Apache and I went walking this morning. For some reason Pepper had stayed at her own home down across the creek. Maybe she didn’t like the weather. There was definitely a change in the air. The sky was a surly grey and a cold and restless wind sighed in the treetops. It was a good day to walk in the deep woods west of the house. We followed a coyote’s trail for some distance, his small, neat “dog” tracks clearly imprinted on the skiff of fresh snow. I wonder if he was sniffing around the yard late last night. Something was around, causing Apache to tell it off in loud and rude dog words. Later we followed the path of several deer-in assorted sizes-as they toured through the woods. The last part of our walk took us across newly-frozen flood water on the creek, up a steep little hill, through a fence, and, at last, into the house where the wood fire awaited with a warm welcome. Sometimes the best part of going out is coming in again.
The two dogs, Apache, my big young German Shepherd, and Pepper, the older black and white Border Collie cross who belongs to my friend and ranch helper, Ron, took me for a walk today. That’s how unleashed country dog walks go; the dogs are almost always in the lead checking out interesting tracks and smells. When they do stop, it seems that directly in the person’s path is the favored location. The woods were quiet except for some staccato drumming by a woodpecker. Obviously sending a message of some sort—he couldn’t possibly dig out bugs and eat them that fast. The creek has flooded, frozen, and re-flooded so many times that it is paved with shiny new ice, bank to bank. It will be interesting to see how far past the banks the ice eventually spreads. I hope it doesn’t attack the newly-replaced footbridge!
It’s a little cooler tonight, still pretty good for Alberta in February. Nonetheless, it’s a good time to be in the house with the woodfire burning and a lot of warm fur cushions around. Here are the two youngest of those cushions, also known as The Little Fiends or The Ragamuffins or just The Calicoes, depending on what they’ve been up to most recently. Meet Pirate (with her black eye patch) and her white-faced sister, Powder.
I am available to speak to groups throughout most of south-central Alberta. Areas farther afield considered on some occasions. I have many stories and adventures to relate about life with animals and Nature on my Alberta ranch. I also can speak about my books and the inspirations behind them. My style is laid-back and casual and I have been told I relate well to my audience. In the past I have spoken to librarian conferences, (adult) sororities, Women’s Institutes, Literacy Conferences, and numerous school and other education-related groups. Fees are negotiable depending on the group and location.
Contact me for more information.
News from Bergen coming soon…stay tuned, and come back often.