Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Let It Snow, You Have No Other Choice

Note when I try to do something, two little dogs also want to get into the action to help me. We are always on the hunt together, but it makes it hard to sometimes find that shot I wanted. In a number of these photos you will see how a little dog gets in my first footprint shots and one of leaf swirls made by the wind blowing leaves and stems in a circle in the snow. Below is a frozen river, the intense cold has slowed it's flow for a few months. After that is a capture of the hills and valley I posted last blog from across and farther down the river. Next Daisy gets a return ear cleaning by Sicily the cat. It's been a long winter, out on the prairie.

Note the circles made by the winds blowing the leaves in a circle. Never got a good shot.

Friday, February 21, 2014

A Secret Garden

Our first trail ended here as coyote tracks lead to their home perhaps.

Do you see a face?
 Finding any glimpse of green during the winter is fun. This Falling Fern keeps color all year and is prominent in this tiny valley, but only found in  a few select areas of the state. When spring returns it graces the slopes with a vivid green that is enjoyable as one climbs through twisted trees and steep limestone cliffs. It is always a challenge to ascend to the back where a giant cave reigns over the forest. Ravines are filled with smaller caves to explore, and during the cold months harbor less spiders and bugs eager to taste you. We followed a coyote trail for the first part, but it veered up a steep ravine , and with two small dogs best to leave alone. We made those first footprints in the snow as I often like to do. A slight melt followed by a heavy snow left unseen hazards of slippery ice to deal with. I was unable to ascend up most of the slopes so stayed within the creek bed until we could no longer get pass the hazards. The dogs jumped up the sides of the hill, but could not get any farther than where they leapt straight up a rock face. I found a tree to sit on and smiled as I absorbed the beauty around me and breathed in the icy air. It made me feel so young as I thought of some fun memories of coming to this area for many years, yet hidden from many who have lived so close.  On a far ridge sits a cemetery that dates back to the early 1800's. Here seeds were first harvested to expand a prairie area and build another beauty from the tiny prairie remnant left next to it. This area is now 750 acres of prairie and woodland and stands for a dream to let others see what this land looked like before agriculture took away all of the natural beauty. There is magic to be found in this valley, within my secret garden.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Being Mean

Lily being mean to all the wild things around her. She is always on the hunt.
To be top dog, Lily has begun to perch. She wants to be above all others, and supreme to all pets.

The cats have started eating the puppy chow, I guess to get back at Daisy for eating their food. Rascal is the worse living up to his name and keeping up his huge girth. He looks like Jabba the Hutt from Star Wars.
Someone has a passion to clean the cats ears.

Nothing is meaner than a gaggle of geese.

That snow comes and goes. It was almost gone in most areas and then I wake up to it's Arctic charm.

A close race