To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug. ~ Helen Keller
I recently discovered a new place to take the dogs on our weekend adventures. It has everything we love.
There are hiking trails through the woods.
There are hiking trails through fields.
Some of the trails are quite wide and allow us to spread out.
Some of the hiking trails have great views.
The trails are well marked.
The hiking trails are wonderful, but the reason we first went to this place (and what keeps us going back) is this:
The dogs finally have a place to swim.
Note that when Luka swims he does not get his tail wet. He holds it up out of the water like a flag or a sail.
When they’re not swimming the dogs enjoy exploring.
They also enjoy tearing along the shoreline like maniacs.
Sadie barks with joy.
Luka sits quietly and does his impression of a drowned rat.
The dogs also take a moment to enjoy the day.
We’ve definitely found a new favorite spot.
I finally had a moment to download the pictures on my camera and my phone. I didn’t realize it while I was taking them but most of the pictures were of Sadie.
Here she is napping in the sunshine.
I snapped many photos of Sadie running and barking at thunder and this is one of my favorites.
A couple of months ago I bought Sadie a swimming pool. For a few weeks she just used it as a giant water bowl. She finally figured out what it is and she loves it.
Sadie loves all water except for water in a bathtub. She’s especially fond of mud puddles. It’s been a rainy summer here and there’s a dirt road on our walking route that has a huge mud puddle. Each time we walk by this puddle Sadie has to take a dip.
First she walks in a circle.
Then she finds the deepest spot in the puddle…
…and enjoys the water.
When she first started doing this I tried to distract her from the puddle because she ends up a muddy mess. I soon gave in because is makes her so darn happy.
We’ve spent some time at our park recently. The dogs enjoyed running through the stream.
And running along the trail.
We were at the park one evening and enjoyed relaxing in the setting sun.
Sadie did a nice job of posing on one of these trips to the park.
Luka thought she was a camera hog so he got in on the action.
I love this picture of Luka.
He’s not looking so photogenic now, though. Shortly after I took the above picture he rolled in horse poop. The only way to remove it was to cut it out. The right side of his mane is now super short so he’s a tad lopsided.
My beautiful environment has also been putting on a show lately.
The sky continues to be a brilliant blue.
The flowers continue to bloom.
One morning last week there was a lenticular cloud over Pikes Peak. I’d never seen one over the Peak before and it looked spectacular.
Finally, we were walking yesterday and a storm moved south of us. The rainbow was gorgeous.
I have over 100 pictures in my camera but haven’t had a second to download them so today’s post will highlight one of my all time favorite photos.
I took this picture on July 4, 2007. It was a gorgeous afternoon. I was lounging on my couch when my weather radio went off with a tornado warning. I grabbed my camera and headed outside. I immediately saw a storm forming to the southeast. In just a few minutes, a small tornado formed and I started snapping pictures.
This is the first (and only) tornado I’ve ever seen in person. It was small, but it was very cool. I was insanely excited to have captured pictures of the tornado. I immediately emailed them to family and friends. They did not share my excitement. The most common response was “What the hell were you doing out in the yard? Why didn’t you take cover?”
Thankfully, my local meteorologist understood my excitement and featured my photo on the evening news.
I took this picture on June 4, 2009. Kishka, Sadie and I went hiking and our destination was the waterfalls. As always, I snapped a bunch of pictures.
I was trying to get one of the girls looking at the camera with the waterfalls in the background. I did not succeed. I did capture this shot and I love it.
When I look at this picture I’m transported back to that day: the sun on my face, the sound of the waterfalls and my two best friends at my side. Simply wonderful.
I’ve snapped a lot of pictures over the past couple of weeks. Here are my favorites.
I pulled off the road to take this picture. I love how the clouds and plains seem endless. It seems like many people think the prairie is boring, but I think it’s beautiful.
The stream at the park:
It’s been horribly hot here so even when we go to the park in the early morning we spend most of our time in the water. The dogs love to splash and run through it.
Monsoon season is here and that means lots of clouds in the afternoon. Here’s some over the foothills.
The Black Eyed Susans are out in force.
You can also see the flowers in this picture of Luka running up a hill.
It’s been a beastly hot summer here. Luka spends most of his time lying in front of the screen door, waiting for a breeze.
Our afternoon storms don’t always bring rain, but always have thunder and lightning. If it’s thundering we don’t go for our walk. This makes Luka sad.
