September 28, 2016

Cool Temps Arrive

After a full day of activity outside yesterday, we went the opposite direction today. Not a lot happened and some of that was due to the light rain this morning.

It was easy to see and feel that today was not going to reach 70° and luckily with no real plans but the normal 'hanging out', it wouldn't matter if we took another day off.

Sadie and Stella were pretty energetic their 2nd trip out, right after their breakfast of morning kibble. Yet, they didn't go anywhere, just around the yard.

After the hour rain, the sunshine broke through but the temps still remained in the mid-60's. It felt like quite a change from a few weeks ago but all the windows remained open for the day. There was enough chill to the air I almost traded cargo shorts for jeans. It has to be pretty cold for me to make the change.

Heidi wasn't interested in taking the walk today but explored around the house while we were gone. At times she walks as if her hips hurt. It's hard to tell, so we may head to the vet and see what he/she has to say. I did find out in my internet searching last night for dog food to help a hound to gain weight, it suggested a food with 30% protein and 20% fat. That is hard to find, even with some of the more specialty blends of kibble.

Even with the light rain, the ground was wet but not bad enough to where we would have to cancel it. No wind, just cool temps ... a perfect time to walk.

With tails up and noses down ... the hounds were 'off to the race's as some people would say.

Stella glanced up and saw Sadie may have found something she needed. She didn't hesitate in sprinting to where Sadie was to check it out. It must have been good because she stayed behind as Sadie and I continued the walk.

By the time we got to the first turn, Stella was still not in view.

As always Stella came sprinting up behind us before we got to the back of the field. She loves to run so maybe she stays behind on purpose so she can do just that.

The is the edge along the back of the field and from their activity today, there must be some heavy deer traffic when we are not around. I could barely get them to leave that area.

There must have been at least 5 stops along that back area.

Stella tries to gradually drift off to the right away from us and towards the 'no fly zone'.

After being called a few times Stella took her own time getting back to the yard. It is temping to let both of them roam the field since I can see where they are ... but both of them are still on 'adult supervision' until they can show me they will not head to the neighbors yard on the north side of our house, or too the left side of the photo below.

Stella never looks happy when she ends her walk, but doesn't hesitate to head to the house and start her afternoon siesta.

For a change I did not do any 'enhancements' of the photos taken today. Just straight shots from the camera without any kind of editing in Apple Photos.

The day was full of a lot of book reading, many games of Mahjong, trying to get more games completed in less than 3 minutes and 15 seconds. I guess the highlight of tonight will be a rare occurrence with me tuning into a prime time tv show at 10pm, named ... Designated Survivor.

Cool temps and some rain is the forecast for the rest of the week here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

September 27, 2016

A Busy Day For The Hounds

I knew last night that if I did nothing else today, it would be mowing the yard. That would most likely take place in the afternoon because the grass is still wet up until 1pm.

Last week when I was cutting back some of the giant ragweed in the field, the old fashion way, with hand trimmers I had a couple of places I wanted to clear out.

These areas always grow back and I keep cutting them back. Through all of this yard work I was going to let the hounds spend the day outside. I figured with all of that open field they would have plenty of room to occupy their noses. I was wrong.

I ended up using the long handle trimmers the most. I didn't need the garbage can to carry weeds that were cut down to my burn pile in back. Those cheap gloves are still around and still usable after 3 years.

It is kind of an optical illusion but those small saplings, some weeds are growing up through my rock that is on a small bank between the trees. Behind them off the side of the yard is the overgrowth that borders the field next to my property.

It did not take long for me to cut all of that back. I took the first barrel of limbs up to the burn pile on the backside of the yard. I glanced in the 7 acre field and there wasn't a bloodhound anywhere. They were not in the yard, not in the field ... I KNEW EXACTLY where they were ... the neighbors. Sure enough both of them were right next to the lady wagging their tails, while she was hanging her laundry out to dry in the sun.

It might sound strange but it seems to be the norm around around ... even though we had never met, I knew their names and they knew mine. I can't remember when they moved in but his father had lived there before them. We always wave if we see each other in the driveway, or in the yards but had never introduced ourselves. Evidently Sadie decided it was about time we did that ...

After a nice short discussion, they asked if I would be interested in the last of their peppers they had grown in their garden. They confirmed it's hard to have a garden here due to the deer and rabbits, which can eat it faster than you can pick it. I also found out there is no solution to winning the war against yard moles. Also, their Dish Network internet was just as high as my Exede Satellite internet service with never enough data for the month.

Before I could finish my yard work for the day and get back over to their garden to pick up some peppers .... he brought me a bag full of them before I had even cleared out around my trees in the backyard.

I love those kind of peppers and will be including them in about everything I eat. That is how much I like them and for some reason even the hot peppers never give me indigestion.

This was the 2nd place I wanted to clear out. Its where the old fence post is, the one I talked about last spring. This time I am going to clear out to the bare ground again but this fall I am planting rye mixed with grass seed and cover it with straw. It will then look like the area I cleared in April 2015 which is just to the right of the trees.

