Wednesday, September 24, 2014

"battery exhausted"

From north of the draw

What!? The words “battery exhausted” appeared on the camera screen before we were back from our hike. How could that be? Well, I’ll bet I took 150 pictures on that battery, three of them experimentation with moon shots, which weren’t impressive. I was going to show the photos as day-by-day posts but decided not to bore the reader (and myself). Instead, I’ll post a few favorites as a tribute to the end of summer – if, in fact, summer has really ended.

Clearly, there’s no point in going out and taking the same pictures day after day after day however inspired I am by the views. Something needs to happen now to provide new effects – like fall colors or snow. And the new camera is vulnerable if I just carry it, though if I don’t carry it I miss photo ops.

The old-time impression of country life includes clean, fresh air, but in reality, that’s hardly ever the case. In addition to the smoke from regional wildfires, the burning of grass fields continues all around. I’ve been amazed at how many grass fields there are. Some days our view of Little Canyon was obliterated by the smoke.

Little Canyon filled with smoke
The dogs like to go to bed directly they have finished the supper dishes. They go out, patrol the yard together, then perhaps sit on their pillows on the porch for a while before ambling off to the doghouse in the woodshed. It was 8:30 Friday night and dark - before moonrise -- when Bess began barking ferociously. I could hear her in the south field and was concerned for her. I figured she was giving the deer a piece of her mind and likely there would not be a stand-off. Still, I preferred that she return immediately to the house. She was so intent on her mission, though, that I couldn't get her attention. She finally came in all agitated and upset.

The barn at dusk
When I let her out again, I found Nellie lounging but watchful on the porch. Both dogs faced the grove, and Bess commenced to bark again. As near as I could tell, a deer – or several deer – had encroached upon the yard, causing the dogs to advise them of their trespasses. Thankfully, things settled down quickly and we had a good night’s rest.

From the south
After that, Bess barked when she saw the deer – and even Nellie muttered under her breath -- but they didn’t leave the yard. I figure the doe have a pronounced scent – to a dog anyway -- because both dogs will respond from the living room floor if the deer are nearby. KW


Chris said...

I sure don't remember deer all over when we were growing up like there are now, especially in Orofino. Dan says it's because there are so few dogs around, and of course they pretty much ran free back in the day. Now Dad has pet deer!

Kathy said...

No, I'm convinced we didn't see the deer like we do today. I have heard that their preferred habitat was up the North Fork (of the Clearwater River) and with the construction of Dworkshak Dam, they were displaced. I also think there aren't enough hunters these days to control their numbers. And yes, the lack of natural predators figures in. Undoubtedly several factors are involved.

People do enjoy watching them. Even I enjoy watching them, but they're eating my prized lilac. A town neighbor who lives on the hill above us said that the deer bed down in his small yard and are so tame that he can open the door and talk to them.

Chris said...

I agree about the hunters--in the old days people hunted to eat; not so much any more. Yes, dad talks to his, too, and they've even used an area in the upper lot for their "maternity ward." I guess they know they're safe there.