Phoebe's holiday camp

woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)August 9, 2008

I figured a separate thread will make it easy for gb to follow the activities of her baby Bouv, without cluttering up the regular Idyll threads....

She had a quiet night in her pen in our bedroom. Randy says there was little or no fussing. Misty wanted out about 5:45 this morning so Randy put them both out. He said Phoebe looked uncertain about what she was supposed to do out there so early in the morning! But, when I got up around 7:30 and let her out of the pen again, she made a beeline for the backdoor, went out and 'did her business' promptly. Walkies after breakfast this morning wasn't too interesting - no neighbourhood dogs out to meet her... So she came back and hassled Misty a bit :-) All visiting dogs seem to do this:

She's obviously feeling more relaxed this morning - which means she's acting up a bit, testing limits. She was less inclined to stay put on her mat during our breakfast and wants to play, using her teeth a bit :-)

She seems most mellow out on the back porch. It's a convenient spot to keep an eye on anything interesting that may be happening in the backyard. So we spent a couple of hours out there this morning. This is not a great picture but I like it because they are both in the same pose and it shows that they have somewhat similar faces despite the difference in scale:

The back porch evokes a mellow mood (although the deck covering could use being swept and washed!)

Phoebe is somewhere in this picture but I can't see her... (this is the view from the longe chair, looking west)

It looks like we're due for some more rain soon. I guess I'll be finding out shortly whether Phoebe is bothered by thunderstorms..!

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What a great idea, Woody, a separate thread to monitor Phoebe's summer camp experience. Looks like you're all off to a great start. (Don't know why it's so reassuring to see someone else's pile of magazines and books, but it is...what a comfy room, Woody.)

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 12:59PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Did Misty and Phoebe growl at each other at first? I like the side by side pic. They sure do have the same profiles.
Phoebe is too large to be behind the Hostas isn't she ?

It looks and sounds like all is going to go well with her visit.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 1:38PM
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Wow, what nice shots and what a great idea to treat Phoebie to "becation"! Wish you lived nearer us, Rex would benefit from such a relaxed environment.

Love that settee, and especially love that it is used by appreciative family members.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 2:59PM
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Phoebe's profile reminds me of a dog from the Sunday funnies, but I can't place it! I will have to rack my brain for this one.

I can't imagine where Phoebe could be hiding, LOL! Takes a lot of green to hide that pup :)

Misty is a good hostess, it seems :)


    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 3:52PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

The afternoon hasn't been quite so mellow as this morning :-) Phoebe doesn't appear to be afraid of thunderstorms (Misty is terrified...) but she isn't willing to go out in them either! And she's too young still to hold herself for long I think, so she had an accident (of the liquid sort...)in front of the patio door in the height of the thunderstorm that rolled through and dumped 35mm in no time, along with a bit of hail. It looks like there're more storms to come too. It was not a good time to discover you forgot to add paper towels to the shopping list...:- ) Randy is out getting some now!

I had taken her out on the back porch around the time her accident must have occurred (we didn't see her do it...) I took her out when I thought there was a bit of a lull but, when we went out, there was a flash of lightening and a crack of thunder that was so loud/close that even I 'heard' it (which means it made the porch vibrate...) Needless to say, we came back inside very quickly! There is a lull at the moment and Randy took some pictures of the ditch by the road before he went out to get the paper towels. This is the culvert that runs under the driveway:

Liam is coming tonight. If it's not storming out, I think there will be two very wet, dirty dogs to deal with! Phoebe is a little bored with an afternoon indoors and has spent a bit of time imitating Copper by hassling Misty. Misty may be small but she's very eloquent and fierce-looking when she's telling one of her big buddies to 'get lost'! But she enjoys the attention too...

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 4:25PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Liam's presence caused great excitement for Phoebe - she was much enamoured with him! But over-excited too. More of the endless thunderstorms arrived directly overhead shortly after Liam so they only got a short while of playtime outdoors. In the house all the running about got Phoebe really charged up so we put her in her pen for a bit of a time-out. When she settled down a bit, we let her back out but put her on the small green leash that gb brought in addition to her walking leash. She has a tendency to grab the leash in her moudh and play with it/chew on it while rolling around on her back, waving her legs in the air! 'Drop it' worked most of the time but I missed getting the command out in time a few times - and she chewed completely through the leash! A second, longer time-out was employed during dinner....! If it had been a nice evening when they could have spent most of the time running around outside together, it would have been much better. But they did get along well together. Here is a bad photo of the three of them and Liam's 'mother':

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 10:40PM
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The caption should read: Tag You're It! I think that's a great action shot!

