Saturday, January 31, 2015


I feed the birds - - -  and some of the birds are in their turn food for some predators too. I'm guessing that perhaps a peregrine falcon, which I noticed lurking the other day, got what looks like a cardinal

The dogs got there before I did today and, I suspect, they got leftovers before I could discourage them. Most likely the ancestors of our dogs living in Iceland for hundreds of years supplemented their diets with small mammals, birds, bird eggs, etc. while out with their flocks. It's the Circle of Life; here comes the lion (ingonyama)!

Christine pointed out that J-J (Jean Jacques) was the color of the placemats she sent for a housewarming present! How prescient of her!! Clicking enlarges photos.


I couldn't resist and captured my road on the way in/out after a nice snowfall Friday. I am so grateful to the people who planted the evergreens on "my" property. I am passing it forward by planting trees, shrubs, vines, wildflowers myself for me to watch growing and for someone in the future to enjoy on "their" property.

Looking East
Looking East
Looking West
Perfect Peace
Perfect Peace
From the Top of the Rise
I don't know what colors these might be called; regardless - lovely.


The bluebird/tree swallow houses I ordered have arrived and are ready to be appropriately placed around the property; some can go up immediately, others will have to wait until the weather breaks and the ground thaws.

I only have to shovel/sweep my east porch which is a quick task, less than five minutes so far, compared to when I had to keep the sidewalk and driveway clear back in the city. That was a chore. I don't even have a sidewalk here and Rick does the driveway with his truck! Ahhhh!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Jean Jacques

I finished The Meaning of Human Existence by Edward O. Wilson. It's an exceptional book that neatly ties together several scientific theories and makes some hopeful predictions. My personal discover of Dr. Wilson began with his marvelous books on ants, which are an interesting social insect with some similarities to other social species including humans.

Sunrise - Sunday, January 25, 2015

I've had a life long love affair with science instigated, I believe, by spending my summers exploring at Silver Lake near South Lyon, Michigan where my Mother's family came from. The cousins were exceptionally close as children but times moves on, people move away and the ties that we thought were strong, weren't.

Sunrise - Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Sunrise - Tuesday, January 27, 2015
In the last photo above I love the way that the sun shines on the water as it breaks through the clouds in the distance . Clicking on photos enlarges them.

When I got my first apartment soon after graduating from college I raised self-green  roller canaries - I had to have something alive biologist that I am. I bred them for several years until life got more complicated.

I recently found a canary and European Goldfinch breeder who lives down near where I used to live north of Detroit. Life is funny. I visited him on Sunday and brought back Jean Jacques, my new yellow, yes, old fashioned little old lady yellow, canary. (I've never had a yellow canary, probably because of the association in my mind with little old ladies -hey, I'm virtually "there" now so why not?) He's a happy color.

Jean Jacques is an example of the Malinois Waterslager canary which are originally from Belgium. I don't know how to record Jean Jacques; here are some of his distant relatives. Isn't yellow a happy color, after all? We've had many, many sunny days this winter; the sun, the song, the clivia, the bonsai, the dogs, cats! Wow!

John James Audubon, the famous American naturalist who roamed the country painting American birds, was born in France, the illegitimate son of a French noble who was a soldier under Napoleon. Jean Jacques moved to the new country from France, changed his name to John James and stirred the conscience of thousands, now millions of Americans to explore nature, especially birds.

My "renaissance" interest is because of Christine who gave me a delightful book, The Big Year by Mark Obmascik; it's a book about recording on paper birds sighted in the course of travels over the course of one year. It's a hobby for those with lots more money than I have BUT I'm not complaining at all. I am enjoying doing what I can do on a modest scale in my own corner of the world - can a sphere have corners?

Life is good! Animals, Gardens, Books, good food.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Totty the Icelandic Sheepdog

Totty the Icelandic Sheepdog is beginning to show signs of her pregnancy; according to my calculations, she is due Monday, February 16, 2015 (but I'm right as often as I'm wrong!).


Her appetite is enormous, her waistline is expanding, her maternal instincts are softening her, and she's slightly, ever so slightly less energetic. Clicking on photos will enlarge them.

The waters of Lake Huron out my windows are ever changing. One morning it will look ice-bound several hundred yards out, the next will show blue water where there was once only ice and snow, the day after that there will be floating 'bergs'.


Clivia going strong - still.

Another beautiful sunrise.
I am re-discovering my love for bird watching this winter. There are several feeders around my yard within binocular view. Coincidentally, Christine and Richard from Washington, who recently gave me The Big Year by Mark Obmascik, and Imelda and Steve from British Columbia, who gave me a website for serious birders where I found "thumb" sightings of birds nearby, have aided and abetted my ornithological curiosity.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Ideas Spread

My Icelandic Sheepdog Kria CGC, RN, RA, RE, CD (Thórdunu Kría -- Leiru Thórshamar Týri x Thórdunu Eyja bred by Sigurlaug Hauksdóttir) turns 11 this year. I don't think she looks her age, do you? She's a grandmother several times over.

