Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

With My Supervision

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  As I told you yesterday, Mom and Dad started the work-week by heading back out to do more yard work.  Mom's goal was to tackle this area down by the fence:

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Old Fashioned Lilac Bushes on the left, Maiden Grasses on the right

A friend gave Mom a bunch of Iris rhizomes.  Mom's thought was to just plant them down in the sunny area near the fence. That was her plan. Like most of Mom's plans, it wasn't quite as simple as that. I knew she'd need my close supervision.

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"C'mon, Mom.  You can do it up better than that!"

Can you see me up there? Upper right-hand corner window. Let's zoom in.

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"Make it stand out more, Mom."

I know.  I was working H-A-R-D!!!  I'm not sure what Mom would have done without my input.

So, rather than just move the rocks, punch holes in the landscaping fiber, and stick the rhizomes in, Dad helped her clear an area of rocks and turned the soil for her.  Mom planted the rhizomes, then decided to build a cobblestone border.

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Iris Garden - not quite done!

It still needed something - so Mom added some mulch.

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Much better!  ... or is that "mulch" better?  Ha roo roo roo!

Yep.  Icing on the cake!  It was hard work, but I'm glad she went the extra mile and did the border and mulch and all.  I must say, though ... it was exhausting.

IMG_2608MagsSupervising
"Where did she go?  I can't see her any more."

I'm not sure what we're tackling next out there, but I hope today's an easier day.

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Monday, September 28, 2015

Hey!

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  Cam and I just got back from a long walk with Mom and Dad.  Since today is Monday, it means back to working in the yard.  Yep - back to all that digging and pulling and planting and moving rocks and stuff.  Oh, don't worry; Cam and I will keep an eye on things from within the comfort of the air-conditioned house.

Before they head out and we girls lose access to the computer, we did want to say, "Hey!" to everyone, though.  Or as we say in Kansas ...

IMG_2443MagsCamHay
"Hay!"
"HAY!"

Ha roo roo roo!  That one never really gets old, does it?  ...does it?

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Serene Scenery Sunday

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie!  Yesterday, Mom went out to Tuttle Creek State Park to do some birding with our friend Beth and her Border Collies.  Mom was all kinds of excited that a lot of our seasonal birds are returning.  We thought we'd share a few of the over 1,000 (no joke) photos she took with you for Serene Scenery Sunday.  Ready?

They spotted a Great Blue Heron on the Rocky Shoal and decided to walk out and see how close they could get to him.  Here he is:

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Great Blue Heron

Beth has named this one Harold.  He let them get mighty close to him - about 20 feet away, maybe?  They approached him very slowly and spotted a lot more birds along the way!

Here's a bird Mom hadn't seen yet this season - a Great Egret!

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Great Egret, flying above the River Pond

That's right.  There have been ... no egrets this Summer.  (Mom made me say that.)

There were quite a few gulls out, too, like this one:

IMG_2568RingBilledGullInFlight
Ring Billed Gull

There might have been some other varieties, but none that Mom was able to shoot.  With her Canon.  I mean "camera".  Whatever.

Further down the Rocky Shoal, Mom spotted these Killdeer:

IMG_2819Killdeer
Killdeer.  Or Killdeers.

Just what is the plural of Killdeer, anyway?

The Double Crested Cormorants are returning, too!  Here's one, doing a fly-by:

IMG_2787DoubleCrestedCormorantInFlight
Double Crested Cormorant

Also on the Rocky Shoal, Mom and Beth Spotted a pair of Solitary Sandpipers.  Mom was only able to get one in a shot:

IMG_3069SolitarySandpiper
A solitary Solitary Sandpiper

Here's why you shouldn't go birding with our mom.  I give you a snippet of her conversation with Beth:

Mom and Beth:  SANDPIPERS!

I put that in all caps, but they basically talk in golf voices out there.

Beth:  Pretty sure they're Solitary Sandpipers!

