Lolli’s Great Adventure

Chautauqua GorgeousYesterday was a great day for a walk along the Chautauqua Creek.  We carried the snowshoes in, thinking that we might need them for deep snow down in the gorge, but we ended up leaving them near a tree and continuing on with just boots.  There were some spots where we sunk in deep… but for the most part, the crusty layer from the thaw and rain of a couple of days ago kept us up on top of the snow.

We walked in as far as as the great ice wall, then decided to turn back.

Terry and Mozart look for a place to cross.  I did not attempt this...  In the end, neither did they.

On our way back out we paused for a brief rest.  Suddenly, Lolli goes nuts… digging AND barking.

Digging

Lolli often digs.  It seems the only time she barks, though, is when she KNOWS she’s got something.  The last time this happened here in the gorge she had a porcupine up a tree.  Today, I’m hoping it isn’t a skunk…

At the other end of the log from where Lolli is digging, I notice fur… and it’s not black and white.  Whew!
Hmm... Now who might this be?

As it struggles through a hole in the snow up over the log, I catch a glimpse of the striped tail and realize it’s a young raccoon… quite small.
Ah ha!  Striped tail... now we know you!

Once it reaches the other side, it looks up at me, quizzically.  It seems confused, but relieved that while I am making a clicking noise with some strange piece of equipment dangling from around my neck, at least I’m not barking.
Through to the other side, Raccoon asks, 'Can't you make your dog stop barking?'

And then it’s off, over the snow at a rapid pace.
And away we go...

Meanwhile, Lolli is still digging… and by now, Mozart is curious enough to join her.  I’m rather surprised that neither of the dogs witnessed the great escape…
Where'd he go?

Lolli seems truly mystified that she can’t find her quarry.
Stumped again!

Better luck next time, puppy dog…  On second thought, may your luck continue to be just about like today.  Poor little raccoon.