, I just love to see K & R running and playing together. They always look so happy and so in the moment as you mentioned.

    Your pal, Pip

    P.S.: love the coyote pictures, too.

  11. Your description of that one photo of the 2 pups made me laugh. I wish I had the depth of recall work under our belts. I'd love to see Lilly romp like that, but I just don't trust her off-leash around wildlife.

  12. Magical ,Wondewful pictoowes
    Thank you fow taking us along.
    smoochie kisses to K andB
    ASTA and Mommi

  13. I love the peekture of K looking at R - so cute!

    The coyote peektures are magical.


  14. As always - amazing pics! The kiddos together look so happy. I'd love to figure out more of my coyote gang here, too. There are just too few sightings to come up with any real pattern...I won't give up, though ;)

  15. Thanks a lot for referring me to that post. I searched but didn't find that one. :) I really like coyotes too.

  16. Maybe K is just puzzling as to how R got so much bigger than she while she wasn't looking. It is wonderful to see her bouncing with joy, bounding to greet her friend, and rolling in the snow. Sounds like things are back to normal as far as she's concerned.

    Jed & Abby

  17. K's zoomies are back to stay!

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  19. I just love all of the pictures of K & R. It's great to see them both enjoying life to the fullest. And, that coyote -- beautiful!

  20. Coyotes have been encroaching on our communities in the passed 5 + years. This is all new to me because as far as I can remember in my 61 years we've never had coyotes(to this extent) in Nova Scotia. The times they are a changin'. Unfortunately our province being new at this have set bounties on these critters because a young girl 19 was attacked/killed last year and a postal worker was attacked recently. The coyote situation is going to explode here I think, once a child has been attacked... all very unsettling.
    PS...on a glorious note...K and R are an incredible duo....very special shots today.

  21. Oh dat is one big coyote...skeerey hims hungy. Don't tells him wheres I live okays?
    Oh my, I loves dat foto of K looking at sweet and specials!
    My brudder looks at me likes dat all da time and thinks how wonderfuls I am...NOT! Hahahahahaha! Oh me, I needs a nap.


  22. I hate to be repetitive, but awesome photos! I bet you're wishing the pine branch hadn't interfered with the one shot of the dogs running. I had that happen with one shot where all of Java's feet were off the ground in an all out dash -- so bummed.

    As for the cold, we've been having the same but are in a roller coaster pattern between painful cold and too warm, making slush to ski on. The cold motivated me to buy a ninja looking head covering. Very becoming...

  23. I'd say the photo of K and R sitting together is worthy of a frame. So sweet.


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