Thursday, April 28, 2011

good thing blossom didn't see this rabbit!!

woulda had a tough time keeping her from giving chase. those rabbits are fast and i'm sure to a dog they lo0k like a grand time. this guy scurried off the trail and then stopped for a moment, allowing me to catch a snapshot. i often see the rabbits, but this is a rare shot i've gotten of one.
it was raining when i woke up and i'm deeply involved with a pretty decent book at the moment so it was easy to curl up after feeding the animals. eventually i did make it out to the bog and did a few loops out there. always a great spot. love it this time of year. the bugs haven't taken over yet and the animal life is quite active.

usually just do one loop so the dogs were quite baffled, especially rio. had plans after the walk to accomplish stuff and eventually i got some stuff done, but really, just a lazy, happy day. my life allows me those days more than others. eventually the sun came out and the dogs and i went out to the back deck and enjoyed the warm (50'sF) sunshine. felt great to be able to read out on the deck again. summer has arrived! okay we actually haven't hit spring yet. explained to my brother yesterday that alaska has 5 seasons. currently, this is break up. the duck above is actually breaking his way through the ice as he swims along.

the geese are all over town now, hear the swans have been passing through, the magpies (who live here year round) seem quite annoyed by the added competition. lots of squaking which magpies are good at on a good day.

watched american idol. still enjoy that show. the new judges are a bit too nice often, but i'm okay with a kinder, gentler american idol. no matter what the judges say, the public votes. i think it would probably be better to get those bottom few selected by the public and then let the judges select who goes home.

spent a few minutes watching/photographing this lovely moose in the bog today. she kept an eye on me but didn't seem too annoyed overall. rio caught wind or her a few times on our loop, but not at this spot. we must have been in a good wind direction. it looked like she had been in the drink before we arrived. always love getting pictures of moose in the water. i think that is what everyone hopes for when they take moose pictures.

the tires have to be changed over from studded to regular summer tires by may 1st. this sorta dawned on me today. the one place had a 4 hour wait, they only do first come, first served, but stay open all night. another place takes appointments so i scheduled one for tomorrow just after 2p. then i was hoping that after 10pm tonight i could get in at the first tire place. when i called at 10pm though they said the wait was until 2 am so good thing i have the appointment. there can be a hefty ticket for not doing the changeover. driving on the regular asphalt wears down the studs so best to change them off earlier than later. often if i have to wait a few hours i select a tire changeover place where i can take the dogs and go for a nice long walk on the local bike/walk trails.

not sure what this moose found to eat in the water, some root system, but she gobbled it up.

also stopped by lowes. really want to get this upstairs bedroom flooring project going. so i got some estimates on bamboo flooring. i have bamboo laminate downstairs so i thought i could get the real bamboo for upstairs to kind of make it all flow together in some way. i brought home samples of the light and the darker one they have available for the same price. i know the best way to motivate myself is to have to get it done. if i set it up i'll be forced to empty out these rooms, tear up carpet and paint. such a hassle and like all projects you start this and then you have to change this, alter thing always leads to another. will want to redo the closet spaces as well. the windows really need to be changed, the light know the drill. may check around a few more places and see what options i have before i make my final decision. never painted the one room when i moved in and never really liked the colour of this office room i used.

it's after midnight and i guess i should get off this computer.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

walk, swim, sleep, read...the life of me!

it's working so far. i do eat on occasion and chocolate is a part of that diet. of course, i realized that we have no passed easter the last chocolate holiday until halloween. just boring chocolate for months to come. no cutely coloured and packaged treats. i'm sure i'll cope somehow.
today i did two walks. first i took blossom and rio for a loop in the bog here by my place. baxter bog is home to moose and loads of birds. love the peaceful sounds of all those shorebirds, magpies, geese and ducks blended together. we do get many various species of birds. the moose are regulars, occasionally in the summers a bear comes through. today a few rabbits hopped off the trail. luckily blossom didn't notice.

this moose was out there. only one i saw today.

little sunset action from the back deck. i've gotten the patio furniture out so that should assure us another snow storm at some point. it's been in the 50's i think the past few days. a few raindrops, but no snow fell that i noticed. managed to get some more leaves raked up today, saw some buds coming up and a few of the bulbs i planted last fall have started to grow. spring is coming. for now it's still breakup. summers here are fast and furious, everyone racing around the state seeing and doing everything they can. then fall comes and everything slows back down again.

once the animals were fed this evening blossom went outside and lay on the deck til i dragged her in after 10pm. can't believe they lay on this bed out there. i usually take on old bed and leave it out. it gets soaked with the rain, dries with the sun and soaked again.

miss breezy has taken to sitting on the top of my computer chair and napping. haven't seen her snuggling with rio as much though she does the love rubs with the dogs all the time.

tanya met me for a partial loop of spencer loop. south bivouac trailhead. i always love this loop in the summers. it's a great little butt workout, nice views, close to town. you can go 3-5 miles i believe. we did the smaller loop, taking a cut off due to time constraints. have lost a few hiking partners from this trail. guess there are a few too many climbing spots for some. i find it to be a great training hike. most of these trails out this part of town i like to have a buddy for bear reasons starting about now. no signs of em out there today though. the trail was mushy to muddy. the creek is thawing, blossom took a dip, big surprise there.

after we finished hiking i went to the alaska club for my swim. got there when it wasn't too crowded. did 64 lengths. yesterday it was packed when i got there. i think it being crowded made me swim faster. i did 70 lengths in less than 45 min. usually takes me a leisurely hour for that. i've been slacking back to 2 swims/week and only 50-60 lengths. trying to get back in 3/week and get in 60-70 lengths. may have to get myself some underwater music device. there was a dude there with a counter and that. all techno. very cool. no doubt all that cool equipment wouldn't help me look cool like he was. oh well, life as a regular joe or joesephine i guess the case would be.

the dogs had a great time. blossom is pretty wiped out this evening. poor girl. is she getting old, is it being out of shape. we'll see. may have to start her on some meds for hips or something at some point. rio tends to get shorter walks in the summer. those roots and all just get too taxing for her. plus it's too hot. now i realize that it rarely gets over 70 F here and for many that seems coolish, it's all what you get used to though. have to make sure i have a water source. blossom tends to overheat as well so i try to choose hikes with creeks or lakes for cooling.

views of anchorage and susitna.

indy and boddhi battle over a big stick.

these two are also from this mornings bog walk. followed a few ducks on the trail. they just kept walking along. no hurry.

there was a hit and run the other night here in town. a 28 year old died. guess they found the car that hit him, no word on the driver at this time. usually when people bolt it's cause they are freaked out or drunk. the accident occured at 3:30 am so i'd go with drunk. either way they make their situation so much worse by booking. seems like they usually find them anyway. teh longer it takes i guess they figure thier blood alcohol will be lower. i suspect the punishment for leaving the scene is far worse than if they had just stayed.

on other anchorage news, apparently one of our decorated officers has been an illegal alien and worked for our department for several years i gathered. just heard a bit of that on the news tonight, while doing other things so i'm not sure of those details.

chatted with a few family members this weekend/tonight. always fun to catch up on everyone. we don't always do very well at staying in touch. i think facebook helps. i definitely feel more in touch with our family that is so scattered. nothing beats a phone call for catching up and just laughing for a bit.

these last pictures are from the final monday walk of the season. summers get too crazy. will plan longer monday walks on the weekends i don't work all weekend. leave earlier and hit some different trails. will be nice to sleep in for the summers on my work weekend. we'll come back for year 4 of monday walks in the fall. has been a fun year again. always love the variety of people at times, just relaxed walking and socializing. i think we'll all miss the post walk coffee mostly. i baked some corn muffins for our final day.

it was tanya, lena and her son, maureen and i. and the dogs of course. the above to pictures are just part of the main trail that is currently a pond. the dogs enjoyed that, especially blossom.

kaya and manny try to sort out what's up. i think manny wanted to play with this small pup, but kaya really wasn't too sure he wanted to be involved. when he did, the bigger malamute would come in to "protect" his malamute puppy buddy which kaya really didn't seem to appreciate. kaya is so adorable.

watched "kings speech" last night. with all the royal wedding preparations seemed a good one to watch. i really liked it. so 2 very good movies this week. "kings speech" and "water for elephants". i located the book so i think sandra will take that to mexico next week with her. i also pulled out "the guernsey potato peel pie society" or something like that. i really enjoyed reading that one as well.

blossom is a little less muddy than over the weekend. lots of cleaner water puddles today to lounge in. baths are pretty much useless at this point. don't want to spend money to get her bathed only to have her sink into a mudhole again the next day. hte hose water would be too cold (for me, not her since she is in icy puddles).

she is so dang cute!!

oodles of puddles for blossom these past few days and she is loving it!

off to read and sleep...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

potter to mchugh and potter marsh...

Happy Easter to all. admittedly, i do very little to celebrate easter at this point in my life. tried watching a show on the history channel on the lost 40 days of jesus. not much in the bible regarding the 40 days jesus spent on earth post resurection and before ascention. apparently, there are many documents written in those years after jesus died that were not included in the bible. mary magdalene even had a book, though i suspect she was probably not educated enough to write a document. if it was her words she had someone write them for her. i mean a female prostitute in that time frame, probably illiterate. so i do realize the meaning of easter, though it does seem to be lost to bunnies and all.
my first year ever not having purchased a chocolate bunny and eating the ears off. perhaps it's lost it's thrill, perhaps in my mid 40's i'm needing to lose a few pounds and bunny eating should be limited.

got a few invites to dinners, but not until today and i'd already made my little plans. i took the dogs to hike potter to mchugh and then after that i wandered the boardwalks of potter marsh. always cool birds there. not too many today, but gotta look when you get a chance.

