|Not one of MY bones, I hope!|
Autumn is the best season for vacations and hikes - not too hot, not too wet, not to cold, just perfect. In September I went to the Sunshine Coast with my sister-in-law for a week, where we enjoyed amazing sunsets, gorgeous ocean views, great parks, and wonderful food. I haven't finished editing those photos yet, but it does explain a small part of my absence.
Other than that, I really have no excuse. Oh, well, I do hike Mondays and Fridays, swim 3-4 days a week, walk Maggie twice a day, take way too many photos, and find ways to fritter away the hours without blogging. But enough of the excuses.....Let's talk about those hikes. Last Friday's hike in particularly. My friend Pat (she's the one with the two black-and-white poms, you may recall) and I headed out to Swallowfield with the dogs.
The fall colours are not at their peak yet, though some trees are more dressed for the part than others:
The bullrushes have formed their brown furry heads, and the autumn crocuses poke up through the fallen leaves:
Along the way, the dogs stop to sniff and rest and pose for photos:
We reach the little hump on the trail, from which we can see out over the estuary to the ocean. Lexi and Cosmo stop to admire the view:
Then down the hill to the Chemainus River, where the water colour is always gorgeous and the reflections plentiful:
After a brief rest to take photos and enjoy the tranquility, we find the overgrown path through tall grasses to wend our way across the estuary. A slight detour to avoid wading through deep water, and we are out on the gravel beds where the river and the smaller streams all fan out on their way to the ocean. The shallow waters allow water-baby Cosmo to go for a swim despite the chill - he gets the zoomies and races back and forth as far as his long leash will let him:
Maggie thinks water is evil, but Lexi shows a little spirit by wading right in - and right back out again:
|Blech! No one warned me it was salty!|
I spot something in the tall grass - a snake in the grass? No, a tail in the grass! A dog tail, wagging happily!
Two friendly big dogs and their equally-friendly owner come join us on the estuary, and I have fun watching the big dogs race through the water to little islands then bounce their way back again:
Soon it was time to head back. Ms. Maggie was very tired, but she is becoming a great hiking buddy. While still scared of strangers (and particularly people who come to the house or yard, or children, or groups of more than four), she has come a looooong way from the terrified girl she used to be, and loves meeting other dogs. On the walk back, we ran into a group with six large dogs, all of whom came up to meet Mags, and she didn't bat an eye. She also took treats from Pat and went to her when Pat called, and approached the owner of the two dogs above in order to sniff his hand - huge steps forward for Ms. Maggie. She was calm and relaxed on the hike, and this photo of her taken out on the estuary with the stranger sitting nearby and four dogs and her 'Auntie Pat' in the area, reflects her comfort level. Her head is turned because she's watching the other dogs in the water, no doubt thinking "Are they crazy? Get wet voluntarily? Not Me!" It was my very favourite photo of the day: