Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Flickers & a Fox kit

A male red-shafted flicker with his tongue sticking out

A young (or female) red flicker

Young fox kit near Estes Park

95 Degrees Outside

It's 95 degrees outside, and Lovey and Neddy are cooling themselves on the patio. I have the fan on, and am very comfortable in shorts and a T with the window and patio door open. It doesn't seem possible that tomorrow is the first of July - I'm booked to be at other houses for all but 6 days/nights of the month. At least this first batch of 6 days will allow Lovey and Neddy to be with me, so I won't be running like mad back to the apartment to check on them. The last two-plus weeks, I'll be at Aiko and Yoshi's and then at Rosie and Remy's (the Rs into August)... Kathy will be by later tonight to pick the kits and me up and get us settled at her house. She and Jim are going to help with the annual butterfly count in the Rockies tomorrow, and then late tomorrow afternoon, they'll stop back by the house, and load up their stuff to head for Durango for the holiday weekend. I'll also be keeping watch on Lizzie and Maggie a few doors down from Suki and Boo at the same time. And I'm due at Karen's house at 7 in the morning to go over her usual routine with her chickens - I'll be watching them, the 2 cats, the 2 gerbils, and the mouse at the same time I'm taking care of Aiko and Yoshi. (Luckily, the houses are located back to back in the neighborhood.) I will try to blog every day while we're at Suki and Boo's, but I can't guarantee that it will happen, so don't worry if I miss a couple of days here and there.
Neddy has discovered, as all cats do (sooner or later), that stolen food tastes best. He grabbed some corned beef hash last night, and was highly excited to "find" a deliberately dropped small piece of ham the other day. You could almost see his chest puff up with self-importance. He stills takes a bite of any Jello that I offer him, but he seems to like strawberry best. I'm making sure that Lovey receives as much, or more, attention as Neddy gets.
And, to end June, it has just been reported that the Boulder police are searching for a "leprechaun" in the grocery store parking lot here by my apartment. According to reports, someone dressed as a leprechaun is jumping out from in between parked cars and is alternately waving or saluting to people, while the next set of folks he sees are treated to obscene gestures - what can I say? It's Boulder....

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Brandi, Neddy & Me

Brandi, my blind client

Neddy on the patio at 11 weeks

Me - in my usual dog walking togs

A Flicker Rescue

It's another warm day. Neddy is stretched out on the desk, while Lovey just returned inside and laid down on the cool tile floor. Lovey caught a huge blue dragonfly after dusk last night, then brought it inside for Neddy to kill - I guess she's decided she needs to train him well in all of the usual kitty pursuits. When I was ready to retire last night, I had to chase both of them down outside - as soon as I touch the patio door, they both run outside as fast as they can. Neddy isn't ready to climb a tree yet, but Lovey is definitely showing him how to do it.
I had a lovely walk with Remy and Rosie yesterday - we met a few other canines out walking early, and the Rs were very well behaved. While we were visiting Suki and Boo at the end of the walk, I was able to perform my good deed of the day: the Rs were chasing squirrels in the front line of trees, and I heard some very agitated birds by the irrigation ditch, so I went over to check things out. A young flicker had fallen into the ditch, and the current kept sweeping it along, and under, the water, while the parents flew above and cried in distress. This alerted Suki and Boo, who decided to try getting a bite of the young bird - but I chased them off, then made a basket of my hands, and swept the youngster out of the water. It took about a minute for it to recover, and to begin gripping my fingers with it's toes. Once it was alert, I placed it on a low branch in the willow tree, and both parents joined it. They flew off together about 15 minutes later, so I felt good about the rescue.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Daisy dew drops

