Cresting the top of a bridge the road seemed to vanish right before our eyes.
This week I’m in Florida taking care of a pair of sweet dogs so their folks can take a short vacation. The boys and I are getting along great, though I know they miss their mom and dad.
Sometimes they seem a bit confused, but most of the time they’re happy as long as they get fed. Sounds just like a little girl I know.
Being in Florida I wanted to spend at least a little time wandering the beach. This morning I drove over to the Atlantic to see how the beach fared in yesterday’s storm.
There are miles and miles of beaches to walk, and I only explored a small part of one. It was windy and a bit cool, not exactly beach weather. Still plenty of people were out enjoying the sun after a yesterday’s thunder, rain and tornadic winds.
There was color out in the water too, and waves tipped with spray under brilliant blue skies.
The shore birds were bouncing around.
The waves were spreading out over the sand…
It was a good day for a run.
Not that I ran, but it was a good day for one.
And this little guy came out to talk to me on my way back to the car.
All and all it was a morning filled with smiles.
There’s nothing more special than watching your world transform from winter brown to brilliant spring green. But sometimes those of us in the north get impatient while Mother Nature takes one step toward sunlight and falls two steps back into sloppy slushy cold.
So you can’t blame a person for skipping all of those last moments of winter and retreating to warmer climes. Like Florida. And that’s what I’ve done.
A friend in Florida wanted to take a short vacation, but her two dogs couldn’t go with her, and she wasn’t comfortable putting them in a kennel.
And on a whim she asked me if I’d consider coming down to house sit with her lovely pooches. My calendar was open for the proposed dates. Hmmmm… let me think…would I like to stay in the cold north and continue to watch winter fighting it out with spring?
Or would I like to walk barefoot on a sunny beach, watch palm trees sway against blue skies.
Let me think about that.
So here I am, hanging out with two sweet boys, enjoying the sunshine and the warmer temperatures. Sure tomorrow is going to be stormy and we’ll be stuck inside all day.
But that’s OK. It’s almost guaranteed not to snow.
Yesterday we experienced hail, sleet, and a tiny bit of snow but mostly cold driving rain fell all day. It was a no good kind of day through and through. And this morning I woke to this.
It was the ‘blue hour’ when Katie-girl decided we needed to go outside. I couldn’t help but try to capture the magic that surprised me once we got outside.
And then, as the sun came up I saw how truly beautiful, but truly unnecessary, it all was. From the warmth of our living room I framed the backyard, ornamented by some Florida seashells on the mantel.
I liked the juxtaposition, not the snow.
Still, it was stunning, and on my way to an appointment in town I couldn’t help but park and dart out to take a picture or two.
I knew it wouldn’t last long and by the time I got back home it would be gone. No chance to take Katie for a walk in it, no time for formal portraits against the black and white art of Mother Nature.
No, just a few clicks with the camera on my phone in the early morning light would have to do.
It was beautiful and it was gone within the hour. I hope that’s the last of our snow for this season.
Our grass has greened, the trees are budding and our early spring flowers are in bloom.
Time for winter to let it go.
But it’s Michigan, so I’m not betting on it.
No better place to be than on the water for the Fourth of July!
On this cold and rainy Sunday afternoon I’m yearning for summer, how about you?
Mama took me to one of my parks to celebrate National Pet Day yesterday. I didn’t expect her to remember, because, as you all know, she’s pretty ancient and remembering things never was easy for her even back when I was little and she was younger.
She must have written it on her calendar or something.
Anyway, she was going to take me to this one park with a long trail through the woods, but on the way she noticed another park that had been closed all winter was open! Even though there was snow on the ground she said this was a sign that it was really spring!
But of course she wanted to capture the image of our (hopefully) last snow, so she made me sit in it.
Really mama. I didn’t want to sit in it. Cause I don’t like getting wet, and of course I did get wet. So I refused to walk at all until she got that snow off of my behind.
Mama is not always the sharpest knife in the drawer, you know what I mean?
People had been through this park over the winter and cleaned out a lot of underbrush. I don’t know why, but it did make seeing our town easier.
Yep, that’s our town. It’s only one block long and most of the stores are empty. When mama tells people we don’t live near anything she’s telling the truth! Personally I like it that way, makes it easier to get to my parks! Plus traffic makes me bark.
Mama and I went up and down a lot of hills, mama was looking for fun stuff to photograph that wasn’t me.
She found a bunch of stuff, but I figured that each time the shutter clicked I should get a treat whether or not I was the subject. I think that’s in my contract – one click one treat. Nothing in there says I have to be the center of every photo. I don’t think. Maybe I should check that…I might need an addendum attached.
By the time we turned back almost all the snow was gone. Mama could only find little bits of it in odd places.
I was happy because she didn’t make me sit in it again, but I wasn’t happy about heading back to the car. We only went one mile mama!
But in the end I guess the mama knows best. After all I’m twelve now, and sometimes I over do and then I end up at the vet. Plus she promised me we’d go to another park soon.
I just hope she wrote it on her calendar.
Signing off for now, your park explorer girl Katie.
Trent coordinates a weekly smile post over at his blog, inviting us all to find at least one thing each week that made us smile, and then share it with all of you.
