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Friday, July 15, 2011

Miracle of life

I had a wonderful early evening hike with the Duo yesterday. As you can see, K was zipping around and romping like she'd never been sick!
R showed his trademark, lead with the teeth, recall!
You might be able to see in the photo above that R's fur is changing color. It started while he was sick with a nasty infection after he shredded a toenail but that timing could be purely coincidence. Since then, the fur all over his body has become peppered with brown and white hairs. We felt a little silly about it but we took him to the vet. It turns out that R either has a very very rare gene that will cause him to become a "brindle" (mixture of black, chocolate, and white) lab over time OR he has a different gene that is causing him to get "color dilution alopecia", a disease that causes him to turn brindle and gradually become bald.

We could do fancy tests to find out if he has CDA but, since there's no treatment, it seems better to spare him the stress and take life as it comes. I keep wondering, however, why our little family gets so many odd veterinary issues. We're like a real life "case study"!

On a lighter note, about a week ago, I found a nest under an overhanging boulder.

It had three hatchlings and one unhatched egg. A Townsend Solitaire sat in a tree and chirped while I looked at it.
I worried about them during our torrential deluges of rain over the past week. Five days after hatching, all four of them looked very strong with huge beaks waiting for food from mom and dad.
One of them gave me the evil eye. Don't worry - I stayed less than a minute.
Today, 8 days post-hatching, they were feathered and much more camouflaged. They didn't open their beaks during my 15 second peek.
The miracle of life astounds me!

These Fairy Trumpets seem to be bugling out the message that life is a miracle! I associate them with my dog Acadia who died exactly eight years ago today. Her photo is in the sidebar.

I miss her but I always smile when I think of her. She taught me about the depth of the human-dog bond.

P.S. One of you asked if I've seen signs of the sow and her two cubs. I captured video of what I believe to be the "rebel" cub licking and sniffing one of my cameras yesterday. I expect that the family is still together because the cubs usually don't leave their mother until they're close to 18 months old. I'll upload the video when I have a fast internet connection. Another example of the miracle of life...


  1. It looks like the Bird Mom knows what she is doing, doesn't it? Name me one homelier thing than a bare naked baby bird or a more beautiful thing than a fully feathered one.

    Looking forward to bear pics! When will the baby elk make their appearance in your neighborhood?

    Cheers and hugs,


  2. We always mean to comment on K's new energy, it looks wonderful!

    As for R's fuhr color, I have spots where I am turning reddish brown. What does THAT mean?


  3. Oh my goodness, I love R's expressions. What great shots of the babies and as always I love that you know the name of every flower.

    Your blog is beautiful, inspirational and educational.


  4. Those babies are beautiful!

    Your pal,Pip

  5. Just found you through the Nature Blog Network - great dogs!!! I'm partial to chocolate labs myself, as I have dog I ever had.

    Take care -

  6. We do see a miracle as we look at those baby birds. they are so cameflaged!
    K and R are looking terrific. No matter what the answer is.. for the fur color change,, everything will be okay.
    So much beauty you captured.
    If I ever see a Fairy Trumpet flower, I will also think of your incredible Acadia.
    Thank you for sharing

  7. I've never heard of a brindle Lab before, but I'll be R will be a handsome one if he changes that much! K looks so darned happy there, I have to smile!

    It always amazes me how fast baby birds grow! How can their bodies do that?

    I'll be looking forward to seeing the sow and those cubs.

  8. Wonderful early evenings , or any time of day for that matter , are good !

  9. So many good things, packed into one entry. K looks great, R makes me smile with his toothy grin. As someone said above, there is nothing as homely, and at the same time cute, as a baby bird. Am looking forward to video of the bear cub. Ahhh, this entry was a really good read.

  10. Hey there KB
    Your Acacia will always hold a special place in your heart. ((HUGS)) Beautiful pictures of the hatchlings and your doggies romping.

  11. Those baby birds are amazing. They look so fragile, and changed so much just 8 days!

    It's good to see K out romping again! You all really have had more than your share of illnesses and injuries. I hope they're behind you now and will stay that way for a long time.

    Have a nice weekend!

  12. It's good to see both pups running and enjoying life again! Especially love the big "toothy" grin!


  13. Lovely pics of the Fairy Trumpets...I'm always amazed with new "to me" flowers...Acadia is a name very close to me....this region where I grew up was settled by Acadians and I attended Acadia University...vibes happening~~~Cheers!

  14. We once had canaries who had baby birds - fascinating experience for the kids to watch the development of the babies. Yes, the miracle of life - just amazing.

    Good to see K doing so well, and let's just hope that R is wanting a change of fur color and not anything more concerning.

    Beautiful photos.

  15. Great pictures as always. :-) Glad everyone is feeling good.

  16. I'm so happy to see K doing so well. And you are so right...watching little birds grow is like watching a miracle.


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