Cherry blossom lane

Ladybug doing her job

Good Books

I spent most of yesterday afternoon on the patio - reading, watching the kits play, and playing with them. Neddy is growing in leaps and bounds, and Lovey is teaching him how to climb trees and to use shadows and shade as a hiding spot from which to attack. I've finished reading the biography of John S. Mosby, as well as the sixth book in the mystery series by Ann Ripley, The Silent Spirit by Maragret Coel (a new Father John and Vicki Holden book), and I've almost completed The Crack in the Lens by Steve Hockensmith. It's 72 outside, and the humidity is 50%. We're expecting highs in the mid-90s all week (and least, as the temperature rises, the humidity usually falls - last week it was 100 degrees, but the humidity was only 7%).
I'm home through Thursday morning, then I'll be staying with Lizzie and Maggie, a couple of doors down from Suki and Boo and my kits - so I'll be splitting my time between the two houses without having to run back to the apartment each day. It will be interesting to see the reactions of Neddy, Suki, and Boo, to each other. I'm about to head out to walk Remy and Rosie before it gets too warm for all of us. When I return home, I plan to upload my photos of Neddy and this past weekend. I hope to be able to use some of the photos for the blog later this week. - And I had to laugh Saturday morning: I wrote about the graffiti on some local fences in this blog on Friday; on Saturday, the graffiti was a front page headline in the local paper. What are they doing? Following my blog?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Photos of Estes Park & Nederland

A view of Nederland from the south

Elk walking around Estes Park

Estes Park - the Scandinavian Festival was
two blocks left from the stop light

Nederland from the northeast -
looking over Barker Reservoir

Estes Park and Nederland

Biting wires is not good. That has been my litany for the past five minutes, while trying to separate Neddy from my keyboard and mouse connections (I'm not cool enough to have wireless connections, yet). I had a fantastic time yesterday at the Scandinavian Festival in Estes Park, at the Carousel of Happiness in Nederland, and at a really neat, very eclectic art gallery and shop, also in Ned. It was a very nice small festival that filled Bond Park and three of the streets surrounding the park up in Estes. I did not eat any lutefisk, but I did eat several pieces of lesne - a very thin griddle bread made of riced potatoes and flour, and it was absolutely delicious! Besides the food booths, a Viking camp reenactment group, music and dancing, there were quite a few craft booths. That's where I met my downfall - especially so at a rag rug booth. Two Swedish ladies from Texas take throw-away bath and bedding items and make the most incredible rugs - I purchased three, even though I wanted seven of them; and it was all I could to do carry the three back to Kathy and Jim's SUV. We purchased food for lunch at one of the booths and ate in the SUV while we had a fifteen minute rain storm that blew in and blew out. The temperature dropped about 15 degrees after the rain, but that just made it more enjoyable.
We left just before the Festival closed for the day and drove down the Peak to Peak Highway to Nederland, as Kathy was suddenly caught up in wanting to ride the Carousel of Happiness. It was marvelous! Kathy rode the alpaca, Jim rode the calico cat, and I rode the paint pony. I want to ride every critter on the carousel, but a few are so small that I don't know if I'd fit - the peacock, for instance, and the great blue heron gulping a fish... But the place is just magical - and all the money made goes to a non-profit for handicapped children. It's a great place. Then we went into the shop - I met the owner, and fell in love with about 15 items I wanted to buy, ranging in price from $2.99 to $695.00, and three pieces of metal sculpture that I wanted that didn't have price tags on them. The sculptor also had paintings and photo-shopped prints, as well as an illustrated book about his wacky cat (who lived to be 26) - I bought the book.
Brandi was her usual darling self the past two nights, and I met with Darcie and her hubby this morning about taking care of Lizzie and Maggie over the Fourth weekend. I'm back at home with Lovey and Neddy, and they both are full of love and want attention in a very needful way...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Warm Weather Daydreams

Want to be in that hammock!

A fresh taste of sea air at ArMen

Looking down at Portofino (Italy)

Stray Thoughts

It's warm and we're having wild fires break out all over the state - 5 yesterday were caused by sparks from train tracks. We're looking at highs around 100. (It's now 95 with 7% humidity.) We must stay hydrated! Neddy just ate some strawberry Jello and had the most incredulous look on his little face - it was great! ... I've walked the dogs and met three new prospective clients in the neighborhood; we'll see how that works out. ... I'm definitely getting more crabby as I grow older: a house by one of my regular bus stops has a tall oiled cedar fence around it. A couple of months ago, some graffiti was spray-painted on it; a couple weeks later, more was added. The owner finally came out with a hand-sander and smoothed all the paint off, and retreated the wood. The day after he did this, the entire fence has been "tagged" with graffiti. I say I'm getting crabby because this morning, when I observed this new mess, I wanted to find the perpetrator and cut off whichever hand he/she used to paint this monstrosity. The person is ruining, spoiling, desecrating even, private property! Grrrrr!!! ... I assisted some lost tourists this morning, and told them how to navigate around Boulder. They were from Philly, had just arrived, and had no sun glasses, sun screen, or any way to hydrate themselves. After I spoke with them, they headed into the local market for all three items. ... I have a bruise the size of a dinner plate on my back from the bike handlebars that ran into me Wednesday night. ... And today I say, "Hooray for the Sioux! And a pox on Custer!" It's the 134th anniversary of Custer's Last Stand along the Greasy Grass. George Armstrong Custer was a vain fool.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Vintage Travels Ads

