Thursday, January 22, 2009
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.