All posts by Sheila

I have a passion for the outdoors and I am most happy enjoying what nature has to offer. Hobbies include photography, birding, Pickleball, astronomy, biking, and hiking. I have been happily married, for 44 years, to an amazing person.

~Please be aware of dogs off leash. Skye is attacked. She is okay!~

 

It was going to be a fun Sunday. Several days ago we purchased tickets to see a performance at our locat Budweiser Event Center. Cirque Du Soleil, Varekai was performing in Loveland!

We have seen most of the Cirque Du Soleil performances and truly enjoy them. We decided we would go to the Sunday show at 1:30pm.

On Sunday morning we woke up and decided after coffee and a walk we would have brunch at our favorite local restaurant called The Egg and I. They have excellent food and we love going there. After brunch we would then head over to the Event Center a little early and watch the arena fill up with people. People watching can be fun.

After we had our coffee we set off to enjoy our morning walk with our two “girls”. We have been walking our dogs, on this hill where we live, since March of 1987. Skye, the Keeshond is going to be nine and Kloud, the Siberian is going to be ten. They have enjoyed daily walks for all these years. All of our previous best friends have enjoyed our daily walks in this neighborhood as well.

We were calmly walking along enjoying the morning when we noticed a big, black dog in front of us. The dog spotted us and charged, attacking Skye. No hesitation from the black dog, full out run and attack. It all happened so fast.

Skye is crying as the black dog is biting her on her back and side, Kloud is howling, I am screaming and Howard is trying to hold on to Kloud while going after the black dog. I am on the ground grabbing for Skye and trying to get her out from under the black dog. Howard grabs the dog by its collar and is pulling with all his might. Finally, he manages to get the dog off of Skye as I continue to grab for her. Finally she is in my arms, still crying, as I try to calm her down and see if she is hurt.

We were both so upset that our sweet girl, that doesn’t have a single vicious bone in her body is attached. We are dazed and become angry. Nothing like this has ever happened to us before. This family has had another dog that attacked and seriously injured a neighbor and their dog. The big, black dog is one of five the owners currently have.

Our friends and neighbors that live diagonally across the street from the people that have the black dog heard the screams and came running outside. I thank them so very much for assisting us. Howard was banged up, injuring both knees and suffered a sore shoulder from pulling at the dog. They brought out supplies for Howard to attend to his wounds. They, after we requested, called the Animal Control office for us and an officer came out a little later.

In the meantime, I take Skye and Kloud back up the hill to our house to put them inside and Howard stayed holding on to the dog and waiting for the officer to arrive. I didn’t have my house key, but put Skye and Kloud on our enclosed deck and told them to use the doggie door to go inside. I wanted to drive back down to see if Howard was okay. I didn’t have my car keys, but remember our next door neighbors had a key to our house. I ran over to their house and asked for the key or garage door opener. They realized I was upset and offered to drive me around to where Howard was. I thank them so very much!

Arriving back at the scene, I saw that Howard was okay just banged up and still holding the dog by its collar. Finally, I get his house key and go back home to check Skye. She had appeared to be okay as I walked them home, literally wanting to run back to our house.

I cut away some of Skye’s fur so I could clean the area around what I thought was the only two puncture wounds she had, I used Peroxide. The animal control officer told us when he came to our house to put Neosperin on the wounds, which we did.  I also gave her an 81mg baby aspirin.

It turned out to be a difficult time for Howard, at the scene, when the lady that owns the dog pulled into her driveway, as he was talking to the Animal Control Officer that had arrived. No remorse, on her part, for what happened and that it was all our fault. I will just leave it there.

We had to fill out paper work when the Animal Control Officer came to our house. He took our statements, took photos of Skye, Howard’s injuries and my scrapes. As of now we have not heard anything else from him.

Monday morning we called our vet and took Slye in to be examined. We wanted to make sure she was okay. The vet cleaned the wounded area and shaved fur in order to get a clear picture of the extent of her wounds. We were horrified when Skye came back into the room. She was bitten in several places and she was so bruised and very swollen. She was prescribed three meds and we were instructed to keep giving her a baby aspirin for five days.

I had make the mistake of giving her the aspirin, because the vet could not give her anything stronger as it would react with the aspirin. I leaned continued use of aspirin in dogs will result with injury to their stomach.

Our vet also gave us the name of a gel that would help with the bruising. It is called Arnica Gel and I put it on Skye’s injuries three times a day.

I write this to warn others that have dogs. Beware of dogs off leash and even dogs being walked on a leash. Our love for dogs, especially for me, reduces my fear of other dogs and it shouldn’t. Howard has been more alert at the possible danger than I have been. Not anymore! Very sad, but necessary. We will, from now on, carry something to defend ourselves and our beloved dogs.

Please be on alert, it can happen so fast. I know all of you probably are, but just be extra careful.

Our situation could have resulted in a more horrific result, Skye being severely injured, Howard and I could have been bitten or badly injured.

Skye is sore, but doing well!