Mom:  No, not solitary.  I see two of them.  Hahahahaha!

Yes.  Seriously.  Do not go birding with her!

One of birds they were most excited about seeing was the Osprey!!!  They actually saw three of them, which is not common for around here.  Here's our favorite Osprey shot:

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Osprey!

I'm no expert, but it looks to me like he just spotted DINNER!  ... or breakfast.  Whatever.

The other major league excitement was this:

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Bald Eagle!

Isn't she just beautiful?!!?

Guess who else is back?!!?  Look up!

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Pelly-cans!!!

That's not cropped or anything!  A small flock of American White Pelicans have returned and put on quite the aeronautical display for Mom and Beth!  As they banked around, turning back across Mom's field of vision, she got this shot:

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American White Pelican - fly-by!

I think he was smiling at Mom!

Another sure sign that the seasons are changing -

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Canada Geese

I hope the Canada Geese bring some of those cooler Canadian temps with them!!!

I feel much more serene now - how about you?

IMG_2867GreatBlueHeronUncropped
"That's a wrap for this week!"

Hey, Harold! I was going to say that!!!

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone!

Cammie!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

A Bit Of A Stiff

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie.  Maggie and I made a new friend on our walk the other morning.

IMG_2109CamMagNewFriend
"Hello, little one!  Are you new around here?"
"Hey.  What's shakin'?"
"..."


He was awfully quiet, but he held still nicely so Maggie and I could do gentle sniffies.  Mags thought he was a bit of a stiff, but maybe he's just shy!  Maybe the next time we run into him, he'll loosen up a bit!  I hope so - he was a very handsome puppy!

Cammie!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Shave And A Haircut

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  Mom and Dad headed out onto the deck the other day so Mom could cut Dad's hair.  I went along to supervise.  I thought Mom was dragging her feet a bit, so I stepped in.  You know, being a Working Breed and all.

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"What'll it be, Dad?  Trim up the sideburns and a little off the back?
How 'bout those Royals, huh?"

I thought I'd toss some sports chatter in there; I've heard they talk a lot of sports talk in barber shops!

Anyway, Dad's a good tipper, if anyone is wondering.  Lots of sweet talk, ear scratchies, and a treat when  Mom made me go back in the house  my work was done.  

Oh.  In case anyone is wondering, those different size comb-looking things on the right?  Those are called "nononoMaggienotthose".  Hmm!  Who knew?!?

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Siber-Shopped?

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie!  Or ... should this post start with ... Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie!

Look closely at today's photo -- is it real?

IMG_2337CamMag
Is it me, Cam?  Or me, Maggie?

Or is it Siber-Shopped?  And why are there two tails in the photo?

Cammie and Mags

PS:  It's real - and it's BOTH of us!  Cammie's head; Maggie's body!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

We Are Crazy For These!

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie!  We received an email a short while ago, asking us if we'd be willing to try a new product - Crazy Dog Walkies! Fit Bites.  Mom usually nixes requests like this, but what intrigued her was that the company is trying to promote a healthy, active life for your pets - and for you!  They encourage you to get out and walk, hike, explore and have FUN together!  Mom thought they were describing our approach to life, and took them up on their kind offer!

We received (free of charge, just a request for a review) all three flavors!

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Crazy Dog Walkies Fit Bites in Chicken, Beef, and Bacon!

Walkies! Fit Bites are made in the USA - that is so very important to us!  They contain nice, healthy ingredients, and are only 3 calories a piece!  The perfect size for training!  (Mom would like to add that they are chewy treats and very easy to break into smaller pieces.  We think that's just crazy-talk, but since she's the one typing ... well, there you have it.)

At the longest and widest points, they measure about 5/8" x 3/8". The perfect size to pop into your pocket, treat pouch, or your very patient Siberian Huskies' mouths.  Just saying.  And they're cute feety-feet shapes!

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Walkies! Fit Bites!  These make us want to go for a walk right NOW!!!

