Monday, August 27, 2007

Sunday in the Park

On Sunday afternoon, we took Danny to the Westport Dog Park. Danny really enjoys playing with the other dogs and we enjoy meeting other dog lovers.

I am always surprised by how many people go to the park who do not have dogs. We met a young Mother and her baby girl. The woman said her daughter liked dogs, but she did not have time to take care of a dog. So, she brings her daughter to the park, to play with the dogs. I was a little nervous, Danny is big and the girl was very small, but Danny loved the attention. The Mom commented on Danny's beautiful coat and how incredibly soft it was. They wondered if he would like a rice cake as a treat.

We met a group of special needs adults. They enjoyed petting Danny and he stood there contentedly closing his eyes. One man kept saying Danny looked like the dog on tv. Perhaps he meant "Duke" from the Bush's Baked Bean commercials?? Several other people have said that Danny could be Duke.

I am amazed at how well Danny seems to read people. He can instantly go from rough housing with a pack of labs to a calm docile dog who lets strangers pet and hug him. Perhaps all dogs are so attuned to people, but I like to think that Danny is extra special.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Danny & the Aerator

The fall is when I start to get my grass in shape for the next year. It usually starts off with me going over the lawn with an aerator (takes little plugs out the lawn to help with compaction). Then I follow it up with over-seeding using a slit seeder.

This weekend was the aeration weekend. The aerator is a motorized machine about twice the size of a lawn mower.

About half way through the lawn, I turned it off and took a break. Valerie let Danny out and when he spied the aerator in the yard he started to growl. His ears perked up and he started very slowly walking towards it. About half-way to it, he growled again and the hair on his back started to stand on end. By the time he finally got to the aerator, he was in full-nasty growl. He walked around it, sniffed it a couple times, decided it wasn't a threat and continued on with his day.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


This spring, Jeff received a free packet of sunflower seeds from the bank. Since I had an empty flower pot, I decided to plant them and see what happened.

I planted 9 seeds and one started to grow. The squirrels dug up the rest of the seeds. How do the squirrels know that you just planted seeds ? I had some left over bird seed, so took some of those sunflower seeds and planted them. Again the squirrels dug them up. I gave up and focused on this one tiny plant.

Surprisingly, the sunflower started to grow and was soon 3 feet tall. That is when the woodchuck struck and stripped off the first 2 feet of leaves. I thought the sunflower would die.

However, this plant was a fighter and continued to grow. I watered it daily and fertilized weekly. Finally the flower began to form and when we returned from vacation the flower was finally open!

As you can see, the sunflower is about 10 feet tall. The face is usually covered with bumble bees. It is amazing that one little seed can produce such a large plant.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Canadian Coin

During our vacation to Niagara Falls, we strolled past a fountain. Check out the Canadian Quarter just about in the middle of the picture. It's actually floating on the water!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Niagara Day 3

There are many beautiful parks and gardens around Niagara Falls.

Here are some of the interesting flowers we saw.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Danny's vacation

When I saw the suitcases being loaded in the car, I knew something was up. I immediately jumped into the backseat and would not get out. There was no way I was going to be left behind!

I spent the week with family in upstate NY. Mom was worried that I would think Grandma's new leather couch was a giant chew toy, but I know better. In fact, I was a very good boy.

I had so much fun! I go lots of attention, walks and there were kids to play with. The best part was sleeping on a King size bed and not getting kicked off in the middle of the night.

I hope to go back again soon.

Niagara Day 2

While we were at the Falls, we went on the Journey Behind the Falls, at which you get to stand behind the Falls and very near the side of the Falls. The water sounds like thunder as it crashes down.

The White Water Walk was beautiful. I did not realize the Falls lead to Class 6 Rapids. There was a duck just floating along the edge of the rapids - the rough water did not seem to bother him.

We also went to the Butterfly Conservatory - the colors on the butterflies are amazing!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Niagara Falls - Day I

We took a couple days and went to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls last week. As you can imagine, everything is centered around the falls.

We decided to get an up-close and personal look at the falls by taking a Maid of the Mist cruise that got us right up to the falls. It was quite amazing and unbelievable that anybody could survive a trip over them. At night the falls come alive with a light show of the falls followed by a brief fireworks show over both the American Falls and the Canadian Falls. Lots of walking the first day, but definitely worth it.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Crossing paths

We have spotted the fox several times in the last few days. When I looked out the window, the fox was standing at the edge of the pond. I do not know if this fox is one of the kits from the spring or one of the parents.

The fox's coat is now a beautiful rich red and the white tip on the tail is in sharp contrast to the red. This is very different from the brown/red spring coat.

Danny and the fox literally crossed paths on our morning walk this week. We were walking down the street and the fox crossed ahead of us. Danny and the fox stopped, looked at each other, and then the fox ran into the woods. A sharp "No Danny" kept Danny from chasing the fox.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Bad Hair Day

Danny got caught in a downpour during his morning walk. I tried to dry him off, but his coat was still damp when I left for work.

The result was a bad hair day. My first thought when I saw him in the evening was Wow! You look like you had a rough day!!

After a few minutes of brushing, Danny was looking like his old self.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Family tree

Our butterfly bush is finally in bloom and the butterflies have quickly discovered its sweet flowers.

Ten years ago, we bought a butterfly bush in NC and gave it as a gift to family on Long Island. For 10 years the bush grew and several saplings were born.

Our bush is one of the saplings. It was given to us last year when we moved to our new home. Last year, the bush was quite small and had few flowers, probably due to being transplanted.

This year the bush is at least 7 feet tall and full of blooms. Now that we know the butterfly bush is woodchuck and deer resistant, I am considering planting additional ones in the yard.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

This month's masthead

This month's masthead courtesy of the two fawns that frequent our yard. In certain Westport circles they call deer "rats with hooves" and I thought it was catchy, so I used it.