Everyday Adventures in Havachon Heaven

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

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 Last Hurrah – And Why I Love Winter

Winter went out in its full glory last week – it was one of the most beautiful snowfalls we’ve had all season. The air was filled with sparkling flakes floating down for over 12 hours, and we got about 8 more inches on the ground. It was spectacular.

Hunkering down during the storm.

Hunkering down during the storm.

The day after the snowfall, I went to one of my favorite natural areas with a lake that attracts everything from herons and swans to geese and ducks; I’ve even photographed huge turtles there.

swans 5

swans 2

Going for the deep dive...

Going for the deep dive…

The air was clean and ever so breathable, the cold was invigorating, and an endless thick, white carpet welcomed me and cushioned my steps.

snow scene colts neck

 

Forward...march! Look at those crazy tracks!

Forward…march! Look at those crazy footprints!

If you think my love of winter white makes me eligible for a visit from the men in white coats, maybe this list of twelve reasons (and I have more!) why I love winter can make a case for my sanity. 🙂

1. No spiders, stinging bugs, or creepy crawlies. This I cannot overstate!
2. No major time spent on yardwork, so our weekends are free for fun.
3. No heavy traffic when driving somewhere beautiful. Places like the beach aren’t clogged with people who don’t know what trash cans are for.
4. No unbearable, unbreathable, energy-sapping heat/humidity index of over 100 degrees.
5. No spiders.
6. Absolutely beautiful, contrasting, sparkling long-range scenery.
7. Coming home late at night without dodging tons of flying creepy crawlies around the porch light while trying fruitlessly to keep them from coming in with us.
8. No mosquito bites. Not being awakened at 2 AM by high-pitched mosquito whining in my ear, then spending the next hour not finding the little bugger, going back to bed at 3 AM only to be awakened by the same screeching at 3:10.
9. I love the look of winter clothes and being bundled up in layers and sweaters. I love snuggling under piles of blankets.
10. Ironically, we have to keep all the shades in the back of the house down during summer days because the sun is too strong and heats up the house too much (not to mention fading furniture!). I feel more closed in during summer than winter!
11. Way more birds at the feeder during snowfalls than in any other season.
12. NO SPIDERS.

At different points during the day, we had over 2 dozen birds at a time around the feeder!

At different points during the day, we had over 2 dozen birds at a time around the feeder!

That said, I do find beauty in all seasons. I love our organic herb and veggie gardens as well as taking photos of all of nature’s beauty.

Our rosemary plant thawing out. Love those droplets!

Our rosemary plant thawing out. Love those droplets!

We’re now dealing with The Great Thaw, which is not a pretty thing. Spring didn’t work its way in, it pounced with temps in the 40s and now 50s, so our foot-plus of snow is melting so fast, the ground can’t absorb it. We’ve got mud puddles everywhere…not an attractive look on Miss Daisy’s little white paws!

Dozing Daisy.

Dozing Daisy after a good mud romp and a paw bath.

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

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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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Late Winter Doings, Daisy Style

Well we got a momentary peek of early spring temps one day last week when the thermometer read 44 degrees – for a whole six hours. The next day we were back into single-digit wind chills; but hey, at least they’re not going below zero!

We’ve had a couple more beautiful snowfalls too, and the five inches or so that’s on the ground now is frozen solid. And I mean solid – the ice at the base of the driveway is at least two inches thick.

I can never get enough of winter photography; to me winter presents unique and ever-changing beauty.

The rising sun creates a reddish glow on the trees, which we don't see when the leaves are out.

The rising sun creates a reddish glow on the trees, which we don’t see when the leaves are out.

Winter sunset, which we also can't see when the trees are in full leaf bloom.

A particularly vivid sunset, which we also can’t see when the trees are in full leaf bloom.

We’ve made sure to keep the birdies well fed, and in turn, they’ve given us a lot of entertainment along with their cuteness.

You can always tell how cold winter is by how chubby the birds are!

You can always tell how cold winter is by how chubby the birds are!

These guys took the easy pickins.

These guys took the easy pickins.

And while dozens of little birdies braved the weather to visit our feeder during snowstorms, ice storms, and frigid temps, what did Daisy do?

Yup, that's our little log-dog squishing herself between a blanket and the sofa back, oblivious to the birds' winter plight.

Yup, that’s our little log-dog squishing herself between a blanket and the sofa back, oblivious to the birds’ winter plight. Don’t know how she even breathes like that!

We were happy to see that not only did our rosemary plant survive the winter and continue to give us extremely aromatic herbs, but it provided a nice spot for birds awaiting their turn at the feeder.

I'll just wait my turn on this yummy-smelling bush...

