Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. Isaiah 40:28
I stumbled across this draft which, for what ever reason, I had not posted in April of 2015.
Oh how I miss Star the Wonderdog.
Had an interesting hike yesterday. Stardog and I trekked up a steep mountain to a natural basin of sorts. The basin is large, perhaps a mile or more across. It contains mostly small brush and grass, with occasional thick pockets of trees scattered throughout. We saw several deer bounding about, along with a golden eagle soaring high above us all.
Rain threatened for most of the day as we could see curtains of water falling on mountaintops to our south and east. But except for about ten minutes of a cool shower, we remained warm and dry. It was during this rain that a lot of unusual things occurred in a hurry.
As the dark skies churned overhead and the cool wind twisted around us, we headed for shelter. We scurried from the open basin to a small grove of pines that seemed innocuous enough.
The rain started just as we hiked into the edge of the thick cover. After a few steps into the trees, I noticed a light colored object about thirty yards ahead. I could see something through the thick timber, but couldn’t determine what it was. Stardog was in front and to my left, and momentarily out of my sight.
About that time I noticed a beautiful elk antler that had been recently shed, lying on the ground a few yards in front of me. I called for Star and fortunately she was quick to obey as she turned and headed straight toward me.
I studied the light colored object in front of us. I could tell it was an animal, but it looked too light in color to be one of the deer we’d been seeing. I could only see part of its side. About the time it ran to my left, I realized what it was.
I’d seen cougars on rare occasions before, but not that close whilst on foot. I have no doubt that they, along with the bears, wolves, and countless other animals, have seen me and the Stardog many times. I’m sure most of the time Star knows when they’re close. But she doesn’t usually alert me, unless I see the fur on her back go up from head to tail.
Star and I cautiously walked to where the cat had been moments before. There we discovered a cache of deer fur buried under some pine needles. We also found Mr. Cougar’s dinner – a deer carcass. This was right where Star was headed when I called her. The cougar was facing that direction when I saw it, probably studying Star as she approached its food. I’m grateful I saw the elk antler when I did, and that I called Star just when I did. Thank You Lord for keeping us safe.
We walked back to the antler as I mulled things over. It was probably just a matter of seconds from the time I first saw the cougar until it ran off. But should I get another chance to see a large predator before it moves, I need to be quicker to recognize it. Most of the time, however, we’re hiking in such thick cover that I don’t have the chance. I don’t see them, but the Lord knows where the predators are. Over decades of hiking, the past few with either Stardog or Moondog, He has always kept me (and the dogs) safe, and for that I am very grateful.
As I was replaying what had happened, the sun came out again. About twenty yards away, a male ruffed grouse began drumming on an old log. They do this to attract a female and also to let the other male grouse know that this is their territory.
I’ve heard many grouse drumming over the years, but only seen one actually drumming before yesterday.
Perhaps one reason I like being in the solitude of the mountains so much is that on any given day I just never know what I’m going to see or hear or experience. How did God ever think of all this?
What a Creator.