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Friday, April 22, 2011

Pushmi-pullyu

Yesterday afternoon, as I sat quietly taking photos of our Abert's Squirrel, a mountain chickadee wanted to make friends with me. Here he is, so close that I wondered if someone had fed him by hand in the past. He's a year-around bird here but a favorite of mine.
Shortly later, I took the Duo for their evening hike. Because our world has been enveloped by storms lately, darkness fell early but the dogs still had time to romp to their heart's content.
Although K rarely beats R in a race anymore, she knows  how to strike a dramatic pose on a boulder. It's her favorite evening activity!
As the sun set, three Robins sat on the pointy tops of Douglas Fir Trees singing their spring songs with full hearts. I love the sounds of spring in the forest almost as much as the flowers. The Duo and I sat still and soaked up the beauty and music.
This morning, K and I headed out for our morning mountain bike ride. More trails are melting out since our 15" of snow last week, and we had fun exploring for rideable terrain. We climbed up to Hug Hill where the view of the snowy mountains, normally shining brightly behind K, was enveloped in clouds.
K has astounded me daily with her verve. She's taking antibiotics for her UTI but they don't seem to bother her in the least. She is bursting with enthusiasm and happiness during our rides.
As K and I explored a range of trails, some snowy and some not, we discovered the route that the mountain lion took into our trail network a few days ago. He came from the west, using a trail for part of the trip. He appeared to be circumnavigating the usual elk grazing grounds, perhaps looking for a place where the herd was vulnerable to a sneak attack.

However, in the photos that I captured a few days ago, he looked very well-fed. So, he may not have been very hungry during his journey toward my camera. I'm assuming that he's a mature male based on his body shape which bulges with muscles. By contrast, look at the body shape of another lion who visited the same site in December. It's in flip-book video form, and if you cannot view it embedded in this post, then you can go straight to its Youtube location.
You can probably see from the December photos that, in contrast to the recent visitor, that mountain lion was long and lithe. That lion might have been a female or a younger male. He/she certainly wasn't muscle-bound like the recent visitor.

After dropping K at home, I headed out to try to find more melted out trails. It was a magical day of seeing elk and deer at close range, none of whom seemed spooked by me. This pair of last year's deer fawns reminded me of a deer pushmi-pullyu, like the two-headed llama made famous by Dr. Doolittle.
After leaving the south-facing sunny meadow areas, I headed toward home on a shaded and chilly trail that is frequented by large wildlife. Sections of it were lined by moss-covered rock walls and covered in soft spring snow.
These sections often make me nervous about wildcats lurking at the top of the rock walls but today, the mossy walls caught my eye. They are like miniature forests, complete with grass (moss), flowers, trees, fungi, and lichen.

One plant grew out of the moss, with its bright green leaves covered in a rust colored fungus.
Although new life sprouted from the moss everywhere I looked, icicles still hung from it. It was an amazing example of plants who could flourish in the most difficult of habitats.

Enjoy your weekend!

24 comments:

  1. You are really lucky to live in such a beautiful area!

    Sam

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  2. Such wonderful photos! I just love K's "dramatic" pose - that is just a gorgeous photo - perfect for a wall mural! Your bird picture is too cool - so close!

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  3. Ha!

    My word is DOGREADR

    The pictures are breathtaking!

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  4. I loved the fawns! And the great-looking dogs. I guess chickadees are friendly everywhere. Always first to come to a new feeder and some who will eat right out of your hands. Have a great weekend. Glad the snow is finally melting.

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  5. Beautiful photos. That chickadee looks well fed....step away from the bird feeder, feathered friend..heehee!

    Wyatt and Stanzie

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  6. Hi Y'all,

    Carolina Chickadees are my Human's favorite too...and Carolina Wrens. But then she pays way too much attention to the wading birds...but I'd never behead them the way K does the Pasqueflower.

    Have a happy Easter!

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

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  7. Beauty everywhere you look! Thanks fur sharing your part of da world wif all of us!

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae

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  8. Fabulous photos of your emerging spring, KB! I love that rock wall and the leaf with fungus. Isn't Nature amazing?

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  9. I love the chickadeee but picture number 4 just takes my breath away!

    Happy weekend to you, too!

    Kisses,
    Stella and Jo

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  10. The fawns really do look like the Pushmi-Pullu :-)

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  11. You do know how to pose K
    Benny & Lily

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  12. KB
    That is the most amazing photo of the chickadee... oh I love it soooo much. And the minature forest,, I imagine there are even minature water falls dripping, (well of course I use my imagination,,) but my mind goes "wild " in your world.. thank you for helping my mind fly,,,
    sometimes I pretend I am in your world... and all of its beauty.
    thank you KB for sharing
    love
    tweedles

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  13. You have a good eye to always find the prettiest things around you! :) I'm sure K just lets R win for his ego!

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  14. All those birds seem so exotic. Not to mention the mountain lions !

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  15. beautiful trail!
    a great wknd to you!
    xoxo

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  16. Ewwwwwww....fungus is nasty...or I should say my mum says dat...hehehehe...her is sooooo WEIRD!
    Anyways, K gets me everytime I sees her on a boulder and lookin' so confident and regal.

    Puddles

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  17. Ah, the youthful exuberance in R and the grace and wisdom in K.

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  18. Beautiful pictures, as always! I love those two fawns. They almost form a heart. Very sweet.

    Your pal, Pip

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  19. That picture of K On the boulder is just beautiful!!!

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  20. Again, great pictures!! I love how you notice the smallest things around you that so many may overlook!

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  21. I always just love your pictures and videos! Beautiful!!! The lion is really great and so is the action pictures! Lots of love, Debbie and Holly

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  22. You've got that right. K is definitely the queen of boulder poses. :)

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  23. Lovely pics - Those are some tremendous German Shepherd ears on that deer!

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  24. Boy did I need these breathtaking views to remind me of how beautiful the world can be. Thanks!

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