Mom thinks they're adorable.  And non-staining.  And we can't wait any longer for the taste-test!!!

We had one.  It.  Was.  Incredible.  In fact, we liked it so much we actually got into a down-stay for more than a split second, in hopes that we'd get another one!

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Me and Mags, in a perfect down-stay

We are Siberian Huskies - and as such, remaining in a down-stay is not our favorite activity.  At all.  We got another Walkies! Fit Bites treat, then we got suited up and headed out on an activity we really DO love:

IMG_2188MagsCamWalk
"Yeah!  This is more like it!  I'm all energized!"
"We should take an extra-long walk!  Ooh!  BUNNY!"

Sorry.  OK, so after we had gone a while, Mom asked us to sit and smile for her.  I knew she had tucked some Walkies! Fit Bites in her pocket.

IMG_2190CamMagsWalkPose
"You got it, Mom!  Mags!  Mom's got more Fit Bites!"
"Like I'm going to fall for that one ..."

IMG_2191CamMagsWalkPose
"No, it's true, Maggie!"
"Really?!?"

So then Mom pulled a couple out of her pocket and ...

IMG_2192CamMagsWalkPose
"Smile, Mags!"
"You GOT it!"

It takes a lot to get our attention when we're out walking.  These Fit Bites treats do the trick!

IMG_2189CamMagsTreat
Mom had our full, undivided attention!

Oh.  Right.  Mom said please excuse her nail polish; apparently nice nails and landscaping don't go hand-in-hand.  So to speak.  Whatever.  Look at that Crazy Dog Walkies! Fit Bite!  Who cares about her messed up nail polish!?!?

We decided to keep going on our walk, since it was cool, we were being good, and we were having a GREAT time!  Here we are, striking another pose at the entrance to Hudson Trail:

IMG_2193CamMagsHudsonTrail
"She's still got Fit Bites in her pocket, Mags!"
"I know!  Best.  Walk.  Ever!"

We don't usually get many treats, but since these are only 3 calories each, Mom was pretty generous.  She had a couple left by the time we got home, so we sat on the porch for another Fit Bite!

IMG_2194TreatsMagsCam
"I love those feety-feets!"
"So do I!!!"

IMG_2196TreatsMagsCam
"Don't forget to say 'thank you', girls!"
"Right!  Thanks, folks at Crazy Dog!!!"

"Yes!  Thank you!  We are crazy about Walkies! Fit Bites!"

Seriously!  We just love Walkies! Fit Bites and give them 5 out of 5 stars!  I hope you all will give these a try soon!

Cammie!

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Day Of 87,000 Squirrels

Hello, everyone.  It's me, Cammie!  Maggie and I took Mom on a delightful walk yesterday morning. It was just the three of us.  The three of us ... and 87,000 squirrels!  Oh, what fun it was!

IMG_2326MagsCamSquirrel
"Cam!  At 12 o'clock!"
"Got it!  56,472!"

It was quite the exciting walk!  For some odd reason, Mom didn't take many photos along the way.  I have no idea why not!  It was so action-packed!

When we got home, we set up a Guard Post out on the deck.  You never know if one of those things followed us home!

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"Cam!  Cam?  Up on the wire!"
"I see it!"

Mom only had her iPhone, but ...

IMG_2341Squirrel
Make that 87,001
... you get the idea.

Cammie!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Serene Scenery Sunday - Garden Tour!

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie!  Today, I thought I'd walk you around part of our back yard gardens, to give you a bit of an update.  As Maggie has told you, Mom and Dad have been working really hard back there, with our supervision, of course.  We thought you might enjoy seeing our progress so far!  Let's head down to the back yard!

IMG_2354CamNorthernTier
"Oooooh, there's a bit of a north breeze blowing!"

I stopped on one of the side tiers to enjoy the breeze.  Mom and Dad did a lot of work in there this year, too.  Sadly, the last of the Mohicans died, so Dad dug it out - then Mom fixed up the area, planted other stuff, and made it look nice again.  That seems to be the overall theme this year.  Anyway - let's open the gate and go on in.

