Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Magical Morning

The sky tried to turn blue under a layer of stormy clouds. It seemed to promise more rain and I knew we were in for my favorite kind of weather. I wasn't disappointed.
It seems like years since we've had rain this late into Spring. We officially passed our average rainfall for the winter, but water levels still run low after several dry seasons.

While the warm California sun turned our grass into foxtails weeks ago, the extra moisture keeps our wildflowers growing strong. In what seems to have happened overnight, mustard has taken over our fireroad.
Mustard covers hillsides across the city and has found a home on our ridge. I love the bright yellow flowers and have memories of picking and eating mustard as a kid, but I also know that it's an invasive species. Our trails would probably host an abundance of smaller flowers without it.
Kona didn't care where the mustard came from. Something sniff-worthy caught her attention.
As I watched dense clouds cover our forest to the North, I was surprised to turn around and see the sky open over the city to the South. I like to say we don't have a sky here in Southern California. I remember trips to Colorado and New Mexico where the sky looks photoshoped blue and you can find your favorite animal shaped from oversized clouds. We don't get that around here, but the sky tried its best today.
With every curve of the trail, the sky changed shape. I was in my happy place. Kona wasn't doing too bad either. Staying a true huntress, she checked out every movement along the trail. We stopped to listen to a coyote yip somewhere down canyon.

I let Kona on her long line for the second half of our run. She went straight into high frolics, kicking up foxtails as she went. I slowed down to a walk. I couldn't get over the changing sky.

As Kona ran in mad-dog fashion, I practiced a couple recalls. She responded both times. I think I still need to practice more with her before I start to call her off something she's sniffing, but I think we're headed in the right direction.

As we continued down the trail, the clouds cleared a view to our Northern forests.

When we turned around, I was sad to have to head home. Kona was having a blast in her own spastic way, and I couldn't imagine a more beautiful morning.

(Bonus points if you can find Kona.)


Sam said...

Well, I see the long line, but I admit. I can't find Kona!

I'm glad you had a good day out after your rough stretch earlier in the week. Here's to a new beginning for Kona!

Sara said...

I think I see her, at least I see ears, but she's no where near her line.

Do mustard plants smalle & taste like mustard? They sure are pretty.

I always get excited about a cool sky too, because I know it is so transient. It is pure luck to catch it in that brief moment of brilliance.

KB said...

I'm with Sam - I can see the long line, but where's Kona??

Those are absolutely gorgeous sky shots! What a beautiful and ever-changing run!

In terms of recalls, my trainer recommends starting every outing with a few practice recalls where we leave the pups in a stay, go away, and call them. You could do it with the long line. Then, shortly after those practice recalls (I really do mean "shortly"), we practice calling them when they're sniffing something, nothing too intense, but one step up from starting from a stay. I thought that I'd share that because I think that my trainer really knows how to teach great recalls!

LauraK said...

Beautiful pictures! And I'm with you- the sky and clouds are so intriguing, sometimes you can't help but stop and simply take it all in :)

Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart said...

Those sky shots are terrific, but I do think the weird clouds we get here in CO are pretty neat too.