Monday, January 15, 2007

It was an amazing weekend with lots of visual and cerebral stimulation. Because of the unrelenting cold - five days in a row now since we've seen more than 5 above 0 - it has been impossible to run comfortably. Instead, we've replaced our morning jog with afternoon walks, bundled up in fluffy down and layers of fleece covering every exposed body part. The slower pace has forced us to take in more of the details of our surroundings and allowed us to enjoy tracking the many wild animals that cross our property. I've even convinced Ken to join me in my regular yoga sessions, done in front of the DVD player in the downstairs rec room. Oh, he's whined some about the idea of a mountain man nearing the age of 60 doing something so, well, so girlie, but I promised him no one would ever know. Y'all won't tell, will you?
On Saturday evening we went to the home of some good friends for "movie night". We watched both "Rivers and Tides" and "What the bleep do we Know?" Talk about overload! "Rivers and Tides" is an absolutely amazing documentary about the work of Andy Goldsworthy and should be required watching for every artist in the world. "What the bleep..." is a classic with a cult type following and really should be required watching for everyone. Needless to say I slept very little Saturday night and the sleep I did have was inhabited with very large, graphic images of amazing things.
We got up on Sunday morning and as Ken cooked eggs from our chickens (which, against all odds, continue to lay in this frigid weather!) I looked out the window and wondered whose horses were wandering into our yard. I then realized there were far too many animals for horses and it suddenly dawned on me that our front pasture was being taken over by elk!
We have had elk on our property before but not since the oil rigs arrived a few years ago and never in such numbers. I counted eighty head and I am sure I missed some. We spent the next couple hours watching through our spotting scope and snapping hundreds of digital photos. It felt like we had received some very special gift and we both felt extremely blessed. It is now a day and a half later and the elk have moved to our back pasture but they are still there and I hope they stay for a while.
Once we finally got outside to feed the llamas, who were wondering what on earth these intruders were and why their breakfast was later than usual, the chukars moved in to get their share of spilled grain. With the light the way it was I couldn't resist and I pulled out the camera yet again to take a dozen chukar shots. I think they are some of the best photos I have taken of these birds. I shot everything in RAW so I plan to blow up several of the photos into poster size. I am just so happy we are able to play a part in keeping these beautiful animals alive through this cold spell as they are really susceptible to this kind of weather.
I am finding that I have had idea after idea for new quilts, clothing and paintings in the last 24 hours. All I need to do is figure out how to go without sleep and life would be good!

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