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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Snowstorm and leaping elk

An amazing surprise storm hit us last night. Yesterday, K and I enjoyed a dry ride, with me pedaling my summer bike up to Hug Hill.
K rolled in the dry meadow grass, obviously wishing that it was snow.
Then, a fog started creeping up the valleys and slowly enveloped our world. The Pasqueflowers seemed to glow in the haze.
Later, as I rode solo, I intersected a band of elk, heading up to the hills from a meadow. A bull stopped to gaze at me through the fog.
By the time we took our evening hike, the sun had disappeared and snow pelted out of the sky.
The Duo surveyed the stormy meadow from a rocky ledge. I love how strong and lean they both look in silhouette.
Despite weather forecasts that predicted only a few inches of snow, we awakened to about 15" on the ground. It was wet and heavy snow - perfect to give our forest a long drink.

I knew that snowbiking was out of the question so I started my day with a snowshoe hike with the Duo through snow-laden pine trees. You can see R leading the way.
Both halves of the Duo porpoised through the snow, playing gleefully.
K seemed as strong as her brother in the bottomless cement-like snow.
R leading with the teeth...
R dashing through the snow.
They climbed atop a boulder outcropping.
But, R didn't stay for long. K looked down at him. I'm not sure if she disapproved or wished that she were as wild as he is!
After our hike, I hemmed and hawed about whether to ride my bike outdoors because the trails were impassable. Our dirt road already looked like a mud-fest due to rapidly melting spring snow, and I hate riding through thick road mud. However, I knew that if I ride my bike outdoors for another 10 days in a row, I will have achieved an entire year of riding outdoors every single day! So, I equipped my mud and ice bike with fenders and headed out to the dirt roads.
Within a few minutes, I was rewarded. As I rode down a quiet dirt road, a band of elk started running across one meadow and toward the road. The first elk crossed in front of me.
Then, the whole herd thundered toward the road, leaping a fence, one by one.
For the yearling calves, it was a big leap.
I didn't shoot any real video, but I compiled my rapid-fire series of still photos into a short video. If you can't view it here, try watching it on my Youtube Channel.
As I watched the elk, I was very happy that I'd weathered the "mud-fest" to go outside on my bike. I love seeing our wildlife, and I can't see them from an indoor trainer!

I arrived home, covered in mud but happy.


  1. I hope you take time to smell the roses (when they come out) and to pet the elk! Sure.

    Wonderful photos, again.

    Mogley G. Retriever

  2. That video was just awesome - incredible images. Bet you are very glad you got that snow - your wishes came true. We are just starting now with the severe thunderstorms that may have come out of your storm.

    We are not going to let the pack see this post, they will be very jealous of K and R's fun in the snow:)

  3. Wow - what a lot of snow fell - and what a vision you saw! Love your "burst" movie - that was incredibly impressive! Congrats on riding your bike every single day this year -- what a milestone!
    Hugs xoxoxo
    Sammie, Avalon, Oz and Mom

  4. I love the video! It looks like you caught them in slow motion! That's a totally cool effect.

    I think I gasped out loud when I saw that picture of the Duo porpoising through the snow! That is just a spectacular shot! Not to say that the rest aren't good, but that's just a stunner.

    It's so good to see K out there giving it her all, too!

  5. Glad to hear you got your snow! The Duo looks wonderful posing on the boulders!

  6. Oh, KB, you know I love the elk and this was just wonderful, I loved every picture and the video most of all. I'm dazzled!

    You'd have missed this herd if you had stayed in. Good for you and your determination!

    Cheers and hugs,

    Jo and Stella

  7. Too beautiful!! Is some buddy thinking of riding moms bike?
    Benny & Lily

  8. Oh yes,,, you were rewarded for sure!
    Such splendid photos of the elk leaping the fences,,,
    your beautiful wonderland of snow,, and happy dogs,,
    oh it makes our hearts sing.

  9. We are happy your earth got a much needed deep drink! Hopefully it will help during the upcoming fire season which we also face in our mountains. The photos are extraordinary and stirring but the ones that truly make our hearts sing is seeing K and R just living in their moment! How are you managing the back pain?

  10. The old elk looks really grizzly. Having said that, maybe it's a contradition in terms to be a grizzly old elk. Great photos today.

  11. Dis sure does beat watchin' da groundhogs around heres...your wildlife is way cooler...and bigger.
    Incredible images!
    R has big teefies...hehehe!


  12. wow, 15 inches! you asked for it, and you got it! lovely pics at always!! K looks perfectly fit and strong! after all you've been through with her...
    the elk pics are awesome!
    have a great, wet, muddy wknd!

  13. Magnificent picture of K & R running shoulder to shoulder towards you through the snow. Congrats on being another day closer to making your 1-year-of-biking anniversary.

    Jed & Abby

  14. Glad to hear you got some snow to help with the drought. Love the shots of the elk crossing the fence :).

  15. Wow! Isn't it great when you find unexpected suprises!!

  16. Cool stuff! Loved the video. Isn't technology, and nature, fun!!

  17. It's sunny and 65 here, so it's hard to look at those pictures and not be jealous of the cold weather.

    I am so happy your forests are finally a bit more hydrated!

  18. What a difference a few hours can make. It must have indeed been a sight to see the elk herd right there in front of your eyes! Great photographs of your beautiful country and your gorgeous dogs.

  19. Those rapid fire shots are cool! My new camera just arrived and maybe someday... when I figure the thing out. I can't believe all the snow! Those are two very happy dogs!

  20. That was perfect...the elk are so graceful just like K and R!

  21. Great day you had there - that snow makes me envious as usual. R really does seem to lead with his teeth quite a bit :)

    Those rapid fire pics into video are really well done. You're "neighborhood" looks idyllic!


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