Posts filed under ‘Henry’

Weekly Winners – January 18 – January 24th

This week’s Weekly Winners is brought to you by the surprising beauty of decay… and a dirty beagle. We started off the week picking up both dogs from a kennel and realizing they smell… like a kennel, so they were promptly bathed. We ended the week taking the dogs out for a Saturday walk in Hetford, North Carolina at the Newbold-White House Recreation Trail. We explored a patch of bald cypress trees with the recycling effort that is typically to swamps. We found mushrooms patiently pulling nutrients from a dead tree. We saw a mussel silently sequestering carbon in its shell and then along the shore we noticed the elements trying their best to break down an automobile. Enjoy!

Henry Gets Rinsed

A clean, but cold, Henry cuddles under a wool coat

Decaying tree at a Bald Cypress Swamp

Mushrooms from above

Ridges in mussel shell, ridges in finger tips

Sand filled speedometer on the shore

More pictures of Doggie Bath Time and the Newbold-White House Recreation Trail are available on my Flickr site.

For more Weekly Winners, be sure to visit the original post with all the participants over at Sarcastic Mom.

January 25, 2009 at 10:31 am 13 comments

Weekly Winners – January 11 – 17, 2009

This week’s Weekly Winners come to you a little closer to home. Instead of the Virgin Islands, I have shots from Elizabeth City, North Carolina and Palmer Point Park in Boydton, Virginia. It was pretty darn cold this week and you don’t think of January as a time to find a lot of colors, but when you get out and about, there are surprises to be found year round.

Red Berries, Orange Leaves and Evergreens
Red Berries, Orange Leaves and Evergreens on Top of a Beautiful Blue Sky at Palmer Point

Dried Leaves on Top of Ice in Elizabeth City

Roots and Water at Palmer Point Park
Roots and Water at Palmer Point Park

Purples and Pinks at Pond House Inn in Elizabeth City

And finally….

My Beagle and My Beau in Elizabeth City

For more Weekly Winners, be sure to visit the original post with all the participants over at Sarcastic Mom.

And as always, I have more pictures of Elizabeth City and Palmer Point Park on my Flickr site.

January 18, 2009 at 6:36 pm 4 comments

Sound Sleepers!

Last night I wasn’t feeling too hot, so I went to bed early. In the middle of the night I heard a really loud *SNAP* sound, but I promptly fell back to sleep. I wasn’t the only one. The two cats didn’t budge. Jimmie reportedly got up briefly and laid back down and most telling– Henry didn’t make a peep. Henry. The Beagle! The one who loves to aroo! To put it in perspective, this is how my brother describes Henry:

He would bark at an ant taking a shit on a piece of cotton.

By the time I woke up in the morning, the sound was a distant memory, but I did ask Ryan about it.

“Mmpf. What was that sound last night? Did I dream that?”

Ryan said he heard it too, but we shrugged off. As Ryan shaved, he speculated on possible causes. Thinking that maybe the foundation shifted, he came back in the bedroom and looked out the window above my head. He got an odd look on his face.

“IS IT SNOW?!?!??!?!” I said and jumped up anxious to see a white dusting on the ground.

Instead I saw this:

Ryan’s bedroom window

In the middle of the night, someone took it upon themselves to shoot the bedroom window with a buckshot:

Picture of the outside

Another view of the inside

So let me recap:

The window above the bed got shot at.

And two dogs, two cats and two people managed to sleep through it!

Obviously no one in the room was hurt. That, I hope we would have actually noticed. : )

And yes, the police were called and they started an investigation. I felt for the poor guys as they searched for evidence outside the bedroom window. Not only was it unusually cold, but that’s the compost pile. To do their jobs, the forensic team had to search through our old rotting food! : )

Anyway, try not to fret too much and certainly don’t lose sleep over this incident.

We didn’t!

December 22, 2008 at 10:47 pm 15 comments

Merchant’s Millpond State Park

On Saturday, the dogs and I got to spend a precious hour at the Merchant’s Millpond State Park. The park was a little further away than I expected and I was attending a free Planetarium/Laser show at Elizabeth City State University (highly recommend– it was awesome!) at five PM, so I didn’t have much time to explore.

But this park doesn’t need long to make a good impression. It is GORGEOUS. And get this– I had it all to myself! Just like my December rollerblade last year in Evansville, Indiana, I was surprised to be the only one out and about. Yes, it is December. But it was still sunny… and the park was still stunning. And actually, I highly suspect this particular park is going to be beautiful year round (The future season compares can put that to the test).

