Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Restoration with the pups

Hard to believe but its Nutcracker season again, which means Florian's always in the studio spinning little ballerinas around. Fortunately, Florian's dance contacts all seem to have ballet schools in beautiful little towns near the Potomac, so we try to make the most of it by bringing the dogs along and being ready for a hike.

I love the Potomac this time of year, wide, flat, and spooky. 

And there's hardly anyone else on the trail, so no worries with the pups. 

Big bonus for Florian is that there are no snakes when its this cold on the trail.

I kind of love seeing snakes but for some reason our intrepid yodeler from the neutral territories is terrified of them, perhaps because he grew up with poisonous vi-pairs pursuing him as he leapt among the Alps picking mushrooms as a child. 

You wouldn't get this Swiss hiker out on these sorts of rocky surfaces in the summer, because he is convinced that under every rock, twined around every tree stump and even lurking in every shallow puddle is a copperhead.

On this hike, we didn't see a single snake 

but we did enjoy a perfect day and some really pretty foliage. 

It is so restorative to be out in nature, especially when there are few signs or sounds of human activity.

Things have gotten so crazy lately that I feel a little bad taking a whole day to just be out somewhere with the dogs. 

Two weeks ago I went up to New York to drive Uncle Johnny down here, and since then its been good fun to have him around, get him settled into his apartment, and go looking for good deals on furniture. 

I've been getting a steady stream of dog grooming clients, and have been working on a really engaging project on public lands livestock grazing at my nonprofit job--which is what I worked on 15 years ago when I lived in New Mexico--that keeps me happily looking at satellite photos of the Western U.S. and writing complaints to federal agencies for violations of environmental laws many an evening and weekend. 

Spending time with Dad and my sister and niece, and trying to make time for training with Fozzie and Dahlia. 

I'm not complaining about being busy. No, not me! I am grateful to have fulfilling work and to be surrounded by family members, even if they are crotchety and difficult. 

It just can make you feel a bit guilty when you take a day, or a weekend, to not work or take care of anyone or do much of anything besides go space out in the woods or on the river.  

This is another reason why dogs are our salvation, because they force us, or at least give us a really good excuse, to do the things that are important for our own health and wellness anyway. 

Thanks kids! One more weekend before even more madness with the holidays and plans to make a series of very complex vegan hors d'oevres. Where should we go THIS weekend?


  1. I completely agree about the "excuse" dogs give us to be out in Nature, and to rejuvenate! I love this time of year and also finding human-free hikes!

  2. Glad the dogs force you to get out in such a beautiful setting. It restores your soul and probably makes you more productive with all the crazy stuff going on.

    Hope the coming holidays bring your joy and not more stress.

  3. You're pictures are always so beautiful! I love winter hiking because you get places to yourself! I love that my dogs get me out hiking all the time too:)

  4. what a beautiful place! I wish there were more wooded areas to walk her ebut ticks are so so so bad all the way from april to November that we can barely go on any of the wooded trails with in an hour of our home

    retro rover

  5. Taking care of yourself is a good priority, we can give so much more when we ourselves are getting what we need. :-)

    I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  6. Snakes???? We're with Florian. No snakes for us. But we're glad that you guys had a great hike and time with family too. It's rainy and cold up here now Kirsten. Fall weather in the PNW.

  7. Sometimes you just have to take a "me" day. What a beautiful place!

    Monty and Harlow


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.