August 17, 2018

It's Wet But It's A Friday

We woke up to the sound of rain but all three hounds headed for the door to be let outside before my feet even touched the floor. It was barely daybreak but obviously they were ready to start their day and that always means breakfast. I knew Stella would not leave the protection of carport, Heidi would sneak out under the roof overhang and Sadie would sprint to the field, rain or no rain. As I poured kibble, Stella stood at the door looking inside and waiting for me to finish.

The past few days the hounds have determined for some reason, that it's time to start getting up before 7am and start the day. By the time I finish making my coffee, they have all finished their meal and have headed back to sleep in different spots scattered throughout the house. They are awake for no longer than 10 minutes, 15 at the most.

Within the next hour the rain had stopped, the temps were even cooler than before and Sadie thought it was time for her walk. I agreed and before I could step 5' into the field, Stella was already trying to sneak away toward the neighbor's yard a vacant lot away. She could not believe I caught and stopped when I called her name.

After telling her to either join Sadie and I for the walk or go back inside, she decide a walk would be nicer so she headed toward our path to join us. She walked into my leg as she moved around me on the path and kept walking. She will not walk around me or Sadie when she is heading somewhere. Even in the house she will walk right on your foot if you are in her way.

As the yellow daisy and orange wild weed flowers die off, these are taking over the field but mostly just behind the house. It's very interesting to see they are just in that area, for reasons I will not write about. Still the location of these purple flowers make me wonder.

I did not prefer to take a photo of the butts of bloodhounds but wanted to show they were both wanting on the path. Stella wanted to keep her paws dry as possible and Sadie had claimed the path as hers. It took a while but Sadie finally veered off on her own path she follows along the edge of the field.

It is one of those days where the rain will be off and on. We might catch some of the storms that are in the forecast but we always seem to miss some as they move south of us. These wet conditions have put some projects on hold while giving me the chance to start my new drainage system along the back of the house.

It will not be right next to the house but about 3' out, or at the edge of the grass and river rock. The system I have now I put in 20 years ago and I have noticed that water is starting to puddle too close to the house instead of draining. With this rain it will be the perfect time to dig my 12" ditch and pull out the old drain and install a new on with a gravel base.

The hounds kept their lead on me this morning. They did their normal route, stopped at their normal spots in the field and I didn't have to say a word to either of them to get them to follow me home. On the way back they stayed on the path and walked right behind me most of the way, out of the range of the camera.

As I see the weeds growing around these rolls of hay, it looks like they may not come back to pick them up. I was told last summer by the son that cuts the field, they didn't need the hay but they cut the field as a favor to the neighbor who owns it because he gives them some of his land to farm on. Evidently they have gotten out of the cattle or horse business because a few years ago that same son told me they used all 32 rolls of hay during the winter.

I took this with a 50mm focus to show how far the hounds get out in front of me at times. Another strange thing is, they never turn right to check out what I have called "the far right corner" in past posts. I am guessing there is no to little deer traffic coming out of the gully. I believe the ATV action last summer in that gully and in this field chased the deer away. Deer experts ... am I wrong? I know nothing about deer or any animal that is wild.

With all the weeds and wild growth in the field I can barely see the paths that we follow. When it's grass you can see where I have worn down a path, so defined that Google Maps will pick it up on their satellite photos.

No photo today to prove it because Sadie kept moving when I tried to take a photo of her right side ... but I could not feel that lump this morning before our walk. It shocked me enough that I stepped back to take a look at it and saw nothing along her stomach line.

I still wonder what effect if any, deer scat has on Stella. The vet told me not to worry about it.

I guess I was wrong. You can see that lump on Sadie's right side. As I looked at it as she walked by me, it would disappear based on her walk or running.

Stella has turned 9 years old and seems to be moving a little slower by the month. She wanted in the back of the FJ the other day when I was unloading groceries but couldn't jump like she could last year. She has no problem though climbing on my bed in the middle of the day for her siesta.  LOL

A smaller roll of hay but with the weeds starting to hid the roll you have to wonder if it will ever leave the field. Surely they will not leave it there.

Even though it was a steady rain this morning when we woke up I cannot say the field was any wetter than it is sometimes with hard ground and heavy dew. I still use the North Face snow boots as my rain boots. At least they are being used in some way.

Property line pole, where the neighbor told me he wanted it left there after the survey. What is interesting his survey does not match my survey from 25 years earlier, completed by the same survey company. By his survey I have gained a lot of yard, but now there is the question ... is the fence along my driveway on my neighbors property or my property?

