Snow Dog

Snow dog

We had a sunny and cold Christmas this year instead of our normal wet or occasional white one. I had been hoping to play with Ellie in the snow since it was playing with Porter from next door in last year’s big snow that started me thinking it was time for us to adopt a dog, but no such luck.

On Tuesday, I checked the weather before heading up to Ridgefield and saw the rain was supposed to make a comeback in the afternoon. It didn’t rain but as I started my last trip around the auto tour at the end of the day, I had to smile at the few flakes that fell, hardly enough to call even a flurry, my first snowflakes of the season. The snow picked up as I drove around but it wasn’t until I got near the end that it was falling hard enough that I started to get a little concerned. After snapping some quick pics of baby nutria and a juvenile heron in the snow, I started for home.

Unfortunately our Subaru is in the shop this week and I was in a rental, so I was without four-wheel drive, but I got home without incident, the roads being fairly clear and getting into our driveway proved the biggest challenge. My timing proved fortuitous as the snow continued to fall through the evening and I just missed the worst of the traffic.

I took Ellie out to play in the snow as soon as I got home, either on our walk or with other dogs in the park or hedgehogging on a snow-covered turf in the backyard. She was having the time of her life and after a couple of hours of vigorous play we called it a night.

Both of us took it pretty easy the next day.

Silent Night

Our cat Sam under the Christmas tree lit only by the lights of the tree (with our cat Emma behind him)

Sam and Emma underneath the Christmas tree, a slightly calmer scene than yesterday. I was going to title yesterday’s post “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”, but since I recently got a nice new camera I couldn’t do it in good conscience. Today’s cameras really are remarkable. I took both of these pictures tonight, handheld, with the Christmas tree lights providing the only illumination. I decided to try the 7D at ISO 3200 and used the image stabilization in the lens to compensate for the slow shutter speed.

Our cats Sam and Emma asleep under the Christmas tree lit only by the lights of the tree

That’s Not the Way We Left the Tree, Em

Our black cat Emma walks away from the Christmas tree she knocked over in December 2009

There’s a reason I don’t put the ornaments on the tree right away.

I thought with another year of wisdom and experience the cats might be kinder to the tree. But yesterday we got home from work to find this carnage in the living room.

The investigation initially focused on two prime suspects, juvenile offenders with a past history of tree climbing, but the discovery of a clump of soft, black fur in the treetop has narrowed the focus. The accused did herself no favors when, as I righted the tree, she climbed back into it before I even had it upright again.

In her defense, the tree stand isn’t the best. It certainly wasn’t designed with the idea of a 10 lb. ornament hanging from the top.

The Modern Dog

I don’t mind that Ellie keeps reserves in her bladder so that on our walks in the neighborhood she can leave little cryptic messages to the dogs that follow her. I don’t.

But does she have to call it tweeting?


With NaNoWriMo 2009 wrapping up, I’m going to call it a night. My final tally is 56,307 words, just barely eclipsing my total of four years ago.

In your face, 2005!

I hadn’t planned on writing that much after crossing the 50,000 threshold two days ago, and only a modest effort yesterday, but I had a lot of seat time on the MAX today and Ellie wasn’t hedgehogging me too much tonight, so that left more time for writing than usual. And then I thought it would be nice to get at least 55,000 words, and by then I was within shouting distance of my previous total, so …

I’ve got a backlog building of pictures to edit, as well as edited pictures to put online, so stay tuned. In addition to the recent pictures of Scout, there are pictures coming of Sam, Emma, and Ellie as I’ve tried to get at least one decent picture of the pets with the new camera.

There are also wildlife pictures to come, as I went to Ridgefield 3 out of the 4 days of the Thanksgiving break, and remembered to bring a battery for the new camera 2 out of 3 times! Did I see bald eagles? Great blue herons? Great white sharks?

You’ll have to tune in to find out!