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I haven't done one of these for awhile!

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The hound continues to grow.

Dogs, Ducks and garden )
summer_jackel: (Coba ^_^)
I am recently back from BayCon, where I had lots of fun sharing a dealer's table with [livejournal.com profile] corpsefairy. The con has become drastically smaller since its apparent heyday some years ago---it was one of the highlights of my year for a long time, and this was my first time back in several years. Things have changed, but I still had a wonderful time. My table earnings were modest, but enough to justify spending the time and going to the con.

Still, it's so good to be home. I'm not a creature comfortable for long in heavily urbanized areas, even though the occasional visit and social fling can be a real treat. I spent the morning grooming and walking my dogs and cats (who place themselves between dog and brush when they are in the mood), and the afternoon visiting the horses. We'd all missed each other, and needed to reconnect. It was a good day.

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relaxing in the sun )
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2011 certainly had its joys and sorrows. Life is generally better than it has been in years. Love and work are wonderful. I lost Jez and found Zhava; the pack is deeply transitional, but becoming a family unit that's really fun to live in. I learned to scuba dive, which is incredible. I finished book 1 of Bone Shard, finally, although I had hoped to get its website up before now. I'm still here, a little older, happy on a level I haven't been for awhile. I have hope going into the new year. It's well.

Group Shot January 2012 2

some more cute dogs )
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I have raised two puppies recently and closely observed a third---which is to say, I am all too familiar with the phenomenon that, no matter how many pictures you think you're taking of the puppy, you are not, in fact, taking enough of the puppy, because OMG how on EARTH did that thing GROW so MUCH?????. This phenomenon is even more accentuated with Derzhava, whose skull has been known to change shape during the night or while I'm at work. The growth plates on her leg joints are looking more knobbly and distorted this morning, which probably means that the next thing she's going to work on is height.

See what I mean?

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Some puppehs and a greybird )
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The child of hounds grows hourly; when I got her, she was a bit shorter at the wither than the shelties, and now she's a good three inches above them. She's tender and subtle, intent, bold and stubborn---a great little puppy and the seedling of a magnificent dog.

Also, she's a sighthound and already, even though she isn't terribly coordinated about it, she loves to run. So given a break in my busy schedule last week, Kyn and I loaded the entire collected pack in the back of my truck and headed to the beach for a precious first.

We start here:

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dog beach photo spam )
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I took this last week, when I was pupsitting Rooster.

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May May May

May. 3rd, 2011 01:16 pm
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I think the cross-quarters are my favorite times of year. It's so pretty and sunny and green right now.

Nikolai update; pictures of birds, cats and a little spider under the cut )
summer_jackel: (Coba profile)
Because I have him all groomed out.

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2 more )
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I got some really lovely shots of my pack, Nikolai and one of Josephine the tarantula.

About a week to Equinox )
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Ok, so maybe hard work does have its benefits. Today, I tackled a mess that I've been avoiding all winter, moving a pile of muddy, rotten wood and debris left over from last fall's retaining wall repair to someplace it can decompose peacefully. You can guess how much I've been looking forward to doing that, but it was really getting nasty. At the very bottom of the pile, between a plastic board and the cement, I found this exquisite little beast.

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I think that this is a black salamander, Aneides flavipunctatus. It looks like they are evenly distributed across Northern CA but are scarce where I live. Although (as you may surmise) I turn over a fair number of rocks in search of things like this on a regular basis, I have never seen one. It's a "lifer."

After the first few seconds of incoherent glee, I set her up to take photos, moistened her skin with purified water and let her go in a safe spot very close to where I'd found her. She wriggled into the loose earth and rock quickly and with purpose, more like a lizard might than any of the other three species of skin-breathing salamanders I've met around here. (Ensatina, CA Slender and Pacific Giant). The grip of her little salamander fingers on my skin was distinct and firm, where the other three make no effort to hang on.

I cannot express the awe or joy I feel about meeting a neighbor so hidden and lovely.

Many photos of pretty dogs and some more of the endlessly fascinating things you can find in rotting wood. Bugsquick warning. )
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The weather has been just too beautiful to be indoors, so I took the afternoon off work yesterday (still reeling from Sunday, of course) poked a Kyn to see if she was game for a trip to the beach, grabbed a truckfull of underexercised dogs and headed as west as this continent goes.

