Monday, October 31, 2011

Why Not?

It just struck me funny. The 'famous' Ken's Sporting Goods in Crescent, Oregon. Everything you need to have a good time in stock

Fall is Fine Up Here

Yesterday, we decided that a trip to Crater Lake National Park was necessary, as the road closes for the season tomorrow and it was supposed to snow up there today. So we loaded Gem the BC, the ol' man (Ho Dog) and baby Sybil in the Jellybean and made the (mostly) scenic, 4 hour drive down. A good portion of our route took us along the breathtaking North Umpqua River, where there was a photo op about every 25 feet. We had to really pick our spots so that we would have enough 'film' left for the actual destination. Dale still has to download the pix off his fancy camera, so these are from my crappy little point and shoot Nikon, which actually worked well for a change. Don't forget to click the pix - you'll want to with these shots! More to come, too.

Just one of so many stunning photo possibilities on the North Umpqua River

Dale shoots with the fancy camera

And just for fun, a shot of the Reese Creek treeline, the cows and the sweetgums and 'October Glory' maples along the fenceline on a super fine, fall day

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Flat Dogs

Livin' the life on a cold, rainy evening. It's just awful how badly we mistreat these dogs, isn't it? Completely shameless in our abuse of them, we are

The ol' man drips off the couch, feet crossed and yes, until he heard the camera beep, he was dead asleep, just like that

The ol' man swaps ends but maintains the drip position. I suspect it's to keep a weather eye on that hyper puppy there, and the crazy Border collie, just in case

Maple on Fire

As usual, pictures simply don't do justice to the subject. One of the Japanese maples from the Washington nursery auction looks like it's on fire at sunrise. Off to the left is another one of the auction maples, and you can just see the sweetgums on the fenceline marching down the hill, just starting their colour change show. Do click on the pix for the full effect!

In Memorium

Kallie Girl

13 July 1999 - 28 October 2011

Beloved companion of Kathy, Dave and family

Kallie, a lovely black tri daughter of Kane and Jazzee, crossed The Bridge yesterday to join her mom, dad, sisters and brothers who crossed before her, after a short illness. Her family misses her greatly. Her last day saw her at the beach at Fiesta Island (San Diego), enjoying the wind and waves, her fave thing in the world next to her people. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

Kallie a few weeks before crossing The Bridge. Picture courtesy of Kris P

Kallie at a year

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Season Ends

It wasn't a gradual thing. One day, it was a perfect, sunny and warm 65 degrees, then next, barely 50 and that's where it's been for the past few days. Tuesday morning saw lows that just hit freezing; this morning, the thermometer dipped below for a bit early on. It was interesting watching the frost form this morning; the roof of the gazebo went from a little rim of frost to a sheet of white within 15 minutes.

Monday was a day of activity. Moving the potted plants into the greenhouse for the winter. Harvesting the last of the green tomatoes and baby cukes. Getting the peppers wrapped in Reemay (a type of crop blanket). Getting a shrub shield (a fabric 'tent') for the lemon tree which is now too large to haul off the deck or into the house. Bringing in the hoses from the beeyard and the round pen. And most importantly, getting Gizmo into his winter jammies, along with making sure his pellet stove room had the cozy fleece throw on his couch.

The morning packwalk finally has me in socks (!), sweats, Sherpa hat and gloves. The dogs really enjoy it; lots of little critters scampering about, finding the last of their winter food to store and cozy dens to finish up. The scenary is of course amazing, with the hardwoods on the mountains turning brilliant, neon yellow among the deep, dark green of the Dougs and cedars. Deer are on the move - mostly because it is hunting season, but also following the food. Hoke just knows that given a chance, he could put 'em all together and bring 'em to me if I wanted him to. I don't have the heart to tell him that's probably not gonna happen. A guy's gotta dream, y'know?

The leaves down along Reese Creek on the east side of the ranch are changing almost minute to minute now. Yesterday late afternoon, the entire stand looked like it was on fire. I think in a few days it'll be at its peak. Begs that you grab a warm cuppa and sit a spell in the swing, drinking it all in. You should try it. It's amazing how peaceful it is and how fast you'll forget your frazzled day, doing that.

