Everyday Adventures in Havachon Heaven

The Good, Crazy, & Adorable Life of One Havachon Puppy

Summer Visitors…And A Standoff

With the super-hot weather this year, we’re seeing a lot more outdoor bugs. ::shudder:: But not all are gross, there are some I actually like. Like ladybugs, butterflies, lightning bugs and moths – even giant moths like this one; I have never seen one this big:

THIS ENORMOUS MOTH WAS ON MY WINDSHIELD WIPER!!!

THIS ENORMOUS MOTH WAS ON MY WINDSHIELD WIPER!!! Look at the size of him!

His antennae are like fern leaves!! Nature is beautiful.

His antennae are like fern leaves!! Nature can be so beautiful (when it’s not a spider…).

And then there was this interesting David-and-Goliath standoff on our window screen:

Big grasshopper vs tiny moth - they stayed like this for hours!

Big grasshopper vs tiny moth – they stayed like this for hours! Believe it or not, the grasshopper backed down first!

Who are you and why are you staring at me??

Who are you and why are you staring at me??

How about this crazy kamikazee bird?? Why on earth was he nose-diving to the ground???

Dive-bomber bird!! What was he thinking??

Dive-bomber bird!! What was he thinking??

And this gigantic leaf –

That is one huge leaf!

That is one huge leaf!

Normally we don’t want to see any critters on our home-grown veggies, but this cutie was more than welcome:

Cute, fuzzy moth on our Swiss chard.

Cute, doe-eyed moth on our Swiss chard.

The gross bugs – yes I know they’re probably necessary evils but they’re still gross – have been awfully big, almost like the intense summer heat turned them into tropical bug sizes. When I see those I just screech and run away. Really!

And I just laugh and laugh and laugh at you! Heehee!!

And I just laugh and laugh and laugh at you! Heehee!!

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Backroads Discovery: A Most Unusual Train Hotel

One of my favorite things to do is explore small towns, places with no tourist attractions. I love Pennsylvania for that reason – it’s loaded with my favorite Small Town America that takes you back in time to when people were friendlier and even though you were never in their town before, they make you feel like you’re returning home.

PA Manheim house

One of the striking old homes in a small PA town. You know how much I LOVE old architecture!

DH and I discover these places by driving up the PA Turnpike and taking exits for towns that sound interesting – all very spontaneous, which I prefer to planned trips. We explore the town itself on foot, then drive along backroads to see what there is to discover.

Driving through Amish country

Driving through Amish country

One of the interesting places we happened across was plopped miles away from any main roads or town centers, in the middle of hundreds of miles of Amish farms. We crossed a railroad track, and suddenly this popped up:

PA railroad hotel

Nope, this isn’t a caboose graveyard, it’s an honest-to-goodness train hotel! They’ve collected real train cars (mostly cabooses, but some larger ones and one of the biggest is called the Bridal Suite!) and converted them into “hotel rooms”. It’s called the Red Caboose Motel and it’s so unusual.

PA railroad hotel dining car

PA railroad hotel car

PA railroad hotel caboose

PA railroad hotel (2)

Look how many there are!

A short distance away, there was a train depot…out there…in the middle of nowhere…

PA railroad depot

The proprietor of the hotel was kind enough to let us see the inside of one of the cabooses, and I took pictures but they’ve somehow magically vanished into the digital netherworld. It was amazing to see how much they could fit into those small cabooses – they even put in a small loft with another bed! They made every inch count without overcrowding.

Later we pulled into the parking lot of a large chain hotel to find out if it was pet friendly, planning, of course, for a future weekend away with Daisy. Nope, no luck, not pet-friendly…YET LOOK AT THE PATHWAY PAVING STONES THEY USED:

Is there any wonder why we thought this was a pet friendly hotel??

Is there any wonder why we thought this was a pet friendly hotel??

Daisy was none too pleased at this misrepresentation.

I'm throwing a BIG raspberry at that hotel!!

I’m throwing a BIG raspberry at that hotel!!

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Fall Festival Daisy!

We took Daisy to her first fall festival a couple of weekends ago, and she had a blast!

One happy pup at our lakeside break.

One happy pup at our lakeside break, sitting on her daddy’s lap.

Well, it’s actually the second fall festival we took her to, but after driving over an hour to one last year and then searching for parking on small streets for another 15 minutes, then walking a quarter of a mile to the festival, they wouldn’t let us go down the street with the festival because dogs weren’t allowed! RUDE!!

We were pretty angry, and I did get in touch with the organizers afterwards and told them that nowhere on their website does it say “no pets” and I gave them an earful. Now they finally have that notice on their site. (Still RUDE, though!)

