Saturday, November 21, 2009

Beauty All Around Us

Let me start off by saying that I am so sorry for not getting around to everyone's blogs this week.  I've been short on both blog fodder and time, so I'm happy to even have a minute to come here and make a post.  Feels like it's been forever!  I'll come around and visit everyone today and tomorrow.

This is off-topic, but yesterday, I finally went to see two of my very close friends from high school in the city (and, conquered a fear of my own - riding the subway all by myself!).  I figured that showing off a couple of pictures (I definitely felt like a tourist with my camera out) might be a special treat for you country dwellers.

I am always amazed when I go to Manhattan at the number of dogs I see walking around.  The noise, the commotion, the sights, the smells, are all intense, even for a human.   I know one doggy who would never survive there - and, neither would I, as I find it to be very stressful if I go too often.  

The day was fun, though, filled with Thai food, self-serve frozen yogurt with lots of toppings, and good friends.


Today, we traveled into more familiar territory on our first outing to the woods in nearly a month.  I would have liked to try a new trail, but some sort of race was taking place on the White Trail, which crosses several other trails and takes a good chunk of the woods away from us.  There were what looked like campsites in two locations.  I don't think it's normally legal to camp out there, so it must have been in connection with something else.

The tents were not far from the lake, so we had to change our plans and couldn't walk around it. My sister snapped this quick shot before we headed farther into the woods. The trees were barren and the sky bright in comparison to when Louie and I visited this spot last month.

And, of course, almost every scenic picture we take needs to be twinned with a similar picture including our favorite canine friend, Marge.

We continued on, the forest floor totally covered by fallen leaves. If not for the absence of trees along the path and presence of trail markers, it would have been impossible to determine what was a trail and what wasn't.

Pump House Pond stood before us, also an alien sight from what we saw in October. However, no matter the season, Marge still had no hesitation going for a dip. It was actually surprisingly warm, and I think the water on her legs and chest helped keep her cool and gave her motivation to continue on.

Here, she poses on the trail. She was a little nervous during some parts of this trip, so we offered her extra motivation in the form of treats and funny phrases that get her attention.

The color wasn't completely gone from the forest; here, the last vestiges of these trees' growing seasons danced against the picture-perfect sky. Jess spotted this photo-op perfectly and nailed it before I could get my hands on the camera.

Marge, too, did some dancing of her own, as she shot over to this cliff-like point just off the trail in hot pursuit of a squirrel.

We continued down the Blue Trail. These trees reached up towards the blue sky, with the fancy golf course looming behind them. I've always wondered what kind of trees they are; they remind me of KB's aspens because they're tall, skinny and situated so close to each other in their own little grove, but they never seemed to have turned a vibrant yellow this fall.

I mentioned these trees in my account of our last adventure. They stood out to me because their bark was so much darker than the surrounding trees' were. They blended in a bit more this time around, but I still remembered them for their odd stance (if trees could have a "stance").

This seemingly random sign hung on one of the trees. It reminded me of the Army of Four (get it? A 4? Hee hee!).

We climbed on and on, eventually reaching a clearing next to the golf course. What a spectacular sight that stood before us! We were high enough to see out across the lower New York Bay to New Jersey. (No, I didn't figure that out on my own - Louie had to help with the georgraphic aspects of it. I thought it was the Atlantic Ocean. Which I guess it still is...)

Marge had enough of the picture taking after a few minutes and silently pleaded that we continue.

We did eventually go on, but not before one more cute pic on the deck overlooking the golf course. (Marge actually fell behind the bench into the foot or so of space between the bench and the fence.  I asked her to lay down on it and her back leg slipped, but, in typical agile-girl fashion, didn't have much of a problem crawling underneath it and back out to where she was supposed to be. So happy she didn't panic.  Sitting, of course, sufficed for picture taking.)

This is where we turned around. We climbed farther this time than we did other times.  It was probably a little more than three miles round trip, 45 minutes or so each way.  I would have continued, but we're supposed to be doing agility practice at the training building later and I didn't want any of us to be tired. I was also surprised at how cleared out this section was. The building in front of us seemed to be storage for picnic tables. I thought the spot was secluded - do they really expect THAT many picnickers in the warm months? (For our sake, I hope not!)

Marge posed one last time in the spot, probably a little upset with me for telling her to sit and stay instead of allowing her to continue her sniffing spree.

