November 08, 2018

The Hounds Look Forward To Winter Weather

I know it might be hard to believe but I am also looking forward to winter weather. I've always liked the change of seasons and really the large amounts of snow we use to get didn't bother me. I am much more prepared now in winter clothing than I was then. Yet, we haven't had major snow storms here in the past few years. Heidi has already gone into her winter mode, and Stella is just Stella. This morning was our first morning walk there the phone was telling me "it feels like" 28° at 8am. It felt great on the morning walk.

We started our walk earlier than normal because we were up at 6:17am, the hounds eating breakfast kibble as I poured my first cup of two with Seattle's Best Coffee. That is what happens when you go to bed early. My new free Garmin replacement they sent me because my band broke on my other one is tracking my sleep right down to the minute. It separates it into deep, light, REM and awake. Don't ask me how.

Stella stayed away from the ragweed burrs this morning but right from the start her nose was in overdrive with activity.  Wearing layered clothing under my Mountain Hardwear parka the cold temps didn't bother me at all, especially with the fleece lined jeans I was wearing. They make a huge difference on these walks when the temperature is below 40°.

I guess since I scheduled a second blog post for late last night, it will kind of calibrate the blog back to a normal time of posting. It's hard for me to keep a schedule on anything retired nor is one needed. So although I might think I will start blogging at the end of the afternoon to cover the hound's activities for that day, it will probably lean more to posting when I feel like it. That would put a new post at no specific time of the day, which is what you are use to.

Getting rid of Flickr after their announcement of requiring a monthly payment or have 27,000 of my 28,000 photos deleted by them to remain a free account, has not been missed. Downloading my daily photos to the external hard drive is quick, easy and uses no internet data. That was a good decision on my part.

Some of the blogs I follow and read have mentioned problems with advertising increasing in their email  inbox, on their social media sites and some leading to their junk folders. I have always tried the blocking apps to block advertising and the automatic videos that play on news or sports websites. Overall I have been successful in at least decreasing advertising if not stopping it all together. The changes I made last summer basically blocks every thing when it comes to having some website feeling they know what I need to see. I hate being force fed any kind of information.

Even with the recent upgrades to Firefox Quantum and Safari's browser that is suppose to block advertising, I still kept my AdBlock Plus, Ublock and Flashblock installed and running on my laptop and iMac. Last summer I deleted my Facebook account, and Instagram account plus changed my email address from gmail to icloud. I only kept my gmail acocunts so I can log into my Blogger blogs, where a gmail account is required.

Using gmail I use to get 100-120 junk email advertisements per day, ranging from dog supplies, auto repair, warranties, medical plans, financial investments etc. Since I made the change to icloud for email I collect between 3-7 junk emails per day and I might catch 1 in my inbox but not ever day.

When I click on any websites, if they have videos set to play, those are blocked out with a white screen and not making a sound on my computers. I have to click twice to get a video to play if I decide I want to see it. And ... I don't miss any of the social media sites that I deleted. I have also noticed since I stopped reading the news online, I get ZERO political ads or junk emails in my email program with Apple Mail.

This might sound weird in today's world but I don't have a clue what the latest news is nor do I know who won or lost in the elections. I quit caring. Sports news, yes I know about that. Flipboard articles and Feedly are all scrubbed of any news feeds including those that are forced on you. Apple News was deleted from my computers, iPad and iPhone. The world is so much nicer with all of that crap not crawling into my brain and thought process.

Below we have the roll of hay from 2017 on the right and the smaller roll on the left from this past summer, in 2018. They will never be carried away, nor will they be eaten. 

I guess you could say we are in the final stages of Fall 2018. It was a short season, just like last Spring was short. All of those snow icons in my 10-day weather forecast were gone this morning but at the same time all of those high temps in the 50's in the next 10 days have disappeared. What will be Stella's threshold to tell her she will not go on any daily walks? She isn't like Sadie when it comes to weather. There were a few times last winter we had to turn around and cancel the walk because Stella didn't like the freezing cold.