A New Experience

Well, I had a new experience last night - my heels were run over by a bicycle, with the wheel and spokes tearing a few pieces of skin off my feet. And the open spots are right where my shoe heels cup the Achilles tendon - so I'm wearing shoes, socks, band aids, and antibiotic ointment. I was standing at the street corner, waiting for the light, when this guy on a bike charges across on a yellow, and ran across the backs of my sandals and my heels - it caused him to fall, and me to stumble out into the street (very luckily, nothing was in that lane at that time). Other than having sore heels and being upset with the biker in a hurry, I'm OK, though.
Kathy, Jim, Sarah and Michael are out hiking in the Indian Peaks Wilderness area today - it's their slightly belated Father's Day gift to spend the day with Jim. They are hiking up to Rogers Lake and Rogers Pass on the South Boulder Creek Trail. I've walked Suki and Boo, and Remy and Rosie this morning. I need to get more chicken jerky for treats; and I need to get kitty food for Lovey and Neddy this afternoon. I also need to go to the bank and make a deposit from the last couple of jobs I've had. Currently the kits are on the patio, relaxing in the shade (we're expecting a high of 95) - and I've just returned from my walks. Lovey and Neddy are now chasing each other around the apartment, and Lovey is playing with her toys again - Neddy is rejuvenating her. When Lovey gets tired of playing, she gives a little hiss to Neddy, and he just collapses where he is and then finds something else to play with. Both of them are delightful.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Little 'Uns

Best friends

One of these things is not like the others...

A lamb in Wiltshire, England gives
the photographer a raspberry

Mosby, Neddy, and Shoes

Neddy just erased an entire blog when he walked across the keyboard and sat on the mouse. Oh, well. He has discovered the yard, but feels safer on the patio. He and Lovey have started to play chase, so they are interacting a little more; and they both slept on the same side of me last night, but not touching one another. I'm currently reading a very good biography of John Singleton Mosby, written by James A. Ramage. As some of my husband's ancestral relatives (cousins) rode with the Gray Ghost of the Confederacy, and since I'm pretty familiar with the area where Mosby operated, I find the book fascinating.
There will be a partial eclipse of the moon on Saturday, June 26, and I'm looking forward to seeing it. That's the weekend I'll be spending with Brandi, and the day we'll visit the Midsummer Scandinavian Festival up in Estes Park. My summer shoes from Lands End arrived yesterday, and I'm very happy with them. They fit (finding 6 1/2 wides that do fit are unusual), they are light weight and breathable, and they are even (partially) made from recycled plastic bottles. I purchased a pair of ballerina flats and Mary Jane Trekkers; I wore both for long walks yesterday, and I am very much satisfied. I highly recommend them! (Especially as they cost less than $20 per pair!) I've worn my last pair of Lands End shoes for over 5 years, and am still happy with the old ones, too.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New Zealand

