July 11th marked 4 years since I brought Tippy home from the local humane society. It seems like it was yesterday, but also feels like she has always been here. I can’t imagine my life without her.
The day started off with a continuation of the cow saga as I found them out again. Tippy “defended” the house while I made sure they got back into the pasture field. Later that day, my neighbor and dad were able to find out where they had gotten out and added some fencing. So far, knock on wood, they have stayed where they belong.
We took our normal 20 minute walk fairly early, before it got unbearably hot. Tippy cooled off in the garage while I continued walking the driveway to get in 30 minutes of exercise. The fireplace hearth seemed to be the best place to finish cooling off before taking a much needed nap.
Mom, I think I heard something.
Cooling off in the garage.
Continuing to cool off on the hearth.
Can’t a dog take a nap around here without having her picture taken?
To celebrate her adoption day, I gave her a peanut butter/carob Puppy Sucker.
She heard the cellophane crinkling – the universal signal that a treat is coming, and was very excited about whatever it was I had behind my back.
When I first gave it to her, she wasn’t sure what it was. However, it didn’t take her long to realize it was food and figure out how to eat it. It was gone in 3…2…1, literally. Once she got it in her mouth, it was totally gone in 3 minutes.
To top off the day, she went with me to play tennis and made some new friends.
Thanks for taking me for a ride, mom.
Cooling in the shade with a new friend.
Relaxing at the courts.
It was pretty much a perfect day. One with a little excitement, some exercise, a good long nap, a special treat, and a car ride! It doesn’t get much better than that for Tippy!
On Thursday, I was in the house and heard Tippy barking. I went out to see what she had found. I tried to follow her gaze down the hill, but didn’t see anything. I did hear something big walking, so I went over to the edge of the woods to get a better look. That’s when I saw it. A big, black bull. What in the world was it doing on that steep hill?
I got Tippy inside while I put my shoes on so I could chase it back to where it belonged. Before I got back outside, it had disappeared. I tried to get Tippy to help me find it, but she decided laying on the concrete was a better option. I never did see it again, but did follow it’s tracks for a distance down through the woods.
Mom and dad later checked and all of the cows that were supposed to be in the field were there. They put up a piece of wire where they thought it had probably gotten out.
Take two. Today, I was sitting outside, reading, and Tippy started barking. I looked up and this is what I saw.
He was back and had brought a friend…..a cow. Again, by the time I put my shoes on, they were gone. But, this time, I followed their tracks and heard them smashing through the woods, back down the hill. Where they went down was really steep and had some fallen trees, so I really don’t know how they managed to make the trek and not get hurt. We still can’t figure out why they have decided to climb this big hill. They have plenty of food and water where they are and there is nothing to eat in the woods. Maybe they are just adventuresome and wanted to try out their mountaineering skills.
After all of the excitement was done and the cows were back where they belonged, it was time to relax and enjoy the rest of the afternoon.
Nearby Roan Mountain has the largest natural Catawba rhododendron garden in the world. A couple of weekends ago, I heard on the news that the Rhododendron Festival was ongoing and that the flowers were near their peak. I’ve been wanting to go see them for years, but always seem to miss when they bloom. This was my chance. On Wednesday of last week, I loaded Tippy and my mom and dad in the car and we headed off for a day in the mountains.
We stopped at the Roan Mountain visitors center for a break and to get information on exactly where we needed to go to see the flowers. The lady behind the desk gave us a map and then said words I wasn’t expecting to hear: “The blooms are almost all gone.” Really?! That’s not what they had said on the news. Later, we overheard some other visitors talking about this. They said that a heavy storm had come through on Sunday night and knocked a lot of the flowers off. I guess that explains it.
Of course, since we were there, we drove on up to the top of the mountain to see what was left of the blooms.
The sign tells you that you are standing at an elevation of 6,286 feet (1.9km) and, therefore, will see a forest that typically grows in Canada. I found that to be interesting.
We walked the short, concrete loop, stopping to admire the flowers and views along the way. Even though they weren’t at their peak, we still found it to be very pretty and can only imagine what it would have looked like if all of the shrubs were completely covered in blooms.
Mom, dad, and Tippy at the overlook.
Me and Tippy
Some of the shrubs still had a lot of blooms on them.
Just imagine how spectacular it would be if they were all covered in blooms.
Here’s a closeup of one of the clusters. Bonus insect.
There were other interesting things along the path, including trees, rotting logs, and patches of fern.
Resting in front of the ferns.
A decaying log that I found strangely beautiful.
Delicate mushrooms living on the decaying log.
I was proud of how well Tippy behaved around the crowds of people and other dogs who were there.
We stopped at the bottom of the mountain for a picnic lunch. When I got the ham out of the cooler for our ham and cheese sandwiches, I realized I had brought the container that was almost empty. Dad got ham and cheese. Mom and I got to have a cheese only sandwich. LOL
Having a picnic by a mountain stream.
Tippy was patiently waiting while we ate.
After lunch, we explored the area around the mountain stream. It was very pretty and relaxing. I just love the sound of water flowing over rocks. After lots of trial and error, I got a decent picture of Tippy. She still wouldn’t look at me though.
Here are a few of the outtakes. At first, she would walk away as I was snapping the picture. Once she decided to do a sit/stay, she refused to look at the camera.
Fail one at the sit/stay.
Fail 2 – you can barley see her tail on the right.
Okay. I’ll sit, but I’m not going to look at you.
Still not looking.
On the way home, we spotted this sign along the road. We just had to turn around to investigate.
It wasn’t all all what we were expecting. Just a two layered parking lot facing this small building with a sign that said to tune your radio to an FM station. We do wonder if someone sits or stands here and preaches or if they are listening to the sermon that is being given in the traditional church, which sits just to the left of this picture.
We all enjoyed our day in the mountains. It wore Tippy out, as is evidenced by the fact that she was lagging way behind when we took our normal walk later in the evening.
On our walk last Sunday, I snapped this weather predicting picture of Tippy.
Those blossoms past her are on a blackberry vine. We always have a cold snap whenever they are blooming. Even though I know that, in my heart I was hoping it wasn’t true this year, as it was 85°F (29.4°C) and I wearing shorts. I was not ready for cold weather again.
Trying to live in the moment, as dogs tend to teach us to do, I was enjoying the warm weather that we did have. So, we walked on. A little further back I heard a cow bawling. For those who don’t live on a farm, cows usually only bawl if something is wrong or they are separated from their baby. As we got closer to her, I saw her coming from my right. I looked up ahead and, there was her calf, calmly waiting on her. Before I could snap a picture, they were together. Calves are so cute, especially when they look so much like their mother.
The next day was windy, but still warm. I think this bull thought it was hot. Either that, or he just wanted to go for a swim.
The weather got progressively worse and we are now experiencing our annual blackberry winter. Yesterday’s high was 48°F (9°C), and this morning it was only 38°F (3.3°C). I’m hoping this one is short lived and we can get back to Spring soon.
Do you have an annual Spring cold snap? If so, what is it called in your neck of the woods?