Long-Shadow Afternoon

Dry Canal

Wednesday, March 17, 2021 (4 days before the First Day of Spring)

True to my plan, the dogs and I went hiking. We were out to record the last days of winter. Well, not quite a true plan, because we didn’t go to the mountains. Instead we trekked through a nearby BLM, a popular summertime spot with an irrigation canal, always flowing and a size safe for dogs that play in water.

Rooted in bank of the canal

This grandpa Ponderosa is a greeter on the canal route. Although it’s unwell with sap leaking, it’s a welcome and majestic sight. Usually the canal water is high enough to cover the tree’s discolored base, but winter bares it to create an impression of cold that matches the weather.

Here’s another grandpa, impressive, old, and beaten up. It’s bark is a wonderful honey-golden color that draws one to memorialize the sighting.

Grandpa tree

The area is alive with critters. Because of dogs running and exploring, the wildlife rarely shows itself. My camera, from a great distance, caught this chipmunk running up a rock and pausing. Got it, a split second before it disappeared.

Chipmunk

While thinking about critters, I must include this new shot of my Miles. He’s a true Border Collie, always thinking about and planning his next move. These attributes are essential in the best of the breed, and always visible in captures of Miles.

Each juniper has a unique personality. They’re tough trees. Some old-time area dwellers dislike them entirely. They accuse juniper’s of smelling not good, and complain that the trees have relatively shallow roots and can “steal water” from other plants. To me, they smell fine and I know nothing about water stealing. To me, they’re always interesting to observe, and happily, provide homes to wildlife.

Safe chamber

As often as I’ve trekked in this BLM, circling off the beaten path gets me a little lost. In the end, as usual, my dogs lead the way back to our vehicle.

Dear Friends: Happy St. Patrick’s Day! On Sunday, spring becomes official. Diana

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