We didn't smell any burning fireplaces this morning like we do sometimes in the winter but that did not mean that Stella wasn't interested in something she smelled or heard far away. I had to step around her because she wasn't moving.

It didn't take long for her to regain the lead and the trot further ahead.

The sun was barely coming up over the horizon and it was a little past 8am. Which reminds me, my camera setting did not change the time on Sunday and I need to do it manually.

Again the path is barely visible but Stella followed it every stop of the way to the backyard.

As I glanced up I was surprised how many leaves were gone in the trees in back compared to yesterday. I did notice a small increase in the leaves laying in the yard but nothing like I expected. As I pointed my camera from one tree to another I kept seeing bare limbs. Even the section that has leaves left has a lot less than it did yesterday. I might only need to mow the leaves one more time this year. The neighbors will think I am crazier than they thought when they hear a mower running in 30° weather.  LOL

Stella hears the St. Bernard barking from the house across the highway. I don't see him outside much until the weather gets colder.That bark reminds me of Caesar, the St. Bernard neighbor I had in the beach town of Carlsbad California. He spent plenty of time under the lawn water sprinklers during the summer months. Strange how back then in the late 70s we could use all the water we wanted but they rationed gasoline for cars. Now use all the gas you want out west but watering your lawn will give you a high priced fine.

I would really like to know what kind of animal travels through this area while we sleep but I am too cheap to buy a camera to mount so I can find out. Stella knows something has been through here. A raccoon or cat, maybe an opossum?

Some readers have asked about Stella's tail and if that dark back spot is normal or is something wrong with her tail. Well that is "black and tan", is another color that bloodhounds have. Obviously one of her parents was a black and tan bloodhound. That is all thick hair growing there and the main reason they had named her "Dipstick" when she was a puppy. Unlike Sadie, she loves to be brushed everyday. In fact she will try to stop me brushing Heidi to brush her nonstop.

Speaking of Heidi, this is a very poor picture taken this morning just as we came back from the walk. Due to condensation on my Tamron lens, I grabbed my iPhone to take her photo. Two things wrong happened, my hands were not steady and when she heard me she woke up and moved just as I pressed the shutter on the phone. It does show that she is alive and well before 9am though.

We gave the day all the chance it needed to warm up but it never did. I admit that it was cold on that early afternoon walk that Stella took me on. I was shocked that Heidi came outside with us and stayed in the yard sniffing around while Stella and I were gone. It was that cold outside.

We went out mid morning to get some fresh air plus it was Heidi that went to the door to lead Stella and I outside. We had not been back to long from our morning walk when this happened.

Heidi was caught midstream on camera, shaking her head after barking nonstop.

I found out today it is not because the time is near 11am or noon that causes Heidi to bark and Stella to howl for lunchtime kibble .... it's the 3 hours of time passing after they had breakfast. I found this out because Heid started barking and  Stella started howling right after they came inside ... It was only 9:20am, a long way from lunch being served but 3 hours and 3 minutes since they had breakfast.

On a normal day of eating breakfast between 7am - 8am, having lunch between 11am-Noon falls into that 3-4 hours since breakfast.

In between barks.

Luckily they went back to sleep until after 11:30am and I filled the rest of my morning up by playing one game after another of Mahjong. Most of my games were completed under 3 minutes. That told me I had a good night of sleep and I was well rested. You may think I am joking about that but on those restless nights of sleep, if I play Mahjong the day after, games take close to 4 minutes if not over before I can finish them.

Stella really wanted to walk out into that area where she had found something to eat the other day but in the middle of a thousand burrs. She stopped immediately when she heard me yell "No" ... then stood there contemplating her next move.

She moved no further but leaned in as far as she could to smell what she could.

Then turned and headed for home.

I've noticed another difference between Stella and Sadie in the afternoons. Stella likes to finish her second walk of the day by 2pm. Sadie didn't usually want to start on her second walk until late afternoon and would sleep through the early afternoons. Today we were back inside by 2pm and the walks were finished for the day. Both hounds were sound to sleep for the rest of the afternoon.

I wonder if anyone might have an answer to what happened on my WordPress Blog? Click here to read about the weird story.

A clear and crisp day in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

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