AAAnyway…this was a pet-friendly festival – as it should be since it’s all outdoors – and Daisy was thrilled with all the new smells and new places and, of course, all the people who couldn’t resist petting her and gushing over her. 🙂

It was perfect weather – 70 degrees and sunny. This is a small, historic New Jersey town that we’ve been going to for many years now. I just love the charm and ambiance of small old towns.

The old Farmers’ Bank building, built on a narrow corner. The building is shaped like a triangle.

One of my favorite small homes in town.

One of my favorites of the smaller homes in town. You know how much I love cozy cottage-type homes!

One of the large old homes in town (most of it isn't in the picture). I had to take this pic because whenever we go there, there are always people sitting on the porch with a couple bottles of wine! Always!

One of the large old homes in town (most of it isn’t in the picture). I had to take this pic because whenever we go there, there are always people sitting on the porch with a couple bottles of wine! Always!

As usual, my photo focus is always on the charm and serenity of areas I visit, and I realized I didn’t even take any pics of the festival itself! I enjoy the live music and all the tents with artists displaying their beautiful creations, but I never think to take pics of the crowded street scene.

So you’ll have to bear with me as I show you some of my favorite spots in town, like the peaceful lake that I always visit…

lake

…and the bamboo forest I always hike through (VERY dense, but there is a trail!), I’m like a kid in forested areas…

bamboo forest

…and the colors of fall starting their glorious display…

fall at the lake

…and these little remnants of summer, quietly standing their ground so beautifully…

last summer flowers

We walked and strolled and enjoyed ourselves for a good three hours, and I’m happy to report that Daisy did very well, both physically and without displaying any reactive leash issues. Although she wasn’t as relaxed as this little guy…

pooped pup

…Daisy had some cheat time, when her daddy carried her through the more congested crowds so she wouldn’t accidentally get stepped on…

Hello! Nice to meet you! Please feel free to shake my paw! :)

Hello! Nice to meet you! Please feel free to shake my paw! 🙂

And of course, there was the happy ride home, where Daisy saw scenes like this

Pumpkins pumpkins everywhere!

Pumpkins pumpkins everywhere!

…and I saw scenes like this…

One happy, pooped pup as seen through the car's vanity mirror. :)

One happy, pooped pup as seen through the car’s vanity mirror. 🙂

Wow! That was fun!! :D

Wow! That was fun!! 😀

We’re part of the Thursday Barks and Bytes blog hop!

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Lunch with a Deer Friend

This summer has brought more than its usual number of beautiful visitors to our yard – loads of different hummingbirds…

hummingbird 8.15 2

…some butterflies and HUGE moths…

This is actually called a HUMMINGBIRD MOTH!!

This is actually called a HUMMINGBIRD MOTH!!

…and dragonflies like this guy, who actually patrols the yard with his huge buddies, going back and forth for hours like flying soldiers. (Does anyone know why they do this??) This smaller one finally went AWOL and took a break:

dragonfly 1

But the real treat this week was this majestic guy, who stayed for at least ten minutes lunching on all the fallen crab apples. I hope he bookmarks our yard in his GPS and comes back again! 😀

What a beauty!

What a beauty!

Loving those antlers!

Loving those antlers!

You can see the green apple in the back of his mouth! He'd bite down, half would fly out, he'd eat the other half, then go back for the rest. So cool!

You can see the green apple in the back of his mouth! He’d bite down, half would fly out, he’d eat the other half, then go back for the rest. So cool!

Once he'd finished every last apple on the ground, he gracefully took off and looked for more fertile fields.

Once he’d finished every last apple on the ground, he gracefully took off and looked for more fertile fields.

But the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence, and he found no apples there. So he planned his strategy and took off like a rocket.

But the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence, and he found no apples there. So he planned his strategy and took off like a rocket.

And what was Daisy doing?

I don't have to hunt for apples, I have my dinner delivered, thank you. zzzzzZZZZZ

I don’t have to hunt for apples, I have my dinner delivered, thank you. zzzzzZZZZZ

We’re part of the Thursday Barks and Bytes blog hop!

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Snowy Spring, or Winter’s PS

Look what happened on the first day of spring!

We woke up to a good 6-8 inches of snow on the ground!

We woke up to a good 6-8 inches of snow on the ground!

Which drew birds by the dozens again, including some of my winter favorites:

I love how these little beauties nestle into the snowy branches.

I love how these little beauties nestle into the snowy branches.

Later in the day, a brilliant blue sky let us know spring was keeping an eye on the untimely snowfall…

spring snow

And a wonderful thing happened – Daisy suddenly started enjoying the snow! She didn’t avoid it like usual, she went right into the thick of it, and after I stopped taking pictures (of course) she romped into the deepest snow in the middle of the yard – chest-high on her!

Hey, this snow isn't so bad after all! It's kinda fun!

Hey, this snow isn’t so bad after all! It’s kinda fun! Now let’s go for the deep stuff!

