It’s been a summer of adventure around here.
Every weekend has been spent hitting the trails.
I enjoy hiking on the trails while the dogs prefer to run around like wild animals.
A few weeks ago our weekend adventure became a little too exciting. We were enjoying a walk through the forest when the dogs took off through the underbrush. This isn’t unusual. They often take off and chase rodents or birds.
I stopped to wait for them. The dogs had run down into a ravine so I was up on hill looking down at them. All of a sudden, movement in a tree (about 50 yards in front of me) caught my attention. Sitting in that tree (and looking right at me) were three black bear cubs. The dogs were at the base of the tree, jumping up and trying to get at the bear cubs.
Yes, my dogs treed three bear cubs. Clearly, they have a death wish.
I was remarkably calm as terror swept through every cell of my body. Where there are bear cubs, there is a mama bear. Mama bears are big. Mama bears are not very happy when their cubs are threatened. Mama bears can run 30mph. I am not a petite person (I’m nearly 6′ tall), but I’m no match for an adult bear. I quickly looked behind me (fully expecting to see mama bear) but saw nothing.
I called the dogs to me. Sadie came immediately. Luka ignored me and kept trying to climb the tree to get at the cubs. I called him twice more and the third time he ran back to me. I pointed down the trail and shouted “Go! Run!”. I have no idea why they obeyed a command they’d never heard before (perhaps they could hear the fear in my voice and/or were shocked that I was yelling at them) but the dogs took off running and did not leave the trail. They just ran.
I did not run (running around a bear is not smart) but I walked as quickly as I could. (Side note: I had no idea I could move that fast with a 20lbs. backpack.) I constantly checked over my shoulder to see if mama bear had found us. We kept up this pace for a couple of miles until we reached the reservoir. It was only then that I realized how horribly the whole thing could have ended. As the dogs splashed in the water I sat on the sand and trembled.
The weather has cooled off a tiny bit (instead of being 100, it’s only 90) so the dogs have been able to do more running/playing. They especially love to play and run on the beach.
Here’s a series of pictures of the dogs playing. I didn’t expect all of these pictures to come out, but they did and I like the story they tell.
Luka asks Sadie to play.
Sadie comes to a sudden stop and nearly gets taken out by Luka.
They start running together.
Sadie veers off to come back to me while Luka keeps running.
Luka realizes his buddy is missing.
And he runs to catch up.
During our adventures I’ve managed to snap some nice portraits of both dogs.
I love how happy Sadie looks in this picture.
Meanwhile, Luka looks like he just wants me to hurry up.
I like these close up shots, too.
Finally…Milo’s training for the sleep Olympics continues at a very strong pace.
I have too many pictures for one post so today I’ll focus on the sky.
Monsoon season has arrived and that always means one thing: magical sky.
Almost every day the sky manages to take my breath away.
During the past month I’ve seen two of the coolest clouds I’ve ever seen in my life. This one appeared while I was walking the dogs and I felt like I was on another planet.
I watched this cloud form while we were at the dog park one evening. It was jaw dropping.
The next post will feature dog pictures.
An obnoxious number of dog pictures.
Nothing’s better than the wind to your back, the sun in front of you, and your friends beside you. ~ Aaron Douglas Trimble
The dogs days of summer have arrived.
The usual gorgeous summer weather in my part of the world has been replaced by miserable, sweltering heat that shows no sign of letting up. Luka has been monopolizing the AC unit.
To beat the heat we have to take our walks in the very late evening and go hiking in the very early morning. I’m not a morning person and have to force myself to get out of the bed. Luka is always ready to go.
I always start our weekend adventures with a long hike.
I love how the dogs always take off together.
The beginning of each hike always includes a lot of running.
Luka loves to wander and explore. He often wanders down the wrong trail and then when he realizes it he runs to catch up.
The highlight of each hike, especially when it’s so hot, is the water.
To encourage the dogs to swim, I toss treats in the water.
Here’s a video of Sadie swimming for treats.
Luka has started swimming more often (he used to just wade in the water).
This leads to his drowned rat look.
When we arrive home after our weekend adventure the order of the day is always napping.
Milo likes to join them.
Finally, I walked out the door for work the other morning and saw this: the moon setting at sunrise.
A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing. ~ George Bernard Shaw
A long time ago (March 2009) I dyed this sock blank:
I immediately cast on the socks.
I loved the socks while I was knitting them, but it took me 28 months to finish them.
Fittingly, I cast off on Independence Day.
Milo was overcome with joy.
I put the socks on for their photo-shoot and (if I may be bold) I think they look fantastic.
