January 31, 2017

A Quiet Tuesday

I was fooled this morning after glancing at two weather apps. Their "feels like" temps were ten degrees difference. I decided it was best to have some coffee and let it warm up a little.

Yet, when I stepped outside to take the first few pictures of the day, it felt warm, like 42° warm.

Sadie and Stella snuck over through the area I cleared last fall and down over a small bank into the wooded area behind our burn pile. If they go into that area 10', later it will be more and more and into a danger zone of leg deep mud. It was a different start to a new day.

Sadie begged at usual with her 'stare down' while I read the internet and drank coffee. This begging of hers seems to start earlier each day. A little after 9:30am, I dressed for 42°, grabbed the leash and the camera and took off for the first walk of the day.

The hounds were own their own. I remembered this morning it's just not them getting a walk in and I forget at times I am getting some pretty good exercise twice a day. The field looks flat but there is some pretty good incline from the house to the back of the field.

It didn't take long to realize that I had not put on enough layers of clothing ... Weather Bug was right, it did 'feel like' 33°.

I glanced back at the hounds to check their progress. If you would draw a line from the hounds to their right ... it would take you right to the skinned tree limb. Ed thinks it might be porcupines that are eating the bark and the limb itself.

Sadie didn't want to be left behind. Stella didn't care, as usual. Sadie was 8 years old last June but she is showing great speed in this sequence of pictures. I kept catching her in the downward part of her run but her ears were always up.

We whipped around the first turn, the winds picked up and there was no sign of Stella. She is on her new routine for the week. She will lag behind quite a ways and then slowly drift toward the neighbor's woods until I catch up with her.

While Sadie was having fun and having the whole field to herself ...

You can barely see Stella just to the right of the corner of our first turn.

I decided to see what Sadie could do, so I told her "go get Stella" ... off she went.

That doesn't mean that Stella is always going to follow Sadie back to the path. At least in this spot I always have to go get Stella and get her heading home.

She came back with me and Sadie to get on the return path, stopped a couple of times to scratch and then did her version of sprinting to the house when it looked like I was going to leave them outside. Warm inside is better than cooler outside ... they are smarter than the AKC rankings say they are ... LOL

I decided to have my one egg breakfast, grab a book from yesterday's library run and head for the couch. A perfect day to read.

Another good day here in 'the tropics' of southern Indiana.

January 30, 2017

Bitter Cold

The sun was bright and early this morning. Just glancing out the windows I could tell how cold it was without even checking the weather apps.

A change of routine this morning since I went back to sleep after feeding the hounds their breakfast kibble around 7am. Once I was up officially, I started coffee but we took our first walk of the day before I had consumed even a drop.

Although I was dressed appropriately for the coldest weather, it was still a shock to the system as the frozen snow crunched under my boots with each step. It tried it's hardest to snow yesterday and last night but by this morning there wasn't much left.

Both hounds were off to a fast start.

Once again they both ended up going back to the same spot they have gone to for the past 7-10 days. I just kept walking the path and glancing back at Stella just in case she would take off on a wild chase somewhere.

Sadie came sprinting back to me as I headed down the back edge of the field. I don't know if she is checking on me or letting me know that she has things under control, namely Sadie.

While Sadie stared at Stella, it was getting a lot colder than when we started with the last half of the walk to go. When I left it was a bitter 22°, little wind and the sun did not make a difference when it came to warming things up.

I decided to take a picture from a different angle than I do most of the time of this farm.

I had not gone too far down the path when Sadie decided it was time to gather up Stella and head home. She must have been getting cold, because she ran most of the way home, finishing with a sprint all the way to the house outside of camera range.

I am not sure what the message is but whenever Sadie runs over and touches noses with Stella, she will always start moving toward me. Stella that is.

With my auto focus setting, it would not lock onto the planes I was seeing but at one time I counted five different planes within view as long as I turned a full 360°. I caught a couple of them crossing each other at different altitudes.

Sadie is running full speed toward the house.

I looked to the right to try to find what had Stella's interest. I saw nothing and no one. When I told her 'lets go' she followed me along the path. In the mean time I spotted two more aircraft south of me.

The hounds were happy to get back inside a warm house. The hot coffee even tasted better than usual and Heidi was buried all the way under the sleeping bag sunshine and all.

By mid-afternoon Sadie had bothered me enough to go out for another walk. The skies were still blue and the temps were a good 10+° warmer. I couldn't tell because I was still freezing.

This walk started off bad right from the start as Stella not only stayed back but went into a part of the woods she had not ventured into before. Even Sadie was curious on what Stella was doing.

I kept walking.

By the time I rounded the corner, I had barely taken this picture, as I glanced up Stella was sprinting across the field toward the woods. I turned off the camera, rolled the zoom lens back to normal position, grabbed the standard 6' leash out of my pocket and took off running for the woods.

About the time I got within a couple of steps near Stella, she started trotting toward me. I hooked her up to the leash and all three of us walked the shortest distance to the house not anywhere near our normal path.

By the time we got inside I decided it was a great time to head to the library. I got online, checked availability for some books I was interested and had just written down the past 24 hours. All three of the books I wanted were available plus I grabbed a couple of new movies off their shelf.

The rest of the day was movie watching and book reading. I fit some lunch in with steamed broccoli and baked chicken breasts. Why do bloodhounds think that everything I fix to eat is for them. They only get kibble but still feel that my food is their food.

I've been using Firefox as my browser the past few days. I like a lot of things about it compared to Google Chrome but the two things that irritate me always send me back to Chrome once I get tired of the two issues.

