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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Let it snow!

Yesterday afternoon, an unexpected snow storm hit. The forecast was for snow showers but we already had a fresh 4-6" by the time the Duo and I hiked.

The Duo was ecstatic about the snow, playing a lunatic game of chase the dog who has the stick. Since K's toe amputation, she's been the chaser in stick games and rarely actually catches R unless he lets her.
Not yesterday. She turned on the afterburners and snagged the stick. For the first time in recent memory, R was chasing K!

It kept snowing as we hiked. The fresh snow was so slick that I canceled my plans to explore a steep ravine. We enjoyed the silence and solitude as our world was transformed.

This morning, it didn't even cross my mind that it might be too much snow to plow through with my snow bike. So, I headed out as usual. Soon, I was floundering and fishtailing. Riding was an exercise in futility because the trails weren't packed down even slightly.

Because we stayed on the main trail, we saw our neighbor with a pack of 6 dogs (2 of her dogs stayed home today). The dynamic of these meetings evolves as the neighbor's pack composition changes. Her GSD is a relatively new member of the pack. When he first joined the pack, he was all fun and games but now he's become competitive about human attention. He tries to get between me and K and then intimidates her when she wriggles back to her normal position. In the photo below, K has claimed the coveted position next to my bike, and he is telling her to move.
My neighbor said that she wanted to record my craziness (biking in a foot of fresh snow) for posterity. In this photo, you can see the GSD has taken over K's spot. At his heart, he's a big sweetie so K and I can handle his pushiness.
Soon, K and I turned toward home to trade the bike for cross country skis.
As we restarted our outing, now on skis, the snow bombarded us.
K led the way, plowing through the snow like a barge, making my job of breaking trail slightly easier.
She kept looking back at me as if to say "What's holding you up?".

K made her own fun while I plodded along in the fresh deep snow. She porpoised like a graceful dolphin through the sea of snowflakes.
We arrived home sleepy and content. Our forest needed this snow, and it was fun to have a change of pace!

We saw almost no animal tracks in the forest. However, shortly after we arrived home, a coyote passed through our clearing. I captured his image as he departed.
He hurried away - seemingly knowing that he'd been spotted.
I don't know what coyotes do during big storms. I don't think that they go into dens. I like to visualize them under the protection of the boughs of a bushy pine tree, all piled together keeping each other warm.

I never see bobcat tracks during a storm. I suspect that they find small small caves and hole up for the duration of bad weather, emerging to feverishly hunt after the storm ends. While I packed down the trails with my skis today, I grinned as I imagined the bobcats and coyotes using my paths after the storm is over to go find food for their empty stomachs.

The skies cleared by the end of the day. The temperature plummeted as the sun set, stinging my face with the bite of cold, but the four of us enjoyed an easy ski to end the day underneath the umbrella of an eggshell blue and pink sky.


  1. What a beautiful late afternoon picture. You are fortunate to live in such a lovely place and we're glad you can share it with us. That must be quite an adventure to bike through all that snow.


  2. Your words in this post are as beautiful as your photos. We love the dolphin description so much. Maybe some of that snow is headed our way. We are hearing we might see some accumulating snow on Tuesday. That would make three pups very happy. Hope you get to ride tomorrow.

  3. More beautiful pictures! K and R have just got so much joy in life flowing through their bodies. It's electric, and I bet it's catching. I admire the way you get out and about, no matter what the weather.

    Make sure you check my blog tomorrow. I'll be putting up a great "catch," especially for a basically suburban environment like mine.

  4. It's great to see K leading the charge with the stick! Nice job capturing the coyote's image. I'm sure he didn't stick around for long. Thanks for the treat training tips. We've practiced a few times today. I found that Zoe really likes chicken too. :) Stay warm!

  5. Khyra so hopes all of the canines AND the coyotes enjoyed the snow!

    GREAT pics!

  6. Ah, fresh snow. I love quiet and solitude of the forest when it is snowing.

  7. I love K and R's expressions in those stick photos! That's a lot of snow in a short amount of time. I'm glad you all stayed safe!

