Thursday, September 29, 2016


Below are four pictures of Prince in his new bed in his new home with his new kitten. I can't tell you how happy I am for this dog. His former owner died and no one in the family wanted him. One of them did, at least (and it was the very least they could do), keep him for me until I could take him in. He landed well, however, hitting the proverbial doggie jackpot.

The four pictures are very similar, but they show four different expressions, which I found amusing. The difference between the dog's and the cat's reactions are interesting too.

Something is happening over there, but it's not important enough to get up for.
I'll just keep an ear on it and monitor the situation to see what develops. 

All is calm, I could sleep, but the cat is in the spot where I'd like to lay my head.

What are they up to now?  Between the cat and the kid it's tough to get much sleep around here.

My new humans are nice, but high maintenance, I might have to go see about this.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Toquima's visit

Toquima is a former foster who comes here occasionally when his family travels. He was here for an extended stay earlier in the summer, and he came back last Friday for a short visit. He will be going home Wednesday morning so I thought I'd better get some pictures of him while he was here.

I had him out for a run in the pasture along with Theo and Max a couple days ago while I was mowing. It was getting dark when I started mowing, so I didn't get a lot of pictures. Tuesday afternoon he accompanied Maya and me on our five mile hike. He likes to do more stopping, sniffing, and marking than I prefer, so we sort of compromised.

Theo (left) is obsessed with the tennis
ball so Toquima has given it a try.
He will run after it sometimes, but
he's not really into it.
Toquima is a really good dog. I've said many times that if I could clone him I could adopt him over and over to most any home with no problems. He's friendly with strange people and new dogs, his house manners are impeccable, no neuroses, no separation anxiety, no typical shepherd behavioral problems. He's a prince.
Toquima likes to stop, sniff, and mark on our walk.

He was happy when we stopped at Sparky's
watering hole. It was warm and humid this
afternoon and the cool water felt good.

I tried to get Maya to jump up there to pose with
him, but she wasn't interested and I was too hot
and tired to argue with her. 

They cut a lot of trees near the house at
Pleasant Grove but left nice tall stumps.
They make good pedestals for heroic
dog photos.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Weekend adventures

We went back to Walnut Creek to explore
more of it's trail system on Saturday morning.
I had a short list of things I wanted to do this weekend - hike, canoe, and mow. The only one that didn't happen was the mowing, but if something was going to get left off, I'm glad it was that one.
I carried water for both of us, but we took advantage of a few
stream crossings for a refreshing break.

I came upon this at a rather remote part of the trail and was a
bit surprised. My first thought was that it must have been
woodland elf laundry day, but they are actually Buddist prayer
flags. There's a small cairn at the lower right built as a shrine.
Don't ask me why.
Fungus covered in green algae on a tree.

The forest surrounding the lake at Walnut Creek is a rocky
hillside. The predominant undergrowth is mountain laurel and
not a whole lot else. Its definitely less lush and green than the
Pleasant Grove trails where I usually hike. Not a lot of wild
flowers, but here's a nice mushroom.

It was a hot day, so we stopped every couple
miles for a rest break for me and whenever
we crossed a stream for Maya.
I wasn't really planning an 11 mile hike
but that's what we did.

On the way home I had a couple errands
to do in Charlottesville and then we met
Clay at Champion brewery for a beer.
Saturday evening we went down to
Scottsville for pizza and beer. Maya
was tired so we tried to sneak out
with Theo instead. He enjoyed himself
and Maya was too upset.

Sunday was the first day that was beginning to feel like fall. It was cloudy, there was a breeze, you couldn't call it chilly, but it was a lot cooler than Saturday. It no longer felt like summer. It was a great day for a hike, but my legs were not up to it so I did a canoe trip instead. I did my usual 7 mile float on the Rivanna river from the Crofton Boat ramp to the Palmyra boat ramp. It was a good trip. In the evening we went to the National Theatre Live's broadcast from London of Arthur Miller's "A View from the Bridge." Very powerful production and a great finale to a great weekend.

The water level in the river is very low so it was a slower than
usual trip. I had to paddle most of the time and even got out
to walk over a few places where the canoe could not pass. 
I saw this great blue heron early in the trip. The low water
levels probably make for easy fishing for them.

I got better deer pictures than usual. There were three of them
and they didn't seem too concerned about me.

These two even stopped to pose for me.

But they eventually ran off, reminding why canoeing with
a dog would probably not be a good idea. Maya would have
been in the water going after them.

In the category of "seen but not photographed" was at
least one 
bald eagle and an otter that slipped into the water
from the river bank 
as I passed by, and these two turtles.
 The two dark spots in the water are actually river turtles.
From some distance away I saw 
some activity at the water
surface but couldn't tell what it 
was. That's the sort of thing
you paddle towards and I 
did, finding these two turtles
who swam away as I 
got close.
They are quite fast and agile in the water.

Thursday, September 22, 2016


Happy Autumnal Equinox.  The shorter days is the price we pay for cooler weather that I hope will be coming soon.  The christians seemed to have missed co-opting this holiday as one of their own, how did that happen?  Or maybe it's one of the many feast days that no one really cares about any more. The equinox marks the more important seasonal changes, in my opinion. Summer turning to fall is a big deal that I look forward to. Likewise, winter changing to spring at the vernal equinox is an important change. The change from fall to winter and then from spring to summer seems like less of a change, more just a matter of degree.

Fall is the prettiest time in Virginia so I do look forward to it. Here are some pics from my final summer walk with Maya and a couple from the first walk of autumn.
Maya checked him out but he's far too slow
for her to consider him to be a worthy
prey object.

Changing sumac, a sure sign of fall.  

We had about 1.5" of rain the other day and
it brought out a new crop of mushrooms.
This is an interesting one.
Summer's final rays on my palomino shepherd.

Our devotion is deep and completely mutual. 

A recent pic of former foster Jasso, with his feline friend.
Former foster Jess, now Brady, cooling off in his pond.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Rescuing a lousy day

Another picture of my former foster Khaleesi (right) and
another Green Dogs alum, Blossom (left). The two girls have
become very close, and obviously very happy and content.
Sometimes rescue work is the cause of a bad day, but today it saved a bad day from being much worse. That's the way it happens more often than not, because generally bad things are caused by people while dogs bring about mostly good things.

Monday was wet and rainy, work sucked, and I had a couple other problems to deal with, but three former fosters saved the day.

This is another picture of my former foster Athena (left) and
her new rottweiler friend on the right. He wasn't very welcoming
when she first arrived, but they became friends and playmates
within hours and now he seems to like her a lot.

This is former foster Tevya who just celebrated his 8 year
adoption anniversary, which they also celebrate as his birthday.
His family threw him a party yesterday. They cooked a steak
for him and he got lots of presents. 
Tevya has been very good with the child that
came along after him, and they are now expecting
a second child in January. There's nothing like
kids to keep a senior dog active.