Looks can be deceiving, though. The socks are so tight I can hardly get them over my heel. I fear that if I wear them I will blow a hole in the heel (as I’ve done with two other pairs of super tight hand knit socks in recent months).
That’s right, I spent 28 months knitting these socks and they don’t fit.
:: sigh ::
Luckily, my mother’s feet are two sizes smaller than mine and she likes pink. When she’s in town later this month I will give them to her.
Until then, Milo thinks they make a stylish pillow.
I have been bucked off the sock knitting horse but I’m going to get right back in the saddle. This yarn is going on the needles next:
The kitties enjoy sitting in front of the door and watching the birds play in the dogs’ water bowl. The birds are about three feet in front of the cats in this picture and they were both cackling like crazy.
As always, full details for the socks can be seen on the Ravelry page .
Summer afternoon – summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. ~ Henry James
Scenes from a long weekend.
Leading the way.
Sharing the load.
Fun in the sun.
Stubborn (he would not look at the camera).
Very tired (two hikes in two days will do that to a girl).
Ready for the ride home.
Smart kitty (sleeping in front of AC unit).
Snoring up a storm.
Summer has definitely arrived in my neck of the woods. The dogs and I headed out very early yesterday morning so we could hike before the heat set in.
We missed a couple of walks last week so running was the main activity.
The heat quickly arrived so we took a couple of breaks along the trail.
Our breaks allowed me to photograph the gorgeous day.
Some of the cactus (cacti?) were blooming.
The reservoir was a welcome relief from the hot weather.
We missed a couple of our walks last week because I was busy purchasing a new (used) car. For the past eight years I’ve driven a Saturn sedan. I loved that car and it was always solid as a rock (nothing other than routine maintenance). However in the past few months it started having major issues. Considering the car had 172,000 miles on it I had to face reality and get something different.
As much as I loved that car, it was not good for hauling dogs. The tiny back seat meant that Sadie and Luka (and every other dog I’ve owned) had to contort themselves whenever we went for a ride. As I started looking for a new vehicle my main consideration (beyond the obvious price, mileage and safety) was to get something that was more comfortable for the dogs. (I think picking out a car based on canine comfort officially qualifies me for the Crazy Dog Lady Club.)
We took the new car hiking this weekend. On the way home I turned around at a stoplight and saw this:
I think they like it.
Remember when this used to be a knitting blog?
Let’s revisit those days.
A couple of months ago a friend gifted me with a sock blank. I broke out the Kool-Aid and created this.
The blank became these socks.
I love them!
Full details are on the socks’ Ravelry page.
Since I am a crazy dog lady, I took portraits of the dogs with the leftover yarn.
Sadie shared a zen moment with the yarn.
Luka was supervising the photo shoot.
After Sadie serenely posed with the yarn she enjoyed one of her favorite past times: rolling around on her back. Sadly, my yard is mostly dirt so she got a bit messy.
Luka is much too dignified to engage in such behavior.
The dogs and I have gone hiking a couple of times since my last post. These hikes are the highlights of the week.
The dogs always spend the first hour or so running off their pent up energy.
We usually take a break or two on our way to the reservoir.
The dogs know when we turn on the trail that leads to the water and they take off running.
By the time I arrive they’ve already jumped in.
Luka isn’t fond of the drowned rat look and always like to shake when he’s standing right next to me.
Every hiking trip ends the same way: with the dogs sound asleep on the way home.
The napping continues once we arrive home.
Milo fears his standing in the Sleeping Olympics may be in jeopardy so he practices harder.
Finally, the smoke from the Arizona wildfire hung over this area for several days last week. It was very annoying during the day (a thick haze and smell of smoke in the air) but the sunsets were spectacular.
The recent weather trend around here has been so-so weather during the week followed by spectacular weather on the weekend. This weekend was no exception.
It was a perfect day to hit the trail.
It wasn’t too hot so the main activity of the day was running.
By the time we arrived at our destination the dogs were ready to jump in and cool off.
While the dogs splashed and played I kicked back and enjoyed the view.
It was pretty much a perfect day.
Our weekend fun was not confined to Saturday, however. On Sunday the dogs had a play date with my friend’s son. My friend’s son loves dogs, but they don’t have a dog so Sadie and Luka were happy to spend the day at their house. I didn’t think to snap any pictures except for this one. It was too adorable to pass up (apologies for the shoddy quality…I took it with my phone).
My friend’s son is learning about different animals. When we first arrived at their house he spotted Sadie and said “doggy!”. Then he toddled over to Luka, started petting him and said “bear!”. It took some explaining, but he was soon calling Luka “doggy!”, too.
Finally, I am enjoying the day off of work, but realize it came at a horrible cost. Thank you.