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Friday, January 20, 2012

Pillars of Strength

K and I arrived up high a little after sunrise today but it was still beautiful. The wind had calmed a bit - it no longer sounded as if I was standing next to a jet engine but it still flapped K's ears as she stood still.
After a disquieting day yesterday, K and I had a soothing walk, just wandering a high meadow, looking for animal tracks, relaxing, and playing. We had no particular goal in mind - just enjoying the outdoors together.
The recent winds have blown dried mushrooms out of the trees. Yes, you read that correctly. Our Red Squirrels stash summer mushrooms up high in the pine trees. I assume that the squirrels are drying the mushrooms to save them for winter eating. The problem is that the high winds of winter blow the mushrooms to the ground - much to the delight of our mushroom-obsessed Labs. Fortunately, the species of mushroom favored by squirrels isn't poisonous to dogs. But, it does cause gastric distress if eaten in large quantities. Consequently, I kept K on leash today when we explored the pine forests.
But, in the meadows where there weren't mushrooms strewn all over the ground, K was free to do as she pleased, which included some comical antics. Look at those eyes!
When we arrived home from our hike, I checked a couple of trail cameras posted near my house. I've had a serious wildlife photo drought - getting almost nothing for a month, except shadowy deer in the darkness of night. My luck finally changed! First, a coyote came through our clearing, spotted my camera, and gave it a hard stare.
Then, a bobcat sauntered up our driveway. I adore having bobcats nearby. They're so adaptable and tough.
I think that part of the reason why the pawed animals are traveling more is that the snow now has a hard crust that they can walk on without falling through. K took advantage of the hard and smooth surface on our hike this morning.
You can see that, despite the chemo, K is regrowing the fur on her front left leg, the one that had osteosarcoma tumors. These legs are pillars of strength!


  1. Just beautiful.

    K is teaching us all so much.....especially how to live and enjoy the present!

  2. Beautiful bobcat. Wish I could catch one here...

  3. This post is filled with beautiful golden light :-)

  4. Hi Y'all,

    What a beautiful, fun loving lady K is. What good fortune that she has humans who love and care so very much for her. She so obviously returns the sentiment.

    Y'all come by now.
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  5. I can imagine how your heart must have soared to see the beautiful and healty coyote and bobcat.

    The first thing I noticed before reading the last part of your post was that K was growing her hair back. Yeah.

    Pillars of strength Indeed.....

  6. *grinning* Pillars of strength was the first thing I thought of when I saw K's picture on Flickr this evening! It so aptly describes her. I love that she takes time to act silly and have fun, although I feel a distinct chill down my spine after looking at her rolling in the snow!

  7. I love the playful eye photo. It made me and MOM smile. And the wildlife photos are wonderful.

    I am sure you already know this but let me say, K is a dog of strength, she has courage to face the day. And the confidence to handle whatever comes her way. She has so much love and hope to give you. It gives her a reason to live.
    K is a dog of strength, she seems to take the bad with the good. And we all learn from her strength. She conducts herself with grace, and holds her head up high, and dignity always has its place.
    K is a dog of strength, and because of that you both can look forward to what the future will possibly bring.

  8. We'll probably hear Mango SHRIEK at The Labradork eyes!

    Once again, thanks for sharing your special world with us!

  9. K always has her eyes on you, KB. She actually looks the picture of health. I'm glad the wind wasn't as strong there. Supposedly some gusts of 90 miles an hour are headed our way with snow. I'll be glad for the snow!

  10. That K is quite an amazing pooch!

    Love the bobcat pictures. I wish we had so many 'round here!

  11. Its good to see the coyote and Bob cat looking so healthy.

    K does look healthy too, and positively giddy at times when you catch her playing.

    We keep your girl close and in prayers.

    Jo, Stella and Zkhat

  12. Love that pic of K sliding on the snow. She truly IS a pillar of strength - wonder where she gets it from:) Tell her to send some my way.

  13. Happy to see K and you enjoying the snow and wildlife. We are so glad that she is doing well.

    I never knew that the squirrels stored mushrooms.

    Nina, Myshka, Sasha, Betsy, Lucy, Phoebe and Lily

  14. I didn't know that squirrels stored mushrooms. Funny the little things you learn. You sure did capture the playful side of K in her "kookie eyes" picture. lol! She is one pillar of strength! It must also be so amazing to capture such pictures of wildlife. Beautiful!

  15. So beautiful! I think of you all often and wish for long days of exploring and happiness...and long-lasting health.

    I submitted your blog for a photography award...won't know until February if it was accepted, but I wanted to share it with you as your photos are stunning and as a photographer, reader, and animal lover, I always look forward to reading your blog!

  16. Poor squirrels; maybe they can reclaim their mushrooms after you and K have gone.

    Times like these make me think of Mother Teresa's saying: I know God won't give me anything I can't handle, but sometimes I wish He didn't trust me so much.

    Thanks for your kind wishes about Jed. We'll keep you posted.

    Jed & Abby

  17. Thank you for taking us along in the wintery forest!
    That photo of K is so cute, I keep looking at it and smiling!
    What a world of adventures you and your dual share!
    K is looking beautiful as ever, and I was glad to see sun rays shine on you.

  18. between your wanderings and your cameras a world of wonder presents itself to us, thank you. i love it when squirrels leave mushrooms in the trees, when i find them it feels like easter! i have never found them blown from the wind to the ground, awesome!

  19. Kb love that photo of sweet K, she looks so FULL OF LIFE! We finally have some snow on the ground here in Baltimore (and we are all excited about the Ravens game on Sunday). Indy is outside as I type this enjoying it all in our back yard. I love watching him in the snow, just as I love all the pics of K and R in the snow. They live for each second of every day, no fear, and take nothing for granted. Hugs to you all this snowy morning.

  20. Love to see K enjoying herself in the snow! That's interesting about the squirrels drying the mushrooms in the trees - I guess they are smarter than they look.

    Your pal, Pip

  21. Very nice pictures of K. She´s looking wonderful.
    I like your pictures from the wildlife camera. We have one but still no animals passing.

  22. continue to keep our paws crossed for K. The V-E-T gave a neighbors dog 6 months to live due to "C", 3 years later....we still see them walking
    Benny & Lily

  23. Thinking loving thoughts on K's behalf. What a beautiful job you are doing with the balancing act.

  24. Once again great photos. The one of K with crazy eyes is hiliarious. She is a real character for sure. Can we ask what the average weight for a bobcat is and are they dangerous. Just curious. No worries, and love, Stella and Rory

  25. I had to smile over K's antics. I understand your balancing act of letting go but ever watchful. It's good that you know K so well.

    I visited my Luke today and his cough is no worse but I don't like it and am not waiting another week to get him tested. Phone call on Monday for an appointment. My gut feelings is I need to find out something, especially if he's treatable, which is what I'm praying for.

  26. That is really interesting about the mushrooms. Our female Airedale 'Stanzie' is a hunter-gatherer as well. She loves wild berries, Indian plums and whatever she can forage on our walks...we always said she was part Coyote!
    It's nice to see K so happy in the moment.
    Wyatt's mom

  27. Bobcats!! Love their big pointy ears and feet. Coyotes - too many wandering into the suburbs here taking dogs from their own fenced backyards.

    Love seeing K and you still out enjoying your breath taking scenery.

  28. The wildlife is wonderful to see. Have never seen a Bob cat
    The photos of K are stunning. Pawscrossed she continues to grow strong.
    Big Nose Pokes
    The Thugletsx

  29. As always, lovely photos! Pawhugs for you and K.

  30. What wonderful shots!!!

    May those pillars of strength bolster both of you through the coming weeks!


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