Her granddaughter Sunna just had a litter a few weeks ago; her daughter Totty is expecting pups again in a few weeks; I'm sure Kria will help raising them. She usually does.

Kria and Kata are great good friends. Kata (Ýrar Akkur x Melkolku Brenda bred by Helga Gústavsdóttir) recently turned 13 (January 11). She doesn't look or act her age either. Me too, I hope.

My dogs are not allowed up on the furniture -
when I'm home.
It's a small chair . However, two or sometimes even three animals manage to fit into it. (The third is often I Ching, one of my two rescue cats.) It doesn't look comfortable but it's probably toasty warm. Dogs are like people in many ways. Some are always jockeying for dominance, while others, like Kata and Kria, are good friends. They always have gotten along. And none of the other dogs ever questions their position in the hierarchy. Top Dogs Both.

 "Reason" goes out.
Ideas Spread: the empires of thought go out instead of ships.
In the long run the truth is never as dangerous as a lie.

You have to be willing to take more chances, to keep exploring.
If your eyes could speak, what would they say.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Mary's Diner

I drive for almost 15 minutes to eat breakfast at Mary's Diner - best place for breakfast in Port Sanilac!! Her special omelette is fantastic and the pancakes there are the best in the entire Thumb - I know! Because I'm an early riser, I often get there before the rush.


Oakland County Kennel Club - Novi

Here are some photos of Icelandic Sheepdogs entered in Oakland County Kennel Club's show on Saturday, January 17, 2015. (The boys are aphabetical by call name.)

Ch Kross Gola Kelinn
Foothills Laki x Lavandels Vera
bred by Colleen Schmidt
Colleen & Jeffrey Schmidt, Kimberly Langley

GCH Hidow Thrymheim's Tryggur
Kersins Leifur Heppni x Thrymheim Dofria
bred by Veronica Dowling, Cathy Lallemand
Suzanne Terrant

Calvin and Tryggur were my own personal two favorite boys this weekend but it's very hard to choose from this bevy of beauties. We've come a long ways!
Nella (l), Tryggur (r) litter siblings
GCH Hidow Stassa Nella frá Thrymheim (l)
GCH Hidow Thrymheim's Tryggur (r)
Kersins Leifur Heppni x Thrymheim Dofria
bred by Veronica Dowling, Cathy Lallemand
GCH Hidow Stassa Nella frá Thrymheim
Kersins Leifur Heppni x Thrymheim Dofria
bred by Veronica Dowling, Cathy Lallemand
Jennifer Sanders

I saw many amazing Icelandic Sheepdogs on Saturday; it's hard to take long distance photos when they're moving around the ring, most turned out blurred. There were 18 amazing entries for the weekend. Icelandics are doing very well in the Mid-West! (Clicking on photos enlarges them.)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Saturday - Blustery Day

It was a beautiful sunny day on Friday with perfectly clear skies; then on the way back from Sandusky I noticed the lake effect clouds in the east over Laker Huron.

So when I got back home, I took a photo from my house looking first east and then another one looking west.

Looking East From the Living room
Looking West From the Living room

Those clouds in the east over Lake Huron and Canada stay there because the winds here are, of course, predominantly westerly winds.

One of my concerns about moving to the country was Michigan's winter skies. Back in Royal Oak, which really isn't very far from here, the winter skies are unrelentingly gray and featureless, solid sheets of one color gray, for days on end. I was concerned that the skies here would be those kinds of skies. So far, so good. Virtually all of the sunrises are beautiful. Skies are gray but often textured and interesting probably at least partly because of the evaporation from the lake.

Today's Sunrise.
The skies are getting light earlier and staying light later now!

People have assumed that the snow here is worse than Royal Oak. We are geographically close; it's about the same here as there. I've had only two snowfalls here so far that required intervention on the part of Rick, my plow guy. They were both small snowfalls, less than two inches. I know that January and February are the hardest winter months; again, so far, so good.

There's an AKC dog show today and tomorrow in Novi, Michigan that I wanted to go to but that's more than two hours from here and my foot is still sore. It's a long way to go for less than ten minutes in the ring. Still, I've heard that today there are going to be 18 Icelandic Sheepdogs shown.

I had gone to Sandusky for breakfast at Bob and Jamie's and to run some errands. There's a one page daily "paper" that's free and available at places like Bob and Jamie's. It has weather and local news. Last September there were three people arrested for poaching at night using artificial lights to startle and 'hypnotize' their prey, which is, of course, illegal. The follow up is that the family was convicted and sentenced to minimum jail time of 9 days for taking deer, turkey, and bear. (Another man was turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol.)