Mom was going to get me to pose by one of the Rose of Sharon bushes, but ...

IMG_2364CamAlertBackYard
"SQUIRREL ALERT!"

Sorry.  There was a squirrel in Yuntao and Mei's yard.  I had to stare at it for a while.

Over by the deck, Mom's Russian Sage and Liriope area is doing really well!

IMG_2358CamRussianSage
"This place is buzzing with bees!"

The bees love the Russian Sage plants.  That corner used to have some Red Prince Weigela, but they died out, Dad dug them up, and Mom put the Sage, Liriope, and a white Lilac bush in.  The Lilac is less than a foot high right now (Mom is growing it from a "sucker" from a friend's garden) but it will fill in.  We don't have a name for that garden, we just call it "where the weigela used to be", but I think Mom and Dad should call it the Bee Garden, given all the activity there!  We'd best move on, before I disturb the bees' serenity!

Here's the upper corner of the back yard!  This is one of our favorite places.  It's totally serene in here!

IMG_2360CamGarden
"I could sit here and solve all the world's proble---wait.  What's that in Mohammad's yard?"

Sorry.  Another squirrel alert.  Anyway, see up behind me in that picture (above)?  Beyond the fence are a couple tiers on the south side.  Back in November, we showed you some guys removing a pine tree from the middle tier. Dad and Mom worked really hard up there afterwards, then in the Spring, Mom put in a bunch of plants to attract butterflies!  We call that the Butterfly Garden.  (We showed you the start of that garden at this link!)  Here's a shot of Maggie up in the front garden, looking down on it!

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"There's the Butterfly Garden, everyone!"

Mom had some nice, healthy-looking Butterfly Weed growing where you see just sort of sticks in that shot - but caterpillars ate them, then turned into butterflies!  ...or something like that.  Anyway, Mom is thrilled, because that's what that garden is for and we have a whole bunch of Monarch butterflies hanging around our house now!

Back to the back yard!

The same guys who took out the pine came back last month and took out our Elm tree.  Remember that?  Just to review ... when they got here, the area looked like this:

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Before Elm removal

When they left, that area looked like this:

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After Elm removal

And now? Check it out:

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Ready for planting!

Mom took all three of those shots from the deck.  Let's get closer!  After Dad dug out the overgrown, half-dead bushes, he and Mom worked like crazy smoothing it all out.  Apparently, there's a lot more to it than that, but for the sake of brevity, we'll go with that.  Then Dad carried all these paving stones down from the front and Mom surrounded the new garden with them and built a little pathway!

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Me, not walking on the paver pathway

Dad also hauled a bunch of mulch down the hill and Mom spread it in the area.  I left out the part where they raked out all the river rock and moved it, but that part wasn't really very serene.  Let's move on!

Here I am, in front of the new Wildflower Garden!

IMG_2368CamWildflowerGarden
"Hey!  Hey, Mohammad!  There's a squirrel in your yard!"

Sorry.  I got distracted again.  The neighbor was out.  While Mom waved to him, I sent him a mind-meld message regarding an intruder.  Anyway, Mom already planted three Cheyenne Spirit Coneflowers in there; more plants are on order and coming soon.  It will be a Wildflower Garden!  Yet another neighbor, Jim, gave Mom a bunch of sedum cuttings and they'll be going in there and in the Butterfly Garden, too!

Speaking of sedum ... our Purple Emperor Sedum are HUGE this year!  Check this out:

IMG_2366CamSedum
"Can you ... sedum behind me?"

I wasn't really frowning; the sun was really bright!

One more pose by the gate ...

IMG_2371CamBackYard
"Time to head inside and get some water!"

... and I think this garden tour is a wrap! I hope our gardens helped you feel nice and serene! Have a lovely Sunday!

Cammie!