Farmland near South Otago, South Island, NZ

Penguin Road Crossing Sign near Wellington, North Island, NZ

Blooming lupine near Teanua, South Island, NZ

Hot 22nd

We're expecting a high in the 90s today - I've already taken my own walk and walked Rosie and Remy. Knowing what the weather is supposed to be, I wanted to get the Rs walked before their tongues would drag the ground due to the heat and dryness. Lovey is lying in the chair at the open patio door, while Neddy is playing in an empty box. This morning, after my shower, I found him chewing on the corner of my desk, like a puppy. I gave him a toy with catnip and managed to distract him. - Yes, I give my kids catnip; I contribute to the delinquency of minors. Both Lovey and Neddy get high, as did Banichi - I'm lucky that my kits all carry that gene. I met the new neighbors on Topaz - they have a long-haired red dachshund and a very young and energetic Springer Spaniel puppy.
I'll be taking care of Brandi this weekend, and Kathy, Jim and I are going to the Scandinavian Festival up in Estes Park on Saturday. More information about the festival can be found at: I am looking forward to the arts and crafts, the singing and dancing, and (of course) the food; but I will not eat any Lutke fish (sorry)! I think I might go to Denver in mid-July and wander their mile long shopping mall. But that will be after we spend July 7th with Grandma Anne to celebrate her 83rd birthday - we're going for a hike in the morning, lunch at Katmandu in Nederland, play Scrabble and rest, have tea at her house, play more Scrabble and then have supper at Chautauqua Park. - And I need to do more genealogy digging all around the family tree. ... Enjoy your day!

Monday, June 21, 2010


Aerial view of Stonehenge on the Salisbury Plain

The Hale-Bopp Comet passes over Stonehenge

The Temple of the Sun at Machu Picchu,
where the solstice shines through a window

Welcome Summer!

Summer arrived earlier this morning with the Solstice (and winter arrived in the southern hemisphere) - and I had to smile at the photos of all the people who celebrated the arrival at Stonehenge. None of us really knows for what purpose Stonehenge was built; archaeologists say that the first circular ditch was dug around 3100 BC, and that what we see today is the result of five different building efforts. There are all sorts of stories and theories about why Stonehenge was built - again no one today knows. One thing that is certain is that on the morning of the summer solstice, the sun rises directly in line with the Heel Stone, a 35 ton sandstone block. The Heel Stone stands 16 feet tall and leans to the southwest; digging has shown that the bottom 4 feet of the stone are buried. There is no argument that the placement of the Heel Stone shows a high degree of astronomical knowledge by the folks who placed it.
Neddy and Lovey and I had a wonderful day together. I let them outside three times, and kept a close eye on the little one. He explored and played on the patio, and once, with great daring, he went around the corner and explored the flowers and vegetables growing on Chokie's patio. The crows and ravens have been keeping a close eye on Neddy, as well. I don't know if they think this little black ball of fluff is a grounded fledgling, or if they are thinking about a nice snack - but they follow his every move with great interest. Lovey actually gave Neddy a bath last night, so they are bonding. I'm getting ready to take Remy and Rosie out for their morning walk - Kathy has warned me that they are watering from the irrigation ditch, and that the yard will be wet and the sprinklers on, so I guess we'll pass on a visit to Suki and Boo today. It's supposed to be in the upper 80s and low 90s all week, with possible afternoon thunderstorms, so we'll be sweating here.
Have a good week!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Wild West

German poster for Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show

A current day dusty round-up
French poster for Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show

A Fantastic Play

It's 9 in the morning here - 72 degrees and 60% humidity. Folks in Colorado think it's terribly humid if the percentage is above 30. Neddy is exploring the patio, while Lovey is lying in cool grass in the shade of the aspen. I thought I would sleep like a log last night, finally back in my own bed; but it wasn't to be. Since I was home, Lovey had to keep telling me how awful it was to have a little shadow following and trying to emulate her - she talked all night. And Neddy ran across me all night. For some reason, I'm tired this morning. After I finish the blog and get the kits back inside, I'm going to turn on the fan and hopefully get cooler and have an uninterrupted nap (maybe). Tomorrow is the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, and there will be quiet celebrations around the world.
Last night I was lucky to see Grand Hotel the Musical, presented by the Parlando School for the Arts, at the Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder. It was both riveting and a high-energy performance. Having never read the book, nor seen the movie or play before, I went in with an open mind. The actors and actresses in this production ranged in age from 13 to 20, and I was totally floored by their performance. I would never have guessed their ages, and the ladies next to me were positively swooning over the performance of Chris Douglass (a UC freshman) as Baron Felix von Gaigern. Personally, I was entranced by the acting of Max Silverman as Victor Witt, the manager of the ballerina. Since I know this young man off-stage, I always watch his work with pride. I left the theater last night with the Charleston playing in my head, and walked home to call Nancy and tell her how fantastic the performance had been. I was amazed to learn from her that the young man portraying Otto (the dying book keeper) was only 17 - he was super! And I was also impressed by the Doctor, as well as the aerial ballet dance to Bolero - it was just a wonderful performance. I laughed, I cried, and I came out with a light heart. - Bravo!

