Monday, August 17, 2009

Dog Days of August

This week's Duke City Fix post is about the dogs. Check it out here.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Lizards in the Morning

Even though I've been walking the bosque for years, recently I've been seeing with fresh eyes. Having two young curious dogs will do that, especially when they've missed their daily bosque walk for two days in a row (rain two nights ago and birthday party festivities last night).

This morning we changed up our routine and walked on a different path (south instead of north) and later than usual. There are no toads out at this time since they prefer the darkness of dusk, but many Albuquerque denizens prefer bright daylight. We saw walkers, bicyclists, and lots of dogs walking their humans.

Despite the lack of toads, our dogs found plenty of lizards to keep them amused. No snake sightings, though I was hoping for one. Last time out I missed the snake, who was spooked into the brush by Haru, our intrepid hunter.

This morning I counted 3 rufous hummingbirds, one heron in flight, and zillions of dragonflies.

The river was higher than it has been these past few days - likely due to runoff from the storm. The bosque was lush and green and quiet. Once we got off the main trail we only saw two other hikers.

All in all, a very nice way to start off the morning, even if it did mean that I missed the Grower's Market.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Girl has a Name!

We've been wrangling and wrestling in this family over the naming of dogs, which may not be as difficult as the naming of cats, but we're still having trouble making decisions.

Over the course of a day to two, we dubbed our Chesapeake Bay Retriever "Dunbar" as a way of paying homage to Paul Lawrence Dunbar, favorite poet of some in our house. This was met with disdain by one Teenager Who Shall Not Be Named.

We offered a compromise - said teen could have full naming rights to the girl. She took the offer, and the girl now has a name, courtesy of our teen's avid interest in Hayao Miyazaki anime.

She is Haru, which is Japanese for sunshine or springtime, depending on how you write the character. We think that the name is perfect - this lovely rescued dog had such a rough start that her life with us is like a rebirth, just like the new life seen in springtime. She is also a girl with a sunny personality, so that meaning suits her as well.

So now we've got two dogs with names - one inspired by the written word and the other by visual art. Such appropriate ties for our family!

Monday, August 10, 2009

High School Dropout

My Duke City Fix blog post today is about high school dropouts.

Check it out here.

Toads in the Bosque

There's a stretch of the bosque that I know as well as I do the faded keys on my laptop. I've been walking it for more than 13 years, and what I love about this transect is that the seasonal changes are never the same, especially as you get close to the river.

Tonight's walk with the dogs led us through the bosque past a few trees with burn marks on the base of their trunks, to a narrow opening through the brush opening up to the sandy riverbank, and walls of green shrubs towering 6-8 feet tall.

There were massive clusters of typha (cattails), and in the sand, there were moving rocks!

Actually, the moving rocks were toads, but it took me a minute to realize this.

The dogs were much faster at figuring this out, and I got quite an upper body workout restraining our Chesapeake Bay Retriever from retrieving a toad. (I'm certain it would not have tasted as good as duck, which is what he is bred to retrieve.) Someone needs to tell him this though - he was far more interested in the toads than the ducks and geese on the water.

Our German Shepherd cross (who is still unnamed) likes the toads too. Of course, she's still a puppy so she likes everything that moves - animate and inanimate. She thinks the garden house is a snake and positions herself in quite the defensive stance when it slithers past.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Bats in the Neighborhood Tonight

It has been simply forever since I've blogged here, and to tell the truth, I'd forgotten it until I saw my blog listed on the Duke City Fix blogroll. DCF and DeafDC have been getting my posts, but I'm back on track. My goal is to post short snippets of my life in Barelas - no long essay posts on this blog!

We've had our new dogs for exactly a week now, and we've been taking them for walks in different parts of the neighborhood - Barelas Community Center, Tingley Park, Tingley Beach, and Kit Carson Park, which seems to be everyone's favorite place because of the thick grass and lovely tall cottonwoods.

Tonight we got to the park later than usual, and we saw bats!

There were so many mosquitos feeding on me that I thought the bats might swoop near me, but no such luck.

The dogs are half-named. The boy is Dunbar and the girl is unnamed but we'll fix that this weekend.