furtech: (apache-r0ndo)
The dogs and I got a precious, rare invite: to celebrate King Dog Tay's birthday up in Oakhurst!
Oakhurst Snow
There are more gorgeous images of the Ranch, dogs and snow here

The timing turned into the most perfect trip we've ever made up there: the day after we arrives it snowed. Just enough fell that the ranch and the mountain turned into a winter wonderland. This was *ideal*: the snow only lasted for about two days-- then it melted and allowed us to drive safely back down the hill and home.

The night we arrived there was also a bit of excitement: on the night walk Carol and I discovered a brush-burn that had gotten out of control (these are supposed to be watched by the burner until the fire dies down). Between the windy gusts and all of the pine needles that hadn't been cleared, the fire had spread well into the brush nearby. A fallen pine was in flames and embers were spreading under the pine needles. We went back to get Eric and shovels...Carol got all of the water jugs (they keep them for pump failures).

firefighter

With a lot of work we got the flames down and the embers mostly doused. The owners of the lot finally arrived with a tractor and used that to completely bury the rest of the fire. They were grateful that it had been discovered, so it was all good. Plus, bonus activity points for me.

new snow

We awoke the next day to a winter wonderland: several inches of snow fell during the night and it was cold enough to stick. Check out the link above to see how beautiful the area became. The dogs (all four border collies) and I took a number of hikes in the silent, white world. I love walking in fresh snow (especially when it's only a few inches deep) and watching four crazy border collies run around on Very Important Business.

There are few places that aren't improved by a fall of snow. Since Casa Coyote starts out quite lovely, the snow transformed it into a fantasyland. R0ndo and Apache loved it: they had experienced a dusting of snow in Seattle a few years ago and had a lot of fun...but this was like doggy-disneyland for them. They bounded through the small drifts and still managed to dig ghost varmints. They loved that it was nice and chill out and if they get hot or thirsty they can just eat the refreshing "white dirt".

Tay was showered with goodies and treats. He enjoyed the ribeye steak he got as a present. As any good tyrant, he tolerated the manic attention of all three of the other dogs. He's well-deserving of his Kingdog title!
furtech: (apache-r0ndo)
Before friends bought a house in Los Osos, I had never heard of this city. I was more familiar with her sister city to the north: Morro Bay (and its famous rock). After visiting this beach town, I'm in love with this area.

LosOsosSunday
Full Flicker Set Here

I can see why they chose this locale: this city is beautiful. The people are nice- if a bit on the organic-side. But any town where drivers take notable care to give walkers, dogs and bicyclists room and do it with a smile is aces in my book.

The hiking is fantastic: the cool ocean air lends itself to nice weather year-round. There are plenty of hills and trails, along with a town that is just fun to walk around. There are beaches everywhere-- including a large sand spit (several miles long) that looks like it would be a great place to explore. The sunsets (as you can see) are like something out of a Bierstadt painting. The dawns are equally stunning: mist giving way to views of the 9 Sisters (an impressive chain of cinder cones) and the Morro Bay Rock. The dogs loved the dawn-hikes up sandy trails. Much digging ensued.

Due to the poor soil and misty (not rainy) climate, a species of oak grows there called "Pygmy Oaks". These trees are wonderful: they only grow to a height of about 12 feet...yet are every bit like a "regular" oak. The result is something called the Elfin Forest: little mounds of oak groves with ancient trees that only grow to about a dozen feet tall.

I visited Spooner's Cove which has great sand: coarse, but polished smooth-- wonderful for Bonsai toppings. There is a large sandstone outcrop in the middle of the cove. This takes a scramble to climb up, but it's worth it: you are surrounded by crashing waves and sea.

A nice bonus is that my friends compete as cooks: all are *very* good cooks and the meals-- breakfast and dinner-- were fantastic. There is nothing like people competing to make great meals.

I also visited two of the nearby apple growers. Ever since I picked apples in Connecticut a few years ago, I realized that I -love- fresh picked fruit. One (Avila Valley Barn) was a bit touristy for my tastes, but the other (Gopher Glen) was pure-apple and had GREAT fruit!
furtech: (apache-r0ndo)
I am so behind on posts. I can't complain, though: work has been busy, but not so much that I have to sacrifice hobbies and hiking and dog-enrichment.

dogspring
Here's the fully annotated Flickr set

Dogs, foxtails, vets, Pet Expo, silken windhounds, dog-with-a-blog under cut )

For those who did the TL,DR I give you instead an adorable video of a pack of 11 border collie puppies!

furtech: (apache-r0ndo)
Here's an update of recent happenings...hidden under a cut to spare the uninterested...

