You can see other interpretations of silence here.
If you listen to Katie you’d think that all camping adventures are about her, and I suppose in some respects they are. We don’t do things she doesn’t want to do, and on this last camping trip of the season she didn’t want to do very much, so we stuck close to camp.
Still, there were many beautiful things to show you.
We made short forays into the deep old growth forests. The air felt cooler to me, but I guess a sheltie-girl’s heavy fur coat made it hot for her, even there, so we didn’t stay very long.
The ferns along the forest floor were mostly brown. I don’t know if it’s drought or they had an early frost. No one else seemed to know either. They were still pretty in brown, but I felt kind of sad that their summer was over.
Katie and I drove a few miles down the road to visit two lakes, formed when the glaciers slid over Michigan years ago, then melted.
The sky was an incredible blue and the lakes were perfectly still. I couldn’t stop shooting images. Katie was pretty patient about the whole thing.
It would have been fun to kayak on either of these lakes, and I think you can rent kayaks from the park. But Katie said she wasn’t into boating so we didn’t check that out.
As Katie told you the last night we had a storm blow over, making the sky and even the air turn bright pink.
It was pretty amazing, and the camera caught even more pink than our eyes could see. Everyone was out looking around in wonder.
I’m glad the weather cooperated last week and allowed Katie and me to get one more camping trip in this season. We’ve been so lucky this year; we didn’t get rained out on any of our adventures.
It might be a long winter, but we’re already planning where to camp next spring.
After the storm; this was worth finding a road to pull over and watch as the clouds layered.
Eventually the stripy purple clouds completely covered the towering pink thunderhead.
Katie is sleeping, still, after two days at home. I’d let her tell the story, but she’s snoring and you know what happens when you wake a sleeping dog. Nothing good.
So let me fill you in on our latest camping adventure. We had company this time, Karen and her cocker spaniel Deuce spent the weekend with us at a state park. Deuce had never camped before so we were all curious how he’d feel about the whole experience.
Turns out he’s a natural.
NOW WAIT JUST ONE MINUTE MAMA! Katie here! What are you doing? This is my story to tell! I can’t believe you’re doing this while I was laying right next to you, upside down and snoring! You are one sneaky mama!
So anyway…I, Princess Katie, wasn’t sure I wanted to share mama with anyone else so I was skeptical of the whole ‘camping with a friend’ concept. But I figured the only way it was going to work out was if I showed Deuce the ropes. Which mainly revolve around sleeping in the dirt and begging for good treats and going for long walks in the woods.
He caught on right away.
Now, before the love of my life, Reilly Cowspot Dog, gets upset that I had a boy with me for an entire weekend, let me assure you that we had separate tents. Mama and I stayed in our tent and Deuce and his mama had their own. It worked out great.
And each day we went on long long walks in the nice cool, green woods. Mama and her friend were very careful to make sure I got lots and rest breaks and drinks of water whenever I asked. Which to be honest was frequently. I wasn’t always thirsty, you know. Mostly I liked to make them stop and look at me.
But the woods sure was pretty! At the end of this blog I’ll have mama put in a slide show of us exploring. There were so many beautiful places!
Deuce and I got along pretty good. In the beginning we didn’t want to sit too close to each other, but by the end of the weekend we were fine sitting next to each other. We figured it was easier just to do what the moms asked. The sooner they got their stupid pictures the sooner we got our treats. Deuce let me in on that concept, and he’s definitely right.
One time we were sitting next to each other and they took their pictures, and then Deuce’s mom said “OK!” and Deuce took off to run to her. Since it wasn’t my mama saying anything I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to move…but I didn’t like that Deuce left without me!
Mama laughed and said “OK sweetie, you can come too.” I was relieved. I didn’t want to be left behind when there were treats!
Mama took a lot of pictures (so what else is new, right?) and she was messing with her settings in the deep dark woods. A lot of them ended up blurry because Deuce and I just didn’t want to sit still and the light was so low. But this one was blurry because she totally messed up, nothing to do with us at all! She thinks it’s cool though, so humor her, OK?
As long as we got treats we didn’t care if the pictures came out or not.
We sure had a lot of fun! By Sunday afternoon we were dirty and exhausted, true signs of a successful adventure! We were both sorry to see the tent come down, but we think we’ll probably get to go camping together again next summer.
Here’s a few more images of us having a grand time in the woods, I hope you enjoy the slide show!
And really, if you’re a doggie out there reading my blog, ask your folks to take you camping! It’s an amazing experience and one you don’t want to miss!
