Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A Squirrel Day and a Snow Day

On Sunday morning, a squirrel kept coming into Truman's front yard.  They'll do that.  They like to forage below the bird feeder, and they don't fear the hound much, since he not only never catches them,  he never truly tries to catch them.  Even when only a few inches from the squirrel, he will pull up at the last second.  And if the squirrel just stands its ground and doesn't run off, Truman stops and stares at it, perplexed.

He is clearly missing a few hunting-instinct genes here and there.

I've not been able to get a video of a chase, but here are some photos taken in sequence that give an idea of the process.  First, the enemy arrives:

Truman notices the presence of the enemy.

As I open the door, the squirrel takes off for the front gate, which has a nice gap below it, while Truman dashes out in pursuit.

The Tail of the Squirrel:  successful escape under the gate.

Truman is a few seconds too late.  He often heads first in the wrong direction before figuring out where the squirrel went.

And then he wonders where the dang squirrel got to:

Then on Monday we had some weather fun -- snow!  We got a couple of inches, and it was snowing heavily when I opened the back door to let Truman out.  He was not keen to go out in it.

He quickly found the dry spot under the table and another one under the cedar.

And when he was finished with his business, he galloped back to the porch:

Everything melted by the afternoon.  I do hope Winter is done with us now.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Weekend Roundup

A miscellany of photos from this past weekend, when I got outside a bit but mostly stayed home where it was a lot warmer.

On Saturday morning, Truman expressed unhappiness at the fact it was too cold to go out.  Then he posed for me while I sketched from the comfy vantage point of the sofa.


A bit later we ventured forth to meet Nicole and Tina for more sketching at the Washelli Cemetery, from inside the comfy vantage point of Tina's car.

We found this cool building with these cool trees in front, which I tried to capture but not too successfully.

So for the next sketch, I tried to focus on one of the cool trees instead:

Later that afternoon it warmed up just enough to go on a walk at Magnuson Park with Michelle and Winston, though it was still a bit nippy.

Even though he objected to the cold earlier that morning, Truman ran right into the lake water which must have been chilly indeed.  He just can't resist water -- when we're walking anywhere and he sees a puddle, he'll veer right over to it and splash through it like a little kid.  He needs boots!

Here he is after the walk, ready to head home:

And here is Sunday morning, when it was too cold to go outside -- so I sketched my breakfast:

Here is Truman expressing his displeasure at the weather:

And here is my mid-morning snack:

I spent the rest of Sunday lounging around the house with a bit of reading here and there and a lot of baseball (Spring Training is back -- hoorah!!!).  And then in the evening I watched twenty minutes of the Oscars and then stopped because I so didn't care.

Not doing anything today, either -- it's snowing!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Indoor Sketching

Not much for today, as once again, it has been gray and colder and rainy here.  So I have just three indoor sketches to share -- the first is from the All The Best pet supply store on Lake City Way, where Truman went yesterday for an anesthesia-free dental cleaning.

Here he is at home afterwards, showing off his clean canines.   This is the first time I've tried this, and the first dental cleaning he's had in his 4-3/4 years, and it went very smoothly.  During the twenty minutes while I waited, I drew the toys at the shop:

Today it was rainy again, so Nicole and I went over to Tina's home to sketch whatever we found there of interest.  My first effort was a partial view of her living room:

My second sketch was looking out at her back yard:

There's more rain in the forecast for the rest of the week.  I will probably get a lot of reading done.

Friday, February 17, 2017

A Three-Park Morning, sort of

Yesterday was a surprisingly nice day (because rain was predicted but did not arrive) so Truman and I ventured forth to look for birds.

Our first stop was the Montlake Fill, where we were able to walk through the swamp (last time we tried this, the boardwalk was covered in slippery slush).

At the cove, we saw a few Mallards and a couple of Wood Ducks.  It was all rather quiet.  So we zipped over to the main loop trail around the Fill proper, where it was also rather quiet, with nearly no birds in view on the lake, and nothing in the meadows because they've all been mowed and mulched.

Our best bird was a Bald Eagle heading towards its nest with a bunch of nesting material clutched in its talons.

It was nice and sunny, at least.

We did have a few issues here and there with puddles.

Though a lot of bird habitat has been lost in the meadows, the cattails around the ponds are still lively -- the Red-winged Blackbirds seem happy, anyway.

The reason it was a "three-park morning, sort of" is because we didn't stop to get out at the second one -- Magnuson Park.  I just drove through slowly, checking the ponds and lake for signs of avian activity.  Nothing but crows and gulls.  So we moved on to our third one -- Meadowbrook Pond Park.

It was the smallest park we visited that day, at only nine acres, and it had better birds than either the Fill or Magnuson.  Here is a Hooded Merganser:

A female Common Goldeneye:

Ring-necked Ducks:

A Pied-billed Grebe:

By this time, Truman was tired of parks.

I started to head back to the car, but got distracted by a Belted Kingfisher, and poor Truman had to wait for another ten minutes while I tried to get a good photo:

Then we finally went home, and stayed there.  A fine morning, all in all.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Sketching Outside!

Before the rains came, Nicole and I got outside on Tuesday in 50+ partly cloudy weather for a short bit of sketching at Gas Works Park.  We were accompanied by Truman, who may as well be the official Northend Sketchers mascot.

And here he is at the park:

There were plenty of fabulous views there.

The old gas works provide tons of great sketch material.

However, it was not quite as warm and sunny as we would have liked, as there was a bit too much cloud cover.  So I got in just one drawing of one small section.

Soon though, Spring will truly arrive and we can return to our outdoor drawing adventures.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Dogs, Birds, and Sunshine

The rain has returned today, but for the past few days we lucked out with mid-50s and mostly sunshine, which made for some nice times outside.  I even thought about pulling weeds in the garden.  Though I didn't actually pull any.  But I could have, it was that nice out, and it's the thought that counts, right?

Here is Truman enjoying a stroll at Magnuson Park with his friends Winston and Chloe, from Saturday:

He waded right into the lake -- here is he giving himself a good shake:

There were birds!  Here is a male Common Goldeneye:

And here is the female:

 Truman gallantly gave his stroller to Chloe on the walk when she got tired:

Now we switch to Monday afternoon, when it was 55 and cloud-free and the sun filled my backyard:

Truman expressed a keen interest in my cookie stash, but he was denied due to chocolate content.  Later I made it up to him by giving him part of my turkey sandwich.

And here is how a dachshund expressed his happiness: