Thursday, March 15, 2012

Winter Wonderland & An Emerging Spring Mix it Up

Simon and I headed out for one of our favorite winter walking loops which includes short hikes through the forest, walking along carriage paths and along closed park roads.

We had a dusting of snow last evening and the paths were a little bit slick- suppose it was good not to go running :tears:
As Simon and I started our walk the sun came out and the forest was sparkling with the fresh snow. It was a soft snow and so our footsteps were muffled as we hiked along in peace together. We followed the tracks of a fox for quite some time before parting ways. At one point I heard a Raven calling out and Simon immediately stopped in his tracks. He has a fascination with Ravens and when he hears one he will look about in the sky for it and follow its path across the sky. I, in turn, am fascinated by his fascination with this bird and this bird in particular. Native Americans have legends about the relationships between Wolves and Ravens and interesting behaviors have been observed by wolves interacting with Ravens- Jim & Jamie Dutcher write about it in their wonderful book: Wolves at Our Door : The Extraordinary Story of the Couple Who Lived with Wolves But I digress....

As we began our walk back to the car we were treated by two bald eagles, one an adult and one immature, soaring over our heads and then along the cliffs beside us. There was some interaction between the two and we could hear the distinctive screech from one of them. Back at the car, then home and now typing away I am left with the image and sounds of incredible beauty- an image that should get me nicely through the rest of my day.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Simon turns 6!!

After Simon's sixth birthday this week I found myself re-reading a post on Tom Ryan's blog.... every word rings try today. I love this dog and he loves me- it really is that simple.

Link to Tom Ryan's blog:

Monday, January 30, 2012

Running to Remember a Fellow Woman Runner

We have been shocked by the news of Sherry, teacher, wife, mom and runner who left her home one Saturday morning for a run and never returned. Her cousin is organizing a run to remember her... as a women who runs alone this is particularly poignant. Please consider joining Simon and I and walk, run, cycle or move in whatever way suits you to remember Sherry.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Will Simon Forgive me?

I am going hiking today and I have decided not to bring Simon.... I know you are all gasping at the horror of it all. But, I am hiking with my pal Megan and her 2 daughters in the hopes of seeing one of the Snowy Owls that have come down our way this winter. I am pretty sure that having a predator along, Simon, may interfere with our possible sightings.

Fortunately, Simon and I have already had a wonderful outdoor adventure today- doing a loop that incorporated hiking trails, closed roads and an bushwhack along an abandoned trail! So.... please forgive me my four pawed pal!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Running ... again!

Simon is a great running companion, but between his recent health issues and mine we have gotten off our game for the past few months. I could feel myself giving in the holiday excess and knew that a downward spiral could happen at any time. But no- that is not happening!

Simon and I are both feeling great and started our post holiday exercise with a fantastic, and easy, trail run in Acadia. I chose a trail that was relatively flat, a day that was warm and a running pal who was into tramping through the forest. We had to navigate some ice and some deeper than expected pools of water... and one of us had to take a break to swim in a couple of streams. By the end we were both smiling and I was thinking about our upcoming Canicros Race at Pineland in May.

Today we were heading out for another run and I chose a place where Simon could run leash free. He could do his thing while I tried out the first day on a Galloway plan to improve my 5k time. Next thing I knew Simon bolted for a patch of forest across the (quiet, no traffic) road from our running route. I called and called with no response and as my fears started to take hold I thought... he does not do this!.... but there have been 2 times when he acted in a similar way and both times he had discovered a deer carcass. So off I bounded into the trees and I found him close by with his prize. The deer had been picked pretty clean, but he was enjoying a bit of a chew on the skeleton. Simon was so in "dog mode" that I doubt he even heard me calling him. I clipped on his leash and finally got started on our run. I decided to keep him leashed knowing how close the temptation was to our running route. Let me tell you that Simon was jazzed and if I had had my canicross gear we would have flown!

Another day with my beloved fiend.... and another adventure!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Happy Holidays

Simon and I hope you have a dog centric holiday season this year!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A(nother) Morning on Gorham

It was so funny this morning as I had planned last evening that today would be a hiking day, but when I woke I really wanted to go running instead! I almost did, but then checked the weather and we are due for lots of rain tonight and tomorrow- I will run in rain, but hate hiking in rain as the trails are slick. So... a hike it was today.

I decided to hike Gorham Mt. I have a tremendous fondness for this small mountain as it was where I got started in hiking. It is a cool, crisp day for a hike and being on the trail felt great. Not long after we got hiking I had a sense that someone was watching us. I have had this experience before and it is usually worth stopping and having a closer look around. We were very near a well traveled animal path, so I had a pretty good idea of who was around. Eventually I saw a horizontal plane of brown amongst the trees- I was right it was a deer. I quietly greeted her and then we moved along.

The trail felt so much like home... it is funny to me now to try and remember just what it was that got me to hike in the first place. What started it all? I have no idea. But once I got going it was all uphill from there. Early on in my hiking days I would hike Gorham 3 or 4 times a week. Still feeling a little anxious about venturing onto other trails. However, with Simon by my side, that soon changed and we have been hiking all over the place since.

As we continued our hike I noticed, even with the small amount of altitude change, the variation in color of the huckleberry bushes. As we neared the summit they sported leaves colored a stunning red and at the trailhead the leaves were still slowly moving from yellow to red.

Just past a lovely view point, Simon became quite alert and stopped in his tracks. Moved a bit and lifted his nose to the air. I know the signs and there was someone about. In the past Simon has shown me great owls in the trees we pass, Ravens soaring high above us, killdeer, fox, grouse and coyote. I strained my eyes to pick out something in the shrubs and trees, but it was dense and I could not make out who might be around. Well, I knew the chances of it being a bear, lynx, or bobcat were incredibly slim- despite their presence on the island and despite my great desires to see one of these animals. I thought it could very well be a fox or coyote watching us, but more than likely it was a deer. Sure enough when we started to move along I saw the distinctive flash of white as the deer decided to bound off.

We reached the summit and stopped long enough for Simon to have a few treats and to gaze out at the ocean before us and the mounains behind us before heading back down. I will never tire of this view- I have been on this mountain in all seasons and each time it offers me something amazing.

On our way down Simon and I caught the scent of, what I imagined to be, a fox. There was an animal path at this point along the trail and we have certainly noticed fox activity here before. Needless to say, SImon needed a moment to savor the scent and check out this path more in depth.

Once moving again and getting close to my first deer sighting of the day, we rounded a corner of the trail and looking right at me, very close to the trail was a deer. She was adorable and I admit that I am often reminded of Simon's warm loving eyes when I see deer eyes. Behind her I caught a flash of white as another deer moved farther away. Simon stopped and looked in their direction, I do not think he saw them, but remained calm for which he was duly rewarded. In order to continue along the trail we would have to pass very, very close to her and I had a clear view of her and of her fawn standing behind her. Simon paid them no attention and I said a soft hello as we passed.

Back at the car we had water and Simon had a few more treats and then it was back home. Again, Gorham recharged my soul.