Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Love is in the Air

What a glorious weekend this was! The sun was out, the sky was blue, and despite the wind, it was perfect skiing weather. Yep, Toby and I hit the golf course for our first skiing of the season Sunday morning, and again Monday morning. Toby has a ski-joring harness, which hooks via a bungee-type cord to a special belt I wear. I was a bit trepidatious at first, since I haven't been on skis for a year and I wasn't sure how sturdy the snow surface would be, but the crust held us both and off we went! Toby enjoys it because he gets to zip right along - no limitations at the end of a 6-foot leash, held back by a human who refuses to go faster than a quick walk. Well...sort of. I still won't let him take off into the woods (although preventing his curiousity-driven dashes is a bit harder when one is being dragged along on two slick sticks strapped to one's feet).

Our big find (and not a camera in sight to record it) was one, probably two, and possibly even three, actual coyote mating sites! Coyotes tracks ran all over the golf course, and in one spot they unmistakenly showed that mating had occured (complete with blood drops on the snow). The second spot was also highly suggestive of the act, and a third area was a possible, but it could also be that the animal just sat down for a while and sifted about. Either way, it was all very exciting to find. Another peek into the secret lives of our local wildlife.

The birds can feel that spring is in the air as well. Chickadees have been singing their spring-time song for about a week and a half now. And this morning, when Toby and I headed out for our constitutional, the quality of the sunlight, combined with the chorus of birds (bluejays, pine siskins, chickadees), made it seem that at any moment a daffodil would erupt from the ground by someone's foundation! There are even patches of bare ground under trees and along south-facing slopes!!!

But, alas, it is not to last. Snow is in the forecast for the rest of the week. So, today we shall revel in the last of the sunshine and file it away in our memories to get us through a few more weeks of snow.


  1. I can just see Toby, trotting along, happy as only a dog can be happy. Every dog I've ever owned (and now my granddog as well) has acted deliriously delighted on every walk in the snow. By the way, does Toby respond in any way to the female coyote's spoor? Or would he if he were an intact male? Just curious.

  2. Woodswalker - Toby has been neutered, and he's the only dog I've had, so I don't know if an intact male dog would react to wild canid spoor. It's a good question. I find that Toby, however, gets enjoys sniffing ANY scent left behind by animals (urine, tracks, scat...). Sometimes he rolls in smells that only he can detect (mystery locations on grass or even snow), and he often licks areas where other animals have peed - I think this makes the scent stronger, but he may also be "tasting" the spot as well. And to think I also let him lick my face! Ick. ;)