Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Taxes - Done

Three generations of Icelandic Sheepdogs: (left to right) Vinlands Piaf (Pila), Vinlands Ulfbehrta Kit (Kit not Kitty), and Thordunu Kria. (I didn't notice Kersins Kata's butt on the left until I downloaded the first photo below.) Pila is litter sister to Vinlands Totty, Kit's mother. Totty and Pila were born 2/19/2008 so they just turned nine years old. Kit was born 2/15/2015 and just turned two. (December must be a romantic month.) Kria will turn 13 on May 5 and came from Sigurlaug Hauksdóttir in Iceland. They are all wonderful dogs! Clicking on photos will enlarge them.

My cats don't get photographed often because they are not around often. I Ching does not admit that I live here and provide for all her needs.  Violet never appears when I have visitors but the rest of the time she is omnipresent. She is a great, lap-sitting cat who loves to be petted and talked to.

I Ching


If you've been paying attention, you know that I love Clivia. I love the color of the flowers and theit aroma. In their new home here they each flower several times a year. In Royal Oak they were picky eaters. I started with one decades ago. By harvesting seeds I've managed to produce maybe eight more, keeping three and sharing the others. The seeds take more than a year to mature. Like humans the seeds take nourishment from the parent plant placenta-like to give them a head start on life. The red seed on the right below is more than a year old now. It will be ready to plant when a new root and small leaves poke through the red seed coat.  Immediately below are several seedlings that are about three years old. They grow slowly but live a long time.

Of course I have to add some sunrises.

I went back to Cora in Royal Oak today to do my taxes. If my president doesn't pay taxes though, why should I - I wonder.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Vinlands Gunnar

I recently received this update from Gunnar's family. Gunnar and his litter mates recently turned two years old.

In the clover

  "This was written quite a while ago, but I never pressed send! Anyway I'm doing that now - - - - -

      "Thank you for your rapid reply. Our long line is only 8 feet, our leash is 6. The extra two feet do seem to help in the field especially when I'm very slow on painful days. You are right about hands though, you need to be careful how you hold it especially if it's not leather, or cuts and burns are a risk. Gunnar is very fast and very strong. People tend not to believe me until they take the leash and experience it themselves. He loves to run but also "checks in" regularly. Even in a fenced back garden. 

How a small dog takes over the bed! 

Gunnar and friend Alba share a stick

          "Labs and retrievers seem to be really popular in our neighborhood. Gunnar enjoys playing with them. They really seem to enjoy him too. He loves to play with other dogs large and small and has quite a social network of his own. 

Gunnar and friend Piper

      "As far as the barking, we know it's part of the breed and don't want or expect to silence him. We taught him to "speak" on command and then  "quiet". But squirrels continue to send him into a frenzy that he can't control. If it happens on an early morning walk under a neighbors open window....well it's a good thing Gunnar has such a nice personality and can win people over! Some fresh baked bread or cookies help too. 

The Puppy Gunnar

      "Although Gunnar is very friendly he does seem to have a protective sense. I was walking him by myself one morning when I heard him growl in a tone that was NOT playful. I turned and saw a man, all in black, with a balaclava over his face. I assumed he was a jogger and apologized for my dog and said good morning. The man said nothing. Only later did I realize there were no paths where he appeared and then I heard reports of two other people attacked by a man dressed as a "ninja". I think Gunnar may have saved me that morning. He is usually so friendly with everyone I joked that he would just lick an intruder or attacker but maybe not. 

      "I won't get him a coat for winter. I know he's a cold weather breed but his coat just didn't seem that heavy this year. Of course it's been warm, our coolest day just a pleasant spring day in Iceland. If he needs more I'll trust him to grow it. 

Resistance is Futile

      "We got him a thin round leather collar to just hold his tags. I thought that would disrupt his fur the least. Still we are seeing bald areas especially where the flat buckle sits. What sort of collar do you use?  I know many dogs only wear collars outside but I would like him to always have a ready ID as it were. Micro chips are great but only if you have a scanner. "

Vinlands Bangsi, Vinlands Elisabeth, Vinlands Gunnar, Vinlands Kippa Jane, Vinlands Tully Lulu, and recently returned to home Kit are all litter-siblings born 2-15-2015

Friday, February 24, 2017

February" Spring"

The harbingers of spring the witch-hazels have started to bloom. I wonder why they aren't planted more often. Friends back in the Detroit metro area told me theirs were blooming only a few days earlier than mine. The weather here is only slightly different from back in Royal Oak; same growing zone I think. Clicking on photos enlarges them.

Jon and Tracy, linked to phones below, visited last weekend and brought some spring-like weather with them. Jon and I worked on clearing out some of the Russian olives (aka autumn olives) on Sunday. They are an alien and were originally imported to act as soil stabilizers and pioneers species on farmland or pastures returning to uncultivated land. Unfortunately, in my opinion, they are junk bushes. Like all too many alien species, they spread too easily and, when disturbed by humans or animals, start to grow very nasty long thorns. Also annoying are the alien white rose bushes with become huge bushes with nasty thorns along their arching branches. They get cut down also wherever they come up. The white pines, Austrian pines, and several kinds of spruce trees are need in pruning so we started on their lower branches. It will be a long vocation.

We had, as always, great conversation, great food, and a great time. There was another amazing bonfire on the beach and we were able to walk on ice out to my two mini-islands. (Today they are both surrounded by water; the ice is gone, at least for now.)

For several days about two dozen swans have lingered on my beach, lazily floated in the water, and flown over on the way back to night time roosts.

 I love my sunrises. Here are several days worth looking east towards Canada - which cannot be seen because it's too far away so the earth's curve hides it. The good news is that the sunrises and sunsets are earlier and later; the days are much longer now.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Thursday, February 17, 2017

Amazing winter. Three days ago there was a snowstorm. Snow's mostly gone now and it's going to be a great weekend - they say.

Bear - Bersi av Isheim
Bred by Arne Håkon Tunheim

Bear - Bersi av Isheim (left)

Ullälvas Smári
Bear's Dad

Ullälvas Smári
Bred by Lillemor Kullman

Ullälvas Smári

Sigga av Isheim
Bear's Mom
Bred by Arne Håkon Tunheim