I know that I've not been discussing 'All Things Sled Dog' lately. Please forgive me, there just isn't that much happening on 'the sled dog front' - but of course soon there will be.
In the meantime I'm enjoying my 'down time'. One of my favorite parts of my day is my evening walks. As I've mentioned before, it is not just me on these walks. In fact, I'm sure some caribou migrations involve smaller numbers. Joining me are Kara, Bet, Cricket, Tic, Bait and even Mark when he is on days off. Rather then a pack moving down the road though, we are strung out like a parade.
Bet leads the way, darting and dashing back and forth, easily covering twice the distance the rest of us do. Next in line is usually Cricket, although sometimes if she has had a busy day in the dog yard she lags. She is always on alert for anything lurking in the woods and on some occasion thunders off on 'guardian dog business' and doesn't come back with us. Then comes me. I don't 'thunder, dart or dash' I just walk - occasionally stopping to examine a wildflower, animal track or watch birds.
Usually right around me is Kara. She tends to follow right behind me on the way out - and lead on the way home with her poofy Kara tail high and waving.
Next comes Bait. He will often go roaring by us all at flat out speed challenging Bet to a 100 ft dash. She loves that! The further we get from home, the more the hair on Bait's tail poofs out, but he always stays with us, even if I take the longer, through the woods route home.
Last in line is Tic. He adores walking with us, but refuses to venture into the woods or past the 'Turn Around Here - Private Property' sign. He usually will be hiding in the tall grass waiting to join up with us again on the way home.
We rarely see wildlife - parades aren't good for sneaking up on critters, which is fine with me anyway - but often hear coyotes carrying on in the woods. And birds, ah, I love all the bird noises in the woods in the evening.
I found with cool website whose great vocal recorders of bird sounds (fun to explore these while Bait is in the house - it drives him crazy - and I love driving him crazy!) has allowed me to put names to many of the birds we hear in the area. For example, I know the strange 'honking' birds that dive and flit high in the sky no matter how late I walk are 'common nighthawks' - and the owl that lives in the wood north of us is a 'Great Horned Owl'. And of course the ever present Brown Headed Cowbirds, Grey Jays and American Robins. Very fun!
And lately the sunsets have been nothing short of amazing. I've thought of taking my camera and trying to capture them, but it would require a tripod and time to really do it right and that would just take away from the whole experience. And besides, without the comradarie of my friends, the smell of the woods and all the lively bird chatter, it just wouldn't be the same.
You'll just have to take my word for it!