Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sand and Trees

We ♥ the LeapDog sand arena. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥!

Riff and I were able to squeeze in another agility class yesterday afternoon, in spite of drizzling showers and the threat of rain. All of our Tuesday classmates were excited to be at the field. We practiced on last week's course, which included many front crosses, and a couple of good fast serps. Riff can get quite a head of steam going, and I have to really hustle my bustle to get into position ahead of him. I felt completely safe running on the sand, though...that helped a lot. It also helped that we'd run it on Thursday. We felt almost like an "excellent" team, for a minute or two...

I'm not sure we're going to make it to the AKC agility trial in Dixon this weekend. By all accounts, it is a Mud Pit. Some years ago I took Keeper to a four-day USDAA trial there that became known as "The Woodstock of HT." I stuck it out (I can get stubborn) but my feet were constantly wet, my canopy and chair puddled up, my knee got twisted, and my dog slipped off the top of the dogwalk and went home slightly lame. It seemed like A Brave Adventure, at the time. In retrospect, it was nuts.

At o-dark:thirty this morning, listening to the wind and the rain, I heard a big tree crack and fall. I wanted to jump up, get dressed, grab a flashlight and go look for it. The "CR-R-RA-A-CK" was impressive, but the "THUMP" was obviously on soft ground. The dogs stayed quiet. So I stayed put...for about two minutes. I got up and looked out all of the windows, but couldn't see anything. I wanted to go outside, but the dogs were still in their beds ("no, ma'am, we absolutely do not want to go out there...") and the husband looked warm and cozy, sleeping so sweetly. So I waited until it became light.

A California bay laurel had fallen, next door. We have quite a few of these trees around, mixed in with the oaks. Some of the bay trees are huge - maybe 60 or 70 feet (?) tall. The tree that fell was worked on by a tree company just a few weeks ago. Watching that fellow with the chain saw hang from the top of that tree took my breath away. The tree itself took bits of an oak tree with it, during its fall, and squished a dog run. ("Boo" the French bulldog was safe inside the house). It also smashed a flock of about 40 plastic pink flamingos. I like to think any squirrels or birds nesting in those trees got away quickly enough.

Our neighbors won't have as much shade on their deck this summer. The deck itself was only nicked, it seems. Lucky.

This beautiful bay tree, bigger than the one that fell, seems impervious to the weather. (Knock on wood...) You can barely see our back fence in this photo.

Here is a better look at the fence.

And this is the seasonal creek that runs behind our house. "Poppy Creek" is quite a noisy little bugger these days. It tumbles down the hillside, runs over rocks and through driveway culverts, forging a deep creekbed, before it gets shunted under the city streets. It resurfaces at a little park in town.

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