Cyclone Trip – Day 1

My daughter arrived about 12:30 pm to pick me up for the trip. She opened the back hatch of her car and let a two year old Doberman out. Ok, I know I agreed to go with her on this trip, but I am terrified of Dobermans. He was such a beautiful dog; so I walked up to him, and he started licking me. That helped me to feel much more comfortable about the situation. He was nervous, but quiet and sweet. We made several stops for him to have breaks and drove until about 11 pm. We hoped to get to Mobile, but since she picked me up so late, we only made it to Lucedale, Mississippi.

I held the leash with the dog on it in the motel room, and my daughter brought in this giant dog crate that holds dogs up to 100 pounds. Thank goodness we were on the first floor. Also, we didn’t know it until the next day, but he was used to sleeping with his owner. So after putting some food in the crate to get him in, we closed the door, and he started scratching the floor of the crate. Well, the poor dog had been stuck in that crate for nine hours, and he wanted nothing to do with it. So we finally decided that we had to let him out. He immediately went between the beds that we were sleeping in, laid on the floor and went to sleep.

About 2:30 am, the dog jumped up and began pacing to and from the door. He startled me, so I woke up and was watching him. I would have taken him out, but I was afraid he was too strong for me; so I woke my daughter up. She was still half asleep and said to give her five minutes. I know my daughter and this is going to be the first of five minutes again and again. She always hits the snooze button on her alarm at least three times. The dog waited a few minutes and must have been getting desperate so he put his front paws on her back and gently pushed her. My daughter’s eyes popped open, and she asked me what had just happened. I was laughing so hard, I could hardly talk, but got out enough information for her to know that she better take the dog out right now. Where was this wonderful creature when she was going to school and refusing to get up in the morning!! I just wish I could have gotten a video of this event. It truly was priceless! —To be continued.

Unexpected Delay

Thanks to everyone who stopped by my blog while I was gone. I just thought that I would check in with you all, and let you know that I am still alive and well. I have so much to tell you, but right now I just have to get caught up around my house.

My daughter started a small animal transport business about two months ago. It has really taken off. She had a last minute transport from Ft. Worth, Tx. to Naples, Florida. She asked if I wanted to go with her, and I said yes. So my daughter, granddaughter and I headed off to Florida. As we go along, she tries to pick up other animals, but on the way, she only had one. A beautiful Doberman named Xander. I had always been terrified of Doberman’s but the owner of this dog had treated him right. He was the smartest and sweetest dog I had ever met. I will tell you all about the trip in the coming days, but for now I need to explain the delay in our return. We got to Naples, and she had five people interested in her transporting animals back to Texas. All five of them eventually decided not to do so or to delay the transports. Well, we only thought we were coming back to Texas which would have been the trip I was expecting. Instead, the person who we dropped Xander off to asked if she could transport another Doberman to Massachusetts. So off we went to Massachusetts. To make a very long story short, counting Texas, we went to twenty-one states in 10 days, picking up and dropping off eight animals along the way. Whirlwind trip doesn’t even apply. I think Cyclone trip would be more like it.

Thankfully, we had a great time and a safe trip. In the coming days, I will tell you about it in installments. But for now, have a wonderful day and be safe!

How I Got the Shot

In August 2011, we were experiencing a drought in North Texas. We decided to put a birdbath in the yard so that the birds could drink water and cool off. As an unexpected consequence, we began having a family of owls visit our backyard nightly for about a month. Every night, just as it got dark, two owls would fly in and land somewhere in our backyard, and eventually they would make their way to the birdbath. We started sitting on our patio so that we could watch them. We would be very still and suddenly without making a sound, they would appear. Being a novice photographer, it was unbearable to think that I wouldn’t be able to capture a decent picture of these beautiful creatures. But every time I would move, even just to lift up my camera, they would fly off. After about a week of the birds watching us and us watching them, they became slightly more relaxed around us. I was even able to take a picture of them. But in the dark, at the distance I was taking the photo from, they just weren’t good enough. So I hatched a plan. I brought a flashlight out with me, and every night I began shining it on the owls. The first few times, they’d fly away, but eventually, they got used to it. I’m not sure if it was because the light was “blinding” them or they just were more comfortable with me, but I slowly started moving closer to them. So every evening, I would go outside, turn on the flashlight, move a little closer and take a few pictures.

One night, we noticed a third, smaller owl. We decided that the original two must have been its parents. Because he was younger and less fearful, I was able to get relatively close to him, even with the flashlight and the camera clicking away. If you would like to see the pictures that I got that night, please visit my Etsy Shop. There are three pictures listed, two full sized and one smaller. It is smaller because I cropped it from a different picture to show the owl’s gorgeous eyes.

Please look around the shop. I hope you enjoy all of my pictures.

A Little Fun For a Friday!!

A few years, I went out to the garden and picked a whole lot of cherry tomatoes. When I got inside and started sorting them, I ran across this guy! He is straight off the bush. The only thing I did was prop it up on the closest thing I could find and take the picture. I hope this brings a smile to your face and brightens your day!

Our Love Hate Relationship with Squirrels

In general, we love squirrels.  They are so cute and playful.  They entertain us for hours.  There is nothing like watching a squirrel as it bounces through the grass when it’s tall enough to tickle their tummies, or they jump when they are scared.  In hot weather, squirrels will sometimes sprawl out on a branch trying to cool off.  If they feel threatened, they will fuss and shake their tails at us.  Squirrels actually help us because they spread nuts and seeds.  They forget about most of these, and in the process plant new trees which is good for the environment.  Another benefit to having squirrels is that they are a food source for many other animals, such as hawks, coyotes, and owls, etc.

But, squirrels, as cute as they can be, are pests. First, they chew on anything – trees, wooden swing sets, eaves of houses, fences and even electrical wires.  Squirrels also eat birdseed, birdseed that you pay money for and want to feed the birds with.  I had to build an obstacle course to keep them from our birdseed because they were taking the lid off the feeder and reaching in and grabbing handfuls of seeds – greedy little critters.  We taped the lid on the feeder, but then they just hung from it eating through the holes.  This kept the birds from eating so I had to do something.

And finally, as a gardener, squirrels are always eating our crops.  This year our tomatoes are having a rough time.  There just aren’t that many of them.  We have covered them with netting to protect them from the birds and other critters.  Well, it just isn’t working.  Every day we see squirrels carrying off green tomatoes.  Sometimes they just take a bite or two and drop them right under the plant.  We are not even sure how they are getting in the netting.  It’s weighted down with bricks!

It looks like this year we are growing tomatoes for those pesky squirrels! 

If you have any suggestions, other than killing them, on how to get rid of the squirrels eating our produce, please comment below.