March 2013 Happenings )
furtech: (Default)
dawnhike

...our dry, dusty home has one huge advantage over the deep greenery of the German forests: my little dog pack. We've gone on a number of sizeable local hikes and walks since I got back, mostly my attempt to assuage the guilt I feel when I have to board them. Because of the heat, we've had to walk either very later (midnight or so) or very early (about 6am). For one thing, it doesn't start to cool off until about then-- and even at that time the temps are still in the 70's (21+c), with about the 70% humidity.

Today we walked on a favorite trail and got to see the sun rise. The dogs were thrilled: while any walk would have been welcome, they love the squirrel, digging and sniffing ops that a real trail hike affords.

One creature that is loving this heat and humidity: my red habanero chili plant. This old guy is about four years old now (warm SoCal winters and taking them in during the rare freezing nights). He went nuts while I was away.

chili

Good to be home.
furtech: (Default)
dawnhike

...our dry, dusty home has one huge advantage over the deep greenery of the German forests: my little dog pack. We've gone on a number of sizeable local hikes and walks since I got back, mostly my attempt to assuage the guilt I feel when I have to board them. Because of the heat, we've had to walk either very later (midnight or so) or very early (about 6am). For one thing, it doesn't start to cool off until about then-- and even at that time the temps are still in the 70's (21+c), with about the 70% humidity.

Today we walked on a favorite trail and got to see the sun rise. The dogs were thrilled: while any walk would have been welcome, they love the squirrel, digging and sniffing ops that a real trail hike affords.

One creature that is loving this heat and humidity: my red habanero chili plant. This old guy is about four years old now (warm SoCal winters and taking them in during the rare freezing nights). He went nuts while I was away.

chili

Good to be home.
furtech: (Default)
dawnhike

...our dry, dusty home has one huge advantage over the deep greenery of the German forests: my little dog pack. We've gone on a number of sizeable local hikes and walks since I got back, mostly my attempt to assuage the guilt I feel when I have to board them. Because of the heat, we've had to walk either very later (midnight or so) or very early (about 6am). For one thing, it doesn't start to cool off until about then-- and even at that time the temps are still in the 70's (21+c), with about the 70% humidity.

Today we walked on a favorite trail and got to see the sun rise. The dogs were thrilled: while any walk would have been welcome, they love the squirrel, digging and sniffing ops that a real trail hike affords.

One creature that is loving this heat and humidity: my red habanero chili plant. This old guy is about four years old now (warm SoCal winters and taking them in during the rare freezing nights). He went nuts while I was away.

chili

Good to be home.
furtech: (Default)
Actually, a lot of this happened in May. I've been busy taking care of a lot of things and while interesting things have happened, nothing was so exciting that I actually sat down to post. My bad.

spring
Full Flickr Set Here

It's spring in the San Fernando Valley: Not a bad time of the year...not as good as winter or fall, but not so bad, either. These two pics sum up my happiness visually: dogs enjoying a breezy day on a hike and the view of the moon over a tree on a nightwalk.

We have had our share of baking, hot days, however. One of our favorite hikes is in a mostly dry riverbed. Watching the dogs running in the tiny creek there and lolling in the water really had me envy their ability to run and splash and generally cool off there.
dogscreek

Sometimes you're just lucky: one of the hikes we enjoy is on a rarely-used trail: I love it because I can off-leash the dogs with little worry of bothering anyone else on the trail. I think I've met people maybe two other times over the course of a hundred walks there. One day we ran into a woman who was coming back down the trail. I apologized for the curious dogs, and she brushed it off-- but warned me (because of the loose dogs) that there was a large rattlesnake up the trail, near the bee-gate (despite never talking to anyone, I was amused that she used the exact same name that I do when referring to a park gate that has an active beehive occupying it). I thanked her and moved forward cautiously. I took a moment to grab a snake stick, just in case.
snakestick

It's times like these when I really do believe the dogs and I have a guardian angel or something equally beneficent watching over us. The kind lady was right: just before the bee gate was the second largest rattlesnake I've ever seen. If we hadn't run into her first, the dogs and I would have walked right onto this creature. What are the odds? Secluded trail, middle of a weekday, rattlesnake. On a trail I took exactly because we rarely see other people and we'd never seen a rattlesnake on it. Since we'd had so much good fortune already, I decided not to push our luck and we turned around and headed home. Wow.
snake

On to the odd and prurient, I'd been taking the dogs on late-night hikes around the neighborhood. It's quiet and we're left alone. I had seen this toy in an intersection that we cross nightly. Brightly colored, I had assumed it was a child's squirt-gun or maybe a ping-pong shooter. Then one day we did a daytime walk...imagine my surprise! I sure as -hell- hope it isn't some child's toy!
squirtgunfail

mellowcoyote

The O'Melveny Park coyotes are weird. My dogs react to them as most dogs do: chasing them with murderous intent (for my collies, the emphasis is more on the "intent"). Most coyotes either run off or, if defending a territory, will stand and fight or skirmish with the dogs. These coyotes are...odd. Several times now R0ndo and Apache have gone full-gallop into their pack, only to find the coyotes unconcernedly milling about. The dogs have no idea what to do-- so they mill around also. On a recent nightwalk, a solitary coyote did the same thing: the dogs would chase it, but it would just stay out of teeth range, then casually trot back like it was part of their pack. No aggressive posturing or bristling or anything, just a kind of, "Dude, chill. Wassup?" kind of attitude.

