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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Crazy spring

Many of our recent days have started in a windswept world of fog, painting our pine trees and meadows with hoar frost.
Most days, the sun soon shines through the waves of mist, almost blinding us with its glare on frost and fresh snow.
K and I mountain bike through fields of kinnikinnick covered in a fresh coat of wet goopy spring snow.
But, within minutes of the sun breaking through, the snow melts. The kinnikinnick glows in its beautiful bright green spring color.

K and I have been enjoying high voltage romps every morning. She's so full of energy and spunk - I smile as I watch her matching my speed while hurdling downed trees in the forest. She's in a phase where she likes to parallel me, with me on the trail and her acting like R, flying among the trees.

Although we've been getting light coatings of fresh snow almost every night, the animals seem to believe that spring is here. One year-around inhabitant of our area is the Abert's Squirrel, or Tassel-eared Squirrel. We rarely see any of them during the winter but they emerge to forage near our house in the spring. They're usually very shy and easily spooked but one of them let me take his photo today. Look at those gloriously punk ears!
They rely on Ponderosa Pines for food and for building their nests. Today's visitor climbed a Ponderosa Pine to get a better view of me.
Then, he did a classic Abert's Squirrel trick, hanging by his hind feet and stretching head-first down the tree trunk. One year, I saw two Abert's Squirrels mating in this precarious pose.
Look Mom, no hands!
Not all of them are jet-black. Some are gray with white underbellies. Others are cinnamon colored. For a couple of years, we had one near the house whose front half was cinnamon and back half was black. Unfortunately, her tenure was before my photography hobby had taken off.

We been loving the late sunsets. The Duo and I hike, enjoying the light show in the sky on the days when the clouds aren't too thick. Unfortunately, K took advantage of yesterday's hike to behead a Pasqueflower. Here's the evidence. The petal-less flower is on the left, and the blossom is on the ground on the right. K performed this heinous act during a snow squall so the flower is covered in water droplets.
The perpetrator stood by while I took my photos. I saw no signs of guilt in her eyes.

22 comments:

  1. So many smiles as a result of this post!

    Thanks!

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  2. Shy and easily spooked...that's my kind of squirrel!

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  3. K, the only thing you are guilty of is being too darned pretty for anyone's own good! Remember, if the flower doesn't fit, they must acquit!

    It must be odd to see the snow melt so quickly. I have to admit, seeing it disappear that fast would definitely put a smile on my face!

    I had a feeling you'd love Lilac. She drives me crazy and has always been unbelievably stubborn and independent, but I find myself really glad for it now in her twilight years.

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  4. My mom just LUVS those Abert's squirrels. And I do have to admit they're kinda cute - you know, for a squirrel.

    Wiggles & Wags,
    Mayzie

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  5. I remember those black squirrels in Co. They are so different looking! Love all your photos.

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  6. Your photos are, as always, top notch! I have never seen a little squirrel with the punk ears like you show. We used to have a black one, that was beautiful, but all regular features. Didn't see him/her last year and not this winter.

    Cheers and hugs,

    Jo and Stella

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  7. Love the "hanging" squirrel! And I also love their punk ears. So cute...

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  8. The squirrel is hysterical. We never saw one that color before. It looks a bit chilly over there
    Benny & Lily

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  9. Your pictures make me jealous! Even the snow looks appealing with 90 degree days already here in San Antonio. R and K are lucky to have such a great place to run and explore.

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  10. The ephemeral frost of early mornings this time of year is so fairy like and magical! You captured it wonderfully! Happy Earth Day!

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  11. We followed your link from Rottrover. What great pics and a great dog too :)

    Wyatt and Stanzie

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  12. You're absolutely right. Great punk ears !

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  13. We have never seen a squirrel like that!! He is cool looking!! Beautiful pictures! Lots of love, Holly and mom

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  14. I've never seen a squirrel with such a punk style before! :)

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  15. I have never seen one of those squirrels - very punk indeed. Be my pack would love to give one a chase.

    You have the best of both worlds right now, a touch of winter and all the beauty of early Spring - enjoy!!

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  16. You totally cracked me up with K's beheading hijinx! After dropping my jaw and popping my eyeballs with those Abert photos. Fabulous. My son (adopted from another state) thought they were Easter bunnies the first time he saw them.

    Also love that second photo of the snow, with K bolting down the trail.

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  17. Glorious punk ears for sure! Great closeups! Spring and winter are both teasing us here...snow flurries and rain drops in the mountains...we are not in the fog today, so perhaps it is with you!
    Ahhhhh.

    Sweet hugs,
    Sierra Rose

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  18. I'm trying t forgive K by telling myself that "deadheading" is good for plants (however, I think that is AFTER they bloom). I don't think I've ever seen an Albert's squirrel. They are strange looking little creatures and so dark in color.

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  19. Hey, can you send me a couple of those squirrels? I has nevers seen one likes dat befores...all of ours are grey and boring looking. Maybe we can trade.

    Puddles

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  20. Wow!! I've never seen a squirrel like that, and the way it hangs from the tree is truly unique! Zoe aure would be fascinated by those. I see K is still mandling the Pasqueflowers. Silly girl. :)

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  21. me and asa and mama loooove the pic of miss K in the kinnikinnick! so so pretty!
    i think those abert's squirrels have the funniest ears! heehee!

    *woof*
    the booker man

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