Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Korys Extraordinary Adventure

 Late in the evening a few nights ago I walked to the far left side of town and picked up a trail that leads directly out onto BLM land.
LC, busy with something in the garage, told me that he would meet us out there in a while.
As I walked on the gravel roads in town, headed for the Hay Bale field and then immediately BLM land, I looked out into the silent desert and realized that rain may be on the way.
I still cannot get used to it.
In green and lush Tennessee, the trees hide much of the sky.
You can look directly overhead in Tennessee and see increasing clouds, but out west you can see rain coming for miles.
There have been many times since we moved here when I have looked in the direction of a town 30 miles away and I knew that it is raining there, even when it is sunny in the desert.
Looking out towards Cedar Butte and Big Butte as I walked with my dog I could see thick bands of rain behind the hills.
Often the rain doesn't make it to Atomic City.
Often the rain bands cannot make it over Big Butte, and instead circle around the lone behemoth in the desert and quickly end up circling all the way around our tiny community.
More often than not I see rain all around us.  But not on top of us.
Maybe those rain bands would make it over the butte and continue on their journey directly towards us, and maybe they would not.
I hoped that they would.
We have had more rain this spring and summer than I ever thought was possible, and instead of desert we have lush green plains.
It is welcome and amazing and I am in awe of this beautiful place right now.
As I walked with Kory I looked to my north, and saw both an unsettled sky and rain in the far distance..............
 I had not gotten very far on the trail before I looked back, curious to see where my dawdling dog was.
Usually she was in front of me.
Running on the trail, enthusiastically chasing the owls (that are abundant this year and that have enjoyed a veritable smorgasbord of field mice and voles this summer), mindlessly chasing tumbling tumbleweeds, happily chasing anything and everything that dared to move in her path.
Kory was wandering along the fence line, stopping every few feet to shove her inquisitive nose into random sage bushes...............
 I saw them a moment after she did.
At first I thought that there were only two deer, but as they quickly stood in response to my dog I realized that there were actually four.
Two adults and two young ones.
At that point everything happened very quickly.
Kory easily jumped the fence and easily ignored my command for her to stop.
As she landed in the high sage bushes on the opposite side of the fence I saw all four deer running in four different directions, with my dog in full chase.
I called her.  She continued to ignore my calls, and all of a sudden (as if by design) the deer stopped running and looked back at my dog.
Kory immediately stopping running, apparently confused by this unexpected development.
And then one of the mothers turned to Kory and began to chase HER.
My dog turned and ran like a scared rabbit.
Thankfully the momma broke off the chase after only a few yards.
She had made her point...............

With momma deer having successfully chased the threat away, all four deer effortlessly continued on their way across the field, and my dog again jumped over the fence and ran at full speed to where I had been standing watching this entire event unfold.
The picture is very dark because it was taken so late in the evening, but if you enlarge it you will see the two adults................
 My pup is very fast, but she is a sprinter and not a distance runner.
After her brief adventure Kory stayed closer to me, her high energy level tampered by an exciting and fast-moving chase..............
 This late in the day, the sky was alive with muted shades of grey and purple, and filled with the promise of rain.
The locals complain about the cool temperatures.  Complain about the rain.
I find it wonderful.................
 By the time I saw LC slowly driving up the trail I knew that we would have rain in Atomic City on this evening after all.
It was not circling around the buttes.
It had cleared Big Butte and easily cleared Cedar Butte and was now definitely headed in our direction.
As LC came to a stop and climbed out of the truck he smiled at us as I related Korys Extraordinary Adventure.
She has a very strong prey drive.   Very strong.
Sometimes we can interrupt that drive and call her back when she sees deer or rabbits.  Sometimes we cannot.  
But on this day I was pleased to see a deer turn and chase her away.    
Pleased that she was not injured in the encounter and maybe she will learn from that lesson.

We all live under the same sky, but we don't all have the same horizon...............Konrad Adenauer

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