I believe I was thinking of Sam Sheepdog when I looked at Phoebe's profile :)


Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 7:31AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Saucy - there was a lot of tag played last night :-)

Phoebe can count to 4 I think... There are four seats in the office (where we spent a lot of time). Misty's seat is the loveseat (which I share with her for reading), Randy and I have our seats at our desks, and there's one comfy chair for reading or napping. Phoebe has clearly looked around and said 'everyone else has a chair so the napping chair must be mine!' Actually, first she tried testing out the other side of Misty's loveseat as her spot.... 'Off' works well - she always gets down when you say it, but she keeps trying.... I think the chair testing is actually a sign that she's quite literally trying to find her 'place' here :-)

She also seems to now see the back porch lift as the normal way to go up and down. When I went out with them this morning when they went out for bathroom duties, she headed to the lift when she saw me going that way. When I headed back to it after surveying the severely washed out state of the backyard paths, she ran onto the lift and sat waiting for Misty and I to join here. I'll have to get Randy to take a picture of the three of us on the lift.

Time for walkies - more rain in the forecast for later!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 8:48AM
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Wow, Woody. You have your hands full! Glad that Phoebe is somewhat listening and that Misty can stand her ground! Looking forward to seeing the lift pic.


    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 9:03AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Martie - Phoebe's not much more work than any new doggie guest on their first visit. They all need a few days to figure out our routines and test out what the rules are. Since Phoebe is younger than our usual guests, we're still learning what her puppy limits are. For example, this morning I was having a vigorous game of fetch with her with Jasper's cookie ball (big orange ball that you put a cookie in and they occupy themselves playing with it, trying to get the cookie out...). She loved the ball but it wasn't up to withstanding her teeth so I'll hunt up Chelsea's old big Kong as an alternative. I overestimated her capacity for play time before the bathroom reflex kicked in... We had a solid type accident in the front hall (where it is easy to clean up!) but it was my fault for not stopping play in time to send her out for a bathroom break. Because she doesn't look like a puppy now, it's harder to remember to treat her like one!

I've sort of solved her hunt for a seat in the office - I brought her mat that she lies on in the kitchen at meal times in here and she's happy with that (mostly - she still trying to sneak up on the loveseat with Misty when I'm not sitting there too. Misty is getting more tolerant of her trying to join her but the mat is where she's going to stay).

On the whole, she much quieter and more settled this morning so I think the worst of the adjustment phase is over.

Here are some lift pictures - Phoebe is the black blob!

Getting on the lift at the patio level:

Arriving at the porch level:

(Note that I'm wearing my training treat pouch - that's helping a bit too - immediate rewards - cookie bits - for good behavior :- ) (The messy walker is my garden walker with garden tools in the basket. The garden walker, when not in use by me in the garden, stays on the back porch for convenient access.)

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 1:44PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

What a great idea having a post for the visit. I have been enjoying the postings and photos. It has been a long time since we attempted to 'pet sit', but still, looks like things are going pretty well there. I can remember watching pets for friends who would cry and cry and pace in anxiety of separation, and very few that would tolerate a thunderstorm. One small toy pet that would shiver and want to be on your lap the whole time. Difficult to watch a dog that frightened. Sounds like you have had lots of experience and patience.

That lift and rolling seat with a basket look like a perfect idea and love the way you have boxed it in with trellis material.


    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 2:36PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Great thread, Woody! It looks so comfy and homey at your house. Great shot of Misty up on the chair in the foreground. The profile IS eerily similar.
That cracks me up about the lift. I can only imagine how delighted Gus would be if we'd provide some ammenities like that. He'd be MORE than happy to have a lift to get him upstairs at night.
Wow, the water is really sailing through that culvert! We had a downpour like that yesterday that filled up the puddles in about 20 minutes, then the sun came out and it was over.

