Sunday, January 31, 2016

Serene Scenery Sunday

Hello, everyone!  We hope all of you are having a wonderful Sunday!  Mom was finally able to get out and do some birding this weekend and we have lots of birdie photos to show you!  Grab a bowl of water and some snacks ... and come birding with us!  (That's RIGHT!  We got to go on today's outing!)

Anyway, Mom and our friend Beth went out to Tuttle Creek State Park yesterday - a gloomy-looking day.  They made the most of it and Mom took some sort of "ambient" type of shots like this:

IMG_7615HoodedMerganser
Hooded Merganser
IMG_7678GreatBlueHeron
Great Blue Heron
...or at least a pretty good one

That one never gets old!  Anyway, bad lighting and they were all the way across the river.  Mom decided to go for closer, more cooperative birds.

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Northern Cardinal
IMG_7706WhiteBreastedNuthatch
White Breasted Nuthatch

Mom and Beth moved on to one of the beaver ponds where some ducks (and lots of geese) are known to hang out.  Mom saw one of her favorites - the tiny Green Winged Teal!

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Green Winged Teals - and a Mallard

You can tell how small they are by comparing them to the Mallard in the background!  Speaking of Mallards, Mom likes how this shot came out:

IMG_7710MallardCanandaGeese
Mallard - ready to swim right through the goal posts!

Mom said the light kept changing and she was having a hard time adjusting her camera fast enough.  She was fast enough to see who had been hiding along the shore of the pond, though!  Check it out!

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Another Great Blue Heron!

After the heron flew by and the ducks swam away or flew off, Mom went back to shooting small birdies.

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Blue Jay

They moved over to the river bank, and Mom saw this tiny woodpecker dancing around in a tree:

IMG_7857DowneyWoodpecker
Downey Woodpecker

Mom and Beth stood by the river, bemoaning the light and the lack of anything "exciting" -- i.e., close, cooperative birds --- preferably eagles.  They were watching this gull eat a fishie ...

IMG_7913RingBilledGullWithFish
Ring Billed Gull with fishie
... when he was photo-bombed by a female Common Merganser.

IMG_7920RingBilledGullWithFishCommonMerganser
"Oops.  Sorry!  Coming through!"

Mom started laughing, looked away, then looked up and saw this!!!

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BALD EAGLE!

That's right - a Bald Eagle, doing a fly-by!  If they hadn't stood there watching the gull, they would have missed her!  They watched her fly, then land over on the other side of the river.  Beth thought they could drive over MUCH closer without disturbing her, so they ran to their vehicles and drove over to where she had perched.  Much to their delight, she was not only still there, but she didn't mind posing for a while!  Here are some of the 87 million shots Mom took of her:

IMG_8148BaldEagle
Bald Eagle
IMG_8039BaldEagle
She doesn't have adult plumage yet, so she's probably 2-3 years old

Mom got closer and closer, taking shot after shot.  Before she knew it, the Eagle had spotted something interesting down river and took off.

IMG_8152BaldEagleTakeOff
Ooh.  Gotta be quick, Mom!
And not quite so zoomed in!

Anyway, she's still processing her photos, but you can see more at this link, if you're interested.  She'll be adding more within the next few days.

We did think you'd like to see at least one of the photos from today, when we went out to Milford Lake!  We'll close with this one:

IMG_8237BaldEagle
Adult Bald Eagle

Isn't he handsome?!? Oh, how we love seeing the Bald Eagles!

We hope you feel nice and serene now!

Cammie!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Guard Duty

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  Dad is out golfing this morning and Mom went birding, so Cam and I are guarding the house.

IMG_6737Mags

I've got the bedroom covered.  I mean, I can see to the west and south from here.  Great vantage point.  No worries.

I'm sure Cam's got the rest of it handled.

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Friday, January 29, 2016

Disappointing

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie.  Today, by biped standards, is a lovely day!  When we left on our morning walk, it was already flirting with 50ºF (10ºC) and just kept getting warmer and warmer.  Mom and Dad were thrilled.  I guess in the same vein that they share our joy of snow, we were very happy - for them.

To celebrate, we walked all the way to our park.  We haven't taken that route in a long time, so it was really fun - all those new sights and smells!

IMG_6713MagsCamCiCoPark
"Isn't this awesome, Cam?!!?"
"Yes, it's wonderful!"

We walked a good, long while and were getting a bit warm.

IMG_6725MagsCamCiCoPark
"Maybe we could stop somewhere for a beverage!"
"What a great idea, Mags!  I'm getting thirsty!"

I knew exactly where to go.  Sadly, Mom said they were closed.  Closed?!?

IMG_6730CamPopstand
"But .... I had my tastebuds all set for a grape soda."

We went just a bit farther and were disappointed by the discriminatory signs on the building.

IMG_6732CamMagsCiCoPark
"No German Shepherds?  So terribly unfair!"
"Yeah.  No German Shepherds who smoke, either."

