Saturday, August 27, 2016

A Slow Saturday

Getting to bed last night in the middle of the morning, after watching live college football that didn't start until 10pm local time ... had me sleeping late today.

We woke up to unexpected rain and temps in the 70's but I could see from Wunderground that the rain was not going to last and it would be hot and sunny by 2pm. So with the day starting off a little from the normal routine, it was a little weird today and very slow. I have nothing exciting to post about.

A little after 5pm with the same weather as yesterday, the bloodhounds and I started the daily walk while Heidi lay sleeping with the AC on and a fan blowing on her ... she likes having the fan in front of her.

I had a feeling that Stella was going to do the same thing as she did yesterday, hanging back and not walking with us. I was right, in fact she did not show up for most of our walk.

Sadie led the charge as usual. She might fall behind me a few times but not for long, then she will run to catch up. She really enjoys these walks. In some of the photos I can see a line of her rib cage, which tells me she has lost the weight I wanted her to lose over the summer.

We are just past the first turn ... no Stella in sight behind us.

Sadie runs to catch me, not wanting me to get too far ahead of her.

I thought this was a butterfly at first but after the photo I saw it was nothing more than a leaf that was stuck between the green leaves.

By this time I've made the final turn for home and no sight of Stella. This is the longest time that she stayed away while we were on the walk. Then ... I can barely make out a moving object ... Stella is walking up the path in the opposite direction, coming toward me.

Even as the two partners in crime are walking with me, I had a feeling they would not follow me to the house like they use to. Whatever they decided I was going to let them do as I would head down the driveway to get my mail for the day, and check to see if the front yard was dry enough to mow. I knew they would show up at the house eventually.

They did not move from this spot. I had time to walk to the house and then down the drive a 100' to the mailbox and as I turned to come up the driveway ... both of them were standing at the corner of the house waiting for me instead of coming down the driveway after me. Just like they should do when I am in the front yard.

It's NFL pre-season, week 3 tonight with the local Colts. Luckily that game starts in little over an hour so it should not be a late night tonight, unless I watch the end of the Cincinnati Reds in Phoenix baseball game ... that went extra innings last night and was still going on after 1:30am local time.

I've played around a little with blog templates today, no changes. I've read and tried to get iMessage to work again on my computer ... I found out it's an Apple problem and everyone has been having issues with it the past week or so.

I need to start a new book and have a few on my shelves that have never been read. Not in the mood for movies and the hounds are in a deep sleep after their daily walk. All is good for them.

Nothing exciting today here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Heat Forces A Late Blog Post

First of all I want you to know that when I post temperatures and the heat index, it is for added information only and to give readers a better idea what the hounds are putting up with during their daily activities. It is not me complaining because I love hot weather.

Like the title says, today's heat forced me to post and even finish my blog later tonight. Otherwise there would have been nothing to post as far as photos for today's activities. It was a productive day though.

I started this morning giving Heidi a shampoo bath. These photos show a lot of redness but by the afternoon all of that skin color was the normal color, with no redness. I wanted to trim her nails but since we did that earlier in the week ... all of the ends were filled with the dark spot, which means the blood vessel is too close to trim.

For those anxiously awaiting to see how much weight she has gained ... no need to sit down on the announcement ... only 2 pounds. So she is up to 38 pounds after losing 12 back in the spring of 2015.

I was motivated enough after I dried her off, to start in on the dishes. So by noon a lot was done and the hounds had their lunch. The air outside was like an oven and reminded me of the thought I had late last night ... I could feel how cold it was last February and will be this winter!!

You know the kind of freezing single digit temps I write about sometimes. Where it is so cold I stay inside while the hounds are outside. Or it's so cold outside with snow and ice in the field that Stella stops walking and raises her front paw due to the ice and snow getting between her toes.

When I remembered that thought and felt it in such detail, I instantly thought of all 4 of us camping in a tent next winter in SW Arizona. That might happen this year, finally ... still everything with me is pretty fluid when it comes to plans.