    That's a GSD for you! They are pushy and they always seem to think they know better than you! *looks over at sleeping GSD* They mean well, though!

  8. I am so happy that your camera and you---- work so perfectly together.
    Because we get to see the beauty through you.
    I love the photo's of K and R having so much joy in their hearts, and not a care in the world. Beautiful photos.. beautiful world.

  9. That was a pawsome storm! I think I'll be right over to get in that stick action. We've been hit by storms weekly and have snow up to our eyeballs... probably similar to you. Always love your posts and photos.

  10. That 2nd pic with K and her stick is too funny. It looks as if she's showing you her prize!

    I'm so glad Nyxie isn't a "dominant" GSD - there's be no peace in our home if she was. Dont you ever wonder if your neighbors see you as "that lady on the bike with the Labs"? I'm quite sure I have some neighborhood label like, the crazy dog lady". We've dubbed a neighbor of our as the "TwoPugLady", as she can be seen waling her 2 Pugs each day

    I've wondered the same thing about coyotes and storms - where do they go? The ones you have there are so robust. Sadly, the ones near us look far skinnier. I hope this is more due to their location and climate, rather than an inability to find food.

  11. Fun! Would love to join in on a fresh snow hike! K & R must have had such a blast. Fantastic rear shot of K blazing the trail! And, can definitely see the width of your snowbike tires in the photo. Can imagine it is always an interesting encounter with the neighbor's group :)

    Sweet hugs,
    Sierra Rose

  12. The look on K's face is priceless .
    Must be something to do with all that fresh snow.

  13. Beautiful outing! Glad you switched to skis ;) Crazy gal :P

    Waggin at ya,

  14. K really did turn on the after burners! great shots! K is better than ever...wonderful to see her back to her old self!
    beautiful coyote!
    (we had a blk lab come in on ER with puncture wounds on his head..the owner didn't know what attacked him...they live on a lot of land and the dogs were out doing their thing...he said his other two dogs were acting very strange and barking and he took off in his 4 wheeler and found his lab stunned, a bunch of slime on his head and had defecated on himself...strange encounter with something, but what?! he was ok, we stitched him up and sent him home...would a coyote do this?)
    have a great week!

  15. Thanks so much for the beautiful pictures! Loved the expression on R and K's faces when K won the stick!

    What a mystical world it is when it snows...

    BrownDog's Momma

  16. Oooooh, you'll nevers believe dis! Overs da weekend I saw a bobcat...mum said it was just a kitteh kat but I likes my version betters...hehehe!

    Okays, I am sooooo not surprised you gots is beautifuls by da way.
    I thinks dat is very good dat K let da GSD nears you cuz I'm not sure if I would let dat happen, only cuz we has not been trained as well as K and R and I gets rather jealous. But, it amazes me dat no commotion occured withs so many dogs. I think I need to get out more.


  17. Your pictures are always a refreshing smile!

  18. I'm so glad your neighbor captured the zany photo! Priceless! I also enjoyed GSD competing with K for YOUR attention!

    I should have done what you did and traded the bike in for skis last weekend! But I guess staying indoors and warm once in a while isn't too bad a thing...

  19. Such great action photos! Your guys are so fit, its fantastic! How do you EVER bike in snow!! Beautiful fox photo too.

  20. What an amazing feeling it must be to truly be a part of The Whole...and to have both K and R at your side!

  21. What beautiful pictures! Reading your post is almost like being is exciting and fun!!
    Lots of love, Debbie and Holly

  22. You guys are having way to much fun. BOL
    Benny & Lily

  23. GSD was pushy for sure...this always happens doesn't it when chance encounters happen. Sophie unfortunately thinks ALL WOMEN HAVE TREATS because she learned this behaviour from our day care farm owned by two sisters who usually had to control 20+ dogs many a time with treats. Sophie's no she gets in close to people hoping that a treat will appear. This, of course, causes a bit of concern sometimes when you don't know the human...aaahhh! phew!
    Snow pics are fantastic and the final sky refreshing!


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