Jack’s Walk

Help me, I’m melting… ©voyager, all rights reserved

We’re expecting rain today and according to the forecast it’s going to be rainy for the next 4 days. Oh well, you know what they say…April showers bring May flowers. At least it’s finally getting warmer. It’s going up to +9º today and the weekend is supposed to get all the way up to +18º. Oh my, that will make the plants get growing and the trees start leafing and I don’t even care that it’s going rain. Proper spring is about to start and I can’t wait to see a bit of colour around here. I hope everyone has a good weekend, especially those of you who are battling with sickness…feel batter soon.

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack started picking at his feet and scratching yesterday and around our house that’s a sure sign of spring. It means that the gray grass is getting ready to turn green and Jack’s allergies have flared up. I called the vet and we’ve started the boy’s allergy tablets (Vanectyl-P) and he’ll be taking one a day until the snow flies. The scratching isn’t all due to allergies, though. Jack’s annual spring shed has kicked into high gear and the amount of hair he loses is astonishing. It comes out in clumps when you brush him and your arm can go numb and still there’s more hair to brush out. When he walks you can see hair just floating off and it’s almost impossible to keep up with the hair bunnies that collect in the corners of the house. The boy starts to look a bit shabby, too, with light patches of fur that stick out at odd angles. So he scratches and turns into a little bear who rubs himself on anything handy; trees, telephone poles, the sofa, people. You have to watch out for that last one, people. Jack loves to talk to strangers and he’ll walk right up to anyone and ask for a scratch. If it isn’t offered quickly enough he’ll take his bowling ball of a head and butt you with it and then start rubbing himself around you in circles. Unsurprisingly, not everyone appreciates this. It will be a few more weeks before my little hair machine finishes his shed and until then it’s brush, scratch, rub, repeat around here.

Jack’s Walk

Spring flooding along the Thames River. ©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack and I took our walk today along the river and found it running high with some areas of flooding.  It’s normal during spring melt and it’s nothing serious, but it has put parts of the path underwater so our walk was a bit abbreviated today. I don’t think Jack even noticed, though, he was having so much fun splashing around. The boy was just bubbling over with contagious joy this morning, wearing a goofy smile and carrying his tail mast at full up and waving. He was in and out of the water all the way along and even took a bit of float with the current. It was a wonderful outing. The sun shone and the sky was blue and I do declare that it feels like spring. Now, please, can it just get a bit warmer?

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

By the end of last week I was beginning to see a few early signs of spring and I was sure the weather would continue to improve. It has not. Instead, the weather has chosen to regress by several weeks and return to the deep of winter. The weather provided us a steady snow on Saturday and by Sunday morning there was 5 cm. of the stuff on the ground and the temp was hanging well below zero. Well, Damn! It’s very pretty and it might actually be nicer to look at than the gray grass and mud of last week, but I don’t care. I’m gonna stamp my feet and mutter curses and shake my fist at the sky and tell winter to go home. Do you hear that, old man winter? Go on, now. I think I hear your mother calling.

Monday Mercurial: Bee happy!

Apparently, one side of our garden has been overtaken by common sand bees/ mining bees, andrena flavipes.

I noticed a lot of activity last week and right now it’s all buzz and swarming. I was at first confused since wild bees are usually solitary and it took me all of my google -fu to find out that the most likely explanation is that it’s a nesting aggregation and the huge traffic we’re seeing right now is the drones hanging around to have a lot of sex before they die, so in a few days the whole thing will be over.

This is a relief because in about two weeks the workpeople will start rebuilding our garden stairs and stuff and I was worried that the bees would get in their way or would have their home destroyed. As far as I’m concerned, having those bees here is like a knighting for my garden as an insect friendly space.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

At work!

©Giliell, all rights reserved

A different kind of wild bee.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

That fruit tree is currently BUZZING.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack had so much fun swimming yesterday that we went back to the civic center pond today. The water here is clean and clear and Jack doesn’t mind that bit of ice at all. This is the place where Jack caught his fish and he wants to catch another one. A bigger one and he even had a strategy. First he swam in a slow zig-zag skirting the edge of the ice, then he meandered near the shore until he found the right spot and planted himself like a post and just stood still……for about 5 minutes. I found a bench, drank my coffee, got up and took a few photos, sat down again and still Jack didn’t move. The spell was finally broken by the rattling sound of his cookie box when I put my hand in my pocket. After that we walked down to the soccer fields and back and Jack took one last dip before heading home where the boy is happily napping in a sunbeam.

Friday Feathers: The Birds of Spring

First, a solemn fellow or two. Or proof that life is fucking disappointing, because whenever in  a fantasy novel a crow or raven lands in front of you they have a message from some overlord or lady that sends you off on an interesting quest. All I got was being croaked at.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Jacks Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

It’s a cold and gloomy day here with drizzly rain and lots of mud. Jack doesn’t seem to mind, but I’m finding it a bit grim. Everything looks so dirty. The sidewalks are coated with gritty sand, the grass is grey and the landscape is devoid of colour. I tried to keep a cheerful outlook thinking perhaps I could find a few snowdrops or an early hyacinth, but nope, I could not find any flowers today. I did find a pretty piece of turkey tail fungus, though, pretending to be a flower. It will have to do until the real thing comes along.

Jack’s Walk

Cedar Creek. Looks nice, but smells bad ©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack is a water dog by nature. He’s happiest when his feet are wet and I usually don’t mind if he takes a dip when we’re out. Today, though, he dipped into the creek at our local park and came out smelling like a sewer. The smell was so bad that I was gagging while trying to dry him off. Shit. Literally. He smelled like shit and then he started rubbing up against me to dry himself off.

So now I have a situation on my hands. I can’t take him home like that, I don’t have more towels and now I smell like a sewer too. Also, we’d only been in the park for a few minutes and Jack was still full of energy and not ready to leave. It took 2 cookies to get him into the car and he was dramatically mopey about it, grumbling as he went to sit on his bed in the back. Now the smell is concentrated inside the car and it’s me who doesn’t want to get in, but I do even though no-one offered me a cookie. I need clean water and there’s no choice but to drive there. Thankfully, it’s a short drive because even with all the windows down and a stiff north wind blowing through the smell drifted past me in waves. I think I caught notes of decomposition and fish in the aroma. We finally arrive at park #2 where there is a small fowl and foul free pond and Jack was a good boy and jumped right in. We stayed for about half an hour and Jack spent most of that time in the water. He came out smelling like a normal wet dog and he was so tired he got into the car with no fuss. The dog bed will need a wash and I took my clothes right down to the laundry, but that’s not a bad deal for so much dog happiness.

Foul Free and having fun ©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack’s Walk

Hens and Chicks ©voyager, all rights reserved

I found my first growing thing of spring today. It’s a brave little hens and chicks lured out of its nest by the bright spring sun. Too bad for the little hen, though, that it’s still bloody cold. The high today was +5º, but there’s a bitter north wind blowing making it feel more like minus 5 instead. It’s supposed to get up to +11º by the end of the week, but then dip back down to zero again for a few more days. Sigh. Is it just me, or is spring taking a bit too long to get here this year?