Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Shake, my friend

Nearly every day Satwant, our Sikh neighbor, goes out of his way to finish up his daily stroll by cajoling a paw shake out of Casey. Believe it or not, Case has made a point of dropping everything - even putting a Frisbee toss on hold - to cater to our cul de sac elder. While Satwant's English is limited, he has mastered a heavily accented “Shake, my friend”, and our guy never disappoints.  

Monday, July 22, 2013


Casey is adept at working a patsy with hardly any effort at all. As I was working on the computer this morning I caught this ahem moment out of the corner of my eye. I was just hoping like heck I could reach my phone for a picture before he moved.

You think he’s trying to tell me something?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Bumper crop

The pinot noir might be a finicky grape to cultivate, but our backyard variety, planted for deck shade and ignored all spring, continues to thrive.  And once this bumper crop starts to ripen our deck will become one of the most popular bird feeders in the neighborhood, after we get our cut.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Essence of Molly

Rebounding every summer at about this time in the front yard is a cluster of perennials with a bittersweet history. Clinging to life six or seven years ago in the front yard flowerbed, right about where Casey is sniffing today, was one solitary Gooseneck Loosestrife spike. By the end of the day it would be draped over the sidewalk barely holding its own.

Our first Border collie, Molly, nearly 12-years-old and riddled with rheumatoid arthritis way before her time, would approach this sad little Gooseneck, and rather than step over it or even veer left or right, she would do a little respectful stutter-step and hop over the wilting summer flower. Over time, and plenty of off-spring later, the crop of white flowers that now line the sidewalk are called Molly plants in our girl’s honor. And they seem to thrive.

Their significance and sentimental value seem to be lost on Casey. But you never know.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A must-share: Helping out a brother that gets the point(s)

How often do you get a chance to lend a helping hand to a raven? In this case this incredibly intelligent cousin of our more plentiful crows figured out all by himself that he could use a hand from a life form with opposable thumbs. Check out the Border collie in the clip on the lower right. I don’t think he/she was all that impressed with a bird that wasn’t savvy enough to stay clear of a porcupine.    


Monday, July 15, 2013

Vantage point

Casey, just birding in the shade. 

We wondered what he was up to, since he went outside quite a while ago. And then we found him, in the backyard with his head on a swivel watching hummingbirds flitting from feeder to Lucifer plant to feeder.

They can be entertaining, for sure.
And it’s nice to see those red sprays living up to their promise.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


The absolute best car dog in the county couldn't stand the thought of staying home today - so what's new? We relented of course, even with temperatures climbing, but Casey and I had to wait in his mobile kennel with the windows down while Vic did the grocery store run. And all the while, if the kid’s eyes weren't glued on the Deals Only entrance anticipating “Mom's” return, they were working me for a head rub. 

Naturally he got his way, constantly maneuvering for maximum effect while lactic acid levels were red-lining in my forearm.

And while you’re at it, check out the backseat slobber residue on the window ledge. Goes with the territory.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

More than meets the eye

Not exactly inauspicious, soon to be living up to its full potential, our backyard Lucifer is still an eye-catcher.

But if you look between the sprays of red, at just the right moment…

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Another total package

We very rarely recommend a film, but after three days of sweltering heat – at least sweltering for Bellingham with steady highs reaching the mid-80s – we had a chance to stream Chasing Ice, a movie documenting environmental photographer James Balog’s incredible assignment for National Geographic to capture images to help tell the story of the Earth’s changing climate.

The film is a must-see, but the Academy Award-nominated song Before My Time, performed by Scarlett Johansson, is captivating still. I haven't been surprised by a voice like this since Michelle Pfeiffer in The Fabulous Baker Boys. Just listen, and while you're at it, check out the amazing photography that rolled during the credits.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Two down

There were a few ways to beat the heat today, but one of the best, at least in theory, was heading to Marine Park. After swinging by to see how the sunset show was going and maybe cool off a little, but without much of a sea breeze and a heat index in the high 70s, there wasn’t much relief.

The archived highs in Bellingham for June 30 are around 70 degrees and the forecasts are calling for no cool-off until Wednesday, with temperatures 15 degrees above normal. 

But really, how can we complain with our big city neighbors in Seattle doing a slow broil today and tomorrow, setting records in the mid-90s.

So, two down and two to go.