Saucy, you nailed it with Sam :) Those were some of my favorite WB cartoons. "Mornin' Ralph" "Mornin' Sam".

I'll be looking forward to the continued adventures.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 4:48PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Final installment for today just to show gb that Phoebe is using the mat to lay on in the kitchen:

But is easily distracted by things like going on a misson to steal Misty's cookie...:

When I move the mat to the office, I put it beside the loveseat so she can keep Misty and me company. Here, she's chewing on a nylabone:

About an hour after our supper she was getting antsy so I took her out for a walk in the backyard. She did her 'business' and then did a Liam-like full speed race around the paths a couple of times. gb was worried that Phoebe might do some damage back there but, like all our doggie visitors, she stuck to the paths - we were sensible enough to put the paths where we knew the dogs would want to run!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 8:34PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Woody, even though I am not into dogs very deeply, I am enjoying your report on Phoebe and Mysty. I am sure Marie really apppreciates it. I am also enjoying seeing you and your DH. :-)

Good job !

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 9:00PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Today was an entirely lazy day for us all! It was actually quite nice here so we spent a large part of the day outside. While I planted a few things, Phoebe and Misty moseyed around the garden getting wet and dirty.

Then we retired to the porch and lounge chair for much of the rest of the day. We also spend some time indoors while I was on the computer. Phoebe seems to now recognize the office as home base and spends most of her time there totally relaxed (unless she's harassing Misty to entertain herself:-) I assume napping by someone using the computer probably reminds her of home....

While I was in the bathroom at one point this afternoon, Phoebe raided the laundry basket in the bedroom. One sock was later recovered, wet with slobber but undamaged.... Actually, I take it as a sign that she's now comfortable with me if one of my dirty socks is a desirable object! :-)

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 6:22PM
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Well Woody,Bug may be to wrapped up with Reed and family to check in on Pheobe to much, but I'm sure she is grateful to see that she has settled in at your place. You do a great job and it's obvious how much you love dogs. I have enjoyed seeing the pictures and hearing about your days.
The plants around here have had a bit to much water too.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 8:44PM
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I am in complete agreement with Norma (long time no read!). It is very clear that you not only enjoy canine units but you understand them.

It's been great fun to watch Phoebe settle into your world and routine. I think dogs are pretty adept at figuring out how to "fit in", equally adept at figuring out how to increase their own status in the pack, huh? :) Phoebe reminds me of Rex, always trying to finagle a little bit more for himself, lol.

Wrecks has never soiled inside the house, but those before him did. And like you, I quickly arrived at the realization that I had missed some cue or been in too much of a hurry to get them out and then back indoors. Now, the umbrella is next to the door, and in the winter I always put on warm footwear and a hat. It never pays to be in a hurry.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 6:44AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

The trying to improve her status in the pack was very much going on last night! We had a major battle at supper last night  sheÂs supposed to sit on her mat in the kitchen while we eat. She was not cooperating  clearly challenging my authority. Randy was working late so she didnÂt get a walk and had energy to burn which undoubtedly contributed...! I didnÂt get to eat more that two bites of supper at a time  every time she got up off the mat, I made her go back and lie down. Over and over again we did it! I think I ultimately won the battle because she sat on the mat this morning without being told. She's just being a normal 'teenage' puppy and we're getting through it fine. She's laying beside me now, chewing on her nylabone. I think the battle last night was an important stage in her accepting that she has to do what I say. When Arlene arrives this morning, weÂll take them for a long walk to burn off some of her energy.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 8:37AM
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The canine mind (or lack of one, lol) fascinates me, Woody. I watch Rex all the time and I can see the wheels turning inside his skull. He's smart and he will listen to commands but it can take forethought and perseverence to get him mentally ready to do it. I always try to burn some off the excess energy before we work on training or I know we'll be faced with a situation that will be tough/a test for him (other dogs, Woody). He's an "excitable boy" and it's important for me to remain cool and collected and insist on compliance. It can be very tiring.

It will be interesting to see how last night's test of wills plays out today and for the rest of her time with you. I suspect she will much more compliant. You are more like me with training. I tend to say it once and enforce if the command is not obeyed within a few seconds (3-5 for Rex). I praise lavishly only after the command has been obeyed for some time. The helpmeet is more lax, repeating the command and not actually making sure it's followed for some period of time. It's interesting to watch how Rex reacts and responds to each of us.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 9:17AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Chelone - my 'victory' in last night's battle of wills lasted until noon today when the same scenario played out again! After 6 or 7 repetitions, I called a time-out and put her in her pen to cool off a bit. We had taken them for a long walk in the morning and after lunch, we took them for another one. That quieted her down for quite a while. They got another walk when Randy came home and she was pretty good at supper time. But after supper she suddenly got really wired and started harrassing Misty badly. She got another time-out and has calmed down somewhat but is still acting up a bit too much. She seems to go from being very good to very bad quickly and for no obvious reason. Marie has said before that she can be a bit too nippy and that is in evidence sometimes too. Persistence (ours - not hers!) will pay off in the end though I'm sure....

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 8:17PM
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Woody, what a plus for 'bug to have a doggie sitter that works on trying to re-enforce the rules, so she doesn't come back to a cannine that has slipped back into anarchy !Your description of Ms P going from very good to very bad quickly does bring one to mind of a human 2 year old !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 10:25PM
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And that's exactly what she is, Kathy... a canine toddler! It's a perfect description, it's been a L O N G time since we had a puppy so I've conveniently forgotten how quickly the mood can change. Maybe 'bug should have named her "Sybil"?

The guy who taught the obedience classes we took reminded the helpmeet and I repeatedly that it's harder to train smart dogs than dumb ones. And dogs that are bred to perform work independently can be the toughest nuts to crack, Phoebe seems to be living up to that assessment.

I really wish some of my fellow Idyllers with dogs lived down the road so we could practice "good dog manners" with each other... le sigh.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 6:42AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)


This is my first log in...and much as I'm happy to follow the news and see the photos, I am sorry about the accidents!

Not surprised Woody discovered that Phoebe has a thick skull and is testing testing testing. I'm very pleased that Susan and Randy are her care givers because when we return I can tell Phoebe that she is fibbing and did have to follow rules at camp too!

I've taken many Reed photos as I'm sure you guessed and will no doubt post some next week when I have a few free moments. In the meantime, he is a very special good natured little human. So far we managed to get him to walk 19 steps at one shot...but crawling is much faster! He's a fantastic eater too. He hand signs for MORE, PLEASE, TOILET and other phrases too. Skyler is off with a friend for 2 weeks of Disneyland.

This morning I weeded the front flower bed. I am hoping for permission to remove artemisia which is spreading and plant some iris that I brought.

Will try to post again soon.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 2:24PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Chelone, I have the perfect opportunity for you! What if I arrange transport? LOL

I used to have a boss we nicknamed Sybil. ;)


    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 2:32PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Hi Marie! It sounds like you're having a great time and we'll be looking forward to those toddler pictures... Your baby Bouv. here is doing well. I consider all puppy accidents to be the fault of us humans for not paying attention/reading the signals right. It takes a bit of time to adjust to read her particular language so some accidents were expected...

Today was a very mellow day here. Misty has now fully accepted Phoebe as a member of her pack - she initiated her into the joys of head wrestling today...:-) Head wrestling is a game she and Copper invented. The only rule I enforce is that the big beast has to keep her feet on the ground. The way it works is Misty is on higher ground (the lounger on the back porch in today's case) and the big dog is standing on the floor beside her. Misty pounces on the big dog's head and that dog tries to grab her and flip her over. They then proceed to wrestle back and forth until one of them tires of the game. Unfortunately I didn't have the camera with me so didn't get any pictures, but maybe some of you remember the pictures of her and Copper playing on the loveseat. The same thing was going on with Phoebe this moning on the lounger on the back porch.

Barb was here today. She and Phoebe got along very well and they had a vigorous game of chase-me (Barb pretended to chase Phoebe and Phoebe joyously raced around the paths...) We all went for a walk past the library to drop off some books. I like this picture, in part because the sign on the library window says Laugh Out Loud - a comedy reading program for kids - seems appropriate for Phoebe!

