Sunday, February 26, 2012

pups taking a break from thier race to check us out!!

took some friends to my secret watching place. there was already some folks out there when we arrived. dang it and they had 2 dogs with them. bummer. apparently they come out there every year on the last day of the races. guess i'm usually there on day one or day 2. i'll have to stick to that. the people and thier dogs were all nice enough though. anyway, i was joined today by friends karen, gail and sandra. of course, i took my pups out there as well. blossom loves watching the dog teams run past. she also loved having her human friends out there with her.on the short hike out i was tossing her frisbee and she must have plunged front paws first into some fairly fresh excrement. i'm guessing it was human. gross,for sure. blossom was even grossed out. she leapt out seemingly totally disgusted herself. i had to fetch the toy at some risk to myself. tried to just toss the frisbee into the deep snow to clean blossoms legs, but that just froze the poop on more. hard to judge someone for pooping in the woods. i mean poop emergencies happen. let he who has never pooped in the woods throw the first stone. okay, well i'm sure there are plenty out there who have never pooped in the woods. of course, just yesterday in downtown anchorage i saw a guy take a piss on the sidewalk. he didn't seem fazed by all the people out there at fur rondy. oddly, we got lucky and as we crossed the big bog the frisbee got sucked under a bit of a melted bit. blossom dug and dug and we all thought for sure the thing was lost. not sure what the status of the bog was for sure. we probably should have all been more concerned for our lives. i think it was frozen underneath and for some reason that section had melted. after awhile, blossom miraculously located said frisbee and the perk was that she was all clean again!! cheers from the crowd. not my best dog pictures today. cloudy out there. dogs were a bit less settled than usual probably due to the added dogs. the two labs were nice enough dogs, but they never settled, they just bounced back there. it's the first dog race, get the bugs out of taking pictures, get ready for the iditarod. hopefully, there is some sunshine out next weekend. drinking a glass of shiraz and watching "50/50". great movie. was watching the oscars tonight. as usual i hadn't watched many of the movies. will have to netflix a few of them. i made a list of ones that sounded interesting. the oscars were better this year with billy crystal back at the helm. he's just a good mc for the event. i missed the first part. it started so early here. like 4:30 our time i heard. i figured if i was home by 6pm i'd be good. guess the pictures aren't too bad considering rio figured out i had treats in my pocket and was pushy. she wasn't interested in the race. i think that this year since we weren't alone out there, she couldn't hear the teams coming. it is fun to go alone sometimes, it's totally quiet and then you usually hear the musher calling out to the dogs, then the team comes out of the woods. you'd think all those dogs would make alot of noise, but they are really quiet. paws and breathing. very cool. glad i took the treats though. kept the dogs entertained if they got distracted. blossom was excited to have buddies there. she loves people more than dogs i think. it was a nice group that joined me so it was a fun day. it can be tricky catching the dogs. mostly i just put it in sports mode and hope for the best. just takes a few shots. it is easier without the dogs, but i'm pretty attached to the dogs and anytime i can have them with me well it's always just more fun. guess that makes me one of those crazy dog people. there are worse things. don't know who won the race. these guys were pretty close, doesn't seem like tons of opportunities to pass on those trails, but i'm sure the mushers know exactly where those spots are. this guy probably was hanging close waiting for the moment.too bad we didn't have blue skies like yesterday morning. looks like possible snow over the next several days. i may try and hit the snow sculptures some evening after dark when they are lit up. looked like some good sculptures were being created. nice kicking action. more into the dogs than the humans. i don't know the sprint racers at all i must admit. looking at the bio's most are from alaska, but there were quite a few from canada and the lower 48 as well as one from germany. from what i hear the rondy sprint races are a pretty big competition. 25 miles is a pretty big sprint...almost a marathon, right? liked the floppy ears.tears and laughter. that is what this movie brings to you. i love that the friend that seems like such a slacker is actually quietly reading how he can be there and be helpful. everyone fears getting cancer and all that goes with it, the chemo, the radiation. some people are just selfish and i guess when you have a diagnosis like cancer or are dibilitated in any way, you get a window into who people really are around you. this is probably both sad and surprising. i'm not sure you can always predict who will do what when you really need people to assist you. hard to accept help too. i know it would be tough for me to just admit i needed help to even myself and then another step to actually take the action of asking for help. i wouldn't want to be a bother, at least i know that is what i'd be thinking. i try to take