Sunday, July 31, 2011

Late night wimp

Poor Casey. When it comes to staying up late, he just doesn't have any staying power at all. It has to be that Minnesota farm dog background, early to bed and early to rise.
It won't be long at all and he'll be sneaking off to the quiet coziness of his kennel in the bedroom. The kid knows when he's had enough.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Grant Peak

10,781 ft (3,286 m) Mt Baker and Grant Peak looking east from Squalicum Harbor
We're always on the lookout for a clear view of Mt Baker, free of haze or cloud cover. Today, an hour from sunset, with the haze gradually dissipating, you can almost make out winter on this snowcapped volcano, the 3rd highest summit in Washington.

Brunch survivor

These two are gonna miss the clover, now adorning what's left of a summer lawn, sometimes more gold than green.

Soon one of their favorite distractions, this surviving kit, is likely to fall prey to a neighborhood cat, coyotes, or a red-tailed hawk. Sad but true...unless he's smart enough to get back to a warren in the greenbelt. 
But let's not think of that now - it's the weekend.

Friday, July 29, 2011

You guys back already?!

Stella seems underwhelmed at the rest of the family returning from an afternoon on the town.  Of course she was in the middle of a power nap until she was aroused by Border Collie sniffing and licking her awake.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Rabbit run

Looking out for clover munching rabbits is so yesterday as far as Casey's concerned. He's sick and tired of running from the back door to the front door, and back again, as the bucks and does and kits have their way with this year's crop.

Looks like Stella's still a player, even though the last muncher is in the back yard. 

One more little thing that mattered

I didn't know until later, when after a couple of failed attempts to photograph an elusive late afternoon humming bird forager, I stayed focussed on a Lucifer bloom just long enough to get a shot.

A natural law: As soon as you set your camera down, power it off, or leave it in the house, humming birds will show up, and bring friends.

I hoped today would be different, even when Casey scared the first pair away by barking.

And today patience finally did pay off.  Instead of more failed attempts...voila!  There it was - a calliope hummingbird.  Not an award winning shot, more like usable evidence.

Sometimes it really is just the little things that count. And if they're pleasant surprises, all the better.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Way too soon

Of all the testimonials to Amy Winehouse this weekend, this video of her appearance with Jools Holland and The Rhythm and Blues Band in 2004 is incredible. Only 19 years old in this clip. No one should be blessed with so much potential and be gone so soon.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Attached at the hip

We had always heard that male Border Collies are love junkies.  And Casey does take bonding and attachment to new heights.


But tonight he's recuperating any way he can from a weekend spent with one of three grandkids hanging off of him at any given time.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Whenever I see that smilin' face...

After wearing himself out today catching Frisbees in gusty, windy conditions, Casey's confidence was still showing. The kid knows he's pretty darn good with the Wham-o.   

Friday, July 22, 2011

Look who's back

Wow, look who returned with a vengeance this summer. This spot in the yard must have been perfect for propagation for our first lonely Crocosmia Lucifer plant, purchased from a vendor in our Farmers Market last year.

As you can see it did not disappoint, it went forth and multiplied a few times over, with more blooms on the way.

These perennials are also known as Falling Stars and their scarlet red blooms usually stick around from three to four weeks.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Smiley, guilty dog

OK, there are over 10 million hits on this video clip in less than four months, but we just had to share it, in the off chance you hadn't seen it. What hit home for us was the smile as Denver...well, just you watch. And try not smiling yourself. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hard day's night

Who's complaining?

With most of the rest of the US, well at least 20 states, under a heat dome with temperatures in the triple digits, no one in Bellingham is complaining about temperatures in the sixties and low seventies, with occasional showers.

We're beginning to think that we've got the only decent weather conditions in the country. No complaints here.

And conditions have been prime for the varieties of birds sighted this year - from humming birds, to eagles and hawks, jays - you name it. Today a purple house finch stopped by to show off, and we definitely took notice.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Dude abides

Tonight for some reason seemed like the perfect occasion for kicking back with some red wine and munchies and watching The Big Lebowski, a Coen Brothers comedy in a class all by itself. The laughs are non-stop and what's more the soundtrack is a classic compilation of oldies. The Shawn Colvin rendition of Viva Las Vegas during the closing credits is memorable...and does Elvis some righteous justice. Take a listen.

If you've never seen Jeff Bridges in TBL...just where have you been anyway?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Stella's notion

Stella was so right today and way ahead of us when it came to thunder claps and an impressive summer downpour.

Lucky for us though we had just finished up a long walk with Casey before the sky opened up.