Of course we paid the inevitable price – 20 minutes of blow-drying ice balls off her feet, legs, chest and stomach. But it was well worth it! I hope she takes to the snow much sooner next winter.

Our daffodils – the four-inch stems that had managed to push through after the ice, snow, and a flooded flower garden – took it well and now that the snow is gone, they’re giving it their all. What hardy little troopers!

And given the “all clear”, a few of our purple crocuses hurried to show their beauty before the next storm could shut them down – there are about four buds in this picture, two of which are just waiting to burst open (you can see that the garden hasn’t been cleaned up yet after winter – there are still some small snow deposits around).

spring crocus

We’re part of the Thursday Barks and Bites blog hop! Join in and see what everyone else has been up to!

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Winter’s Beauty – The Final Round?

Winter isn’t giving up easily this year – we’ve had two snowstorms and an ice storm this week. Call me crazy – as I know many will on this subject considering the endless snows we’ve had this season – but the sight of snow falling still makes me smile and makes my heart happy.

I awoke to another beautiful snowfall this morning and found this little guy waiting for his turn at the feeder.

I awoke to another beautiful snowfall this morning and found this little guy waiting for his turn at the feeder.

Outdoors I love standing out in the middle of an open area during a snowfall; the frigid pre-snow chill is replaced by a distinctive warmth that makes the outdoors comfortable. I thoroughly enjoy the unique atmosphere, exquisite flakes, and unparalleled quiet that defines a good snowfall. I guess I’ll always get a bit of a childhood thrill when I see snow.

A little mid-week melting had this guy claiming the one green spot under the feeder.

A little mid-week melting had this guy claiming the one green spot under the feeder.

But the next day came another snow, and we had another full house.

But the next day came another snow, and we had another full house.

Indoors I love the cozy feeling as I watch every little aspect of nature flawlessly outlined and defined by snow. The contrasts are breathtaking. The ground is uniformly clean yet undulating with rolling heights of snow and unusual patterns. There’s nothing similar about snowfalls to me; each is as unique as every flake that falls.

Wave patterns in the snow.

Wave patterns in the snow.

The ice storm this week did make things dangerous, but there’s an exceptional beauty that comes with it too. It’s rare and one of my favorite sights.

Like it's covered in diamonds.

Like it’s covered in diamonds.

Like a cut crystal coating.

Like a cut crystal coating.

Is this where the phrase "dripping with diamonds" came from?

Is this where the phrase “dripping with diamonds” came from?

A rare sight indeed.

A rare sight indeed.

Crystal-sheathed branches.

Crystal-sheathed branches.

I can’t help but chuckle when I think of how extremely opposite my photographs are from my blogging friend Mary, who posts the most amazing photos of desert life. I absolutely love her photography. During winter, our photos are in complete contrast with each other, but that’s one of the things I love about this world – opposites are beautiful if we’ll only take the time to see the beauty and stop complaining about the differences. If only humans could see that in each other…

If everyone appreciates the differences in dogs, then why not in each other? I don't understand humans...

If everyone appreciates the differences in dogs, then why not in each other? I don’t understand humans…

So call me crazy, throw rotten tomatoes at me, but I love winter. And I’ll be sorry to see it go when the temps hit the 40s next week. Yes, I do find plenty of gorgeousness in spring and summer too, because every season has its own special beauty, but come June I’ll be starting my annual countdown to fall. 🙂

We’re part of a snowy Thursday Barks and Bytes blog hop!

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Professor Squirrel, the Acrobat

I love squirrels, but they’re quite the little piggies. They always want the birds’ food stash. And they’ll do whatever it takes to get it – you have to admire their ingenuity!

There’s plenty of bird seed on the ground for them, but they want first dibs. They want ALL dibs.

At first they climbed up the metal pole, so we put a squirrel baffle up. They laughed and climbed over it.

Next we greased several inches of the pole beneath the baffle as well as the top of the baffle. That worked well.

For a while.

Until one very limber college-educated squirrel with a double degree in physics and calculus realized that he could figure the distance from the flower pot to the pole, allowing for the upward trajectory of the baffle to calculate the perfect launch angle. (Who says colleges aren’t what they used to be?!)

He bested us poor fools with simple degrees in literature and business.

There he is, sitting on the edge of the planter, making his calculations...

There he is, sitting on the edge of the planter, making his calculations…

...and he takes off!

…and he takes off! Look at that mid-air form! 😀

He nails the landing and goes for the gold (food, that is!)

He nails the landing and goes for the gold (food, that is!)

The food is always yummier on the other side of the feeder!

The food is always yummier on the other side of the feeder!

He brought along his spotter, a less adventurous type without a math degree. :)

He brought along his spotter, a less adventurous type without a math degree who got his food the easy way.

Sorry for the screen in the first two pictures, I was shooting through a window and was just anxious to get pictures of this little scenario that had played out a number of times. He didn’t actually make it the first four times he jumped, but he was rewarded for his tenacity at long last. You have to admire that! 🙂

We’re part of the Thursday Barks and Bytes blog hop!

2 Brown Dawgs

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Monday Mischief: Unexpected Dinner Guests

Hi friends! Daisy here.

We had some unexpected guests visit us for dinner the other day. If you ask me, I think it’s rude to just pop in on someone for dinner. Shouldn’t they let us know they were coming so we could make sure we had enough for them to eat?

Well it turns out we had plenty for them. Just one came at first….

Proud as a peacock...er, I mean turkey....

Proud as a peacock…er, I mean turkey…. Staking a claim on his dinner plate.

Walking to and fro, surveying his buffet while nibbling.

Walking to and fro, surveying his buffet while nibbling.

Apparently Daddy had put a lot of grass seed down in the dirt patch where we had the tree removed, and Mr. Turkey discovered it. But he’s a generous old dude and shared it with his clan:

Everyone came to the table for their own pre-Thanksgiving "paleo" dinner.

Everyone came to the table for their own pre-Thanksgiving “paleo” dinner.

He must be the grandpappy of them all, because he was the biggest and his tail feathers were a gorgeous variety of patterns and colors. The white one was also incredible. Even after the rest of the team left, Grandpa stayed and ate for the better part of an hour.

Fortunately Daddy put a LOT of seed down and we still have a nice velvety covering of green on the patch. But it was fun to watch and a good excuse to bark LOUD!!!! 😉

We’re part of the Monday Mischief blog hop!

 

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A Snowy Easter Surprise

Tuesday morning, just a few days before Easter, we woke up to another snowfall!

During one of my slow strolls outdoors over the previous weekend, this was what our daffodil patch looked like:

Happy spring daffodils in our front yard.

Happy spring daffodils in our front yard.

And here it is Tuesday morning:

Unhappy frozen daffodils.

Unhappy frozen daffodils.

Kind of hard to believe those pics are only a few days apart!

It seems so incongruous to see spring buds on a frozen tree:

spring snow 4.14 2

Now, I know most people here in the northeast are talking about how tired they are of all the snow we’ve had this winter, but I’m not one of them. As all my blog buddies know, I LOVE snow and would live in a year-round autumn-winter climate if there was one – with, of course, an annual 3-month break for spring to plant my gardens and give the trees enough leaves so they could change color and fall again! I could do without summer altogether. (Don’t throw rotten tomatoes at me!)

I discovered that I can’t take walks around my yard anymore because the other day, my heel hit a slight depression in the grass, which normally I wouldn’t even have noticed. But with my back still so sensitive, it felt like a bolt of lightning went through my lower spine. That set me back a bit pain-wise; then that evening I sneezed twice, which caused the pain to skyrocket. Apparently more muscles in the body contract during a sneeze than I realized!

So I’m back indoors now (which is fine, Friday was a whole 39 degrees!) and will attempt another venture outdoors this week – but this time, I’ll only walk on even sidewalk surfaces! And of course, my little sweetie will come with me…if I can pry her off my floor bed!

Daisy, cozy in my floor blankets, with the Guilty Gate behind her.

Daisy, cozy in my floor blankets, with the Guilty Gate behind her.

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This Olympian Should Win A Medal In Humanity

I’m not a sports lover, so I’m not one for watching the Olympics (don’t throw rotten fruit at me!!); in recent years I’ve become disgusted by the inhumanity some countries embrace just to make their streets look better for the cameras and tourists, not to mention attracting new business.

From China bulldozing generations-old family huts and leaving poverty-stricken families homeless – their main goal for doing this, of course, was to make things look good for reporters’ and tourists’ cameras – to Russia euthanizing thousands of homeless stray dogs with pesticides, the greed and ugliness behind the spectacle turns my stomach and turns me off. What seems to have started out all those years ago as a true athletic competition in the spirit of good sportsmanship seems to have turned a very ugly corner.

But there are bright spots – people with hearts who won’t ignore these atrocities, like the Russian billionaire who created a makeshift shelter to save those poor strays, many of which were just puppies.

And US Olympian Gus Kenworthy, a silver medalist who makes me proud to have him represent our country for far more than just his medals. Kenworthy was arranging for puppy vaccinations and trying to bring at least four puppies he found in Sochi back home with him.

One guy making a difference. Imagine that multiplied by hundreds. If only.

Gus Kenworthy takes home more than a gold medal in my opinion – he gets an unprecedented platinum medal for heart, humanity, and kindness. And that may be an understatement.

It's not those animals' faults that they're strays....

It’s not those animals’ faults that they’re strays….

We’re part of the Thursday Barks & Bytes blog hop, hosted by 2 Brown Dawgs and Heart Like a Dog.

2 Brown Dawgs

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