Laura likes to dance in the rain -- and afterwards she will play fun games with me like tug-o-war with my nice soft towel -- so I try to oblige when she wants me to pose for silly photographs like this one.
It's party time at Tyrcuill because my Mum is away on vacation. For two and a half weeks I can make as much mess as I like and no one will yell at me!
I am being good though. I am helping Laura to look after my Dad and I am helping Laura to do her exercises. Take tonight for instance: Laura was doing her usual interpretive dance sort of routine, then she lay down on the floor. Then she sat up again. Then she lay down again. Then she sat up again. Down. Up. Down. Up. Obviously she was having difficulty deciding where she wanted to be, so I went over to help her.
When I got to Laura's side, she said hello, but she kept right on sitting up, lying down, sitting up, lying down. At first I wasn't sure what I could do to help, so I sniffed around a bit to try to figure it out.
Every time Laura lay down, she would raise her arms up over her head. When she did this, I noticed that her arm pits were really sweaty. Ah ah! Now I knew how I could help!
My friend Laura likes to be clean. Obviously she couldn't keep the sweat off her arm pits while she was still trying to figure out if she wanted to be sitting up or lying down, so I decided to clean them for her.
My idea turned out to be a good one because, as soon as I started licking her arm pits, Laura lay back down on the floor and stayed there. Obviously I helped her to decide what to do! Also, once Laura realized she wanted to be lying down, she was so happy she started to laugh. She laughed and she laughed and she couldn't stop for a long time. It is always good to make people laugh.
Laura hasn't made me go for a walk for three days!
On Saturday, Laura was out of town at a writers' conference all day. I was sad that she was away, but it meant I got to sleep all day.
Yesterday was our bird watching day. We were busy feeding the birds and then sitting very still to take photographs of them. Then Laura decided that we should have a bonfire so she could jump over it. (Don't ask me what that is all about. Fires are dangerous. I try to stay very far away from them. Humans have funny ideas though, like jumping over the first bonfire of May to ensure prosperity for the coming year. Anyhow, it got me out of having to go hiking for a second day in a row.)
Today Laura has been busy uploading our photographs to Flickr and adding new recipes to the Polyphagous Dragon and I have been trying to get caught up-to-date on Confessions of a Canine Cyber-Widow and now it is 9:45 p.m. and so far no walk.
Now, now. I don't want you to get the wrong idea. I'm not a lazy dog. Oh, no. It's just that Laura likes to hike so very far -- and she has much longer legs than me! Every day she makes me walk around the local marsh. It is a long walk and it's noisy there. The bull frogs are very loud! I'm surprised they don't scare off the red-winged blackbirds.
The marsh is full of red-winged blackbirds. Laura keeps trying to photograph them, but they are kind of shy. They hide deep in the bullrushes so you cannot see them very well, and they fly away if you get too close.
There are bunny rabbits that live at the marsh too. The bunnies are not as shy. Sometimes they join us for part of our walk -- but they don't walk the whole way with us. Bunnies have strong legs, but they understand that their legs are little and they shouldn't walk as far as Laura!
Laura filled up all of the bird feeders in our yard. She put out sunflower seeds and peanuts (I ate the ones that fell on the ground!) and raisins and corn, and small seeds for the little finches, and she nailed half of a fresh orange onto our cherry tree and half to our rowan tree. The birds had a major feast.
Birds sure can eat, I can tell you that! By the end of the day, they had consumed an enormous amount of food, but we got lots of pretty pictures.
We had three Baltimore Orioles come to visit:
This one had his head in the clouds:
Clouds of cherry blossoms, that is. The orioles love our cherry tree:
They also loved the orange that Laura put out for them:
This rose-breasted grosbeak came to our finch feeder:
and this downy woodpecker came to our suet box feeder:
Laura is sad because the birds love the suet box feeder and the old log that my Dad put out for them, but so far nobody has come to the suet feeder she made for them. This weekend she moved it onto a tree which we know the woodpeckers like, so hopefully they will notice it now. I think it is a very fine feeder. I would lick the suet out of it if I could reach up that high!
The suet-eaters may not appreciate Laura's work, but the cardinals loved the niger seed she put out for them on our tray feeder:
Laura got lots of great photos of this little guy:
We also saw a lady goldfinch:
a boy goldfinch:
a red-breasted nuthatch: (they like to eat upside down!)
and a chipping sparrow:
My Dad took this very special photo of a hummingbird: You almost never see them sitting still -- even when they are eating they are still flying -- but this one perched on one of our oranges for a drink and let my Dad get a nice picture.
I like bird-watching because you have to sit very still and try not to move at all and we don't even have to leave our own yard to see lots of pretty birds.
At the end of a nice, peaceful day, this cute white-throated sparrow sat out in our yard with us to watch the sunset: