Tuesday, December 31, 2013

July 31, 2013 - Mali has a breakthrough!  She sat on the sofa next to me as I worked...THAT was Chi's spot, but now she is expanding to try it, too.

 By the end of September, she is most comfortable with joining us - Hey!  Leave me some room!

The deer are not just in Rock Creek Park, but also in our yard and our neighbors; we watched the three fawns grow and lose their spots ...

 August 7, 2013 
 August 23, 2013

 Our walks sometimes take us past the stables, and we can watch the young people learning to ride.  I think because our wonderful toy fox terriers (more likely Jack Russells regardless of their paperwork) used to always chase after everything from falling leaves to birds and squirrels and other dogs and 'possums, I am always amazed, and thankful, that Chi, and now Mali, don't dart after the other animals; they "alert" to them - and I always try to pay close attention to what they are sensing - but they remain still.  It allows me the opportunity to enjoy the garter snake s-ing its way out of our path or the chipmunks darting for cover and the black or grey squirrels playing tag around the tree trunks.

We played with a very young puppy moments after I took this shot.

Mali may have learned a great deal this year, but she got me going...we were doing close to 2 miles daily, quite amazing for me - my son may take them on 4 to 7 mile long hikes, but I still get a little amazed as I realize that I am going past a former "turn around" point and still going strong!  As the weather changed around Thanksgiving, I found I had to cut back the distance, but their encouragement had me do close to 2 miles again today (December 31, 2013)

 I love how Mali looks up at me for guidance and approval, as if to say, "Am I going the right way?  What's next?"

As we headed into Fall, the large green, tennis ball size seed pods (a form of walnut, I believe) began to fall...we could hear them as they plummeted through the branches and then hit the ground; they spooked Mali at first; I was just glad that none of them hit us.  Then the large yellow leaves of sugar maples - about 8 inches across - began to fall, and that was a new sound for Mali to learn...and it was much easier to locate the deer because the leaves were so crunchy.

 Earlier in the year, they had worked on the drainage, and this area had been dry...but the rains came and we saw a large group of migrating ducks taking a rest stop here a couple of days earlier. 
The turtle was in the middle of the path, and there were a lot of bikes coming through on this weekend, so I moved him off to the side.

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