Thursday, July 30, 2015

More on the Reality of Aging Huskies

Autumn and Linden have recently begun to show their age (they just turned 16!!). Both of them now have this weird thing where their back legs will suddenly go paralyzed for maybe 10 or so minutes. They'll be running around, happy as can be, and suddenly they'll drop down where they are and lie there until their hind legs work again. My vet said there is nothing he can do, and that their bloodwork and hearts both looked fine to him at their last checkups, which were recent. The good thing is that these episodes, whatever they are, don't seem to bother them much. They are alert during, their eyes are calm and bright, their gums don't turn blue, they don't pee or crap themselves... they just lie there like, "Whelp, I'm just gonna lie here for a bit."

Autumn's latest episode was last night. I had just gotten home, and all three dogs were doing the Dance of Joy in the yard, running and jumping around, when Autumn collapsed. Starbuck ran over and laid down right next to her. So sweet and touching! I didn't want to wait it out this time, since it was starting to rain pretty hard, so I picked Autumn up (which she tolerated, although it normally pisses her off to be carried), brought her inside, and laid her on the couch. Starbuck crammed herself in behind her and snuggled close until it passed.

Roo sez, "Are you okay?"

Roo sez, "Dis my sister."

Autumn hates to have her paws touched, so it's easy to assess when she has recovered. When I touch a back paw and she jerks it away and gives me a dirty look, we're in the clear. It took about fifteen minutes last night. Then Starbuckeroo got up and moved to the other end of the couch like, "Whelp, I guess my work here is done."

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Couchal Shenanigans

Last night, the girls were flopped out on the couch again:

And Starbuck started scooching closer to Linden:

Then moved in for a full hug!

"What? What're you looking at?"

Autumn sez, "No, thank you. You can keep your squeezes to yourself."

Monday, July 27, 2015

Donnelly Dome, and more couchal photos

Last Friday, I decided to personally deliver some parts for some work I am doing in Delta Junction. I wanted to make sure they'd all fit before I cut the contractor loose, and I also wanted to enjoy the pretty drive and a hike up Donnelly Dome with the ladies. So I got up early and packed them into the car with my daypack, extra water, snacks, and boxes of parts and took off.

Donnelly Dome is a unique geological feature, a fleigberg that the glaciers, when they retreated and scraped the rest of the valley clean flat, somehow left alone. It's only 3910 feet in elevation, from its base of 1500ish feet, making for a climb of only 2400 feet. However, those 2400 feet occur in two miles, with no switchbacks. You just charge up the mountain. I've often seen moosey tracks along and near those trails that imply to me that the creatures are far more nimble and agile than their size and lumbering gait suggest.

Photo from the trail head:

And the view halfway up:

The ladies:

Sammich time!

Unfortunately, the timing of this sammich and the shortness of the hike precluded a visit to the best drive-in burger joint evar, the Buffalo Drive-In. Their hamburgers are from local Delta Junction-raised beef, and their fries are to die for. They also have unsweetened ice tea, which is not easy to find this These United States!

Here are some couchal photos from home:

Booger in a sunbeam:

Starbuckeroo in her second favorite spot:

Miss Autumn:

This summer is going oddly, with everything ripening early. Blueberries, raspberries, aqpiks, and our treasured tiny patch of the magical, mystical nagoonberries are already ripe, a full week ahead of schedule. The high-bush cranberries are also ripe (although I don't care for them and leave 'em be), these over a month ahead of schedule. The low-bush cranberries are already appearing, although we aren't supposed to pick them until after the first frost... so what are we supposed to do if they ripen before then? I'm not sure.

Anyway, I picked all of the raspberries from my tiny, wild patch:

And mixed them with sugar and rhubarb and made six little empanada-like thingies, like this:

Then I proudly presented them to DL and informed him that yes, I had actually used bleached white flour, but that I was giving half of them away. No diabetes for us! My next pastries will be back to whole-wheat and sandpaper-like. :)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Miscellaneous photos

First of all, how cute is Booger??

Here are the leaders chillin' together in matching poses:

We took a quick trip to Seattle to a wedding. Then spent a few days hiking with the newlyweds and other friends who are scattered around the country. Climate change has hit the Pacific Northwest in a big way--they are having record low precipitation, and a bad fire season. The temperatures were record highs (80s and 90s F) while we were there. On the other hand, it was lovely to see so much blue sky.

Cascades selfie!

A perfectly spherical flower at the wedding venue. Apparently, bees are fond of them. We later saw these same types of flowers in bouquets at Pike's Market.

When we came home, our rhubarb was... threatening-looking. I cut the bigger stalks off, made a rhubarb crisp, and actually found a neighbor who wanted MORE rhubarb to give the rest to.

Here is a picturesque leaf. With raindrops. Very artistic. Artsy-fartsy points for me!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Fireweed! Fireweed! Fireweed!

The fireweed has been astounding this year! The hills, ditches, roadsides, and fields are all exploding in pink! Here are photos from a short day hike we did a few weeks ago. This was Linden's first hike after being released from her activity restriction after her tumor removal. Those were a long ten days! She was of the opinion that she could bounce and pronk around the yard and go for long walks, that very same evening after surgery!

It was smokey when we headed out, but the smoke cleared away as the day wore on. The juxtaposition of the cheery pink blooms against the smoke and the tree and brush remnants from a fire of a few years ago was startling. But of course, it was exactly as it should be. Fireweed is so named because it is one of the first plants to recolonize an area after a burn.

Purple and pink and yellow!

Interesting collection of stuff... blueberries and bearberries and lichen! Oh my!

Cairns on a small hillock:

I like this old burned snag in this gorgeous pink profusion:

Juuuust as we started to say, "Okay, that's enough for Linden's Freedom Celebration! Let's call it quits until the smoke clears!", the smoke started to clear:

A pinksplosion!

A bit of purple amidst the pink:

Our Autumnster back on the hillock:

Three fuzzies relaxing:


I went over to where Starbuck was snoozing in the shade of a rock, and she lazily reached out her paw. "Hold my pawzzzzzz...."

A pale pink one!

The wild daisies of Alaska are a bit rough and tumbled:

Wolves bounding through the grass!