Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Snow Level

I messed up and lost the pictures that I took when the snow was near its highest level. Therefore, these pictures that I took four days ago will have to suffice to give you an idea of the snow level here. This first one shows the picket line where I put the dogs when I am getting ready to run them. At its highest, the snow was at the top of the posts, and the chain was completely buried but still able to be pulled up on top of the snow when I needed to use it.
This is where I walk the dogs across the fence. The gate panel is six feet tall while the fence is five feet tall.
Here is the southwest part of the kennel, looking towards Sawtelle Peak. The fence line is completely visible now.
This is the northwest part of the kennel. Part of this fence line is still buried. Look at all those lovely houses, though! In spite of the high snow level this year, I was able to keep all the houses lifted up on top of the snow as it rose!
Heading back to the house as the sun sets. This part of the yard is one of the high spots, roughly six feet of snow. It is a steep, slippery slope down to the door of the little shed where I keep the dog food.

The snow is melting fast with the long daylight hours. We are down a whole foot since last week. However, it snowed most of the day today and should snow again tomorrow.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Yellowstone Is Open

Yellowstone Park opened a week ago, but we did not take our first trip in until this past Friday. Leaving our house in a snowstorm, we passed a kite skier or two. You cannot tell where the snow ends and the sky begins. The snow level has dropped considerably in the past week, revealing the tops of the fence posts.

Here comes the plow, returning from Targhee Pass. There was less snow here than in front of our house.
The snowbanks in West Yellowstone are still pretty high but have come down considerably in the past two weeks.
The spring meltdown has revealed the side of this truck.
The animals in the park have had a tough winter. They say it was the most snow in several decades. This pregnant elk is quite bony.
Not everyone made it. The dark blotch next to the river is a buffalo carcass covered with flapping ravens.
Buffalo have their calves in April. The nursing moms look very gaunt this year.

The males are a bit better off but still thin.
A snowman appreciates the extra long winter season at Old Faithful.
The geyser is getting ready to spout.
Old Faithful reaches its peak but is largely obscured by steam in the cold, snowy weather.
The boardwalk running around the hot pools in the Old Faithful geyser basin provides enough insulation from the warm ground for a thick layer of snow to survive. The snow disappears when the boardwalk ends.
The elk appreciate the relative warmth of the area.
An unusually light colored elk still sports last year's antlers.
Swans have found open water in the Firehole River.
Now we are heading back out of the park, and we see that the buffalo carcass has attracted a bald eagle. It is perched on top, and the ravens are now lurking around the edges.
It starts snowing heavier as some buffalo block the road.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Someone Likes The Wind

This has been a hard winter with fierce winds almost every day. Hard on me and hard on the dogs because of the wind chill and the constant blowing snow.
Look at how tattered the flag is. That was a brand new flag just a few months ago.
Someone likes the wind, though. Kite skiing has become quite popular across the road from us. There are about a dozen kites in this picture, each one attached to a skier or snowboarder. These pictures were taken back in December when the snow level was much lower than it is now. The weather today, however, looked just like these pictures. Most people are not thinking about skiing this time of year, but I did see two or three kite skiers today, nonetheless.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Up and Running

Wheeee, I am back online. I am also still running dogs on the sled. I am mostly training the young dogs to give them as much experience as possible before the summer slow down. I have three yearlings and three two-year-olds. Okay, technically I have four two-year-olds, but the fourth one is about to turn three and already had extensive training this year, including running the Fairfield race.

Cat Nap

Rose, age 12, weight 37 lbs, curled up in a cat bed.

Yeah, so?