We’ve made a couple of trips to the park, including a trip after work. (The dogs were SHOCKED. We never go during the week.) I liked how different the light was in the evening.
Summer fun means a lot of naps. Sadie has been perfecting her napping technique.
Knitting progress has been very, very slow. When it’s nearly 100 degrees I can’t bring myself to play with wool. I do hope to finish a pair of socks soon, though.
EDIT: Most of my favorite bloggers are on Blogger. Blogger has decided that I can’t comment on their blogs. Every single time I get an error message. If you’re on Blogger, know that I’m reading, but I can’t say anything.
I’m a weather whore.
Not the kind of weather whore who watches The Weather Channel (I actually hate that channel), but the kind of weather whore who will spot a cool cloud and pull off the road to take pictures of it.
I have eight different weather apps on my phone, including one that only shows radar.
I have the NWS radar bookmarked on my home and work computers and when a storm is brewing I obsessively refresh the screen so I can track the storm.
Many of my favorite pictures are of storm clouds and other kinds of weather.
This one was taken on June 10, 2007 from my backyard. It’s the classic anvil thunderhead. I’ve only seen a few of these perfect anvil clouds in my life and have only photographed this one.
Our walk looked a bit different today.
The dogs and I were out the door very early for a hike in Waldo Canyon.
The trail gained elevation quickly and soon we were high above the highway that brought us to the trailhead.
We were walking on the side of the mountain. Every so often we passed large rocks.
The dogs led the way.
As we made our way into the canyon there was a wonderful view of the plains.
The farther we walked, the better the scenery.
After a couple of hours on the trail we rounded a bend and there was Pikes Peak.
I lingered to enjoy the scenery and to snap some pictures. The dogs came back for me.
It was a long hike (~ 7 miles) and we took some short breaks on the trail.
We also made a longer stop in this clearing and had a snack. (Milk Bones for them, granola bars for me, cold water for all.)
Luka was happy to have a moment to rest in the shade.
It was a lovely day.
When I came up with the idea to start sharing some of my favorite pictures this was one that I had in mind.
I took it almost a year ago: July 25, 2009.
Sadie, Kishka and I were at the park. I could see the clouds building over the mountains (afternoon thunderstorms during the summer are very common here).
At one point thunder rumbled in the distance and Sadie took off after it. When I turned to watch her I saw the cloud line, her looking towards it and snapped this picture. The moment was completely unexpected. I didn’t have my camera with me so the photo was snapped with my iPhone. A second after I snapped the picture Sadie took off running.
One moment, one chance, one low quality camera phone…and somehow I took one of the best pictures of my life.
The heat returned this weekend so we arrived at the park early to beat the heat. It was a gorgeous day.
We spent most of our time by the stream.
Sadie enjoyed lying in the cold water.
Luka spent his time exploring the stream.
We also walked through the cool woods.
Park days are the best days of the week.
Luka actually slept on the way home.
Sadie spent the afternoon snoozing with the stuffed bear.
Luka snuggled the same bear later in the evening.
It was a quiet night around my house. Both socks now have heels.
There’s just something about dogs that makes you feel good. You come home; they’re thrilled to see you. They’re good for the ego. ~ Janet Schulman
What a difference a week makes.
Last week at the park the dogs and I struggled to stay cool. This week it was 50 degrees colder and the sun was not a factor.
In many ways, I prefer this kind of weather for the park. It’s not nearly as nice for me, but I can let the dogs run to their hearts’ content and not worry about them getting too hot.
We did a lot of exploring this week. We walked through the woods.
We wandered through the fields.
And someone found yummy stuff to roll in.
They also posed nicely for pictures.
One thing I love about adopting a new dog is discovering who he/she is and the quirks of his/her personality. Luka continues to show his uniqueness. When he’s on land, he’s not that interested in tennis balls. He’ll sometimes play with one at home, but he doesn’t fetch. However, once he gets in the stream he starts hunting for tennis balls.
And always successful.
Once he finds the ball he start playing fetch with himself (dropping the ball and then chasing it down the stream).
I love to watch him do this. I think Sadie enjoys it, too.
You can watch, too. I couldn’t figure out how to embed the video in this post, but you can see it here.
Sadie is always exhausted after our trips to the park, but Luka usually takes a short nap and is ready to play an hour or so after we arrive home. This week I made sure we walked more than we usually do. Finally, Luka was tired when we got home.
He slept all evening. Victory!
I was able to work on my socks without interruption.