See you guys later,
Katie, camping tour guide extraordinaire.
Katie here! As you can guess, mama took me camping this week! She was a bit silly in her scheduling as I had a grooming appointment the same day we started camping. So I was nice and pretty, my feet all sparkling white when we arrived at our campsite which had no grass and was entirely dirt.
I was in heaven! All that nice cool dirt to lay in. My mama just sighed. But we got lots of shade which is important on these hot muggy summer days, and we couldn’t see any neighbors at all, so it was pretty perfect.
We had company every evening. One night mama’s friend brought her young dog Tonks to visit us. Tonks had never seen a campsite before but she loved it. We went on a walk and than sat around the campfire. Mama and her friend got to eat s’mores. Tonks wanted one. She wanted one a lot.
Notice I was being good, but let me tell you, if she dropped that treat I’d have been on it! Too bad our mamas knew that we couldn’t have chocolate. Sigh. It’s not fair.
Tonks was cute, and she settled in after the treats were all done for a nice nap on her mom’s lap. I fell asleep on the ground near my mom. In the dirt. Sometimes a princess just needs to feel the earth, you know?
The next night Tonks’ mom brought out her big sister, Peep. Peep and I have gone on lots of walks together through the woods around here, and she’s visited me at my campground before too. I like her a lot, she’s a good friend; we pretty much ignore each other when we’re together and that works out just fine.
She’s a pretty girl too, just like her baby sister.
On our third evening another friend brought Deuce to enjoy a walk and the campfire. He and I enjoyed a walk through the woods, and then we hung around the campfire while the moms talked.
Eventually Deuce napped in his very own chair. I personally think mama should bring a chair for me too. I’m the princess you know.
Anyway…all of us dogs had a very nice time at this campsite. I did spend a lot of time with just my mama, walking on trails and looking at stuff. I made her go on lots of walks.
Lots and lots of walks. Pretty much every time she sat down to read. Cause it’s all about what I want, all the time. Naturally.
I had so much fun in my tent under the big white pines! I wanted to stay there forever!
But then one morning mama started moving around faster than normal (she’s pretty much a slug you know) and I asked her what was going on.
She said we had to pack up and leave! But I didn’t want to go! I decreed we were not leaving. I am the Princess!
But she just kept packing up the car. I tried to stand my ground.
I told her she could go but I wasn’t going with her. No siree. I was staying in my campsite. Mine. I was sure she’d relent and get my tent put back up.
But then it happened. She packed my blue towel too. And she started to walk away!
Well, I thought about it for about .00000005 seconds and decided that wherever mama is, well, that’s where I want to be too.
So we drove away and I was feeling sad, but then we got home and I remembered my house, and my daddy was waiting inside and I got all wiggle-butt again and did my happy dance. I guess after all there’s no place like home.
But…hey mama! Where are we going next?
I don’t suppose it actually qualifies as an adventure, but after spending weeks and weeks doing nothing at all I’ll take what I can get. Sometimes even a Princess can’t be picky.
You’ve all seen mama’s fun with her family, and I liked it a whole bunch when my Uncle and Aunt came to visit me. But I didn’t get to go on any adventures and then she went away for ten whole days! That’s about 70,000 days in dog years!
So you can see why I’ve been bugging mama to take me somewhere now that she’s back home. Somewhere mama! She keeps promising but nothing ever happens. Why I even had to raise my voice today to get her attention! And trust me, a sheltie-girl like me knows exactly how to do that!
This is not the way to treat a Princess!
But I guess it’s true that the squeaky dog gets the grease! (And I’d like mine to be bacon please mama!) After barking at her for hours she finally took me to a park today! And I even got to ride in dad’s truck! Mama says not to get excited about that, I only got to ride in the truck because our car is broken.
So we went to a park not too far away and I sat under a picnic table for awhile, just sniffing the park air. It’s definitely different and better than my own backyard air. Lots and lots of interesting things to smell at the park!
Then mama got done reading and said we were going to walk up this big mountain! Really mama? Remember I’m ten and a half, a senior doggie you know!
But it was OK. We stopped along the way and mama took pictures of me in the pretty flowers.
And once we got to the top there was a lovely breeze blowing and I got to run around off leash! Mama says that’s because we could see where all the other people and doggies were from up there and we had the mountaintop all to ourselves. (OK, it’s not really a mountain, it’s just a sledding hill, but it’s huge compared to me!)
Mama took lots of pictures of me up there and on the back of the hill when we walked down the other side. We even sat in the grass together and just chilled out. I acted like a puppy, all excited to spend time with her, just her and me.
