This weekend a co-worker (I'll call him Life-Long-Ranger) and I (and the D.Dog) went for a x-country ski on the River-Known-For-Its-Expensive-Salmon. It was amazingly sunny and the four major mountains practically shown with reflected sunlight. It wasn't particularly warm but it wasn't particularly cold either. We skied for miles, enjoying the scenery that is hard to access any other time of year and enjoying the mostly smooth surface to travel on. Only occasionally did we have to avoid jumble ice. On the way back my toes were aching a little but I didn't particularly feel like taking off my boots - I figured the blister could wait.
At home it was immediately clear that I had bled rather profusely through my sock and yes, indeed, I had major blister-ripage on both of my big toes - mashed meat. Sigh. You'd think I'd know better by now.
Sunday morning I was being lazy, soaking my feet in brine and watching the D.Cat watching the birds feeding on my porch. The birds are predominantly common redpolls with two variants of pine grosbeak in attendance as well, the russet and the pacific. Occasionally a Stellar's jay would chase the group away. Then suddenly all of the birds vacated, a huge bird soared by, then came back and landed on my porch railing. A rough-legged hawk. It sat there, thumping it's foot against the railing and then chewing on it distractedly. Then it flew straight at the window, bounced off it with its feet, and flew away. Well you can imagine the D.Cat's excitement although the bird was twice the size of her. She ignored my dire warnings of how one ought not to mess with such birds because they would as soon as eat you as be eaten. Lucky for me she's an indoor cat.
Once my feet were bandaged up enough the D.Dog and I went off into the woods again - sans skis since I couldn't bear the thought of putting the boots on. But we made good tracks hiking in the woods for 4 hours where we saw a little saw-whet owl just beginning its breeding calls. By the end though the D.Dog was on a mission for dinner and it was getting colder although not much darker since the moon was so full and we headed home.
I apologize for the lack of photos - I'm needing to get my system back into working condition.