Sunday, March 30, 2014

Scenes Around the World

Guatemala - Fuego Volcano and cloud lightning

Russia - abandoned churches in Ivangorod

A tree house

The Stone Jug  in Clermont, New York

Saint Augustine Beach (Florida) welcome sign

A Horse-y Blog

Home again, for a few hours, before heading back to Boo's.  I'll grab Rosie this afternoon and we'll have a doggie day care afternoon while I read my book in the back yard....  And I hope to remember that Tuesday is Nedi's birthday; he and Lovey will get a nice dinner for a special day.
  The Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company has announced that the Spring Round-up of ponies will be held April 11 and 12 on Assateague Island, as usual.  Pony Penning is held annually on the last Wednesday and Thursday in the month of July.  This year the Pony Swim from Assateague to Chincoteague will be held on 30 July, the Pony Auction will happen on 31 July, and the Swim Back to Assateague will occur on 1 August.
  It's only five weeks away from the Kentucky Derby... Time flies.  Most folks remember Barbaro, the gorgeous bay colt by Dynaformer, who won the 2006 Kentucky Derby, but who shattered a leg  in the 2006 Preakness, and was later euthanized.  Barbaro's full brother, Nicanor, became a father for the first time last week, when Kansas Kitty gave birth to a beautiful chestnut filly.  Nicanor stands at Shamrock Farm in Maryland for a fee of $2500.  Lentenor, Barbaro's 6 year-old full brother, began standing at the Indiana Stallion Station for a fee of $2000 in February of this year.  I'm looking forward to seeing their get on the track.
  There were three Derbies run yesterday - the United Arab Emirates, the Florida and the Louisiana - and two Oaks races - the Fair Grounds and Gulf Stream.  I wish I had been able to see all five races in person.
In the fillies races - the Oaks - both winners were superb.  In the Gulf Stream Oaks, In Tune out-dueled House Rules by a head, with Bobby Flay's home-bred America in third. At the Fair Grounds Oaks, Untapable was unstoppable under Rosie Napravnik, and will probably be the bettors top choice in the Kentucky Oaks.  Fiftyshadesofgold finished second, under Mike Smith, with Unbridled Forever in third and Mary Rita in fourth.  In the Louisiana Derby, Rosie Napravnik, again, rode the winner, a small dark bay/brown colt named Vicar's in Trouble.  Mike Smith rode the second-place finisher, Intense Holiday, with Commanding Curve running in third place.  In the Florida Derby, Constitution had a solid win over Wildcat Red.  Betting favorite Cairo Prince finished fourth behind General a Rod. And in the United Arab Emirates Derby, Toast of New York won handily over Asmar, with Emirate's Flyer in third and Giovanni Boldini in fourth.
  I guess I'll be starting out with a new case of Derby Fever soon....

Thursday, March 27, 2014






Not even a leopard can resist an empty box...

Short Post

Well, the service dog barked at me three different times yesterday, while sitting loose on my patio, looking in through the door.  I sent a letter to the apartment manager.  While I feel guilty about it, I also feel that I have the right to move around inside my apartment without having a neighbor's dog (a) sitting on my patio and (b) barking at my movements.  Is that too much to expect?
   I am having a blast taking care of the four hens and two cats on Dellwood.  I'll try to get photos of them all before the end of the week.  And I move in with Boo tomorrow - that'll be interesting.  I will miss sleeping with Lovey and Nedi while Kathy and Jim are off looking at sandhill cranes in Nebraska.  At least I have a good supply of books to read - even though I'm currently waiting for the second book of the Tawney Man series to arrive at my library.  I have about 40 pages left of the first book, and I have a jack Reacher novel to read in between - but I'd rather continue on reading Robin Hobb, even though I  love Lee Child's books.
  And today is Thorsday, so I am greatly looking forward to tonight's episode of Vikings.  And word was released that Vikings has been renewed for a third season.  Yahoo!  Can't wait to see more of Ragnar, Rollo, Floki, Helga, Lagertha, Bjorn and Aslaug...  I really enjoy this series!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Assorted Photos


Nectar-drinking bat covered with pollen

Chickadee and squirrel

Feather star fish

Spring?  Where?