We had a visitor for lunch ... he was crawling around the edge to get to some shade. Each of those tips of the legs are a gold color. I don't recall ever seeing one with this design.

Around 4:15pm, Sadie woke up for her nap, walked over to me and gave me 'the stare'. That stare she has telling me it's time for a walk. Just to make sure, I double checked Wunderground weather and saw it was 95.7° and the heat index was 110°. That's too hot, so I wanted to wait an hour or so for the temperature to drop a little.

Would the hounds be able to wait that long for a walk?? They were going to have to. I have found if the temperature is in the high 80's and the index around a 100° that is cool enough for us to venture out into the field.

Sometime around 5:45pm it was in our temperature range of being 'bearable' and off we went. Sadie was very happy to get her walk in today. By the way she was acting, she was pretty sure we were not going today.

Sadie and I were already up by the first turn and of course the freedom fighter Stella was already way behind and out of view. Sadie and I continued on the walk, knowing that Stella would come running toward us eventually.

Scratch that word 'running'. She lets me know if it's too hot by the pace she takes. No running today, just a slow walk and a long one to catch up to us.

After she met Sadie here, she wouldn't leave ... Sadie and I did though and had already made the turn for the homestretch home before Stella even raised her head to see where we were.

Sadie is the better tracker of the two and has always had a strong tracking ability. I mentioned in the past that when I talked to a different breeder that ended up with Sadie's dad ... she asked me 5 questions over the phone and Sadie was positive on 4 of them ... she was a strong tracker and not a couch potato. Ironically based on that test, this breeder said she would not have given me Stella for that reason.

Stella continues to drop behind and then catch up eventually ... only today ended up a little different than the other walks.

Once again ... After Sadie left this spot to follow me back to the house ... Stella stayed there. She stayed there long enough for us to walk back inside the house, drink a lot of water, for me to go to the mailbox, then walk to the far north corner of the yard to yell her name. I could see her in the same exact spot as we left her.

Both the bloodhounds are sound asleep as I write this, so they had a good walk.

The other exciting thing happening tonight, late my time, 10pm local ... Cal is playing Hawaii in the first college football game of the 2016 season ... IN AUSTRALIA!! It will be televised live on ESPN and will be around noon Australia time. I know that may seem strange to some readers but when you are addicted ... and I mean really addicted ... to college football like I am, then the only decision will be what kind of food to fix to eat during the game ... after 10pm.  LOL

I will say with all the time spent inside today, the hounds didn't mind it. All three of them are more than happy to sleep in the air conditioned rooms. The couple of times we did go outside, they didn't stay out long and I did not have to call them to get them headed back toward the house. They trotted to the door on their own.

I was curious today so I looked back at my blog post for this time last year ... very very similar ... very hot. I was heading to Kentucky on Sunday to pick up Stella (Dipstick) and I had just washed both vehicles, the FJ and the Mini Cooper. They both were spotless and shined even without waxing. I mentioned how much dog hair I had vacuumed out of the FJ. I think this year will beat that amount of last summer.

The FJ is pretty trashed out right now with hound drool on the hard plastic pieces, windows covered with nose smudges and dog hair that has moved to the edges between the folded down seats and around the edge of the rubber mat in the cargo area.

I might wash the Toyota FJ Saturday morning.

In the meantime, the hounds have had their walk for the day/night. I'm a few hours away from kickoff, where the world stops for me until the Final 4 in College Basketball is played next April in 2017. Things will not change that much though ... the hounds will get their daily walks in, normal activity for me ... just trading baseball for football on tv at nights. Movies will start again in April.

It's great living in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Tornadoes Were Way North Of Us

When I mentioned yesterday there was some tornado type winds NE of Indianapolis just like last week ... I was unaware what was either taking place or about to take place 68 miles due north of Indianapolis.

