Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Stewart's Cascade

First I want to thank everyone for their condolences on the loss of our Tigs. It is a pretty awful feeling to lose a personality in your home; and Tigs was certainly a personality! His blog will remain up because it still makes me laugh to look over about four years of our life together.

We've moved on...right now we have adopted an orange boy kitten who is just a pistol, and a five year old semi-Siamese named Frenchie, and a 5 month old blue point girl named Bitsy. We'll let them settle in for a bit before we introduce them to the blogging universe.

Hart is not sure what is exactly happening as the three adoptees are sequestered in our library. This should be interesting when we finally integrate everyone. Stay tuned!

Over the weekend fellow blogger Sara flew in to indulge in some serious leaf peeking here. She was only in town for 50 hours, but boy did we ever pack in some eyeful of scenery. I'll be posting about that too later; meanwhile she beat me to it with her pictures and post about the visit.

I am one of the people who sort of uses my blog as a journal of what I did and thought chronologically. Because of that, today is a catch up post. Two Fridays ago Bernie and I hiked in the Timpanogas mountains to a place called Stewart's Cascade. The temperature was warm, the hike was moderate, and life was good.
I'm posting the pictures with little prose as I think the pictures speak about fall beauty, and don't need more chatting from me!
On the way to Stewart's Cascade we swung off the road in Provo Canyon to see Bridal Veil Falls.
It seems to me that every area in North America has a Bridal Veil Falls; you can now check Utah's BVF off your list if you were intending to go see them all!

Turning around to face away from the falls: Another wonderful view.

We wound up the canyon past Sundance Ski resort, and into the Tipanogas National Forest area.

I love how some places turn yellow while others do red, or orange or a cranberry or salmon color.

OK...a two mile hike coming up.


Now this was a huge surprise: We kept hearing squirrels barking like crazy, and I had focused my camera on one that was sounding off from a tree trunk when Bernie yelled "Jill...over's a hawk!"
A Goshawk to be precise. The black eye mask was the tip off. It was one BIG bird and obviously was trying to decide which squirrel looked tastiest.

I was totally stoked that I was able to photograph the bird moments before he winged away into the forest.

Lots of red along the path.
The scent of warm fallen leaves was wonderful as we scuffled through the colorful autumnal carpet.

At last Stewart's Cascade came into view.


We could only see three layers of the falls from the base.

It was quite warm...and Bernie enjoyed splashing some cold water on his head and face.
I always enjoy seeing the small plant matter that takes hold behind the falling water.

If I was a kid...I would be running through the water. We passed young adults on the path that were clothed in swim suits. Guess they had been there before and knew that would be the right thing to wear on such a warm day.
There must be one heck of a flow in early spring and summer to create this kind of river flotsam and jetsam. Some of those logs are huge; I can't imagine what it would be like to see one of them come tipping over the edge of the falls.
Most of the flowers had gone to seed, but this one small plant was still blooming freshly protected by a rock's overhang.
Of course the autumn asters were still blooming, and were employing insects to spread their pollen around.

The trail was pretty rocky, and some of the rocks had such interesting faces. I can't help but wonder how these designs were formed.

How clever of the Master Artist to make so much art on simple oak leaves!

Oh come knew that if I was hiking with Bernie there was bound to be a snake picture too.
It was pretty good sized gopher snake...or was that a king snake...whatever. It was non-venomous and that's all that matters to me.

Red, red and more red...then suddenly there were yellow leaves instead.

The aspen grove was spent in some places and green in others. Nice that it was gradual color turn so people can enjoy the aspen color for more than a day or two.
(My Colorado friend Gail swears her aspen all turn color one day, and two days later all the leaves are gone. I do hope she exaggerates!)
Sometimes the topography is just as spectacular as the colorful trees.

Gosh I do love to go hiking with my guy here in Utah!
Hope you enjoyed the scenery.
(And I bet you didn't get nearly as sweaty seeing it all on the blog as I did seeing it all in person!)

A Sad Farewell

Our Faithful Orange Cat Tigs has been through a lot since May.

First he started scratching his itching ears, which required daily ear drop treatments for weeks. The ears didn't get better; when the doctor took another look, he determined a different kind of medication needed.

And that Tigs had an abscessed tooth.

Actually it turned out to be three teeth, his lower left fang and two behind it. Surgery for that issue, then a few weeks later, more surgery to remove ear polyps that blocked the ear medicine. A small lump had appeared on his neck as well; surely it was just an lymph gland swollen from the other problems. It wasn't. A biopsy showed a cancerous salivary gland, on the opposite side from where he had his teeth removed.

We consulted and prayed, and based on the counsel of two vets, had the salivary gland removed. Cats have four glands, he would be fine with his remaining three.
But after that....he just wasn't his old self. He hid, he didn't eat, and he lost weight and interest in life. He seemed to be in pain when we would handle him.

Tuesday morning we took him back to the vets. Tigs seemed so sad, and hid in Bernie's sweatshirt.
The vet could find nothing specifically wrong...yet...the cycle of not eating, hiding and a few other behaviors led to us needing to decide if we wanted to try some other treatments to perhaps encourage his appetite.

Would it work...or would it prolong his discomfort.
Such a difficult decision to make for an old friend who had been through so much already in the last five months.

In the end, we held Tigs and cried...

Kissed him over and over and told him he would in a few minutes be out of pain. We promised him that when he woke up he would be in Heaven, meeting up with his old friend Mac and Tidbit, and perhaps even the nice red haired lady June H. would be there to give him the nicest brushing he has ever had.

We said good bye, and left, and then held each other and cried.

Our Tigs gave us ten years of faithful orange-ness, many smiles and taught us a lot about many things.

He was the one to put a paw on me when I was feeling down, and purred until I felt better.
He was always with Bernie, carefully snoopervising all work.
He defended our house against dogs.
He sought beauty and posed so that our eyes would stop on him and see in new ways because of his posing.
He introduced small children to the ways of following a cat.
He taught us that asparagus, salmon and shrimp were not just for humans.
He greeted us with his hoarse broken meower that was uniquely his voice.
He was a cat's cat...the cat that welcomed and groomed the other household cats with a servant's heart.

And he was a cat that danced before the Lord when hymns of praise were sung.

Oh Tiggie.

When I picked you, it was only because you were orange. You were one of thirty cats in the care of one person. You didn't really know what to do with humans.

In the end, you were one of a kind, and exactly the cat that we humans needed.

We will miss you so much.
Wait for us, we be coming to where you are one day.
Then we'll all sing faithful praises together, and never say good bye ever again.