Skye's injuries
Skye’s injuries

~Sunlight Lifts Dreams~

Sunlight Lifts Dreams off the Forest Floor
Sunlight Lifts Dreams off the Forest Floor

 

Sunlight lifts dreams off the forest floor,

floating into your heart and soul.

~

 They become yours to do with what you please,

 keep them to yourself or share with ease.

~

Just remember dreams are given, to those that won’t delay,

in putting them in motion, because they are fleeting and will decay.

 

I captured this photo, April 8, 2014, while on a hike with hubby, Skye and Kloud at Stephen F. Austin State Park.

Live Your Dream

~Friday’s Feathered Friend – Killdeer~

 

Friday’s Feathered Friend

 

Killdeer Showy wings and tail
Killdeer
Showy wings and tail

~

Killdeer added to my Birding Life List in April of 1986

(Loveland, CO)

~

Killdeer: 

`largest of the ringed plovers and the only double-banded plover

`probably the most familiar shorebird in North America

`in the summer it is found across (almost) the entire continent south of the tundra

`two black bands across chest

`red eye ring

`slim black bill

`bright rufous-orange rump and upper tail coverts

`white underparts

`long-pointed wings with long white stripe

`loud cry sounding like, kill-dee or kill-deear

`monogamous, solitary nester, often returns to same mate and breeding site

`nests on open ground

`juveniles are similar in appearance, but have only one black band across the chest

  • **information above taken from Smithsonian handbooks, Birds of North America**

 

On April 10th we arrived in Kerrville, Texas staying for three nights at the Buckhorn Lake Resort. Howard and I were out walking the doggies and we heard then spotted a pair of Killdeer. After a few minutes of watching them we discovered they had three babies. These little guys were running all over the place and their parents were going crazy trying to keep track of them. I read that the babies feed themselves, but the parents tend to them. They will fly at around 25 days old.

I was so disappointed I didn’t have my camera with me. I ran back to the coach, picked up my camera and ran back to take a few shots of the babies. Well, I don’t know where they went, but I never did spot them again.

However, I did capture one of the parents faking injury to lure me away from the babies. It was amazing to watch this display. I had only seen this performed once before by a Nighthawk.

I didn’t want to disturb the family too much so I stayed well back from them.

Under behavior in one of my bird books it states the following about this fake injury display and it is very actuate.

Leads intruders away from nest and young with “broken wing” act, rapid calls, one or both wings dragging, tail spread, and often limping or listing to one side.

Killdeer, pretending to be hurt to lure me away from their young
Killdeer, pretending to be hurt to lure me away from young

 

"Come after me, can't you see I have a broken wing!"
“Come after me, can’t you see I have a broken wing!”

 

Tail spread with left wing dragging
Tail spread with left wing dragging

 

Notice the beautiful red eye ring
Notice the beautiful red eye ring

 

They are so well camouflaged
They are so well camouflaged

~

Enjoy Birdwatching!

It can be entertaining as well as educational!

~

 

~whimsical wednesday- a quiz~

 

Take a close look at the photos I have posted, then answer the question below. Choose your answer wisely!

Darth Vadar's Airiel Attack Team

~

Synchronized Bird Flying Team

~

A Glossy Ibis Spring Meeting

~

 Question:

What do these photos depict?

  1. Darth Vader’s Stealth Attack Team

  2. Synchronized Flying Bird Team from Ireland

  3. A flock of Glossy Ibis

  4. A flock of White-faced Ibis

Send me your answers or I will send the attack team after  you.

I hope my little quiz added a little whimsey to your day!

~

When we visited Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge, at the beginning of April, we spotted a flock of Ibis pictured in the photos above (these look like Glossy). ?? We only had time to visit for one day and it turned out to be a cloudy day. The cloudy day makes for an interesting photo of these seemingly dark colored birds.

Later in the month, when we stopped at Bottomless Lakes State Park near Roswell, New Mexico and visited Bitter Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, we got to see the White-faced Ibis.

These photos are from Bitter Lakes National Wildlife Refuge.

Glossy Ibis
White-faced Ibis
Beautiful feather colors on this Glossy Ibis
Beautiful colored feathers on this White-faced Ibis
Glossy Ibis feeding at Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge
White-faced Ibis feeding at Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge

 

Photos below taken at Bitter Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Roswell, New Mexico and depicts what the area looks like. I will post a few additional bird photos from Bitter Lakes actually showing the lakes.

The Prairie, Roswell, New Mexico
The Prairie, Roswell, New Mexico
Bitter Lakes National Wildlife Refuge
Bitter Lakes National Wildlife Refuge
Bitter Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, where the Chihuahuan Desert meets the southern plains.
Bitter Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, where the Chihuahuan Desert meets the southern plains.

For information on these two National Wildlife Refuges go to the web-sites below:

Bitter Lakes:

http://www.fws.gov/refuges/profiles/index.cfm?id=22510

Anahuac:

http://www.fws.gov/refuges/profiles/index.cfm?id=21521

 

Enjoy the journey and live in the now!

