The Art of Ice

Are you tired of puppy and chicken pictures yet? Today’s the day I’m going to wear you out on ice/frost pictures.

It’s been really cold lately (we’ve had a few below 10ยบ nights). On Sunday, we took Rhythm for a long walk after lunch and were surprised and awed by the various forms the ice had taken.

First, there was the hoarfrost on the leaves by the spring. I’m bummed that I didn’t realize the focus was in the wrong place. Imaginations will have to be engaged to fully appreciate the picture.

Rhythm was walking on the thin layer of ice on the creek and Tony was walking along the bank with her when he kicked this up. I’ve seen the ice ooze out of the ground, but I’d never seen it do this under the ground (with the soil on both sides) and I’ve definitely never seen one this clean. I really wish you could see the intricacies of the ice structures on this one. It made me think of some kind of fantastical ice castle.

Then, there was the layer of ice suspended over another layer of ice. It’s amazing how little ice is needed to suspend the top sheet.

It had warmed up quite a bit by the we went for our walk, so the lower ice layer was melting and being pressed down by a puppy walking on it. That’s actually a layer of water over the lower layer of ice. I thought it made for some pretty cool reflections.

You can see the rest of the pictures from this walk (and other pictures) here.


Puppy Learning Curves

The last week has been a learning experience, to put it mildly. I don’t remember the my last experience with a puppy and I’ve never had an indoor puppy. Tony had indoor dogs when he was growing up, but it’s been a while since they were puppies too. We both had (and still have) a lot to learn. One thing we learned was that baby gates are way more useful than we thought they would be. The cats don’t like the gates, but they’re getting used to jumping over.

As far as cat-dog relations, they’re learning to get along, though they are definitely not friends. Sometimes (most of the time), Rhythm is really good about following the cats around calmly. Other times, she gets excited (either because the cats flip out and she just has to chase or because she just gets some wild idea that cats might be fun playmates) and the cats don’t like that much (Coke has batted at Rhythm a couple of times). But overall, I think the cats and the puppy learning to get along in their own way.

Rhythm is definitely Tony’s puppy. She follows him around and gets very sad when he leaves whatever room she’s in. On the other hand, she notices if I leave, but doesn’t seem to mind much. This morning, though, Tony left the room and she went right on sleeping…until he started whistling a song from Hansel and Gretel. This is the picture I got when he came back in the room.
As a bonus for listening to me babble about puppies and learning curves, have a chicken picture! Burgundy was laying when I went to let the chickens out.

Meet Rhythm

We’ve been talking about getting a dog for years. When we lived in town, there was always a reason to wait: Tony was working, I was in school, we didn’t have time, whatever. Now that we live out of town and a lot of our away-from-home time obligations are reduced, we both wanted to get a dog. Tony enjoyed his memories of the standard poodle his family had when he was younger. We made arrangements and our standard poodle puppy arrived on Sunday afternoon. We spent the afternoon getting acquainted.
We expected that she would be pretty tired after riding several hours to get here, but she was a huge ball of energy. She spent several hours playing.
The cats weren’t really sure what to do with Rhythm. Coke was kind of silly and kept walking around on the floor, where Rhythm would torment Coke by following her around (this is one of the times Coke actually got up in a perch to escape from Rhythm).
Quicksilver, on the other hand, has always hidden when something new happens. He stayed in high places and he stayed pretty still, so Rhythm pretty much ignored him (that doesn’t mean he’s all that excited that she’s here – you can see the reprimand in his eyes, right?).

I think she’s grown in the last several days (I feel like she’s leggier now than when she arrived) and we’re all adjusting to each other. Rhythm and the cats are still learning how to interact with each other and Tony and I are still adjusting to a regular schedule with earlier waking times than we’re used to. But it’s not all hard; there are the good things too. She bounces like a goat, dives into piles of leaves, dives after her toy like a monster. And my relief when she finally goes to sleep is hard to describe.

Christmas at the Beach 2014: Friday

The weather on Friday was at least as good as Thursday, so we spent a lot of time outside. As I said, we were really amused by what we think were sandpipers. When we went running, we saw one group in which most of the members were hopping around on one leg. I stopped to look at them and a few of them put their second foot back down. I wonder if that’s a normal thing for these birds….

Tony also took some really nice pelican pictures, but instead of boring you with a bunch, I’ll share this one. There is another (and the rest of the pictures from December) in this album.

We realized late Friday afternoon that we needed to get home to take care of some things (for something I’m going to announce tomorrow!). We quickly took the requisite family pictures (none of which turned out) and packed the car to come home. We would’ve left Saturday morning, so we didn’t really feel like we missed much by leaving early. We had a good week at the beach, but we’re both really glad to be home.