OMIGOD! Matt Cain just pitched a perfect game!!!?!!! Heeyahhhahaha!!! WOW!!

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming...

I saw "Avengers". Most fun I've had at a film since the last Harry Potter film. Had no idea Joss Whedon was involved...but I could see his touches in retrospect. My favorite bit was Thor and Hulk's bonding moment...not! By the Gods! What an entertaining film! Whedon -nailed- Hulk's character!

Also saw "MiB3": also fun, but only averagely-so fun. Plus, two huge plot holes (or something). "Secret World of Arrietty" was fun, but kind of "eh" compared to Miyazaki's other films. I'm pretty sure I saw something else, but clearly it didn't make that big and impression. Still love the 2nd run cinema in Simi Valley: Large popcorn, 2 large drinks, 2 large candy (true large, not typical movie-theater "large") and two tickets for under $20. Plus free parking. "Cabin In The Woods" is coming soon! Woo!

Lastly, I've been busy streamlining my life. Getting rid of stuff, raising money, cleaning out the house and work place. Also making a bunch of puppets! Dogs are generally happy and things are getting done, so I guess all's well!
furtech: (Default)
Actually, a lot of this happened in May. I've been busy taking care of a lot of things and while interesting things have happened, nothing was so exciting that I actually sat down to post. My bad.

spring
Full Flickr Set Here

It's spring in the San Fernando Valley: Not a bad time of the year...not as good as winter or fall, but not so bad, either. These two pics sum up my happiness visually: dogs enjoying a breezy day on a hike and the view of the moon over a tree on a nightwalk.

We have had our share of baking, hot days, however. One of our favorite hikes is in a mostly dry riverbed. Watching the dogs running in the tiny creek there and lolling in the water really had me envy their ability to run and splash and generally cool off there.
dogscreek

Sometimes you're just lucky: one of the hikes we enjoy is on a rarely-used trail: I love it because I can off-leash the dogs with little worry of bothering anyone else on the trail. I think I've met people maybe two other times over the course of a hundred walks there. One day we ran into a woman who was coming back down the trail. I apologized for the curious dogs, and she brushed it off-- but warned me (because of the loose dogs) that there was a large rattlesnake up the trail, near the bee-gate (despite never talking to anyone, I was amused that she used the exact same name that I do when referring to a park gate that has an active beehive occupying it). I thanked her and moved forward cautiously. I took a moment to grab a snake stick, just in case.
snakestick

It's times like these when I really do believe the dogs and I have a guardian angel or something equally beneficent watching over us. The kind lady was right: just before the bee gate was the second largest rattlesnake I've ever seen. If we hadn't run into her first, the dogs and I would have walked right onto this creature. What are the odds? Secluded trail, middle of a weekday, rattlesnake. On a trail I took exactly because we rarely see other people and we'd never seen a rattlesnake on it. Since we'd had so much good fortune already, I decided not to push our luck and we turned around and headed home. Wow.
snake

On to the odd and prurient, I'd been taking the dogs on late-night hikes around the neighborhood. It's quiet and we're left alone. I had seen this toy in an intersection that we cross nightly. Brightly colored, I had assumed it was a child's squirt-gun or maybe a ping-pong shooter. Then one day we did a daytime walk...imagine my surprise! I sure as -hell- hope it isn't some child's toy!
squirtgunfail

mellowcoyote

The O'Melveny Park coyotes are weird. My dogs react to them as most dogs do: chasing them with murderous intent (for my collies, the emphasis is more on the "intent"). Most coyotes either run off or, if defending a territory, will stand and fight or skirmish with the dogs. These coyotes are...odd. Several times now R0ndo and Apache have gone full-gallop into their pack, only to find the coyotes unconcernedly milling about. The dogs have no idea what to do-- so they mill around also. On a recent nightwalk, a solitary coyote did the same thing: the dogs would chase it, but it would just stay out of teeth range, then casually trot back like it was part of their pack. No aggressive posturing or bristling or anything, just a kind of, "Dude, chill. Wassup?" kind of attitude.

OMIGOD! Matt Cain just pitched a perfect game!!!?!!! Heeyahhhahaha!!! WOW!!

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming...

I saw "Avengers". Most fun I've had at a film since the last Harry Potter film. Had no idea Joss Whedon was involved...but I could see his touches in retrospect. My favorite bit was Thor and Hulk's bonding moment...not! By the Gods! What an entertaining film! Whedon -nailed- Hulk's character!