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Neddy is a zoom-zoom kitty

Daniel Westling and Princess Victoria

Ladies Day at Royal Ascot is all about hats -
the wilder, the better

A Royal Wedding Today

Alexy will arrive home this afternoon, and I'll be back at the apartment with Lovey and Neddy. At the moment, it seems as if Neddy's unanticipated nickname will be Zoom-Zoom. I planned on calling him Neddy, no matter what - but he speeds around quicker than the blink of an eye, and for the past few days I've found myself looking at the empty space where he'd just been, and saying, "Zoom-zoom." Lovey still throws an occasional hiss his way, but after 13 days, seems pretty much OK with having a small rug rat as a companion. I looked at Neddy's adoption papers and found that his date of birth was April Fools Day - I should have known. Currently, his favorite toy is a lime green and lavender legged yellow octopus, which is almost as big as he is. He has also taken over Banichi's shoestring, which I take as a good omen. Tonight is the opening show of Grand Hotel, and I will be there to see Max perform. And next Saturday I'll spend the day in Estes Park at the annual Scandinavian Festival - I can't wait to explore my Swedish and Danish heritage!
It seems odd, after witnessing all the hoop-la over the weddings of the British royals, to note that the Swedish Crown Princess was married to a commoner a few hours ago in Stockholm. Princess Victoria, aged 32, married Daniel Westling, 36, at 7:30 (EDT) this morning in the Stockholm Cathedral. He will now be known as Prince Daniel, and will be given the title of Duke of Vastergotland - something which has not happened since medieval times in Sweden. ... The week at Royal Ascot is winding down. I found it quite humorous that a filly named Lillie Langtry won the Coronation Stakes yesterday. A colt named Rite of Passage won the Ascot Gold Cup. ... And Churchill Downs will be the host of the Breeders Cup Races both this and next year. They will continue with the two day programs, with the distaff races and the Marathon on Friday, and the races for the boys (and any girl who wants to run against them) on Saturday. This year's races will be held on November 6 and 7.
Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Alamo and Defenders

The Alamo - at the time of the battle, the roof was flat;
the men were defending an open space of 3 acres
surrounded by low, crumbling adobe walls

Davy Crockett, frontiersman and
politician, was looking for a new start in Texas

Jim Bowie had married into the Tejano
aristocracy; he wanted a Republic of Texas

The Alamo - and Critters

Yesterday's predicted winds were not as powerful as expected, and I had a great walk with Rosie and Remy. We finished the walk at Kathy and Jim's so the Rs could run off-leash in the back yard with Suki and Boo for awhile; Remy chased squirrels and Rosie entertained herself by dropping her bone in the irrigation ditch, and then jumping in to catch it before it floated away on the current. I have been offered free tickets to see Joel perform in Ragtime the Musical in Denver, and to see Max in The Grand Hotel here in Boulder; I accepted both offers! Cloudy and Shady went out for a short while yesterday afternoon, while I made some brownies. They were both in better moods after going out, and had no problems coming back inside at dusk. - Lovey and Neddy acted as though it had been years since I had visited them yesterday (it was 18 hours) - we had a huge love fest with lots of purring and head-butting. Of course, this was done singly, but they both were very loving and adorable. I'm looking forward to being back home Saturday afternoon; I have eleven uninterrupted days at home before I move the kits to Kathy and Jim's for 5 days - it will be heaven!
I finally finished reading Exodus from the Alamo - a book that uses historical documents from Mexico, as well as immediate newspaper accounts, to reconstruct as best as possible what truly happened. It took a long time for me to finish, as the author was so intent upon presenting each documented citation that the narrative of events was difficult to follow. And I had/have a few bones to pick with him over some of his terms: he termed most men at the Alamo as "Anglo-Celt" in background, and seemed to despise the Scots-Irish. The Anglo-Celt is a weekly newspaper that has been published since 1841 in Ireland, and is not normally used to describe someones racial background. I must agree, after reading the book, and all the citations, that we Americans have been fed a line of bull about what truly occurred at the Alamo. It seems to have been a case of yellow journalism run amuck - and one that was never examined, as Americans needed heroes at that time. Having read the book, I can say that my feelings toward the men who wasted their lives at an indefensible livestock corral have been rearranged. Travis, an untried leader with a purchased Colonelcy, was a womanizer, out to get land. Bowie was an alcoholic who wanted to have a good time, but believed in a Republic of Texas. Crockett hoped to settle in Texas and possibly run for President of the Republic. Captain Dickinson was a true hero. They were foolish, some were greedy, and they were misguided in their beliefs in American superiority - but they are still heroes.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


