After a reminder from our vet clinic about tick season, and coincidentally seeing a very tiny tick in the bathroom, a trip into town was made to get flea and tick collars for the dogs.
A hike was in order, and finally I found a clear path through the remaining snow covered ice in the draw North of the house and was able to get to our 10 acres. Sticking to his routine during our hikes, as we started out Rowdy tried to get Jessie to play by running full out in big loops around us. Most of the time she ignores his ploy, but sometimes she'll give chase.
Mourning doves were calling their "coo, coo, coo" close to the house as we started out. This is the second year they've remained through the winter. No snow is left on the open hillsides or under the trees, and I could hear water running in the draw on the North property boundary. Not unexpected to have the spring flowing at this time, but it was surprising to see a month or so ago. I considered walking all the way down into the draw, but the animal traffic on the game trail had made it icy. On the way back, I looked for antler sheds, with no luck. When we got back to the house, Rowdy again tried to get Jessie to play, but she wasn't interested.
Instead of going in, I walked out to the end of the driveway where two ravens were cawing and flying around the tops of the trees. It's my guess that this is the same pair that have had a nest in that area for the last two or three seasons.