Sunday, February 22, 2009

Wild Country

If you read my blog last year, you may have noticed my incessant ranting about the weather. I freely admit that I ranted. That said, I was thinking yesterday about how well I've done NOT even mentioning the weather this year and am very proud of myself - apparently, I've found other things to ramble about.

I also recognize that my attitude has changed in regards to the weather (namely snow.) I live in the mountains, where it snows. Sometimes A LOT. This year (in my humble opinion) has been much milder than last year was, and this year I've been able to begin snowshoeing again. I'm thrilled to say that of the past 8 weeks, I've snowshoed 7 of them. And I love it. We've been lucky, most of the Thursdays have been sunny and not too bitter cold (there was one week that was just awful bitter cold, but we made it.)

So, last Thursday as my friend and I were out shoeing, we went our normal distance and turned around to come back. As we got about 1/3 of our way back, we heard a howl. We pricked our ears and began to scan the mountainside. The howl came again and we were able to distinguish where it was coming from. A coyote. I have had no experience whatsoever with wild animals and didn't know whether we should continue on, or go back. However, my friend had her dogs with us, and she had just recently researched coyotes. Apparently, they shouldn't be out during the day (this one was) and they are often in packs (that's when we should worry.)

Now, on a side note, for years I've carried around mace on my keys - you know, just in case. I've also been teased incessantly these many years for carrying it around with me, as it is sort of big and bulky and cumbersome. But I didn't cave.

I have to say that I pulled out my mace and stood at the ready as we passed the coyote - he was still part way up the mountain, but he wasn't THAT far away, and he sort of followed us. I knew that my trusty mace, and the dogs would protect us. If not, it was a race between my friend and I as to see who would be lunch.

Several years ago though, I read an article about living in the mountains and wild country and a thought stuck with me. It is important to realize that these animals are not living in our territories, rather, we have moved into their territories and built houses, shopping etc etc. We need to respect the plants and animals whose territories we have moved into.

1 comment:

Ashlee said...

Ahhh that's scary. Good idea about the mace, Jon wants me to start doing the same thing. Anyway I love that pumpkin spice cookie recipe, I make them every fall like twice a week!!! They are one of our favs! I will have to try it with other cake recipes though...interesting!