And while thunderstorms are not that common this time of year, this domestic house cat knew better. 
You mean you didn't hear that?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cool and classic

**Posting again after three days away from the keyboard with a back injury.
Thank you, Flexeril and Vicodin.

We almost beat a down pour and made it out the front door today when we noticed that Cool Hand Luke was on TV. An afternoon matinee airing of a classic Paul Newman flick seemed like enough of an excuse to hang around the house. Besides it was raining, OK.

Who could blame us?

This classic film from 1967 ranks in at least our Top Ten, with such great characters, anti-heros and quotes that multiple viewings are a must.

At least we give in to viewing it over and over again whenever it airs. Newman's Luke Jackson, George Kenedy's Dragline, a role that earned him an Oscar, and Strother Martin as Captain, all memorable roles.

It simply couldn't be helped again, and besides the rain will let up soon enough. If we're lucky though not before Luke is driven to the prison hospital.

Don't worry, if you haven't seen it, we didn't give anything away. Now check out Paul Newman's rendition of "Plastic Jesus", complete with bango.

God! - or "Old Man" as he/she was referred to in the film - Newman was good.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Rest for the weary

So, you think this guy had a busy day?  

Monday, July 11, 2011

Backyard flicker feed

A Northern Flicker sighting in the backyard is usually so much history before we can put down our coffee and grab a camera, but today this guy stuck around long enough for us to get some pretty good shots of his ant feeding. It must have been quite a buffet because this "anter" was to obsessed to care about us at all, or Casey for that matter.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Check out Anna, careful though

Watch and listen, folks, to this video sent to us by a friend. Anna Burden’s cover of You’re Gonna Miss Me, by Lulu and the Lampshades is incredible. A fair warning though, more than one replay and the words and melody will be embedded, practically earwormed. You’ll be humming or singing it all day, and not nearly as well as this rhythmic vocalist, loaded with potential.   

 You're gonna miss me by my hair….
                                                      ….You're gonna miss me everywhere

A cozy photo op

We really didn't want to wake Casey up from his snooze, but he just seems to sense when we're about to take a quick shot.  Just couldn't pass up this photo op though.  

Friday, July 8, 2011

Late afternoon trailblazing

When it comes to trail work and moving out through the densest stretches of woods, Casey is all business. Although there are times that I wonder if he's just anxious to get home.

In the ridgeline uphill from our neighborhood there's a network of paths that's extensive and we never take the same route twice in a week. It also means that Casey rarely, if ever, has to confront another dog, which is just fine with him.

And to wrap up an hour workout, a simple "Let's go home" is enough to snap him out of his work mode and head downhill.

That'll do, Case

You never have to say it twice.

State of rest and relaxation

Relaxation techniques? Who needs them? An occasional sunbreak, a quiet secluded niche away from it all, and Stella has induced a state of relaxation that the rest of us would need hypnosis to recall.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Molly 1995-2008

It seems so long ago now but actually just three years since we lost our first Border Collie, Molly, to cancer. She was the youngest of Casey's three distant Border Collie cousins, which included our friend Marsha's girls, Megs and Katie. This trio set the standard for Casey, who's doing just fine on his own, setting his own personal bests.

Marsha and Victoria with Megs, Katie, and Molly in 1995

You never totally get over the loss of a girl like Molly. Like Casey, she was incredibly smart, but so different in temperament - her alpha to his beta. 

They were also different in so many other ways. Molly was tireless to a fault, and a curfew or time limit had to be enforced for her own good, whether it was imposed on Frisbee, chasing balls, or herding, it had to be done. Casey on the other hand is not as Type A and more than willing to head for home after a hike or a jog - just doesn't need to be an all-star.

Molly was willing to be hugged, on her terms. Casey still can never get enough, nudging for ear rubs all day long.

Molly would never take a treat unless she earned it with a trick. Casey’s not nearly as particular.

While Frisbee catching is Casey’s forte, Molly had no equal when it came to snatching any type of ball out of the air under any conditions.

Molly always set the agenda, had her way with us, and left us far too soon.

Miss ya, Molly girl.
Victoria and Molly, 2000

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Burger stop at South

With temperatures hovering around the 80s during a trip to Leavenworth, a central Washington tourist trap with a Bavarian theme, Casey and I stumbled across the perfect pit stop, South, a cafe with Latin food that welcome four-legged patrons on the patio, in the shade and out of the heat.
Patio dining at South's
A South burger, well at least 1/3 of a pound of patty for Casey, and the Chicken Fajita sandwich for me - with a draft Dos Equis amber (Casey's underage of course) - was the perfect combo and welcome escape from the heat, and the bratwurst and chocolate pub fare found elsewhere in the village.

We hated to leave, what with the cool stone floor, organic chicken and home cooked chips and hospitality, but we needed to take advantage of an hour left in our stopover to walk off the calories.