Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

The weather’s been so pleasant this week that Jack and I have met a lot of our neighbours out doing yardwork as we walk by. With some of our neighbours, I’d be happy with just a quick wave and a shout of hello, but Jack says this is rude. He thinks we should speak to everyone, even gossipy Ruth, who talks too fast and forgetful Mr. P., who asks at least six times in a 5-minute conversation how old Jack is. Eleven. Eleven. Eleven. He’ll be 12 in February. Eleven, I think.

Jack doles out kisses and cuddles and basks in the glow of adoration and I nod my head and utter pleasantries. What can I do but smile? That’s just how life is when you have a friendly, social Jack. Soon enough, it’ll be winter and we’ll go days without seeing anyone outside. Bubba hates that, and even though it makes our walks shorter, so do I.

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

A Calendar of Sonnets: October

The month of carnival of all the year,
When Nature lets the wild earth go its way,
And spend whole seasons on a single day.
The spring-time holds her white and purple dear;
October, lavish, flaunts them far and near;
The summer charily her reds doth lay
Like jewels on her costliest array;
October, scornful, burns them on a bier.
The winter hoards his pearls of frost in sign
Of kingdom: whiter pearls than winter knew,
Oar empress wore, in Egypt’s ancient line,
October, feasting ‘neath her dome of blue,
Drinks at a single draught, slow filtered through
Sunshiny air, as in a tingling wine!
Helen Hunt Jackson

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

The people who live in this house decorate their porch differently for each season and they always make it a splendid arrangement. It’s one of my favourite homes in the neighbourhood and it gives me a smile every time we walk past it. Their current display is quintessentially autumn in Ontario with brightly coloured, coordinating pots of mums, dried stalks of corn and pumpkins galore, big and small, in varying shades of orange. Soon the tree out front will add its yellows and golds, reds and rusts, tangerines and salmons to the show until there’s a riot of colour about the place. It’s one of a thousand things I love about the fall.

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

Yesterday I mentioned that Jack has difficulty seeing in the dark. I forgot to mention that Jack also has trouble being seen in the dark. His coat is such a deep chocolate brown that when he steps out of the puddles of streetlight, he all but vanishes. That’s a worry because Jack has a nasty habit of eating things he happens upon, things that are probably not good for him to eat like garbage, poop and the occasional small dead creature. Last night he managed to swallow something before I could stop him. I have no idea what it was as there were no bits of it left to identify, but I’m sure it wasn’t a healthy snack. I jammed my hand into his mouth, hoping to fish it out, but I was too late. Jack smiled, licked my fingers and walked on, leaving me standing there dripping drool and hoping for the best. So far, so good.

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

The days of autumn agree with me and I enjoy so many things at this time of year. I love the crisp air that energizes Jack and getting to watch day by day as rich reds and flame oranges appear in the trees. It’s time to start making hearty soups and stews and casseroles with the bounty of local produce filling the market stalls and it’s time to turn on the oven and bake things full of apples. Fall is such a wonderful season. It would be absolutely perfect… if only the days were a little longer.

It’s dark now when Jack and I take our evening walk and Jack’s eyesight isn’t good in the dark anymore. He’s easily frightened by shadows and he tends to bark at things that aren’t normally around, like all the new political signs popping up on lawns around the neighbourhood. The political signs scare me a bit, too, especially since my neighbourhood is sporting quite a few Conservative signs this election season. Nobody wants to look at that nonsense so the photo today was taken late yesterday afternoon from our favourite forest path.

A Beautiful Butterfly Poses for Photos

I apologize to Avalus for taking so long to post these photos. I received them near the end of August when things were hectic for me and I didn’t have consistent access to the internet. They’re beautiful pictures and I’m delighted to share them today.

Here is a beautiful butterfly. It might be a popular monarch (Limenitis populi) or a white admiral (Limenitis camilla), but I am not sure. In German they are called big and small Eisvogel (Kingfisher). 

©Avalus, all rights reserved

©Avalus, all rights reserved

©Avalus, all rights reserved

©Avalus, all rights reserved

The Art of Book Design: The Story My Doggie Told to Me

Ralph Henry Barbour. The Story My Doggie Told to Me. New York, Dodd Mead, 1914.

And so ends Dog Week. If you like the idea of theme weeks let me know because I have a few other ideas. I’m also open to any suggestions you may have so just let me know here in the comments or drop me a line at affinitysubmissions@gmail.com. The address is in the sidebar just below the colourful, percolating skull.

 

via: The Library of Congress, where you can read the book and see all of the charming illustrations.

Jack’s Walk

Jack, October 3, 2019 ©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack, October 3, 2019 ©voyager, all rights reserved

It’s been rainy and damp for a few days and this morning the temp was only 10°. It’s certainly not my favourite weather, but as my dad used to say, “it’s better than no weather at all.” Jack says he doesn’t mind the change. He has more energy when it’s cool and it gives him a reason to grow hair. Jack likes to grow hair, lots and lots of hair, and by the end of winter he has a thick, lush insulating coat which he then sheds all over everything come spring – except Jack never does a full shed. Normally we go to the east coast for the summer and Jack needs an undercoat to swim in the cold waters of the Atlantic. This year, though, we fooled him and stayed home in hot and humid Ontario where his remaining undercoat was unnecessary. I kept waiting for him to shed through June and July and even August, but Jack held on to that undercoat through all the hot days of summer. By the end of August I’d given up and figured he’d just start the slow build up to maximum coverage for winter. I was wrong. At the beginning of September Jack went into full shed mode and the hair came out in heaps and clumps and, Oh Boy, did it come out fast. It’s only the second time in Jack’s life that he’s been without his undercoat and neck ruff and the first time was way back when he was a puppy. He isn’t quite finished shedding yet either. You can see the blondish bits around his neck starting to clump and by tomorrow they’ll be ready to pluck. Soon he should start putting on new hair and I’d like to track how long it takes for him to grow his thick, full coat back so I’m going to photograph him about once a month to see how long it takes before he’s as hairy as a wookiee again. Here he is today looking svelte(ish) at the beginning of Autumn. We’ll see how it grows.