It was a bit disappointing.  No grape soda, no German Shepherds.  Does your park have crazy restrictions like this?

Cammie!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Keeping The World Safe

... one neighborhood at a time!

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie!  Cammie and I had a most interesting walk yesterday and we thought we should share the highlights with you.  This post is especially for our friends Frankie and Ernie!

There we were, just walking along, when we turned down a street we haven't been on for quite a while!

IMG_6682MagsCamWalk
"Cool!  We haven't been down in this neighborhood for a long time!"
"Stay alert, Mags!  You never know what could be waiting around the corner!" 

Have I mentioned lately how smart Cammie is? No sooner had she said that when ... well - check out this short but important video!

Please click here to view on YouTube

That's right - a snowman! You all know how tricky they can be! We put him in his place - and dare I say, he was frozen in fear after we dealt with him!

IMG_6687MagsSnowman
"And STAY there!" 

Yep.  Me and Cam.

IMG_6689MagsCamWalk
"We're like super heroes or something, aren't we, Cam?"
"Oh, definitely, Mags.  Definitely!"

Keeping the world safe ... one neighborhood at a time!

No need to thank us. We're Working Breed pups; it's what we do.

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Ottoman. Dad's Ottoman. My Ottoman.

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  So there I was the other day, just enjoying myself, when Mom came in and asked me what I was doing.

IMG_6542MagsOttoman
"I'm getting a neck massage from Dad; what are you doing?"

Then she "reminded" me I'm not allowed on the ottoman.

IMG_6543MagsOttoman
"I'm not technically 'on' it, I'm leaning against it."

I mean, seriously.  How many times do I have to explain that?  She insisted there was still a "No Sibes On The Furniture" (except for the bed) rule in place.

IMG_6545MaggieOttoman
"Yeahhhhh, whatevs."

Dad doesn't mind. And it's HIS ottoman.  Which means it's my ottoman ... at least when Mom's not looking.

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Monday, January 25, 2016

Home Inventory

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie!  Remember those great boxes I showed you last week?  I mentioned that Mom was going to reorganize all the Christmas stuff and my boxes actually contained plastic boxes to help her simplify things!  As you all know, Cam and I are Working Breed pups.  So when Mom got busy upstairs re-doing everything, I decided I should help out. Cam stayed on the main floor and  napped  stood guard duty.

IMG_6532MaggieHelping
"So it all goes in here, Mom?  Hey, can I see this one?"

It was Santa on a Cow!  I really like that one.  I mean ... it's Santa.  On a cow!  Mom got it out so I could take a look.

MagsSantaOnACowInventory
"OUCH!  He's got me, Mom!  He's got me!"

Just clowning around.  C'mon.  All work and no play isn't exactly my style!  And believe me - we did PLENTY of work!

But ... we didn't just put the stuff in the new plastic boxes.  No.  We inventoried/catalogued it all!  Mom got an app for her iPhone that lets her sync all the info she enters to a home inventory app on her iMac!  She photographed everything, then put things like the date she got it, where it was from, who gave it to her (if applicable), stuff like that.  Mom's a Type A; have I ever mentioned that?  She was in OCD heaven.

Here's a screen shot off her iMac:

BDUAngelInventory

She can add more info later, but this gives her a start.

She said some of the photos look a bit "interesting".

MagsPencilThinSantaInventory

I have no idea what she means by that.

MagsWoodenSantaWithTreeInventory

No idea whatsoever!

As we worked, I came across some things I hadn't even seen before!

IMG_6536MagsStuffedSanta
"Whoa!  Where did this Santa come from?!?!  Ooooh, that beard!  I want it!"

Can you believe Mom's been holding out on me like that?!?  That ornament must have been put WAY up high on the tree!  Up REALLY high!

Speaking of things that were put up really high ...

IMG_6539MagsSockMonkey
"Yeah.  I'll see you next year, Sock Monkey!!!
... Or should I say 'Sock Monkey/Janet and Charlie/2007?' "

He's mine next year.  He's all ... unless Santa's watching ... mine!

We only have Mom's Christmas quilts to go, then we're all set!  We took a break for us to reorganize the master bedroom closet with some extra boxes, then we'll get back to the Christmas things!  Work, work, WORK!!!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Sunday, January 24, 2016

A Very Lovely Walk

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie.  Mags and I took Mom and Dad on a lovely walk again this morning and I thought I'd show you some of the highlights.  Are you ready to get going?

The lovely blanket of snow is still here, making everything look so beautiful!

IMG_6629CamSnow
"Isn't this peaceful?  Serene, even!"

Yes.  It was so quiet, so tranquil, so ...

IMG_6622MagsCamWalk
"Hey, Cam.  You know what would make this walk even better?"
"Yes, I do ... "
IMG_6637MagsCamWalk
"BOOM!"
"BOOM!"
IMG_6641MagsCamWalk
"Hey, that was fun!"
"LEASH ZOOMIES!"

