June 27, 2011

Dash for Dog Parks - Last Year!

Looking for dog portraits to post, I found this great one from last years Dash for Dog Parks.  I see this boy regularly at Norm's Island but he is always on the move. I do not have his name. Someone post a comment and let's get his name.  I see another Island regular in the background, Zapata, who I have not been able to get a good photo of at Norm's either.

This reminds me that this years Dash for Dog Parks is coming up soon, in August.

June 25, 2011

Yellowstone River Overwhelms Norm's Island

I quote Michael E Garcia;
"Unless you're wearing hip waders, getting completely around the island is most likely out of the question, because irrigation boots will not even get you to the middle of some of these water pools that block the trail.  And let's not forget the swarming, take-no-prisoner mosquitoes who are looking to eat you alive as you stand there."

I quote Michael E Garcia, again;
"From what I hear in the forecast, the waters are just going to get deeper for the next few days.  I'd stay clear of the island for awhile.  Although the off-island outside trail is a pretty nice place to walk the dogs."

I have been posting pictures taken from this spot for several days now, this it the southwest corner by the logjam, and the water is higher than ever.  I have never seen the water come even close to coming this high up on the bank at this location. I have never seen this much water on Norm's Island, needless to say, we will not be walking Norm's for some time to come.
I promise DOG pictures again soon. I will try now to get my weblog back to pictures of dogs instead of being a report on the conditions at Norm Schoenthal Island.
I had thought that we were through with tick season, but Nina Blanca picked a bunch today. She likes to scurry through the brush on the side of the trail. Chocolate, who stays by my side most of the time,  does not seem to have any.

June 19, 2011

Great Day For Photographs

A Grey Overcast Day, and we got to walk with Cathy, Penny and Ms.Mel. Cathy said she likes overcast days, and today we agree with her. The colors were just great, saturated. And the dogs were all happy. Great combination.  Great photo of Penny. I like Penny. Yeah, I know, I say that about most dogs.

We met this youngster, Angel, walking on the outer trail. Beautiful energetic dog. Love this picture.

Today I make an exception and include a peep. It is because I like this picture. It feels really good. The road is on a curvy diagonal, the peep, Cathy, has a great smile and is standing at one third position and Penny and Ms Mel fill the foreground perfectly. Thanks girls.

Not what it looks like. The cold and wet Blanca looks to be saying "I wanna go home". But I know from experience that she is just taking a short break, looking to see what is going to happen next. She is an EverReady dog.

After walking with Cathy, Penny and Ms Mel we walked across the bridge to see what it looked like on the Island. I had not expected to walk it, but the water was down by quite a bit so we ventured forth. I had to wade most of the usual high water spots, it was higher than last time I was there, but not as high as it was reported on Saturday. I was last there Friday, I think. This is where the path meets the canal, irregation channel.  We have lost a good foot of land here, though the great folks that keep Norm's maintained had anticipated this and the path has been moved inland several feet.

Lost a big piece here. This is right next to the trail on the south side of the Island, directly on the river. Sorry to see the trees go. Must remember, change is good.

Whoa! be careful boy. Another tree down. There were several trees lost to the erosion. The Island lost a good piece of real estate at this location.

Just had to add one more. Days when it is overcast are the only days I can get good pictures of Blanca. She is a happy girl in this picture. Dogs are such a joy to watch run. They love it so much.

June 18, 2011


Hello. Not much of a picture here, but to those of you that walk at Norms Island as a regular thing it will be interesting.  This is a picture of the very southwest corner of Norm's, known usually as the LogJam, you know, where every dog that comes to Norm's goes down for a drink of water after walking the hot and dry stretch along the irrigation channel.  You can just make out the bench in the shade of the tree.  I really needed to make a video of this because this still photo does not show how amazingly fast the water is moving. It is roaring past. The water is about to consume this corner of the Island. It is the best photo I could get to show how high the water is. Sorry for not doing better.  It was taken from the outer trail, which is west of the ditch. This certainly should clear out the logjam. Or bring in more. Who knows.
We did not walk on the Island today (Saturday), the water was up to the billboard and I figured it would be over my knees in several places, based on previous experience, so no go.  It may be awhile before we can go back. Then the mosquitoes will be there.

Blanca running to catch up. This is where we walked, west of the Island. High and dry as you can see.  Thanks to the owners of this land for allowing access, for not posting keep out and other such things. I expect it is owned by McCall Homes. I wonder who maintains the trail, it is nicely maintained. Thanks to them also.

