Tuesday, October 28, 2014

October 28, 2014 Patience, Lord.......grant me more patience.....NOW!

I guess most of you who know anything about me at all, know I like dogs.  I love dogs and have had dogs all of my life.  I can't imagine not having my faithful companion along with me to do all my outdoor activities.  They just add a lot to your day and your life.  Like Toby......he goes everywhere with me and loves all the photographic opportunities.  And....above shot of him really cracks me up.  And, no he didn't get buried in that wave.  He was enjoying some late day water though.
That brings me to my current issue and title of this........patience.  I finally decided, now that I am retired, to finally go for it and get a rescued dog instead of going out and buying a puppy.  It has been highly recommended by many.  I have seen mostly good results from rescues with a few not so good endings with a few.  But, when you get an older dog, they can come with issues and no amount of love will fix some of those issues.
I have been watching a number of places since Spring of this year......seriously.  I have looked at them off and on over the years....just to get an idea of what's out there.
Well, recently......I found one that seemed to be the perfect companion for me and Toby too.  It is about time he gets to train the young pup!  He got well trained by Casey.  :)  I found the dog through a Thunder Bay rescue group.  So, let the fun begin.  I found the dog.  I let it be known I was interested in meeting and seeing the dog.  The point of dogs on the sites is to be placed in loving homes.  I can do that.  And safe homes....I can also do that.  Well, after some emails and phone calls, I finally got to go to Canada and meet "my" chosen pup.  If the foster parents think I am ok, I then have to have my home inspected to see if it meets their qualifications, mostly for safety I guess.  They have a three page contract to sign when you get the dog, if you get it.  I'm fine with that.  There wasn't anything in it I wouldn't do anyway. 
But, here is the patience part.....the wait between emails and phone calls.  You don't know if you should go out and do anything because they might decide to come down and check you out.  But, from the conversation yesterday, I got the idea, since it was foster dad's day off, they might come down and do the home check today.  Well, it is now 4:00 p.m. my time and 5:00 their time......and not one peep!  I understand everything has to go through the lady in command.  Last email when I got home yesterday, he was awaiting her return call.  I had let him know, since she was under 6 months old, she didn't, in fact, need her rabies shot to come across the border.
Then, it was the idea that maybe they could bring her along when they did the home visit so I wouldn't have to drive all the way back up there again.  That issue is still unknown. 
So, I am seriously needing a good dose of patience right now.  Today was gloomy and I made a lot of cards for the Christmas Art Festival sale today.  I have stayed around in case something  would happen.  But.........wouldn't you think they could let you know something!!!
I am frustrated.  I think you probably have figured that out.  But, adopting a dog from a rescue group shouldn't have to be this difficult.
On the other hand, Toby got along with her just fine yesterday when they met.  That was a plus.  So many of the dogs I sort of thought would be ok were dogs that wanted to be the only dog in the house.  So, you know that AIN'T gonna work!
Well....I am still hoping to get the dog.  But, I hope at some time, they improve their communications skills.  Because, unless you live right there and can go bug them in person......I don't see how they ever get the dogs adopted out in a timely fashion.  I will keep you posted!
Here's one more of faithful Toby as we awaited sunset on that particular evening. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

October 24, 2014 Another foggy day........

Yesterday was also a very foggy day, including when I was here at the old dock.  It had let up a little at this moment.  But, it alternated dark and not so dark pretty regularly.  It was so damp out, I decided to play with some of the "historical" aspect of where I live.  We used to have a lot of commercial fishing in our community.  There is still some going on.  It's just on a much more limited basis now.  
The old dock is falling into disrepair right along, these days.  It has served the community well since way back in the days the America brought people and goods here.  The deep sea fishing boats used to go in and out from here taking people trout fishing back when Hovland was the Lake Trout Capital.  My dad was, in fact, one of the deep sea captains that did this.  There is a lot of history around that old dock.  One of the fish houses near the dock has some of the old fishing boats on the property by the dock.  It also has a net rack and nets, floats and such.  The day seemed right for a photo of what used to be in our community.  That brings me to this picture.  I was knowing, sort of, what I wanted. However, I wasn't getting it.  I had this in color....post light, post dark....just wasn't doing it.  I finally decided to put it up to a Photography Group I am a part of.  There are a lot of fine people in the group and I respect the opinions of others in it.  So, after one suggested maybe black and white.....I tried that.  It still didn't quite do it.  But, I tried sepia.....and you know what, that worked! 
Here is a photo of what's left of one of the old fish houses in the bay.  It has mostly caved in, but it had a rather neat look about it.  The red osier dogwood and some wild roses added some color on this grey day.  This late in the fall, there isn't much color to be found.  But, on the shore, the mt. ash, wild roses, cherries and dogwood are quite spectacular right now.
Here's another shot from this photographic expedition.  My faithful companion, Toby, is watching what I am up to and ready to do it with me.  He is never very far away.  Here are a few of the beautiful wild roses in the foreground with a ninebark, now in nice golds, behind it.  If it was as foggy here on the shore, this morning, as it was up here.....you wouldn't have even seen the dock from this viewpoint! 
Sometimes, it is just kind of interesting to remember all the things that have taken place around something so simple as an old dock.

Monday, October 20, 2014

October 20, 2014 Out and about in the Fall.....before it's gone!

Yesterday, it was such a nice afternoon, I just had to take my dog out "partridge" hunting.  The sun was out and the wind wasn't howling.......does it get any better than that this time of year?!
One of the places we walked by was this beaver pond.  It looked so pretty with the golden grasses swaying in the light breeze.  I never could get the exact shot I wanted because of all the "stuff" beavers leave around the edges.  I am always trying to find these perfectly neat, clean spots along the edges for a photo!  ....well, you can try!  Anyway, it was gorgeous looking across the pond.
Then.....there was this spot.  It looked so cool.  I have played with close-ups of the leaning trees on the left side of this shot....several times.  They make cool abstract shots with the reflections.  Again....always trying for that "clear shot" of them.  Well....you notice a new piece of tree in front of them.  I swear.....I almost wanted to wade out there and drag it out of the way.  But...it wasn't that warm out there!  This particular day, the sky was such it made me wish for a nice metallic print of this.  The water came out in such a way.....it would look fantastic!  But.....for my first "no leaves" shot here, I really liked the looks of this shot.
From here....we got serious about the hunting.  Toby had his swim in the beaver pond and was cooled off.  It was a great day for hiking......however, it didn't turn out to be a good day for finding the birds.
Driving to and from earlier photo ops I had seen some along the roads.  Oh well.....always another day to find a bird.  Any day being out enjoying this fine place we live in is a good day.  I am doing that more and more all the time.  And, even when I think I might have something to grumble about, I try to get back on a positive mode because I am up, out and healthy and can enjoy this.
Lately, in our community, we have had way too much cancer catching up to too many people.  And.....some of them are not all that old.  There seem to be more and more before we barely get over the fact of losing the last friend.  It is sad.  Some of these people are younger than me.......one that hasn't got a good prognosis is much younger.  I could just cry every time I think about her.  I just found out about another neighbor since then too.  It is true that life isn't always fair!  So....I am here to tell you to get out and enjoy your life while you are able.  You never know what another day brings.

Here is another shot from a day earlier last week when I was out taking some late fall color photos on the shore of Lake Superior.  The birches here were still holding quite a few leaves but you can see lots had fallen too.  The section of shoreline I was hiking on had some fantastic late fall color.  I was so impressed with the gorgeous colors that day.  Again, it made me just happy to be alive and out enjoying this.
A lot of the colors left are the golds now.  However, on the shore the wild roses and mt. ash are showing their reds nicely.  The ninebark is another favorite of mine and the oranges and golds they are displaying now are really gorgeous.  Hard to get enough of those fall colors!
Today, however, is one of those grey days that spits misty showers on you off and on all day so you don't get too serious about outside projects.  Toby and I did have a nice long walk on the beach.  The wind is light today and the lake is flat so it was very enjoyable.  I baked cookies and did laundry and all those "house" chores one does while waiting to see if the sun is going to come out.  Not happening today I guess.  I even printed some more nice fall prints both to sell locally and getting some done for the local artisan sale we do just before Christmas each year.  But, I ran out of my 11x14 size photo paper and one of the black inks....which is on order......but....but....well.....you know, things happen.  I guess I should be happy I have gotten so many really nice photos lately.  :)
So, for some of you who haven't seen it......I will give you my website so you can see some of them.  It is  http://sandra-updyke.fineartamerica.com.
Check it out. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

It's October.....Already! October 4, 2014

It is October, already.  I just don't know how that happened.  It seems we were just getting started on our fall season, after a much too short summer.  The leaves started to turn color and my sister-in-law and I started talking about our fall hikes and next thing, the leaves are down.  It just happened so fast, I can't believe it.  And.......I have had quite a few years to watch these things now.  With a winter that wouldn't end, a spring that wouldn't get started, and then...a short, cool summer......I just don't see how fall colors came and went so fast. 
I have been busy trying to do all the things that need to get done around here.  Compared to some busy people in this community these days........I don't feel "that" busy now.....but, I always have something to do.  There is the garden, the yard, the trails.......and oh yes, always housework!
Sadly, my trails, especially the ones on the steep end of the property going up to the Superior Hiking Trail, didn't get mowed.  Some way over east I ski all winter didn't either.  Too wet.  It was August before I got some of my main yard mowed because of wet and standing water.  Argh!  ....or something.  Staying so damp or really wet on the ground meant that the big DR mower I use was either bogging down to the point of getting stuck or spinning out on a root.  It was a lot of work to mow a trail this year.  But, thankfully, I did get a lot of it done despite the problems.  It means alder and brush, in some areas, is going to have a head start on me next year.
The garden.....oh, it's been supplying us with food alright.  But, even that isn't up to par.  About half the cauliflower didn't turn out well.  Tomatoes have tended to rot on the vines.  Cucumbers were few and far between.  However, I got bumper crops of carrots, turnips and rutabagas....beans too and oh yes, the radishes......  The broccoli is still producing nicely.  There won't be many potatoes as many rotted in the ground instead of growing.....that in raised beds!  Oh well......
As usual, I am always out and about trying to get some fine photos.  Even those adventures have had me ranging less distance than usual.  Early on, the bugs were so bad it was hard to take a shot without a swarm of bugs in them.  Not to mention.....if you wanted to walk some place in the woods.....you had to put a ton of bug dope on so as not to get eaten alive.  But, I have managed some nice stuff despite the weather. 
Here's a shot I took along a trail to one of my favorite spots the other day.  There is some color there, but, passed peak....for sure.  I am wondering if we are going to have another long, cold winter. 
There aren't many mountain ash berries this year for all the birds to eat all winter.  I think they wore themselves out making so many last year.  Many apple trees are also bare.  One of our trees made just over a dozen.  The others, nothing.  Pretty slim pickings!
Still, just a couple of days ago a bear had to climb up in the top of our "wild" apple tree....just out of sight of the house.  It broke the whole top out of it and a lot of other branches besides.  There wasn't apple one in it this year.  So.......why it was up there is beyond me.
I will leave you with just one more color shot of our area taken October 1st!