The greenhouse, fully populated for the winter. It's amazing how much warmer it is in there even when it's below freezing out

And that 19 pound box of (mostly) green tomatoes brings the season's harvest, from the two grafted vines, to about 105 pounds. It's destined for in-house ripening as needed, as well as green tomato relish and whatever else I can figure to do with them

The last of the tomatoes and cukes. I had to leave almost as much on the vines as I picked

The grafted 'Costoluto Genovese' and 'Brandywine' vines, picked of what I could store, with a lot more left

One of the last three producing cukes, 'Pearl', gives up its final bounty. Enough to make a small batch of pickles, or maybe just eat

Gizmo stays warm and cozy in his winter jammies, on his fleece-covered couch, in front of the pellet stove. He will only leave his 'den' for potty and food breaks for the next several months

Almost 9 am and still not yet above freezing today. It was around 29 when we headed out on our packwalk

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Softly Comes the Fall

You're definitely gonna wanna click these pix! Falls comes to the Coast Range foothills of the Willamette Valley ever so softly - that is, until tomorrow night, when we're expecting our first seriously cold night, the first in a string forecasted to last the week. Then we'll see some serious colour change for sure! A quick run to Corvallis this afternoon saw some really brilliant foliage colours already.

Looking east in the afternoon towards Bellfountain Church

The 'October Glory' maples along the north fenceline of the north pasture

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


One of Carol's fave shots of her beloved Oso, at nearly 14. He has a brother, Sherman, and a sister, our Hall of Fame dam Catera, still with us from the wonderful Jack X Jazzee litter of 1997. They turn 14 on the 23rd of November.

Ghostly Gizmo

Fresh from his yearly bath/brushing (he truly hates it), Gizmo warms up in a patch of sun on a warm fall day - for us, anyway, at 66 degrees - on his fave couch. He is finally starting to show his age; he'll be 15 next May, altho watching him do laps around the outside of the house, you'd never know it. And yes, he still pops up on the couch unassisted.

Love the 'earie' shadow

Saturday, October 15, 2011

In Memorium


November 23rd, 1997 - October 15th, 2011

The goofy red bear, one of the last of the Jack X Jazzee pups, crossed The Bridge this day to join his mom and dad, brothers and sisters, and the rest of his relatives who crossed before him. Much loved and missed by Carol, Kurt and Jack. Rest in peace, big red dog. Say hi to grandma Morgan and momma Jazzee for us, okay?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Boys of the Fall

The boys of fall pose with the poo flinger, suitably decorated for the season. Don't forget to click the pix!

The Old Man of the Fall

A Little Puppy Posing

Don't forget to click the pix. Sybil at 14 months old in all her puppy goofiness

With 8 year old dad, Hoke, who just took a swim in the stock tank

Ever try to take a shot of a puppy with one hand while holding the leash with the other? Posed naturally, no help at all from me

Doesn't get much goofier than this


Sybil Gets a Job

Remembering that she is still quite a puppy at all of 14 months old, and has had about 4 short training sessions with Dave, she is showing her talent off pretty well. But yes, she does still have those puppy moments, and times when she channels the bad habits of mom and/or dad. All in all, she's got a whole lot of potential on tap. Can't wait to get her on cows now that we have three weanlings about ready to start working.

With Dale working her. I'm still on the DL until next April. She shows her great rate and her momma's eye here. And no, the camerawoman is NOT drunk, just never really sure if the camera is level or not, trying to watch Sybil and the viewfinder at the same time

Making a nice turn, keeping the outside sheep in contact

Controlling the heads to slow the group down heading to the gate

Going to the outside to keep the sheep on the fenceline. Nice!

A little puppy coming out here but she'll fix it herself and put the sheep back on the fence

Rating beautifully. Dale doesn't have to nag her to stay back; that is what natural rate is, when the dog controls the flow herself

Again, coming out to slow the sheep a bit. Did I mention she's doing this on her own?

She likes the pace, so she's taking the pressure off the sheep to allow them to walk quietly. You've probably noticed the two big white wethers panting - that would be the two fat, out of shape wethers Michaud and Michael. No one else is even breathing hard

Another nice turn, on her own. You can see that even from where she's at, she's putting pressure on that little white lamb on the outside to pull himself back into the group

Oooooo, a little puppy coming out here! Gettin' kinda pushy, like her daddy Hoke!

Again, keeping the lead sheep's eye to keep the pace where she wants it

Just like the pix a few up from this one, stopping herself to allow the sheep to settle after going thru the gate behind them. In most green dogs, this situation would incite a chase

A nice, controlled pace using body position and eye to keep the group moving smoothly and together at a reasonable pace

Gotta love that natural rate in a young, green puppy

I love how she keeps tabs on her stock in a very non-threatening manner

And then again, sometimes you need to use a little muscle to back up that look, especially around the centre pen, which the sheep tend to try to use as a shield. Doesn't work with Sybil