April 11th fly-by

Fort Pearce OHV area, Utah

April 25th fly-by

I was sitting outside (Hurricane Mesa) reading when I heard an R/C airplane spun up in the distance.  I looked for it and but saw a thick cloud of bees instead headed inbound from about 10’ away.   I sat very still and figured I’d take my lumps if they came.

They were about in a 12’x12’ formation a couple feet off the ground, and about 30’ long.  It was like a black cloud hugging the ground  .   The edge of the organized mass of them was about 3’ away passing right to left.  Stragglers went right by and behind me.  No bites or stings, and none bounced off me that I could tell.

I watched as they continued across the field toward the canyon.  Looking for water?  Splitting off to make a new colony?

April 28th fly-by

I was reading today when Muffin leapt up and started growling.  I got turned around and saw two retriever-type dogs bouncing into camp.  They were in good health and had collars w/tags so I figured they were with someone I couldn’t see or hear.  They weren’t built heavily enough to be bear or javelina dogs and weren’t wearing armor.   Hikers?

Muffin and the dogs greeted each other and did fine.  They ran off.  Others came in, visited, ran off.  I didn’t like it but it didn’t seem immediately dangerous.  Then again, I didn’t know how many dogs were out there or what they’d do in a pack.  Who hikes with what appeared to be a half-dozen dogs?

Finally left alone, I was about to return to my lawn chair when a chow mix came bolting through the scrub trees, growling, teeth bared.  Muffin was at the end of her lead and couldn’t maneuver much - she reacted in 100% murder mode, which is disturbing to be near even as a member of the home team. The trespasser was about to get an unpleasant reception involving, I judged from Muffin’s tone and physical presentation, throat, entrail and/or leg removal.  I wasn’t looking forward to any of it.  Here we go.

As the chow dog arrived on scene at a dead run I stepped forward, leaned in, and smacked the living crap out of it on the side of the head.  It was hard enough to partially rotate/deflect the dog (probably not the wisest move to get that close to it, walking stick was leaned against the other side of the van).  The chow yelped in surprise and ran off to reassess the plan.  I retrieved the walking stick and waited.

The owners must have heard the unfriendly interaction from some distance because a lady started calling the dog.  You could hear the eye-rolling in the “come here, Princess.  You naughty girl…”.

The walkers (like mall walkers only on a trail) eventually passed and didn’t look over at the camp or offer “sorry my dog is aggressive and was loose in your camp” or “sorry we are idiots”.

I don’t want to shoot anybody’s dog, but I will if I have to.  The shovel was nearby and the .380 was in my pocket.