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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Shyla is in the hospital

Our sweet Shyla has landed in the hospital after an unauthorized visit to a deer carcass. I saw her nose go up and that special tension that ripples through her muscles when she smells something irresistible. Unfortunately, despite my big efforts to teach her to come to me in these situations, she didn't.
Instead, she went to the carcass. She ate meat and bones. The bones are the problem. The vet hospital is monitoring as the bone shards (hopefully) move through her system. They're also pumping her full of fluids and watching closely in case of the very bad emergency of a shard puncturing the GI tract.

Some dogs might have surgery in this situation but, given Shyla's epilepsy, anaesthesia is more dangerous than for most dogs.

We'll keep you posted as we know more. We do know that she'll be in the hospital at least until mid-day Sunday.

Silly Saturday - Wake Up!!!

Wake up! There's a block of cheese flying through the air near you!

If you're fast enough, you might snarf it like Shyla did!
Happy Silly Saturday!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Alpine Flower Friday

Although our trip to the alpine zone was shorter than expected, we did get to see some spectacular flowers that flourish above treeline.

Shyla leaped over a patch of yellow flowers when we were just below 13,000'. 

I spotted a cluster of Sky Pilots amidst a boulder cluster. Sky Pilots are glorious purple flowers that I love to see.

They have a stinky way of keeping ants away - they smell like skunks!

I had lots of fun with the densest cluster of these flowers that I've ever seen, photographing them from every angle.

Of course, Shyla wanted me to get moving again. As you can see behind her, the snow wasn't completely melted yet. However, the exposed ground seemed quite dry despite the recent snow melt.
Believe me, that dryness was about to be remedied. Within a few days, the rains were upon us. The flowers loved it!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Thankful Thursday - Past and Present

We recently had a significant date for me - it was the date that two of my best dog friends died, in different years. Fourteen years ago, Acadia died on July 15. Her successor, my chocolate angel K, died exactly nine years later.

Each dog teaches me a whole new world of things about dogs, myself, and love. I miss both of them terribly. The loss of K, more recently, still pierces my heart when I realize, yet again, that she's gone from my daily life forever.

But I don't forget to revel in the lives of R and Shyla, our current sweet Duo.

I'm thankful for every one of our dogs - they make me smile.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wordy Wednesday - An Attempted Vacation

We recently tried to take a trip to the high mountains. It was a comedy of errors. We made it to a great campsite...
Within the first 24 hours after leaving home, I had the good fortune of meeting one of my virtual friends and her dog. I took out a camera to take a photo when I met her but then I left the camera on the roof of her car. Despite lots of effort by her to retrace her route and contact every lost and found in town, it was gone forever.

Then, we drove to the nice spot shown in the first photo. I headed out for a bike ride. When I tried to shift gears, my chain jumped into my spokes, breaking everything in its path. It broke enough spokes to totally destroy the wheel. I wasn't smiling at that point.

So, 24 hours led to a lost (and probably destroyed) camera/lens and a destroyed bike wheel. At least I met my friend and her dog!!!! That was the one bright spot in that day.

The generous Runner owns the same model of bike as I do. He rapidly donated his rear wheel to my bike, and then spent hours helping me fix myriad other problems that had suddenly emerged with my bike. We replaced the chain and the front chainring before we returned the bike to an operational state.

Shyla and I did go out for a ride within that first 24 hours (just before sunset). Yipee!
What was going to be a 10 day trip was shortened by endless bad luck. However, I'll save the rest of the bad luck for another post!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Happy, happy summer!

I love summer, and it's flying by way too fast! We've been spending time in the high mountains, enjoying the cool thin air.

And the Duo have been leaping into lakes.

Very little makes me smile as much as watching them play like puppies!
Happy Summer from our high mountains to your favorite summer place!

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Thirsty and Limping Mountain Lion

Another mountain lion visited a water hole in front of my trail camera. He visited twice. The first time was in the wee hours of the morning.

The second visit to the water hole was one week later during daylight!

He looked very strong and noble.
He took a very long drink of cool and clean water. Then, he started to walk away, and I saw that he had a serious limp. The water hole has a small stream feeding it, and he had to step over it as he departed. You'll see him limp as he crossed the stream, clearly protecting his left hind limb.

