Travel Theme: Broken – Rattlesnake Hunting No More!

2014 Broken 4R
near Success Lake outside of Portervile, CA

We didn’t travel far to experience the fastest breaking the trainer had ever seen.  The rattlesnake trainer travels all over California, and maybe the country, breaking dogs from sniffing, hunting, attacking or otherwise annoying rattlesnakes.

2014 Broken 2R

Kalev is not particularly aggressive towards rattlesnakes, but because of her size, we didn’t want to take any chances. It was time to break her of any latent tendencies towards rattlesnake hunting.

2014 Broken 1R

The process was simple, and took about 5 minutes once her number was called.  The trainer cuddled her for a second to gain her trust as he slipped a shocking collar around her neck.  She fell for him.

  • First he took her on the porch where a small dead rattle snake lay curled in a little circle.  It didn’t smell like cow pies or a dead mouse, so she avoided it.  It probably hadn’t been dead long enough.   No shocker collar action for her on step one.
  • Next the trainer led her to some big scary rocks where a fake snake sound rattled from between the boulders.  Again, she showed extreme disinterest.
  • Then the trainer had a real treat, snake smells rubbed in the grass.  He coaxed her towards it, and she took the bait.  He zapped her instantly telling her to avoid tempting snake smells at all costs.
  • To pass the test she had to run across the grass containing a live snake and come to me while avoiding the snake.  She started out to make a beeline for me, but screeched to a stop when she smelled his venomous body hidden in the tall grass.  She gingerly stepped aside, and ran towards me.

That was three years ago.  Today, she will still hardly walks on grass – even ours.  She balances on the rock wall rather than touch the manicured lawn until she gets to just the right place, then she tiptoes over to take care of business, jumping back to the safe rocks when she finishes.

2014 Broken 3R
The training area

I think she’s broken.

To see more ideas about broken click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Companionable

I love companionable.  People and animals getting along together.  Maybe even plants, anything that breathes.  Things???  Well, Manny is companionable, but usually…  Well there are a few things I can’t do without, too, come to think of it.

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Puppy Girl and Mama Kitty are about the same size and very companionable.  Even from the start Mama accepted PG.  Who knows why?  She hates other cats that come around.

BJ and Piggles

I used to raise guinea pigs.  my puppy BJ was so jealous of what we gave the guinea pigs that he would eat things that dogs just hate – like lettuce.  He and Bud were very companionable with the guinea pigs when we fed them.  Piggles didn’t mind being companionable.

History Girls

My good friends, the history girls, and I decided that one of our outings would be to see Wicked.  I found these perfect sparkly red shoes at the Sears store in the shopping mall near the theatre – wonder why?  They were only $9.99.  Who could pass on that?  We wore them and felt companionable, not just with each other, but with the play as well.

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Now I have to go BE companionable with the Woodlake Kiwanians who put on a July  3rd Fireworks Display.  I hate working in 108 degree heat, but I am going to be companionable – until I melt.  🙂  Lots of love to everyone.  Remember to be companionable tomorrow as you celebrate our freedom to be companionable.

Travel theme: Benches

Today I went with my friend Connie to the Best of the Valley Quilt Show at the McDermont Field House in Lindsay, CA.  It was so overwhelming, I decided to use challenges and themes to tell part of the story.  I took over 200 pictures, and it will take me over a year to tell you the story, and by then it will be time for another quilt show.  I can’t believe how MANY talented quilters there are in this area – not to mention the world.

Quilted bench
Quilted bench

One of my favorite sections of the show was at the back, and it was a challenge.  All of the entries had to use the same fabric.  In a future post, I will show you how different those entries were.

Benches 2

Another favorite was the doll section.  This is a character from a children’s book.  I’ll show you others later.   To whet your appetite here are two entries in the show that fit this theme.

Scardy Kitty is comfortable here Prints an Greeting Cards for sale at Fine Art America
Scardy Kitty is comfortable here.   Unmarked prints and greeting cards are for sale at Fine Art America.

Benches and cats go well together.

