The days are sliding by. Been some time since we posted. But, we are still goin to Norm's, now especially since the bugs are gone. Fall is the best time. It is still warm, the bugs are gone, it is dry. We can start to explore the nooks and cranies of Norm's Island. There are nooks?
Walking today we met our good friend Michael E. Garcia and his constant companion Diego Garcia. Diego has convinced Mike that there is simply too much walking going on, so Mike got this rig to let Diego ride in leisure.
Today we walked at Norm's. I usually don't walk this early in August but the mosquitos seem to be down earlier than normal.
I took a "fetching' photo of my friend, Shasta's sister Carmen. This was after we finished our walk.
Chocolate is askin, "where did it go?" We were present when the Riverfront volunteers moved the bench - Again. On the point here we have lost an amazing amount of island. Maybe like 30 yards or so, I have no idea. I remember when this point went out at least half a football field ( a unit of measure I am confident in, I was in the Marching Band, one of the joys of my life ). Used to be a huge logjam here which the dogs loved, you could walk on it, and a great swimming hole behind it for playing fetch the ball in the water. No more, the water is raging past. I will look for pictures of it. The year of "The Oil Spill" this bench actually went into the drink, was not to be seen again until the water went down, in maybe late July or August. After they dredged it out the put it WAY back here, not far enough obviously. Norm's Island is being chewed away pretty aggressively on the south side, the river side. I do not remember it being so fiercely attacked the first 10 years or so I walked at Norm's, even in years where the Island flooded, not so much land area was lost. Sigh.
Chocolate Blanca and I put on our brave suit, actually it was only me, and ventured out to Norm's this morning. It was sixty degrees, overcast and no wind. Perfect mosquito weather. We kept moving and had no problems with the little pests. The few times we stopped, they found us. So it was not bad mosquito wise. The water is down quite a bit. I was able to never get my feet wet. The east end of the island still has water across the path, and there is one place on the cross path where one would have to wade ankle deep to go that way. We went back. We went to Dog Beach then went left and then left again into the interior where the Cheatgrass is taking over. Then back out to the river. So we got in about 7500 steps without getting our feet wet. I did not take my cameras as I did not think we were going to be able to walk. We sat for about 20 minutes on the banks of the river, the slight breeze keeping us mosquito free. It was a pleasant time, even if we were sprinting most of the time.
Blanca says "I will wait here while you decide what we are going to do" We walked west, away from this flooding. It is flooded everywhere. You can take a nice walk and get only wet up to your ankles, but if you wanna go all the way around you are gonna get your knees wet.
The bigger problem now is that since there has been ground water seeping up for at least a week, the mosquitoes have had time to hatch a brood. The are abundant now.
These thees will probably go soon. We have lost a good 6-10 feet in some places on the south side of the Island.
Oh well, change is inevitable.
But not all is lost. The grasses this year have been magnificent. I guess it is all the moisture we have been getting. I have no idea about the names for these grasses, except the cheatgrass. But they are great.
Choco met some new friends. We have been seeing them occasionally. They are all young, compared to Chocolates 8 years, so he is a little nippy with them.
Then we have, what did Tim call them? The Branch Managers? Good one. Elsa, Phillip and Moxie.
Copy is supposed to be under the pictures. Sorry, I got confused ;-)
Just a few years ago there was one small spot in the middle of Norm Schoenthal Island where this time of year you would find the beautiful red growth of cheatgrass. Now it is everywhere in the center of the island and in some places on the outside path.
Yesterday I spent a good part of the afternoon picking Cheatgrass Awns off of my boy Chocolate. It is dangerous stuff. Beautiful but dangerous. In the photo it is the reddish brown stuff in the middle. I need a closeup. No no, it needs a closeup.
Finally, the cold relents. There were many dogs and people at Norm's today as the temperature went into the 40s by eleven a.m. The outstanding pup today was this beautiful boy (I think) we met. Unfortunately I got no names. I was all excited because his peep was carrying a camera on a tripod. But alas I didn't even talk about that. I we could do was talk about how beautiful it was. I walked with Bronwyn Shanti and Brisbane. I have more photos to put up. I will do it - later.
We started our walk this morning in a calm quiet setting. About half way around we all of a sudden found ourselves in a serious snowstorm. Thought we might try for a portrait under the beautiful conditions. There are a bunch of dogs and people behind me so I had trouble getting Choco to pay attention to me. Not Blanca.
Moxie surveying one of my favorite fields. Over the years I have had many favorite fields at Norms, but slowly with the increased traffic they have been in one way or another diminished. I am not saying where this is.
The famous view down the Slough, with lots of snow. Not much water flowing today. Not much water flowing for a couple of years now, not since the big flood filled it withe stones and gravel.
Our great friend Michael E Garcia and his best bud Diego, with Mike modeling his new Outback hat. Quite a nice hat. The cane prop is mine, he is holding it for me while I slip and slide around on the snow.
Our new friend Moxie, who walks with her friend Susan at Norm's most mornings lately. I am still working on getting the definitive photograph of Moxie. She is a mover, so one has to be quick. I have not been quick enough yet.
Norm's? No way. Every morning when we get up the thermometer says something close to 0. Today the high is 8. So Nina Blanca has the right idea, stretch out on a comfy fleece blanket on the cozy soft bed. Softer anyway. She likes to stay in the basement, and gets annoyed when I wrap myself in a blanket on the couch upstairs. She hits me than runs downstairs. She thinks we are supposed to be in the basement. We usually are, but the cold drives me upstairs. Lest You Think all We Do, Chocolate, Blanca and I, is lay about and Sleep, I shall attempt to dispel this idea by posting one of my very favorite photos of Blanca. Action, Outside, Beauty, Cold Hands.
