Focus on What's In Front of You


In this regard, dogs and people are quite similar. Particularly when out exploring in the forest. As we move along - strolling, hiking, running, scrambling - we scan the distance for a sense of what's ahead, especially anything dangerous, but mostly we're focusing on the near scene, the next few steps and what lies within close view. This focus allows our senses - sight, smell, hearing - to fully take in the bounty of nature.

A major difference between dogs and people is illustrated by what we find most delightful to focus on. The girls, who glean so much information from their sense of smell, are interested in the tales left by other creatures: scat. The sample in the middle photo was duly noted by the girls on a recent run. Given the size, my money's on it being wolf scat. I'm sure the girls know for certain, but they're not talking.

I prefer to focus on wildflowers. On this same run I noticed - for the first time this season - two types making their debut on the hillside above my house. The blue and purple flower is a Mountain Bluebell. The yellow flower I can't identify. According to my reference, Mountain Wildflowers of Idaho by Marjorie D. Boren and Robert R. Boren, I shouldn't be seeing these bluebells until June.