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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Less is More

Yesterday, signs of Spring abounded. One sign is that the big elk herd that winters in our area hangs out in a meadow near our house. They basked in the sun. One cow elk relaxed in the meadow, unconcerned with me.
She chewed her cud, not even looking at me.
Then, she shot me a suspicious look.
She decided I was harmless and returned to chewing her cud.
I was over near that meadow because a different cow elk had been killed by a mountain lion on my friends' land. I was setting up a trail camera to record the activity at the kill. I hope to share photos of that interesting event soon. Amazingly, the remaining herd was milling around fairly near the kill, even though neighbors had seen the mountain lion sneaking through the meadow. I was surprised by the elk behavior.

Today, winter had returned with a vengeance, and the elk herd still relaxed near the carcass - about 100 yards away as they were pelted with snow.
This situation shows what a unique world we live in with our dogs. It is so critical that we train our dogs and control them around wildlife. The elk don't need our domestic dogs harassing them especially when they have serious predators like mountain lions to contend with. Moreover, our dogs might get killed if they go near a mountain lion who is defending its kill. The stakes are high here. For me, it makes my commitment to training my dogs to behave reliably near wildlife absolutely critical.

With that in mind, Shyla and I hiked in the winter-like weather. She's become very good off-leash, so I mostly trust her around wildlife (although I still leash her when I think the temptation might be too great). It was a gray day so she needed a hat to brighten up the day!
Then we came home so that I could follow the doctor's orders and rest. Shyla is quite good at that.
R is usually an excellent napper, except when he thinks a hike or a treat might be coming his way! Then his eyes are intense.
I've had a good day so far. I'm learning some important lessons about not pushing myself too hard, even on good days. I must admit that it's one of the hardest lessons in the world for me to learn. I tend to want to "make the most" of every instant of life - but, right now, "carpe diem" must include lots of rest so that I feel good enough to enjoy the day.

I think our dogs already know that "less is more" sometimes - after all, they nap daily. I wish that they could teach me!


  1. a good nap is wonderful. :) love the elk! it does seem odd that they'd stay within close range to the kill!

  2. There is a certain soul satisfaction in cuddling together and napping. It cannot be obtained in any other way. Your bodies all in rest state free your spirits to merge in the process of recharging, rejoining, and rehabilitating.

  3. How we love that shot of Shyla with the hat:)

    We hope that rest will bring you better days. It must be hard for a person with your drive to take the time to rest, but it is good healing time for the body. All the best to you.

  4. Shyla with the hat and R's eyes! What a great post. The herd has been out several times. Ear me and in the meadow near you....I love watching animals in their own timeline. Yes, they have things to do....but when they get to it. I always stop and enjoy their activity. I think being as close to one of their own dead means very little to's not like it's Aunt Sylvia, and we should DO something....there's nothing to be done, this is where they want to be, and I'm sure it's all part of some cycle.
    Of course I'm not totally sure about this because I can't get any of them to "speak". Also controlling domestic animals here is a must....I'm very surprised by those that don't 'get it'. Nice post Kb, rest and get strong.

  5. It seems so strange that they would stay near a dangerous situation like that... Hmmm, maybe their natural instincts were frozen by the snow?
    Love the pic of S wearing that hat!!! Adorable!

  6. I love that hat! And R's eyes. And the pictures of the elk eyeing you suspiciously. Andy got too close to a mother once and she stamped her foot at him. He politely left.

  7. Love the hat!

    XXXOOO Bella & Roxy

  8. We absolutely love your colorful hat, Shyla!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  9. I imagine the elk know when one of their own has been killed, that they are safe for a while. The mountain lion will for full for a day or two.
    Even here in suburbia, it is dangerous to allow dogs to harass the wildlife. The animals may be smaller, the deer tamer, and the biggest predator a fox, but they will still run your dog out into traffic, which never ends well.

  10. *hahaha* I'm sure the "curious look" from the elk was not at your, KB, but at Shyla in that glorious hat of hers! *bahaha* I'd love to see a "thought bubble" regarding it above that elk's head. :-D

    Happy Sunday~ Andrea

  11. I love her hat. Do you ever worry about a chance encounter with a mountain lion when you are setting up cameras or just out on the trail?

    Monty and Harlow

  12. How fun to watch the elk again. I love the colorful hat too.

  13. Shyla is stylin in that colorful hat! Yes, you need to listen carefully to your body - I know you do that, but I also know how much you want to be "out there!" Take care.

  14. We LOVE your hat, too, Shyla!! You can only 'seize the day' when you're rested and ready, so napping could be considered a good preparation for that....

  15. I love that picture of Shyla in the hat!

    Maybe the elk figure there's nothing to be afraid of if the lion already has a meal? It is kind of weird!

    I hope that balancing fun and rest gets easier for you! The Greyhounds are good about teaching me the value of a nap in the sunshine. :)

  16. We sure did enjoy the photos today, stunning as usual!

  17. Hi! Great you feel some better today. Great Pictures....they are so Beautiful.
    Hope you can follow them if they stay.

  18. So many Elk! I envy you , sometimes, living in such a "wild" place.

  19. That elk shot you a look I give to Ma all the time!! Especially when I thinks she's gonna take away somethin' I 'might' not supppose to have....
    I loves your hat too Shyla! That would only stay on my heads for like 10 seconds then Off it would come! I thinks you look mighty chic in it!
    Now you guys rest and snooze....
    Ruby ♥

  20. Did you knit that hat? It's very colorful! :)
    Maybe the elk choose to be there because their other options are even more dangerous? I dunno. It would surprise me, too, to see a herd hanging out so close to a recent kill.
    I could use a nap right now, but I don't have the knack for sleeping during the day, unless - like you, at the moment - it is part of recovering or healing. Wish I could just have a little nap and feel refreshed, especially after morning chores these days. Piper, on the other hand, is asleep five minutes after we come indoors!

  21. Naps: I am a true believer in naps, I can fall asleep quickly in a chair, sleep for 30 minutes and wake up a new person. I love it!
    Those eyes of Prince Arr make me want to give him a big smooch.

    You sound lots better!

    Jo, Stella and Zkhat


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