Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


17 Comments

Fall flies

A bit of color among all that green.


It seems like fall is flying away. It’s been unseasonably warm, and by the end of summer we had had days and weeks with no rain.

A soggy marsh.

It’s still warm, even now, but this week we’ve had days filled with waves of rain. Yesterday we got over an inch, the day before was similar, and though it’s barely noon we’ve had half an inch already.

A little bit of peachy yellow shines in the wet air.

The few colored leaves we had are are sailing across the yard on gusty winds. Sometimes the rain blows sideways too and we are feeling a bit of cabin fever.

So in between rain bands Katie and I ventured out to see if I could capture just a few photos of what little color we have. She was hoping to read a few pee-mails left by neighborhood dogs.

The most color we have right now is sumac.

The maple trees, the sumac, and the wild grapes are turning color, but most of the rest of the trees are still green, or just turning brown.

Katie and I only went a block or so in each direction, but we saw what color there was. The wind was picking up again, though, so I urged her to move faster toward home.

The wind scuttles across the pond across the street.

In our own backyard, while I was concentrating on the leaves left on our burning bush I felt the first splat of new rain. “Katie!” I yelled, not looking back at her, “COME!”

Damp burning bush.

I tucked the camera under my arm and sprinted for the back door. As I got there I looked over my shoulder and she was standing out there just looking at me. She didn’t want to come back inside. “COME!” I yelled again. She stared at me.

Berries provide some color too.

She is, after all, a princess.

I ran back out, head tucked into the wind, grabbed her leash and tugged her into the house. And just as I closed the door the rain slammed into the windows. She looked at me as if to say “Gee mama, what was all the rush for anyway? We’re still relatively dry.”

Safe inside watching the rain.

Silly girl.

Hey mama! Wanna play now?

PS: This is not my Walktober. I’m planning something next week when I travel to a special place. But if you’re inclined to do a Walktober, and if it’s not pouring rain where you live, this might be the perfect time to do one! Link to Robin’s blog and she’ll compile them all at the end of the month.

Advertisements


25 Comments

Surprise!

Most of you know Katie likes to get me up early. Really really early. Most mornings it’s a struggle and today was no exception.

On our fourth trip out within a couple hours (during most of which she did absolutely nothing but sniff the grass) I glanced over my shoulder.

And saw this.

Whoa! Katie, let’s run and get the camera!

The original reason for the trip outside was instantly forgotten. She let me run back inside and grab the camera as she waited patiently (and if you know Katie, you know she’s not the patient sort) for me to return.

Then the double rainbow showed up.

See the second one?!

I could barely contain myself. Katie, always the princess, remained calm.

I’ll wait here on the porch mama.

The color was amazing.

Couldn’t stop shooting.

Thank you Katie-girl for getting me off the sofa and outside this morning. Even so often and so early. You’re a good girl.

Now, can we go back to sleep?

Love you too mama


19 Comments

Just a typical day

Not every day in retirement is an adventure, but the simple days are OK too. This morning Katie and I woke up to another beautiful October day. Blue sky and the moon just going down.

Hello moon!

We wandered a bit around the yard. She likes to check in with her tomato patch, just in case a spare cherry tomato falls off the vine don’t you know.

Guarding her tomatoes from marauding squirrels.

And of course it did.

Then a wander under the white pines at the back of our yard. Such a pretty place that we hardly ever visit, I don’t know why.

Can we camp under here mama?

But she said that really wasn’t enough of a walk, so she arranged to go to the park with her friend Deuce.

They posed under duress.

The mamas felt like a walk in the woods too, so it all worked out.

The light was beautiful!

We even tried to walk on the beach but the sun was getting too hot, and besides, they have this sign there.

They thought this was a silly rule.

Which we ignored.

That sign didn’t me ME, did it mama?

No, not every day has to be an adventure, but when you’re retired adventure can turn up any day!

Hey mama! This leaf is as big as I am!


