Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Peace on Earth

How peaceful is this on Christmas Eve. And you just have to wonder what might be dancing in our boy’s head, where the love light gleams.
While we’re at it – Happy Christmas from Gene, Victoria, Casey, and Stella.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

If a tree shines in the forest

So what Christmas tree isn’t perfect? Today we set out to see if the Whatcom Falls interurban trail version for 2013 comes close. While minimal best describes our mysterious Yule elf’s effort this year, the effect is heartwarming.

And this year Casey didn’t lift his leg to mark the occasion. He was more interested in the onlookers, a couple of them even resembling distant cousins.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Let it snow

A snowy winter wake up came as advertised by the Weather Service and totally surprised Casey when he ventured out for the first time today. Joyful barks, followed by romps and roll overs in the white stuff before I could even pour my first cup of coffee meant we’d have to get going on a walk around the ridge.

So, you think he looks anxious? We really had to get a move on because this Border collie winter wonderland should be gone by tomorrow with rain moving in and sticking around until after Christmas.
Enjoy it while you can, kid.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Many happy returns

And while we’re at it, guess who turned six years old this weekend? An awful lot of folks wrote Casey off way back when he was the runt of the litter in 2007, after he had been ignored, picked on, and beaten up. All because he was the timid, soft-touch, beta reject of a litter of seven. Well look who’s got the last laugh now - and here’s that smile that stole our heart. Happy birthday, kid. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

'Tis the season

An hour before turning in and Casey is busy ushering in the Holidays.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

DNA crouch

This video clip of the “Border collie walk” was posted on Facebook today and is so very typical of the breed. And in almost every case, Casey’s crouch DNA kicks in as advertised, particularly if an approaching stranger is accompanied by a canine companion. Believe it or not, the kid can seem intimidating. While in reality he’s just being careful, until and unless the play mode is more appropriate. 

You just can’t be too careful.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sofa snooze

Looks like our guy, new Christmas collar and all, is settling in quite nicely for a morning snooze on the couch.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


From the looks of nearby trails, we didn’t come close to a forecasted afternoon thaw, and it’s going to be another “dog valley” night. You’ve heard of a three-dog night? Well, our version consists of Casey sneaking up on top of our bed in the wee hours, creating a comfort valley when indoor temperatures happen to slide below optimum crate pad conditions.


In the mean time he’s on his own, glittery ice or not, until he’s had enough of our first seasonal freeze.

Today he’s just eating it up.



Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Doldrum antidote

It’s easy to get a case of the fall doldrums this time of the year. Just look around. More overcast skies in the shadiest town in the US, with the last waves of rakeables hanging precariously from every branch in the neighborhood. And with the increased, almost argumentative tempo of their chattering, the hummingbirds are obviously peeved with the daily losses of their cherry tree concealments in the front yard.

But Casey’s a natural for keeping everything in perspective. Check out that smile.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Denim cat cradle

A vacant pair of jeans is fair game as an afternoon nap nook as far as Stella’s concerned, and easily makes the cut as our favorite weekend photo.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


After raking the front and back yard clear of leaves yesterday why would anyone be surprised to see the first memorable storm of the season come plowing through the county? I think it’s some sort of a natural law.
This morning’s wake up consisted of a noisy reminder that Pacific Northwest storm watches come with the territory. And Casey and Stella, transfixed by a backyard cacophony of pelted windows, wind-whipped poplars, maples and evergreens, chattering hummingbirds riding fifty-knot gusts, appeared grateful to be on this side of these elements.
(Hope this blows over sooner rather than later.)      

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Taking five

And the winner is...

Once again, the hands-down neighborhood winner in the Most Vivid Autumnal Costume Design category is the showy maple tree down the block in all its pre-storm finery.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Late morning eyeful

Our daily veil of fog took its own sweet time dissipating from the neighborhood this morning, but when the wraps finally came off, our quaint little autumn panorama, crystal blue skies and all, was more than post-worthy.

But it was obvious though that Stella couldn’t have cared less.

Friday, October 18, 2013

What's not to like

I’m not sure if Casey is that impressed with seasonal transformations, particularly Bellingham’s new fall color scheme, but yesterday on a stroll downtown he seemed to be taking it all in.

All that work


As the fog was struggling to dissipate this morning we spotted this glistening artistry draped near the front porch juniper. We always admire the production values that go into these projects, skills perfected and expanded since spring. But last night our favorite flower bed arthropod really outdid herself with this silk masterpiece.  

Saturday, October 12, 2013


There's that look, that gaze that bores right through anyone, connecting not only with humanity, but friendship, commitment, and nature, the whole package. And prompt follow-through is usually the receptor’s next move. It’s a border collie art form.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

All the essentials


When it comes to making oneself at home, Casey does just that. In fact he’s a regular nester. Whether it’s turning in for the night with favorite kennel snuggables, or like this morning, settling into a “Where’s Waldo” pose with other collectables - a rawhide bone, stuffed toy, a Frisbee, and my size 12s - you can’t be too cozy.   

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Deep, oblivious sleep

Almost never, ever, is it possible to get a candid shot of Casey snoozing in the morning. The kid senses any movement, even a change in the tone of our conversation when we notice a goofy sleep pose like this one, or a molecular change in the room when Vic or I reach for a camera.
Our guy was probably in the middle of a solitary reconnaissance of the greenbelt, or maybe back on the farm with his mom. But he was definitely, comfortably in a twilight zone of his own.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Monday, September 23, 2013

Seeing summer out

A little visual to savor on this day after the autumnal equinox, the last day of summer punctuated by blue skies and Border collie anticipation, and within hours after this Frisbee lawn ritual, a cold front moved through Whatcom County, accompanied by non-stop rain showers and gusty winds. And from now until May, Casey will have to finesse each catch through fall and winter blusters. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Another must-share

This is just another one of those feel-good videos that a friend of mine posted on Facebook that I just had to share. After all, it has all the right ingredients, abandoned pets, inseparable companions, frolicking in a river, and a happy ending. How can it not go viral? 


