Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 203 Local Vistas

What are your local vistas? Where do you photograph when you don’t have a lot of time or are not on vacation? What about your hometown excites you? Is it the countryside, city, gardens, amusement venues? This week, Anne Sandler: Slow Shutter Speed wants me to tell and show local vistas.

Sacramento has been home since 1980. Yet with my local camera group I still find new things to photograph. There is a certain seasonal flow of vistas that show up during the year. For instance, Anne and I visited the Lotus Flower Garden “Peace Pond” this week. When I turned on the television Rob on the Road was interviewing the person responsible for this amazing Sacramento site. Started in 2005 this is now another reason the go to Land Park.

Within Land Park there is also the WPA Rock Garden. Always something to photograph.

The Sacramento Zoo is also located in Land Park, currently. There are exciting plans afoot in the coming years to move this zoo to Elk Grove so that it can provide a better habitat for the animals. Just a little further to drive.

The flamingos welcome you at the entrance of the Sacramento Zoo

In the coming weeks the sunflower fields located in Yolo County calls for photo captures. This image was taken last year.

No sunflowers were harmed in the taking of this photograph.

For people watching I head to Old Sacramento. No matter how many times I visit I find something new to focus on. But it is often the people wandering around. And people with dogs are my favs.

Trawler and his owner live on a houseboat that was docked in Old Sacramento.

This dog wants to share a drink.
Musician on a lunch break. His dog has his eyes on the fries!

Located in Old Sacramento is the California State Railroad Museum.

I find museum locations good when the temperature rises. This week June 2022 the temperature will be over 100° for multiple days. Also a good time to be home and blog!

Well that is just a touch of what I find locally around Sacramento.

Moxie Turns One

It is said that puppies grow so fast. This is my girl when I first picked her from Mom Phoebe and Dad Bailey’s litter of 10.

Here she is on New Year’s Eve @ 8 months.

Her birthday starts off at 7:05 a.m. Moxie is my new alarm clock.

She first starts with a subtle whine. This evolves over time. I get up, dress quickly, and out we go to potty. Now we are ready for a game of fetch. Most of the time she is a good retriever. The ball is either dropped by my feet or she wants to give it to me. Sometimes, I think she likes the idea of tug.

Moxie can get distracted. I have a small secluded backyard. My neighbor’s landscaping could be called “natural” foliage mixed with strange stuff. I was surprised to see an airplane parked in the yard behind my house when I looked up a satellite map. Looking through the fence I also see an abandoned Edsel, and another vehicle I can’t identify. I have lived here for over 4 years and I have only heard interesting sounds from there. The latest was heavy equipment jackhammering for 10 minutes at 10 p.m. I hear the usual mowing of the field. Last summer welding went on and on as a shed was built from scrap pieces of metal. It sure would be interesting to get a camera drone and see the field.

But I digress. All kinds of stuff fall into my yard from this neighbor’s yard. I am learning the life cycle of pine trees. In Spring, pine flowers fell on my patio an inch thick, after a big wind. Then the occasional pine cone, often eaten by squirrels. Then come the pine needles. Again, not good for dogs to consume. Now, a wild berry tree is dropping blackberries into my yard. Moxie enjoys searching, and eating these berries. She even lets me think she wants to play ball, and off she trots with her ball to the berry patch. So far, there are no digestive issues. On the other end of the yard, they have a very large, very old, brittle oak tree. In the winter/spring branches fall. Today, a large branch that has been dangling over my yard finally fell down. No one was injured. but we were standing a couple of feet away. In the fall I go out and pick up acorns before Moxie grabs them. Acorns are not good at all. Learning what is good and what is toxic for animals is the number one question I ask at a nursery.

Moxie settles down for her breakfast. I imagine that she thinks if she eats it up fast I will forget that I even gave her anything. I grab some coffee and sit in my recliner with my Golden in my lap. Read a couple of emails, check out FaceBook, and plan the day. Today, a photo session is on the agenda

Her birthday photo session.

We try and groom Moxie every night. I have all the equipment I used on Charlie, and so I started early with Moxie. She even looks forward to having her teeth brushed. At first, she liked the taste – peanut butter! Now we do a full brush!

Moxie just finished her first heat cycle with no issues. The vet is now changing the dialog once again. Spay before six months, wait for at least the first cycle or 18 months to never spay a Golden Retriever. Something to think about.

Around 8 months of age Moxie developed a couple of fears. Her biggest is large trucks. This has interfered with our peaceful walks, and car rides. I have not settled on a crash-tested car harness because Moxie settles herself on the floorboards behind the passenger seat. With the harness, she was getting so tangled up. We both were stressing out. Each day I try and take her somewhere. During her heat cycle, we just drove around and made a stop at Starbucks. Now, we have started walking around Oak Park or Phoenix Field. I use a Gentle Leader on her, and it helps to get her to focus on walking with me instead of leading the way and pulling me. Also, we are back to going to Basic class with Carley, and we practice all the commands throughout the day. Some days are better than others, but today I feel that progress is being made.

Just like when I had kids, I arrange dog playdates. Moxie loves to play with other dogs. Right now we were sticking to girl dogs. But soon our next-door neighbor’s puppy Seven will come to play. Moxie’s Mom Phoebe lives across the street and sometimes comes to play.

So between feedings, playing, grooming, napping, training, and walking Moxie keeps me plenty busy. Having a puppy is a full-time responsibility, and I am glad I am up for it! Well, most of the time.