baby steps in softening my staunchly independant side. asking my neighbors to help when i got the puppy was huge for me. i knew it would be good for me to allow help and it would be great for my dogs to have a break in the 12 hours i was at work. still, it wasn't easy to open up the home, hand over a key, relinquish control. still hard somedays...and it's been 6 years since the neighbors started helping with blossom. switched to black and white for a bit with the dogs. will have to try that at the iditarod this coming weekend. i am excited to spend the day downtown for the ceremonial start. will probably just wander around a bit and have fun taking pictures. at the restart in willow it's easier to get really good action photography. will be much more crowded downtown. will want to focus more on the ceremony of it all. the people, the is good to help and be helped. sometimes i think all that is recognized is grand gestures, but sometimes it's a laugh or a kind word at the right time. the simple act of calling someone to check in can be enough. even when i was feeling sick this past month, there were times when it would be nice if someone just texted or called to check in. even if i wouldn't let them help me, jus the idea that there was that opening if i really needed it helped immensely. even though the lighting wasn't great for black and white i think the pictures are kinda cool.
looks like alot of room between dogs. when they are coming at you they look all bunched up. obviously, we are a bit of a distraction, they do take a peek at us. mushers have to keep them focused on the task at hand. they are dogs. handed sandra my camera to get a picture of gail and i and the dogs as we waited for the next team. she did a fine job. butt gets a bit chilly sitting on the snow. doesn't take too long for the teams to make their way past though. blossom sat on me for a bit. self portrait of rio and i.sandra and her BCFF (best canine friend forever). she doesn't have a dog, but i have heard her say that blossom is the kind of dog that makes you think you may want one. of course, only one just like blossom. she really is a great pup. i know i say that all the time, but every so often you just run across a great dog. she is one wonderful dog! karen is in the background down closer to the actual trail. with the dogs i stay up and away from the trail. will be fun to see what pictures she ends up with. thought this turned out cute of the crew out there, sandra, karen and gail. after our trek into the woods i dropped the dogs off at home. we went out to the roads around the airport where the owls were supposedly spotted. when i moved from ketchikan to anchorage it was over sept 11, 2001. whenever i first came across this back road they had shut it down post 9/11. guess i just always figured that was how it stayed. apparently eventually the gates stayed open. great place to wander and look for wildlife or watch airplanes take off. felt like i was doing something illegal going past all those official looking gates. karen and sandra also went looking for owls. we only saw one and it was pretty high up in the tree. i snapped a few pictures but my 300 zoom was no match for the smallish owl way up in the tree. it was a northern hawk owl. since i was out by the coastal trail anyway, i went ahead and parked at one of the trail entrances and took a walk. i'd seen a pair of eagles from the road and stopped by to take a few pictures of them. i love living with seasons. this stretch of beach looks totally different this time of year. you also get nice views of downtown anchorage.this is looking at airport with downtown buildings in the background.a sign to help planes land on the runway and not the ocean i'm guessing. now that i know i can drive this road i will no doubt make my way over here on occasion like i do the coastal refuge spot i found. so fun to find little gems so close to home.pancake ice out in the inlet. i took some in black and white and some in colour, but really, they all just looked the same. will have to return on a sunny day and see how it all looks or at sunset with cool colours hitting the ice.pair of eagles hanging by coast. guess there is probaby a nest nearby. a few turned out decent. again, kinda a dark day so not easy for shooting. i'm too lazy to make too many setting changes. just happy to be out taking will notice that the one eagle has a tag. apparently, he's #77. felt bad for him. the tag is quite large, what must the other eagles think of him.other than his large green tag he's quite handsome. at least it's green. i mean if it has to be there at least make it a cool colour.there it is. wonder what his partner thought of that the first time he came home with it. switched over to black and white as i returned down the trail, headed back to the car. anchorage.liked the various greys of the shoreline. stopped at serrano's for take out on the way home. always tasty. and there is the picture of the little owl. not too impressive. i'll drive by again on another day, perhaps i'll get lucky.for sure i didn't get a better picture of him than the one in my guide to birds of alaska. saw a stellar today as well. it was in the hood. strange to see them this time of year. maybe not and i just never noticed stellars stuck around through the winters before. i thought they left though. not according to my guide. hmm..
well good night.

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