Pumpkins And Pheasants

October Trails

Most of the trees around the ranch are molting, big time. I hope my people develop an appreciation for the modest amount of fur I leave on the carpet and my person’s reading chair. The lawn molted all summer, and required my boy to vacuum it with that noisy riding mower every single week. Acres of molt! Now the trees have dropped tons of leaves on our property, and the neighbors’ tree’s leaves blow into our yard. They look pretty and they smell great, though.

My people have started again with their disguising of the house. I’m not sure if they think they can hide the big ark, or if they’re trying to attract mates. For one thing, they already have each other (people mate for life, like geese), and for another, they seem a little too old to be looking for mates, and three; it’s not spring. So they tried to hide the front porch, or maybe just scare people away, by putting up this nine-foot tall man balloon with green skin and bolts sticking out of his neck. That should be enough to scare folks away, but on top of that my person put up lights that look like eyes, peering out from under the porch steps!

Green Guy

As you can see in this older photo, my peeps nailed this deflated girl to a tree as a warning to intruders. There’s the green man balloon, and that’s my predecessor, Chuy. I don’t know if they think this looks scary, but if you ask me it looks like decorations.

Dead Guy

Sometimes they’ll even prop up a dead guy on the front porch. I guess it’s like “don’t come here unless you want to end up like this guy.” I dunno. How much could a dead guy hurt you? Then they have those corn dolls they call “scarecrows”. Sheesh. I don’t know any crow that would be scared by those things. Besides, we never really have crows on the front porch, so it’s probably a moot point.

Lizzy Scarecrow

And the pumpkins and gourds! They collected them all, then they just threw them on the ground around the door and on the porch! Maybe they’re trying to bait deer to come closer to the house. That way they wouldn’t need to walk out into the woods to hunt them. I hope we don’t draw any deer, ’cause those guns are loud enough when they’re over the hill. Then another thing they do is kill the pumpkin and gut it, then cut holes in it to make it look like a face. Really? Do they think anyone would believe that’s a person? (Or at least a person’s head)? Of course, these are the same people that dress their offspring in bizarre disguises. Maybe it’s camouflage so they can actually run up and grab the deer. People are just really weird sometimes, don’t you think?

Wonder Woods

I really enjoy this time of year, when the floor of the woods become the same color as me. The leaves are crunchy and make a cool noise when you walk, but it makes it impossible to sneak up on a squirrel or a rabbit. The air is cooler and smells great all the time. The days are getting shorter, too, and when I go out in the morning now it’s still dark. The sun is just rising when my person leaves for work, and by the time he gets home it is setting.

Birdwatcher

Lots of geese have flown over the house recently. The hummingbirds are gone already. The cowbirds form huge flocks and fly so low you can hear the rush of their wings as they pass over. Chipmunks and squirrels are on a rampage picking up pine nuts and beech nuts and hickory nuts and stashing them away for the future. These are all great signs that we’re finally returning to normal, and that nasty summer business is behind us.

Pheasants!

A new bit of fun this year, as Uncle Matt and his friend Target released about a dozen Ringneck Pheasants on the ranch. There’s boys and girls, so with luck their population will grow. On the walk recently, we scared one up and it took off with a thunder of wingbeats!

The world is looking lovely these days, and I only wish I wasn’t colorblind.

Watch out for those giant green guys, witches and ghosts! It’s a scary season!

Wag more, bark less.

Sasha

Change In The Air

Morning Sun

Bright, hot, sunny days, and cool, clear nights tell me the summer is wearing on. There are a lot of clues that tell us it’s the time of year when the weather begins a turn toward autumn. The air smells a little different. Less of water and more of trees. In the cabana, the spider weaves her last web of the year. After a lot of practice, she sure is getting good at it. The web is a beautiful thing when the morning sun strikes it just right, and rainbows appear in the silk.

Cabana Web

It’s a bit chilly now in the mornings, and I can see my breath on the air. Dew sets heavy and cold.

Breath On The Air

The brood of pewees in the mossy nest left before the little wren nested in the new birdhouse. We were excited to see the wrens nest in the yard again. It’s been a couple years since the old wren house came down, and we’ve missed their lively chatter and captivating songs.

Wren Camp

They wasted no time raising their charges, and in just a few short weeks their task was complete, and they have already moved on. It was fun to see them, and nice to have life in the cabana after the pewees moved out.

Papa or Mama Wren, with lunch

There are other signs of the progression of the seasons. On the trail, plants are heavy with fruit. The blackberries are almost done, after a banner year. A few still adorn the canes, and even a few red raspberries my be seen. Queen Anne’s lace, black-eyed Susans and mature sunflowers are all signs we’re nearing the harvest season.

The morning sun is getting later. It rises now as my person is almost ready to leave for that place he calls “work”, where they keep him all day for five days in a row. Boy am I glad when it’s the weekend, and we can hang out, ride in the truck to¬†The Snack Store, and go for a great hike on Sunday morning. I wish every day was Sunday.

Dawn Dog

Starlings are gathering in huge flocks now, and each evening, as we enjoy the sunset from the side porch, we watch them fly over by the thousands. A mile-long line of fluttering birds. When they fly right overhead, you can hear the whispering rush of their wings against the air.

Bird Watching

Soon the world will begin to take on a golden glow. The sun will creep southward a little at each sunrise. Deer will be on the move, preparing this year’s charges for winter. The bear and the gopher, and even the despised squirrels begin readying for the next season.

Airborne

I like summer, and the nice weather and some rain. I must admit I don’t like the hottest days that much, what with a big fur coat and being from Siberia. The flies annoy me a little, too. Not to worry. These days are harbingers, a promise of the seasons to come. When we can be out without pesky flies, and nothing tries to sneak under the lattice because it’s buried in snow. Yes, things will be back to normal soon.

Cold, Snow, Perfect!

 

Wag more, bark less.

Sasha

Snow And Gunpowder

Nishan Hill

 

Woo! Hoo! More snow!

We had a good snowstorm blanket the ranch with fresh powder up to a Chusky’s knees, and we went for a great hike on Sunday. Uncle Matt cousin Max and some other people friends came over to do some rabbit hunting. I was ready to see them cry when they saw how I could run much faster than them, and I still have trouble catching a rabbit.

Well, I guess the rabbits found out about it, because nobody saw a single one! They must have been hiding in their dens.

We went for a long walk and rooted around through some grapevine tangles, and never scared up a bunny. As we were heading through Chuy’s trail eastward, a war broke out. It was a small war, I guess, and they took their time shooting. Still, I’m afraid of loud noises and the gunfire was between us and the house!

My person ducked into Mr. Nishan’s machine shed, and we waited it out. The wind blew all around and snow continued to fall as we waited. It was really cold, so we were glad to be out of the wind.

At one point, my person pointed to the window and said “Okay, I’m going to knock out that window. You go to Dawson and get Sergeant Preston. Understand? Get Sergeant Preston!” I think he thought he was in the TV show for a minute.

Finally, the shooting stopped, and we came down through the Avenue Of The Pines to discover it was our own people that came for rabbit hunting. Geez, I should have thought of that. They never intended to run after the rabbits!

I was really tired by the time we came in, and I had a good long nap in front of the wood stove. I pretended I was huddled around a fire with my teammates on the frozen Chukchi Peninsula in Siberia.

When I woke up, I was glad I was home and warm.

 

Clear trails!

 

Sasha