Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Big Meltdown

The big meltdown has not only begun, it is almost finished! This first picture shows the start of the meltdown, nearly two weeks ago now. You can see that the kennel fencing is two or three feet high, making it less convenient to step over the top.
In the backyard, the big tractor tires and the electric meter emerge and cause the melting to accelerate. Note that there is a ground squirrel next to the meter. The poor ground squirrels just could not wait any longer to come out of hibernation, so they tunneled up through three feet of snow and started running around on the surface.This snowmobile is shading the spot that it is sitting on, and so it ends up high-centered and lopsided as the snow melts around it.
The second snowmobile shows even more melting.
Snowmelt out in the field has started a stream and the beginnings of a lake on top of the snow. Total snow depth is still about two feet here. The snow disappeared the soonest around the edge of the house and shed. The ground squirrels loved these low spots.
Here is a closeup of the bold little tyke.
The rhubarb started growing almost before it was uncovered! The little orange dots at the bottom of the picture are new rhubarb stalks. Look at it growing right next to that three foot snowbank!
The hardy tulips are actually growing right up through the snow before it has melted all the way yet! I took this picture a scant two days ago!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Young Dogs

Here are some pictures of the young dogs I have been training this spring.
The brown leader posing nicely for the camera is my super leader Ghost. He is eleven and a half years old and retired from racing. He is doing a fantastic job with these youngsters, though. He still has the speed and desire to keep these talented young dogs strung out for the five to ten miles that we are running.
The other dogs are all getting their turn at lead. On this run it is the yearling male Thorn. His tug line has been shortened so that he is a few steps behind Ghost. This makes him less nervous about being up front at such a young age. It also makes it easier for Ghost to keep him in line and heading down the trail.
Side by side are yearling sisters Fern (brown) and Thistle (black).
Thistle has a very alert and curious personality while Fern is more mellow and all business in harness.
Then there are the two year olds Cinder (head up) and Soot (head down).
The sun is going down as we turn for home.
I was trying to get a scenic shot here of the sun-washed mountains in front of us, but the dogs were pulling so hard that the brake would not hold, and the shot came out blurry.
Here is a better look as we come out of the trees. You can see from the fence posts that we have lost about two feet of snow.
Home is just another mile across the field.