A Gust of Wind (1866) by Corot

Shore Winds, by Lombardo

Free as the Wind, by Romero

You Go, Girl!

Today is a Chinook day - we're having sustained winds between 20 and 40 mph, with gusts predicted up to 80 mph. The winds began around 11 p.m., and are expected to die down this afternoon. I have yet to decide whether to walk the Rs in this or not. My biggest worry about walking the kids in this wind is that sand or other debris can easily blow into the guys' eyes and cause damage - at least I have glasses that partially block the air flow.
With the horrendous and despicable oil spill/flow into the Gulf of Mexico, I found it interesting that very few news outlets covered the Chevron oil spill into Red Butte Creek at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday. An estimated 33,600 gallons of crude oil spilled into the creek and made its way into a pond in the park - caking multiple birds and other wildlife in the gooey, sticky oil. Chevron immediately stepped up and said it will cover all costs of the clean-up and any compensation that is due. I haven't been writing about the situation in the Gulf because I get too emotional about it - angry, sad, upset, murderous - the whole gamut of emotions... I've spent a lot of time on a salt marsh island, and I am only too aware of the damages being caused by the BP oil. I listened to President Obama's speech on Tuesday night, and was disappointed. I do realize that he is not an oil expert, and I appreciate the efforts he and his cabinet have made. BUT. But I totally agree that the speech President Obama should have made is the one that Rachel Maddow delivered on her political commentary show last night. If you are interested, it may be either read or viewed at the following URL: - Which is why this blog is titled "You Go, Girl!"
When I went home yesterday to visit the kits, I lost Neddy. As I unlocked and opened the door, I saw Lovey on the back of the hall chair, waiting to be adored; I saw Neddy on the floor under the chair. I stepped in and immediately closed the door. Then I loved Lovey a lot. But I couldn't see Neddy anywhere - turns out the little scamp had run out into the hall as I stepped through the door. I spent three minutes searching for him, then called his name, and heard him answer from the hall. Gosh, he's fast on his feet! Shady is asleep in his basket on the dining room table here at Alexy's this morning; Cloudy is in a snit because I'm keeping her in today (she stayed out for 25 hours yesterday and over night). But all the kids are fine, so I can relax.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Blue jay

Snowy owl

Red-tail hawk

Lazy Day With Critters

It's another gorgeous morning outside - 63 and sunny. I didn't wear my hat yesterday when walking Rosie and Remy, and I am paying the price with a light sunburn on my face. My hat and sunglasses are next to my courier bag for today's walk. I am very pleased with my courier bag purchase at the Estes Park Scottish-Irish Festival last year: when I'm walking dogs, it holds treats and empty doggie poop bags, as well as a water bottle and Kleenex for my allergy-laden nose; when I'm hiking, it carries water and snacks and other needed items. I think I'm going to purchase another one before long. I spent three hours at home with Lovey and Neddy yesterday - I had the patio door open most of the time, and Lovey went to the aspen tree and laid in the roots, like Banichi used to. Neddy, however, just kept running back and forth from the patio to my desk, with occasional trips to other places in the apartment, and totally wore himself out. Once he was sound asleep, Lovey came and cuddled on my chest and purred until I thought she'd shake apart. She's still not totally accepted her new little brother.
Yesterday, when I went over to walk Rosie and Remy, Rosie greeted me at the door, but Remy was gazing at a squirrel up a tree in the backyard. I opened a deck door, and called him, and he came running. Boy, did he come running! Instead of taking the steps up the deck, he leapt onto it - right where there was a sun-catching crystal ball on a wire holder at the edge of the deck. He caught the ball with a paw, and it bounced and rolled across the deck - until it hit the side of the house and shattered. I kept the Rs out of it, so there were no glass splinters in paws or cut paws, but I still feel responsible for the breakage. - And, I had to laugh at a blue jay yesterday, too. I was sitting still and contemplating the flowers in Alexy's backyard, when this blue jay landed within 6 inches of my hand. He tilted his head this way and that, and then I turned my head, and said, "Well, hello there!" I literally scared the crap out of him. He flew up into a tree and gave me quite a tongue-lashing. But he was very handsome, up close and personal.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Local Flooding

