dogs, nature, neighbors, old dogs new tricks, photography, pigs

Meet my new neighbor…

I have a new neighbor, his name is Wilbur.  He’s short, and his wispy hair is quite wiry.  He moves pretty quickly, darting around the yard and digging holes.  He also likes to lean up against just about anything and scratch himself.  He likes to play with the dogs, in fact my neighbor is sure that he thinks he is a dog, and not just because he uses the dog door and likes dog food.  She says he is better behaved than her dogs are. Zoe didn’t seem to notice anything unusual about him.  Maybe she has just learned to expect the unexpected when she goes into my neighbor Sue’s yard.  After all, both dogs quickly accepted the chickens when they arrived, and pay no attention when they visit us in our yard.  But Ozzie hasn’t met Wilbur snout to snout yet.  I decided to let him think about it for a while before we take that step.

1228littlepig1228littlepig21228littlepig31228littlepig41228littlepig51228littlepig6

 

Bayport, birds, dogs, eagles, Florida wildlife, Jenkin's Creek, learning, old dogs new tricks, photography, sunrise, technology

Back to basics…

There I was at Jenkin’s Creek, after a lovely sunrise at Bayport.  I pulled into the parking lot and could see a large bird in the ‘wood stork’ tree, but I honestly couldn’t tell what it was.  Lucky for me there was another photographer there, Tony, and he said that it was a juvenile eagle.  I would probably have to have used Merlin to be sure what it was if he hadn’t been there.  I suppose that I look like I know what I’m doing, what with the tripod (which he said isn’t sturdy enough for my lens), as well as the gigantic lens itself.  So Tony got out his phone and was going to play eagle sounds in an attempt to get this eagle to fly for the sake of the photo op.  So, said he, ‘you probably want to increase your shutter speed.’  Nothing will fluster me more than something like that statement, because I still fumble to make those sorts of changes in the camera settings.  I admitted that I’m a rank amateur with this stuff, and because of that we both managed to miss the shot.  Bet he was glad I showed up.  He said he had gotten some good portrait shots at least.

1220eagle1220eagle2

So I decided I needed to work on my camera skills, and off I went to the dog park.  And I easily upped the shutter speed to account for the action I was hoping to capture.  It’s a lot easier when there are no witnesses to my fumbling.  Maybe I’m getting better at all of this after all.

1221doggie1221doggie21221doggie3Obviously the dog in this last picture has zoomed out of the focus point I set, but what I like about the photo is that the leaves he kicked up are perfectly in focus.  That made me smile.  Note to self, perhaps you ought to increase the focal area next time.

And the sunrise.  I never get tired of going out for the sunrise, and sunsets for that matter.  This one got prettier than it looked like it would with the fog.  And it was foggier when I got home than it was when I left.  Practice, practice, practice…

1221sunrise1221sunset2

dogs, fun, grandchildren, kids, life, memories, photography, travel, weather

Happy feet…

I last went north a year and a half ago for my granddaughter’s college graduation. Since I was heading that way I got a ‘since you are coming anyhow’ request from my son, could I head there (NY) first and stay with the kids for the weekend while they headed to FL for a wedding?  I was happy to do it.  But I didn’t anticipate that turning on the oven to heat up a slice of pizza and then noticing that the puppy had pooped on the foyer floor, would result in the smoke alarm going off during the poop clean up, which caused me to hurriedly flush said poop, causing the toilet to overflow… and my grandson to call down from upstairs, “Is everything alright down there, Mimi?” Eventually it was, with help from the kids..
I’m reliving that memory because my other take-away from that weekend was that I spent it freezing to death. At the end of May! So I went on a quest for warm slippers, and these were the only ones to be found, and they caused my daughter and granddaughter to roll their eyes at my fashion choices. I didn’t care, I think the only place I went during that visit that I didn’t wear them was the actual graduation itself.
Lucky for me I was straightening my closet and discovered them, just in time for them to save me from our current cold spell in FL. My friend Kathy said she’d have to dig deep to feel sorry for me while I suffered through our 50-something degree weather. So my fashion choices for the day are the slippers, jeans, and Charley’s huge #1 Pop Pop sweatshirt, which is the only sweatshirt I can put my hands on at the moment. The dogs think I look just fine, and they also think it’s time to go out…