And, our final photo of the day - Marge peeking out from behind a split-trunked tree. An adorable remembrance of a priceless voyage!


Anna the GSD November 21, 2009 at 6:03 PM  

Great pics! I love the last one with the split tree! Soooo coool!

The Thundering Herd November 21, 2009 at 6:12 PM  

Our hu-dad likes to tell the story of when he was in Manhattan and had just gotten off the subway up in the mid 90's (yes, the edge of Spanish Harlem) with a couple of co-workers. They were walking the last few blocks to their destination when our dad suddenly spotted a Siberian Husky being walked. So, my dad and this other guy had a conversation about Siberians. He said it was a great break to his busy-ness day.

Frankie Furter and Ernie November 21, 2009 at 6:48 PM  

Hey I'm giving you an A 4 that beautiful sky and ship masts shot.
A 4... get it??? You and I both made funnies. hehehe
My mom doesn't think much of NYC either. She thinks that Brooklyn Bridge thingy is neat. It is an interesting place, esp. when the Macy's Parade is coming down the street. That is what took her there the LAST time. And she says she MEANS that it will be the LAST time she ever goes there.
I guess we are all just COUNTRY FOLKS. And darned happy to say that. hehehe
I liked your woodsy shots better too.

Cyndi and Stumpy November 21, 2009 at 6:58 PM  

I've been pretty absent myself... the non profit business is kicking my butt!

The further I am from a city the happier I get. Living out here in dirtville has made that phobia even worse.

Marge is as cute as ever!

KB November 21, 2009 at 7:15 PM  

Great photos of Marge and your forest. Marge looks very happy. I love the last photo with her peeking between the trunks.

I don't know what kind of trees those odd ones are. I lived on the east coast as a kid but wasn't into nature yet so I don't know any East coast trees, except maybe maples and oaks!

Deborah November 21, 2009 at 8:58 PM  

Marge, you so photogenic! I love your purple collar and leash! Very chic!
Have a great weekend! I enjoyed your walk!!

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With Khattledog November 21, 2009 at 9:48 PM  

What GREAT pikhs!

Tank woo fur sharing the ones from the big city!

Marge is soooo gorgeous with her purpleness!

PeeEssWoo: My mom and I are having some SERIOUS blog meltdowns - being gone fur a bit of the day with the tranport has us behind! AND she's got another tomorrow...

Kathy Mocharnuk November 21, 2009 at 11:12 PM  

Those are really wonderful pictures, I feel like I got to go on your adventure too, thanks!

Sara November 22, 2009 at 6:59 AM  

I love spending the day in NYC. Feeling the energy, seeing the people. There's no place like it on earth.

But after a day, I am so happy to be back home among the trees! Walking by myself :)

I love how you posted photos of both together.

Dexter November 22, 2009 at 8:05 AM  

Marge! You are getting good at working the camera. Such beautiful photos.

Your mom was brave to go into the big city. Whenever my momma has to go into Boston she is stressed out for days ahead of time.

Hey! I almost did the teeter totter at agilities yesterday. My teach held up the end and when I got to the tipping point he lowered it really slowly.

I admit to being a little scared and kind of slithered down on my belly, but at least I did it. Wow!


tula monstah November 22, 2009 at 10:37 AM  

Hi Marge-
you're a great poser. looks like your momma gives you alot of practice. My fav is the last shot too. thanks for the wonderful walkies.. now i'm tired. must lay down.

belly rubs,

Martha November 22, 2009 at 11:27 AM  

Lovely pics - we especially loved that last shot of Marge!
Bailey & Martha would not like Manhattan either although it would be wonderful to visit.
Well done for conquering your fear of the subway - it is a place that is always a little scary!
Yes we much prefer out in the woods sniffing, just like Marge1

Gus, Louie and Callie November 22, 2009 at 1:35 PM  

Oh what a beautiful pictures of Manhattan..
Looks like you sure do have a great place for a walk..

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Ms. ~K November 22, 2009 at 2:13 PM  

Wrooo wrooo,
The big city is exciting, but not for us pooches...where do you pee w/ no trees or grass?
Love the woods pictures!
Z, S and B

Lorenza November 22, 2009 at 5:10 PM  

Glad you had a nice time with your friends!
And a very nice walkie with Marge!
Kisses and hugs

Astrid Keel November 25, 2009 at 6:44 PM  

great photos! looks like you had just enough time in the city.. and then you got to recharge with dear marge!

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