20 February 2014

Mule Deer Farewell

I am often asked what type of deer I have at my ranch. I respond that it depends on the time of year. In the spring and summer it’s the whitetail deer. In the fall and winter it’s the mule deer. Each year, regular as clockwork, the mule deer come down from the high country and the whitetail move down to the valley.  In spring the mule deer go back to the high country and whitetail return.

Mule deer and whitetail differ not only in their physical appearance but also in movement and temperament. Mule deer have large ears and short tails whilst whitetails have a tail that flies like a flag when they run. The mule deer leaps rather than runs (I call it boinging) and the whitetail go all sprattle-legged and look quite awkward. Mule deer are stocky and grayish brown in color whilst the whitetail are slight and reddish brown. Mule deer are calm and friendly, whitetail nervous and skittish.

As much as I enjoy having the whitetail here sharing my space, having their fawns. I really must say I favor the mule deer. I look forward to their coming every fall and I feel a sense of loss when they leave for the high country in the spring.  The mule deer and I share this space much more intimately. For a time we are family.

Winter Gathering
Limited Edition Collection

When they arrive in the fall, the deer are somewhat skittish until hunting season is over at the end of November, especially the bucks. Almost as though they can read the calendar they settle right down. All through the short, cold days of winter they come every afternoon. It seems as if they have a circuit they travel in their endless search for food and this place is on their schedule for around four in the afternoon.

Once hunting season is over it seems we settle in to a time of mutual respect and trust. We all wander around this land together. No one seems much perturbed by the presence of the other. I get so that I recognize some of the deer and give them names like Scruffy, Floppy, Daisy and Sweet Cheeks. I talk to them and they appear to listen. Maybe we all get a little whacky in winter.

Be sure and check out Kinsey's new blog The Liberated Photographer.

©Kinsey Barnard

18 February 2014

Columbia River, Ilwaco & Cape Disappointmnet

We set out early for Astoria and missed it completely. I think mom needs one of those GPS thingies as we are forever setting out for one place and ending up in another!

The plan was to start in Astoria and work our way back to Cannon Beach. But, when we got to Astoria instead of going into town we ended up on Megler Bridge. This bridge takes you across the Columbia River and in to Washington. Never one to go backwards mom took a right and headed for Cape Disappointment. The trip was anything but!

Our first stop was Fort Columbia. The wind was blowing so hard we could hardly stand up. We didn't stay long. Everywhere we went there were downed trees from Monday's storm.

Next stop was Chinook Park. It was cold and windy but we braved the elements and walked along the beach. Beautiful views across the Columbia back at Oregon. We saw lots of cargo ships coming in from the open sea on to the river. Those big ships are so cool to watch.

We continued north, around Baker Bay, to Ilwaco. Ilwaco is a really neat fishing village. Everything was pretty much closed for the season but mom really likes that for her photography. We walked all around the village and I liked that!

From Ilwaco (pictured) we headed for Cape Disappointment. Our first stop was at Beard's Hollow. Very pretty. A beautiful bald eagle was perched in a tree. I was awesome. You can walk down a path to Long Beach. They are not kidding when they say "long"!

Next up was North Head Lighthouse (pictured). Beautiful views from this place. Then we drove down to the main gate of Cape Disappointment State Park. Looks like a very nice campground. We drove out to the North Jetty and mom got some shots of the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse.

The day was pretty much shot by this time so we headed back to Oregon. No sooner did we get home than it started to pour. We had lucked out all day with the rain!

I couldn't link any photographs for you because they aren't ready yet and when it comes to her photography there ain't no rushin' my mom.

©Kinsey Barnard

Not a lot goin' on. Puppy's bored.

There hasn't been much going on around here. Mostly lugging firewood and shoveling snow. Of, course I just supervise. Kinsey seems to be doing a fine job.

We do walk in the woods every day and play catch with the Frisbee. I'm getting really good catching that thing. I can catch it on the fly over my shoulder, running away from it. Kinsey says I'm going to wreck myself I jump so high and contort myself in such unnatural ways.

I can play catch forever. I do get tired and thirsty sometimes. There's no water around the house that's not frozen so every once in awhile I run down to the pond and get a drink. The water is always running there.

©Kinsey Barnard

03 February 2014

Kinsey and I snowshoe on frozen Stillwater River

Saturday Kinsey and I went snowshoeing on the Stillwater River. It was way cool. Me, I raced around with my friend Blue while Kinsey slogged along with her friend Ming. Running down a river was a great new experience. Look at me Mom, I can walk on water!

The not so hot thing was I got myself into some brush with tiny little burs. Kinsey and I are still trying to get them off. My long, silky fur was just a magnet for the darned things. I really was a major mess. I'm afraid I'm not going to get to run on the Stillwater ever again. :(

This photo was taken just before I got into the steekers!

©Kinsey Barnard