January 28, 2019

A Late Start To A New Week

Things seemed to have changed ever so slightly the past couple of nights. I've had a solid night of sleep and sleeping much later than those 4am and 5am wake-ups from a few weeks ago. Yet, my sleep app is telling me I am not getting enough sleep but it let me know yesterday, based on their data the best time for me to go to bed was 11:45pm because I get what they call "Best Sleep Rhythm" ..... Evidently the hounds approve waking up later because Stella isn't whining to wake me up nor has Heidi. With both of them taking their late night trips outside they are good until I wake up. I did not have my first sip of coffee until 20 minutes after our normal time for starting the walk.
I had a nice article this morning in my Feedly app about taking landscape photos with my iPhone. The times I have tried using it on my daily walks last winter, the performance was not stellar compared to the fantastic photos it takes inside at night in low light conditions. This article not only helped with some good ideas, to the point  I will try landscape photos with my iPhone again soon, but it basically covered the basics of photography. It's those things we know but take for granted after a while and become lazy, at least I have. So this morning I tried some of their suggestions with the Canon G9 X on this morning walk.
While I was  busy looking at the sky, into the woods, and at the treeline ... Stella was on the walk wondering what I was doing, when I was coming and what was going on?
The gully I mention from time to time is very steep just past that fallen tree. You can see the other side of the gully and possibly how steep it is to get out of it. Out of all the hounds I've had here in the last 20 years, only Sadie and Winston decided they needed to see the bottom of the gully. Stella may have during the times she disappeared on our walks but that was always the first place Sadie and I would check. She was never seen and never found by either of us. She would just show up like magic as we were going back to the house. Sometimes Sadie and I would look for her almost an hour.
The skies tell me there is a lot going on to the north of us. It's going to be a pretty weird week in weather. It was 40° this morning but felt much colder with the winds coming out of the west. The high on Wednesday is going to be -1° they say but since we live in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana that will be much warmer than my friend that lives in the Chicago area. She let me know this morning their Wednesday high is to be -24° ... that is not a windchill factor but the temperature itself. Then ... a few days later my high will be over 50°. I can live with all of that because no matter what the weather does, the days keep passing by and Spring will be here before we know it!!!  :)
Each time I have looked at my blog since midnight on Saturday, I am really happy that I stuck with this blog design. Out of 308 themes WordPress offers me, this theme (design) is the only one that has photos 10" wide on a screen that is viewed at 100% or normal size. I like that. The other blog I tried for an hour or so on Saturday night had photos 1" less in width. I am stating those dimensions in inches instead of pixels on purpose just because they are easier to understand the difference in size. The blog title, the post titles and content are currently set at the default fonts chosen by the theme designers. I might change them back to what I had before. If any of you are having trouble reading these fonts on any device you are using ... let me know.
The last of the snow may be washed away this afternoon or more might be added. How's that a possibility? At 40°? "Snow showers" are in the afternoon's forecast. Should be interesting and there might be some nice photo opportunities. If it is more snow than rain, Stella and I will do an afternoon walk. If it is raining .. the walk will be postponed just like a baseball game would be.
I did make the tree with the light-colored leaves my focus point but what stood out to me after downloading the photo to the computer, was the bright red vines which will produce wild blackberries hopefully next summer.
Stella's new routine for the next few days or weeks is following the path most of the time. She likes to change what she does every three to four weeks. Is it scent related? Mentally related?
Whereas the past couple of days she was in the right corner of the field after trotting way ahead of me, this morning she decided to ask for permission before she headed that direction, just around that bush on the right. Sadie use to have Stella up in that area all the time because off the picture on the right side is what I call the entry ramp for the deer highway down into the gully or is it the other way around? ... an exit ramp for when the deer come up out of the gully into the field?
She understood the word 'no' this morning ... something she doesn't pay attention to most of the time when I say that word ... but today she did.
Stronger scent ... intense walk.
The wind was stronger and colder than this photo could capture. I could almost hear it blowing, coming from the west.
At first I thought I had a smudge on my screen on back of the camera, then thought something might be on the very small lens that is hard to touch ... but it was only a cloud.
With the winds stronger than normal a lot of scent was airborne today. She stood and sniffed the air many times on this walk.
You might think I was looking at those tall towers and those huge high power electrical wires when I took this photo ... but it was the contrast in color with those blue plastic covers over all of his palletized bagged mulch. "My" Cyprus mulch is somewhere under those blue covers. I've put 20 of those bags in my Countryman at one time. A great multi-purpose vehicle.<
When I saw the flashing battery icon on my screen as I took this photo I didn't know if we would make it back home taking the normal photos we take all the way to the end. It was the first time the Canon G9 had a low battery warning, so I wasn't sure how much time I had. I found  out later, there wasn't much time after that blinking icon.
I've always thought Stella was the slowest walking hound I ever owned. That she was the only hound I ever owned that took forever to finish the walk on the same path I have used for 21 years in March. Then I remember she wasn't the only one. Remember this 'guy' ?? ....
Winston use to lag way behind us and with short legs his stride wasn't that long anyway. I'd let him do his own pace but once he saw I was getting close to the yard or out of his view, he would always come trotting to catch up with me. Many walks on a nice day he would also 'stroll' one paw at a time.
So, Stella might be slow on the walks we take ... but she just joins a small infamous group of hounds that have walked the same speed as she does.
No matter how cold it is, or how windy it is or if I have something I need to get done ... she always has time to stop and smell things along the way.
I wanted to see what this field looks like from Stella's point of view. She stood next to me confused as I kneeled to take this photo.
More airborne scent.
A split second after snapping this photo, a beep and the screen on back of the camera went black as the lens retracted back into the camera ... the battery was dead.

I'm not sure what lies ahead for us today. That is what is great about retirement, you don't know what will play out most of the time but have all the time in the world for it to happen. If nothing happens, that's okay too. I am also not sure what I am in the mood for. I might have to make a short grocery run since I am now completely out of food I eat for breakfast. I alternate between oatmeal with blueberries or eggs with bacon, scallions, roma tomatoes, mushrooms and sometimes cheese. Long gone are the days of pancakes and waffles until the batter was gone. Long gone are the days of donuts and coffee or those huge cinnamon rolls I use to have at work. It was a good week for food intake, and little to no indigestion.

With the weather planning to be so cold on Wednesday that will be the day I finally post my review on the Apple Watch I bought on the 4th of January. I will discuss that free app "SleepWatch" in-depth, along with the Apple Health app. It has a lot more information than what I was getting with the Garmin Connect app, which is a good app to use if you have a Garmin Activity Monitor/watch.

Another fine morning here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

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