Tuesday, June 30, 2009

tuesday june 30

well, it looks like if i don't leave my house by 5:30 there is no solitude to be had on the trails. saw at least 30 other people this morning. split evenly between groups with and groups without dogs- about 13 of each.

most dog owners were being good & following the rules. moab & holly were leashed up & behaving. in fact, this woman with the stroller & the black shepherd (maybe a mix) is the only one i saw with an off leash dog on the on leash section. heard her coming, because the dog was barking all the way from the lot on 9th, so we were able to speed up & avoid.

another beautiful sunrise.
a new wildflower (still have to look this one up) blooming.
the light was gorgeous.

every dog owner i met kept their dogs away when they saw us leashed. one gal thanked me for leashing up & getting to the side of the trail as she ran by with her leashed dog. things are a lot different (and better) than they were last summer. i did pick up some opp, though.

this is the camel's back parking lot at around 6:30. not just neighborhood folks using these trails, even this early in the day.
happy trails!

Monday, June 29, 2009

monday june 29

another beautiful day! we went a bit earlier this am, but still got to share the morning with 20 of our closest friends..... well- 9 groups w/o dogs and 7 with, but most were more than one person.

for those of you who have wondered, as i did, what the white stuff growing in the marsh is, it's hemlock. noxious weed. r2r killed a bunch of it last year, but it's back (why it's noxious). these folks have lots of threats to the resource to manage, i don't envy them. i've heard there are a few nice patches of poison ivy out there too. if you don't know what that looks like, might want to find out.

spoke with a man who saw a rattlesnake on the hill above red fox near the trash can that's above the pond. he was carrying a golf club to keep snakes away from him & his dog if necessary. so watch your dogs & kids.

anyway- gorgeous morning-
happy trails! have a great monday!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

it's about sharing

there is a multi user group that was put together by david gordon to explore ways to develop and ingrain a trails ethic in our community. the committee includes runners, hikers, bikers, dog owners & non dog owners. we all agreed that one of the biggest issues on the lower, more congested trails is that there seems to be a sense of entitlement, and that some folks seem to feel that their trail experience is the only one that counts.

it's easy to point fingers- for dog owners to say "mt bikers fly down trails & scare and can really hurt people"; for bikers to say "runners and walkers who go 3-4 abreast widen trails"; for runners to say "dogs owners let their dogs jump on and chase people and don't pick up poop". there are those who seem to think that any use other than walking schoolchildren through degrades the resource, as though it should be an urban yellowstone.

we all know people who don't seem to think that the rules apply to them. it's ok for a dog to chase mt bikes because some bike riders are jerks. it's ok to zoom by a dog because some owners let their dogs chase bikes. why should i pick up dog poop when there is sheep and cow poop everywhere? it takes a little more work, but being respectful of other users and trying to understand how our actions impact other's experiences would go a long way toward easing conflict.

for the most part things work really well. the number of complaints is low, but there will be increasing pressure on the system as the valley continues to grow, and developing an ethic of sharing and caring for the resource is the best way to preserve it and to maintain the access we all enjoy.

we have an incredible trail system. it's easy to get to, we have miles of trails, the city has done a great job of acquiring land and making agreements with private land owners & other government agencies in order to link and extend the system. volunteers put in countless hours building and maintaining trails. (before cursing mountain bikers as a group, remember that swimba donates a lot of money and labor every year to build trails that we all use.)

it sort of all boils down to sharing and being polite.

and- off the soapbox!

another beautiful day- the clouds were great-

5 with, 6 without, all following rules & being polite.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

probably a good thing i don't have 2 legged kids....

on the way to the reserve this morning we passed a woman that we often see out- both in the reserve & on north end streets. she is a small woman who has 2 black labs. one is older now, and can't run with her any more, tho i still see all 3 walking together sometimes.

this woman seems nice, is polite, but the dog(s) are always off leash, and always behind her. they don't bother us, which i really appreciate. in fact, she will often cross the street before i can just to give us all room to pass.

today i watched her dog pee in a front yard, while she kept trucking down the street. i was half hoping to see the dog assume the hunched position so i could offer a bag, but that didn't happen. the other thing that DID happen is that the dog ate something it found on the ground in the yard.

we had 3 dogs get into antifreeze. figured it out quickly, got them to the animal emergency hospital (the old one on chinden) and dr. durland pulled them through. it was a scary scary experience. and the only reason they survived is because i got them there early. once symptoms show it is too late.

so as a practical matter i like to be able to keep an eye on my dogs and see what they're doing. helps me be a better neighbor and clean up after them, also keeps them safer.

same thing with letting them mouse. tara followed a rock chuck under a pile of rocks once. that was the first time i ever heard a rattlesnake. scared me to death. steve pulled her back, her tongue was bleeding. we were in the middle of nowhere (a few hours from jordan valley). evidently either the snake had used all of its venom on the rodent or tara bit her tongue when steve pulled her back because she was fine, but that was the end of me thinking mousing was an acceptable pastime.

am i overly concerned? maybe. but not only does keeping an eye on our dogs keep them safer, it helps us be better neighbors & reduces opportunity for friction.

anyway- another beautiful morning!

