Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A fun nature walk

Finally, a successful nature walk! True, it didn't start out smoothly. First I lost Middle, then I lost Oldest while I went back to get Middle, but we finally all convened. Then I had to bribe grumpy Middle to come along with us, but in the end he had the most fun.

We went to a reservoir near our home and saw lots of stuff.

Like ice on the reservoir -- but not all of it.

A shot of the way the ice pushes up onto the shore.
Bubbles under thin ice. The ice has melted and reformed in the last couple of weeks. Today it was about 50 degrees. There was a funny squeaking or whistling sound that I think was the ice. I tried to record it on a video, but it didn't work -- I can only hear the airplane that was going overhead.

We found pussy willow. And old milkweed -- a place to look for Monarchs soon (check out this site that maps sightings of growing milkweed and migrating Monarch butterflies).

This was the prize of the trip:

A skeleton, probably bird, since we found it surrounded by feathers.

The skeleton in situ.
Some scat. We aren't very successful in finding living animals, but we do see evidence of them, and hear the birds.

A little fur on the ground. My guess is a perished mouse, but I'm no expert.

A debris hut/leanto that we found.
Some brand new lacy white fungus.

I think we could use some of Melissa's Tiny Happy Foraging Bags -- at least for Middle, who brought home the skeleton. Here he is, happy!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Our "puppy" Jake

Jake our Portuguese Water Dog died on Sunday. He brought a lot of love into our house, and it is hard to let him go. He was ten years old.

He was diagnosed with a large tumor about two weeks ago, and an ultrasound on Friday showed that it had spread and was inoperable. Although he had a few low days, in general his spirits were good. Just last weekend he had a good run off leash, and even Friday he was happy to see me when I picked him up from the vet. However he ate his last meal Friday afternoon and then failed fast. We told the boys on Saturday about his prognosis, and they were, and are, all very sad. Sunday it was clear to us that he was done, and Matt took him to the vet. We were lucky to have wonderful family and friends to provide one-on-one care for each of the boys during this time.

I want to thank all of you who helped us or provided a shoulder to cry on during the last two weeks. We are blessed with good friends and we were blessed with a good dog.

P.S. If you have a minute for a sad and humorous will and testament by a dog, you might enjoy this one written by Eugene O'Neill: