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Monday, June 10, 2024

Jack Black...

Not much new to report, mostly been splitting and stacking wood for next winter. The wall o' wood slowly disappears as well as a few spruce and birch logs got bucked up and split, adding to the stacks of firewood. But Andy's been getting some random shots of Jack Black, so thought I'd add them to the post. 

Here he is sleeping in the loader bucket. He never had much to do with the tractor before, but now he seems right at home.
Here he is inverted on the floor. Like Ruty before him, upside down is the way to go.
And finally on the bench by the back door. Not sure if he hangs out here to keep an eye on things or it's just another place to sleep. I suspect it's the latter.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Whippet 2...

Well I figured the whippet comparison for Earl was just a joke, cause what's the chance he'd be part whippet. But then I got to reading more about mixed breed huskies and saw there's the eurohound.

Bred from a cross of German short hair pointer, greyhound, and husky, they've come to dominate sprint dog racing. so maybe that's Earl's breed. Here's a few pic's from today's run.

Here's Earl running with Gus. The difference in their gait is pretty amazing.
Whatever his breed, Earl's a pretty good dog. So no matter what, he's our o' hound.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

If You Can't Beat It, Whippet...

 When we first got Earl as a pup (My Name Is Earl...11/17/21), we didn't know much about him except he was bred out of some racing sled dogs from one of the upper Yukon River villages. As he grew older, he got a lot longer and leggy, but his head stayed kind of small  We joked about how he looked like a whippet. So I finally got around to seeing what exactly was the Whippet breed. Here's what google had to say...

The whippet is a hound breed developed in mid-19th-century England to chase rabbits for sport in an arena. The breed was developed from terriers and small English greyhounds; Italian greyhounds were later bred in to give the whippet a sleek appearance.

They are the fastest dog of their weight, capable of achieving speeds of up to 35 mph, due to their ability to run in a double suspension gallop. This gait results in four of the dog's legs being off the ground twice in each stride, once when the legs are completely extended and again when they are tucked under the body.

The whippet at full gallop, they sure can move!
So today when we let the dogs off for their free run, Andy took some pictures of Earl running. 

We knew Earl likely was the fastest dog in our team, but it looks like he runs just like a whippet; never knew we had such an exotic animal. Makes me wish I'd taken one more out of his litter, but then I'd have to move into the dog yard too!

Monday, May 6, 2024

This is spring?

 Last week I finished splitting the wood I'd hauled down from the ridge top in April and was ready to move on to the logs that were stacked up last fall.

Andy had taken this photo a few days ago and labeled it "wall o' logs." But before I could get to it, nature intervened...

Woke up in the morning to this, a spring snow storm. It snowed until mid-afternoon and we got an inch or more of wet, sloppy snow. So spent most of the day doing odd jobs inside the house. Kind of ironic cause the weather bureau proclaimed Saturday as "green-up day" so maybe today was "whitewash day."

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Signs of Spring...

 With the warm weather starting in March this year, it shouldn't be surprising that the snow has disappeared so fast. Just last week I started to clear the snow cover from the upper dog yard.

Now the dogs are all moved out of the sloppy snow and mud of the winter sled yard into a much drier spot for the summer.
Last week we were still hauling birch logs from the ridge top with the Skidoo.
Now we're starting to split and stack the split firewood to get it drying out.
And the mosquitoes are already out in force; not all the signs of spring are welcome!

Saturday, April 13, 2024

End of the Trail...

For this year anyway, the dog runs are over. Hard to believe that last year we ran until late April (Last Dog Run?  4/19/23). This year we had our last outing on March 20, just after the vernal equinox. I took the Ski Doo out last week to check the trails. The warm spell in late March, 40-50° F,  had taken its toll. Besides the icy trail, bare spots, exposed roots and alder stubs. there was extensive overflow (aufeis) at the creek crossing.

The pond at the creek crossing is filling with overflow, flooding the trail.

All that's left to do is put away the sledding gear.

The sleds are hauled up to the shed and hung, upside down, under the overhang in back. Then we'll be hauling in a few loads of logs to buck up and split for firewood.

There's plenty of trees down along the trail, the problem is finding ones that are still good for firewood and not buried in snow or frozen to the ground. Once you find a few good down trees, it's just a bunch of grunt work to buck'em up, load the sled, haul'em back, and stack the logs. Once there's a decent pile of to logs to split, it'll be time to hook up the splitter to the tractor. Too much fun!

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

April No Fool...

 There should be a day after April 1, all fools day, when there's no fools; maybe it should be today. I went to to the Dr. for my shoulder, the fifth different one. Even tho I said what I thought I needed when I made the appointment, the Dr said he couldn't do it. Then he referred me to another Dr. So who's the fool? 

Here's a pic of the instrument of destruction that took off the tip of my thumb the other day.

Given the amount of safety warnings they put on tools today, you'd think they'd put a warning on these things. BTW, my thumb's healed up fine, so maybe it's better to be lucky than smart!

Friday, March 22, 2024

Too Warm...

It seems like just yesterday, even tho it was a few weeks ago, when we were complaining about the cold. Now it's warmed up into the 40's, the snow is melting, and the forecast is for continued warming. So it looks dog driving's about over. It's hard to believe that we ran dogs until almost the end of April last year. 

Here's a shot from earlier in the week. It's on the trail coming home, just before it steepens to climb the back side of the ridge, so at least it's in a different place from the previous pics. The dogs are running great, so it hard to give it up, but you never really know when the last dog run will happen, until it's over.

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Thumbs Up...

 On the days we don't run dogs, it's often a time to head out on the Ski Doo, if it'll start, to check out the trails. There's usually spots that need work, smoothing out with the trail groomer, or shoveling snow in the dips or overflow at the creek crossing. It's not real hard work, but after being out in the cold for a while, you look forward to getting back, relaxing, and getting a bite to eat. After I got back inside the other day, took off all the winter gear, and headed upstairs. I really had a taste for some cheese. So I got out a block of colby jack and a cheese slicer. Now normally I'd use a knife, but for some reason, dug out the slicer. As I tried to slice the cheese, the slicer wouldn't cut, so gave it a good hard pull. That's when it popped up off the block of cheese and sliced off the tip of my thumb. Surpised wouldn't have covered what I felt. Astounded, blown away, and pissed off. So after stopping the blood flow, took the flap of skin hanging from the tip of the thumb and stuck it back on. Put on a bandage, but it kept bleeding, so Andy got out some sticky gauze and wrapped it up tight, then taped it.

So far it's staying on and not bleeding through. Never did get that cheese snack.

Here's a pic from one of last weeks dog runs.

I should find a better place for a photo. Now I have to wait for the dogs to slow down on a straight, level stretch of trail, so I can take the camera out from under my parka, and that's usually the same general area on the trail back home.

Friday, March 1, 2024

Couch Potatoes...

 Back when we first got Mac, the MacKenzie River husky pup, we wanted to raise him right. We hadn't had a litter of pups in many years, most of our dogs now are rescues from the animal shelter or CL ads. So he got to come in the house a lot. Andy thought he needed to feel at home inside, so she taught him to jump on the couch. Well it wasn't my idea, but "sweet dreams are made of this, who am I to disagree."

So here he was at about three months. The ears and feet were a preview of what was to come.
And here he is at three years old. He takes up half the couch now. With the colder weather, we've been bringing the dogs inside, a few at a time, to warm up and get some socialization. Mac takes his place on the couch whenever he can.
Here's a recent dog run. It's been clear and cold with the trail real icy and fast after the latest warm spell. So we only take five dogs to keep the speed down and we rotate the older dogs to give them a day off. Mac is in the middle on the right next to Earl. As much as he's grown, Mac still kinda dwarfs him.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Out and About...

With the warmer weather, it's a lot better outside doing chores, running dogs, and just enjoying the winter. While it 's hard to appreciate how cold the weather was just a few weeks ago, the dogs, at least the fuzzy ones like Gus and Mac,  don't really care for the warmth either. The airport just set new records with temps. in the forties above. It's supposed to cool off and be below zero by next week, so at least those dogs will be happy again.

Here's a shot from yesterdays dog run. We had some snow overnight, so it's hard to see how much the yahoo Skidooers shredded the trail during the warm spell. They sure know how to have fun!

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

February Runs Hot and Cold...

As noted, January ended very cold and February started off the same way. Other than a few days in the minus teens, it was thirty to forty below for the first week or so.

Jack Black hung out by the wood stove upstairs or the Toyo heater downstairs during the cold spell. Other than feeding and letting the dogs off for a brief free run, we mostly stayed inside too.
The thermometer seemed stuck at minus 33 for more than a few days. Even the giraffes were cold.

But as luck would have it, a chinook blew through this week and we've been above freezing the past few days. Before this it was too cold to run dogs, now it's almost too warm, go figure!