14 February 2010

Snow Fleas and Sad News

Well, howdee! After two weeks I am only 95%. What ever bug that was it was a doozie. Or, maybe it's my age but I don't think so.

Speaking of bugs I made a discovery this week. I had gone down to my gate to clean up some new fallen snow when I noticed what looked like soot on the snow. I thought that was rather strange as the chances of there being soot on the snow, out here in the wilderness, is slim and none. Then, since I love in conspiracy country I thought con trail those danged Feds have dropped something on us. But, when I put my nose right down on the snow I saw a writhing, popping mass of living organisms. I'd never noticed anything like. I mentioned the phenomenon to my neighbors who set about an internet search. Turns out the little devils are snow fleas. Thank goodness they aren't really "fleas" or it would be mighty unpleasant as they number in the kabillions.

I got some very sad news this week. A man I had know since I was a teenager, and extremely fond of, was killed by a wildebeest near his home in Nanyuki. Julian had been a professional hunter in Kenya until hunting was banned in 1972. Thereafter he had taken people on camel/photograph safaris. At the time of his passing he was nearly eighty years old. By this time I had thought he would just pass away quietly in his sleep. It never in a million years occurred to me that a wild animal would get him whilst he took and afternoon walk with his dogs. A very clear reminder to those of us who wander the wilds that a wild thing can take you down at any time. It wouldn't at all surprise me if this same sort of thing didn't happen to me one day. I certainly hope not but it's always a risk.

To say I was saddened by this news would be a great understatement. I spent a lot of time wandering and reflecting down near the Tobacco River there was much more than just my reflecting going on.

Tobacco River

It never ceases to amaze me, the effects of the seasons upon the landscape. It's like a living painting that is not bound by canvas and oils. Forever changing and reshaping itself into wonderous momentary images.

Tobacco River

I also took several walks out in the woods. Yesterday I followed elk tracks and before long discovered a wolf was following them too. I never saw the wolf but I certainly did see the elk. The were over the side of the trail and when they got wind of us they went crashing through the woods like a herd of elephant. Very goosie and for very good reason.

As usual Koty was busy doing what Koty does best, hunt out trophies to gnaw on in the snow.


That was our week as we took the bitter with the sweet.

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

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