27 Comments

Katie’s Walktober

Katie here. Mama says she’s going to go on something called a Walktober. I was not exactly sure what that was, but I heard the word “walk” and I wanted to make sure I was included. Because mama should never go on any walk without me!

This is my friend Deuce.

I asked her what a Walktober was and she told me all about Robin’s blog and how everyone was going to take a walk in October and post about it, and then Robin would do a wrap-up post with links to everybody’s walk at the end of the month!

Mama said the dates were originally Oct 1 through Oct 18, but now Robin has extended it to Oct 28!

We don’t sit real close to each other. We each like our personal space.

Mama says she hasn’t decided where she’s going to do her Walktober, but, as usual, I’m way ahead of her. I went on my Walktober last weekend with my friend Deuce and his mom. Oh yea…my mama was there too.

We went to a park I’ve never seen before! Oh my! I do love new places! I guess I get that from mama, who also loves to explore. This new park was in the woods, so there was shade everywhere! And a beautiful river ran right through the middle of it!

Such a beautiful day!

I loved being cool while I explored, and I of course loved being in the woods. There were all these beautiful trees, and lovely new smells.

I’m 10 years old! So nice they have a sign for me!

It wasn’t a very big park, so mama and Deuce’s mom decided we’d just go around on the trail twice. I didn’t even notice. I loved being there. I even jumped a log without touching it. Mama said I looked like I was flying.

I can fly mama!

Then she made me do it two more times because she wanted to get a picture. Figures.

I felt really good on this walk. We walked way over a mile, and I even ran a race with Deuce! He won, but that’s because he’s only 5, just a youngster. And because I let him.

A Princess runs sedately.

You might not know, but this summer has been so hot that I haven’t really wanted to go on very many walks and mama has been sort of worried about me. But she can tell now that it’s getting a little cooler that I’m feeling much more like myself.

She’s really glad.

I want to say thank you to Deuce and his mom for sharing their park with me. It was the perfect park to do my Walktober and now I want to challenge all of you to get out this month and take a walk. Post about it and link to any of Robin’s posts. She’ll collect them all and everyone will get to come along with you on your walk!

I can’t wait to see your Walktober!

Deuce can fly too!


14 Comments

There’s more to camping than the sheltie-girl

The road to the campground.


If you listen to Katie you’d think that all camping adventures are about her, and I suppose in some respects they are. We don’t do things she doesn’t want to do, and on this last camping trip of the season she didn’t want to do very much, so we stuck close to camp.

Still, there were many beautiful things to show you.

The grass turned color depending on the light.

We made short forays into the deep old growth forests. The air felt cooler to me, but I guess a sheltie-girl’s heavy fur coat made it hot for her, even there, so we didn’t stay very long.

It’s cooler back here in the forest.

The ferns along the forest floor were mostly brown. I don’t know if it’s drought or they had an early frost. No one else seemed to know either. They were still pretty in brown, but I felt kind of sad that their summer was over.

Variations of brown.

Katie and I drove a few miles down the road to visit two lakes, formed when the glaciers slid over Michigan years ago, then melted.

Amazing color, even before the leaves really begin to turn.

The sky was an incredible blue and the lakes were perfectly still. I couldn’t stop shooting images. Katie was pretty patient about the whole thing.

Reflections in the still water were mesmerizing.

It would have been fun to kayak on either of these lakes, and I think you can rent kayaks from the park. But Katie said she wasn’t into boating so we didn’t check that out.

Lilly pads add some color too.

As Katie told you the last night we had a storm blow over, making the sky and even the air turn bright pink.

Pretty in pink.

It was pretty amazing, and the camera caught even more pink than our eyes could see. Everyone was out looking around in wonder.

I’m glad the weather cooperated last week and allowed Katie and me to get one more camping trip in this season. We’ve been so lucky this year; we didn’t get rained out on any of our adventures.

It might be a long winter, but we’re already planning where to camp next spring.

Sky in the water.


16 Comments

She can’t silence me people!