The Big Thompson River in Estes Park on Friday

The Cache le Poudre River outside Fort Collins Sunday

Carp swimming across 71st Avenue in Greeley yesterday
(again, the Cache le Poudre River)

Cats and Dogs

It's a beautiful morning of bright sunshine, with a temperature currently at 63 and humidity at 34%. Weather people say we'll reach the low 80s this afternoon, and I can believe it. I've taken Brandi for her walk, and taken out the recyclable bins and trash bins at both Brandi's and Alexy's. Cloudy and Shady are both out and about, but Brandi wanted to stay inside at her house, so I left her in. After all the rain, Shady and Cloudy did not want to come back inside yesterday evening. I took their bell out, and rang it, and called for several minutes. Cloudy finally showed up and deigned to go in when I opened the kitchen door for her, after which I gave her a treat for answering the bell. Shady was sitting at the corner of the potting shed when I went back outside. He let me approach him, but when I was four feet away, he ran around the shed and jumped into a low tree. I approached again, and he jumped out of the tree, ran to another, and perched on a limb there. We did this several times, until I just stood still and called him. He trotted right up to me, gave me a head butt, and let me pick him up to carry him inside. What a character! I'll be headed over to walk Remy and Rosie around 9 this morning, and afterwards, I'll go home to spend a few hours with Lovey and Neddy.
It turns out that Jim and Kathy had never visited Rist Canyon up in Larimer County. Saturday afternoon, I drove them up and gave them a tour in a light rain, using the rented Prius. I thought that Jim, having lived here all his life, and having hiked and climbed all over the state, would have visited the canyon in the next county. He'd been in the Poudre Canyon, of course, but not the Rist. So I was able to share my delight in the beauty and peacefulness of this long, winding route. It's a paved, two lane highway, but we only met one car traveling on the entire road, and never saw a vehicle behind us. It was a super way to relax and see marvelous scenery. If I should ever win the lottery, that's where I'd purchase a home in Colorado.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Zenyatta Is the Queen

Zenyatta did it. She won her race by only three-quarters of a length, but she keep on gaining inch by inch down the stretch, and overcame St. Trinian's, who was carrying 9 pounds less than she was. Some of the other mares she defeated were carrying 17 pounds less than her. Zenyatta is the Queen of the race track! She has compiled 17 straight wins in a row; beating the past record-holders Cigar, Citation, and Mr. Frisky. Having beaten the boys in the Breeders Cup Classic last year, I think that the folks who vote for the Horse of the Year should take another look at this mare! (And, she's a grand daughter of *Forli - just like Court Jester, Gandalf, Fancy Fax, and most of the other young horses I helped raise and train in Micanopy.) Zenyatta is one super mare!
It seems to be drying up here. We've had intermittent showers all day, but the sun is now shining for the second time this afternoon. Cloudy and Shady are outside playing. I've visited Brandi 4 times so far today, and spent time with my kits as well, after returning the rental car. The weather folks say we'll be in the upper 80s on Wednesday and in the low 90s on Thursday - I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not, considering how wet we are right now. If it's not humid outside, I can handle it. The baby squirrels are out and about starting this past weekend - they are so much smaller than their parents, and do such idiotic things that it's easy to pick them out. A momma fox has her 5 half-grown kits living next door, and Cloudy and Shady are always on their guard - and I make sure they're inside before dusk.
I hope everyone has a good week!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Friday's Photos

Rist Canyon

Looking down into Rist Canyon
(there is a horse, barely visible, just to the right of the center)

Goat Mountain, at the entrance to Rist Canyon