Tuesday, March 25, 2014


View of Marsh Island, Chincoteague Island and Assateague Island by Patrick J Hendrickson of

Abandoned church - photo by Ben Gebo

Squirrel on the wall at Portland Road in Tottenham, London, England

New Zealand beach

Critters and a "Problem" Service Dog

It was definitely brisk out this morning - 27 degrees when I went to the store for my bagel and 29 when I left to go taken care of the chix and kits on Dellwood.  The four hens are each a different breed - and look very different; they are named Io, Vega, Dagma and Gladys.  The two cats are named Carter and Xuxa - Carter is a square-built grey tabby and Xuxa is a dark charcoal grey with a white fillip on her chest.  In the three days that the owners have been gone, I have managed to convince all four hens into my lap, where they let me stroke them and mantle their wings a bit.  Both cats are now lap-sitters and mark me vigorously with their chins and paws when I'm there.  Jan told me that only one hen was laying, but in three days, I've been given seven eggs - and they are from at least three different hens.  I have three large brown eggs, two turquoise eggs, and two cream colored eggs.  The last brown egg had purple flecks of color in the shell... it is beautiful.
  I'm trying to frame a politely-worded letter of complaint about my neighbor Britt's service dog.  I think it's wonderful that, since Britta has had the dog, she hasn't screamed, like she used to, multiple times each day and during the night.  But she now turns the dog loose in the shared communal back yard that every ground floor apartment shares. My complaints regarding this are as follows:  (1) the service dog chases all the birds in the yard while barking;  (2) the service dog chases all the squirrels in the yard while barking;  (3) the service dog chases all of the neighborhood cats, sometimes barking, sometimes silently; (4) the service dog eats both bird seed and nuts placed out to feed the birds and squirrels; (5) the service dog comes into my apartment, shouldering the patio door open wide enough for it to enter, and then eats all of my cats' food;  (6) if the patio door is closed, the service dog barks at me and my cats when we move inside our own apartment, while sitting on my patio, or lying in my patio chairs;  (7) there is a leash law for dogs (but not for cats) within the city, and the owner of the service dog allows the dog to run loose and unsupervised multiple times each day, sometimes wearing only a collar and tags, sometimes wearing a harness and dragging a leash; (8) and, finally, the service dog poops in the back yard without the owner picking up after her dog.  I have picked up 10 piles of dog crap in the last 4 days, all within 15 feet of my patio edge.  There is a city and county law that states that owners (or other dog walkers) must pick up their dogs' own poop.  I get paid to do this when I'm walking and caring for other dogs.  I shouldn't have to pick up poop from my neighbor's unwatched loose dog.  And once summer begins, none of the neighbors will appreciate having smelly piles of dog poop lying out in the baking sun outside their doors and windows....
    So, how can I phrase all of the above nicely?  I thought service dogs were "on" service for their owners at all times - this dog is turned loose for anywhere from 10 minutes to 5 hours... and it really bugs me that the leash is left attached - God only knows what it can/could get tangled up in, or around, what with patio furniture and both wooden privacy fencing and chain-link fencing around the property....   Grrrrrrrr....  I know, I know...  The problem is not in the service dog - it's the owner's fault!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Bird Photos

Cactus wren

Cardinal (male)

Painted redstart

Purple gallinule


?!? Snow !?!

Returned home last night just before it was completely dark out...  Luckily the dog next door was either not at home, or locked inside, and the kits got to play outside for a couple of hours.  I let them out for an hour this morning, and then gathered them before going to Dellwood and Riverside.  I had to laugh - our weather forecasters have been almost perfect in the last week.  Last night, they said that we'd have a high of 47 today, with partly cloudy skies in the morning, and sunny skies in the afternoon.  That when the sun came out, the wind would pick up and the temperature would then drop.  It's completely overcast this morning, and the clouds were hugging both Baseline and Green Mountains...  I looked at that and shook my head. The temperature dropped 5 degrees before I left this morning.  It started to snow while I was turning out the chickens - and we're continuing to have flurries.  Rosie's back was covered multiple times while we walked this morning; then her limp became more pronounced, so I took her home a little early.  I think the cold and damp was making her arthritic ankle and foot ache...  Got home and opened the door for the kits to go out, and they were chased back inside by Britta's service dog....  Then it proceeded to eat all the nuts I had placed out for the squirrels - he climbs into the chairs and gobbles them down.  I just purchased two small but heavy-duty colanders that I will hang today with the squirrels' nuts in them.  Maybe then the dog won't eat the squirrels food!
  And I'm looking forward to seeing James Spader tonight in The Blacklist!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Moms & Babies Photos






