Sunday, March 8, 2009

Magic Moments and Everyday Adventures

Magic moments mixed with everyday adventures - that is the stuff of life with the critters. A ruckus in the neighbour's chicken pen sent me flying to the pasture fence, expecting to see a coyote in with the hens. Instead, I startled a large beautiful hawk, who took off with chicken feathers in his talons but no dinner.

A glance across the road to spot a lovely bald eagle perched at the very tip of a tree - too far to catch with the camera, but close enough to admire his beauty.

A flicker industriously pulling grubs from the dirt by the well - she flies away, displaying her gorgeous orange tail underfeathers and speckled breast.

A coyote, wrong colouring to be Brazen coyote and far more reserved, wanders through the pasture right past Marten, who lies on the path watching the world go by, completely unperturbed by the coyote's presence.

Green shoots of new growth poking up along the edge of the stream. The stream is clogged with winter grasses - I must clear it a bit for the pan-sized fish that will soon be trying to make their way through.

A silver morning, as a light dusting of snow covers everything, while the clouds change from grey to rose and finally drift away leaving a clear blue sky.

Piggies by the gate, watching as I unload hay and feed, hoping that somewhere in the back of the truck are some special treats for them. They are right - I bagged a bunch of too-soft tomatoes and some other yummies from my produce place.

Not all the piggies came out - Papa Scotch and youngster Rickey were busy napping. They have become a bonded pair - Rickey sleeps right next to Scotch or between Scotch and Soda, and is the only piggy to get to eat from his Papa's tray.

A fun time in the pasture with the dogs - Charley and Sadie tearing around after each other, rolling and playing bitey face in the crisp spring weather. Their recall is improving rapidly - a quick whistle and a wave of the treat bag as Sadie and Charley tore off after a coyote in the field this morning, and they both instantly turned about and raced back towards me. What a thrill to see my work with them pay off under those conditions - they got a jackpot of dried liver treats for their quick response.

Sadie turns out to be VERY treat motivated. I was trying to get a photo of all four dogs with noses raised, waiting for treats. I stood on the bench at the top of the hill to get a better angle when - whooops - Sadie showed me she is also a champion highjumper where treats are concerned. So first I got this shot:

And then this shot:

And by then, all the dogs had realized what was going on and wanted to make sure they didn't miss out on the action:

One of the challenges of working on Sadie's recall is that she doesn't leave my side if she knows there are treats in my pocket:

I call this one "Snobby Dogs" - just look at those noses in the air!

Oliver usually has such a serious face, but today I caught him laughing:

Frosty noses:

And a few more doggy shots - they look so nice after a trip to the groomers on Friday:

I'm happy for the return of daylight savings time - less rush to get the barn guys to bed, more time for evening walks and sunset watching. Now if only spring would arrive full force!


Black Jack's Carol said...

-I love that silver morning shot.
-I can't believe you managed to capture the coyote image. Especially, since it wasn't Brazen.
-An eagle, a flicker and a coyote in one morning. What a walk you had!
-Nice to hear your training regime is working. Much better than my results, I'm a bit sad to say:)

Anonymous said...

not sure your way Jean but here in Tri Cities winter has come back this morning with a vengence. Oh God more plowing and shovelling..just when everything seemed to be getting springlike. And then I see on the Weather Network that Spring predictions for BC Coast are temperatures below normal! We must be getting a long hot summer!!


Jean said...

Yes, it's snowing here again this morning, Cheryl - just lightly, with maybe an inch on the ground so far.
I'll hope for a long moderate summer, and an exceptional fall - I don't do "hot" any better than I do "cold"! LOL

mike said...

gosh Jean, I wish we could move onto your property and then Martin could stay too. sigh.
it's so gorgeous where you live! I absolutely LOVE seeing the world through yours and the furry gang's eyes!!
You make my mornings!


Jean said...

Not to worry, Caroline - I have had several inquiries regarding Martin and I'm just in the process of gathering more information and doing homechecks. I'm confident I will find the perfect place for him.
And his "big snip" (as well as pedicure and dental) is scheduled for April 3rd, so we are moving right along with him.
Why is it that time flies by but bugs (as in the ear, nose and throat kind) linger on? Why can't bugs fly, and time expand or compress at will?

Anonymous said...

Loved your photos of everything - skies/birds/dogs (especially loved these!!)/pigs - as always!

Thank you Jean!