I wish the breeze could blow away the truth.
That reality could again be
cattle, snowdrift, and wildflowers.

From a clear blue sky news strikes
the mountain slope and burns.

My early descent startles fawns
who were sure they had more time to play.

Mountain Biking with Rattlesnakes

This afternoon while mountain biking down Big Cottonwood Creek, I passed an emphatic rattling sound.  I know other animals besides the rattlesnake mimic the rattlesnake’s sound, and I have heard them many times.  This, however, got me off my bike and walking back.  It was not hard to find because the moment I started walking back it started up on it’s rattle again.  It was about 4 feet off the trail.

This was the most intimate personal encounter I have ever had with a rattlesnake on my own.  It was and is an impressive creature.  I am SO VERY UPSET that I didn’t think to flip my camera to VIDEO mode and capture the entirety of the experience.  I am kicking myself for that.

This is a Great Basin Rattlesnake


Indian Paintbrush

Indian Paintbrush
Indian Paintbrush

The Indian Paintbrush is especially widespread and vibrant this year on the ridge between Cave Canyon and Big Cottonwood Canyon. (Idaho).

I just learned, through a bit of reading, that they have a parasitic relationship with Sagebrush in areas where water is not plentiful. They apparently steal moisture from the roots of the sagebrush.


Because it was 55 degrees outside and snow was forecast for the next day, I decided to go for a mountain bike ride instead of staying at my desk to get some important work done. I figured it would be my last chance before winter officially descended on the area.

Midway through the ride a bush and I had a disagreement. I thought I could power through the edge of it but it stopped me completely. When I tried to step out to my left, I couldn’t unclip fast enough and the step was down slope so I went tumbling off the edge. The front sprocket decided to do a number on my lower leg with a nice little puncture wound. I couldn’t get the bleeding stopped easily after I finally got it cleaned up so I went in and had a couple of stitches put in.

That’ll teach me to think twice before leaving my desk next time.