Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Stuff for Dog Days

It is officially the Dog Days of Summer, right?
We don't personally own a dog.
We do however have a neighbor behind us, one door up, with three yappy dogs that go berserk if we open our back door.
Enough dog action for me!
More about opening back door:
Two days ago I left the kitchen door open for a few minutes one morning.
About an hour later I noticed Tate was staring at the ceiling.

He had spotted something.
I was able to swat it down using a spatula.
I didn't want to smush it on the paint so just lifting and moving it was my plan of action.
Tate checked it out.
(Check out how well our cat blends in with our hardwood floor!)
Eventually I got creeped out and had to spatula the bug outside, with Tate hot on its tail.
I will mercifully draw a curtain on the rest of that domestic drama.

That evening I glanced out the kitchen window and saw what looked like our sequoia on fire.
It really surprised I grabbed my camera, of course.

Then I hustled out the front door to catch the sunset.

The sunsets around here are awesome.
The Great Salt Lake reflects the colors so beautifully at the base of the mountains across the valley.
I really am sad when sometimes I forget to get outside to watch them.

Even facing away from the sunset can result in some great sky scenery.
The hills turn such a great shade of pink.

Mornings have an entirely different vibe going on.
"Vibe" as in percussion.
The gol-darned squirrels are racing around the pine trees out back, busily throwing pine cones down as fast as they can.
The tree is very tall, about 40 ft. high I'd say and the pine cones hitting the ground every five or six seconds really makes a racket.
Worse, the cones sometimes hit our cats.
Worse still...the pine cones are really sappy, and leave Jabba the Hut like pine sap snot smears on the cats.
This makes all of us unhappy on many levels.
1. Being hit by a falling cone scares the cats.
2. Getting pine sap on fur bugs the cats.
3. Me not noticing pine sap on cats leads to pine sap transfer on things when the cats are inside.
A week ago there were no pine cones here.
In another week it will be solid pine cones.
And if one steps on a has a sap clean up project to do.
(Aren't the Dog Days the season of b*tching about stuff? Isn't that why they are called Dog Days?)
Last night was a Blue Moon (a second full moon in a month).
Last week I got the half moon as seen through wild fire smoke.
It was gorgeous, even though it was gorgeous due to a negative reason.

The sunset that night...yeah, smoke had something to do with that beauty.
Let's about all happy stuff?
Luke is now 16 months old.
Finally getting hair, and looks like he will be sporting his other's grandmother's widow peak hair line too.
He said "Hi!" to me yesterday and when I asked him to please take a book and place it on the table, he took the book from my hand and walked across the room and did just that.
I didn't point at the table.
So it looks like he is coming right along communication wise.
I hadn't been up Mill Creek Canyon in a while.
It has been hitting near 100 degrees almost every day this summer; why I don't just hang out at the top of the Canyon where it is 20 degrees cooler is a mystery, don't you think?
Today I was facing another hot day with several unappealing projects on my to-do list.
Over coffee and prayer time I vacillated between doing the projects first thing and going up the canyon first thing.
The canyon won.

At 9 am I was parking beside the road up in the canyon and dodging bikers zooming by every few minutes.
There was a herd of bikers at the bottom of the canyon and a guy that seemed to be clicking a stop watch as each biker pedaled off.
Turns out that having a biker in a photo is actually kind of neat.

The trees are still very green at the bottom of the canyon.
If I squinted at the top of the mountain I could see just a bare haze of color for now.
Remember the old adage:
Spring comes up from the valley, Fall comes down from the mountains.

Summer flowers (and bikers) apparently just show up wherever!

I goofed off up in the Canyon for about two hours...

At one point I pulled over and right across the road a deer was browsing.
Bikers were zooming past just inches from the deer.

It would not have been a pretty sight if a deer had leaped out in front of the speeding bikers.
(I didn't think this was a particularly pretty deer either.)

My usually "all to myself" canyon time was not happening today.
And yet...even the cars seemed to make the photos more interesting when I went to edit them.

There were more fishermen fishing than I had ever seen before.
The department of wild life management is planning on killing all the non-native Mill Creek fish later on this month and then restocking the streams with native fish.
Fishermen are encouraged to fish and take as many fish as they want right now.
(Wouldn't you know it...Bernie is out of town and can't help out!)

The Michaelmas Daisies are blooming heavily along the stream sides right now.

That is what I like so much about Mill Creek Canyon:
With the possible exception of early spring, each season is just beautiful up there.

Two months from now this scene will be blazing in fall colors.
Two months later it will be blanketed in snow, and showing off in black and white elegance.

It was 70 degrees here and I was sweating.
Of course when it is 20 degrees and I am snowshoeing I will sweat here then too.
Somehow I just can't manage to just kick back and let the canyon coolness cool me!

A chair, a good book, some summer fruit to nibble...
Yes...I keep promising myself an afternoon beside the stream just relaxing.

It is rare to see such relaxation there though.
Everyone seems intent on walking, running, hiking, fishing, biking, or photographing.

All good things, health wise of course.


Still...a bit of slowdown and smell the flowers would be good too.

The road...which I love and occasionally stand smack dab in the middle of just to take it all in.
Seize the day!

Overhead one can see where one day long, long ago the earth ripped apart and sent the smooth surfaces jetting upward with a roar.

It must have been awful.
It must have been awesome.
It may one day happen again.
And secretly...I think it will happen on one of the Dog Days of Summer when it does.