Jack’s Walk

Shovel face ©voyager, all rights reserved

We’ve been having steady fine snow since early this morning and by mid-afternoon, there was about 8 cm of the stuff on the ground. That seems like more than enough to me, but the weather gods are in a giving mood and apparently, it’s going to snow for the rest of the week.  That’s right, 5 days in a row of snow. In November. It isn’t even winter yet, and I’m already fed up with the weather.

Jack’s feelings are quite different, though. Jack doesn’t mind getting cold and he thinks that snow is fun. He begged me to play outside with him all morning, so I finally took him to our little forest where he frolicked off-leash for about an hour. He kept laughing and telling me that his toes were tingling as he hopped off and on the path, leaving big, sloppy paw prints facing in all directions. He used his face like a shovel the whole way round. When I asked him why he did that he told me that snow smells are layered and it’s helpful to know what’s at the bottom.

“Oh,” I said, “but you must inhale snow when you’re sniffing like that.”

He was quiet for a beat or two and finally said” Snorting snow is fun, mommy. You should try it, the smells get smellier. And deeper.”

“Snorting snow, Jack. No thanks, I like my nose to stay warm and dry.”

“You have a bad attitude, mommy. You need to try new things. Maybe if you did, you wouldn’t hate winter as much.”

The boy has a point. It’s going to be a long winter and attitude is important. I’ll waste a lot of todays waiting for a warmer tomorrow. Even so, I still don’t think breathing in wet snow will help, Bubba. “How about you do the snorting for both of us.”

“I always do, mommy,” he said bounding off with a laugh. “we’d never know anything if we counted on your pitiful nose for information.”

Jack’s Walk

The Armada Arrives ©voyager, all rights reserved

The swans stop by to say hello ©voyager, all rights reserved

Well, for once, the universe listened to me. Late yesterday we had a small dusting of snow that decided to stick around. It’s just enough to make things pretty, but not enough to need shovelling or make walking difficult. It’s perfect. I can see Jack at night again, and sure enough, it was easy to find his poop, even in the dark. It’s cold anyway, so there might as well be a bit of the white stuff around.
Jack and I decided to go to the park this morning, and it was reasonably quiet when we arrived, but we hadn’t been there long when we hear a loud, sustained honking overhead and looked up to see an entire Armada of geese flying in. A hundred or more birds were circling the pond. They finally landed in teams, and it took several minutes for them all to get down. Once they were all on the water, they continued to make noise for several more minutes, and boy howdy was it loud. It seemed to upset the swans who managed to get away from the crowd to come and say hi. Jack was quite rude and barked at them, but they didn’t care at all. The geese are permanent residents at our park – they don’t fly south because the living is comfortable here. The swans have an even easier winter ahead – they live in an indoor pond and have a keeper. Once the weather is warmer again in the spring, they’re driven back to the outdoor pond, happy, healthy and ready to have a new family.

More Barcelona

It seems that Giliell’s photos of Barcelona have inspired Opus to share a few pictures of his own.

I was struck by the Sagrada Familia pictures and dove back into my picture files. These are from long before I purchased my first ‘real’ camera, but the nighttime shots of Casa Batlio are still among my favorites. If you need one for the front page I’d suggest Casa Batlio 2, but I’m biased: too much time with this as a child:

Reptiles and Amphibians Familiar American Species

Casa Batlio 2 ©Opus, all rights reserved

[Read more…]

Jack’s Walk

Hosta La Vista ©voyager, all rights reserved

We had a lovely bit of sunshine this afternoon, but it didn’t warm things up one little bit. Except perhaps inside the car where I started to sweat underneath all of my layers, which today included a pair of silk long johns and undershirt, a sweater and yoga pants topped off with a puffy winter coat, tuque, scarf and mittens, but not yet double socks. I really dislike feeling cold and have a tendency to overdress. Jack wondered what the heck was going on when I pulled over to take off my coat and then put it on again once we stopped. Jack thinks clothing is a human vanity, which is true, but clothing is also a necessity for a naked Canadian ape like me and he doesn’t get that part. He says silly things like “you’d stay warmer if you didn’t shave your legs” or “you need a little more fat to insulate.” Bubba, if I never shaved again and gained a hundred pounds I’d still want the long johns and winter gear. “Bah,” he says. “Humans are soft.”

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

It’s time to check-in and see how much hair Bubba has grown since our last photo on October 3/19. Hmm… doesn’t look like much yet, does it? This is really unusual for Jack. Normally his neck ruff would be filling in by now, along with a thick all-over undercoat. This year he’s without both, and the weather is getting colder. At the moment, he’s relying on his fat pad (shhh… he’s sensitive about it), but’s that’s not going to be enough for much longer. He does have a stylish red coat to wear if it gets super cold, but he doesn’t like it, and we’ve only used it a few times in his life. Hopefully, he’ll get growing soon, and once it starts, it should fill in fast. I’ll update you in another few weeks.

I think that Jack looks puppyish without his neck ruff, probably because he didn’t grow his first one until he was about 3 years old.

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

The past few days have been cold and damp with heavy grey skies that look full of gloom. Temperatures have been hovering around 8° during the day and a mere 3 or 4° at night and it’s been the sort of weather that works its way into your bones and keeps you feeling chilled. November has definitely arrived and so far it’s been a bit unpleasant, but I really shouldn’t complain. Overall, it’s been an enjoyable autumn this year. There’s been plenty of sunshine, lots of warm days and the changing leaves have been ablaze with brilliant colour.  Conditions were my idea of perfect right through the whole month of October. Now, if I could only find the repeat button for that…


I’ll begin with my apology to Avalus for taking so long to post this photo of a beautiful moth (falter). I received it in August and promptly misplaced it. It popped up at me today in an unexpected place, and I am happy to post it at last. You might say that I faltered in posting this falter.

Here is a black and white moth on the bark of a birch tree.

falter ©Avalus, all rights reserved


Jack’s Walk – A short Admin Note

Late yesterday afternoon, my mother died peacefully in the company of her best friend and myself. Mom’s been inching toward death since mid-August, and while I’m sad that her life has ended, I’m relieved to have her dying ended.
We’ll be having a short service followed by burial on Friday afternoon, so Jack and I will be taking the rest of this week off. We both hope that you have a Merry Hallowe’en, and we’ll see you again on Monday, November 4th.


Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

It was a wet and windy weekend, and by this morning, almost all the pretty leaves had blown away. There are a few bright patches here and there, but the riot of colour is finished for another year. Jack and I set out feeling a bit blue about the bare trees, but the sun was shining, the day was warm and pleasant, and it wasn’t long before we were both feeling better. The colour may be gone looking up, but there’s still plenty of pretty here on the ground. We passed burning bushes burning scarlet and porches with pumpkins and mums in pots. We found lavender of the palest blue, golden hostas and even a red-breasted robin picking at purple berries. The fallen leaves from the weekend are still full of colour, too, and they brightly litter the ground in every direction. Jack says he can see the leaves better this way, and he thinks that’s why they fall – so the small creatures who don’t look up much can appreciate them too. I didn’t tell him otherwise.