The Paiute Indians name for the Grand Canyon is Kaibab. It means “mountain lying down.” One of the best parts of living at the Grand Canyon for me, is being in the Kaibab Forest. The dog and I walk the trails almost daily. We had to detour to neighborhood walking when we had foot high snows, but February was mild, and the snow is melted, so we have gone back into the woods.
Sometimes I stop just to listen. Ravens high in the ponderosa pines will be talking to each other. The swoosh of their wings as they fly overhead makes me envy their freedom. The Abert squirrel runs through the forest, their white tail flashing. Sometimes we will hear or see coyotes, but generally only at dusk. Lately, a herd of elk have been frequenting the area. Not uncommon, but they have been staying close to the neighborhood. They watch us walk past and don’t startle like the mule deer, but you need to be careful, as they have been known to charge to protect their young. An average elk weighs between 500-750 pounds. Often I think I have begun to skirt the edge of the herd and will then see more in the distance, and realize I had almost walked through the pack.
Tiny flowers have begun to bloom. Lichen is noticeable in a variety of colors.
Remnants of winter are seen in the skeletons of animals left by the predators. Every day something catches my eye and draws me back to the forest.
by Diane Moore
photos by Diane Moore