Katie here.

Well I never. I never! Mama and Daddy left me for almost three weeks! I was at camp and it was noisy and other dogs got all the attention! I swear no one fed me or played with me or took me outside and I was all alone!

Checking out my gardens.

Oh. You don’t believe that?

Well, OK, it wasn’t all that bad and they love me a lot there and I get to go outside a bunch, in fact they say I don’t want to come back inside when they call me. That’s cause I think I should get all the attention wherever I am, and do whatever I want, given I’m a princess. But it turns out all those other doggies are princesses and princes too! Who knew?

Hey mama! You saved me some tomatoes!

ANYWAY…

Mama finally came and got me and I told her off the entire ride home as is my right. And when I got home I told daddy off too. For hours. But then mama asked me if I wanted to go for a walk around the yard. Well yea mama!

I also told mama that none of you wanted to see her old pictures of forts and oceans and old houses and stuff. What you wanted (and I’m sure I’m right) is to see me! The Princess! Of course!! So I told her there better be lots of pictures on this blog (I can type but I don’t get the ‘insert media’ part of it. Plus I can’t decide which of my beautiful portraits should go where.) of me and she better get hopping because it’s been way too long since you’ve had the pleasure of seeing me.

And I told her she’s way behind in the camping quotient and I don’t care if it gets cold at night she better get that tent put up and it better be in an interesting place, not just my old back yard. Though on second thought the backyard might be OK, just don’t tell her that yet, I want to make her work for it.

I got to run in my yard!

I’m not vindictive, no I’m not.

Mama says daddy set the alarm clock each morning for 6:30 or 7 a.m. and she doesn’t know why. She thought she should be able to sleep in more, given it was her vacation. Well. I’m here to tell you mama, that 6:30 was sleeping in. Now that I’m back in town we’ll get right back to our normal schedule. Yep, 4:00 a.m. seems a reasonable time for a sheltie-mom to be up and at ’em.

Yes siree, I’m going to whip her back into shape. No more slacking mama!

My flowers are still pretty.

It is, after all, my responsibility as the Princess in the household to make sure my subjects are in shape.

She’ll thank me later.

Your gal Katie.


13 Comments

“I want your smile”

I think this morning, the Sunday morning after Charlottesville, we could all use a smile. Not to trivialize what happened there, what is happening in smaller and less splashy incidents all over our country, but to give our broken hearts a tiny bit of relief.

The sun always rises.

There’s this guy named Trent who writes a blog and weekly asks us to tell him what made us smile during the previous week. I haven’t followed him long, or even regularly, but I happened to read him this morning and knew that I wanted to share the things that made me smile this week.

I wasn’t on an adventure, not camping with Katie-girl, or off exploring by myself. I spent this week at home with the camera, just shooting regular stuff — the things we all see but rarely stop to really look at. Like things in my garden, during this end of summer time when the gardens always look their best even though they’re becoming a bit frayed around the edges.

A pop of color.

And it rained a lot this week, as happens on late summer afternoons. Gushing downpours that wash away the humidity for a bit.

It’s a monsoon!

I stood on my front porch and shot the rain hitting the driveway. Sometimes it seemed as though the drops were creating tiny little fireworks, as if they were celebrating summer.

Celabrate!

After the rain I took Katie-girl to her park. The temperature had dipped down into the high 60s (15.5c) cool enough for a sheltie to enjoy a summer walk. We were surprised mid-walk by another thunder storm.

The light before the storm.

The wind blew and the rain drove down in sheets. We got wet, though the camera was safe inside my pack. Katie and I both smiled.

And of course I’m totally smiling over the fact the orioles are still visiting my feeder. Sometimes they get confused as to which feeder, but they’re still visiting.

Wrong cafeteria, girl!

I expect them to leave for the season any time now. I’ll miss them all. This morning there were two males and at least four females all vying for the feeder. I think that signals that they’re getting ready to head out for their winter home.

Gotta get my share before all those girls come back!

