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Walking with Chet

Monday, February 25, 2008

It's true. People who own dogs tend to walk more and are overall healthier and happier than people without them. We also smell better, have thicker hair, and make all our own clothing. Chet has been fixing me with stares lately, stares that say, "We haven't been out in WEEKS. I am losing my mind." Well, I am, too, but I'm smashed flat trying to get ready for two major trips, back-to-back, and the weather STINKS. Our woodcocks should have arrived February 17 and begun twittering and peenting in the meadow. Not a single sign of them, and I listen every evening. I hope they're all in South Carolina, biding their time. My poor daffodils are growing taller every day, perhaps party to some inside information about the next ten days that eludes Intellicast Weather. I think they're insane to poke their heads aboveground. I am heartily tired of winter.

On those rare, rare sunnyish days I HAVE to get out and walk, and Chet is the guy I want by my side. His exuberance buoys mine, and he always makes me laugh. I find myself saying, "You little goofball!" again and again. Chet lives to be called a little goofball.

I sat down to rest and found a twisted branch that I lobbed toward Baker as he snuffled around in the grass. There ensued a game of Fetch that Chet enjoyed because he likes a challenge--hauling a twisty old branch that kept rotating in his jaws and getting hung up on things. Good boy, Chetty.
My camera's AV (Ai Servo) setting is good for taking pictures of an object moving toward me, in this case my pet dog. It adjusts focus continually as he approaches. This is about as sophisticated a photography tip as you'll get from me, and I got it from Shila, who takes photography classes and has taught me most of what I know about my camera. You see, she reads the manual instead of sticking it away in a drawer overflowing with varranties and water heater assembly instructions and lost computer passwords and old check stubs.
My usual brand of photography tip goes likes this: If you want good pictures of your dog, lie down on the ground. Or: If you get mayonnaise on the lens, you might as well lick it off.

Chet and I found some cool stuff on this walk, including what I believe to be bobcat scat. I say that because cat scat tends to be broken into very short segments, as anyone who cleans Fluffy's litterbox can tell you. As you can see, this is not composed of digested Friskies. It's all fur, and there is a gorgeous little bit of shrew maxilla in there, too.
The whole thing actually looks like a skull to me, complete with eye socket, and teeth in approximately the right place. See, you can find beauty and verisimilitude in catdoody, if you look closely enough.

I took this acorn photo on December 21. It was just sending its root out. Now, the same acorn is firmly rooted in the ground. It hopes to be a chestnut oak someday, but it's growing in a gas line cut. I'm afraid its hopes will be dashed.
A plant with more realistic aspirations: fernlike moss.I'll finish the walk with Chet tomorrow. My life is in a Bassomatic blender at the moment and I have spent almost all day canning posts so you will not be without some trace of Zick for the next two weeks. I could just leave you hanging, but it doesn't seem fair somehow to either of us. Dependability is about 80% of successful blogging, in my opinion. Originality and quality are in there somewhere, too.

Signing off....

Old Faithful


Cool, bobcat scat!
My neighbor swears she hears them in the evenings--I'm not so sure it's anything more than a prowling Tom.

I'm sure you're a bit on the "wilder" side of Ohio's wild life. Always amazes me what a couple hundred miles' difference can mean.

I've just begun to open my eyes searching for badgers' comeback.
So far, none.

A whole new name for Science Chimp--Old Faithful? Because she never lets us down? Or because she erupts at regular intervals? Or because deep down she masks a volcano? The possibilities are almost endless.

My life is a bassomatic blender too right now -- I hear ya! Love the scat. Love the hopeful acorn. Love Chetty running around with a stick!

And, we dog owners do have thick luxurious hair and make our own clothes. You forgot grow all our own food. And, knit with wool from our backyard alpacas. We rock.

Oh, and I agree about licking the mayo off your lens -- pictures turn out WAY better with less mayo.

"See, you can find beauty and verisimilitude in catdoody, if you look closely enough." You put me on the floor laughing with this stuff. Your mind works in wondrous ways.

And what in the heck is Ai Servio? I'd like to have Shila as a friend. I don't even know where my instruction booklet is.

Don't fret too much about your posts. Your archives can fix us right up when we miss you.

I was a little worried as I initially scrolled through your post. It sure looked like your Chet Baker was tangling with an early snake.

No kidding? Peenting in February. Man. I've gotta move south.

Hope your 2 week hiatus is a fulfilling voyage - in a nice place - in good company. (That could, of course, be your own back yard)

Julie, of all the great shots of Chet Baker, I think I like these best. One of our dogs is too old to take walks, and I miss his slightly off-kilter trot.

We don't hear the peent of woodcocks until March, you lucky dog. I actually sleep better when I hear them.

Thank you in advance for putting together some posts- sounds like a lot of us will appreciate it. Have a safe and happy journey, Julie.

I love reading about your walks with Chet. Bobcat scat.... who knew.

Chet wrasslin' that enormous stick puts me in mind of our Dobe, for whom we would throw skipping stones into the bay. She would chase them, plunge her head down and emerge with enormous beach rocks that she would triumphantly deposit at our feet to be tossed back again. We'd throw another skipping stone, and it would start all over gain. It's a wonder the poor thing had any teeth left.

Scary bobcats!

We have not had any red-wing blackbirds or toads or peepers on the marsh yet, though I've heard others in my area say the RWBs and toads are already coming back. And my dandelions are also shooting up, between an inch and two inches tall. They did that last year too around this time.

Come on, spring! I sleep better when I can hear the peepers and the toads and green frogs.

geez - who else uses the words verisimilitude and catdoody in the same sentence??


life "in a Bassomatic blender"... LOL!!! ... actually I think this whole country has been in a Bassomatic blender the last 7 yrs., but that's another story...

Thank you for stopping by my blog.
I broke apart the suet dough and put some in the house feeder and laid some out near the ground. right now it is snowing like crazy so not a bird in sight at the moment. I do enjoy your blog and admire how you can keep regular posts.

Sounds like you are getting ready for a trip so have a safe one.

You are such a good soul to stack up your blogs for us, your faithful followers, while you are away.
I never fail to laugh or learn when I visit..
You are the top CSI sleuth of the science lab.... Bobcat what????

I must be farther south than you are. My woodcocks came back this week; freaked out when I heard them displaying at 6:40am and again at 7pm that evening. I also have had red-winged and rusty blackbirds, killdeer, and grackles, so I know spring is on her way.

More snow predicted for this week. Yuck!

~Kathi, ever hopeful

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