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Monday, November 14, 2011

The wind of change

The wind has howled continuously for days now with gusts so fierce that they toppled at least 20 trees across the trails on one of my favorite riding routes. I feel as if the wind has decided to inform us that it's winter and there's no turning back.

K made one of her most funny faces ever today when a gust hit her from behind. Her look sums up how many of us feel about the unrelenting wind!
During the lulls in the wind, K sort of relaxes. A tongue flick, like she's doing in the photo below, is said to be a "calming signal" that dogs use to calm other dogs or themselves. Perhaps K was trying to calm the wind... (it didn't work).
We stood in our favorite spot for sunrise. The wind let up for a moment, and I took a deep breath, enjoying the nascent sun rays and the setting moon.
During a wind gust, I noticed how K clung to the rock with her toes. You can see her three-toed paw clearly in this photo. It's come to represent strength and courage to me. She's been through so much in the past year, and she keeps embracing life with incredible joy.
We found a meadow where the wind didn't reach us. I looked back toward our local ski area and admired the winter colors and the snow-covered slopes. Although I'm not allowed to ski anymore due to my spine, I'm happy for everyone else that it looks like the skiing will be good this year!
K romped in that meadow, happy to be out of the wind's fearsome force.
On many of my recent rides, I've seen our elk herd. They've arrived from the high mountains to spend the winter with us. I took this photo about a week ago, and many of the big bulls still stood tall. The main hunting season ended yesterday, and we have just one more season, a "limited" season, which I assume means that there will be fewer hunters rustling through the woods and eying the elk.
I saw the entire herd standing in one of my favorite spots. I couldn't fit the whole elk herd in my field of view but they all mingled in a meadow with a towering peak on the horizon.
On one of my rides, the herd decided to thunder across the small dirt road in front of me. I captured some video as they sprinted. You can watch it below or at Youtube.
I love having the elk herd back for the winter! My nephews and I made some "LED photographic art" that sums up my feelings about the elk. We made the photo by keeping the shutter on my camera open for a long time in a dark room. One of the boys took an LED light and drew a happy face in the air using the light. What fun!
Smile - the elk are here!


  1. How creative your nephews and you are! I love that shot! Love when the elk and geese gather, too, and I guess the bighorn, too. I wasn't enjoying that wind too much, but you're right. It does signal winter.

    We had a bull elk gallop down our street over the weekend, but I was in a CPR/AED class and missed it. :(

  2. We've heard about your winds even here in North Carolina so they must REALLY be something. Glad you could find some sheltered areas. The Elk are marvelous. I cannot imagine the thrill of seeing such a large heard.

    How wonderful it is to see K healthy and sound once more.

  3. Wow! Thanks for sharing that video-how gorgeous and powerful they are! I remember seeing an Elk (I think) when i was camping in Montans many years ago-he came up to our campsite-and took my breath away!

  4. K looks beootiful even while makin' a funny face. Catchin' da elk on da video was great, we sure hope dey weren't bein' chased by anything hungry.

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae and Max

  5. I'm happy about that Happy Face (and also K's funny face when grimacing in the wind). Many trees ere toppled here, too, including a large lodgepole which fell on a neighbor's roof. So many deer track crisscrossing the trails this AM - I'm wondering of they were spooked by hunters?

  6. You and K are so in tune with Mother Earth and her gifts.
    I think today- the two of you are touching the winds spirit. Flowing through the trees and wild grasses. You two are one.
    The Elk herd are sharing a gift with you- their presence that they are strong and ok and continuing their journey in the land you share.
    K's calmness- may not calm the wind, but it helps to calm me.
    Her courage is beyong words to explain. She has so overcome trials. Inspiration soars.
    The smile made our day- how fun!

  7. that happy face is purrty cool. Don't worry Kwe hate that wind too
    Benny & Lily

  8. I love the first picture of K! I swear I felt the wind up my back just looking her!!

  9. *grin* Light painting is one of the things I want to try one of these days for an assignment for the DDC! I love your smile.

    The elk don't move quite the way I thought they would. I guess I figured they'd be more deer-like when they ran. I hope the herd does well through the winter!

    I feel the same way K does about the wind! Not a fan!

  10. We hate the wind too. We have had a little extra around here lately too but nothing that would come close to knocking down trees.

    Love the shot of the elk!

  11. You know I am very happy to welcome the Elk back. The old herd, this years youngsters, the whole bunch of them look great to me. I loved the video of them crossing the road and had to watch it a few times!
    Do they ever hit a patch of ice when they are running and go flying?

    Cheers and hugs,

    Jo and Stella

  12. I didn't know that was a calming signal. Pip does that a lot to me - maybe he is telling me to calm down.

    The elk are beautiful. I wonder what sounds they make? I didn't even know people hunted elk. Do they hunt for food or sport? I learn so much for your blog!

  13. K, we hate the wind, too. Once it blew the roof off of our garage! Who knows? We could blow all the way to Kansas! One of us could end up being a Woo!!! Though maybe that wouldn't be so bad!!

    -Bart and Ruby

  14. Brrr... It was 70 degrees here today, and so warm Jed was panting in his newly acquired winter furs. But it will be back to seasonal in a couple of days.

    Is K's infection all gone now? She's looking really great. Glad to see you smiling, too :)

    When the elk come down for the winter, where do the deer go? Even further down the mountains?

    Jed & Abby

  15. Elks and light painting ! What a day.

  16. Hi All, its funny cause in your photos the sky is a beautiful blue and doesn't look like it should be so cold. We love love love the elk video. Thanks for sharing. No worries, and love, Stella and Rory (and Carol)

  17. Totally awesome film clip of the elk!



  18. Loved the video of the elk..they are incredible!

  19. Hi Y'all,

    So glad to see the elk...especially the video...oh the poor young one who hit the slippery road and almost skidded. Some of the older ones obviously knew the road was slippery...

    K hates wind as much as I doesn't matter whether it's winter or summer...I try to stay out of it 'cause I end up with a bad sinus headache and poor Hawk's allergies...unfortunately for both of us Hawk doesn't care...he just wants to go!

    Hard to believe as we bask in 70 degree days with roses and daylillies still blooming that y'all have all that snow. We'll be heading back to the mountains for the Holiday, but hopefully it's still too early for snow to slow us down there.

    BrownDog's Human

  20. We're tired of the wind, too! It even blew part of our fence down the other night. I just don't like the wind at all. It makes me very nervous the way it blows the trees around over my head.

    Those elk are BEE-youteeful!

    Wiggles & Wags,

  21. The fierceness of wind is one of those Big Me-Little Me moments. Something makes me want to stand defiantly daringly shouting my own counter howl; and at the same time I seek to curl up tightly and cheat the blast by finding a place it cannot reach. Your photos and descriptions were invigorating.

  22. The elk look like they're on a mission.

    Very cool smiley face!


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