I’ll just wait my turn on this yummy-smelling bush…

Mom and Pop cardinals continued flocking in for food – this guy demonstrated how flexible a bird neck is:

What you lookin' at??

What you lookin’ at??

Meanwhile, Daisy did her best impression of a canine airplane:

Airplane Daisy.

Airplane-ears Daisy.

I guess every creature has their own way of getting through each season!

 

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Winter Visitors and Daisy’s Poop Patch

Oh yes, Daisy always gets her own personal little Poop Patch in the snow since she refuses to go “old school”. We even make a pathway from the patio to the patch for our finicky little miss. Here’s the one from this last storm, a few days later after the snow had gone down by about half (and it’s still there):

A nice little poop patch complete with pathway from the patio.

A nice little poop patch complete with pathway from the patio. It looks smaller than it actually is.

We’ve had a LOT of wonderful visitors, even more than usual. Yet another reason why I love snow.

You can always tell from the plumpness of the birds just how cold it is!

You can always tell from the plumpness of the birds just how cold it is!

One of my favorite winter scenes is the vivid color contrast of cardinals against the snow.

One of my favorite winter scenes is the vivid color contrast of cardinals against the snow.

I love when different types of birds share the banquet.

I love when different types of birds share the banquet together. Humans could take a lesson!

We’ve also had morning doves and blue jays as well as deer, but the deer dart through the yard and fly over the fence too fast for me to get my camera, so I just watch and enjoy. 🙂

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

2 Brown Dawgs

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Daisy, the Ice Princess

And so it came about a week ago, just as predicted – a snow storm followed by an ice storm. I think the winter of 2014 is making up for all those years that we haven’t had a proper winter!

MORE snow?? Wow, we've had more snow this year than I've seen in my entire 3 years! :)

MORE snow is on its way?? Wow, we’ve had more snow this year than I’ve seen in my entire 3 years!

Daisy was kept very busy inside, sounding off her doggy-alarm every time a chunk of ice or snow fell off the roof and smashed onto the ground. To be fair, the ice and snow are so heavy that they did sound like they were ripping off part of the house.

AND NOW WE’RE GETTING ANOTHER SNOW/ICE STORM TODAY INTO TOMORROW – our sixth this winter! Right on top of the many, many inches of snow still on the ground! This is the storm that crippled Atlanta, Georgia yesterday. With the high winds we’re getting, they’re saying this may actually be classified as a blizzard.  I’m not surprised, there are near-white-out conditions outside right now (as you can see by the lack of clarity in the photo). Here’s what I woke up to, and we have a l-o-n-g way yet to go (possibly 14″!).

Just the start of the latest snowstorm in a record-breaking snow season!

Just the start of the latest snowstorm in a record-breaking snow season!

So what’s the best thing for a chilly puppy to do after using up so much energy protecting us from all that falling ice and running through the snow outside?

Find the puppy!

Find the puppy!

We’re in Thursday Barks and Bytes hosted by 2 Brown Dawgs and Heart Like A Dog. Grab the badge and join the fun!

2 Brown Dawgs

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Here We Go Again…..

The last batch of snow is still on the ground, and yesterday we got another big blast! Another foot of snow came down – it snowed for 12 hours straight, from around 5 AM through 5 PM. But it was a gorgeous snowfall – tons of flakes gently making their way straight down with no wind. Just making everything look beautiful.

I love that very special quiet that comes with a good snowfall, and how pristine everything looks. No cars moving, no outdoor garden equipment blaring, and everything is unified by a sparkling blanket of white. It’s exquisite.

Early morning light kissing the snow-topped trees in our back yard. Just breathtaking!

Early morning light kissing the snow-topped trees in our back yard. Just breathtaking!

Even our house was decorated in a sparkling icy fringe:

Mother Nature graced our home with crystal icicles.

Mother Nature graced our home with crystal icicles.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Daisy is staying outside longer and longer now that she’s wrapped up in her warm red puffy coat. Well, guess what? She’s starting to like the snow again! She seems to have a pattern. First she’s on Border Patrol all the way around the yard:

I must make sure our borders are secure from intruders! Oh wait, what's this? Deer tracks? Cool!

I must make sure our borders are secure from intruders! Oh wait, what’s this? Deer tracks? Cool!

Then she takes DD on a wild run, zigzagging to and fro across the yard:

Race ya back to the house!

Race ya back to the house!

Haha beat ya!

Haha beat ya!

Now that’s the kind of snow fun I love to see a dog have! 😀 I can’t wait to introduce her to snowballs…. Tonight we’re supposed to get more snow – anywhere from 6 to 16 inches, depending on how the storm moves. Tomorrow it gets a bit scary, though, because the storm is supposed to turn into an ice storm, making driving extremely dangerous. They’re already telling us to stay home and off the streets. I don’t mind more snow, but ice storms are another thing!