Nice concept, don’t you think?
I’ve been out walking a lot and this little bit of nature made me smile a whole lot…
…because it felt like spring.
What made you smile this week? Share with us! Cause it’s going to snow here soon and I’m pretty sure we could all use a smile.
She is my sunshine.
On an impulse, and because I’m still working on my 365 days of walks, I took my camera and wandered the woods of my favorite local park. It was later in the day than I’d normally be out there, and though I had seed and peanuts for any bird I ran into, I wasn’t out there to find picture of birds.
I just wanted to be in the woods.
When I arrived two school bus loads of elementary students were milling about. Not a good sign. But luckily they were loading up to go, so I skirted their noisy mass and headed for the trail the furthest away from chaos.
There I began to notice the trees, and it was as if they were speaking directly to me. Who, they said, ever notices them? Most people are out in these woods looking for birds to feed, or deer to watch, or wildflowers nudging up from the wetlands.
Who notices our bark, they wonder, our towering stature. Who appreciates the shade we provide or the abstract art our branches draw? Who even takes note of the songs we sing when the wind blows and our branches rub against each other?
So this post was going to be all about the trees, the different textures and shapes and sounds I experienced while I was there.
It wasn’t going to be about birds or deer or chipmunks or squirrels.
But as I was concentrating on capturing this lovely old log…
…I heard from somewhere behind me a gentle cry, almost a soft whining. I looked back to find this little one asking politely if I had something, anything, for him to eat.
Normally the nuthatches are a little more reticent and don’t come down to my hand until they’ve studied me awhile, until other birds, those brave titmice or the cheeky chickadee have made successful landings. But this little guy was hungry and no one else was around, so he had to be brave.
And just like that birds began arriving from every direction.
And it was that way the rest of my walk.
But along the way I did find other beautiful things. Like these fungus growing along a fallen log.
And the last bit of winter color hanging on.
And as I climbed a hill I ran into these guys.
Still looking for interesting trees, I turned to walk around the small lake, and was approaching my favorite stand of white pines, rounding a corner, and literally had to stop in my tracks. Because marching down the path toward me were a pair of cranes without a care in the world.
They walked right up to me as I was clicking away, and, without seeming to notice me, walked on by within inches of my hip. This didn’t really surprise me as the cranes here are so used to people. They usually ask for something to eat, but I’m a bit timid about letting them eat out of my hand. So I tossed them a few seeds and moved away to watch.
I had to laugh as they moved on down the trail and one of them stopped to stretch.
I continued on my way around the lake, anxious now to get back to the car. I had more than enough photos to choose from for my one photo of the day. And I’d been out there for a couple hours already and had barely walked 2 miles. Couldn’t even count this walk as exercise!
But the surprises weren’t over.
Around a few more corners, almost back to the busiest part of the park, I saw a deer munching on lunch. And behind her was something white. At first I thought it was just something caught in a tree, some trash perhaps.
Or maybe it was a cow.
A cow? Oh no, not a cow, but the fabled albino deer I’d heard about but never hoped to see. I didn’t get close, and there was a lot of brush and trees between me and it. But oh my.
Be still my heart.
I stood quietly for a very long time, just watching, not wanting to startle it or cause it to run. Eventually I eased myself further away long the path with a huge smile on my face. A once in a lifetime sighting.
So that was my day wandering in the park, talking to the trees and my usual suspects of birds. For a day when I didn’t think I’d see much of anything I sure had some wonderful experiences.
Thinking back on it all I feel, just like Mr. Blackbird, like crowing.
I figured I should bring you up to speed, since last time I stopped by mama had thoroughly disappointed me by not doing anything much of anything for my Gotcha Day. Then she made me sit in the yard with a bunch of rubber ducks. I was not amused. But I’m happy that some of you found it cute.
Well, mama’s been a disappointment all month. Thursday she actually sent me to the groomer and then, while I was there, she went for a walk without me! She said it was really muddy and she was glad she didn’t have me with her.
I have to agree, it wasn’t a princess worthy walk. I don’t like the groomer, but I guess it was better that I was there than getting my feet wet and dirty!
Then on Friday mama left me home and took herself off to her favorite park and walked around there for more than two hours! Without me!! I don’t understand what is the matter with her brain!? She still owed me something for my Gotcha Day! And she takes off with the camera and leaves her sheltie at home??
Well! After she got home and made my dinner daddy suggested that maybe I would like to go for a walk. Daddy is brilliant, though he maybe suggested it because I was huffing at him and bugging him and he figured he’d pawn me off on mama.
But it worked! Mama said sure baby-girl! Let’s go to your park! It was such a nice evening, and you know what? The sun came out while we were there! Just for us cause no one else was out there.
We had such a nice walk that I’ve decided to forgive mama for her lapses in judgement. It was the perfect length, not too long, not too short. And mama and I sat together on a little hill and cuddled for a little bit too. Don’t tell my dad, he might get jealous.
I guess mama and daddy really do love me, even if sometimes they forget important days, they always make it up to me. Cause I don’t let them off the hook.
Signing off for now, one happy sheltie-girl.