Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Never a Dull Moment!

Well, there's never a dull moment around here. On Sunday we took a drive around the Wildlife Loop to see if any bison had been moved to the working pens in preparation for the Buffalo Roundup on September 24. There were no bison, but on the way back we stopped to say hello to some of the resident wild donkeys. Here Kota intoduces herself to an inquisitive jenny.

A little later, we saw a really nice pronghorn buck grazing right beside the road. He was no more than 30 yards away, so we stopped to take a couple of pictures.  I asked John to release the window lock (which we keep engaged to make sure Nickie and Kota can't lean too far out of the car) so I could take my photos. When he did so, unbeknownst to us Nickie put her foot on the back door controller and rolled down the back window on the driver's side. I happily shot away for a couple of minutes as the buck moved closer and closer to the car.  

Then several other cars stopped to watch, and the buck got a little nervous. He trotted ahead of the line of cars, crossed the road, then proceeded to gallop back toward us along the other side of the road.

The dogs began to whine and dance, and then the excitement was just too much for Kota. Before we could roll up the window, she took a flying leap, hit the pavement 10 feet or so from the car, and was off like a shot in hot pursuit of the buck. Long story short, John and I whistled and shouted while the rest of the tourists tsked-tsked and wondered what would happen.  Kota continued her chase for a good half-mile across the meadow, ears flying, until she became just a black dot in the distance. Fortunately, just before she disappeared over a rise, she responded to John's whistle and stopped.

When she returned, she was very proud of herself and fortunately none the worse for wear. We consider it a blessing that Kota stopped before she was too far away to hear us, and a miracle that Nickie didn't jump out to join the chase. As for the buck, he lived up to his "second fastest land mammal" reputation and never really had to extend himself to stay well ahead of his pursuer.

On Monday, we packed a lunch and drove the scenic Needles Highway up to Sylvan Lake, stopping on the way at beautiful Sylvan Lake Lodge, where this is the view from the outdoor dining area. 

There is a lovely walking trail (somewhat strenuous in spots) around Sylvan Lake, with lots of photo ops.

We also tried our luck at fishing in the lake. There was one guy fly-fishing from a kayak. We saw him land a number of nice trout, and there were plenty of "fish circles" on the water. However, neither John's flies nor my worms, salmon eggs or power bait were able to entice a strike. We had to be content with the scenery....which was awesome!


After lunch we continued down the Needles Highway past impressive rock formations like "The Needle's Eye," shown here. 

There are also two tunnels on this section of the road (the narrowest 8'4" wide by 12'0" high) and breathtaking vistas like these views of Cathedral Spires.

On the lower part of the road, we rounded a curve to find cars stopped in both directions to observe these four bighorn rams grazing beside the road. 

They were handsome fellows, and quite willing to pose for photos. 

We were very careful to roll up and secure the back windows so we wouldn't have a repeat of Sunday's fiasco!


No comments:

Post a Comment