Friday, September 20, 2013

Purple summer send-off

Catching my eye today as I was cutting the lawn was a showy purple perennial that was pulsating with living color, enhanced by late afternoon sunshine and hundreds of honey bees in a mad scramble to collect an autumn cache of pollen to last the winter.

Of course right away I’m thinking Chrysanthemums until I check with Victoria and Google. It seems this variety is the Michaelmas daisy, or aster, and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down, at least for the next few days, as it ushers in fall.   

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Soft landing

All we ever have to say aloud is, “Did we do Casey’s eyes today?” and he immediately goes airborne, landing right in the center of the living room couch. It’s not that he’s excited to receive his daily dose of tacrolimus on each cornea, he’s not. He just knows that it’s inevitable, so he assumes the position on the couch – usually after a standing jump - and Vic works her magic, applying a dab in each eye. Today grandson Ezra and daughter-in-law Ernelyn got a lapful of Border collie before we could rephrase the question. Cute picture though.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sweet spot

Oh boy! Greg’s home. And before he can even get shut his car door Casey’s on his way across the street to shamelessly work his favorite guy neighbor for a rubdown. When it comes to soliciting for a scratch behind the ear, or anyplace else for that matter, the kid’s got no pride, and like most pooches, is all sweet spot.

Oh yeah. Right there.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Grabbing a nap

With the grand kids at the house after school (you can tell by the backpacks on the right), Casey knows to keep a low profile while grabbing a well-deserved snooze. Smart guy.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Peace rally in Bellingham

A enthusiastic gathering of over 150 organized by Bellingham’s peace coalition and represented by banner and sign holders from across generational and political spectrums – progressives, anti-war activists, county Tea Party supporters, Republicans and Dems - occupied Bellingham’s Five Corners intersection at Lakeway and Ellis for over an hour beginning at noon on Saturday.

And after an enthusiastic midtown response from hundreds of drivers opposing war in Syria, the crowd marched on both sides of Holly Street to the Farmers Market where members were tabling for another week to gather signatures for a petition demanding a peaceful resolution to the Syrian conflict. Organizers are hoping for the best but planning for additional actions and demonstrations this week following a less than favorable vote in the Senate or House, and even worse, a possible attack on Syria with global repercussions.

Saturday, September 7, 2013


Synchronizing rain showers today paid off with an opportunity to get in a jog on the south side with the kid. And, from the looks of the trail, the soggy leavings of summer are just about everywhere, clear evidence that the party’s just about over as far as our annual ration of 70◦ sunshine is concerned.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Bergamot with bee

How serendipitous is this shot. I had absolutely no idea what kind of a summer bloom this was until Victoria schooled me. There was something especially intergalactic about it so I had to get a shot before it started losing its luster. 

And I ended up with a “two-fer” that included this lonely bumblebee giving a splash of bergamot lavender a once-over.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Saner minds and a simple song

Anti-war rally in downtown Bellingham

Clearly, I’ve had better weeks.

Oh, this one started out OK. A meeting with my Democratic Congressional representative, arranged with no expectations whatsoever that he would be actively listening much less agree to get back to me, ended on that positive note. Over the weekend he must have pondered my position opposing military intervention in Syria, because his community liaison Thomas phoned on Monday. The Congressman wanted to know if I had changed my position, in light of John Kerry’s stern remarks at the State Department, citing Assad’s “undeniable” use of a chemical weapon on the civilians of Ghouta.

Since the Tomahawks were on lock ‘n load, my email reply (below) had to be crystal clear. The survival of the species was at stake.


Just to recap, during our meeting last week I urged Rick to “actively oppose any military intervention in Syria…while supporting diplomatic approaches to conflict resolution. This preferable peaceful alternative should also include an endorsement for constitutionally approved elections scheduled for next year in Syria as a non-violent opportunity to permit political change without violence or the threat of violence. Until all key actors are seated at the negotiating table, including Iran, the political tensions at play will only escalate.” While this diplomatic alternative to “letting slip the dogs of war” may seem simplistic, it could work. A ceasefire could be obtained if the Obama Administration pressured Saudi Arabia, the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, as well as Turkey to halt the flow of weapons to the Syrian opposition, while negotiating in good faith with Russia and the now moderate Iranian leadership to do the same. Appeasing Israeli right wingers and DC warmongers by wreaking additional havoc on a war-torn country that poses absolutely no threat to the US doesn’t even have an end game. Remember the end state that Bush redefined for five years? Or is the next so-called “coalition of the willing” actually gearing up for an attack on Iran?... In short, VFP (Veterans For Peace) seeks to abolish war as an instrument of national policy, so there would be no change to my position since we last spoke. As a leader in the organization and a combat veteran who knows first-hand war’s enormous costs, I would urge Rick to not line up in support of more destruction and protecting Obama’s right flank – like John Kerry. I listened to Kerry’s remarks today and he was a disgrace – he “Colin Powell-ed” us, without even the courtesy of a faked proof of a chemical attack. And this from a fellow vet that once said of the Vietnam disaster “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" Well, how about the next! Or the next kid, or the next thousand kids.

Thanks for calling, Thomas. I’m hoping Rick does the right thing.
Today it looks like similar pressure from all over the country has paid off, at least for now. Obama was forced to call for a debate and vote in Congress, for an authorization to attack Syria. Imagine that...let's hope it fails miserably. A reprieve of sorts, but there's still a hard road ahead.