The adventuresome life of a Great Pyrenees/Newfoundland dog in Northwestern Ontario

Posts tagged ‘red squirrels’

Season’s End

Things are changing on the Campbell ‘Estate’. It’s really beginning to feel like Autumn. I can almost smell it in the air. I get to smell a lot more air these days because I’m sleeping outdoors in my kennel again. I like it out there, but I also enjoyed nights in the two-legger house. Elizabeth’s bed has a more elevated view than mine, and a cuddle usually comes with that, too! She tends to get upset when I woof at night-time passers by though. Not so much when I’m out in my house. Pros and cons to everything…

Speaking of being able to smell autumn in the air, I understand that two-leggers are generally more visual creatures than nasal, so I got The Scribe to take some photos of some Autumn indicators for you this week (That’ll prove this isn’t all just up my nose!).

Autumnal Danger in the Woods

The other day, Elizabeth heard a strange noise in the woods behind the garden. It sounded like someone was snapping a lot of twigs running through the undergrowth. Alarmed (Is it a bear? How do I get safely back in the house from the garden?), she decided not to panic before calling to see if it was just me getting tangled up in some pursuit or another. I heard her and came to her from the other direction.

“What’s that, Stella? Who’s that in the woods?”

I couldn’t tell her without going to check it out. Into the forest I ran…

OUCH!

It was raining spruce cones and twigs.

We have many tall White Spruce on the ‘Estate’.

The Scribe took a photo so I could show you one of the noble White Spruce (Picea glauca) I am responsible for watching over each day in my role as Head of Security here.

The Scribe took a photo so I could show you one of the noble White Spruce (Picea glauca – it’s the tallest of the tall trees here) I am responsible for watching over each day in my role as Head of Security here.

I’m going to give you a closer look at the top of that tree. It isn’t dying and going brown…

those are seed cones up there!

Those are seed cones up there! Hundreds of them!

It’s a good idea to avoid the vicinity of these trees at this time of the year. Red Squirrels are away up there at the top, chewing through the twigs with cones. The noise we heard was the twigs falling through the tree branches and on down to the ground. The squirrels retrieve and run with the fallen cones to a station where they feel safe stripping them of the tree seeds inside!

Red Squirrels are very busy gathering in evergreen cones. They're very messy about collecting the seeds!

Red Squirrels are very busy gathering in evergreen cones. They’re very messy about collecting the seeds!

Squirrels are like me in a way. They like to find a big rock to work on. That way they can see all around. If danger comes along, they have plenty of time to dash to the nearest tree. They are very fast. I know, believe me!

Changing Colours

There's a lot of colour showing up in the woods now. These Bracken Ferns - Pteridium aquilinum look lovely in the morning sun.

There’s a lot of colour showing up in the woods now. These Bracken Ferns – Pteridium aquilinum look lovely in the morning sun.

Their colours change quickly from green through yellow to orange-brown. Then, before you know it, they're brown and crunchy underfoot!

Their colours change quickly from green through yellow to orange-brown. Then, before you know it, they’re brown and crunchy underfoot!

 

Shorter Days

Another thing we’ve been noticing is that bedtime seems to be coming significantly earlier now. And the nights are cooler.

On Saturday night, Elizabeth put me to bed, then she came outside again with her camera. She has decided to experiment a bit with her camera and taking pictures at night. There was a beautiful crescent moon on its way to bed, too. She took several photos, and made one into a poster with a little poem she wrote for it. I asked her to show it to you, just so you don’t think I’m the only poet in the family. She doesn’t write much in the way of poetry. She is trying to get more writing in general done, though. I thought putting some here might encourage her to do more!  ~;op=

Luna Falling mini

 

Family Springing Up

Elizabeth and I were out for a walk the other day, and she thought you’d enjoy seeing a bit of my Model Pyrenees Mountain Range for 2014. I’m very proud of Rob the Snowman’s efforts this year. He’s had some extreme challenges in finding a place for all the fluffy white stuff that has fallen to obstruct our small gravel path this winter. He’s had to pile it higher and higher and higher, then he’s had to start another pile in front of the first because the blade on his big growly machine only can lift so high. I have about three ranges of mountains this year, all about 1.8m or 6 ft. tall. I like to sit on top of them and bark at the squirrels, who have become very active lately.

I am a Mountain Dog, I am, I am, I am!

I am a Mountain Dog, I am, I am, I am!

Elizabeth was on the Internet shortly after we took the above photo to show you how impressive my model mountains were. And she saw a photo. “Look at this, Stella!” she said. And there was a Great Pyrenees, a Great Newfenees like me, and a Black Labrador Retriever on their very own mountain range. And it was much bigger than mine! I had a good look at the photos so I could instruct Rob the Snowman next year. I can’t have other dogs beating me at my own game, now. Really!

I was so worked up that I almost didn’t hear what Elizabeth said next. “Do you know who that is, Stella?” Well, how on earth could I. She was pointing at the middle dog, a Great Newfenees like me. “That’s your younger brother, Thunder!”

Maia (top) and my little brother Thunder playing on their Model Mountain Range.

Maia (top) and my little brother Thunder playing on their Model Mountain Range. {Photo courtesy Verna Funk Verrier}

What! I have a younger brother who loves to play on his own model mountain range, too? Wow! And his two-legger says that he and his friends Maia the Gt. Pyr and Lily the Lab like to monitor the neighbourhood Coyote Clan from their perches, just like I keep an eye on the Wily Wolf Gang! It turns out he doesn’t live too far away, and that maybe one day we can go and visit him and his friends. I’d really like that…

Thunder's range is over 2m (8-10 ft) high in places! And look at how long it is. *Sigh*

Thunder’s range is over 2m (8-10 ft) high in places! And look at how long it is. *Sigh* {Photo courtesy Verna Funk Verrier}

Elizabeth and Thunder’s two-legger have been talking. She had one of my same-litter brothers, Magnum. Sadly, Magnum was born without a working esophagus, and he went over the Rainbow Bridge when he was just a few months old. His two-leggers were very sad about this; they loved him very much. They took lots of pictures of him during his short life with them and said I could show you one of him. I think we looked a lot alike, don’t you?

Magnum with his older pals, Maia and Lily. Magnum looks like he's really happy despite his problems.

Magnum with his older pals, Maia and Becca. Magnum looks like he’s really happy despite his problems. {Photo courtesy Verna Funk Verrier}

When Magnum was gone, they missed him so much that they got another puppy from the next litter my mom and dad had. Thunder, we are happy to tell you, is thriving!

And do you remember Dakota? She’s my older sister in Winnipeg. She’s decided she doesn’t like winter that much this year. Her two-legger says it has been so cold that she’s had to stay inside a lot, and as a result, she’s become a real city dog! Her two-leggers keep in touch with Elizabeth, and they showed her a photo of Dakota taken yesterday. Dakota and her two-leggers are so grateful for the over two years of care Dakota received from the Manitoba Great Pyrenees Rescue that they are working hard with MGPR to help other dogs without homes find people who will love them forever.

Here's Dokota, working with a puppy from MGPR. She really likes playing with the puppies...

Here’s Dakota, working with a puppy Trixie (click the link above if you’d like to adopt her) from MGPR. She really likes playing with the puppies… {photo courtesy Jarek Paul Nowak}

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