May 30, 2011

v-xxx-xi (whatcha reading xiii)

We humans may be brilliant and we may be special, but we are still connected to the rest of life. No one reminds us of that better than our dogs. Perhaps the human condition will always include attempts to remind ourselves that we are separate from the rest of the natural world. We are different from other animals; it's undeniably true. But while acknowledging that, we must acknowledge another truth, the truth that we are also the same. That is what dogs and their emotions give us - a connection. A connection to life on earth, to all that binds us and cradles us, lest we begin to feel too alone. Dogs are our bridge - our connection to who we really are, and most tellingly, who we want to be. When we call them home to us, it's as if we are calling for home itself. And that'll do, dogs. That'll do.

- For the Love of a Dog, Patricia B. McConnell

shall we gather

Pete and Mike and Sandi met us up at the river for a morning romp :)

May 28, 2011

o v-xxix

I've been spelunking around the intertubes looking for clues about Ondine's origins. I'd been thinking she bore a resemblance to silken windhounds, and today I found a picture of a windhound pup with her markings who was lost as a yearling. I sent an e-mail to the breeder - turns out the lost pup was a boy, so no match there, and the breeder thought Ondine looked much more like a border collie than a windhound. I'll take her word for it. Although Ondine has a deep, narrow chest and long legs that suggest a sighthound, border collies weren't traditionally bred for conformity, so their body types can vary a lot. Her high energy and a few other traits (most notably, her "border collie stare," which she has recently been practicing on Aries) strongly suggest that she comes from that family. (Our other theory - that she's part bc and part baboon - probably makes the most sense of all.)

spiderweb with twig

v-xxviii early

I camped in the backyard again last night. I like it, but it's getting kind of hot. It was still in the 80s at midnight when I finally went to bed. Woke up around 3 a.m. kind of sweaty, but it was nice at 7 a.m. when Ondine prodded my head through the nylon. (I'm reluctant to let her sleep with me out there until I can figure out a way to protect the tent floor from her nails.)

After I got up I took O for a long walk. We found two large turtles on the trail a mile apart. One seemed to have dug itself a hole. I wonder if it's egg-laying time? We also saw two fawns in a herd of a half-dozen does. That's always a treat. O likes deer - she's quiet and thoughtful when she sees them.

A little later we passed a teenage girl with an iPod on a swing set swinging really high with her eyes closed. Fun, but with a touch of melancholy. Beauty is where you find it.

May 24, 2011


Ondine has a problem with her good rear foot (probably something she picked up at the river), so I took Aries for a walk this afternoon. It was over 90 degrees, and though he can go for hours when the weather is nice, he was plumb tuckered out after a half hour today. He has an awfully expressive face - here you can see the tiredness in the circles under his eyes. He's hot, but happy. Whosagoodboy?

May 22, 2011


river selkie

river run, v-xxii

Thunderstorms northwest of us over the last couple days got the river flowing again. Ondine swam for the first time today - she usually just wades and splashes, but keeps her feet on the riverbed. (Aries deliberately heads for the heaviest flow and swims against it.) Fergus went with us for the first time today - he did well, though he prefers to stay in contact with someone - it's probably best for him to keep out of the path of crazies anyway.

May 16, 2011

May 15, 2011


whatcha reading xii

...we are not pure, disembodied minds, but are...bodies with our own opacities and limits. We are in and of the world, materially embedded in the same rain-drenched field that the rocks and the ravens inhabit, and so can come to knowledge only laterally, by crossing paths with other entities and sometimes lingering, responding to a thing's sparkle or its...coolness, slowly becoming acquainted with its characteristic tenor and style, the unique manner in which it resists our assumptions. All our knowledge, in this sense, is carnal knowledge, born of the encounter between our flesh and the cacophonous landscape we inhabit.

- Becoming Animal, An Earthly Cosmology, David Abrams

Terrific book. Highly recommended.

garden camping

I need to do this more often. Woke to a dawn chorus of white-winged doves, blue jays, mockingbirds, swallows, wrens, cardinals, chickadees.

May 14, 2011

May 13, 2011