Photos by Rose Adler Photography
I stumbled across a page today on Facebook about a woman that is trying to educate the world, and breeders, about the issue of mating merle to merle. My Nina Blanca is white, deaf, and vision impaired because both of her parents were blue merle. Any merle coloring will do the same, so red merle to red merle is a no no also. My boy Chocolate is a red merle.
Here is the link to their website if you are interested in this issue. http://www.kellerscause.com
Well, curses. I just was told that the photo above is Keller and Ozzie. So I will put a photo of Braille.
This is Braille. Braille is both deaf and blind. Keller is vision impaired like my Blanca.
I thank kellerscause for letting me use their photographs. I love that they are educating the world about this issue. My Nina Blanca to me is the greatest dog in the world (you did not hear that Choco) but it would be great if all breeders would be aware of this issue and were responsible about it. Luckily for Keller, Braille and Ozzie, there are big hearted people in the world.
Nina Blanca, Chocolate and I all hope everyone had a good day today. It was a beautiful day. We continue to have gorgeous wonderful weather, not so good if you think we need rain, but a pleasure to have for walking at Norm's Island.
I repeat this photo from a couple days ago. It just goes perfectly with the photo of Blanca.
Walked with a large group of dogs today at Norm's. I got a many many blurry captures of running dogs. That's okay, I got this wonderful photo of one of my very favorite dogs, Beautiful Bally.
I will ad a blurry action photo. Let's call it "Arty"
The shepherd is Elsa and the healer mix is Moxie. We have been seeing them alot at Norm's the last week or two, and greatly enjoying their company. They are great pals and are very energetic. I wish I had my old D300 to track the action. I sold it. Looking for a new action camera.
Meet Moxie. We have been fortunate to meet Moxie and her peep Susan walking at Norm's. Moxie is a very high energy and sweet girl. Loves her sticks. Some Heeler, some Aussie and some Pit Bull, maybe. I can see the Heeler in her energy and determination. Susan has done a wonderful job with her. We have had weeks of gorgeous weather. It looks like tomorrow it will change. It's okay, we have had a glorious run.
With the help of our friends Susan and Kay we were able to get this great photo of my boy Chocolate.
I cannot let a walk at Norms pass without a photo of my beautiful girl
I am always complaining that I never get good pictures of me and my kids. Well, this summer that has ended, my friend Mike got one that I loved, and this past friday my friend Pat took this one. I love this, it is the best yet. I love the expression on Choco's face. Nina Blanca is certainly smiling. She loves Pat, Pat is her favorite peep (after me)
This is from yesterday, when it was pretty overcast. Today the sun was out, and it was warm and totally glorious. But the overcast helps to bring out the colours in the trees, and the reflections.
Lou Shasta and Pat Davis Lee. My kids and I came out earlier and were slowly making our way about the Island when we cross paths with my friends. Well it went something like that, there were texts involved.
I always love this when the seagulls rise up. There must be an official name for this phenomena. There were two eagles circling above, and the gulls always take flight when there are eagles. I got a couple reasonable photos of the eagles, but they are just small specks on the file, not very interesting.
This is Simon. That is Simon at the top of the blog with the red ball. He was I think six months when we took the top photo, and is seven and a half years in this one. He is the most energetic dog I have ever seen. He is a Blue Heeler Brittany Spaniel mix, his peep is Pat. She is pretty dedicated to keep him walkin.
It is seldom I am able to get good pictures of dogs in the water, just too many negative elements. But these came out really swell. I love the waves moving away from Simon in the first picture. The him looking directly into the light with the light side of his face showing, wow! As a rule Simon is not a water dog. But if it is not too deep he obviously has no objections to it. Blanca will not go in this far.
Finnegan. Seldom do I get a side view of the boy. Looks like we started to get some cloud cover, compared to the next photo of my boy Choco.
Chocolate trying to decide if he is up for another swim. He will not go into the water except to fetch. Even then he has to be encouraged strongly the first few times, but then he doesn't wanna stop.
Beautiful wonderful day at Norm Schoenthal Island.
We four went late to Norm's today. I have been having trouble getting up early. Early being 8. Not so early. I really enjoy staying in bed late, but this is not the time of year to be doing it. Soon going late will be a good idea because it will be cold at 8.
It is only October, but the shadows feel long. It is beautiful. My kids seem to have passed a point in a dogs life where the most important thing to them is to be with me, they are by my side almost constantly. Wonderful.
This is a picture of Blanca and Finny. Choco refused to cooperate. I need a new technique for him. I should have begun it today. Blanca is great. She just drills me with those eyes when I tell them to stay, I think she has got it that when I point the camera she looks.
I like this picture of Blanca. I also like the focus aid on the Olympus OM-D e10. This is the one feature that could possibly make me a complete convert to Electronic Viewfinders.
Of course, since I have eyes only for Blanca, this is how I see the top photo. Pretty cool. I am using here a set of actions that I downloaded from Google, Nik Filters I guess they are called. Google bought Nik several years ago, before that they were highly regarded and expensive. You can now download them for free from Google. There are some useful ones. I have been using the sharpening actions. They really are sets of recorded actions.