I was sitting outside in the sunshine while the hounds either laid down or Sadie slowly exploring the backyard ... during that time. As I stepped inside my house my cell phone was going off with emergency warning texts. There was a warning for the area 25 miles west of me ... still, I did not know what had taken place in Kokomo, IN.

All of that was approximately 135 miles north of me, it was all sunshine where the hounds and I were at. This morning Sadie was sure she had located a yard mole ... lucky for me she is not the type that will dig up the yard trying to catch them.

Stella is in her slow mode today ... she is my mobile thermometer.

The heat wave has returned just as it should for this time of year. I knew last week had to be a tease with temps in the 70's and no humidity to speak off. So when I opened the door to let the hounds outside it was an instant notification that summer was back here in 'the tropics'.

It was almost 1pm with the sun moving in and out of the clouds where we thought it might be a good time to get in a hound walk. While I was inside putting on my shoes, Stella was heading north and totally out of sight. I could not even see her after I started the walk and was on higher ground.

This photo is looking due north of my location and the start of the walking path.

Stella finally came running out of nowhere to catch Sadie and I, we were almost at the first turn of the walk. I could tell that Stella was going to operate on 'her' schedule and not mine today.

There she is pretty far behind us, in her favorite part of the field. I didn't call her name ... just kept walking. She would have ignored me anyway if I had called her name.

She did glance up at us and started trotting toward us taking a short cut across the field.

While making the return path home, I was lucky. I just happened to turn around to see where she was ... she was headed north and hopefully escape to the land of nowhere before I could catch her. I called her name and she came toward us without hesitating. I think she knew she had been caught trying to escape.

She wanted to show me things were normal and that it was just my imagination that she was on her own schedule today. She decided to run along the side of Sadie like she had done nothing wrong.

Although it was not the unbearable type of heat, it was uncomfortable. What a nice way to end the walk but to open the door to a rush of ice cold air from the air conditioned house ... the inside temp said it was only 76°.

We didn't move the rest of the afternoon.

I'm not sure why I keep this blog as it gets little to zero traffic. It does give me a sport to list a few photos and very little written content ... just like I planned it. That lack of content may be the big reason the Google Bots have not picked it up to be found on their search engines and therefore resulting in zero traffic. A lot of the photos are also the same ones you will see that same day on this blog.

It was pretty calm today here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Stella Helps In The Kitchen

From the sky and feel, rain was almost certain this morning. A quick look at Wunderground proved otherwise. It's the return of high humidity that gave it the feel.

Nothing more than a 25% chance of rain for the next 7 days. Once again the hounds started their day off the same as recently. Neither stays out long ... Stella heads left and Sadie goes straight out into the field to dump their tanks. Quick return inside to sleep until an early walk or lunch is served.

For two different breeds that are noted for wandering off or taking off running at a strong scent ... I am pretty lucky that all three of them can wander around the yard and field without a leash or tether. Heidi had the reputation as "a runner" when I bought her from GABR and no bloodhound owner recommends leaving a bloodhound leash free ... ever.

You are now witnessing Heidi's normal path to finding that perfect spot for dumping. Unless it's raining, then she heads behind the yews next to the house.

It felt nice enough late morning to head out for a walk. The field was not as wet as it had been the past few days. My shoes were wet but not squeaky saturated like before. I didn't get the camera clicked fast enough in this next photo ... for the first time that I can remember, there were pure white butterflies next to these while flowers. They flew away while the camera focusing.

Stella started out the leader of the walk this morning but she gets distracted easily ... there are just too many scents for her to inspect and she drops behind pretty quickly.

As well as Sadie. But that is their job, their habit and excitement ... scent tracking.

Could it be rain is on the way? A lot of wind today with overcast sky.

Not sure what it was but Sadie decided she had to roll on top of it before Stella could eat it. Nothing was visible on Sadie as she jumped up and took off running.

And run she did ... took off around our first corner and never stopped until she was in the back of the field.

Stella was somewhat shocked by Sadie's response and wondered if Sadie might be getting something that belonged to her.