June 15, 2011

Wet Places

There are many wet places at Norm's currently. This is the place I call the froggy spot, it is about 50 yards east of where the path comes up to the irrigation canal, walking counter clockwise. On the west side of the Island. There is water at this spot quite often, thus its name,  but it does not usually cover the path. Now it come half way up to the knee if you walk in the middle of the path.

June 13, 2011

The Green Green Grass is Growing

Monday. We walked, and partly waded, Norm's Island today. It was spectacular. Spectacular, with capitals. There are many areas under water, but it is doable if you do not mind getting your feet wet. In a few places the water was almost knee deep. It felt good ;-)

The grass is growing fast. It is beautiful. Also growing is the poison oak. We saw a lot of it. We do not seem to have gotten any ticks, and we only experienced a couple mosquitoes. They will be there soon enough though, I am sure. There is a lot of standing water on the Island.

 Proof that dogs smile. Hugely! Go Chocolate, Go!

Am I getting carried away with so many green photos. I am simply loving this green, and I am especially loving the openness of this photograph. I love this beautiful, special, happy dog.

 I guess it was Blanca's day.

I will post pictures of the water later (tomorrow by now), I must go outside and be in this beautiful weather. bye bye.

June 12, 2011


We are going to go see what it is like at the Island, so maybe we will have something new from Norm's later today, but for now here we have Tilly. In this photo she is about 8 weeks, I do believe.  The photo was taken in September of 2008. Wow! it seems like just a few months ago. Time flies.

June 11, 2011

Studio Portraits of Chocolate and Pals

We have Daryl, Ace, Chocolate, and Little Girl. Not shown is White Girl(Blanca)
In looking through my files looking for studio photos to post, (we are not walking at Norm's, too wet yet, the river is supposed to peak today) I find to my amazement that I have never shown these two wonderful photographs of Chocolate and his siblings.  It was when I was taking these photographs that I met my true dog love Nina Blanca.  The breeder, Rose, did not want her in the photographs because she was not, uh, well, she is deaf, hardly up to breed standard. They did not know what to do with her, and so I heard coming out of my mouth "I will take her"

I love this photo. I am never certain who is who between Daryl and Little Girl, but I will guess that we have Daryl, Ace in the back with Little Girl below and Chocolate on the right.
Cannot believe I have never posted these before. Keyword Studio Dogs. Thanks for looking.

June 7, 2011

Fricken' Huge Fish Reported on Norm's

It has been reported*  that Fricken' Huge fish are swimming about on Norm Schoenthal Island, so the kids and I are staying in the neighborhood today. Don't want my cherished kids to be nibbled on by any Frickin' Huge fish.
So, in lieu of our usual Norm's photos, today we go to the backlog of studio photos.  Here we have our boy Chocolate examining what we could pretend is a Fricken' Huge fish.  It probably approximates what his reaction would be to a little fricken fish.  Chocolate here is six months old, the picture was taken March 14, 2010. One of the last sessions I did in my old studio.
*Kelley Gililland reported at 10:30 tuesday that: "So walking at Norm's is a little bit wetter...a little more flooded. To put it simply.....I saw a VERY large fish swim across the trail! When I say large I mean Fricken Huge!"

Is he not the cutest boy.  He is really a teddy bear, with a beating heart. He had better be cute, he was sick last night and pooped all about the house.  I guess the wax in my ears caused me not to hear him ask to go out, Chocolate?  I was feeling so confident in his being totally house broke. They say you cannot be totally reliant on a dog being house broke till they are two. Touch wood, but Nina Blanca has never failed me, excepting the night I brought her home, Christmas 2009.
"Yah, your always telling everybody how great Blanca is, agh!!" says Chocolate.

June 6, 2011

The Froggie Spot

Folks keep asking where the Froggie Spot is.  I like this photo so much that I will post it again, so as to locate the Froggie Spot.
So here it is. The path in this photograph is under water, which is not usually the situation. The path is running left to right in the middle of the photo, or right to left if you are of the minority that walks clockwise. But, the question is: why Froggie.  Mike was photographing frogs here, and on the other side of the island, so I thought I might try my photo skills on the subject, so, here we have . . .

Froggy the Gremlin
Hiya Kids, Hiya Hiya Hiya . . .
Froggy the Gremlin  (from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)   "Froggy the Gremlin was a character on the Smilin' Ed's Gang radio and TV show and later Andy's Gang TV show in the 1940s and 1950s.  Froggy was a troublemaker on the shows. He was known for being disrespectful of adult authority figures and enjoyed playing practical jokes and disrupting other guests, repeating two-word phrases ("you will, you will") and giving commands that the guests had to follow despite their efforts to resist."
My friend Craig gave me Froggy many years ago.  It had been a wedding present to him in 1978. Craig did not like stuff, so I got Froggy. I had a Froggy just like this one when I was a kid and was very enamored of him. He ended up under a pile of books, got kinda flat and dried out. Poor Froggy. 