And last night I went out into the backyard after midnight to look for meteorites. Here in Michigan it’s supposed to be the best time to see them, and I did see one which was amazing. And no, that’s not the it, that’s a plane. The meteorite was much much brighter. Still I thought this was a cool shot.

All kinds of light last night.

Our backyard is too full of light, mostly from the neighbors huge yellow light over his garage, to really get great pictures of the night sky, but I had fun messing around with the camera anyway.

Starry starry night…

So these are some of the things that made me smile this week. What about you? What did you smile about? Care to share? Just link to Trent’s blog, we all need another smile!

She always makes me smile!


12 Comments

Camping with a friend

HI! Come on and let me show you the way!


Katie is sleeping, still, after two days at home. I’d let her tell the story, but she’s snoring and you know what happens when you wake a sleeping dog. Nothing good.

So let me fill you in on our latest camping adventure. We had company this time, Karen and her cocker spaniel Deuce spent the weekend with us at a state park. Deuce had never camped before so we were all curious how he’d feel about the whole experience.

Katie and Deuce the first day.

Turns out he’s a natural.

NOW WAIT JUST ONE MINUTE MAMA! Katie here! What are you doing? This is my story to tell! I can’t believe you’re doing this while I was laying right next to you, upside down and snoring! You are one sneaky mama!

So anyway…I, Princess Katie, wasn’t sure I wanted to share mama with anyone else so I was skeptical of the whole ‘camping with a friend’ concept. But I figured the only way it was going to work out was if I showed Deuce the ropes. Which mainly revolve around sleeping in the dirt and begging for good treats and going for long walks in the woods.

He caught on right away.

At the end of a long day.

Now, before the love of my life, Reilly Cowspot Dog, gets upset that I had a boy with me for an entire weekend, let me assure you that we had separate tents. Mama and I stayed in our tent and Deuce and his mama had their own. It worked out great.

The blue tent is mine, you can have the red one.

And each day we went on long long walks in the nice cool, green woods. Mama and her friend were very careful to make sure I got lots and rest breaks and drinks of water whenever I asked. Which to be honest was frequently. I wasn’t always thirsty, you know. Mostly I liked to make them stop and look at me.

Taking a break.

But the woods sure was pretty! At the end of this blog I’ll have mama put in a slide show of us exploring. There were so many beautiful places!

Deuce and I got along pretty good. In the beginning we didn’t want to sit too close to each other, but by the end of the weekend we were fine sitting next to each other. We figured it was easier just to do what the moms asked. The sooner they got their stupid pictures the sooner we got our treats. Deuce let me in on that concept, and he’s definitely right.

Isn’t this an amazing spot?

One time we were sitting next to each other and they took their pictures, and then Deuce’s mom said “OK!” and Deuce took off to run to her. Since it wasn’t my mama saying anything I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to move…but I didn’t like that Deuce left without me!

Hey! Wait up!

Mama laughed and said “OK sweetie, you can come too.” I was relieved. I didn’t want to be left behind when there were treats!

Mama took a lot of pictures (so what else is new, right?) and she was messing with her settings in the deep dark woods. A lot of them ended up blurry because Deuce and I just didn’t want to sit still and the light was so low. But this one was blurry because she totally messed up, nothing to do with us at all! She thinks it’s cool though, so humor her, OK?

Look at us! Moving faster than the speed of light!

As long as we got treats we didn’t care if the pictures came out or not.

We sure had a lot of fun! By Sunday afternoon we were dirty and exhausted, true signs of a successful adventure! We were both sorry to see the tent come down, but we think we’ll probably get to go camping together again next summer.

We’re not letting you guys pack up this tent!

Here’s a few more images of us having a grand time in the woods, I hope you enjoy the slide show!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And really, if you’re a doggie out there reading my blog, ask your folks to take you camping! It’s an amazing experience and one you don’t want to miss!

See you guys later,

Katie, camping tour guide extraordinaire.

Me and my tent.