Tree Swallows: Nature’s Fighter Pilots

I’m not a “birder.” Haven’t been in the past, am not now, and…well, maybe at some point in the future I will be. I do like birds, but I’m not patient enough to be a birder. A birder is, by definition, a bird watcher. Someone dedicated to bird watching. I’m an observer. Amused by birds,… Continue reading Tree Swallows: Nature’s Fighter Pilots

Signs of Spring in the Mountains

I was born and raised in a suburb of Seattle, where the climate is "temperate." That's a kind way of saying it rains (or drizzles) a lot and the temperature variation throughout the seasons is small. It rarely falls below freezing or rises above 90F. It's cloudy most of the time, even when it isn't… Continue reading Signs of Spring in the Mountains

Swimming in Circles

When I was about eight years old, my family got a puppy, a beagle-mix we named Trinket. Oh, I loved that girl. While she wasn’t the first dog in my life, Trinket was the first dog who grew up with me, a part of my life from age eight until I left home at eighteen.… Continue reading Swimming in Circles

Same As it Ever Was

It was a déjà vu kind of morning. I was following the boys along an old Forest Service road, a couple inches of fresh wet snow on top of the ice, snow and slush mix left from the last snowfall a few days ago. We were walking an out-and-back route near home. Early on Conall… Continue reading Same As it Ever Was

Tracks and Bones

Winter is beginning to show signs of arriving in Idaho's Salmon River Mountains, my home. I love winter. I love snow, almost as much as my dogs do, except I don't roll in it. Having real winters with snow - as opposed to Seattle's dreary constant drizzle with the occasional snowpocalypse that brings everything to… Continue reading Tracks and Bones

Animal Sentience: Cows

This afternoon, driving by pastures I regularly walk or drive past, I observed something unexpected, and intriguing. Rounding a tight curve in the gravel road, I saw one of the yearlings in the adjacent pasture running - full speed, for quite a distance - in the same direction I was traveling. My first thought was… Continue reading Animal Sentience: Cows

Ignore the Rules

Alrighty! Today I took a nap. I got my procrasticleaning done (vacuuming dog hair off the floors, washing dog blankets, skipping the dusting because I hate dusting even more than vacuuming). I edited photos from this morning's walk with my dogs (some included here). I read some great blog posts. Now what? A long evening… Continue reading Ignore the Rules

Scatological Material, or, Much Ado About Poo

Let the title be your warning! This post is about...scat. Wild scat. Left by wild animals in the wild, in the forest my dogs and I spend much of our time traversing. I first heard the term "scatological material" when a college professor, teaching English history, used it. I've searched for ways to use it… Continue reading Scatological Material, or, Much Ado About Poo

Good Sense

A Hike in the Forest, July 28, 2019 A nice, mellow hike with the dogs on Six Mile Creek, a trail we rarely visit. That was the morning’s plan. Why don't we use this national forest trail more often? It's not far from home and is on the morning-shade side of a mountain slope, under… Continue reading Good Sense

Learning from Experience

The ability of an animal to learn cause and effect is astonishing. Living along the edge of a national forest means that one often hears rifle fire or shotgun blasts. Not just during hunting season, but year round because people use the forest for target shooting. When I first moved here, target shooting nearby was… Continue reading Learning from Experience