Sunday, January 22, 2012

In Our Own "Yard"

We moved to the middle of nowhere so we wouldn't have to travel to be where we wanted to be.  Scott has explored some of the forest roads and other trails in the area on his mountain bike.  I've explored the same as well as some of the hunter-walker trails while hunting.  Aside from that, we haven't really explored the national forest land directly behind us.  It can't really be explored during the warmer months because it is alder and tamarack swamp.  Last year my foot was broken.  There always seems to be something keeping from going.  Today, for example, we procrastinated until nearly 1:00 and had pretty much decided to wait until next week to go. 

Fortunately, I happened to look out the upstairs window at just the right time.  There was a coyote crossing the front yard to check out the deer carcass we had thrown in the weeds!  It was pretty cautious and paused frequently, offering plenty of opportunity to take its picture.  Camera limitations mean the photos can't be blown up much.
Mr. Coyote
Mr. Coyote spurred us into some exploring of the back forty.  Lesson learned:  Taking all four dogs requires a lot more preparation.  Tweed and Declan stayed near us while Dora and Sally disappeared into the forest.  We decided to go home, where Declan found and proudly showed off a piece of suet that was out for the birds, Tweed took off solo down the road, and the girls eventually wandered back. 
Twenty Feet Apart

Once we had everyone contained, we put the boys in crates in the basement and tried again with just the girls.  It is amazing how thick it is out there, even without leaves on the trees and undergrowth.  We don't know how far we went, but we did find a couple of national forest boundary signs. 
Scott at Forest Boundary Sign

Scott saw a vole and we both saw a tree that had been stripped of much of its bark by a porcupine.  Who knows what the girls saw.  By the time we got home, we were all pretty tired, especially little Dora who had spent most of her time trying to keep track of both the humans and her mother.  She is a game little dog. 
Pooped Pup
 Next time, we'll have a plan for our explorations. 

Happy Trails!