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Friday, March 28, 2014

Fly Like an Eagle

Shyla looked ready for the weekend during our sunrise snowbike ride today!
Her energy lull didn't last for long. She was on her feet scanning the forest soon thereafter. She was anxious to run again! The old song "Fly like an Eagle" flits through my mind as I watch Shyla in the forest. She's an incredible athlete in her absolute prime at two years old.
Shyla is thrilled that we are snowbiking together again. She sang with joy this morning.
It's amazing how Springtime has arrived on south-facing meadows but nowhere else in our forest. We rode through a sunny meadow near the end of our ride, and I spotted this gem! It's the first "spring color" of the year! It's not actually a blossom. Rather it's a tiny plant that has a symbiotic relationship with a yellow-gold fungus that covers its leaves, making it look like a flower. Regardless, I was thrilled to see our very first true sign of Spring.
The next photo was taken in another sunny meadow. A Golden Eagle was scavenging from a cow elk that was killed by a mountain lion. The Eagle certainly is majestic!
Happy Friday!


  1. wow! that eagle!

    love that cute moss-dusted plant! and always adore your shyla!

  2. That last photo is incredible!!!

  3. Oh, magnificent. To see the golden eagle and capture him surely was thrilling. Do you know the name of the plant? I'd like to know more about that symbiotic relationship.

  4. We hear you singing all the way in Florida Shyla! Beautiful!!

    What a cool Eagle picture - WOW!! What's the other bird coming in for a landing?

    Lily Belle & Muffin

  5. I think the song is perfect and I'm glad that you both enjoyed what looks like a perfect day!

  6. We is still lookin' fur our first sign of spring but we do enjoy da foto of yours. :)

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae and Max

  7. Wow. I love the golden eagle.

  8. Amy - Thanks for the question about the plant. Here's the explanation.

    It's described in a great book called "Wild about Wildflowers" by Barbara Darrow. It's a rockcress plant ("Arabis spp." - a mustard) whose leaves get covered in "bright yellow rust" (which is apparently the name of the fungus). The fungus causes the plant to alter its growth so that its leaves look like flower petals. The fungus exudes a sweet fluid that attracts flies who are looking for flowers to pollinate. This facilitates the reproduction of the bright yellow rust fungus which then produces spores that are blown away in the wind.

    The book cites Dr. Barbara Roy as being the one who discovered this symbiosis so she might have published an article about it.

    Hope this helps!

  9. Hi Lily,

    That's a Magpie in the background. It's actually quite a large bird, almost as big as a raven. The Eagle certainly dwarfs it!

    Notice how big the Eagle looks even in comparison to the ribcage of an elk!

  10. Your eagle pic is great and wonder if it wouldn't be good for one of those periodic contests you enter.

    If not that, definitely the pic of Shyla SINGING. I love singing dogs!

    Cheers and hugs,


  11. I hear you Shyla-- clear over here in Oregon- I hear you sing!!!!!!!!!!
    And the Eagle-- oh my gosh-- so big and beautful and the magpie too!
    We are so happy your both happy out on the bike again!

  12. I was going to ask about the plant, too, but I saw your description. I would be thrilled to see any color besides dead grass at this point. You captured some fabulous images today!

  13. That bird flying around the eagle better watch out it isn't dessert!

    XXXOOO Bella & Roxy

  14. What super photos, and the eagle!! ditto to all words above. Cheers to you and the stunningly adorable Shyla, Jean.

  15. What a pretty little plant with its yellow fungus! The peepers are peeping in our small pond this morning. I think spring is finally here ☺

  16. The first picture made me laugh! Wake up, Shyla :)

    Love golden eagles. And I always enjoyed seeing magpies in me, they were sort of a mythical bird, because of a fairytale that included the phrase "as untidy as a magpie's nest." I remember seeing them swoop past in the morning as I headed out to the barn.

  17. Surprised the eagle let you get that close. Beautiful pictures for us to admire and thanks again for sharing them.

  18. Shyla and I are both ready for the weekend! I'm so happy to hear that you are on your bike! Not yet for me, but soon. The shot of the eagle is spectacular, especially with the stellar jay in flight. I haven't seen any eagles up here since we've lived here. Used to see bald and golden eagles in Hygiene where our little ranch was in a flight pattern between their nesting sites and good hunting areas. It seemed that when it was very windy we would see the big birds. So majestic!
    Glad to see your confidence is back!

  19. Sing it, Shyla! Ha roooo!
    Gorgeous eagle!!!
    Play bows,

  20. Wow the eagle is huge, great picture

  21. hello,

    i have been taking in your recent posts, enjoyed seeing the golden eagle and bobcat photos. i have never heard of this plant that a yellow fungus grows on, so interesting. wonderful photos of all.


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