Can you imagine how scary it is to be a rabbit living in the forest? As a rabbit, you'd be a prized meal for almost every carnivore in the area. In our forest, your enemies would include weasels, pine martens, bobcats, mountain lions, foxes, and coyotes. That's not even including the aerial assaults by hawks, eagles, and owls.
One of my wildlife cameras keeps getting photos of this little rabbit, with a notch in his ear. I visualize that one of those predators almost captured this little guy. I'm rooting for him. He gets my medal of courage for today.
In the meantime, K and I are slightly more "on our toes" as we watch the sun rise. Today, the wind was blowing off the Divide, and K's ears flapped in the gusts.
Today, after K and I took a snowbike ride together, I pedaled by myself to visit another trail network. Along the way, I saw a splinter faction of the elk herd. When the whole herd is together, they number well over a hundred. This year, I have the impression that they are under increased lion predatory pressure, based on lion tracks that I've seen near the elk. Perhaps that's why so many smaller groups of elk are wandering our forests and meadows.
As always, the Duo and I headed out for a short sunset hike later in the day. R did a trademark enthusiastic recall, kicking up snow crystals behind him.