Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Hounds Had A Huge Surprise

It's been a week where I keep forgetting or get mixed up on what the day of the week it is. That could be from staying up lately past 3am on a regular basis.

The air had a feel of rain this morning but the forecast showed it wasn't possible until after midnight tonight. The winds were pretty strong from the SW - S, strong enough where I had hopes it would blow what leaves I have out of the yard.

Sadie and Stella inspected the backyard and the field this morning, since they had some major excitement last night a little past 7pm. We had gone outside and it was so nice I decided to take a break from the baseball game on tv, pulled up a chair to enjoy the last part of the day.

The mistake was, I changed my camera lens back to the Nikon 55-200mm because I wanted to see if it was really giving me more color in my photos compared to the new Tamron. Once again the intermittent performance of the lens cost me in some great photos.

Why? ... the hounds had an unexpected deer chase.

Sadie was standing beside me while I rubbed her back when all of the sudden her head pointed to toward the field with her ears cocked up and her nostrils moving really fast ... I looked to see what got her excited ... a deer was not only standing but actually walked from the edge of the field by the woods towards us. I started trying to take photos of that but the Nikon LENS DID NOT WORK !!!!

By the time the lens focused the deer was almost back into the woods.

Of coarse both took off after their surprise. The deer turned and headed for the woods once she heard Stella baying as she ran. That is Sadie leading the pack but by the time they got to that edge of the field Stella had beat Sadie to the spot.

Stella made one final inspection to make sure the deer was gone.

So, this morning both of them had to double check and make sure that deer had not been near their yard while they slept last night.

After their lunch we took off for the first of two walks today. Heidi was barking to go outside but she didn't want to walk and stayed back to do her own inspection in the yard while we were gone.

I am assuming moles are pushing the ground up in the field like this ... am I correct?

With the wind blowing from the south, it sure felt like rain in the air. As I glanced back to see where Stella was (on the left) I could see the skies in the west looking like rain was near. Looking at maps when I got back home, the rain is in the center of Illinois so maybe our local forecast is correct.

About the time that Sadie and I were on our way back to the house ... starting the 'last half' of the walk, Stella had picked up a scent and was moving across the field at a fast pace in front of us but going in a direct away from us.

I was actually surprised that she stopped, turned and headed toward us when I yelled "hey Stella".

As we made the last turn I asked Sadie "where's Heidi" ? She immediately took off further up the path to see if Heidi was waiting like she does at times when she comes on the walk. I knew that Heidi was back at the house but wanted to see Sadie's reaction.

Of coarse when Sadie took off running, Stella had to also just in case she was missing something that Sadie was getting.

Sadie stands looking for Heidi.

Sadie is double checking to see if Heidi is behind us. Still no sign of Heidi.

She then turned and started trotting toward the house trying to pick up Heidi's scent.

When she saw Heidi in the yard, she ran over and touched noses like she always does. The camera caught a moving semi truck in the background.

Heidi is becoming more active each day. Her nails have been cut back shorter than they have ever been, could that be the reason? I have also changed her dog food.

Heidi is just making sure Stella is who she says she is.

One last scratch in the yard before we go inside.

If you remember from a few weeks ago when they cut the hay field for the 2nd time, they left the corner of the field by my yard uncut because it was all giant ragweed. I was going to clear it out but had not made up my mind which way I was going to do it. The neighbor who owns the field stopped by a few weeks ago as he toured the edge of the field in his pickup truck and mentioned he wished they had cut the field further back close to the wooded area.

In prior years they have cut that area all the way over to the edge on the far right side of the photo above but it was never full of ragweed like it was this summer. I like it being cut because that gets rid of all of those small burrs that not only attached to the hounds skin but my shoes, shorts, or shirt when we walk. The hounds also like eating those burrs that are attached to the ragweed or the brush it is mixed with.

I decided a few weeks ago to start the process I'd cut all of that ragweed with the Echo Weed Eater that had the steel blade and could cut saplings up to 2" in diameter. When I couldn't get the Echo SRM-225U started after a week of trying ... I pulled out my manual tree and shrub trimmers.

The plan was to cut the giant ragweed, let it dry out in the field and then take it over to my burn pile. That was a slow process, so I decided I'd continue to cut and let it dry in the field ... only burn it right where it laid. With Stella supervising my work, you can tell there were a lot of delays in the job.

You can see that even after I made my first cut with the manual pruning shears there was still a lot left. That is when I decided I'd wait for that to dry out and then burn it with my water hose nearby so I would not catch the field on fire.

The problem was ... the burrs ... the hounds were bringing them inside, they were eating them and were getting stuck in their coats. While I was cutting everything they were in my socks, on my shirt, wrapped among my shoe strings ... so I became a little more motivated to get rid of that brush. Plus I didn't like the way it looked.

I kept cutting and then dragging the tall stalks to my burn pile but that wasn't working as well as I had planned. My burn pile was getting taller and on the edge of being unsafe, since the flames will get 15'-20' high.

Yesterday I cut more and started to rake it over to the burn pile but the brush was too thick for a garden rake ... so the thought of burning it where it was even a better idea.

A new day brings a new idea. Now not wanting to burn it and taking a chance on catching the field on fire I decided that my small mower set at the highest level ... could turn into a small brush mower. I took the shrub trimmers and was able to cut the brush and ragweed pretty close to ground level.

I raised my mower to the highest level and mowed over all the dead brush along with any of the green stuff I had not cut yet. I later called my neighbor (owns the field) and told him I had made "a command decision" and had cut the brush back ... something he tried to do with his riding mower last spring.

So before:

And after:

Not bad for a small 22" Sears Craftsman 6ph push mower. If I could only have it get rid of my yard moles, things would be perfect.

As much as I would like to use Firefox as my browser I have already moved back to Google Chrome .. in fact, I changed the browser in the middle of writing this post.

Firefox started today by having all of my websites zoomed to less than 100%. The highest I could adjust the text and screen was 125% but it would jump back to less than 100% ... which is too small on my 27" monitor. Once I started this blog and loading all of the photos ... which I load all the photos first and then type commentary between them (the fastest way to write on Blogger) ... Firefox would get to the last photo and never load it ... just set there working trying to load that last photo while hanging up my screen.

I saved the blog post, opened Google Chrome and went back to the blog post to finish it without any issues loading photos nor screen size.

In my "Activity Monitor" I am also seeing that Google Chrome uses less data than Firefox does in the same amount of time doing the same kind of web surfing and writing a blog post.

Speaking of data again ... I called AT&T last night out of curiosity. I had the most recent flyer in front of me, giving me all those great bargains to come back to AT&T for my wireless internet and phone.

Where the customer service rep I talked to a few nights ago was ready to place the order and everything in my location checked out on his AT&T computer ... trying to get me to make the decision that night .... it was a different story last night.

The AT&T customer service rep checked out my location and told me that AT&T wireless internet was not available where I lived, nor was streaming tv on Directv through the AT&T system nor was their U-verse television service. The only thing available was AT&T cell phone service.

Just like I had assumed when I got the flyer ... I was not going back to AT&T when I have dependable service with Directv, Exede Satellite Internet and Verizon for my cell phone.

Well I have to go ... Sadie is giving me the "stare down" to let me know she would like to walk now before the rains show up.

The wind is blowing the leaves off the trees today in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.


  1. Nice to see Heidi up and about.

    1. She has been spending a lot more time outside. She likes to explore the yard on her own time. Her acrptivity level comes and goes. At times I think she misses having a hound she can see at her eye level.