Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Maybe It's The Shampoo?

‘Cause every time I bathe her, the hind parts keep getting grayer and grayer. It can’t possibly be because she is aging. Nope. Not getting older. Ain’t tryin’ to hear that.


She ain’t hearing that, either. Possibly tired of me talking about it? DSC_2856

She has the best judge’y face, though. Reminds me of the Geico commercial…

“Ew. Seriously? So gross.”

We went lure coursing this weekend. I decided to try running Kate by herself. When we first started, she wouldn’t run alone. Would go about a third of the way around and decide she was too far away and come back. No issues running with Bella, though. The last 3 or so times we have been I could see that she was more on the lure than just running with Bella. She struggled with whether to leave Bella in the dust and go after the plastic or stay with her sister. She usually stayed.

She did great on her own!  She was actually more into in it.

Sans Bella, Kate ran 28 mph!

I’m old lady fast!

Now, when I'm driving and I hit 28 I look out the window and think that's it's weird that Kate could be *right there* right now. 

Apparently, all these years Bella has not been the supportive sister, the rock, the teacher.

She has been holding her back. Enabling her. A ball and chain, if you will.

Say what?

It's OK, Bell, you're still the best brown dog.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Goose Work: It's Not Just For Border Collies Anymore

Totally thought that was someone's dog at first, but no dogs allowed here.

Jack will pick up the slack.

When dogs are not allowed places the natural balace gets all whacky.  Prey doesn't know how to act.  This little guy casually walked into the middle of the trail about 4 feet in front of me and just stretched out.  He would not move.  Creepy.

Perhaps he was depressed?  Suicide by hiking boot?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bird Watching and Jehovah’s Witnesses

Had a lovely Saturday morning traipsing around Shoreline park.  It was to be oddly hot on Saturday so I ran the dogs early-early and took myself hiking after that to get my park time before the 90° hit.
It is not unusual to be stopped while out hiking with camera.  Other bird folk ask what you have been seeing or tell you what they have seen.  Non-bird folk often ask about the camera.  There is the usual weather talk.  It’s a popular subject with strangers.
So, I didn’t think it odd at all when two ladies stopped to ask what I was shooting.  We talked about the abundance of hummingbirds and all the Canada Goose babies (tons!).  The older of the two asked if I had shot the large field of California Poppy.  I had not.  While beautiful, I generally only photograph things with a face.  She asked why.  I favor the fauna over the flora, love of animals, animals do things, more interesting to observe. Like that.

She used my explanation as her awkward transition into religion pushing.
The first thing that popped into my head was that scene from Silence of the Lambs – when Clarice first meets Lecter and tries to get him to fill out the survey thingy…
“Oh, no, no, no, no. You were doing fine. You had been courteous and receptive to courtesy. You had established trust, with the embarrassing truth about Miggs.  And now this ham-handed segue into your questionnaire.”
I so wish I had the balls to say shit like that at the time.  And in Hannibal’s voice, too?
I am way funnier in my own head.
She fumbles around in her bag and produces a little pamphlet.  She hands it to me, pointing at the scene on the cover.  “We could live like this, you know.  This world could be a reality.”
I am, of course, irritated at this point.  Our whole little nice conversation has been a sham.  A sales pitch.  She didn’t give a shit how my day was going.  Didn’t care about what I had seen.  Was just looking for an opening.
Now, I am agnostic, so maybe I don’t know about these things, but it seems to me that maybe Jesus wouldn’t appreciate being peddled like Avon?
“Would you like some scripture to go with your Skin So Soft?”
I stuffed the paper in my pocket, thanked her and high-tailed.
I looked at the pamphlet when I got home.
This is the world that could really exist.
Pretty, right?
Shall we take a closer look at our new world?  This one in which mothers allow and encourage their children to feed blueberries to BROWN BEARS!!

Oh, and right on the other side of the idyllic meadow?  Lion petting.

WTF??!!  Who allows their toddler to SCRITCH A FRICKIN’ LION!
Are these people high? How am I supposed to take this seriously?  If you believe that the earth was created by god, then mustn’t you also believe that he created predators and prey?  Look, that’s just the way it works.  Some things eat other things.  I’m pretty sure a toddler getting all up in lions’ grill would be a death sentence, not a picnic activity.
And a peaceful world does not need to include fondling big cats and grizzly bears. Right?  Maybe they should talk to Roy Horn? Maybe we put our efforts into not killing and maiming each other first?  Worry about the petting zoo later?
On top of that, the pic taking sucked.  Birds everywhere.  Wrong light over here, other side of the lake over there.  Great for watching, not so much with the taking.  There was one Cormorant who sort of obliged me.

I can never get a good shot of their eyes, though.  Very cool-looking.  Google it.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Yes, I Still Have Dogs

And I actually took some pics of them this weekend. Not many, mind you, but enough to prove that they still exist.

We had lovely weather this weekend. Sunday we up to Oyster Bay - the former dump turned dog walking gem. I don’t go there that often and I have either gone before when it’s been dry or it has been settling into being “natural” again after all the dirt moving of the last few years.

Here it is in Nov of 2010


(the Oakland airport is just off to the right – that plane is not crashing - haha)

Now? All green and bushy! Looks so much better. I was worried about ticks. Not a one!


I still don’t get the, um…art?...on the top of the hill.
Bella does not, either.


I mean, it’s a dump. Sure, clean it up, move some dirt around, plant some stuff, maintain some trails. Should be good, yeah? Did we need to spend the money on the giant pick up sticks?

Kate doesn’t normally care for posing. Usually more like a mug shot. She does, however, like sitting on a rock with goose poop.

Kate w/poop

It’s so close!

Don't you dare!

The green brings the bugs. Holy cow, they were thick!

Anna’s male trying to decide if his eyes are too big for his stomach.

Anna's w/bug

Hard to creep around him to find the sweet spot for the shot of color without scaring him off.
There is it!

Anna's w/bug

And, a juvie Cooper’s Hawk who thought keeping an eye on Kate was more important than keeping one on me

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk (?)

I love the pine needle bokeh in that shot. It sort of reminds me of those Catholic candles that always have that starburst thing behind whoever is printed on it.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Did You Know That Rodents Fly?

I totally did not.

I don't think this little guy knew either until about 30 seconds before this shot.
Harrier Handoff (6)

Don’t you just love nature?

I was caught off-guard by dad (or mom?) hunting. I did catch the initial spot and grab of the aforementioned rodent, but they were all fuzzy as hell as I was doing more “aw, shit” than shooting.

Dad (or mom) right after the kill
Harrier Handoff (1)

Fast food

Harrier Handoff (2)

He (or she) gained some altitude and waited.

Harrier Handoff (3)


Harrier Handoff (4)

I said I’m coming!

Harrier Handoff (5)

Then we had the awesome drop

Harrier Handoff (6)

And subsequent grab

Harrier Handoff (8)

And then we take off to find a place to eat, I suppose.

Harrier Handoff (11)

Not sure if this would be a pair or an adult and juvenile. If you know, please fill me in!