Monday, April 13, 2009

the woods

The last couple weeks have been much warmer, sometimes around 60 degrees. Wow. It has been utterly enlivening. The winters in the Valley here are so long. In some ways they seem as long as the Alaska winters, because of the cloud cover. We went on our first walk of the season into the nearby woods - a walk with only shoes on our feet and not snow-shoes or skis. The ground is baring up so quickly now, and the warmth brings up all manner of scents. We meandered around for an hour or two, with no particular goals in mind. I think this does something different in the psyche than walking a trail or road. There is a time for both, but meandering lets you find all kinds of treasures and sink into the place of the woods.

The big poo at my fingertips and the hair are that of elk. The other poos are from deer, though they are slightly different sizes and shapes than each other.

The next day, my mom babysat Zoralee for Jason and I to ride Harley and Dusty Brown (those are the two horses Jason broke last summer) into the same woods. We went looking for elk and found the group of younger bulls, first by their musty smell, and then by sight through the trees about 80 yards away. They don't spook away when we're on horseback, though they don't stand around to chat. They are magnificent, but we weren't close enough to get good pictures with a point-and-shoot camera.

You can see a bull elk between the trees, above Harley's neck.
(the body is a lighter tan, and the dark head is to the right)
Maybe if you click on the photo, it'll get bigger for you.


Christi said...

horseback riding in your backyard?...that's cool.

Rachel Clear said...

Oh boy. When Cam catches sight of you holding some pooh, he is really going to flip out. :)