I did the "tail tuck, ear pin-back, run in circles" thing.  So relaxing!!!

IMG_6649MagsCamWalk
"Check it out, Cam.  I'm doing your Suzannah Hoffs look."
"Here it comes!"
IMG_6650MagsCamWalk
"BOO-hey, I missed!"
"Ha!  Gotta be quicker than that, littlest crazed river otter!"

What a great way to unwind!

Mom and I were the first ones back at the house.  I heard Maggie calling for me ...

IMG_6651MagsSnowBank
♪  Oh, CAM-mie ♪  !!!"

... but I have no idea where she was!  I mean, it's not like she was hiding behind a pile of snow, waiting to ambush me or anything.

Are your walks this relaxing?!?

Have a great Sunday, everyone!

Cammie!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Serene Scenery Snow Day

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie!  Maggie and I got back from walking Mom and Dad a bit ago and decided the scenery was just so lovely today that we should go ahead and do our weekly serene-type of post now!  It was so beautiful -- are you ready to walk with us?

We walked up and over to the Hudson Trail - and headed down the first leg.

IMG_6559CamMagsSnow
"There's something up there!"
"SQUIRREL!"

Mags paused near the end and Mom was able to get a nice shot of her; check it out:

IMG_6557Mags
Polargold's Margaret Thatcher

Isn't she lovely?

Dad checked out the next section, and decided we could go down there, too!

IMG_6564CamMagsSnow
"Looks pretty clear to me, too!"
"Let's go for it!!!"

That section isn't paved, so it doesn't get cleared. (The city plows parts of the trail because a lot of children use it to walk to school.) We LOVE the unpaved part!

IMG_6568CamMagsSnow
"Now THIS is a Winter Wonderland!"
"I.  Am.  So.  HAPPY!!!"

Down at the end of the trail, Mom and Dad tried to get us to pose on the chunks of limestone:

IMG_6576MagsCamSnow
"Not feeling it."
"Ohh, what's down HERE?!?"

Don't blame us; Mom didn't have any treats with her.

IMG_6588MagsCamSnow
"Yeah, yeah.  'Look at the camera.' Whatevs."
"A few of those little Nutro ones with the berries in them would be nice right about now."

Anyway ...

We hopped down after that, but there was a jogger about to head our same way. We decided to pose on these other limestones to let her get ahead of us.

IMG_6592MagsCamSnow
"Hey, Cam.  There's someone across the big street, too."
"I see him!"

There were way more people out today than for the past few days.  Well, OK.  We only saw two people, but that's two more than we have been seeing.  For some reason, not many people come outside when it's bitterly cold and snowy.  They have no idea what they're missing!

Thanks for coming on our walk with us!  Did you have fun?  Maggie and I sure did!

Cammie!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Photo Finish Friday: Aircraft Carrier Landings

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  The other day after our walk, Mom was in making the bed.  She was on the far side, smoothing out the quilt and stuff, so I thought it would be the perfect time to practice my aircraft carrier landings.  More specifically, my touch and goes.  I can keep that up for EVER!  Anyway ... since Mom was on the other side of the room, she got some pretty good action shots; we thought we'd share them with you for Photo Finish Friday!  Ready?

Start on the bed, race out through the living room, around the dining room table, back through the living room, then land on the bed.  Take off quickly for another one!

IMG_6434MagsBedZoomies
"Ready?  And ... GO!"
IMG_6437MagsBedZoomies
"You missed that one?  Let's go again!"
IMG_6432MagsBedZoomies
"Coming in for a landing!"
IMG_6442MagsBedZoomies
"Did you get that one?  Off for the next touch and go!"
IMG_6439MagsBedZoomies
"Wheels down!  Here I come!"
IMG_6454MagsBedZoomies
"Oooh, nice!  Did we change fabric softeners?"
IMG_6457MagsBedZoomies
"One more!  Ready?!!?"
IMG_6449MagsBedZoomies
"ZOOM!!!"
IMG_6470MagsBedZoomies
"Wasn't that one awesome?!?"
IMG_6471MagsBedZoomies
"You weren't making fun of my tongue in that shot, were you?"
IMG_6466MagsBedZoomies
"Wowzers, that was fun!"

That was a great workout!  And it must have helped Mom with her bed-making chore, as she kept thanking me over and over and over again!  "Thanks, Maggie!"  "Thank you!"  "Oh, nice!  Thanks, Mags!"  That's all I heard, then she'd smooth and smooth and smooth the quilt!  Talk about multi-tasking:  practicing aircraft carrier landings, touch and goes, AND helping make the bed!  Doing the Working Breeds proud!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

PS:  I am a professional; do not try this at home without proper training and supervision.  Also, if your mom or someone is standing on the other side of the bed, make sure you do either LAND or touch and go --- do NOT leap over the whole bed  like I often do . Trust me on that one.  Sorry, Mom.

ANOTHER PS:  Cam and I made the National Weather Service's webpage!  Check out the last picture at this link!!!