Kessy's not much on puddles and since we ride the same trails most every day, she knows where each one is, or should be. She'll stop and snort at any new puddle, and any that had been dry and are now refreshed with an overnight rain. Over the past two years she's forged trails through the brush around the scariest ones, established tip-toe paths between the tire track skinny ones and cliff hanging ledge walkways around puddles in ravines. You bet, she's got the puddle avoidance thing pretty well mastered.
There a few puddles that don't seem to bother her too much, and by golly I cannot see anything different in these and the puddles she is most certain are life threatening. But she sure does! Now I don't want to say we've made no progress in sorting out this puddle phobia, we are. And at the rate she's getting the hang of it, sometime in the next 8 or 12 years I reckon she'll march through any puddle I aim her at.
She has gotten to the point where at some of them, you know the innocent looking ones, she'll stop and have a look. Often there are tadpoles swimming around, water striders skimming the surface, or butterflies in the soft clay along the edges sucking up nutrients. On those occasions it is never helpful to have a big ol' frog jump in. Nope, that doesn't work real well. Usually Kessy will demonstrate her outstanding 30 mile an hour back up gear, spin and depart gymnastic move. Why friends, sometimes it leaves me breathless!
Yesterday we were going along in her sweet slow running walk taking in the sights and sounds, and giving the puddles their earned respect. There are however a few I really enjoy studying. You see, for some reason the wildlife out there prefer some puddles more than others and it is always fun to check out the tracks to see who was there. I chuckle some when I think of all the different critters stopping buy the watering hole.
Just as Frasier had Café Nervosa and the Waltons had Ike Godsey's, the critters have their favorite puddles. Over the past few days Kessy and I had been taking inventory at a particular puddle that, like all the others, was shrinking. But even in its shrunken state it remained a popular night spot. This was evident by the wide variety of tracks in the soft clay, everything from turkeys to raccoons and coyotes had left their handprint in the logging road hall of fame puddle. Crows and I think a possum, too. Yesterday morning though there was a new set of tracks right down the middle. Mr. Black Bear had swung by and signed in. And he has beautiful penmanship. Nice prints 4 or 5 inches across. Kessy wasn't the least bit worried, though, for the puddle was almost completely dried up.
Have a perfect day and watch out for those scary puddles!