Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Old Dog & Me
So the old dog and I decided to hike to the back valley. Not the creek near us but the far creek.
The hike round trip can average about 3 miles give or take.
It doesn't sound like much but the constant elevation changes can make it tough especially on a very hot day or a very cold and snowy day.
Today was pleasant under the green canopy of leaves.
Morris promptly walked into the deeper portion of the creek and lazily swam around. The water was so clear I could watch his paws do the work.
I climbed down through thick ferns and over logs into the creek's bottom. This creek is wider and deeper in most places than the one in the other valley.
But it is also harder to get around because the land is no longer grazed and this valley is not only overgrown but choked with trees that have washed into it during flash floods.
I used to explore this valley quite often when there were cattle trails running through it. It has been nearly ten years since cattle have been on the land and in some ways it is a shame.
The cattle did help keep some of the undergrowth down and made it rather pleasant to hike through.
Now the old trails are filled with thorny briers and multiflora rose bushes.
In some places it is even too thick and thorny for the wild life.
Morris enjoyed the water and I lamented not hiking in my knee high boots. I probably would have explored longer along the creek's bottom despite the brush.
I made a mental note to visit this area in the fall and again in the winter.
This spot hasn't changed much since I was last down here in the winter months.
A few from almost the same spot:
So Morris and I continued on our way. We hiked up past the 'cave' and out into the open field.
This year someone has again rented the old wide pasture and has planted soybeans in it.
I feel badly for the soybeans. Even though it has been a good year, the beans are small and struggling.
The crop has been drilled in but with the weeds being so bad, it has stunted their growth.
Huge piles of thistles lay toppeled in between rows, tall enough to shade the plants and tall enough so that Morris can barely pick his way through them without getting 'bit' by the sharp thistle thorns.
I didn't bother taking any photos of the area. It looks bleak and is in my farmer's mind, a disaster area not a crop.
I pick up Morris and he takes up his position with his back feet on my pistol butt, and the front perched on my left forearm.
He rides comfortably while panting in the hot sun.
Please don't tell him that he is getting old, because he will not believe you.
I let him go when we get to the edge of the field.
At times he follows on my heels through the tall grasses, at other times he surges ahead and runs to smell things.
When we finally get home we are both tired.
Morris immediately gets a drink of water and heads to 'his' spot on the couch. He pull my sweatshirt into a nest and with a huge sigh, shuts his eyes.
If life could be as simple as that, I would be happy.
I grab a blanket and lay down on the couch with him.
Old dog and me.
We earned a small nap.