One of those issues is Firefox does not play well when I want my screen larger than 100%. Yes, I have tried all of the settings, a new app just to do that and plenty of reading on 'how to' on Google search ... but for example on this blog ... when I write in the area Blogger gives me, I cannot expand the size of it and my fonts just for typing purposes. Google Chrome makes that adjustment without any problems.

Also since I am semi-complaining about computer stuff, every since Apple's latest OS update last week, my computer has been shutting off and restarting while I am away. I shut it off at night but leave it in the 'sleep mode' during the day if I am not at my desk.

Well I'm headed back to my books and one last movie. Temps will be in the high 40's again in a couple of days, so everything is good.

Still plenty of time for a big dump of snow here in 'the tropics' of southern Indiana ... last year February had a pretty good amount of snow.

January 29, 2017

No Excuses

I can't really say what the reasons were for my lack of blogging lately. There are more than a few possible reasons but none of them are that important.

I just didn't feel like blogging, nor taking pictures at times. It seems to be an annual event where I shut down the blog, the social media, turn off the tv and escape reality by losing myself in books. One after another, and sometimes reading one from cover to cover in a 4-5 hour setting, while forgetting it's 2am.

Our absence could have been the weather. For the past few weeks the skies have looked nothing different than the picture below. The temperatures may have moved back and forth from 20's to 40's but those are never a factor in walking the hounds.

The rains were never heavy but it rained enough to keep us inside most of the days. Between the warmer temps melting the frozen ground and the rains our walks were on very wet ground. Water would come up over the edges of my boots with each step and water trails would follow each paw of Sadie and Stella as they moved through the field.

We still walked most of the days but lately the camera had to stay inside because Stella had to be leashed again. Combine her recent escape with a wild run the other day and her stubbornness levels recently reaching 200% ... there wasn't a choice but to connect the retractable leash to her collar.

I am still not sure what animal is enjoying this fallen tree but if my eyes are not deceiving me I think I see that chewed limb's diameter getting smaller.

For weeks I had zero urge to blog publicly. I stopped putting a picture or two of the hounds even on my Facebook. That place has turned into nothing but a political cesspool that even the best privacy settings don't work. I glanced over at my Wordpress blog and decided to delete the whole thing.

This morning though, something changed halfway through my 2nd cup of coffee. I had the urge to add all of those blogs I deleted from the list a week or so ago. By the time the hounds and I got ready for our walk I had a feeling I might post here today.

I left the retractable leash on the door handle, grabbed the 6' standard leash and my camera. The standard leash could be folded into my jacket pocket in case I needed it.

I felt like taking pictures again, even though they seem to never change to me. I even felt like blogging again.

My green jacket sleeves showed it was trying to snow but it didn't have many more snow crystals on the sleeve than those leaves did in the picture above. I thought it was 30° but it felt colder. At first I thought I may have not chose the right jacket and gloves. I found out after our walk "it feels like" 20°.

Stella was happy to run and there isn't a minute in the day or night where Sadie isn't happy about going outside. She has turned into a great house dog but she could probably spend the majority of her days outside if I would let her.

Over the past week all of the deer scents and scat have moved from the heavy brush along the edge of the field out to the middle of the field. I can't remember the last time that both hounds headed for the far right corner of the field. There were times in the past I couldn't pry them from that area and now they never head that direction.

They both stay in the middle of the field while I continued to walk along the back edge and then making the final turn home. It's been that way for the last 7-10 days. Sadie will always run up to me to make sure I okay and then she will retreat back to Stella to let her know it's time to go.

The scents were strong this morning. Sadie was moving in so many different directions, luckily the camera caught most of them.

That pose of Stella is about all she has been doing the past week or so. She will raise her head to look at me and then back to eating. Constantly ignoring my calls of 'come on'. That is when I have to walk over to her and connect the leash to get her to move.

A few summers ago, they left a roll of hay in the field for quite a while. That spot changed from bare dirt to the greenest patch of grass in 7 acres.

This picture right here is the perfect example of Stella's recent walks. Walking nor running has been high on her list of priorities.

Not until I attach a leash to her collar and then take it off of her in a few steps, does she start to head home.

The other day was different though. In the middle of that trot, she stopped and looked toward the woods to her right. I knew I was going to be sprinting after her in a matter of seconds. I glanced that direction and didn't see any deer but by that time she was gone and baying all the way.

I thought it was a blonde cat that jumped out of the woods but it looked much larger than a cat. what ever it was, Stella was right on it's heels and all of that thick brush and woods didn't matter. She charged through that like it wasn't even there. I had to go to the other side of the woods to connect Stella to the leash to bring her home.

The next day on the return trip home, she trotted over to the woods again but there was nothing to chase. She ignored me calling her. She just needed to double check the unknown animal was not around. So for the next few days, the camera stayed home and Stella was back to doing walks on the leash during the whole walk.

Heidi is looking better and even feels heavier when I pick her up. Her trips outside are few and short. Nothing longer than to dump her tanks in this cold weather. She has become quite attached to my Marmot sleeping bag this winter. She will put on a shivering act until she is covered up with the bag, even with the house warm inside.

Therefore she is not doing much more than this until those outside temperatures get back to 70°.

I'll close by saying I don't know how frequent I will post in the future. I might go back to posting every day or I might have a few days or a week in between my blog posts, it just depends on what I feel like doing.

Retirement living is always good in 'the tropics' of southern Indiana.