Today Achmed joined us. This cat loves to go hiking. He's been known to accompany us on Nature Hikes that last for several hours, diligently helping to point out sights such as woodpecker trees, or bear claw marks.
We always are treated to something special. I think it is a reward for getting up early and getting out there. Usually there is a deer, or two... A buck in velvet. A doe with her fawn. Wild turkeys. A bluebird. A red shouldered hawk. It was pretty quiet today though. So I thought. We came up the top of a slight hill, and there in the field ahead was a timber wolf. (you can just barely pick him out in this picture, on the left side) That's rare. We hear the wolf pack all the time, but seeing them is something else entirely. Wolf and I looked at each other, mutually startled. Then the wolf took off. Which was fine by me, since I was trying to keep track of Achmed and Taffy -- having pets along is not always a great plan when you encounter wildlife. It's not a great photo... my camera, of course, was in my pocket. The wolf didn't plan on hanging about while I got it out and focused, so about all you see are ears sticking up, and his gray back humped as he bounds off. My 'pack', Cat and Dog both, just stuck by me and we all hiked happily home again for coffee and treats. Taffy pausing long enough to carefully sniff the trail, but showing no interest in pursuit or introduction, and Achmed darting through the tall grass pretending to be a lion on the plains of the Serengeti, oblivious. All in all, a good start to any day.