Now I’m doubly excited because I got her to set up the tent in the backyard! I supervised while she put it up and made sure she put in my favorite pillows just for me. It’s going to be a beautiful night and I’m going to spend it hanging out with my mama. I can hardly wait for it to get dark outside.
Gee, now that I think about it, I guess I don’t have so much to complain about after all.
What to say, what to say. There’s nothing happening around here, yet I feel a need to share photos with you. Photos of regular life in summer here in Michigan.
The grass is growing, the birds are sucking down food from the feeders, trees are fully leafed out and the afternoon skies are often filled with clouds.
It’s been pretty amazing.
Though we’ve seen lots of storm clouds we’re really short on rain. The yard is already turning brown. Watering the gardens will soon be a daily if not twice a day ritual. We’re not even to July yet.
It’s finally warm enough at night to camp and Katie and I have been on one adventure, but plan on scheduling a few more before the leaves start to turn. It’s still an adventure if it’s scheduled – right?
For now we’re enjoying the air conditioning and watching the oriole feeder right up next to the window. Lots of things besides orioles visit.
They all apparently watch for me to fill the feeder and then rush in to get their share. Or more than their share, depending on their size and boldness.
The flowers have been beautiful so far this season. But now we’re moving into the dry heat of summer so we’ll see. A lot will depend on our watering habits.
Really, so little to say, so much to show you. Guess I need to take you on a more formal walk sometime. Lots of beautiful places to go; what would be your choice? A lake? A woodsy park? The back yard? A bike path?
All good choices, but each will require me to leave my comfy chair. And I can’t do any of them until I get some weeding done.
Still weeding is better than working a job…so I can’t complain.
Katie can, and does, but it’s all in fun.
Usually Katie-girl tells you about our latest camping adventure. But she says we didn’t do anything exciting so she’s willing to let me talk.
Spring has been fickle here in Michigan, Cold and rainy and then sunny and hot. When the weather people said we were going to have a couple of days in the 80s (26.6C) with nights in the 60s (15.5C) I thought we should head to the woods for this season’s inaugural camp.
I was lucky to score a site that, though small, had a spot to tuck the tent under some shade trees. It lacked grass, but that’s the price you often pay to have shade. And Katie, though she’s a princess, doesn’t mind hanging out on dirt.
I didn’t make a list of things to take. I just sort of grabbed things as I thought of them and piled them all up next to the front door in the days preceding our scheduled trip.
Katie watched intently.
On Wednesday, as I began to pack the car she stayed under my feet, “helping” me get everything stowed. Even with her help, however, I forgot the bug spray, the sunscreen and the broom, all important things on a camping expedition. I blame her.
Still, even without important essentials it was heaven to be under the trees, enjoying the breeze and reading, then going for a walk, helping ourselves to a bit of a snack. Then a nap and repeat.
On a Wednesday afternoon I was privileged to be sitting under a blue sky watching the leaves dance in the wind and the light move across the landscape. Not at work, not at the grocery store, not doing laundry, not vacuuming.
Katie is very good at just being, but me? Not so much. It’s an acquired skill, I think, the art of just enjoying where you are when you’re there without worrying about what happened yesterday or might happen later in the day.
Our first night was perfect, not too cold, not too hot. I slept great, and even Katie lounged around until after 6 a.m. Thursday the sun bore down on us and the winds were strong. I watched the tree limbs above our tent flail about and pictured them crashing down. The temperatures rose, the wind roared.
Katie and I went for a drive in the air conditioned car, she sitting in the front seat with her nose in the air conditioning vent. We headed down to the lake where were we could watch the clouds skip across the blue sky and the waves rush to shore.
We enjoyed walking on the trails too. The wind wasn’t too bad back in the woods.
Later that day we went back to the lake to see the sunset, and even though there wasn’t much of a show we enjoyed being out there, though the temperatures were dropping fast.
Our second night in the tent was miserable. For me anyway. Temps dropped to 43 degrees (6.11C). I wore all my clothes, doubled up the blankets, pulled the sweatshirt hood up over my ears. Still it was too cold to sleep. Katie, on the other hand, thought it was perfect and snoozed the night away.
By morning I was more than ready to go back to civilization, with pillow topped mattresses, heat, running water, toilets closer than a half mile away. But the drive home was disconcerting. People were driving to work, fast and furious. I could feel stress begin to build just watching them dart around me.
And then I remembered. I was driving home to a hot shower and breakfast. Not to work.