Monday, February 23, 2009

A pot pourri of images

Today's entry is a bit of this and a bit of that - some miscellaneous, unrelated images taken over the past few days. I am still under the weather (will this cough EVER go away? Will I EVER get a normal night's sleep again?????), so any attempt at literary cohesiveness is beyond me. But, for what it is worth, welcome to my world:

Looking out the window very early this morning, I noticed a beautiful sunrise.

Unfortunately, the old saying of "red in the morning, sailors take warning" was true - it was raining a couple of hours later.

For the past several days, however, the weather has been beautiful. The pigs enjoyed rooting around in their yard, though they would have much prefered to be allowed into the pasture had I the energy to watch them and the voice to call them back. Still, they had a good time just mucking about:

The dogs got to explore the fields, hunting for field mice and following the scent of Brazen Coyote, who has once again started dropping by to say hello. I saw him lying next to my bench at the top of the hill the other day, and pouncing in the grass just a few feet away from where a totally unperturbed Martin was snoozing. He wandered by the pigs without batting an eye, took a drink from the creek, sat and watched the dogs and I in the yard, before meandering back across the pasture and under the fence. He is as beautiful as ever - his red tipped ears and legs, his frosty chest and muzzle, and his multi-coloured tan/beige/brown/autumn medley torso. Perhaps next time I shall get his picture. Sadie, however, has it imprinted in her mind as she watches him leave the property:

Oliver, on the other hand, lives in a world of his own. He is happy just to plod along today, though at other times he races in joyous abandonment back and forth on the trail. He is such a photogenic little guy!

I came across a fascinating glimpse of nature-in-action this morning. On the trail near the top of the hill, I noticed a dozen or more tiny little holes in the ground, each with the head of a beetle sticking out.

I tapped at one and it scurried out, leaving behind a little hole into which had been deposited a bright orangey yellow fluid which I assume must be eggs. Other beetles seemed to have died in their holes, or were concentrating so hard that they were able to tune out my footsteps nearby.

Here's a picture of the beetles, about which I know nothing.

Unfortunately I had no coin or watch or lens cap to put beside it for a size comparison, but it was about 3-4 cm (an inch and a half?), so no small critter in bug world. They are very similar to a large flying beetle I encountered when we lived in the Northwest Territories. My daughter referred to them as Hair Eaters as they would fly straight at us and get their long antennas tangled in our hair.

Indoors, the cat decides to torment the dogs, lashing out first at one and then at the other. Poor Oliver has come so close to getting his precious nose swiped so many times, and Allie actually left a claw in our friend Ellen's whippet, Kinley, the other day though no harm seemed to be done. Mostly, Allie likes to tease, as she does here by swishing her tail back and forth over patient Sadie's nose as Sadie tries to nap on the couch:

Or she decides to explore the cupboards, prying them open with her paws, hopping in, checking out the contents, and hopping back out:

I think Allie has spring fever - she is entranced by the birds and squirrels, and has more than once made a dash for the open door as the dogs parade through. Sorry Allie, it is not a safe world for a little kitty like you.

Janice from Hearts on Noses came over to clean the piggy stalls for me on the weekend - that is one task that is not possible with my current respiratory problems - and the piggies and I were most grateful. Of course, I think the piggies were even more grateful for the armloads of alfalfa and greens and fruits and veggies she brought! Here's Scotch and Whisper (to my surprise - it is usually Rickey who eats with Scotch) sharing a breakfast platter this morning:

And, in all the chaos that we call life, there is always time to reflect. Never a day goes by that I don't catch one or more of the dogs just standing and staring across the fields, reflecting on this wonderful world, no doubt.

Or sleeping soundly with a soft gentle smile spreading across the face:

And, on a more sombre note, I received a phone call from my daughter last night to tell me her paternal grandfather (her biological father's dad) had passed away, ending his struggle to keep a weak heart going and his battle with Alzheimer's. My favourite memory of him goes back about thirty years, when he would swing my daughter up in the air and twirl around his country kitchen singing Greek songs and dancing Greek dances, as the child in his arms giggled in delight. Ed was a good man, and I know he shall be missed. My condolences to my daughter and her father.

Life is never over, though the body may be gone. The spirits of those who loved us are no further than a song. Rest in Peace, Ed.

1 comment:

Black Jack's Carol said...

Lovely post, Jean. I really enjoyed all the photos - the pigs enjoying the outdoors and that (almost) delectable enough to tempt me platter, the rare ones of Allie (at the kitchen window was especially cute), the sleeping smile, the sunrise - each charming and reflecting the contentment of all your critters. The beetle one was really fascinating as well. I also loved the image of your daughter's grandfather swinging her around.