Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bliss and Spirit - now

Two big labs - one blonde and one black. There were five blonde pups - the dad was a blonde and six black ones - in the litter. The mum was a rangy black gal with a fabulous personality.

These two are sitting in the pasture of my wee two acre property in Beaver Valley. I have mown some pathways for us to walk on - since I hate getting my legs and feet wet constantly and when they were puppies the grass was way too high for them to manoeuvre. Actually I began mowing pathways (mostly dragging the mower behind me through the thick grass) shortly after I moved back to the Valley in 2001. It seemed a sensible thing to do to keep myself more or less dry - much easier walking too. I plan to mow a labyrinth next spring... too hard to do this year.

The boyz, as I call them are pretty much my constant companions. Even though they are now four, they continue to love playing. Bliss particularly has a sense of fun about him (he's the blonde one). He set up a game with a song sparrow that would chip when the big dog happened along the pathway. Bliss would move close to the tree or post on which the tiny bird was perched and bark. The bird flew to the next tree... Bliss followed and barked and the bird moved on, never going far away. Many of the small birds seemed to catch on to the game and entice Bliss into "Chase me" regularly. In winter it's usually the chicadees who come to the feeders and play the game with an ever eager dog who has more energy than is probably good for him.

Spirit doesnt' do chase, though he will retrieve sticks or balls and I'm trying to teach him to play frisbee. He loves to go in the car and sits up watching everything as we drive into one of the nearby towns. He has a  lively intellect for a dog and seems interested in everything new. He gets bored walking around the paths unless he comes across the scent of something that visited during the night or while they were inside. Since we are situated in the country, the something could be a coyote, a raccoon, a possum, a neighbouring cat, rabbits, mice, deer - the list really is endless. Then both boyz get quite excited and race around tracking whatever it was.

Since the whole property is surrounded by Invisible Fence and they have been trained not to go beyond the property boundaries, unless in the car, they often are disappointed when the trail leads into the pasture or across the road. However, the Fence gives me peace of mind because I know they won't cross "the line."

Today we're going to track down a wren that appears to have taken up residence. It's song is simply beautiful and I can only assume it is seeking a mate since it's been popping in and out of the three tiny birdhouses on the drive shed then warbling its heart out. Two houses have been used by squirrels as storage bins for nuts and seeds and are too high for me to clean out, but perhaps I'll get out the ladder and make them more habitable for a visiting wren. I don't want wrens checking out the bluebird nest boxes, since they might kill the birds. I have three families of tree swallows that have yet to fledge and I don't think the bluebirds have hatched yet. These nests are vulnerable.

That's also on the agenda today: getting a snap of the bluebird nest if the hen will let me. She does appear to be sitting most of the time but bluebird eggs are such a lovely colour - almost as blue as their feathers. Lots to do today despite the promise of rain.

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