Big Bull

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I keep hearing the elk bugle… a magical, majestic sound… but I had yet to see the big bull that bellowed.  That is, until this morning.  It was just after 5am… a little dark still, when he came in.

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I think I may have been a little late to the party, as he didn’t stay long.  He seemed merely to have come in to collect the last of his harem, and then he was off again.

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To watch the grace and ease at which he slinked off into the forest was a beautiful thing.  He was so quiet and confident in his graceful movements as he jumped over a ledge like it was a pebble and quietly disappeared.  Awesome.

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Pat’s Fawn

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My neighbor and friend, Pat, saw this little fawn when it was first born… maybe hours old.  It was the tiniest thing… so we have been watching out for it, hoping it would survive the wild.

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With a lot of support and love from its doting mom, it seems to be a happy, healthy little one.

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Two Bucks

You’ve heard of giving your two cents worth… well, here are my two bucks worth!

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Sorry… just couldn’t help myself.  Ha!

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This one buck, we call ‘Slash’ had what looked like a deep cut, slash, ripped into his back.  The other buck seemed to be lovingly watching over him.  It checked out to the right… and to the left, before alerting Slash to proceed in that direction.  Slash’s caretaker would rub along his healing cut, and nose him repeatedly.  Maybe they are brothers.. or just good friends.  We should all have such a great friend to help get us through our difficult times, particularly in the wild, where it can get quite ‘dicey’ with lots of predators out there!

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Morning Light

We often head out to the rim for morning animal shots.  It makes for a beautiful drive, and awesome scenery.  If we’re lucky we see animals… and even luckier if I get a good shot.

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This particular morning we saw NO animals… but we did get some moody light, that made for some interesting shots.

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The rain and dew provided cool back light opportunities.

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I just loved the way the light streamed in between the trees.  It created such a picturesque scene as we drove through our forest.

Tinder Run-off

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We have been trying to take advantage of the moody skies, fog, and rain to capture the aftermath of the Tinder Fire.  Only yesterday, this ‘water hole’ was dry.  But with a recent rain storm, and lack of vegetation destroyed by the fire, the water ran down the hill and formed this instant lake, crippled by ash scum coating the top.

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It’s one of the many features and stories told by the aftermath of the Tinder Fire that I want to capture for posterity, having lived through it.

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If only these signs of the fire could talk and tell the story for themselves of the fear and danger approaching.  The charcoal and cinder, soot and burn left in it’s wake as testament to the flames that rolled through.

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It’s a new day post – Tinder Fire, and may we all remember the horror and effect of forest fires and the camaraderie of others during difficult times.

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See my additional post here… https://kritterspaw.com/2018/07/22/tinder-aftermath/

 

 

 

Tinder Aftermath

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They opened the forest today, against my advice.  Not that they consulted me… but I made sure to voice my concerns.  We have had 1/2″ of rain in the last week.  That hardly seemed like enough rain to justify opening up our burn areas to traffic (and campfires), but thankfully we have gotten more rain today.

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We were anxious to see the effects on the forests we call our backyard.  While it has a tremendous amount of burn, scorched earth, and sad landscape, I was relieved to see some green trees.

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There was new growth already cropping up which we found moving and inspirational after the trauma our forest has had.  It made me think of the resilience of our community that continues to re-build and heal from this terrible event.

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I actually found the ‘burn sculptures’ to be fascinating and eery.  The textures and character left by the fire scar has now become part of our new forest, and I thoughtfully walked through our new landscape and tried to capture some of the tales it tells.

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I hope to get back out there, and document some of our forest’s stories, and will share them as they unfold.  For now, I was just happy to be able to walk among the trees, see several elk doing the same, and finding patches of green and new growth.

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Tinder Fire

It’s been a month since the Tinder Fire, and our community continues to heal.

I first wrote about it here….   https://kritterspaw.com/2018/05/02/tinder-fire/

We had a community craft fair this July 4th weekend to celebrate our freedom and independence.  Talented members of community shared their talents, hand crafted goods and tokens of the Tinder Fire, along with their stories of desperate helplessness during the fire.  It seems an appropriate time to remember our own turmoil, our survival, and tenaciousness to rebuild.

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This fire was like ‘The Devil’, as it tore through our lives with terror in it’s eyes as it faced us down in our neighborhoods and communities, with it’s 40′ flames and spiraling gusting winds.  It created it’s own fire storm and took daylight and turned it dark; green turned to charred black; and ground to ash.

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But we have persevered and are re-building.  Only a month later, many who lost homes have excavated the ruins and cleaned their grounds, as they prepare to set new foundation and build back up their lives and their homes.  We have seen more fire-wising since the fire, than ever before, as people rake pine needles and clear dead and downed trees.

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The goodness that we have witnessed during and after the event is what I want to remember and not forget.  Neighbors helping neighbors; the few that stayed putting out fires and doing what they could for their own communities; the many donations of water, food, and supplies to the fire house and their communities; donations of time and money to help those in need.  It makes my heart feel good to see so much kindness to so many.

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It’s in a time of despair that the best (or worst) comes out in people.   Our neighborhoods are forever scarred, but we are stronger together, more so now than ever.

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