By the time Stella and I got to the back of the field, Sadie was finished with whatever she found and was waiting for us.

It felt like rain with heavy air, a strong wind ... the hounds decided it was time to head back home.

Stella kept trying to wander off and disappear ... but I called her each time I caught her and she would slowly head our direction.

Since we left Heidi outside while we did the walk, when I got back to the yard I asked Sadie "where's Heidi" ... she put her nose to the ground and was headed around the corner of the house until I called her. She was right though ... Heidi was around that corner ... just further down in the front yard.

It's interesting that she will never walk across the lawn directly back to us but will head across the lawn to the lower part of the yard to walk up the driveway. Nothing is fast with her ... her pace is consistently slow.

It was around 11:43 am and Stella was howling to let me know that she wanted lunch served early today. That might because her breakfast was a little earlier than normal ... or it might be and probably is just because she loves to eat all the time. She has gained weight over the past year that I have had her,  a year next week.

You may have noticed you have not read the word "tick" in many months. Back in April they were so bad that I added a "tick counter" in the upper left corner of the blog but once the count for me went over 100, I took the counter down ... headed to the vet for some NexGard and that worked fantastic. I only had to use one dose for the summer.

I rarely have the ticks on me after a walk, where I use to have 4-5 on me after each walk. The hounds stopped having them once the NexGard was used and yes that is the correct spelling. Another thing that has not been as bad as the past are mosquitoes nor the biting flies. So spending time outside reading a book has been enjoyable this past week of cool weather.

My book reading has blocked out all of the "noise" of terrible news reporting and politics. The tv is only turned on for a ballgame or movie ... such a relief. We have taken drives around the local area with the windows down. I don't believe Sadie or Stella are interested anymore in local trips, since they lay down and sleep most of the trip. Although they are really excited when they can go in the FJ. Heidi maintains "shotgun" and will lay down to sleep, depending how long the drive is.

I decided after the hounds were fed lunch that a short drive in the Z4 was a good idea. Powerful and quiet at the same time ... a smooth ride.

Not much went on during the afternoon. I had some baked chicken breasts on my George Foreman grill for an early dinner. Obviously Stella decided I need help in cleaning the small drip pan sitting under the front edge of the grill.

With the hounds acting like they wanted to go outside, I grabbed my ice tea and camera and headed for "Winston's Patio", which fits just my chair on those 6 red blocks by the corner of the house. Sadie was giving me that look of "lets go for a walk" ... but I could feel that things had changed in the heat index from this morning. Too hot for a walk.

I had not checked for the official temperature but you can see from the ragweed blowing, we had some pretty strong winds from the SW. Later I found the temperature at 5pm to be 87° and an index of 101° ... those cool temps a few days ago were nice while they lasted.

This same spot seems to change color first every year.

Facing the wind, Stella decided no walk was needed, she just wanted to kickback and enjoy the strong breeze. Clouds were moving fast in the sky. I found out later there was tornado activity again on the NW side of Indianapolis just like last week. This activity was a little further NW from the area last week.

After Sadie did her new morning loop through the field, she was ready to go back inside. But she had a scare right before she got to me.

Something landed on her back and she jumped about 3' into the air turning at the same time. After twisting and turning she couldn't reach what had landed on her back and she was freaking out. At first I thought it was a huge horse fly ... then I thought it was a butterfly ...

Only to find out it was a small leaf. I didn't get any of the action shots because I was laughing too hard to take photos.

In the meantime, while I was taking the leaf off of Sadie's back ... Stella was wanting to go back inside where the air conditioning was back on and the house was much cooler.

Then she disappeared while I had my back turned. I didn't see her in the field and doubted she would have headed that way. Maybe something got her interest in the front yard but that would be very rare for that to happen. She was right where I thought she was ... standing at the door waiting to be let back inside.

Not much planned tonight, maybe I'll pull a movie off the self .. otherwise it was another successful day here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.