Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Sunday morning as we prepared to walk we decided to take a route that we had not walked in over a month due to the depth of the snow. I was interested in what changes we might see. I thought about taking the camera but decided against it.

It's not unusual to see hawks on this route. Generally as we get close they will call out in anthropomorphized irritation and fly away. On this walk I saw a silhouette that seemed too large and a little unusual for a hawk. As we got closer it appeared the bird was facing away from us. As he turned his head toward us I saw a flash of white against the bright sky and tried to think of species of large birds having a white throat. Then I saw a glint of white on his tail. A mature bald eagle! I've seen eagles flying high above the house but this is the first I've seen perched close to the house.

We walked to the national forest fence where there were tracks running parallel to our side of the fence. From a distance they were too large for deer or pronghorn, too small for cattle and shaped unlike these three animals. As we got closer we saw scat that confirmed the identification. Elk! This is the first time I've seen signs of elk on this side of the fence. They aren't common this close to the house.

It was a good walk made better by these and other discoveries.


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