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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Driveway parade and spring is coming!

Last night, we had a parade on our driveway. It started with a loose dog galloping down the driveway. That's a sight that I hate to see. I think that this dog belongs to the people that I had a very funny shouted discussion with last summer. I saw a bear outside their tall wooden fence. I yelled to them that there was a bear on the other side of their fence. They replied, "Do we have bears around here?". I said, "Yes, about 20 feet away from you, on the other side of the fence". You should have seen the utterly surprised look on the woman's face! Of course, as always, the bear fled, and I don't think that they saw him.
Next, the bobcat sauntered down the driveway, about a half hour after the dog.
The cute cat with a luxurious coat had very muddy paws.
Then, a coyote trotted fast down the driveway much later.
I never cease to be amazed by what's going on out in the dark... it seems quiet from inside but it's not!

This morning, K and I mountain biked, on a true mountain bike rather than on a snow bike. The trails are so icy in some sections that I needed a bike with serious studded tires. My blue bike fit the bill.
Some of the trails looked like this, which is why the studded tires were needed.
We saw a scary sight early in the ride. Our first large wildfire of the year is burning to the north of us. It's unbelievable that the forests are burning in March, setting the tone for what will be a terrifying fire season if we don't get some huge spring snow storms. Today, smoke wafted among the hills to the east of us.
But, to the west, the mountains still shined, snowy as ever.
The meadows are still brown and won't start sprouting green for a couple of months. The blue sky beamed down on the golden hills as K led the way.
All too soon, it was time to drop K off at home. I headed out solo seeking some icy and dirt trails but no serious snow, since my serious snow bike was sitting in my basement.
As I rode next to the expansive meadow shown above, I spotted my first Mountain Bluebird of the year! They seem to come up on warm days in March, and retreat to the plains for the nights and bad weather. You can't see him well in this photo taken with my little point-and-shoot but, oh, what a wonderful harbinger of spring!
I rode onward, hitting some 4wd roads that I never bike during the summer because they're open to motorized vehicles then. But, now, they're deserted, and I had a blast pedaling along them, albeit in a tired way. I caught glimpses of our mountains.
When I was almost home, I came upon the elk herd, close to the road. They'd gotten themselves inside a newly fenced corral. The tradition around here tends to be that people prop open their gates for the elk during the winter. Despite the fact that this ranch is presently unoccupied, the gates were closed, and the elk mewed in consternation. Although you can't see it in my photo, they had fences on all sides of them.
I hated seeing them milling around, not wanting to leap the high fence. They shouldn't have to... it wastes energy and could lead to an injury. I seemed to be adding to their stress so I departed before they resolved the dilemma.
Our day ended with fun in the sunset.
Do you think that this photo of R might be good enough for Anna's tongue photo contest? It looks like his tongue is being whipped back by the wind because he's running so fast!


  1. As many different tongue photos as I saw for Anna's contest, I'd say R's is as good as any of them! He looks like he's about to leave it behind.

    The warmer weather must be agreeing with everyone since so many animals seem to be out and about. How did the elk manage to get in there if the gate was closed?

    Bunny says K's new collar is lovely!

  2. Your drive way has to rate at the top of best camera trap sets :). The rest of the pics are awesome too.

  3. Wow, your drive is a superhighway.

    We started with some fires in February, but have had 5-6 inches of rain (some of it as snow) in the last 2 weeks, so we are ok for a couple of weeks. Need some more to keep fire season calm.

    R's picture is awesome.

  4. R is definitely in the 'running' for the tongue contest. What a great shot!!

  5. Oh my!

    I love the wildlife superhighway!

    And the first mountain scenery shot was like a painting or collage of torn papers for the layering and textures -


    Nice tongue too!

  6. For some reason only one photo is loading for me, a beautiful one of K on a boulder looking over at the snowcovered mountains. I am sure all the others are beautiful. But I will be back to try again - can't miss that R tongue shot!

  7. YAY, hit refresh and voila - positively a winning tongue shot:)

  8. Wow... you really did have a parade!

    Great photos as usual... looks like another gorgeous day. :)

  9. The Tongue Contest is fine but a Toothy Contest would be even better for Mr.Are!

    Like Houndstooth I want to know how the elk got in the corral with the gate closed. Surely they don't jump it. Can't be someones idea of "hunting".

    Cheers and hugs,
    Jo, Stella and Her Z-ness

  10. wow R..great tongue photo, BOL.. Love the driveway parade
    Benny & Lily

  11. You really did have a parade,, didn't you!
    You should enter that tongue shot,, it's perfect!

  12. That tongue photo is about as lollingly good as it gets.

  13. Crazy labradog with tongue is a winner for sure.

    Mango Momma

  14. Just a quick comment on the question of how the elk got into the fenced area... I don't know how they did. I was trying to see if there was a gate open in the back of the fenced area but I was freaking out the elk so I stopped snooping. I suspect that there was something open back there, and the elk wanted to cross the pasture and come out the other side. When the "other side" was closed, they were confused by the change compared to previous years.

    I saw a few jump the fence so I know that some of them could do it. I suspect that's how they eventually moved on or else a bolder neighbor than I opened a gate. The place is plastered with no trespassing signs so I hesitated to go in to open a gate.

  15. I luv parades! :D Especially your kind :) So glad spring is roundin the corner fur y'all Yay! That was a very cute lil bluebird :)

    Waggin at ya,

  16. Oh, that poor dog. Obviously he isn't as well trained for the part of the country that he lives in as your two are. I hope he made it home all right.

    I wouldn't think that the elk would have the brain power to figure out how to leave via the open gate anyways. At least, the deer around here wouldn't. They just jump out, any which way.

    Oh and a funny thing I have seen happen with horses. If they are in a fenced pasture that they are very used to and you forget and leave the gate open, some of them (not all, not Arabs in particular, the smart little devils) don't even seem to see that gate is open. They stay right where they are put, even if they get to running and playing.

    Of course, if they are by a busy street, where getting out could be very dangerous, that doesn't hold true. They're out of there and on the road in five seconds.

  17. The tongue shot is a winner fur sure, BOL. I sure hope all of the elk got out safely, with no injuries.

    It sure is good to be back to seeing all the nice peektures you have!


  18. oh, wow, that tongue shot of R's is perfect for anna's contest! :)
    i really hope that dog got back to his home...especially since that bobcat was almost right behind him!
    even from far away, that mountain bluebird is so strikingly blue! i love it!

    the booker man and asa's mama

  19. oh, i almost forgot to ask...i had the same question as houndstooth! how did those elk get inside the coral in the first place? did they jump the fence??

  20. You must have the busiest driveway for miles around! It's a freeway for wildlife! I really like the photo of K running through the meadow. I don't like seeing those fires starting already, KB!

  21. Yowsa I wouldn't want to be knocked over with that tongue. Fires already, unbelievable...makes for an unnerving spring....fires are the worst! Those first 3 pics are so ominous!

  22. You really have a busy and beautiful driveway! Love the tongue shot too! Lots of love, Holly and mom

  23. Love the bluebird, and WOW, look at that tongue!!!!

  24. We can usually tell by how much sniffing around the dogs do if there likely were wildlife visits overnight, but I love that you know for sure with your cameras.

    Indeed, it's shaping up for a scary wildfire season. Tom went to some fire training last night, and it looks like low-low precip and high-high temps through July, at least. Not good.

    I need to update and recheck our evacuation kit and plans before then.


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