Friday, January 16, 2009


Hi: 9°F
Lo: -20°F
Conditions: Clear and very cold.

In our house, it's always a marvelous night for a moondance, and that's not just because we're big Van Morrison fans. We love the crisp nocturnal light, the sense that we've stepped into the rhythms of another set of creatures, the mystery of what lies just out of view.

This week's combination of waning moon, big snow cover, and arctic chill has made for some pretty spectacular lunar viewing. So the caninaturalist and I set out to see what we could find in addition to the moonlight.

My idea was to head to our pine grove, where each morning we find the tracks of animals as diverse as house cats, fox, coyote, and deer. A certain someone, though, thought the grove looked a little too imposing in the dark.

So, instead, we stuck to the more open landscape along our roadside, where round fir trees let in enough light for one sometimes-timid dog to feel a little bit better about her chances for survival.

We found some great tracks--mostly deer--but no critters. We smelled what we thought was skunk (puzzling, considering that they pretty much hibernate this time of year). And we heard the hoot of a barred owl.

That distracted us for awhile. But once we had stuck our noses in most of the tracks, someone got bored. And lost her nerve. Ears flat, tail between the legs, she demanded we go home. We're going to be eaten, this look suggested. I pointed out that very few animals could eat a 45-lb dog. Sharks and killer whales, maybe. Lions. Tyrannosaurus Rex. None, I added, were likely to be found outside our little house on a cold winter's night.

But she wasn't having it. 20 minutes was all the moondancing time this dog needed. As far as she was concerned, there was only one light we needed to be celebrating, and that was the glow of a wood stove.

With temps like these, I guess I can't hardly blame her.


Khyra The Siberian Husky said...

I think she's really just pretending to be THAT way fur she's worried about HER HUMAN!

What a lukhky girrrrl!


Tracey and Huffle said...

I'm with Ari on this one.

Huffle Mawson, Honorary Husky and Explorer Cat

Eve said...

Yeah...Ari knew what she was doing. There's scary stuff out there at night...aliens...they eat dogs too!!

with love, Madison said...

We believe that it was the lure of the warm wood stove, not fear of the dark night and unseen creatures that pointed Ari's nose toward home.

Lorenza said...

Good job bringing them inside the safety of your home!
Kisses and hugs

John Theberge said...

Another thing I noticed when its extremely cold like now is sound carries really well. I live about a third of a mile away from a highway but yesterday morning the traffic sounded like it was across the street.

The Army of Four said...

Those are such cool pictures! I love to be outside at night! And really.... there's nothing to be afraid of, Ari! Well, OK, you never know about those Tyrannosaurus Rexes..... but I think you're safe from the other stuff!
Play bows,

Steve, Kat, & Wilbur said...

I think you were wise to listen to Ari. Huskies always know best.


Marigold said...

Now then, aren't there other critters that smell like skunks? At least that is what is somewhere in the remote reaches of the back of my brain. Maybe it was a buck (as in goat, not deer). They smell pretty bad.

Gus, Louie and Callie said...

That is a beautiful moon but we agree the fireplace looks really comfy now...
Mom says she is sure Callie can read lips. She acts just like a kids when you tell her NO, she does it anyway...

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Kapp pack said...

Send some of that snow our way! Bewootiful pictures!

Butt wiggles, Meadow

Southbay Girl said...

Ari...what's that white stuff on the ground? isn't that the stuff that's cold and wet?? I don't like that stuff!!


Deacs #1 said...

Who would ever be a little nervous in the dark outside your home?...that is ridiculous. I am surprised Ari did not ask someone to follow behind in a car with the lights on, or something silly like that. Wolves, dude, wolves.

JB's Big World said...

That moon sure was gorgeous, wasn't it? Ari has the right idea though with the cold, and an inside fire in mind!

Kess And Her Mama said...

We are so glad you found the beagle and shared 10 good years with him. I have to agree with Ari though...on a night like that, the best place to be is home!

Charity, Gary, Katie and Louis said...

It looks like a nice moonlit walk. We are so jealous of your lovely snow. Katie and Louie want to come up for a visit :-)

Naturegirl said...

Kathryn I knew by coming here you and Ari could put a smile on this grieving face. Nature always soothes my soul.
Ari knows best stay inside and toasty warm.
love and light aNNa

YD said...

Ari, we don't blame you for wanting to go home, we would be worried too if we were out in the dark.

Maverick the Pirate said...

Harrrr Ari
that moon was huge Harrrrr. That wood stove looks like it is warm
Cap'n Maverick the Pirate

Kathiesbirds said...

Ah, you've touched on two of my great loves: full moons and wood stoves! I can see and enjoy the full moon here, but alas, I have no fireplace or wood stove and in my book, there is nothing like radiant heat. Love the photos, and I'd trust that dog of yours for who knows what danger lies out there in the darkness?

umekotyan said...

Good evening Ari.
Also in Japan, the song concerning the moon is romantic.
The rabbit is dancing in the moon.
And, the rice cake is made.
Incidently, Luna that Ana Gabriel sings is romantic.
Does the moon request romantic?
Or, is the thing transformed to the wolf requested?
A lot of matter of deep interests are on the moon.
It is wonderful, and the world in the snow and the moon. :D

from loved ume tyan

Mary said...

Ari I thought you were a brave dog!