We had lots of fun and I feel much better now. We also hauled half a tree's worth of driftwood up a rather steep trail so that we could make parrot play structures, because we are the kind of mad individuals that enjoy the company of houseparrots. Of COURSE the beach with the best driftwood deposits is the one at the bottom of a very steep cliff; that's just how these things work.

I took pictures.

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in the spring and waves and sun we run )
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The Earth turned, the weather changed. We will have more hard storms and cold times, I'm sure, but spring has come here even if things haven't started growing yet. Have some pictures.

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azillion photos. One is of a spider. )
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May you all eat, drink and be merry, enjoy the festivities and all of that. I'm having a wonderful solstice week.

'Tis the season for heartwarming cute pet photos. I think that what I got are a bunch of very honest pet photos.

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deck the halls )
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I know that many of you are fond of animals and photography as well, and this site made me all kinds of happy. Many, many gorgeous photos.

http://www.naturephoto-cz.com/mammals.html
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Back from a truly fantastic week in the mountains. It certainly did me a world of good. [livejournal.com profile] nesting and her dogs were excellent trail companions, the weather was great (even during the thunderstorm) and the beauty of the place eludes description.

And there are lots of pics; this post may kill your dialup. The DSLR is an extravagantly heavy toy to carry on a backpacking trip (and we both had one; between the two of us I hesitate to imagine how many pics came out of this trip), but it was worth it. Snake lovers in particular take note!

So hopefully I'll be a lot calmer for awhile. I am still overwrought about Osbick, but---it happens, I guess. I gave him the best care I could, I make a point of staying educated as to how, and he seemed happy with me. I just wish I could have known him better and for longer.

Trucker drama is also averted, thank goodness. Mom has yet a different living situation now and doesn't want Trucker back any more. If it comes up again, it will be even easier for me to just say she's settled into my home and is now my cat. Which she is.

Trucker, for her part, has been granted leave to explore the house, but so far has shown no inclination to leave the bathroom. My existing cats are not thrilled with the idea but haven't bothered her, probably because her attitude towards dogs and cats alike can be pretty much summed up as "if you stay about a cat-length from me, I will ignore you completely, but any closer and I will kick your ass in a very serious way." None of my animals have ever had to fight for resources in earnest, as you'd have to in a feral cat colony, and are pretty taken aback about how quickly and efficiently she enters and leaves butt-kicking mode.

So here's where I went.

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mountains, wildlife, dogs )
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Enough photos to kill dialup stone cold dead.

I have a whole bunch of very photogenic dogs. I've probably taken too many pictures of them running around on the beach, but this has to be one of my favorites, because somehow I managed to catch Jez at just the right moment of extention.

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the fluffy and the fabulous )
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How could I not love dogs like these?

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Doggies, plants, maybe a parrot here and there )
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As promised, the landscape, bird and wildlife shots from my trip north! For years, I've joked that it's kind of ironic that I like to vacation in the redwoods, given that I LIVE in a redwood forest. But things get colder, wetter, older and wilder as you head north of the logged over recovery zone where I dwell. There are fewer people, and the world is more intact. There are, for instance, still elk.

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details from paradise )
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Tidepools, graveyard ducks and one adorable spotted baby pony beneath the cut.

Eve and I spent some time in this really gorgeous graveyard in Oakland. Unfortunately, my camera batteries ran out too soon, but next time I'll take the DSLR and get better ones. I love the scene with this little mallard and the mausoleum pond.

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misc. mixed photos )
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So, I did the whole zombie-Jesus-day celebration thing with my mom and brother yesterday; we went to a brunch buffet at a winery in Hopland, a cute little town which lies about an hour north of here. It was one of our more painless family holidays; go us! Afterward, Timothy and I visited Real Goods, which is this fantastic solar/alternative energy center and permaculture showcase. It is an endlessly fascinating place with wonderful ponds and gardens, and even has a solar-powered carousel. The figures are great, very well done wooden carvings. I love it.

And of course there is a baby horse who continues to be incredibly cute.

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photos! )

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