At the base of the driveway bank it shows that to be the center line of a 70 year old railroad right-of-way. It is 15' on each side of that center line. Which puts my property line 13' past the fence line. It's much like the right-of-way the state highway owns, yet people have yards and mow within that range of property.

When I finish my projects and am bored some morning next month I will take a trip downtown to the courthouse and have someone explain to me what all of that means.

Stella made an abrupt right turn as she headed for the house. She doesn't like getting her paws wet any longer than she has to and whenever it rains she feels the driest way to walk is on the river rock that is along the back of the house.

Well the sunshine is out at 11:07am. I might start digging my ditch after the hounds have their lunch. That sounds like a lot of work and besides it is Friday, a day off.

All is good in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana ... thanks for stopping by.

August 15, 2018

The Hounds Roll Along

Although the days change the hounds stay the same day in day out. The weather might make them deviate from their routines but overall nothing changes with them too much, and me either. A couple of things that have, cooler temps and my 'to do' list items keep getting marked off as I complete them. I knew that once I got started the momentum would start to roll. The hounds take me for walks when I need a break.

With the extra kibble I am giving Stella I can tell that she is gaining a little weight and her ribs are starting to disappear. I also caught her trotting a few times this past week during our morning walks.

Stella was sure that she was out of my line of sight. I can't remember what I was saying to get both of their attention. Sadie's lump on the right side has not changed.

I am stuck right now on what to say ... I am almost speechless and out of ideas.

Stella's collar made it through the last load of laundry. Looks like new and she was really happy to wear it again. It's the one she came with. Hair is growing back on her ears and inside of her legs. Maybe she had only summer allergies?

One morning while I was taking pictures of butterflies and clouds, Stella was making her attempt of sneaking away toward the backyard of the neighbor. She was walking with purpose, a little faster than what she walks near me and was ignoring all of my calls.

Sadie decided on her own it was time to make a rescue.

The only problem was when she stopped to look for Stella, she was facing the wrong direction. She was facing north and Stella was walking northwest.

It seems on every late afternoon walk, on the way back to the house, Stella will stop stand and smell something toward the neighbors a couple of houses down. Or it might be that she hears someone. On this day she decided that standing wasn't going to be good enough ... so she sat, not moving facing the direction she does every afternoon. I am sure it's food she smells.

No ribs showing.

You can see the lump on Sadie in front of her rear leg. At times when she is standing still, I can barely feel the lump at all.

Through all of these walks ... this is what Heidi does 99.9% of the time. She must be preparing for the freezing temps in the winter. Well back to my tasks at hand ... I've really been in the mood to work lately. I'm getting a lot done.

It's been a great summer in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana this year.

August 11, 2018

Stella Tries To Escape

While I was taking some photos of a morning butterfly, Stella thought it was the perfect time to attempt an escape and head for the neighbors backyard for some possible food left out for the uncatchable field cat. When Sadie heard me yelling Stella's name she thought she would help me find her. Otherwise, another nice morning walk. She did stop in the middle of the field on the way back because she was sure she smelled food from a neighbor's kitchen.

August 07, 2018

Hounds Start Day Late After The Rain

The day may have started a lot later than normal but as you can see we have another thunderstorm headed our way that is about 30 miles west of us while I start this post. When I woke up this morning to let the hounds outside and feed them breakfast, it was pouring  rain hard outside so I wasn't sure if the hounds would go out for their first trip of the day. Heidi stood by the door barking for food while the bloodhounds had to go bad enough they sprinted to and from the field. They were at the door waiting for me by the time the breakfast kibble had been poured.

What better time than to catch up on some sleep with it raining that hard. I was up past 2am just to start the latest macOS beta update. It will download and install after I click the button for it to start, so I no longer have to stay up through the night to click the different screens for it to continue. Between 2am to 8am the update can use that free batch of data HughesGen gives me every month. With the update for the iMac and my laptop computer, it took a little over 6Gb of data for both computers. Besides that it was a restless night of sleep filled with the strangest dreams. My Garmin VivaSmart watch told me I was awake for a total of 20 minutes during the night. That's a lot of tossing and turning.

I decided if I showed a dirty leather couch with Heidi sleeping once I could again. This is Heidi around 2:30pm today as the bloodhounds and I took our first walk. She never does a lot of tossing and turning when she sleeps, it's all solid sleep with a few dreams of running at times.

