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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Circle of Life

The Solstice is upon us. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, it means long and luxurious days when the air is warm and life is relaxed.

It also means a riot of wildflowers.
I sometimes wish that this floral bounty could be spread out over a longer time, so we could savor each flower, one by one.
But, when Mother Nature decides that it's "time", it seems that all of our flowers burst into bloom at once.
Hug Hill is perhaps the most beautiful place on Earth right now so, after I pedal up there with Shyla, we hang out and play for a little while. Don't worry, the hill is not too steep on the side where I'm throwing her toy.
Before our ride ended, we visited another favorite place. It doesn't have views of the still-snowy mountains but it has fabulous wildflowers. I think of it as the wildflower mecca.
Can you believe that this is Shyla's second full summer with us? The passage of time is incomprehensible in some ways. I feel like I've known Shyla forever but I also feel like K's death was recent.
During our ride to the wildflower mecca, we ran across an elk leg - not just any elk leg - but one with a long history that involves K. Sometime in the last couple of months of her life, K and I were out on a trail together, and she trotted into the forest. She was a super-reliable dog off-leash so I was shocked when she didn't return when I called her. I called and called with increasing desperation. I walked all over the section of forest that she'd gone into but she didn't appear.

Before that day, I'd asked my vet what the "end" would be like for K (she had osteosarcoma), and one of the possibilities was sudden death. After searching for her in the forest for what felt like an eternity, I sat down and cried, convinced that she was either dead or incapacitated in the forest. I decided to go home to get R, who I thought would lead me to her body.

As I started toward home, I kept calling for K. Believe it or not, as I moved toward home, that little rascal then emerged from the forest, dragging a very fresh elk leg that she'd been gnawing, in a nearby spot, for the whole time that I'd desperately searched for her.

All that I could do was hug her, and thank goodness that we'd have another day together. I took the elk leg from her, and I hung it in a tree, out of a dog's reach, to avoid another episode with it. It's hung there for the two years since that day, until today. This morning, I saw that the elk leg had somehow ended up on the ground in the middle of the trail. It appeared that an animal had pulled it down, possibly a bear. I rehung it, and I contemplated that day two years ago and the circle of life.
It is our second summer solstice since K's death but we've fumbled our way to a new happiness, with R and his little sister leading the way.


  1. happy summer burst to you! love that last photo. and always love shyla's antics. :)

  2. I love the summer flowers and yours must be spectacular. I imagine K wanted you to see it today-to remind you that she is never far from you. Enjoying your weekend dear friend.

  3. All of your words KB,, are so beautiful,, and you say it so well,, and you have moved us to tears,,, and we are grateful for another day- another year with you.
    tweedles and moms

  4. Shyla sure looks pretty in the colorful fields!

  5. Great story, and the flowers......amazing!

  6. Happy Happy Summer.
    Looking forward to more of your adventures in the wild flowers.
    Pretty pictures.

    xo Cinnamon

  7. Beautiful photographs. And a lovely, moving post.

  8. Your last photo is a posy, full of promise and glorious colour, like your story of the Elk's leg and K with her enjoyment finding it. Your last ride out, to find it still there, but on the ground, so fitting for Summer Soltice Day. Hugs, Jean.

  9. I love this post, your photos are beautiful and so is your message. You're right about the memories and the passage of time. Each truly holds and has its place.

  10. An Elk leg--even the best trained dogs have to make difficult choices.

    XXXOOO Bella Roxy & Dui

  11. Love this story, KB! I'm still wiping away the tears. Your flowers are so beautiful ♥

  12. Oh, wow! As you know, our place is not nearly a pretty as yours. I'm so happy for you. (And I love our place too. We've been through a lot together.)

  13. What an experience for you, KB. I'm glad it worked out well that day, and K was just being a dog!
    I love the shot of Shyla going after her toy - it's so full of possibilities.
    Thankyou for sharing so much.

  14. A lovely tale, KB. I admire your ability to write and share such moving glimpses of your life. And's SUMMER!

  15. The elk leg story really sounds like a message from K, a message full of joy!

  16. It's just crazy the way time flies...

  17. Somehow we heal from the wounds that we are certain we cannot recover.

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  18. As always I admire your photography and your stories of K. Love the final floral shot, it was just perfect dovetail into your story.

  19. I started to follow your blog while K still was with us...time passes so quickly! My pups Trym and VIlja are already 3 years old.
    Understand you love Hug Hill , its so Beautiful there


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