This is where Hayley should have been, but there she was – gone!
Entering woods from a different direction, I’d forgotten that this path led to an open glade, complete with a pond. Hayley hadn’t forgotten – she’s a labrador water diviner – I’m sure her dad must have been a seal, her mum an otter. As she suffers with hip dysplasia, I tend to keep her away from water in winter, but by the time I reached her, she’d actually broken through a thin layer of ice & done this:
Hayley has a mission, she has to rescue any branch or log drowning in the water & will amuse herself for ages retrieving pieces of wood, even submerging her head completely to reach them as they bob under water. There was a large log that proved particularly difficult as it’s girth was too big for her jaws & all she ended up doing was spinning it round & round. So frustrating 🙂
After a good roll in the grass, she selects her favourite branch from the newly rescued wood pile & patiently carries it back to the car. She’s never happy to leave it behind, but if brought home, she’d set to & shred the wood into little pieces with her teeth.
We have a routine once home, I have to sit down with Hayley on my lap for the first half hour of her exhaustion, otherwise, she follows me round & won’t settle.
Most labradors will eat anything, they’re veritable dustbins! My previous golden lab Amber was anybody’s for a strawberry. Strawberries, apple, orange, grapes & any vegetable apart from celery. She was a hoover, nose to the ground snuffling up everything she came across.
This is a photo of my current lab, Hayley on a walk today. She loves green vegetables & we give her the crunchy centres of cabbage & broccoli stalk, but she won’t eat red veg – red for danger perhaps? Anyway, such is her love of brassicas that here she is, tugging & pulling up the remains straight out of the ground in the field!
Many of my posts have been about the weather & particularly snow! However, when spending all day in front of the computer working for my clients, other than walking the dogs daily, I don’t always have the opportunity to do much else. Much like most people I assume? I enjoy my work & have chosen to be a Virtual Assistant as I’m a good PA, I love being organised, I have a great relationship with my clients & enjoy the variety of my workload.
Anyway, back to the daily photo – this is the snow as it was first thing in the morning. I was actually walking in a snow storm at 2am in the morning which the dogs thought was great! The light was bright, but I hadn’t taken my camera or phone. The wind was blowing from the wind turbines (see post #5) & as there was virtually no traffic noise, I could actually hear the whiney, swooshy hum as they turned. There were a few cars on the road & it was interesting to note that the snow ploughs came along in threes, just like buses 🙂
On the track, I was sheltered from the wind by the bushes either side & thoroughly enjoyed trudging through the virgin snow. It was so exhilerating – something to knock of my bucket list perhaps? Having a friend with mobility difficulties who’s slowly progressing towards being permanently wheelchair-bound, I always feel so very grateful when walking, fully appreciating the fact that I can.
Dogs love snow, it sends them whappy! Whilst it’s difficult for us to trudge through the drifts, the dogs chase snowballs & each other.
There’s always hares on the field where we walk, but they usually ‘hare’ off & are quickly camouflaged. The dogs half-heartedly run after & then give up. Today I could see many against the snow at the opposite side of the field which was criss-crossed by their distinctive tracks. The dogs were snuffling in the scrapes where the hares had rested, revealing the ground underneath.
After an exhilarating walk, I had a good day, dipping in & out of two or three clients’ work all day, plenty to keep me busy working from home. It’s Friday with more snow forecast & as I write this, it’s already more than an inch deep – more fun for the dogs 🙂
Love them or hate them, wind turbines are becoming a feature of modern day life. I happen to love them & these five are in fields close to my husband’s house where I walk the dogs – look carefully in the foreground & you’ll see black lab Hayley rolling in something disgusting & smelly.
When they were first installed (& I was disappointed not to have been there to see the sails lifted into place) I was intrigued how noisy they would be. However, there’s a busy road running past & no matter how many times I walked by to listen, the sound of passing traffic was prominent. The best I’ve heard is a low swooshing sound, not at all invasive, so why do so many people object to having these elegant structures built close to their homes?
In the small farming village where I grew up from the age of eight, there’s a big protest with posters & signs in the locals’ windows & gardens at a proposed wind farm. Too be honest, I can’t see the problem & have been slightly tempted to pop along to meetings & voice my support, but it’s not really anything to do with me.
I think the turbines are much less invasive on the countryside than traditional coal power stations, but with my fascination of industry past & present, I’m also impressed by the massive cooling towers. Perhaps the problem is pure ignorance & not recognising that modern windmills are far sleeker, quieter & more efficient than the early models. Not far from my home village, district planners should soon be making a decision about a wind farm proposed to be a Community Interest Company with any profits to be ploughed back into the local community, an anticipated £750,000 per year. With the loss of industry in this former mining area, high unemployment & government funding cuts to essential services, how can they not approve? Watch this space.
I’d already decided to share a photo per day and briefly blog about it from 1st January, when an email from Michelle Shaeffer dropped into
my inbox – the power of email marketing! I can’t remember signing up for newsletters, but obviously must have thought they would be
beneficial and the challenge to blog every day for the 31 days of January at www.ultimateblogchallenge.com just fits with my resolution.
Midday on New Year’s day in the East Midlands of England 2013 is typically cold and grey, but at least not raining as it’s seemed to have
done none-stop for weeks. My black labrador Hayley needs walking so we set off in the direction of a path that’s the least wettest
underfoot, merely muddy rather than soggy. Everything at this time of year appears to be dead in muted tones of brown, beige and grey,
until I came across this bright yellow lichen. An ideal picture for my first post!
Now my husband has treated himself to a fancy SLR digital camera, but other than a dog lead, I’m not fond of carrying anything that won’t fit into my coat pocket so my photos are taken with my iphone. Compared to the early digital cameras, smart phone’s now have a much better resolution – plenty good enough for my requirements.
Another goal for 2013 and beyond is to stop rushing around so much, to slow down a little, notice and appreciate the little things. So, after admiring the lichen, I slowed my pace, opened my eyes and looked for anything else interesting and found lots as the pictures here demonstrate http://goo.gl/5OyRZ I must admit that I am fascinated by the texture and colours of bark, and Winter of course, is the best time to admire tree trunks without troublesome leaves getting in the way.
I’m not at all artistic like my friend Lin who’s paintings of trees I love www.linc-art.com but I do often think of how the bark could
possibly be replicated in fabric and embroidery. One day when I’m retired and have more time as another resolution is to set aside some
time to get out my sewing machine and use it.
Happy New Year everyone and thanks for reading – catch you tomorrow.