Can I get on the bench, Mom?
Can I get on the bench, Mom?

This dog wants to get on the bench.

Benches everywhere, no matter what their composition, invite people and animals alike to sit a spell, and enjoy life.

Day Trip From Woodlake to Three Rivers, CA In Search of Snow

Winding Through the Backroads Out of Woodlake, CA

We got up Sunday morning to absolutely sparkly blue skies, and cool temperatures.  It was a perfect day for a trip to the mountains.  I wanted to see snow up close and personal.  In the summer here the weather changes very little, but in the winter it can change from minute to minute.  Before it changed too much V, Kalev and I hopped into the car and headed for the hills.  My goal was to get to Sequoia National Park, and play in the snow.

TC Drive to Kaweah Lake014The trip up to the park was distracting.  “Pull over right here, V.  I want to snap a picture of rock outcroppings.”

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“Stop, stop, stop. right here V.  There’s a great picture of a horse for Auty.”

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“Look at that view, V.  Don’t you think I should take that?  SToooooop!!!”

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“Thanks V.  I’m ready now.”  Both V and Kalev were VERY patient

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Kaweah Lake near Three Rivers, CA

I do want to stop at Kaweah Lake and take a few pictures.  OK?

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Now that’s what I’m talking about.  I can’t believe that I thought this was ugly when I first moved here.  Right now it is at its lowest levels.  You can see the high-level water mark on the side of the hill.  When the rains come, and the snows melt, the lake behind Terminus Dam builds up.  If the Corps of Engineers doesn’t keep it empty now, it could conceivably break the dam built in 1955.  Before that time our valley was subject to extreme droughts most years, then huge floods every 7-10 years that bathed all the valley towns in several feet of fast-flowing, tree and rock-laden river waters.

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We pulled into the Tulare County Boat Safety Patrol Lake Kaweah Office parking lot, saw a friend of V’s, and took some pictures.  The flag was flying at half-mast in honor of victims of the Newtown, Connecticut shooting.

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Terminus Dam
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“No, no Puppy Girl. Mommy doesn’t want to climb back UP those stairs.” – ML
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I’ll bring you back here this spring, and you’ll wonder how those cars could have ever been driving down there. ML

TC Drive to Kaweah Lake052 TC Drive to Kaweah Lake055 TC Drive to Kaweah Lake076Then we headed up the road in search of snow.  Almost immediately we came to Horse Creek Bridge.  When I was teaching, just before summer vacation one year, a young woman came to speak to our 4th graders about swimming safety.

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Like many other youngsters, when summer came, she went with her friends and took turns jumping off Horse Creek Bridge into the water below.  Of course, there’s a lot more water in the summer.

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Nonetheless, the rocks are still there, buried, and impossible to judge.  She hit her head and broke her neck.

TC Drive to Kaweah Lake082 The jump paralyzed her for life at age 19.

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We drove up to Slick Rock, a popular place to swim in the summer.

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Kalev was thankful for a chance to explore.

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Mom and Dad weren’t paying much attention to her.  Good thing she had on her leash!

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Plenty of green grass. Don’t look Dad! About time we get to explore something besides pavement!  This is MORE like it. OK, I’m done now, Dad. DAD! I said I’m DONE. LET”S MOVE IT!   COME ON! – K
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Finally, there’s a lot to sniff here . – K
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I could make it down this little slope, but Dad said no. If he’d just LOSE this leash! – K
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I could climb those. He’s not being reasonable with this leash thing. MMMM, What’s this smell? -K
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Dad seems preoccupied with this view. I don’t know what the big deal is. I could just run around if he’d just unsnap my leash. – K
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Mom doesn’t even care. Do you think SHE is going to climb those rocks. hahaha Last time she tried something like that she smashed her camera lens when she tripped. LOL  BUT I COULD BE CLIMBING THOSE ROCKS!  DAD, LET ME GO!  -K
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I wonder how I could get his attention? – K
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There, these did the trick! Now he’s looking.  He’s bending down.  He’ll unsnap my leash now.  Ouch DAD! You’re pulling my hair!  I don’t have much, hair, and … What are you doing?  Leave those burs in my back alone. They aren’t bothering anyone! – K
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Great, now he’s called Mom over. She never gives up on these things. OUUUUUCH! MOM! Why don’t they just go back to their sightseeing? – K

