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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!