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Monday Mischief: Nor’easter Double Whammy

Well, Mother Nature was the undisputed mischief maker again last week – just a couple of days after we finally got power back in our area after Hurricane Sandy, we got hit with a nor’easter that dumped 7 inches of heavy snow on us.

And then had the nerve to throw us into freezing darkness yet again with another blackout.

Close call outside our living room window.

The snow was so heavy that the branches of the huge trees around our house were weighed down to the ground and formed a white curtain around us. Some of those branches were broken at the trunk.

Two 50 year old trees behind our house met when their limbs were weighed down to the ground. Those long limbs are usually 20 feet off the ground. It almost looked like they were holding hands for strength….or blocking our view to the devastation we didn’t know was happening in the back end of the yard.

We’ve had blizzards that have covered us with almost 3 feet of snow. And they were beautiful. But never have they carried the destructive power of this snow.

Downed 60-foot tree next to our bedroom window. We were surrounded!

We lost more trees and large limbs because the trees were already compromised by the hurricane just a week before.

Large low branch broken off another 50 year old tree….and aimed right at the bedroom window!

And, frighteningly, the snow weighed down the tarp on our broken roof enough to cause more damage – the bedroom ceiling is now even more cracked and has bowed further inward. Needless to say, my stress level is pretty darned high right now.

The roofer can’t come until the day after Thanksgiving. Once he assesses the damage, he has to order the materials to rebuild the trusses, roofing materials, soffits, etc. After that we need to replace the shingles that broke off and find someone to fix the ceiling. I have no idea how long this will take, but my guess is that we won’t be done until after the first of the year sometime – well into winter.

Speechless. That used to be a tall tree….

We love snow. Usually we can’t get enough of it. But this year – just this once – we’d like it to hold off until those of us with roof damage have been made whole again. As much as I love snow, I prefer it to be outside of my house and not sleeping in the bedroom with us!

Note to Mother Nature: If we send you some really good dark chocolate, could you smile on us for just a little while? 😉

Oh come on – give me some snow I can PLAY in!

We’re part of the Monday Mischief Blog Hop!

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The Little Birdie Who Thought He Could

We finally had our first winter snow this past weekend! We were so thrilled, even though it was only about 3 inches deep.

Of course, it was rained away two days later. 😦 But while it was here, we LOVED it!

After a snow, our Bird Diner is always busy, both at the feeder itself and underneath, where messy pickers fling seeds.

All plumped up for winter!

And there’s just something about the bland atmosphere that makes bird colors POP

One little chickadee thought he could pay us a visit. I guess he needs to see a Bird Optometrist for a pair of tiny glasses, because he flew into our sliding glass door HARD, leaving behind a tiny little feather and knocking himself into a stupor:

He sat like that for more than 15 minutes, beak open, not moving a muscle. I started wondering if he’d killed himself and frozen in place!

Wow! That was some landing!

He was near the house, where it’s a little bit more protected from predators like hawks, but there are a couple of huge cats that roam the neighborhood, and they’d just love to happen upon a stunned bird. So Daisy and I kept watch just in case.

Are you okay, little one?

Fortunately they didn’t come around, and this little guy finally started moving his head in tiny little increments, as if he was testing to see if he could manage it.

Half an hour later, he was turning his head normally and he moved really close to the house until he was ready to fly away. A happy ending!

🙂     😀     🙂

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The Post Formerly Known As “Rain, Rain Go Away….”

…but I didn’t want to call it that because my blogging buddy Daily Bailey scooped me on the title! LOL! Both of our dogs have the same reaction to rainy days – they get lazy and enjoy a good loll about the house. I guess it’s the Bichon in Daisy, eh Bailey? 😀

Not much outdoor time for Daisy this week. We’ve had rain, rain, and more rain with dark gray cloudy skies and thunder in between. Whatever happened to “April showers bring May flowers”? Seems to me like this year, April showers have just brought more May showers.

So now this:

Has turned into this:

And this:

Has turned into this:

Frankly, I prefer the snow. At least we can take Daisy out to play in it, and it’s so beautiful. (Rain can be beautiful too, but not when it lasts a whole week and floods the yard!)

And then there’s the work involved. When Daisy goes out in the snow, she comes back in and simply gets blow-dried. On rainy days, she has to be bathed – she’s so low to the ground that she comes in with a muddy underside, muddy legs, and muddy paws. Not to mention that wonderful “wet dog smell”…yuck. And I don’t even want to talk about what happens when she inevitably shakes herself off before we can get her into the bath!

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