Like Blacksburg’s Falls Ridge, the Merchant’s Millpond State park was made possible by a private donation and the help of the Nature Conservancy. The park is a mixture of coastal pond and southern swamp ecosystems and features plenty of bald cypress trees, mistletoe and dangling Spanish moss.

Fall Leaves and Bald Cypress Trees

Log Reflections at Merchant’s Millpond State Park

Bald Cypress Knees and Trees

More Bald Cypress Trees

Bald Cypress Trees with Spanish Moss

The dogs and I started our journey on a white-blazed trail. On the Appalachian Trail, we have hiked hundreds of miles guided by white blazes. It was interesting to be following the familiar color…with very different views than the mountains of Southwest Virginia.

Familiar white switchback blazes…with very different views

There is one property of the terrain, I’ll need to adjust to. Those darn Bald Cypress knees!!! Henry walks so low to the ground, his leash keeps getting tangled.

Gah! Leashed beagles and bald cypress knees are highly frustrating!

The park currently has over 3,250 acres, 9 miles of hiking trails and canoe rentals to further explore Lassiter Swamp. I barely scratched the surface! I will definitely have to make a return trip and I definitely don’t have to wait for winter to pass.

When you hike in the “off-season”, there are some advantages. You don’t have to worry about crowds. You don’t have to worry about ticks or snakes. And in this particular park, you don’t have to worry about alligators.

That’s right. One last thing! Merchant’s Millpond State Park has alligators.

Yikes! Yet another reason I need to keep Henry from getting tangled on Bald Cypress Knees! (Photo by VA-Tree Hugger)

More pictures of my December trip to Merchant’s Millpond State Park are available on my Flickr site.

December 9, 2008 at 8:00 am 1 comment

Henry’s First Hike Back

A number of years ago, I’d go with one of my girlfriends to Agility and Flyball classes for her dogs. I remember one time I showed up at an Agility practice and there was a yellow lab hobbling around, barely able to move its hind legs. The dog had suffered a back injury and had been paralyzed, but it slowly regained the ability to walk. When I first saw that dog, I had some negative thoughts about the owner. It was obviously injured– how dare they force it to go through this obstacle course. But when I took a closer look– I could see the dog wagging its tail, I could see it get antsy and bark just waiting for its turn. This dog LOVED doing Agility and although it was a difficult task and the animal took its time weaving through the course, it clearly loving every single moment.

I thought about that dog and its passion when I saw Henry hike Douthat State Park last month. This was his first “real” hike since his ligament tear last spring. We took the Blue Suck Falls Trail up to Lookout Rock and back. He looked so incredibly happy to be back! He was constantly wagging his tail, he ran up and down the trail ahead of me, found plenty to sniff and like the yellow lab in Agility, he appeared to love every single moment.

I tend to share more Jimmie pictures than Henry– because Jimmie is by far the easier to photograph. But today’s post will share a Henry hiking shot.

Welcome back!

Henry enjoying the Blue Suck Falls Trail

More pictures of the Blue Suck Falls Trail and Douthat State Park are available on my Flickr site.

November 10, 2008 at 8:00 am 3 comments

Lion in a Bathtub

This picture is from the Wisconsin Historical Society. It was taken sometime between 1875 – 1940 (They narrowed it down to a mere 65 years).

Circus Lion in a Bathtub (Photo by Wisconsin Historical Society)

Lions are a member of the felidae family and are more closely related to house cats, but this picture sure has me fooled. The lion’s face and posture looks identical to my dogs when they have to get a bath!

10/22/2008 Edit:
Per my sister’s request, here are comparison shots with Jimmie and Henry. I didn’t even have to turn the water on for them to adopt a dejected stance.

Jimmie in a Bathtub

Henry in a Bathtub

October 22, 2008 at 11:33 am 9 comments

Poverty Creek in the Fall

Last weekend, Ryan Somma and I took a quick trip to Poverty Creek and then over to Caldwell Fields. Both hikes were flat and short which means they are great runners-up to the Take a Child Outside (T.A.C.O.) Hikes list. And since the hikes were indeed so brief and easy, that meant that handicapped Henry was able to tag along.

(I think I will appoint Henry the Beagle my official T.A.C.O. Litmus Test. If he can do it with his bad back and leg, so can a kid!)

Anyway, our outing to Poverty Creek was short, but a great way to get outside and witness the beginnings of fall.

Walking down a fire road to get to the Poverty Creek Trail

Yellow and red leaves

Changing Leaves in the Sun

Floating leaves and reflections in Poverty Creek

More pictures of Poverty Creek are available on my Flickr site.