Here's the classic Woody's Doggie Holiday Camp picture from this afternoon (just after this picture Phoebe nuzzled my waist with her head, rooted in the training pouch with dog cookies that I'm wearing, and absconded with a cookie or two! I handn't realized the pouch was unzipped... She's a smart dog.

Misty and Phoebe are definitely much mellower together now.

When Randy got home tonight, we went for the third walk of the day. Zoe (yearling Rottweiller) was out on her driveway so introductions were made. Phoebe was skittish but eager; Zoe was dubious :-) A generous dose of cookies was applied all round. It takes more than a strange big hairy dog on her driveway to keep Zoe away from her cookies!

So Phoebe had a good day at camp today :-)

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 7:39PM
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Woody, you are doing such a beautiful job, you just might be a victim of your own success...I like the sound of Woody's Doggie Holiday Camp...

Nice to hear she's settling in.

(Ein and I do a modified version of "head wrestling" every night before tucking in!)

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 7:50PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Susan, if all parents had as much patience and understanding with their children, as you have with the doggies, it would sure be a better world. :-)

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 8:04PM
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I've really enjoyed reading through this thread Woody. You do have a gift for being able to meld extra pets into your household. Your friends are lucky to have peace of mind knowing you're taking such great care of their pets. I periodically dog sit Jen's puppy Magglio or my sister's little dog Sophie when they go away. I always figure the more the merrier around my zoo. They seem to fit right in here too.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 4:02PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Today we had a long walk in the morning and she and Misty had some head wrestling on the lounge chair. That seemed to tire her out for most of the day. But she got her second wind around 3:00 when we were outside on the back porch. She went down and excated a big hole in the path near the patio before I noticed and scolded her. It was easy to fill in again and no plants were damaged. She seems to have settled down again. Hopefully that will last a bit - puppies are certainly energetic beings!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 5:27PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

gb - do you have a Kong for Phoebe? I've been using Chelsea's old one to play fetch with her. She really seems to like it. While waiting for Randy to come home tonight we were in the office and she was getting bored. I was reading on the loveseat with Misty. Phoebe got the Kong and came over and dropped it in my lap, clearly asking me to play fetch again. I was throwing a stick for her outside this afternoon but she seemed to lose track of it easily. I wonder if she has a problem with her eyesight...?

Walkies tonight was a very social event. She met Chief (big friendly cookie-monster Golden), Roma (big old former champion sled dog Malamute) and Bonzo (Shih-Tzu). Actually she only sort-of met Bonzo since Bonzo and her owner were walking with Roma and her owner. Roma is the Alpha-female dog of the neighbourhood. She's aloof with other dogs, expecting all of them to defer to her superior status - and if they don't she fixes her very spooky amber eyes on them and lifts her upper lip! That's all that's needed to command instant respect :-) Bonzo was on the other side of Roma so Phoebe didn't get to meet him up close. Roma is a fan of my cookies so all of them got cookies (Roma got the first one). Phoebe was appropriately respectful of Roma's status! Chief, the Golden, is a happy, very sociable dog and it was instant Play-time! for them both when initial sniffing and cookie munching was over. Phoebe has been really enjoying evening walkies/social time:-)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 8:39PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Caught up here...and will pick up Ms Phoebe on Sunday after going to a wedding tomorrow.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 8:59PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

It was a quiet day here yesterday - lots of walkies (a tired dog is a good dog...:-) No neighbourhood dogs out at the same time as any of our walkies yesterday so no socializing - except with Chief's 7year old dog-obsessed little girl who plyed Phoebe and Misty with cookies... :-)

What time should we expect you on Sunday gb - late afternoon I'd guess...?

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 8:46AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

My guess is 3ish, unless I can get DH to move more quickly! See you soon!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 10:05AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

It's a beautiful sunny, clear late summer day here today so we did morning walkies by the lake. The sun is so brilliant most pictures are silhouettes! Here are a couple though:

The lake is dead calm this morning:

All the rain we've had has kept things remarkably lush and green for this time of year.

The park by the lake has a number of these huge old gnarly weeping willows:

3:00 ish tomorrow is sort of what I was guessing too gb...

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 10:49AM
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