 

V came unglued.  I struggled with my bandaged thumb to pull out burs for about the next 15 minutes.  Finally we were down to the last three, but they weren’t budging.  Then one more to go.  It was almost in her mouth, and needed to be cut out.  About that time, the park ranger drove up.  I got out of the car and asked if he had any scissors.  He did!  We cut the last bur out, bit by bit.  Kalev was such a good girl.  She did jerk her head a bit, but never a yelp or a snap. In the end, it took both V and me to hold her head still while Ranger Bill snipped out the bur.  Here’s a FAQ for you about burs.  “The bur of burdock was the inspiration for Velcro.”  Wikipedia

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That wasn’t so bad. Maybe Ranger Bill will let me down to run around. – K

Kalev was very grateful to Ranger Bill.

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Our next stop was Horse Creek Campground.

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You can see how exposed the tree roots are because of the higher level of the water in the spring and early summer.  That means the campground is under water, and we wouldn’t be driving on this road.

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Dad, put me down. Mom’s leaving us.  MOM, you forgot me!  Do you see that grass? What’s a Pac-Man? – K

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Across the road, I spotted Pac-Man hanging out at Horse Creek Campground.

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Can you tell how old this tree is?  Me either, the rings are too small for me to count, but it’s dead now.  After one last shot for Toemail, we were ready to leave. The blue skies suddenly turned gray, we were tired, and we never drove high enough to reach snow.  We decided to go back home and wait for the snow to come down to us.  It was a relatively quick trip, and we thought of many other reasons to come back.  It was a great date.  People come from all over the world to visit the Sequoia National Park, home of the biggest trees in the world.  We didn’t make it up that far today.

So if you come visit us, we’ll make the entire trip to the Sequoias without all the distractions because you will have seen them already.  Or maybe you’d like the distractions, too.

What do you think?  With or without distractions?

 

Sunday Post: Peaceful

water-dragon-poster1

I thought about the ocean, but sometimes it is NOT peaceful.  I considered farm animals, but they make a LOT of noise.  Then, I looked around for something at home where I feel most peaceful.  Who should be peacefully resting in my folder, but Mama Kitty?

Mama Kitty is peaceful

Granted Kalev is NOT peaceful.  Every morning she charges out to see Mama Kitty, her body twisting and writhing with excitement.  Amazingly Mama Kitty just stands waiting for her morning kiss from Kalev.

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Scardy could do anything to her without rousing her ire.  Scardy mellowed in adulthood, but as a baby….  Mama had to have the patience of a  … oh yeah – Mama.Mama Kitty is peaceful 4

Even when Kalev first came to live with use, Mama tolerated her advances.Mama Kitty is peaceful 3

Mama Kitty can even bear the burden carrying a tree on her back without getting riled.

Other animals lose their cool from time to time, even me, but Mama Kitty is ALWAYS peaceful.

Featured Blog

I met Richard Tulloch’s Life on the Road just last week when I saw his Reflections post.  Richard writes children’s books, and travel articles so he has to be a new hero of mine, but since he is based out of Sydney and Amsterdam, I hadn’t heard of him.  From him I learned about a famous walk,  El Camino se Santiago, that my friend Leslie wants to take and invited me to join her – and any other brave souls.  I hope you’ll enjoy Richard as much as I have in the short time I’ve followed him.

Leslie's goal I just want to tag along.
Leslie’s goal I just want to tag along.

To participate in Jakesprinter’s Sunday Post:  Peaceful

1. Each week, he will provide a theme for creative inspiration. Show the world based on your interpretation what you have in mind for the theme, and post them on your blog anytime before the following Sunday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. Subscribe to jakesprinter so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS.

So I learned something today.  How about you?

Here are some of the participants I gathered.