For some reason Stella was ready to get the walk started today. She didn't hesitate by sitting at the corner of the house nor did she try to fake me out by heading north instead of east with Sadie and I. She stepped onto the wet grass and marched toward the path, with a purpose, whatever that might be.

With a quick left turn she was heading for the center of the field behind the house looking for that perfect spot like she always does. It has made the walks much easier to do with her following the path and at times leading Sadie and I on the walk. Not a lot of verbal herding has been needed the past week and a half.

The rain did bring cooler temps but not that cool. It's cool enough that the AC does not turn on but hot enough outside that some AC would be nice. That strong wind from the southwest that the tree leaves are showing, is blowing warm air, not cool.

That is northeast up ahead with patches of blue sky. The sky behind us looks like rain is near. While I was waiting for Stella to get on the path, Sadie had already started her own walk. She was obviously happy we were walking when the chances looked slim earlier today.

Stella took her time following her nose through the field to the path but she made it eventually. She then walked as close to me as possible as I tried getting this photo and reminded me she was still in charge but walking on my foot. Nothing like feeling an 80# hound place their paw squarely in the middle of your boot.

Sadie was nose to the ground and out in front of us.

Interesting to see those small pieces of undercoat hair. Not only do I pull that out every day but I brush her daily just because the shedding she is still doing this summer. I've never seen it this bad and she is the only one shedding hair compared to Heidi and Stella.

She got a little trotting in today's walk but not the full speed sprints she normally does.

While I was taking photos of Sadie ... Stella was walking her pace without any stopping and getting way out in front of us.

Once Sadie saw that, she took off trotting to catch up, thinking that Stella must have found something she needed.

After more investigation she found out it was a false alarm.

I did not say a word to Stella but she decided it was time to head home. She started walking without stopping again. I'll say it again, she is the funniest hound I've had in 31 years.

Only one butterfly was seen this afternoon on the walk. As you can see a lot of their food source is used for the year. They might not be around much longer.

Stella walks too slow on the path for me to follow her and then when I stay in front of her she speeds up to be right on my heels, making it hard to take a picture of her.

They still find time to explore even when we get closer to the backyard. The walk is never officially over to them until they step in the backyard. If there is field under their paws, they think they can take all the time they want to complete the walk.

Once they heard that rumble of thunder, they became a little more motivated to get back inside. Rarely are they in front of me at this point of the walk.

This is for the Apple users that read the blog. With each new update even in the beta version I see small changes, all for the better usually. You can tell they are getting close to the official release in a month or two. The system runs faster, files open faster, photos upload to the blog and Flickr faster and the one obvious change I noticed today was the 'transparency' feature brightened things up since I use the 'dark' mode.

I had been using solid colors as my desktop on my iMac. It was between dark gray and black, so my email, iMessage and preference screens were darker than you see. Today I changed my iMac background to the one on the right under 'Dynamic Desktop'. Since the Dynamic Desktop changes colors automatically based on local time, my borders around these darker screens brightened.

Some of the sidebars that had been the same dark color as the menu's of preferences, Apple mail and iMessage changed to a lighter gray color that made things easier to read. Plus not all the fonts were bright white like they were after their last update. Due to privacy, I cannot do screen shots of those because I am not sure my friends would appreciate our conversations or emails to be shown on the blog, if you know what I mean.

For example that lighter gray color you see as a border on the screen shot above was the same color as the darker screen inside around the images and list before last night's update. All of the fonts were bright white. Subtle changes.

My Reds game turned ugly early last night, so I went from watching baseball to watching an old old movie that was being shown on HDnet channel. Some of you may remember this movie from the early 90's or late 80's ... called ... Officer and a Gentleman. I like watching it for the scenery. All very familiar to me because I lived there for ten years. The motel, the bars in the movie are in Port Townsend and the old abandon stone base is at Fort Ebey SP, just around the corner from where I lived. The ferry ride and landscape brought back a lot of good memories.

I'll try baseball again tonight as usual but my patience is running thin again with the Reds while they are in a losing streak since their All-Star Break. Before that break they had been the hottest team in baseball for the previous month. After a hard day all of the hounds will be doing their normal sleeping, with Sadie in her big leather chair with her head on the ottoman, Heidi next to me on the couch and Stella stretched out on the floor near any AC floor vent.

I hope to get back to my tasks at hand after the rains leave us.

A fast day here in 'the tropics' of southern Indiana today.