Also saw "MiB3": also fun, but only averagely-so fun. Plus, two huge plot holes (or something). "Secret World of Arrietty" was fun, but kind of "eh" compared to Miyazaki's other films. I'm pretty sure I saw something else, but clearly it didn't make that big and impression. Still love the 2nd run cinema in Simi Valley: Large popcorn, 2 large drinks, 2 large candy (true large, not typical movie-theater "large") and two tickets for under $20. Plus free parking. "Cabin In The Woods" is coming soon! Woo!

Lastly, I've been busy streamlining my life. Getting rid of stuff, raising money, cleaning out the house and work place. Also making a bunch of puppets! Dogs are generally happy and things are getting done, so I guess all's well!
furtech: (Default)
Actually, a lot of this happened in May. I've been busy taking care of a lot of things and while interesting things have happened, nothing was so exciting that I actually sat down to post. My bad.

spring
Full Flickr Set Here

It's spring in the San Fernando Valley: Not a bad time of the year...not as good as winter or fall, but not so bad, either. These two pics sum up my happiness visually: dogs enjoying a breezy day on a hike and the view of the moon over a tree on a nightwalk.

We have had our share of baking, hot days, however. One of our favorite hikes is in a mostly dry riverbed. Watching the dogs running in the tiny creek there and lolling in the water really had me envy their ability to run and splash and generally cool off there.
dogscreek

Sometimes you're just lucky: one of the hikes we enjoy is on a rarely-used trail: I love it because I can off-leash the dogs with little worry of bothering anyone else on the trail. I think I've met people maybe two other times over the course of a hundred walks there. One day we ran into a woman who was coming back down the trail. I apologized for the curious dogs, and she brushed it off-- but warned me (because of the loose dogs) that there was a large rattlesnake up the trail, near the bee-gate (despite never talking to anyone, I was amused that she used the exact same name that I do when referring to a park gate that has an active beehive occupying it). I thanked her and moved forward cautiously. I took a moment to grab a snake stick, just in case.
snakestick

It's times like these when I really do believe the dogs and I have a guardian angel or something equally beneficent watching over us. The kind lady was right: just before the bee gate was the second largest rattlesnake I've ever seen. If we hadn't run into her first, the dogs and I would have walked right onto this creature. What are the odds? Secluded trail, middle of a weekday, rattlesnake. On a trail I took exactly because we rarely see other people and we'd never seen a rattlesnake on it. Since we'd had so much good fortune already, I decided not to push our luck and we turned around and headed home. Wow.
snake

On to the odd and prurient, I'd been taking the dogs on late-night hikes around the neighborhood. It's quiet and we're left alone. I had seen this toy in an intersection that we cross nightly. Brightly colored, I had assumed it was a child's squirt-gun or maybe a ping-pong shooter. Then one day we did a daytime walk...imagine my surprise! I sure as -hell- hope it isn't some child's toy!
squirtgunfail

mellowcoyote

The O'Melveny Park coyotes are weird. My dogs react to them as most dogs do: chasing them with murderous intent (for my collies, the emphasis is more on the "intent"). Most coyotes either run off or, if defending a territory, will stand and fight or skirmish with the dogs. These coyotes are...odd. Several times now R0ndo and Apache have gone full-gallop into their pack, only to find the coyotes unconcernedly milling about. The dogs have no idea what to do-- so they mill around also. On a recent nightwalk, a solitary coyote did the same thing: the dogs would chase it, but it would just stay out of teeth range, then casually trot back like it was part of their pack. No aggressive posturing or bristling or anything, just a kind of, "Dude, chill. Wassup?" kind of attitude.

OMIGOD! Matt Cain just pitched a perfect game!!!?!!! Heeyahhhahaha!!! WOW!!

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming...

I saw "Avengers". Most fun I've had at a film since the last Harry Potter film. Had no idea Joss Whedon was involved...but I could see his touches in retrospect. My favorite bit was Thor and Hulk's bonding moment...not! By the Gods! What an entertaining film! Whedon -nailed- Hulk's character!

Also saw "MiB3": also fun, but only averagely-so fun. Plus, two huge plot holes (or something). "Secret World of Arrietty" was fun, but kind of "eh" compared to Miyazaki's other films. I'm pretty sure I saw something else, but clearly it didn't make that big and impression. Still love the 2nd run cinema in Simi Valley: Large popcorn, 2 large drinks, 2 large candy (true large, not typical movie-theater "large") and two tickets for under $20. Plus free parking. "Cabin In The Woods" is coming soon! Woo!

Lastly, I've been busy streamlining my life. Getting rid of stuff, raising money, cleaning out the house and work place. Also making a bunch of puppets! Dogs are generally happy and things are getting done, so I guess all's well!

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