That turns into a long post with a LOT of pictures. I can't seem to post just the best pictures but I try to add pictures that lead into those best pictures because it adds to the sequence or narrative.
Due to staying up extremely late last night, we didn't start our day until 10:30am. The hounds did NOT miss their breakfast at their usual time around 7:30am, so they didn't have to wait ... they would never let me be late for breakfast.
It was perfect weather when we stepped outside. Close to 60° and you could feel the warmth from the sun, unlike a winter day. Yet, the day cannot start without a couple of cups of coffee.
The only thing that moved Stella toward the house that first trip outside was, she thought she heard something about 'food', 'eating', 'do you want?' ...
So, soon after their lunch we headed out for our first walk of the day. I can't get around the new routine. I have always let the hounds out after they eat. It was part of the housebreaking process when Sadie was a puppy, as well as all my other puppies. So now Sadie expects that we will be walking at that time.
I knew that once Stella stopped at her 'new' spot this past week that she wasn't going to leave. Sadie and I kept walking and I'm sure that Sadie enjoyed getting to all the new scents first.
This is a zoomed picture of Stella ... but she is really pretty far away, like at the start of the walk.
You can barely see Stella in the center of the picture. Sadie and I are at the first turn.
I am still trying to show you just how deep the gully is. You can almost see it here. Just past that row of trees in the center of the picture shows just how fast it drops almost straight down. It is so steep that even the hounds would NOT be able to walk down the side of it.
Sadie is getting the first scents before Stella shows up. Both popular spots both hounds love checking out.
As I turned to see if Stella was coming ... she was trying to get caught up ... but, she was going to stop just long enough to check out what her nose picked up.
They figured two noses were better than one when they hit the far right hand corner and along the back edge of the field.
These next two pictures are a panoramic view of the field from left to right. It's a great piece of property and we are very fortunate to be able to use it.
How did this tree grow into that type of form? Where did all of the lower branches go? I shot this directly into the sunshine without any lens filter.
While the bloodhounds and I walk through the field, Heidi hangs back to check out all of the yard. She is looking better because ... finally ... new hair continues to grow on her legs and paws.
Once again the picture shows her tail drooping when it is actually wagging back and forth.
Stella's theme of the day has been "I'm going to do what I want to do" ... Sadie, Heidi and I are ready to go inside but Stella still is hanging out in the field re-smelling her first spot of interest.
It was nice enough today that we spent more time sitting outside enjoying the great day.
I wasn't sure if it would happen but the thought of cutting the nails of the hounds outside. These clippers always bring different responses from Stella and Sadie.
Stella does not mind having her nails cut, so she sniffed them and then moved over into the yard and laid down expecting me to cut them. Sadie didn't stay around long enough to even sniff them ... she saw them (probably caught the scent of them) and took off running.
I was just enjoying the great weather, Stella was sleeping and Sadie was wandering like always. As you can see the grass does look a little long and tall enough to mow. That is what changed my mind from cutting the hounds toenails to mowing the yard one last time.
Stella loves the yard, the sunshine and the cool breeze from the southwest.
So I decided to cut the yard one more time. I was planning to do it within the next three days with the high temperatures in the 60's and even 70's on Wednesday. By the weekend those highs is suppose to drop to the 40's.
I was able to mulch the last of the leaves ... BUT A BIG PROBLEM !!!
In the area of the center of the yard as I was mowing, I glanced down at the side discharge guard and saw the hinge pin that holds it to the side of the mower had vibrated loose and was about half way in. I stopped and slid it back into position. I mowed most of the yard doing that and checking it as I mowed.
Near the center of the front yard the discharge guard blew off the side of the mower. The pin was gone. With the length and weight of the pin it should have been an easy find ... but wasn't. So far I have walked the path of the mower over the whole yard. In some places I was on my hands and knees running my fingers through thick grass just in case the grass was hiding the pin.
It's there somewhere. I'll buy a new garden rake since mine broke while fighting the fire on the north side of the yard a few weeks ago. Then I'll run that rake through the yard and have it show up that way. I'll have to find it by next spring because if I mow over it, it could really tear up my mower. It's a steel pin.
For the last cut of the year I always lower the mower blade one level shorter. The yard is about the worse shape I've seen it in this year. I can already see my first "to do" list thing next spring is to pull the landscaping bricks out and then backfill with dirt to put the edgers back up straight.
I'm thinking about a trip downtown for the Chinese Buffett for dinner and then watch a couple of good college basketball games tonight. I think I have only cleaning the gutters one last time to do before winter. I installed new insulation around my windows and doors on Monday so the house should be pretty air tight for those freezing winds in January and February.
I can't pull the trigger yet in folding down the back seats in the FJ, laying matching color Mexican blanket over them and letting the hounds take short trips again. It really does look good without the hair from the hounds, the dried drool and smudges on the windows. It will eventually happen, just not sure when.
We had THREE hound walks today, the yard mowed all by 3pm.
A couple of more days of great temperatures before it drops to the 40's here in 'the tropics' of southern Indiana.