4 with and 4 without.
happy trails!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

another morning in paradise

another beautiful morning, another day full of folks enjoying the trails...

6 with/7 without- including 2 bikes. all dog owners following the rules, everyone very pleasant.

wildflowers blooming away- scenic vistas still scenic- great way to start the day!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

happy summer solstice

we had a great hike this morning from trail 1 to corrals- turned around at scott's. looked a bit more like western washington than idaho.....the low clouds & mist were pretty.

and the views great

we encountered a fair number of runners & bikers, and everyone was really nice. in fact, we had a nice chat with 3 mt bikers about the value of being polite and sharing the trails.
the dogs had a great excursion

and now blooming- wild roses
and flax

happy father's day too-

Saturday, June 20, 2009


we had a nice morning for the scoop, and saw some friends who came out to help. made some new friends too. its' always fun to meet people & their dogs & talk about the trails & what we can do to maintain access.
here's our "this is 30 ft" tape. this is between the markers in the lower hull's parking lot. just to give an eyeball of what about 30 ft (which is the distance dogs should be within- closer if that's what it takes to have them in eyesight- on off leash trails.)
thanks to the idaho humane society, bob smith, mary westerlund, charlie & ilene, tracy, those of you whose names i didn't get and everyone else who has put in extra time to pick up lately. every little bit helps.
here are a few shots from yesterday. it was a crazy day, just now getting things downloaded.

happy trails!

Friday, June 19, 2009

random thoughts

hope it doesn't rain tomorrow morning so we can clean things up. it's sort of crappy- pun intended- out there.
  • hope that the woman who used to run with 2 black labs & now runs with one, who never has them leashed with leash in hand but does now have a leash on collar dragging (hmm, pay a fine or two?) and whose dogs run behind her, so she probably NEVER sees them poop comes out & cleans up tomorrow...
  • hope that moab's owners, one of whom i saw today sans leash (maybe with a poop bag, but since moab wasn't in sight we go back to how do you clean up what you don't see happen) pitch in & pick up some opp.....
  • hope that all of those folks who run or bike with their dogs & can't interrupt their workouts to pick up poop come out and help. red fox didn't look so good today.
wonder if guys who say "those dogs sure look like they would protect you" know how creepy that sounds?

hope to see some of you tomorrow. and if you can't make it 8-12, just help out where and when you can. thanks!

btw- it was another beautiful morning, 3 with and 5 without, including 2 groups of bikes.

have a great weekend-

Thursday, June 18, 2009

the end of lend a leash

i put the last of the lend a leashes out this weekend. when they're all gone the hooks will come down. it was a great idea, and jodi peterson did a great job getting leashes donated, but after a year of watching leashes disappear almost as fast as we put them out- i think we had over 500 of them taken- we're calling uncle.

many thanks to jodi, zamzow's, richard b. smith/windermere, erik kingston & everyone else who helped make this happen.

speaking of leashes, these folks had their dog off leash in the on leash area coming in from 10th st/ camel's back. i asked them not to let their dog come up to us, and they said no problem & leashed up, but when i thanked them i got no response. oh well.

another beautiful day! better yet- i am able to run a bit (and so is echo) and neither one of us hurt after- yay! it feels GOOD to get out & sweat and tho i will never go very far or very fast it doesn't matter.

sego lilies blooming- more of them visible now than there were the other day, and this one was such a nice bright pink with the sun shining through it.

this hummingbird just sat on this old dead stalk while i tried to get a good picture. as you can see, i didn't succeed, but i'm sharing anyway! i think it's always so fun to see them actually perched somewhere.
while the trail crews were working on trails yesterday, the road graders were out too.

3 with, 8 without, including 2 groups of mt bikes.
happy trails!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

june 17

a beautiful morning! maybe i should get a wagon to hitch these guys to...... they could drive me around town :)

things are getting a little poop-y again. if i lived in these houses right at the entrance to the reserve i think i'd be more than a little annoyed.
poop scoop saturday- please join us! we'll be in the parking lot by the learning center from 8-12. of you can't make it then, any additional pick up will be appreciated. got a nice note from both jim hall and david gordon thanking us for organizing the clean up.

the trail crew was out fixing the effects of the past few days' monsoons.
great sky over the hills....

have i mentioned that i love sagebrush? and it smelled great as it always does after the rain.

do you see the dog in this pic? neither do i- but there was one bounding through the brush far off the trail. looked like maybe a drahthaar or wirehaired pointer.
belonging to one of these women, who occasionally whistled for him/her.
and leashed the dog up when in the on leash area, and were very nice and carrying poop bags. but still. how do you pick up poop when you can't even see the dog? what about rattle snakes & cheat grass & coyotes? and even more of a problem- what about the people who want to make all trails on leash because they worry about dogs disturbing ground nesting birds and fox & coyote dens?
lest anyone think the problems are confined to the reserves, i saw this on the way home. why would anyone stop long enough to bag poop buy not walk 4 ft to put it in the trash?

some mother's kids!
hope to see you saturday! happy trails...