Monday, December 22, 2014

Almost Christmas...December 22, 2014

Back in August, I was ready to update the blog every day - mainly with photos of the deer as we met them on the walks...a few of the construction work along the path and how brave Mali was when we had to navigate through a very small space next to huge, noisy construction trucks...but somehow, the time slipped by.

My son has got me using a phone app to keep track of our walks.  I have wanted to make sure that we all - especially Mali girl - are getting plenty of exercise.  We were doing between 2 1/2 to 3 miles daily and then the weather made things harder.  We are back to close to 2 miles daily.  Of course, on weekends and holidays, my son is doing 5 or more miles each day with them.

The Big Buck - November 5, 2014

Mali and Chi were outback.  A pretty fall day.  Then Chi alerted and started barking at something in the yard behind ours.
  I've only seen Chi alert to deer twice, and both times were for (male) bucks.  This one was much larger in person - he's in the upper (and uphill) right corner of the photo.  This buck was watching over a female deer that was in the opposite side of the yard.

Last week (in December now), the FedEx driver was stepping out of his truck across the street to deliver a package to a neighbor, and you should have seen his face!  As the driver started to cross the street, he finally saw the huge buck with full rack of antlers calmly meandering up the middle of the street just feet away.  Kind of reminded me of that show "Northern Exposure" from years ago, where the elk would just wander through town.  You could see the FedEx man thinking, "Aren't I in Chevy Chase, Maryland????  In the city!"

Veteran's Day - November 11, 2014 

The afternoon was beautiful. so we went off on a long ride towards Harper's Ferry and the mountains!

 And then along the river, near Harper's Ferry...
We watched a long freight train cross the bridge over the river...the late afternoon lighting on the fall leaves was beautiful.
The light was falling on Mali's side of the back seat, and smart girl that she is, she scooted under the hammock/seat cover ....
 And Chi, being the kind dog that he is, moved from his normal spot to keep Mali company...
We were still on the road as the sun set in the mountains....

November 26, 2014 - First SNOW!

The first snow came on November 26....and then went.
Mali was a bit surprised by it  And her "instant dry" velvety coat kept her from getting a chill.

Christmas Lights - The Mormon Temple Festival of Lights

December 14, 2014

It seems like just a short while back that I watched them taking down the lights on January 2nd.  I really didn't think they would take them down each year because there are so many of them, but they have a special truck with a platform lift to reach up into the trees.  I can't believe the year has already come to December.

After some really bad weather days, a good day on December 14 made me decide to check out the lights at the Mormon Temple.  They now have over 600,000 lights - all sorts of beautiful colors, including magenta and shades of green you don't normally see.  There still were quite a few people around, though not as many as there will be closer to Christmas, so we just watched from the car.

Mali and Chi were looking all around enjoying the lights with me...

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

August Days with Mali and Chi...

One of the fun things about having dogs is that you have to go outside and see the night sky.  I've seen comets and sunrises that I would have missed inside if it wasn't for my buddies.  August 10, 2014, I got to see the "Super Moon" around midnight
and then early the next morning, I watched the "Super Moon" set in the trees over my neighbor's house
(it was setting quickly, so             right          there           |||   is the moon).  Thanks, Mali!

August 11, 2014

As we headed to the car for our daily walk, into the driveway turned my son, home from work early.  So all of us headed to the going from Ray's Meadow to the large meadow just before the Beltway Bridge and the Mormon Temple and back.  2.6 miles round trip - shorter than what my son normally does but a good stretch for me.  There were a lot of people out because the weather was good.
Resting a bit in the shade at the half-way point in the walk after having run a bit along the brush edges.

August 12, 2014 - The Flood

It started as a grey day...

The rains started ... I spotted her from the back door as the dogs went out a little after 11 in the morning.
Roughly 4 hours after the first photo, she is still waiting for the rains to subside.  She is now resting next to the "river" running downhill into our yard.  I even caught her with her eyes closed at one point.
Notice the "river" running down the hill into our yard.
About another half an hour, and she and the two fawns have come out and started their daily move through the neighborhood.   The rains had stopped and I took the deer moving on a good sign, so I gathered Mali and Chi for our daily walk.  I had heard the weather reports of flash flooding, but I wasn't prepared for what I was about to see.
Rock Creek had flooded...not a little over the banks, but over a wide expanse of area!
We had walked this area just the day before....
 This foot bridge is near where Mali and Chi had rested during our walk the day before.
There was no water on the roadway bridge, but Rock Creek was lapping at its underside!
I took these after our walk, and the water had already started receding.  Above is where I walked the next day... 
 This is Ray's Meadow - looking where we had walked the day before.
Rock Creek, the source of the flood waters, is beyond the far trees.  Those are football/soccer fields in the middle.
I had already decided to walk in my favorite "bad weather" (rain, snow) walking spot - the "circle park" in Kensington - where the path is a little elevated and there are no large trees overhanging (that could fall or drop branches).
 Hard to believe it had rained that much and that flooding was a short distance away...
Mali looks so weird with the sunlight filtered through the trees!

August 14, 2014 - After the waters go down...

 As we were walking a couple of days later, I was aware that there were fish actually swimming in the "run-off culvert" that we go over after parking the car...I figure they got caught in the flooding.
 You can also see the shadows created by what I have always called, "water spiders" or "water striders" in the lower right corner.
I hope it rains enough for them to move on down to the creek.

August 20, 2014 - 

We had to do a follow-up visit at the vets...both my son and I had taken the day off...the weather was beautiful and the vets visit went well.  Chi is doing fine again and Mali has lost 2 pounds in 2 weeks!  So we headed down the road with no real destination in mind...
We crossed the Solomon's Island Bridge....
My son saw a sign and we headed to Greenwell State Park.

Greenwell State Park, Hollywood, Maryland

After getting back home, I learned on the Internet that Greenwell State Park is comprised of 596 acres and contains 10 miles of marked trails for hiking, horse back riding and cycling.  What I learned there was it is a wonderful place for a picnic and a lazy afternoon.
Entrance driveway, with the Rosedale Manor House straight ahead.
 I don't know the story behind this colorful heron...I am glad that the heron is facing the water.
 The first things we saw were the various horses grazing in numerous fenced fields.
 My son stretches the dogs a bit and we head down the nearest trail.
This is what I saw when I started down the crest of the hill - the Patuxent River on a glorious day!
Exploring along the water's edge...
 Chi the Magnificent!
Crossing the path
 Mali scoots anxiously past the turtle. The turtle is working to get off of the trail, and Chi is cautious but checks out this new creature.  
Chi is still watching the turtle, lower right corner, as we continue down the trail.
Chi is just so curious about this turtle creature.  We are so proud of him!  He is so gentle, I know the turtle has nothing to worry about.
 The clouds on the ride home....
Mali is just SO SMART!  The sun was coming through the window on her side of the car on the ride home.  The next thing we knew, there she was!  Peeking up at us on the floor of the back seat.  She had scooted under the car seat hammock cover, and was enjoying the air conditioning, and watching us!