dogs, home, life, life goes on, losing battles, photography

Who’s in charge here…

For a dog who doesn’t seem to have an aggressive bone in his body, Ozzie sure can boss me around. I once read something written by Caesar Milan, that said that any time your dog tells you what to do, like wants to go out when it wasn’t your idea to go out, then that’s aggression. And it shouldn’t be tolerated. Maybe allowed would be a better word. I remember thinking that if I ever had a big dog I wanted to be sure that they were trained perfectly, and incredibly well behaved. Okay, so now I have two big dogs that do nothing I say, unless I ask them if it’s cookie time, which will bring them galloping to the back door.
And the throw on the bed? That’s my side. I’ve always slept on that much of the bed, a little sliver on the side, so Ozzie really isn’t taking the bed over, that’s just his (now) side of the bed. I’ve had to resort to an extra throw these last few nights since it’s gotten cold, and seeing that makes me see how little of the king-sized bed I actually use. I took a picture because Ozzie was hiding his eyes since I came in and turned the light on to get ready to go to bed. Poor thing, I was disturbing him. I should do the same thing when he gets me up at 1:30, and 3:30 every night. I wonder what Caesar Milan would say about that?

coping, dogs, life goes on, loneliness, memories, old dogs new tricks, photography, technology

Significant others…

As the significant male in my life Ozzie leaves a bit to be desired. Oh, he’s attentive enough, and gazes into my eyes adoringly. He can’t seem to resist me when I’m sitting back in the recliner. That’s when he comes over and plops his head down onto my chest… and grinds his chin into me as if he is scratching an itch. Thank goodness that’s all he does these days, because he used to come flying out of the bedroom where he’d been sleeping on the bed, and head straight for me at full speed. 20367_308243312136_1003066_n
I had only a second or two to put down my coffee and put the laptop on the table beside me before he would launch himself into my lap. The bigger he got the less cute this became, especially once he grew enough to seemingly be all elbows. Charley thought it was funny, and wondered why Ozzie didn’t do the same to him. I wished he would have, but no, he only did that to me.
Maybe if he didn’t choose to pester me when I’m actually typing an email or blog post, or when I’m in the middle of placing an online order or paying a bill, I might not mind so much. But it feels like nagging, and for the longest time I told myself that it was nice to do what I want to do all the time. All day every day.  No adapting myself to another person’s needs or wants.  Except for the dogs, but I can tell them to go lay down and they do.  Now all day every day can seem like too much time to fill. Too much solitude, maybe that’s why I’m out for the sunset every night. My version of prowling the streets at night looking for… what exactly? I have no clue, but something is missing.
At my recent doctor’s appointment, at which I was a rock star with my weight loss and fabulous A1C reading, I told him that I’m having trouble finding my way back to my ‘happy place’. He said, “That’s my story, how about you?” Really?  Another comment about online dating? I objected, and even he had to chuckle over ‘Hot Photonut’, but he said that he personally knows lots of lonely men. I told him to pick a couple of healthy specimens and send them my way. He replied that HIPAA would probably object…

1128Ozzie

SaveSave

dogs, fun, old dogs new tricks, photography

Dog Park Saturday…

A while ago I had the thought that the dog park might yield some good photo ops, but today was the first time I actually went there.  Turned out to be a pretty good idea.  Except for the fact that when I got there several of the dogs were so enthusiastic about having their picture taken that they jumped all over me.  I wore muddy paw prints from that point on, but that probably made me fit in a little better.  I did ask the dog owners for permission to take pictures, they were fine with it.  I didn’t take Ozzie and Zoe with me because I didn’t think I could manage them and the camera.  Maybe next time I’ll be brave enough to bring them, or not…

1028dogpark111028dogpark91028dogpark81028dogpark71028dogpark41028dogpark11028dogpark51028dogpark6I loved this old golden girl.  I tried to catch her walking but I wasn’t quick enough and she didn’t get up.  She was very overweight, and with her white muzzle and her very bow-legged front legs I have to assume she is old.  Like me.  I was inert for the last couple of years, but this old girl has learned some new tricks.  Well, not really, just getting more exercise, not drinking my calories, and lots of salad.  That was advice from someone I spoke with recently.  Seems to be working.  Maybe our golden girl here ought to try it…