Poverty Creek Trail

Length: Up to 7.2 miles one-way (you can increase this length with side trails)

Elevation Gain: Neglible

Directions from Blacksburg, VA

Take 460 West

When Craig’s Creek Road is on your right, take a left into the Pandapas Pond entrance.

You can get to the trail from the upper parking lot.


Take 460 West

Pass the Pandapas Pond entrance

Turn left on Forest Road 708 (gravel road). The Poverty Creek Trail system has a number of trail crossings off of that road which you can use to get to the Poverty Creek Trail.

October 17, 2008 at 8:00 am 2 comments

Remarkable Trees of Virginia

Remember the Remarkable Trees of Virginia project? The organizers of the project have traveled all across the state, logging thousands of miles, to visit and photograph notable trees. They considered over a thousand nominations as well as talked to arborists, naturalists, historians and layman, like myself, who just have a fancy for trees.

Now, all of their work is compiled into a beautiful coffee-table book!

It’s at available at Amazon, you can buy it directly from the University of Virginia Press, or if you are impatient like me, you can drive over to the Christiansburg Barnes and Noble and get a copy there.

When you do get your copy, turn to Page 78. The Appalachian Trail’s beautiful Keffer Oak made the cut! It appears in the “Community Trees” chapter:

When most of us think of community trees, we think of trees beloved by towns or cities whose residents value and protect them, but there are trees valued by communities defined more by shared experience than by home address.

[Keffer oak] is mentioned in trail guides, backpacking journals, and hiker’s blogs, and pictures of it pop up on the Internet with a frequency that would put many a beloved urban tree to shame.”

– Nancy Hugo Ross, Remarkable Trees of Virginia

Like all the other trees in the book, a photograph by Robert Llewellyn compliments the page. The shot catches a hiker and a dog walking by the tree.

That hiker is ME! That dog is HENRY! We were photographed there last October.

Henry and I are famous! And maybe, quite possibly, my underwear. 🙂 In the shot, my shirt has risen up in the back, exposing just a little bit of my midriff. Now I can’t tell for sure– but I do believe I spy a color change in the fabric around on my hips. I am also very familiar with the shorts that I’m wearing and well aware they tend to hang low. It is definitely feasible!

So there you go! This book can meet many different needs. If you want to read about and see some amazing trees, look at a beagle, see more pictures of me (afterall there are only 255 on my Flickr account) or if you are a mystery lover, you can get out your image enhancing software and decide if that is in fact my underwear!

Whatever your reason, I encourage all to buy this book!

It’s absolutely stunning!

(The book, not my underwear)

September 18, 2008 at 4:25 pm 17 comments

The Great Craft Explosion

In continued preparation for putting my house on the market and moving, today I went through all my craft supplies. I organized them all on the deck of the house…which is very good because it turns out I needed a lot of real estate. After pitching the garbage, consolidating my supplies, and preparing donations to both the Friends of the Pine Ridge Reservation Sewing Groups and Arts and Scraps, I am left with an inventory that is much more manageable.

Below are some pictures of the process. Just like with measuring trees, Jimmie comes in handy to give perspective.

Here is what I started with. A myriad of storage methods– including trash bags

As I unpacked and organized, the supplies started to expand across the deck. They took up a LOT of surface area!

I was busy toiling over my task. Meanwhile, Henry and Jimmie found a comfortable spot to lay.

And the grand finale– what’s left after my donations and reorganization!

Next up…. my “Special Box” (which actually constitutes more than one box and even more random stacks of papers)

July 14, 2008 at 11:04 pm 18 comments

Injured Henry.

Poor Henry has had a rough month. In addition to his brush with homelessness, he got two ear infections which prompted three prescription medicines. A week later, he emerged hobbling on three legs and looking fairly pathetic. That earned him another trip to the vet and one more prescription to the mix. It turns out he has a partial ligament tear in one of his hind legs. He’s on pain killers and cage rest this week. The vet will reassess him next week and see how his leg is healing.

Poor Henry (Note: This picture is actually from last March)

Needlesstosay, Henry is going to be on the sidelines for outdoor activities for at least a while. Luckily, he won’t be missing out on much this week as I am booked with non-hiking commitments. Thursday night is Gogol Bordello in Richmond! Friday I’m not sure of my plans, but I did just receive an invitation to a pool party in Petersburg! Saturday night I have a birthday party to attend at Burke Lake Park and Sunday I intend to visit an aunt in Maryland who recently had surgery. I’m going to have a busy weekend. Henry, on the other hand, will be getting a great deal of rest…and I expect a great deal of pets as well. 🙂

June 18, 2008 at 1:43 pm 8 comments

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