 

~A Honey of a Story~

A few weeks ago Howard and I are having lunch at a restaurant in Carlsbad, New Mexico. We had been to this restaurant before and wanted to go again, because we enjoyed the food. The Red Chimney Pit Bar-B-Q has great food, service and atmosphere! It also has fish for me, the non-meat eater in the family.

When the waiter brings our food, he sets down a clear squeeze bottle filled with honey; its golden color was gorgeous. He stated, “This will be very good on your hot rolls.” We noticed the bottle of honey didn’t have a label or any other identification as to where it was bottled.

Of course we tried the honey on our hot rolls and enjoyed its delightful, mild and not-too-sweet taste. We later asked the waiter if the honey was bottled locally and he told us that it came from Roswell, NM.

Leaving the restaurant, after our delicious meal, we stopped at Albertsons (grocery) to pick up a couple gallon jugs of water. I decided to see what types of honey they sold. I found the isle where the honey was stored, but noticed all the bottles and jars were located on the very top shelf, which was too high for this 5’2” gal.

Howard and I tried to looked at the labels, but didn’t spot any that looked like it was bottled in New Mexico. I noticed a store clerk on the next isle over, so I when to ask him a few questions about the honey they sold.

I told him our story of eating the honey at the Red Chimney. He followed us back to the isle where the honey was and noticed the same situation, the bottles and jars were too high up to read the labels.

He then went to the back storage area and came out with a stool. He places the stool in front of the honey, climbs up and proceeds to read the labels.  He tells us where each one is produced. He picks up one and states, “From New York, that won’t do!” Too funny, like the Picante Salsa ad!

Needless to say he couldn’t find a single honey product made in New Mexico. He seemed very interested in our honey treasure hunt. We thanked him and left the store with our jugs of water. When traveling I like to notice grocery items that are from the local area. Buy local the signs read!

The following day the weather at Brantley Lake State Park in Carlsbad was stormy so we decided to hang out in the warm coach. Howard’s interest was peeked, after our honey tasting at the restaurant, so he spend a few hours on the web reading all about Honey! Who knew there were so many different types of honey. However, he couldn’t find anything in reference to honey being bottled in Roswell.

We spent two nights at Brantley Lake State Park and early on the third morning we headed to Bottomless Lakes State Park in Roswell. We had a short ride! It turned out to be a nice day so we decided to take a ride out to Bitter National Wildlife Refuge (BWLR) to see what was going on out there. Here is their web-site: http://www.fws.gov/refuges/profiles/index.cfm?id=22510 (A great birding place.)

Before we headed out to the BNWF we stopped for lunch. I told Howard I was going to ask the waiter if he knew of any honey produced here in Roswell. Howard stated, “He won’t know anything about honey.” Boy was Howard wrong. I asked the waiter about the honey and he immediately smiled and stated, “Yes, I buy my honey from a local family here in Roswell.” He told us exactly where the place was located and all about the benefits of honey.

That morning arriving in Roswell, as we were traveling out to the state park, we passed a sign that had just the word Honey written on it. The sign was very old, faded in color and sat in front of a small stone building that was crumbling to the ground. We surmised this used to be the place where honey was sold.

Back at the restaurant our waiter told us exactly where we could purchase the honey. He then described the location and sign that we had seen. “No way” I said. I told him that can’t be the place, because the building is abandoned and falling down. He then said, “Look for a house near the sign, this is where you need to go.”

After our visit to the BNWR we knew we would pass the sign and decided to slowly drive by and look for the house. As we were passing we saw the house and an elderly man out in the yard; he was watering what looked like tomato plants.

I said, “Oh what the heck, lets stop and talk with him.” We pulled into the multi-car driveway just off the highway. Howard got out of the car and began a conversation with the grey-haired man. Howard then turned toward the car and waved me to come. The man stated, “Yes, I make and sell the honey, come inside and I will show you.”

We followed him inside his neat home, passing a guitar in the living room and headed to the kitchen. I could picture him sitting in his living room playing his guitar. He did look like an old hippy! He went to a big closet and came out with a quart jar of honey. He told us he only sells it by the quart for $12.00.

Howard with his newly acquired knowledge of honey asked him a few questions. No, it is not pasteurized; yes, it is 100% pure honey; yes it was bottled recently. Howard states, “Okay, we will buy a quart.”

The old, hippy, farmer stated, “Be sure to store your honey in a dark, cool place never putting it in the refrigerator and it will last a very long time.” He was so sweet and kind, shaking our hands when we left. I did find, on the web, a Roswell local Farmer’s Market that sells his honey. Here is the web-site: http://gravesfarmandgarden.com

We are now back at home, arriving Tuesday, and enjoying a teaspoon of honey in our morning coffee and afternoon hot tea! We have decided that the honey we purchased from this very nice elderly man is not the same honey we tasted in Carlsbad, but it is just as good.

 

Our quart of honey
Our quart of honey

How long does it take to use a quart jar of 100% pure honey?