Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Finally Finished

As of a little bit past 5:00 AM, yesterday morning, I finished a free-form crochet project that I started 2 years ago.

While working nights is a bitch, it's saving grace is that it gives me plenty of time to work on my crochet.

Thus, I finished this afghan in far less time than I expected.

Once we get some more money (seeing that I exhausted our funds from paying bills this morning) I'll be sending this one-of-kind afghan to Neil's mother in Mattapoisett. After all, it was meant as a Christmas present 2 winters ago.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Doggone Good Time

A small apartment and a 40-pound active puppy are not a good mix. It was obvious that I was going to have to get back into the routine of taking Kane for walks in order to tucker him out.

But where?

Now that Kane has become a big boy - that is a big boy without any obedience training - it was getting harder to keep him on the leash. He would pull and strain until his eyes would get bloodshot.

And when I wasn't trying to control him on the leash, I was trying to keep him from eating geese droppings.

As such, walking Kane was an exercise in patience and a clash between human and canine wills.

I decided yesterday to take a drive out to Prairie Dog Town. And while I wasn't going to allow Kane to have his way with the prairie dogs, I did remember seeing a large park-like area in the vicinity during our last visit there.

That large open area was actually the Outdoor Learning Center.

It was wide and open, away from traffic, and had no signs saying that unleashed dogs were forbidden.

I had Kane on-leash when we got out of the car, and a little ways into the park, I unclipped the leash and crossed my fingers that Kane was not going to be one of those dogs who liked to bolt.

He wasn't.

In fact, Kane was very good off leash. He explored the area with his natural puppy curiosity, all while staying close by.

We saw some geese swimming in the river, and I wondered how Kane was going to react. After all, his is a hunting breed.

Well, Kane just looked at the geese - who were hissing at him - very casually, and then trotted off to further explore this brand new paradise.

So, it was obvious that Kane did not have the killer instinct. And that was a good thing.

There was a lot of ground to explore. And part of that exploration took us to the other side of the river - if you could call it that, because I have seen driveways wider that this body of water.

There was a foot bridge that crossed over, and while crossing over, I called for Kane to follow me. Well, the little bugger followed my voice and not my feet.

Already partway across that bridge, I heard a splash. Kane was following me by swimming across the river. And that was Kane's first encounter with water and his first attempt at swimming, by the way.

When he got to the other side, he could not climb up the steep embankment. I had to go down the embankment, and with one hand holding onto the bridge, I grabbed his collar with the other and hauled him ashore.

My rescue efforts were rewarded by Kane jumping up on me and covering my pants with wet mud from the river.

On the other side Kane explored the prairie dog holes by sticking his head in them.

We played fetch and explored the hillock that was covered with rough vegetation (lots of cacti and prickly plants). This was definitely a place where you needed to wear sturdy shoes.

Our exploration lasted 45 minutes. And at the end of that, we had a significantly more mellowed pup.

So, I decided to do it again today.

While driving to Kane's new playground, he was already whining with anticipation in the car.

When we got there, we climbed another hillock that we hadn't climbed before. At the top of the hill was a wide open plain. I could see a blue heron flying across.

And further along there were these beautiful metal sculpted horses running across the plain. What a thrill to find fine art on top of a barren plain!

As you can tell, these horse statues are pretty big.

Doesn't Kane look like he belongs on the cover of a hunting magazine?

Oooh! Lookie! Where did it go?

Here's Kane exploring a prairie dog hole.

All that wide open space to explore. Which path do I take?

Let's go up the hill! I'm King of the Hill!

At the top of the hill, the vegetation is more coarse. And actually this is the clear area.

In addition to the coarse plains grasses, there are lots of cacti of different varieties and agave with their sharp sword-like leaves. But because it's still it's still winter, the cacti are all shriveled up.

(I can't wait to see what this place looks like in the spring and summer, when life returns to the vegetation.)

There are also paths that cut through the rough vegetation on top of the hill.

What was interesting about this park was the many diverse eco-systems it had. There were glassy plains, rough desert-like terrain, marshy areas, wide lawns, wooded areas,

and this.

This body of water, I believe, is the Double Mountain Fork Brazos River. It looks more like a creek than a river.

But I suppose that it could - and probably has - gotten much larger than this mere trickle.

There was a flood marker on the the causeway that had measurements of up to five feet above the surface of the road. That's more than enough to submerge a car!

The size of the river, or whether it could even be considered a river was no issue for Kane.

It was water. And water was for drinking,

and fun.