Friday, May 19, 2017

The Hounds Feel The Heat

With the air smothered by the smell of honeysuckle and the first real feeling of 'sticky humidity' we headed out for our Friday morning walk. Allergies have been ragging through my sinus system to the point I could tell that May was officially here. Sadie is almost positive the new black cat has paid us a visit.
I can't remember the last time I used only 100Mb of data in a 24 hour period but it happened yesterday as I went full work mode here in 'the tropics'. Again this year, instead of using Roundup or another spray weed killer I am sacrificing a better look for less chemicals ... weed eating the weeds as low as possible and let the sunshine kill them the rest of the way.

I prefer a whiter gravel look to the driveway but have decided no chemicals works ok. This past week starting the walks Stella has been taking a path way to the left of the return path, yet she had been keeping our pace and before that spot she stops to scratch at every day, she will have veered back in front of me.

Every day is the same for Sadie. It doesn't matter what the temperature is, if there is rain or snow, once she hits the field she is there for only one reason ... to track scent. Our afternoon have been spent outside with me wearing a "hound mitt" brushing out all of her undercoat and letting the hair blog in the wind. It's amazing how much hair is brushed out.

Rabbits like to head into this direction. I am not sure if that is what she saw but I was just happy that she turned and headed back on the walk instead of charging into the woods. My legs were already dripping with water up to my knees and I wasn't enthused about running through brush and thorns after her.

I know lately I have been saying this almost every post, but it's strange to me. Throughout the whole walk Stella has two places, the same every walk, that she will stop and scratch. This is the first spot. Any ideas why?

With my North Face snow boots drenched, lower legs drenched, my lens hood that I installed a month or so ago for picture picture quality is now a valued protector of the lens because as the grass gets taller ... wet marks are showing up on the outside of the lens hood as we walk. I hold the camera up high while we walk but at times that will not prevent it from being hit with wet hay.

What can be so interesting at bare ground level through all of that thick grass and wild flowers?

Since yesterday was laundry day, Stella's collar was thrown in with Heidi's blankets. It came out nice and bright. I forgot it was outside drying in the sunshine until Sadie sprinted toward it right before the downpour of rain started late yesterday afternoon. At the time I thought it was strange that her first move was to the right toward the front yard and not south out into the driveway.

When I saw Stella panting yesterday I knew the inside temps were above 80°. With all of the windows open and a breeze stronger than any fan could produce I held off turning on the AC. It's about a month too early for the AC but it's temping as the humidity becomes stickier each day. The AC is like my heater in the fall, I like to see how long I can hold off before turning them on.

I would say that Stella is basically her normal self, except for her lack of running and wrestling with Sadie. Has becoming a year older had that much effect on her activity? She would eat the whole 40 pound bag of kibble if I would let her. She shows no sign of pain jumping on the couch but runs in her sleep.

Where's Heidi??? With a bath and manicure yesterday she has been recovering with solid hours of non-stop sleep. I even carried her outside yesterday afternoon to join us and as soon as her feet hit the grass, she turned and sprinted for the door. I guess she wanted to keep her nails clean as they were cut back the shortest I can remember, without drawing blood.

What ever Sadie and Stella found must have been good tasting ... I didn't catch the tongue until I downloaded the pictures from the camera today.

The pictures may not show it but there is a lot of doubling back to pick up our slowest walker. Not picking her literally but going back enough times to remind Stella that we would like to end this morning walk sometime before the day ends. She will walk at her own speed, not ours. I can't afford to leave her behind with her increased interest this week looking at the woods to the north or the neighbors house.

It might take a while on the return path but there is always a scent they may missed on the way out. Slowly they inspect every inch back to the yard.

I guess the weather experts might be right this time. As I write this the sunshine has disappeared outside of my window and that rolling thunder seems to be getting louder. The hounds are in their sleep mode until lunch. Heidi's is in Bertha's chair stretched out across the ottoman, Stella right next to my desk chair and Sadie protecting her water bowl with her nose just inches away.

I took this picture with hopes of showing you just how much taller the hay is near the yard compared to what we walk through. Each morning we take the walk, our path had been covered by night time growth.

It's been a few days since I swapped out my 27" LED monitor for a 21.5" Retina iMac. I am somewhat surprised that I have felt no buyer's remorse with my new iMac purchase and missing the larger monitor. I thought of selling the other monitor but first I want to buy an adapter so that I can hook up my old PC to it and see what is on that Windows XP professional hard drive. I turned it off after losing the war against malware in October 2007. It has been sitting wrapped in plastic, on the floor of the closet that houses my stereo.

It's too hard to mix and match Apple and Windows so I am not sure what I would do with that hard drive even after I turned it on. Yet, it would be a good computer for my old Microsoft Flight Simulators, or the Falcon 4.0 F-16, and one of my old time favorite games ... Sim City. So maybe after I take a break from working around the house ... I'll check out those possibilities.

Things I have noticed with the new computer .... the new wireless keyboard is fantastic and I swear my typing speed has increased. It was fast before but my fingers seem to float over the keys even faster. The retina display is still noticeable and not even close to what I thought was a good picture on my larger monitor. My pictures download faster and upload to the blog faster. Programs open much faster and it takes less than a minute to boot up.

I have yet to see the "spinning beach ball" known as the "hourglass" on a Windows PC. For some reason I still think there is hope for recovering my old iMac, yet it does not fail to remind me quickly that it is not healthy with hanging up at startup, or the amount of time it takes to boot up before I can use the cursor to open something ... only to see that "spinning beach ball".

I found yesterday showing some differences in a day with no computer time and the camera only taking two pictures first thing in the morning. Both hound walks were done without taking the camera and as much time as possible was spent outside. It will be a day of my "inside to do list" because the rain has just started to fall lightly.

It's warm and mugging in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana today.


  1. My wife likes the bare-gravel look too, but mostly because she is so susceptible to bug-bites, but outside of where she normally walks I let the rest of the driveway grow with whatever wants to, taming it down a little once a month when exercising the lawn-mower. With our steep property and periodic torrential rains I find this helps keep the drive from washing down the hill into the pond.

    1. Now that you mention it, I've had less if any gravel end up down at the driveway when we have flooding and it doesn't run over the side in that low spot I repaired in May with Rip Rap.

  2. Just wondering if Stella is allergic to a plant in those two spots. Directly behind her head in the picture of her scratching there is a darker leafed plant that I don't see in the other pictures of the field. She looks healthy and happy.

    1. That's a possibility, although in the 2nd spot that she will stop is just as we turn the corner to head home and there are no plants but open field. Then she also does it at the edge of the carport and driveway. I gave her another both on Friday, saw no fleas, no red raw spots. Thanks for letting me know how she looks, it is always nice to get a 2nd pair of eyes on her.

  3. "....letting the hair blog in the wind." I know what you meant to type as your fingers were floating over the keys but I sort of like this phrase.

    Since Stella always does the scratching at those same locations and not elsewhere I think Mary might have a good answer. Or, perhaps Stella is just messing with your mind.

    1. You know Ed, I like that phrase enough now that you pointed it out to me, that I am going to leave it as is and not correct my typo. Stella may very well be messing with my mind because she doesn't bother to scratch when there if food being served or is around. LOL

  4. Still mid 40's to high 50's here. I heard a man telling a visiting woman, this IS Summer and she had spent the Winter here she would know it.

    1. I remember when living on Whidbey Island in Washington, wearing a sweater sometimes when I played golf in July. Although we did break the record for the number of days over 100° when I lived there. I'm sure I could not handle summers in the 50's because I like hot weather too much.

      I like what the man told the visitor ... LOL