Friday, July 4, 2008

First Visitors to Dog Days

Barb, Dan & Mia came down to Dog Days for a long weekend, and it was great to have visitors at last! While there is still much work to do, the house is already comfortable and was the perfect place to hang out.

We took several long walks, enjoying the birds, the wide variety of plants and the company of like-minded nature-lovers. Barb is a walking guide book, and was more than happy to help me identify some of the more interesting specimens on the property. We found wild ginger, wintergreen, and lots of laurel in bloom...

There were lots of birds, but as usual, they were far too fast for my slow camera skills to catch. The Cedar waxwings, bluebirds and flycatchers were readily visible, but the elusive woodpeckers kept hidden while they head-banged loudly in the trees. I was able to catch the turkeys in their early-morning stroll by the house but everyone else missed them due to the deep, peaceful sleep Dog Days seems to induce in all that rest here.

The weather was very nice, and it was not too hot (as we are about 2600 feet above sea-level it is at least 10 degrees cooler here than in Richmond during the day and nights are almost chilly, just the way I like it!).

We found lots of items to bring back and check out. On the table is an antler we found on the top of the ridge, some interesting lichens, birch branches (they smell so good), pine cones, oak leaves, and other things we wanted to keep for further study:

There are new things coming up all the time; I can hardly keep up with them all. New birds are arriving all the time, new plants popping up everywhere. So many things to check out, so little time!

Claris had a great time, too. She loves having Mia to play with, and there were so many more hands to scratch her ears and more people to mooch snack from. She joined us on our walks and even got the chance to get herself (and consequently, the rest of us) completely covered in mud. She is all Lab, and it shows in her love of people, food (and frequently questionably edible items), filth and water!

Sadly, they had to head for home after a few days of rest and relaxation. We had gone into Floyd for a little shopping at Winter Sun, Nancy's Candies, the Country Store and Mountain Mercantile, drank my Pomegranite Wine, ate our meals on the porch, and trekked through the woods together. It was time to get back to the "real world". Sigh. I miss them already!

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