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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Springtime romp and wildlife by our house

Our early spring is continuing, and K's energy for romping hasn't waned.
I noticed in today's photos how much K keeps her eyes on me. I often shoot "bursts" of photos when she's moving, and she frequently glances at me while she goes about her business.
Somehow, over the years, I've forged an incredible bond with K. I'm not sure if I've told you about our first meeting but K didn't like me. When we first met, she tried to hide behind a washing machine and then the dryer. When I took her to my car to head toward home from the breeder's house, she caterwauled like she was being tortured. Based on that first day, I never would have predicted the deep love that grew between us.

On this fine spring morning, K showed off as I tried new things with my camera. As some of you know, I'm relatively new to using anything but a point-and-shoot camera. Today, I wanted to play with using long shutter times and panning with K as she ran.

The outcome looks a little psychedelic, almost like abstract art. But, you can see that K stole a glance at me as she trotted by.
I tried the same thing atop Hug Hill. This time, K was focused on the ground ahead of her, which is rocky and rough on top of the hill.
When K and I are out in the forest, I see very little sign that she's sick. She still seems to have energy-to-spare, and joyfully romps. It's only at home where I am noticing that her fearfulness is growing. She fears certain spots in the house and certain sets of steps. These scary places have bothered her throughout her life, with the fear waxing and waning over time. I hope that her recent bout of fearfulness isn't a sign that her illness is progressing (it's 2 weeks until her next checkup). The good news is that these fears disappear outdoors.

K has also been very interested in the scents being left by wildlife in our house's clearing. Since mid-March, a bobcat has come through every 2-3 days. Here he is outside our bedroom window captured by a trail camera.
I was relieved to see that he continued visiting even after I found a dead bobcat in the forest about 2 weeks ago. It wasn't "our" bobcat who died but it still made me sad.

"Our" bobcat has been marking our clearing as his territory regularly. He's peeing in the photo below (he's on the far left).
A few days later, the local breeding pair of coyotes passed the same trail camera in our clearing. First, the male showed off his rapidly healing wound below his left eye. I'm guessing that he's going to be fine.
After the male trotted through and peed in the same place as the bobcat did a few days earlier, the coyote's mate arrived. Look at her rotund belly! I think that there are pups on the way!
After sniffing the tree, she marked the same place as the bobcat marked. I've been seeing this pattern for years - that coyotes and bobcats respond to each others scent markings. They seem almost competitive about territory even though they're different species. I've read that they fight if they see each other and usually the coyotes win.
As you know, the behavior of the wildlife fascinates me... and the scents they leave fascinate K! In fact, K pees over top of the bobcat and coyote scent markings, adding her 2 cents!

Another gift of a spring day here in Colorado. These are special days, and we know it.


  1. You always make the animals that pass through your area seem so interesting. I hope we keep seeing glimpses into your world for a long time to come!

    I've heard you talk about K's fears before. Things like that are one of the times I wish they could talk to us! The shots you got of her are really artsy and cool looking!

  2. KB- we're doing a bobcat dissection for a wildlife society club event next week! One was hit by a car in our area, and was donated to us by our state agency for educational purposes. I've never seen a bobcat (maybe this summer I will in AK) so I'm very excited to see one, even though not alive.

  3. I have to say MOM is hesitant to try new stuff with her camera, she is afraid of missing something special. But I think she might venture out. Like I tell her venturing out can bring something beautiful.
    I like you photo of K. Maybe this will inspire her. Of course you know you inspire us in many ways, we'll just add one more way to the list.

  4. I love the way K is stealing looks at you. The wildlife you capture on your cameras are always so interesting.


  5. I loving seeing your wildlife!
    Dachshund Nola

  6. Fantastic. I had no idea that different species would scent mark over other species. I suppose it's logical...

  7. Great photos. That is interesting about Coyotes and Bobcats marking the same area.


  8. My beautiful Allie who went to the bridge in 2009 and with whom I had a very strong bond was terrified of all of us when she came home. She hid under an ottoman her first night. She ended up being completely devoted to my husband and especially to me and did a great job raising "the boys." You never know who is going to be your loyal heart dog...

  9. K sure did come a long way...
    Benny & Lily

  10. Its interesting to me that K shows some fear inside your home. She loves the outdoors so much and the wide open spaces that when she comes inside, she is just puzzled. The Doc is inside too, all confined. Wish we could know!

    Jo, Stella and Zkhat

  11. The wildlife photos show us how wonderful nature is . K's fear of scary places, could it be her eyes do not see as well as they did? Or do they focus on something invisible to us? One of our cats seemed to be afraid of certain places in the carpet, and leapt over them as if to avoid
    " something?", later she developed cancer, and now I wonder if the two are linked in any way. K looks so happy, and her shiny coat tells of all the love and care you give.Cheers from Jean

  12. What an amazing story you just shared about K when you brought her home as a baby and now - the big change.
    You and your world- wild animals and all are just amazing.
    I am glad the coyote is better

  13. I think all that running through the woods and climbing on the rocks is keeping K strong! She may pick up a little of your anxiety when in the house? She has to sense that something is bothering you. I wonder if you aren't more relaxed and focused on other things when the two of you are outdoors.

    Just a thought. From a DOG no less!


    Keep on being strong K!



  14. You would not have wanted a soulmate who gave her heart over too easily...but it had already been written.

    You asked for Spring with K and we are so very thankful that you have been given a season of such beauty and awakening...on all fronts.

    These times ARE special days.

  15. Hi KB, As always I am so drawn to the posts that feature so much of K. I'm not sure I told you but I cried when I saw Kathleen painting here; when I look at her eyes, they remind me so much of my Sadie's eyes. Sadie followed me constantly. How I wish all the thoughts, prayers, vibes out in blogland would completely heal her. We've all grown to love you heart dog so much!
    Give her some love for all of us please.

  16. I loved hearing how you and K first met! What a great story and look at her now! She really is a free spirit when she's out romping. Hopefully her indoor fears will wane. You got some more terrific wildlife photos. Very sad about the one bobcat. But to have one outside my bedroom window, I think I'd freak out a little bit. Okay, alot! LOL!

  17. I think dogs know things that we will never understand. You have an incredible bond with her.

  18. Here's to many. many more 2 cents worth !

  19. Hoping you and K have many more beautiful sun filled days together! Your wildlife fascinates me too!

    It is wonderful to see K enjoying each moment so much!!

  20. It's wonderful to see K enjoying the spring so much! And funny to read about your initial meeting with her!

  21. Ah her was just a wee little puppy back then...but dang looks at ya'll unbreakable bond.

    If only my mum would STOP playin withs her camera...then maybe I could get my di din on time.


  22. Great post! Interesting to read about your wild animal. Was the bobcat injured or did he seems to die from sickness maybe?
    Im sitting here and all the dogs are sleeping beside me on the Tyra in my bed :-) Its raining outside tonight...Hugs from us

  23. Love the "psychedelic" photo! (All of them are great, though!)

  24. What a bond you both forged!
    Stunning shots of K. Your trail camera's really do come up trumps with the wildlife.
    Sorry we have been missing for a while..but hopefully we are back. we seem to have missed so much!
    Have a great week.
    Big Nose Pokes
    The Thugletsx

  25. We love learning about all the wildlife - son interesting. And amazing how little we really do know.

    We too were wondering if maybe K's vision isn't as sharp these days and maybe it is more noticeable to her inside. Whatever it is, she is still a beauty and a real love.

  26. Lovely, photos, as always. Wonder if the coyotes and bobcats hunt for the same small prey, so they see each other as competitors - like lions and hyenas? Lions & hyenas will kill each others young, given half a chance. Wonder if coyotes and bobcats share that tendency, too. Maybe not, as lions and hyenas both live in social groups and coyotes and bobcats don't.

    Could there be a noise or smell in certain parts of the house that you don't notice but which bothers K? Abby is much more sensitive to noise than Jed, not to mention mama :) Sometimes Abby will jump up on the bed or come wrap herself around mama's legs for no apparent reason. She heard something, probably outside, that Jed ignored and mama sure did not hear.

    Here's hoping you and K have many more golden days together.

    Jed & Abby


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