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. 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.
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.
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.
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!
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!