Be careful not to bite the hand that feeds you!

This is never truer than when you are home with a 10-week old puppy. Charlie has little, tiny shark teeth. When he is awake his mouth is always busy. Being a multi-gen Australian Labradoodle Charlie takes after the Lab side and is always up for eating! But as his owner, I am not going to be lunch.

Right away I knew that I did not have enough toys to keep Charlie busy. I went online and ordered some toys to fetch and some chew toys. I didn’t remember my last dog playing with many toys. I know there were many destroyed toys. I also forgot how small puppy mouths are. I think I did pretty well with my picks. So if you are adding a puppy these are my suggestions.

Kong Squeak Air balls size x small. They come 3 to a pack. I use two at a time. Throw one. Ready, set, go! And when Charlie retrieves one, I throw the other one. Endless energy released!

JW Hol-EE ball is a great toy for inside fetch. Quiet, and easy for a puppy to grab. It can also be used as a tug toy, or food dispenser when the treats are larger. This ball comes in a variety of sizes, and is easy to catch.

Kong Wubba – Puppy version has proved to be a keeper. Good to chew on, toss, and tug.

Kong Classic Puppy version. Made in USA! Can be stuffed. It’s chewable. When tossed it randomly bounces. Did I say it is made in the USA!

Kong Squeezz Dumbbell is easy to chew, bounces and squeaks. Fun.

Nylabone teething puppy chew. Again made in the USA. Chicken flavor and gentle chewing style. This one lasted about 3 weeks, and then Charlie began making headway and pieces came off.

Nylabone Puppy Teething Pacifier Flexible Chew toy has kept up with Charlie’s chewing abilities. Nice different textures.

Kong Cozies Alligator Toy has a squeaker, and Charlie finds different parts to chew. I am also looking at some of the Kong plush with knots for stuffing. So far his tiny shark teeth have not penetrated the alligator.

Charlie with his Alligator and Teething Ring Pacifier/Bone

Libby loved the Jolly Egg toys. She could amuse herself and tire herself out with these toys. Hard plastic ball or Egg-shaped that she would knock around with her paws. The irregular shape caused the egg to spin around randomly. Charlie is just frustrated with this and barks at the toy while trying to grab it with his mouth. Maybe later he will appreciate it.

At least this Jolly Toy could be grabbed by Charlie.

Serenity Springs sent Charlie home with some toys, blanket, and bed with littermates scent on them. His Snuggle Puppy has a heartbeat, and a warm pack. This is in his crate with him at night. I can’t tell if he feels safe with his Snuggle Puppy or because his crate is next to my bed. Probably, the later. This puppy crate is smaller, plastic and he took to it instantly. For the last two nights Charlie has led me into the bedroom when it was time to go to sleep!

Charlie is getting more charming by the day!

Don’t bite the hand that feeds you can have more than this literal meaning. Right? But not to an 11 week old pup! Lucky he is so cute!

Another Birthday. Lots of good wishes, emotions and “70”

I’m probably not alone in being emotional when my birthday comes along. This year was an especially difficult one. Not sure if it was because it was the “Big 70”. When I think about my birthday the next day, it is just one more day! Did I have unrealistic expectations? I don’t think so. Or is it the fact that I feel I need to make some decisions, and I am not sure what I want. Do I want to travel? Really? And time marches on. Faster and faster.

Much can be attributed to the very real loss of my darling Libby. When it was apparent that Liberty would not be getting better the very tough decision was made. This has caused me so much sadness. My very first dog, and Libby was such a good girl. The sadness comes over me at different times of the day and night. We didn’t have enough time together. My wise granddaughter told me that Libby was there for me when I was going through the tough times over the past 9 years. And now the tough times will be followed by good times. Libby did her job! And she did it so well. But I do feel a big void coming into my house these days. It can’t be helped.

My sweet Liberty Love

June is an interesting month to have a birthday. With the start of warm (often hot) weather there is a need to adjust wardrobe, and see what still works after another year. When still in school I can remember having to take finals on my birthday. As a teacher/librarian there was all the rush to conclude the year. Papers to grade, report cards and paperwork to complete, book returns, inventory and budgets. June was a time to end things.

June is also a time to change up the daily schedule. As a mother when June comes around, summer plans all of a sudden must be made. How to keep kids busy. This transition from very busy to leisure time throws me off.

As an adult June can be just another month. Five months into the year so the year 2019 isn’t new any more. Almost halfway through the year.

I noticed more of my contemporaries are talking about “Bucket Lists”. I’m not sure if I ever had one. What do I want to accomplish? Do I need a goal? I know myself, and I am better when I am busy, but not too busy to feel stressed. I think that I will have a plan to do at least one thing daily. This way I won’t let my emotions get the better of me when I have quiet down time to think. Think positive!

I retired in 2005. Fourteen years ago. My husband of 49 years retired in 2009. Ten years ago. I can hardly believe it. With both of us at home it was the right time to add a dog to our home. Best decision for us! Libby was my happy place. Always ready to show us a wag.

Liberty Love

I know that I want to have a dog in my life. So I am already thinking about what puppy breed is in our future. I’m thinking of an English Lab (any color but black), Labradoodle, or Lagotto Romagnolo. If I can clarify this decision and find a reputable breeder I “may” be able to wait until spring.

Good bye my sweet Libby Love