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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Winter in the Mountains

We had a wildly windy long weekend, which meant that we also had lots of clouds in the sky making pretty sunrises and sunsets.
Even in the protection of the forest, Shyla's ears would get blown up into the air by the wind. That little "tongue flick" is a sign of stress. Shyla is a little afraid of the big wind gusts.
She tried to hide but when the wind is blowing so hard, there's no hiding.
This morning, finally, the world was back to more normal winter weather. It was very cold and fresh snow dusted everything, including Shyla's nose.
The sunrise light was back, with only a few clouds in the sky. Shyla and I played in the sun puddles within the forest. I love the shadows at sunrise, and I love how she looked at me in the next photo - that's classic Shyla - a slight head tilt and soft, but focused, eyes.
We didn't stay still for too long due to the cold but we had a wonderful snow bike ride on hard packed snow trails. Shyla was super well behaved, and we explored the tranquil trails within our neck of the woods.
The Chinook wind over the weekend also made our world much warmer than usual. The snow pack shrunk a lot between wind blowing away the snow and melting. Consequently, I was able to check a couple of trail cameras that had been "snowed in" for the past 6 weeks. There had been some cool activity at those cameras but I'll save those photos for tomorrow.

And, our elk herd has returned from lower elevations since some dry grass is now uncovered in the meadows around here. I'm so glad to see them back!
They'll probably stick around until the next big snow storm and then they'll head lower again for a while. It's all part of the ebb and flow our mountain winter.

23 comments:

  1. sweet shyla. :) glad you've gotten a break from the wind!

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  2. Wow,, all those elk look so magnificent!
    Shy,, you and your shadow are soo beautiful!
    love
    tweedles

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  3. In our part of the world sunrises are so incredibly magical. You capture that so beautiful by becoming a part of the glow and shadow dance...Shyla never seems like she is intruding in this special place but rather becomes an element of it.

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  4. We hate wind! It is the only thing that scares us.

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  5. I don't blame Shyla at all about the wind!! It's so windy in the Colombia River Gorge and we get a lot of it, we're only a few miles from it! It was so bad that a bunch of trees fell down at our favorite park!

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  6. Where is your hat, Shyla? You need to protect your ears from the wind gusts ☺

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  7. these pictures are just gorgeous I particularly love the silhouette

    retro rover

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  8. Yay - elk are back!

    Blueberry can't make up her mind on whether or not she likes the wind. I think it really depends on what is going on around us. If there are a lot of other people, she doesn't really enjoy it. But when we have the desert to ourselves, she loves all the scents she picks up in a good wind and often has an extra pep in her step. I love the way her ears flop around in the wind too!

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  9. Oh, I'm with Shyla, I hate windy weather! That 'hiding' picture is so cute! I swear your dogs must be made of velvet. Their coats always look amazing in your photos! (Lovely Gratitude post as well!)

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  10. I think any animal that relies heavily on hearing is unsettled by strong wind. I know the goats are. And good gracious, riding a horse on a windy day? Wowza.

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  11. Love the elk. I bet you love having them around.

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  12. That elk picture is just beautiful. We heard you may get some more snow your way today...mom listens to the weather reports in the morning...stella rose

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  13. So pretty. Does Shyla go after the elk?
    Lily & Edward

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  14. KB, Love the sunlight on Shyla. It was so windy last weekend and we even had some on Monday. Whenever I'm out and about, I glance toward the Rockies and think of you and the pups. We had a light dusting here this morning, but sun is trying to peak out. Enjoy the day my friend.
    Hugs,Noreen

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  15. That's a lot of elk!

    Monty and Harlow

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  16. We had strong winds on Sunday. Poor little Mabel did not like it. She kept as low to the ground as possible when we were outside. Love the elk herd
    hugs
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

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  17. Those were all such terrific photos!

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  18. I love the tongue flick, I know it is distress, but it makes me smile(not that I want her to be in distress). What beautiful pictures!

    Anne and Sasha

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  19. Poor little girl, afraid of the wind, Sampson has taken to being unsettled by it too. The best thing for him during those times is to cuddle up with his human or go down to grandma's apartment in the basement and curl up on her bed. It seems there is less noise down there. Although if we are out walking in it, it doesn't bother him, just when we are in the house.

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  20. Wind is no good in winter! It is breezy here today and it makes it a lot colder. So Shyla has good elk manners too? Well Done!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

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  21. Hi Everyone! Thanks for the comments.

    Several of you asked if Shyla has good "elk manners". She is very good around the elk herd (I think she's a little afraid of a herd of 100 elk!). And, if we see a solo elk, I can call her to my side (she's less afraid of one than the whole herd).

    But, the elk are still leery of any dog, even if the dog is well-behaved. So, when I'm taking photos of the elk herd, I leave both dogs at home and head out on my own. I really don't want to disturb them.

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