Counting the Pack

During a recent trail run I watched Conall do something I’ve seen him do before, but this time, in a flash of insight, it took on greater meaning. I had an “Aha!” moment. Suddenly, a behavior I’d observed without much thought was shown in a much broader and important context. Reflecting on memories of similar… Continue reading Counting the Pack

Spring 2020 Critter Encounters: Deer

White-tailed deer are a regular feature in my world. Living very close to a national forest boundary, they often cross my lot in small groups as they move from one section of forest to another. Spring and autumn are their busy times, but they're around all summer. If my dogs notice them, they'll woof at… Continue reading Spring 2020 Critter Encounters: Deer

So Long, Spring, ‘Till Next Time

Spring officially ends June 19th this year. It's always a little sad saying goodbye, watching nature's exuberant bursts of growth and color wane during the hotter and drier months of summer. Where I live, at 4,000 feet in the mountains of central Idaho, spring starts arriving in April and doesn't really gain steam until May… Continue reading So Long, Spring, ‘Till Next Time

Fear, and the Forest

Today I'm celebrating: Conall's biopsy results cleared him of cancer. Eleven days I waited for the results, living with fear. Did he have cancer? Or something else? I dreaded the wait. I tried to remain positive and distract myself - and usually succeeded briefly by taking both dogs into the forest - but always, at… Continue reading Fear, and the Forest

Random Thoughts During a Winter Run in the Forest

The following is sampling of the sorts of thoughts that flit through my mind while I’m out running in the forest with my dogs. Since they can’t talk to me (except through their body language), for much of the time we’re out there I’m carrying on an internal dialog with myself. While the specific threads… Continue reading Random Thoughts During a Winter Run in the Forest

Into the Woods in Winter

Yesterday I enjoyed one of those times in nature that leave me awestruck, enthralled, fully engaged, and grateful. Everything was perfect: the weather, the snow, and the company (my dogs). We started early in the morning, running up, up, up the mountain on freshly-groomed trail, the rising sun breaking over and through the tops of… Continue reading Into the Woods in Winter

Giving Thanks For…

...the gift of living boldly, close to nature, with my dogs. Simple things, really. The following is a photo essay of thanks-giving, using shots taken over the last three days. I have so many things to be thankful for, but in the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday I'll focus on the current season. I'm thankful… Continue reading Giving Thanks For…

Just Breathe

I needed a break from peopling. The only creatures I wanted to talk to were my dogs. I wanted to breathe and be in nature, without interruption, without stress. I also needed to go to a place where I could feel the dogs and I were safe from hunters/killers now that it's rifle season. Knowing… Continue reading Just Breathe

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

Tail Nubbins

Tail nubbins: the docked (also called bobbed) tails of certain breeds of dog. Usually done to meet breed standards or for “cosmetic” reasons. Controversial (obviously). Other animals, wild and domesticated - such as deer, elk, llamas and alpacas - have naturally short tails, which I also refer to as nubbins. A typical view for me… Continue reading Tail Nubbins