the potter to mchugh trail is generall the first trail to be cleared of ice and snow, but also the first trail to have bear activity. have heard of many bear sightings. i took my bear spray, the dogs and i all wore bells and with it being a weekend i mostly figured bear sightings would be less likely due the popularity of the trail.

no bears seen, no scat seen either. the dogs enjoyed thier day. lots of roots which are tough for rio. we turned back at approx 2 miles so a total of 4 miles, good enough for a little outing.

these first pictures were all taken at potter marsh. lots of cool reflections i thought. i love a reflection opportunity. there used to be just one boardwalk out there. the above boardwalk was added just a few years back. there is still much of the marsh that these ramps don't cover. in the winter, it freezes and locals use it for ice skating. one of these years i need to get out there for that myself.

though the days have been cloudy, there hasn't been any rain to speak of. i lived in ketchikan for 6 years. it never threatened to rain there, if it was cloudy it just rained. i prefer that, all the clouds without the rain is depressing, i mean just get on with it. oh well.

saw several woodpeckers out there. they are so cute. much smaller than i would think, but that could just be because of the amount of noise they make.

i think he's probably a downy woodpecker. i'm not an official birder. i suspect i've seen many birds in my bird book than i know of. to me, they often look very similar. this one below is a duck, a goldeneye probably. again, i'd need confirmation from a real birder sort. i know that they often hang out down at potters marsh and you can go there in the mornings for planned birding adventures. not much happens in my world in the mornings.

the gulls i'm terrible at. they are all just sea birds to me. we met a guy in st paul who said he goes around specifically looking for the various gulls. who knew? i'd pick a cooler bird if that was all i was doing.

actually bought a real bone in ham a few days ago and cooked that up today. should have invited guests myself, but want to get the house more cleaned up before i do that. the ham was quite tasty. undecided about the ham bone, give to dogs, not give to dogs. i think i probably won't. there is only the one anyway. no way to split it between the two dogs. rio really doesn't need more reasons to pass gas.

watched some play off hockey while the ham cooked. love hockey. haven't spent much time watching it of late and so many of the names are unfamiliar. the game is still great. it's rare that i watch any other athletic event on tv. i do enjoy tennis and the olympics as well.

plan to watch "the kings speech" tonight so i need to get on that as i suspect it will be a longish flick.

really like these next two reflections.

the world is an amazingly beautiful place, all one has to do is simply slow down and take it all in.

each season brings a new light to this world we live in.

chatted with my sister for a few minutes yesterday before i went swimming. did get my mile in. i've been a slacker and want to get back up to doing the mile regularly. still took me less than an hour. today the gym closed very early so i was unable to get to the swim.

my sisters curiosity got to her more than mine did. one day she checked out our mom's bra's and noted the size was in the G range. she had them special ordered. so i suppose i am quite small in comparison. i think my mom gained weight after having 7 kids. when you gain weight the result is generally bigger breasts. those don't seem to go away very rapidly with any weight loss. i'm getting use to my breasts being closer to my face, though it does seem odd still.

these are canadian geese.

above is a female northern pintail and below is the male northern pintail.

rio is sleeping and dreaming. she started to wag in her sleep. i always love when they dream and wag...must be a good sign that she is a happy dog. of course, the kitten has been enjoying chasing rio's tail of late anytime she wags it.

more geese.

i think rio enjoyed her walk today, but it's always more troublesome for her than blossom. she is blind and these obstacles can be quite a challenge. i've trained her a few words to assist her, but she was still a bit anxious about this one.

words i've trained her on are "over", "careful", "follow". lots of roots out there today, which is really tough. i think she gets really tired as she really must concentrate on her foot placement. she does great though.

i let blossom chase her tennis ball off leash a few times.

of course, this also meant that she was able to locate the mud puddles and get thoroughly saturated in thick, tenacious mud.

always have to stop at the lookout on this trail, though there are many peek-a-boo views of the turnigan arm.

mud, glorious mud!

lots of people out there today.

i took my cleats but never needed them.

most of the time i kept both dogs leashed. just seemed to busy not to. though in the end there were so many dogs off leash i began to feel like i was the bad owner for having them on leash.

enjoyed all the branches and roots from different persepectives. rio of course, doesn't share my interest.

looking out at turnigan arm. to the far right in the background is "sleeping lady" mountain.

there are my well behaved and leashed dogs.

the kitten had to give her dogs and i love rubs when we returned. not sure what rio or blossom think of this cat rubbing against them,but they don't seem to mind the little kitten.

sapogi relaxes at home.

not sure they are totally bonded yet, but they definitely are getting along better each day.

yesterday, i took them to the bog and then the neighborhoods for a few hours. works out to probably 4 miles of walking. dogs don't really care where they walk ultimately. they just want to walk and if it's a variety then they get all the new smells and are all happy.

the creek near here is still a bit frozen. well, that is as much excitement as i think you can all take in one day. hope you all enjoyed your easter.