October 29, 2011

garden camping xiii

I had a couple extra days off this weekend so I turned this week's excursion into a multi-night adventure. Nice temperatures: low- to mid-50s at night, high 40s in the mornings.

(I think I need to round out my equipment with a more compressible sleeping bag and a backpack...my current set-up is great for backyard or car camping but not for getting out into the backcountry.)

cats swing


All the birdsongs are echoing back from the dome of heaven today.

jedi prickly pear

October 28, 2011

field notes, x-xxviii-xi

Thrice in the past few weeks Aries and I have been stopped by sketchy people complimenting his good looks. The first was a rangy dude selling something door-to-door who asked, "What bloodline is he?" I said he's a rescue. (Is that a bloodline?) The second was a hunter-type in a pickup, you know, salt of the earth, probably has a breeding pair of brittanies or catahoulas in a kennel out back. Today a slick kid driving a blinged-out rice-burner pulled over at a 45-degree angle to the curb, rolled down his window and called out, "That's a good-lookin' dog, man." I said, "Yeah, he's a good guy," and kept walking. I kind of think I should have added that he's neutered and has an underbite.

We should probably look over our shoulders before we turn into our driveway when we get home, huh.

O-girl continues to have her ups and downs, but more ups than downs lately, especially when we mix in some running. We had a rough time crossing a road into the park tonight as a dozen or so cars passed in both directions. She got pretty tense, but she held it together. When we finally had an opening, we ran across, and when we got into the park, she attacked my feet. That's an interesting development, since she's turning her attention back to me more quickly. That's something we can build on...

October 26, 2011


New moon today. Great walks with both dogs again tonight. (Ondine likes running. A LOT.)

October 24, 2011

field notes, x-xxiv-xi

On our walk this evening Aries and I watched three crows fly silently in formation over our heads.

Spellbound, I mentioned to Aries that crows never fly silently in formation. I suspect he already knew that, because he seemed nonplussed too and for the next several minutes kept pulling in the direction the crows had gone.

I should have let him lead. We may have missed a conclave.

On a later walk after dark with no moon, Ondine and I let loose with several random full-out sprints. I haven't blown out my pipes like that for a good long while. For five or six seconds I pretended I was racing her, but her tongue-hanging grin told me she was abundantly able to better the best I could muster.

i'itois onions

October 23, 2011

shortcut to nirvana

a small bowl of something healthy like butter beans or lentils with hot hot sauce and for desert a small square of dark dark chocolate


psst look at the middle one full-sized :)

October 22, 2011

ruby-crowned kinglet

This little bird was hanging out by our front bushes. It seems to have a broken wing.


O and I walked about four miles this morning. O behaved splendidly, and the weather was terrific.

garden camping xii

72 degrees in the evening, 62 upon awaking. Now THAT's camping weather!

Much as I've been enjoying the garden, I have three must-visit sites on my Texas bucket list: Big Bend Nat'l Park, Palo Duro Canyon and McKittrick Canyon. Each is an 8-10 hour drive from here...must make plans...

October 21, 2011

October 20, 2011

October 18, 2011

field notes, x-xviii-xi

On our evening walk Ondine and I passed within forty yards of a small herd of deer, two bucks and three does. I usually employ the nature photographer's trick of not looking directly at wild critters, but Ondine likes deer. She was trotting along on her tippy-toes and watching them with her shepherdess eyes. The bigger of the two bucks raised his head and started staring back, and then began walking directly and deliberately toward us. We hustled on down the trail. Fall is not the best time of year to crowd a buck, especially not on a day like today, with a blustery front blowing through. On the way back, the herd was walking along the side the trail, so we swung out into the field to give them some space.

October 16, 2011

x-xvi-xi o report

Ondine's been doing much better on her walks. The pinch collar helps her maintain her composure around cars - she still wants very badly to chase each and every one that passes, but she hasn't been cranking her dial to 11 (a barking, twisting, lunging frenzy) nearly as often. (She gets upset when cars are speeding or behaving erratically. Cars that pass us straight and steady don't provoke her too much, but intersections are a challenge.)

As far as her recovery goes, the daily walks seem to be the best thing for her. She still favors her injured leg and limps a little after she has overdone it in the backyard with the tennis ball. She'll probably always be that way. The third picture above is a good illustration - the injury doesn't slow her down much, but she drives more with her right leg and lifts her left leg higher and lands on it more softly.

Oh, one other aside. We were at the garden center on Saturday and I was overhearing a mother talking to her three- or four-year-old, when I realized I could substitute "Ondine" for "Montana" or "Ashleigh" (or whatever the child's name was) and we would have achieved a near-perfectly matched level of conversation and comprehension - the biggest difference being that Ondine can go from zero to 40mph in a blink of an eye. :)



october morning

We planted spinach, chual greens, i'itois onions and peas this morning. Bren made the macrame hanger for the ponytail palm in the top picture.

October 15, 2011


lol los gatos de las meninas

beekeeping class

Brenda, Sarah and I attended an introductory beekeeping class at Round Rock Honey this morning. Fascinating - now we're pondering a backyard hive...maybe next spring?

October 14, 2011

garden camping xi

On our walk this evening at dusk Ondine and I saw a pretty screech owl on a branch above our trail with the sky all pink and orange behind it.