Racing and Books

Bright sunshine and patchy snow on the ground...  Kits outside playing (and tracking in mud) and squirrels filling their tummies.  It's a nice morning.  I've watered and fed the chickens, and collected 3 eggs; watered and fed the kits who live with the chickens.  Fed and walked Rosie.  Come home and taken care of my kits...  The internet connection is completely gone at Rosie's, so I'm happy I'll be returning home tonight.  Still have the chicks and kits until next Sunday, and next weekend, I'll be staying with Boo.  I'll be keeping busy.
  There were some exciting horse races yesterday - and a terrible death.  The San Luis Rey Stakes race  finished pretty close - Fire With Fire, who led from the starting gate, won by a half-length over Lucayan, who was a nose in front of Temeraine.  Vagabond Shoes, however, an older horse that I really like, was put down after the race.  Vagabond Shoes was bumped coming out of the gate, and just "didn't feel normal" to his usual jockey.  When the rider asked the horse to increase his speed, the rider heard a loud "pop" from a hind leg, and the horse stumbled badly. The jockey pulled Vagabond  Shoes up, and he was vanned off the track.  The horse's left hind cannon bone was shattered; and the decision was made to euthanize him.  ...  The Spiral Stakes ended with a "blanket finish" - three horses hit the finish line at almost the same time.  We Miss Artie won by a nose, with Harry's Holiday beating Coastline by a head for second place.  It was a thrilling race.  ...  The Bourbonette Stakes was touted as the return of Sloane Square - but she could only finish second, two and a quarter lengths behind Aurelia's Belle, and two and a half lengths ahead of Kate's Eyes.
  The more I read, the more I love the books of Robin Hobb.  I recently re-read The Liveship Traders trilogy; I just finished the four books that make up The Rain Wild Chronicles; and last night I started reading  The Tawny Man trilogy, which (I just found out) follows The Farseer Trilogy.  So I still have six more books of hers to read, not to mention another series, and all of her other books.  This woman writer is absolutely fantastic!  She creates viable worlds, sets the scene with interesting characters, and interweaves history, magic, and ancient lore into a wholly believable universe.  I highly recommend her books to everyone!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Gee... It's Snowing

After a couple of outstandingly warm and sunny days, the skies today are low - the clouds and fog are hugging the tops of the Flatirons and the first rampart of Front Range hills.  And I just watched a cherry-picker roll up to the large utility pole at the corner of Riverside Avenue and Riverside Lane - and there's a man in heavy gear toying with several junctions.  All I know is the phone lines are working, the cable is on, and so is the electricity, so I'm just being nosy about what he's doing up there...  Anyway, we've been having very fine snow fall off and on since 6 this morning - it's a very fine powder, and since it's been so warm, nothing is sticking yet.  The weather forecasters say we'll have one to three inches fall before midnight, and then it'll all be heading east.
  Since I'm driving Nancy's Audi, I've been listening to the local radio station, KBCO    ~~~~~~~
Guess what?  It's now 5 1/2 hours since I started writing this - and I had to come back to the apartment to finish this ridiculous post...  The man, whatever he did, broke the PC connection to Comcast at Rosie's.  Thank goodness I can come home for a quick visit!

Vikings Scenes - Season 2

Taken from the History Channel website for the second season of Vikings
King Horik, Floki, and Ragnar Lodbrok

Jarl Borg of Gotland

Rollo is fogiven by his brother Ragnar

Athelstan takes part in his first battle as a Viking free man

King Ecbert of Wessex

Athelstan, Floki and Bishop Swithin in Winchester

Ragnar and Floki in Wessex

Ragnar reunites with son Bjorn and Lagertha

Friday, March 21, 2014

Viking Items

Detail of a carved ivory lid 

The Hiddensee Hoard , found in the 19th century on an island in the Baltic Sea

The Bayeaux Tapestry shows a Norman longboat used by William the Conqueror and his soldiers when they arrived in England to wrest the throne from King Harald.  Norman is a corruption of the words Norseman and Northman - the Vikings.  William was a direct descendant of Rollo, the Viking.

The Liber Vitae manuscript from Winchester, England shows the only period depiction of a Viking - King Canute (Cnut) and Queen Emma (Alfgy).

7th century Viking shield from the boat burial at Vendal

A display at the National Museum of Denmark shows the clothing of the Vikings, as well as their jewelry, swords and artwork.