Monday, January 11, 2010

Downhill bounding, bobcats, and a prayer for snow

It’s that tough time of winter—the freeze and thaw cycle is in effect, and we haven’t had new snow for awhile. It’s an icy world out there in the forests. When I get out in the backcountry less, I find it a challenge to make art. I am not a believer in making excuses for not practicing one’s profession, though, so I am making art all the same. I plan on working on some watercolors of ravens and bluebirds today, but who knows what may happen when the brush is in the hand.

This photo, looking west to the Jemez Mountains from the top of Picacho, indicates how bereft of snow the south and west slopes are.

The snow is hanging on a little longer at higher elevations and on north-facing slopes, as this second photo shows.  When I shot this, I was about to bound down the spiny ridge at right center.  Thompson Peak is the backdrop.

Thanks to a marvelous little product called the YakTrax traction device, which is essentially snow chains for running shoes, I am still out there running. I’ve been enjoying running up Picacho, getting warm on the steep ascent, and then bounding downhill off-trail, into Bear Canyon.  Downhill bounding in snow is one of my favorite activities. The socks get a little wet, so I save it for the end of my run.

I continue to encounter bobcat tracks and scat everywhere, as well as the occasional retreating bobcat, and I conclude that bobcats are doing well indeed in my little corner of the Santa Fe National Forest.  I am concerned for the deer I’ve come to know in the area, however.  I am sure that they are not happy at the proliferation of their bobcat neighbors. May we all coexist with the least possible suffering.


  1. How Beautiful. Are you going to take inspiration from this trip for your art?

  2. 培養健全孩子最好的方法是父母先成為健全的人。.........................

  3. I am, Wanda. I already have, in fact. It all goes into the tumbler of the unconsicous and comes out when the brush is in hand. --Cate