06 December 2009

Walking With Wolves

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. I took a week hiatus from blog writing which puts us two weeks out.

In that time winter has been closing in on us pretty quick. We continued to go down to the valley and walk along the Tobacco River until hunting season was over. It ended on the 29th so now we are free to wander the wilderness without fear of getting our heads blown off.

We saw the old eagle in the same tree just perched there surveying his domain.

Bald Eagle

Things are getting frozen up very fast at the smaller lakes and ponds.

We have had a few snow showers, enough to coat the ground and stick. One of my most favorite things to do after a snow is to go out and look for animal tracks. In the fresh snow you can really see, in 3-D, the critters you are sharing space with. We saw numerous bob cats, elk, turkeys, grouse and snow bunnies. But, the best were the wolf tracks. To say we were walking with wolves is taking a little artistic license. We were a few hours behind them. It was a pair just moseying down a Forest Service road. They looked like they were heading into British Columbia.

I tried to photograph the tracks. This first is just one track. Photographing snow is not easy for getting much detail but you can see the print. You can't really tell how big the prints are so I tried to get Koty to help me out.

Wolf Track

In the photo below the track pair on the right and the left are the wolves and the track in the center is Koty. Koty is not a small fellow. He is a sixty-five pound Siberian Husky. But, in comparison to the wolf he is a veritable minnow. A wolf pack could and would make short work of Lakota.

Wolf vs. Husky

I don't have a photo to share but late one afternoon whilst I was taking a meditative walk through my personal forest the sun poked it's head out for a brief time and there were shafts of light filtering through the trees, a beautiful effect. I looked up and standing not thirty feet from me, as though in a spotlight, was the most beautiful mule deer with the most beautiful rack I have seen on a deer on this mountain. It literally brought tears to my eyes. I congratulated him for making it through another hunting season and he just stood there. It's really amazing how the deer seem to know when hunting season begins and ends. Most of the year they don't mind me at all. Hunting season starts and, as far as they are concerned, everyone is out to get them. Almost the day after the season ends we are all friends again. I truly believe animals are far more prescient than most humans.

I didn't get a photo of the awesome gentleman but I did get a little spikey. You may need to get a magnifying glass to see the spikes.

Mule Deer Spikey

In fact, I took the photo below just because I thought it was lovely how the deer was blanketed in the snow. It was not until I downloaded it and zoomed in that found out it was that little spikey again. You'll just have to take my word on that. Honestly, they are the tiniest spikes I have ever seen on a deer that size.

Mule Deer

As always, the view from my front window amazes and delights. I'm really fortunate my plate glass window is like a living canvas. The view is always changing and always beautiful. Not a day goes by that I am not enamored and grateful for that view.

The View

It was almost dark when I took this one. It makes me think of an extra-terrestial sighting.

Almost Dark

Well, alrighty then, that's what we have been up to here in the somewhat far north. No offense to the snowbirds but I love winter here. It has a beauty beyond compare.

©Kinsey Barnard

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