Froggy has a hole in his back, and if you put your thumb over the hole and squeeze him Froggy will express his attitude toward the world by sticking his tongue out. I think I always like this about him.

Another Beautiful Day at Norm's

We got to walk with Debbie and Goofball again today, Sunday.  I have been trying for awhile to get a good portrait type photo of Goofball, but she is almost always on the move. For a brief moment today I got her attention and this was the result. Goof, we will have a word with Debbie about the size of your collar if you want us to. Maybe it's purpose is to slow you down some? Maybe.

This is the usual attitude I find Goof with. Running, jumping and engaging anybody and everybody. Great dog Goof is.

My daily photograph of my Nina Blanca. Kinda dirty she is. You can tell from this how far she likes to go into the water. Not far. But far enough that sand sticks to her when she comes out. What a mess. But, she has fun.

Hey Ken, someone is up there. Yes Chocolate, it's a woodpecker. You cannot get him.

Roper and Blanca. They played one on one for a long time.  They enjoyed one another a great deal. I am not so sure Roper came back after this nip on the behind. Jeez Blanc. Roper is a Blue Healer, a beautiful boy that walks with his friends Kale and Lucky.  He was featured a few posts back. I am always seeing the same dogs. I really need to try walking at different times of the day. Should, but I love the mornings. Maybe earlier.

We met this youngster near the Froggie Spot. He and goof had a really good time playing. His name is Angel, and he is six months old.

June 4, 2011

Good Day for Chase The Stick

We walked this gorgeous Saturday morning with Debbie and Goofball. Goofy is such an impressive little dog. She is obsessed with wood, sticks, and loves to initiate games of chase and catch me if you can. Here she gets the game going with Blanca in pursuit.

We met this beautiful boy Riker walking along next to the raging Yellowstone River with his friends Larry, Laura and K-Lar. Star Trek dogs. Riker and Nina Blanca have their eye on Goofy, and the stick. They all had a wonderful time. Riker I believe is 7 months old. A great looking boy, and very lucky to have such good friends.

Here is the object of Riker and Blanca's attention, Goofball and the precious stick.

A nice action photo. Today was not a very good day for taking pictures, the sun was too bright, and too high. I need to get out earlier on sunny days. Especially bad for white dogs. But I got some good ones here, showing Joyful dogs at Norm Schoenthal Island. Thanks guys.

June 2, 2011

No Dogs, Just Chocolate, Nina Blanca, and Me.

We saw no dogs, no people either, except Norm Schoenthal and his friend driving in the repair vehicle. Just as we were leaving we saw Ron and Lex, and Hank and Amy. The island was pretty quiet, except for the wonderful sound of the birds. Which of course was great.

Looks like it will be a few more days until we can take our favorite path again. We picked up several ticks today, the most we have gotten this year.  Probably because we did some cross country walking from where I took this picture. I had followed a new bed of sand that lead here. The flooding deposited a bed of sand from the river to the inner trail.

 The only people I saw today until just as I was leaving. The Yellowstone River Parks Association vehicle out looking for issues to deal with. Norm Schoenthal driving. Thanks for all your great work. Norm Schoenthal Island is the most wonderful place in Billings, and for a great distance in any direction.

Warm Beautiful June

I seem to be a sucker for these symmetrical verging in the distance photos. I am sure anyone that walks at the Island is familiar with this spot. That is the path running horizontal across the picture, disappearing at the spot were the sky is reflected.  It's the froggy spot.
We stayed at the Island for a couple of hours, just enjoying the warmth and the beauty. It is absolutely gorgeous.  The bird sounds are wonderful, and, how do I say, lots? Many birds at the Island now. So far there are no insects, so we are glorifying in that. I am happy when I am at Norm Schoenthal Island.

We walked across, waded across. Very muddy on the opposite shore. Despite all, it looked beautiful.

My teeth are bigger. Chocolate would win this comparison. Two dogs on green. I have not been seeing any dogs on our walks. Thus the scenery. We saw Diego on Tuesday.  I am sure I am missing someone, but that is all I remember. Few people it seems are visiting the Island, at least in the mornings. I see evidence of bikes though.

On the south side of Norm's there are quite a few changes.  Sand is one. Sand deposited on the path, and in other places big piles of rocks. The  piles of rocks makes one wonder at the power of the river.