I hope that he's okay. Even a week without being able to kill prey like deer is serious for a mountain lion.

Here's the video, which you can watch here or at Youtube.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Silhouette Sunday

Sunset silhouettes of Shyla sum up so much of what I love in our world. The sky, the colors, the solitude...
...and, of course, Shyla.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Silly Saturday

I'm getting addicted to silliness on Saturdays!

Recently, our black dog has been making the craziest faces when trying to snarf treats out of the air.
I love how his eyes open so wide as the treat approaches!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Flower Friday - The Changing of the Guard

New flowers are shining in our neck of the woods.This is a "Locoweed" with yellow flowers behind it.

Shyla smiled as she ran through Locoweed.

Locoweed is almost always covered in bees. It must have lots of nectar!

I found another new bloomer, an extremely rare flower. Wood Lilies are rarely seen, and I found three in one aspen grove.

Happy Flower Friday!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Feisty Flycatchers

I am thankful today for a pair of Cordillaren Flycatchers who have delighted me this summer. They have a nest under our deck, and the parents hang out either on the nest or on nearby branches. I watch them with great joy when I'm on the deck.


They're small birds but they call loudly to each other throughout the day and even into the night while nesting.

They literally are "flycatchers". They flit away from a branch and snag a bug in mid-air regularly. During nesting season, they don't just swallow the bug. They take it to their chicks when they think that I'm not looking. This parent has a fly in his beak.

They don't seem to ever hunt flies perched on flowers, which is surprising to me. They specialize in bugs that are flying. This bug would be fair game while flying from one flower to another.

We are nearing the end of their nesting season, and I am so grateful to have had another season of watching these incredible birds build a nest, lay eggs, feed their young, and finally lead their young away from the nest.
It seems miraculous to me every single year!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

So much that I love is in this photo.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Mountain Lion at a Water Hole

I captured a couple of clips of a mountain lion, perhaps the mother from the trio that we saw recently, at a water hole. First, she drank, and then she licked her giant paw, before sauntering away from the water.

Here she is on a trail near the water hole.

And here is the video of her at the water hole. I hope that you enjoy the short video, either here or at Youtube.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Black Dog Sunday

We appreciate every day that R can run through the flowers after all that he's been through!

For all his life, his ears have gone crazy when he gallops.

We sometimes call him the "flying nun".
We get the feeling that R also appreciates that he's running without serious pain for the first time in many years. We still do physical therapy with him every day to keep his elbow stabilizing muscles strong.
We love our Black Dog!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Silly Saturday

The treat approaches...

Shyla's mouth starts to open.

And she snarfs it!
Happy Silly Saturday!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Columbines on Flower Friday

One more Flower Friday will focus on our Columbines. They are covering the floors of aspen groves in prolific numbers. I adore this time of year!

Here is a Columbine with the beauty of a blue sky and green aspen leaves behind it.

I love seeing sweet Shyla next to Columbines.
I love summertime!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Thankful Thursday

This photo sums up so much for which I am thankful.
I've decided that I need to take it a little easier for the next little while so my posting may be less regular. I promise that my mini-vacation it won't be too long!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Wordless Wednesday - Black Dog in Gold

SNARF!

Running like the wind


Black Dog Happiness

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Independence Day

This is my recollection of a famous sentence from the Declaration of Independence -- We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (and women - added by me) are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

For me, the pursuit of happiness involves having wild places where I have the freedom to explore nature. I do that every day with amazing trails out my back door and seemingly endless forests and mountains to explore.

Our meadow golden flowers are almost too tall for Shyla now! I'm so glad that our country has seen fit to preserve some open spaces like this meadow, which are now a haven of peacefulness in our modern world. They also provide wonderful habitat for a variety of animals.


Next, we moved about 100 yards to where the purple flowers are taking over. I believe that these flowers are called Locoweed. They are poisonous to some grazing animals but are a beautiful color.

Purple is my favorite color so I'm thrilled to see the purple haze gradually appear in the meadow. I know our land so well that I know that this progression happens every single year and probably has for a very long time.
Happy Independence Day. I love the unique beauty of our land, especially the mountains! I'm glad that the pursuit of happiness is an inalienable right for all of us.