|Sarah puts nose to the ground every day|
Thursday, January 10, 2019
“Reading the Landscape” in Our Different Ways
A recent groundswell of interest in Sarah’s winter doings provokes this post. I won’t presume to speak in Sarah’s voice, as she is a very quiet, nonvocal dog. She gives a single low woof! if she feels the need to alert us to something, and we always pay attention then, or she might whine, very softly, if she wants something and feels we are not paying attention, but that’s about it. So hope a few photographs and brief remarks will fill the bill and make Sarah’s fans happy.
Sarah and I go out exploring the high desert near our winter cabin at least twice a day, morning and mid- to late afternoon. (Her evening sortie is brief, for utilitarian purposes only.) For me, during these expeditions, vision is the primary sense, hearing the second. I can’t present to you the morning song of the mockingbird, the happy cranking of the cactus wren, of the thump! of a vehicle going over the cattle guard at one end or the other of the ghost town, but here is one of the kind of sights that catches my eye.
It’s different with Sarah. Her nose is #1 sense organ, and she employs it constantly! Sometimes I have a visual hint to tell me what she might be smelling. For instance, I might see a track that she thoroughly sniffs. Or when she applies her nose to the end of a twig or grass stem, I can infer that some animal recently brushed against it. —But what kind of animal? Cow? Coyote? Javelina? Bobcat? Her nose must detect so many distinct scents!
If Sarah were at all verbal, I’m sure she would share her discoveries. As it is, she collects her impressions, and I collect mine, but she and I do enjoy one another’s company while exploring, each in her own manner.
Wishing you a day of good smells!!!