Wednesday, October 1, 2008

No backyard today!

There'll be no backyard playtime today! The housepainters are making terrific progress, and we should be back to normal soon. Then all my backyard renewal plans can take shape.

Meanwhile, Juno is doing great at Anna's, and little Dottie is growing up so fast! Dottie has a very outgoing personality.

Smiley is lame from stepping in a hole, so Big Daddy is filling in as a school sheep. He probably weighs over 200 pounds! It's pretty amazing what a 30-pound dog can do.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

More September Stockwork

It's hot, but the foxtails are old and soft, and we're loving getting out to Valley Center. Anna is raising a new puppy, Dot, and it's fun to watch her grow. Juno is hot to trot, for sure.
Juno's learning a lot these days.
A particularly nice side benefit is picking cherry tomatoes from Anna's garden. They are absolutely delicious! They made for a wonderful dinner of salad and bruschetta with goat cheese.
There are sights, like Anna's neighbor's pumpkin patch, that remind us that summer is over.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Off to Utah for Labor Day Weekend

...which always includes the Soldier Hollow Classic, the most wonderful sheepdog trial! This is the third year I've gone, and I just love it so much! I guess it's a tradition now. Here are slide shows from each day.

Friday's slide show

Saturday's slide show

Sunday's slide show

Monday -- the double lift final

Friday I had the special fun of sitting up at the set-out area with Anna, Connie, Charlie and Dan, who were in charge of setting out the groups of five sheep for each dog's run. From up there, the handler's post looked pretty far away.

The dogs are remarkable. This is Bill Berhow's Pete, who won in 2007.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Back to work

First thing to do back in California -- go see sheep! The work we'd done on lie-downs and stays and just general responsiveness paid good dividends.
Juno had three sessions with the school sheep. The first went great, the second pretty good, and by the third, both she and the sheep were pretty fried and it wasn't as pretty. I'd had a gut feeling that could happen. She and I know each other pretty well after the summer together! She certainly enjoyed her well-earned cool-offs.

Our last week in Oregon

Pictures from the last few days in Oregon are mixed in this slide show. Our little experiment was so interesting. Astoria was a wonderful place, and you couldn't beat the climate. On the other hand, it was a two hour drive from a second tier airport, PDX, which made it hard for Duncan. I miss the beach there so much!

It was fun to stay on a hillside where you could see so much happening, in the river and town.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Shipping News

Astoria version, that is. We are continually fascinated by the variety of shipping we see coming up and down the Columbia River. Every weekday morning, the community radio station presents a 12-minute show -- The Columbia River Ship Report -- describing that day's comings and goings, and answering questions that listeners submit about the ships and their doings. The Ship Report is sponsored by the Columbia River Maritime Museum, which is the riverside building with the arced roofline in the picture above, taken from our window.

A rare sunny day at the beach

Here's a short slide show of this morning's beach excursion. For the first time, the sun shone on us this morning at Fort Stevens State Park.
I have to confess rather liking the misty overcast conditions that usually prevail. Even though the weather was *perfect* the beach was still empty. Duncan was inspired to do some stretching exercises. Juno watched with great concern; Daisy seemed to think it was quite curious.

Monday, August 11, 2008

6 Months Old!

Juno is 6 months old today. Whew! That happened pretty quickly. She is about 19 inches tall at the shoulder and 29 pounds or so. She still has some growing to do.

She and Daisy are thriving in Oregon, and she is learning a lot, including how to take turns. Actually, both she AND Daisy are learning to take turns! Didn't mean to imply that Daisy had already possessed that particular skill.

Happy Birthday, little one!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Oregon is a flowery place too!

Oregon boasts a wonderful assortment of wildflowers. Foxglove is a common wildflower here. You see it along every woodsy path you hike. It's also found in many gardens including ours.
Hydrangea bushes thrive in local gardens. The hydrangea flower's color is sensitive to the pH of the soil. Most that you see around here are blue. I rather like these odd ones that have bits of both blue and red. This bush grows in the shade along the margin of our lawn.
The garden's daisies are huge and gorgeous, in their corny, mundane way.
I like the odder flowers.
I'm charmed by the mauve shade of these:
And these are just so neat!
But the best parts of a garden are the good hiding places!

Oregon is a fruity place!

Every week we buy fresh fruit at the Astoria Sunday Market but our own yard has plenty to offer too! Last night I brought in rosemary, chives and elephant garlic for cooking dinner, and I picked some blueberries for dessert.
The garlic flowers are other-worldly! They're shedding their little clown caps and displaying their pretty little purple flowers.
We'll soon be picking some nice crispy apples.
We've had to share our bounty with birds and some four-legged visitors.
I think the birds ate more of the cherries than we did, and the raccoons certainly made short work of the strawberries!

"Our Beach"

The beach at Fort Stevens State Park is immense and empty.
Just perfect for two dogs who love to run!
I think it's Daisy's idea of heaven! She loves the cool temperatures, and there is so much room for her beloved frisbee and ball games.
There are many, many pelicans. The fishing seems to be good for them.
Juno has not given up on the idea that someday she may catch one!
Time to go! That'll do, girls!
Okay, okay, here we come.
Actually, these trails are just as much fun as the beach!
Come on, Juno! The best thing is, there are NO foxtails!
We'll be back!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

In Oregon for the Summer

We're in Astoria, Oregon for the summer. We're staying in a house on a hillside looking over the Columbia River.
From the house, the view of the river and its shipping is fascinating and always changing.
Juno and Daisy are liking it here. The beach here is wide, long, and mostly empty. It is perfect for Daisy, who is always getting too hot when she can't cool off in the water. The expanse of open sand is pretty amazing. Here is an expedition with the dogs.

Off for two weeks of sheep dog training

At four months of age, Juno headed up to Anna's ranch for two weeks of Sheepdog Camp! She is really fascinated by sheep and has a natural love of working them. This video shows her in the arena with Anna and the school sheep. She and Calli coped well with the high heat -- temps were in the 90's.

Pups at 15 weeks

At 15 weeks, Juno and Calli saw sheep again. They are growing amazingly quickly. Juno and Daisy get along pretty well.

Juno's ears may be one-up and one-down!

Puppy Sisters May 2008

Juno's littermate Calli spent the summer in San Diego County, with Anna and Danielle. Here are the two pups at age 12 weeks, out at Anna's ranch. They certainly act like sisters!Juno has a more mischevious aspect!
But Calli gets a lick in too.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Juno and Daisy --

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Welcome, Juno!

Just pictures for now. Having a puppy is too tiring to leave any energy for writing! Little border collie Juno is just 9 weeks old, but she is quite the little dog!