The bears must be preparing for hibernation as I haven’t seen one in ages. Nor have any concerned citizens stopped to warn me of any. I was actually feeling a bit uncomfortable running outside because so many people kept stopping to warn me about bears. I was beginning to feel they must think I’m stupid as I keep running outside regardless of their cautions.
There is one particular warning that I will never forget. A guy in a collector style convertible with 5 huskies in it stopped to warn me about a bear he’d recently seen in the area. I was so surprised to see that many dogs in a convertible that I didn’t ask if I could take a photo, it would’ve been a cool photo.
One critter I am seeing a lot of right now is spruce grouse (I think its spruce anyway). I see them on all my runs and walks with Kobi, I can’t even count how many I’ve seen, well over 20 but some are likely repeats. They do scare me half to death as they fly up at the very last second and are so well camouflaged I never see them until that last second. Then I usually scream.
I think flying up at the last second must be a grouse survival strategy. This way if the predator has a weak heart, they will have a heart attack or possibly heart failure due to the surprise and won’t be able to catch the grouse for dinner.
Often Kobi finds them first and I have noticed she has pointing skills (maybe she has some hunting breed in her genes). She demonstrated them again on today’s afternoon walk. I was wondering why she was standing so still in one spot looking, I thought she was just waiting for me (insert laugh here). She had spotted a grouse and was watching it walk along the trail. Don’t worry, it got away.
I think she likes them better than squirrels right now as she thinks she has a better chance at catching one and they also seem to be in larger family units so instead of just one exciting animal to chase there are 4 or 5 of them. I’ll stress again, she’s never caught one and I doubt she will ever catch one.
I hope I don’t come across as a completely irresponsible dog owner as it probably appears that I let Kobi run wild and chase whatever she wants. I guess I kind of do, but not really. She wears an e-collar so I have contact with her at all times when we’re in our rural and remote areas and the buzz setting is all she needs to remind her to stop what she’s doing. I do draw the line at chasing ungulates (deer and moose) and of course livestock. Cows and horses mostly scare her anyway.