Instead of carrying all of those downed limbs, weeds, wild flowers to the burn pile on the opposite side of the yard, I made two piles right there that will be burned as soon as they dry out.

The 3rd area I wanted to clear out is the giant ragweed in the field next to the yard and just to the right of our path. They did not cut it last week. The owner of the field would like to have it cut but it's taller and too thick for him to use his riding mower. I told him yesterday when he stopped by as he toured his field, that I would cut it all out once I got my Echo Weed Eater started. He has the same Weed Eater with the same story ... great the first year ... never started again.

Consequently since I could not get it running ... this 3rd area stayed for another day. What you see cut is what I did last week with the shorter handled trimmers pictured at the start of this blog. At this point in time I still wasn't done with yard work and for some reason Stella and Sadie stayed within my sight while I worked in the backyard.

It is always time for a walk though. To them it doesn't matter what time of day nor the kind of weather. They are always ready to go.

This area is a heavy deer area. The deer go down into that gully that is overgrown and into the woods that border first part of our walk.

I think they really do prefer the cut field over the field with lots of flowers and butterflies. They are a lot more active when they have room to run and room to put their noses to the ground and run forever.

With the yard work, the visit to the neighbors, lunch, watching me mow the yard plus the daily hound walk ... Stella found one of the few spots in the backyard with sunshine and took a nap that lasted for almost an hour ... she never moved.

My mower came with a piece to close off the shoot on the side of the mower, to keep the grass inside the mower to be mulched. I've always had the combo blades but I have never used that piece that lets the cut grass be mulched at the same time. It was easy to install and I was shocked at the results. I loved it!!! I didn't have the rows of cut grass that are shot out the side of the mower when it's too tall. I couldn't believe I had not tried that in the 19 years that I have lived here.

Even with it being pretty windy, the skies were again blue as you can see. Very few clouds and the air from the Southwest was on the cold side. The temps dipped to 49° last night and that is perfect weather for sleeping as long as the window is open.

Sadie, being the more active one, spent all afternoon doing only this in a hundred different places.

Stella would probably rather do this more than anything else ... except eat.

Heidi decided she would come outside after her lunch. She never got out of the yard but did a lot of exploring in the front and backyard while I was mowing. I am going to Google search for some kind of dog food that I can give her to help her gain weight. In the past 15 months she has not lost any weight but had not gained any either. She is literally "skin and bones" ... with a blood work test that graded perfect readings. None of the four vets had any suggestions for the kind of food to feed her to get her weight back to the normal range.

By the time I put the mower and all of the other equipment back into the shed, 'the crew' was ready to finally get to go back inside for their afternoon siestas. They had a full day of being outside.

In the meantime I am going to look through this bag of peppers and find a couple that I can use tonight with my dinner of brown rice and steamed vegetables. I am past the 2nd week of my diet changes and am passing with flying colors. The urges for all the good stuff like pizza, Pepsi, ice cream and candy are becoming less frequent as time moves on.

It's nice weather with beautiful days but my allergies are going insane here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

September 26, 2016

Sadie & Stella Love The Cut Field

With the sun still behind the clouds, we took off for the first walk of the day right after lunch. Heidi decided she needed a day to recover from her walk on Sunday.

Hard to believe the temperature was still below 70° as we started. Sadie and Stella took off in a trot as soon as their feet hit the yard ... I didn't ask if they wanted to walk or not.

I had to take a photo of the thermometer just for my own memory later on. That red needle has been above 80 and 90 so long I was beginning to wonder if the thermometer still worked.

As you can see there is always a little bit of growth on the outside edges of the field. The owner would like for them to cut and bale that area also but they never go that far over. If he comes out with his own tractor and mower to cut it, he will also cut the giant ragweed that was left next to my yard.

Some purple mist was still around on the edge of the field.

I've noticed that when the field is cut short, that is when Stella likes to get her running in. She loves to run.

While Sadie would rather spend her time 'tracking' what scents she finds. She is a much better tracker than Stella.

Hard to tell anymore between them ... but this is Stella in the photo below.

You can see how our path shows up after they mow. The grass is a little thicker there since it's mashed down over time and isn't mowed as close as the other grass.

Throughout the afternoon Sadie kept bothering me to go back outside. In the past I would have let her out to roam the field but not after she went next door a week or so ago. When I would go out with her, she would stand and stare at me instead of looking around the field. It wasn't that long since the walk before but she and Stella wanted to walk again .. not quite 3 hours after their last walk. So off we went, only this time the sunshine had poked out of the clouds.

Once Stella found this spot just after the first turn ... where the deer hang out ... she never left that spot while Sadie and I walked 3/4 of the way.

She came when I called her but started to go to her right thinking she could continue the walk but it was over ... she wasted her walk by sitting in that one spot eating stuff.

She took her time coming home but always within my sight ... finally strolling into the backyard.

The spent the rest of the afternoon sleeping and preparing for a night of Monday Night Football ... neither of them are interested in politics ... just food, walks and sleep.

Remember that I wrote an earlier post today. You can click the "older posts' button below or over on the right sidebar, titled Heidi Surprises Us On Sunday.

This time of year is hard to beat anywhere but in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.