Thursday, January 22, 2009

Morning Walk

It is still very cold here, with the snow slowly dehydrating rather than melting. The crust on top of the snow is so solid that even I can walk on it without crashing through and without even leaving a footprint. The pig yard, which faces east and slopes sharply to the north from the big barn door, is still solidly covered with icy snow so the pigs are still on barn-arrest. The pasture, however, is showing many patches of earth and straw, and the hillside up the back of the fields is almost bare.

Where the path crosses the creek, we discovered this ominous sign:

I am hoping it was just a mouse or vole caught by a coyote for breakfast, and not an injured animal. There were drops of blood leading to a couple of larger splotches. I have found dead mice,voles and moles near the creek before, leftover from coyote's feed when he has been startled mid-meal. The area made for fascinating reading for the dogs who followed a scent down into the water and back:
Oliver likes to do things the hard way - this is actually a fairly steep jump up from a narrow section of the creek to the path:

He struggled and struggled, but eventually made it to the top. Oliver has really come into his own, and now plays and barks and runs and explores like a dog half his age. He is a hoot to watch. He has recently taken to challenging himself with fun, active play in the pasture and even likes to splash through the icy cold water in the small stream. Wait till he sees the fish in there this spring! Oliver loves to run, and is pretty speedy, as you can see in this video:

Poor Charley couldn't get anyone to play with her, though both the shelties were willing to be cheerleaders:

We have been having glorious weather the past couple of days - crisp, cold and clear - unlike our fogged-in neighbours in the city. The sunrise wasn't spectacular this morning but it was still a beautiful view:

As the sun rose, the light on the hill behind the house shows the contrast between the frosted trees in the pasture and those on the mountains behind:
On days like this, it is hard to tear myself away to get ready for work.


Anonymous said...

Wow look at that sunshine. I envy you. I woke up to fog again. This has been an unusual long time for the fog to hang around
Poor Charlie. Archie would have loved to play with her.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Jean for the great photos and most of all for the videos - nice to see your dogs out having fun! Sorry piggies, it will get warmer soon we hope and you can get outside too.

It's so great to see little Oliver out there having a wonderful time (I only saw him in person the day after his big surgery - boy stuff, and he was a pretty sad little fellow then).

As to sunshine, well we have been stuck in fog and hoarfrost for so long now, it really does feel like the winter won't end. It's bitterly cold on our morning walk (-6° today) and everything is coated in either ice or frost, has been this way for days.

Sharon & Crystal

Black Jack's Carol said...

I especially enjoyed those videos, Jean, and nice to hear your voice too:) The dogs look to be having great fun. And yes, that blood in the snow would concern me. It's probably the remains of a hunt, as you say, but can't help but wonder if an injured animal was hiding out somewhere.

Dog Carriers said...

The land around you is beautiful!

I can't wait until the snow starts to melt here. We are finally in the 20's!