I got a special birthday treat this year: wolf kisses!
Sunday was my birthday, and we took a trip out to the high desert to meet the wolves at Wolf Mountain Sanctuary
. The lobos living at the sanctuary are somewhat
domesticated, as they're accustomed to interacting with humans ... but they're still wild enough to command a respectful distance.
We did get to pet the senior pack member, who, at 13 years old, is the most mature wolf in the group. He enjoyed our head and belly rubs so much he dozed off to sleep! And the aforementioned kisses came through the fence from younger wolves ... I was astonished that they would do that, and I couldn't have been happier.
We encountered a whole range of weather patterns on our sojourn, starting with a drizzly morning in Los Angeles, shifting to a foggy drive through the Cajon Pass and emerging into a hot, windy high desert. The skies blew me away ...
We passed "my" ranch (my initials, at least) ...
Local produce is available at fruit stands along the highway, so we stopped and got the very last peaches of the season from Whalley's Orchard
Until now I've avoided the obligatory pumpkin photo for these fall shots, but I liked these gourds — the unusual shapes, as well as the more familiar.
at pumpkins and squash is oddly comforting (and if I'm hungry brings to mind soups and pies, which, of course, are comfort foods). The gourd is the quintessential fall vegetable, right down to its colors.
Photos: Rachel Whitman