Sunday, October 01, 2006

Well, That's Irony for You

Charlie peeks over the deck, watching me fiddle with the camera

Cripes, wouldn't you just know it? Just when Blogger finally gets its collective act semi-together and fixes its furshlugginer picture loader, I miss out on the most amazing photo of the season. Sorry that I have to make you all settle for a mental image, but here goes...

The monarch butterflies are getting ready for their winter vacation in Mexico. They don't tend to congregate in huge bunches here as they do when readying themselves for the northward migration, but they will take over a flowering shrub, a dozen or two at a time. From a short distance away, you'd never even know they were there until a "leaf" or a "blossom" on the bush suddenly flutters to a new location. At that point, you notice that there seem to be quite a few monarchs flitting into and around all the bushes on the fence line.

I tried my best to get a decent photo of this phenomenon, but things just didn't go as planned. I hope your mental images were lovely, though. As soon as we get enough colored leaves on the ground, I'll gather some into a pile and see if I can persuade Dinah or Seamus to roll in them for the camera.

Dog News This Week

If you could ask Charlie which dog sport he preferred, he would probably answer, "Hiking." Chuckles never really did see the point of all the silly dog sports we used to try together. We tried obedience, agility, herding, tracking, and just about anything else we could find. Tracking came closest to Charlie's idea of fun, but he really just wants to race on the beach with me or up the hill trails with Greg. He's picked his sport.

Seamus, if asked the same question, just might pick agility. Due to the fact that there are only so many days in the week, I couldn't sign him up for two sessions of rally and regular obedience and agility, and still have an evening or two left over for attending meetings, training Dinah, or just catching up at home.

When Dinah and I went to the Canadian Specialty in August, a dog trainer there asked me about how Seamus was doing, and expressed genuine surprise when I didn't include agility in the list of activities we do together. Anyway, I took her advice and enrolled the little guy in beginning agility just to see what he can do.

Agility is Seamus's sport. He smiled from the first time he entered a tunnel all the way through the drive home. He knows way too much to be stuck in the poky little beginner class I signed him up for, but I needed to know what he knew. Poky little classes aren't all bad; we can use the time to learn to work together as a team. Just for chuckles, we'll try entering an agility show-and-go at the end of the month. That could be fun, and it could show me a lot of things I never even knew about my quirky little dog.

The other thing that pleases me about doing agility is that we have to work off-leash. This should help us "cross-train" for off-lead work in Advanced Rally. We can't progress any farther in rally without working off-lead, and we need to be able to build on our teamwork before we dare enter any more rally trials.

Knitting Progress

...can be summed up in three little words: Next to None. I've had only a few minutes here and there to pick up the needles, and haven't much to show for it.

I picked up a couple of balls of Nashua Painted Forest out of the bargain bin at the Yarn Basket last time I was down there. The colorway I picked reminds me enough of fall foliage that I thought it would make a nice little scarf in a simple, TV-friendly 1x1 rib. I whipped that thing off in record time, but am busy searching the stash for something appropriately funky and color-coordinated for fringe.

As for the Oakley wrap, I've made one ball's worth of progress already -- which translates to about 15% progress if you count the fringe. It's basically "idiot knitting" at its finest, which is why it appeals to me. I can pick it up, add a couple of rows to it here or there, and then put it down to wait for the next time I can give it some attention.

No comments: