June 26, 2008 – September 25, 2017

The day we got him, it was so exciting he fell asleep over and over

It’s taken me a month to get to the point of being able to write something about the loss of our beloved golden retriever, Cardhu. I’ve done this fo cats and haven’t ever had this much trouble pulling something together. But this dog, the first dog I’ve ever owned, is different.

So I’ve been going back through photos, and now I’m being terribly self-indulgent in putting together this post. It’s long. Very long. It has lots of pictures. If Cardhu was your friend—and he had many—enjoy the memories. Continue reading “Cardhu”




path through snow

We’ve had rather a lot of it, haven’t we? Today it’s raining and the snow is super-saturated and heavy (this is the Voice of Experience speaking, as I went out and shovelled) and it’s altogether miserable and nasty. And yes, I know that it will melt, but it WILL MELT A LOT FASTER if one shovels. Continue reading “Weather”

Time for a walk

frost on windshield

Well, it’s a cold day, that’s for sure.

ice pellets on branches

Ice pellets everywhere! Evidently they didn’t turn into freezing rain last night—and a sheet of ice—as they did where we live.

ice pellets and frozen drops on branch

Quite lovely on the branches: pellets and frozen drops.

ice pellets on dead leaf

ice pellets on snow

Quite lovely everywhere, actually.


Nice crunchy trails in places.

ice on puddle

And the first puddle ice I’ve seen!

Really, one couldn’t ask for a prettier day for a walk.

trail with dog

A walk in the wet

boots in water

It’s been raining quite a bit recently, which means that sometimes rubber boots are better for hiking than anything else, at least on some trails. And as we’d had some particularly heavy rain recently, yesterday I thought, ah yes, a perfect time to go off on a side track that I know leads into a low wet area! I won’t see a soul on it! (Not that it’s unusual to hike without seeing a soul, but yesterday I was feeling a tad misanthropic.)

big puddles on trail

And… yes, clearly rubber boots were a good plan. There aren’t usually big puddles on this part of the main trail.

overgrown trail and dog

Now the side trail. It’s not heavily used, so bits of it get a little overgrown.

drowned trail, dog

Golden retrievers don’t mind puddles. (And yes, this is the trail.) Which is fortunate, considering that the puddles extended on either side of the trail, so they weren’t really possible to avoid.

dog splashing through drowned trail

Golden retrievers looooovvvve puddles. Especially big ones filled with chewable old wood. (This is also trail.)

digging implement hanging from tree

This is not a puddle, but a surprise, hanging handily from a tree. What could a gardening implement be doing hanging by the side of a half-invisible singletrack mountain-bike trail through government lands?

drowned trail

And yes, that is the trail. Actually, at the arrow, it was changing from deep pool to stream. And I will just mention that at their deepest, the puddles came to within scant inches of the tops of my boots, requiring a sort of cautious gliding motion rather than exuberant splashing.

turkey-tail type fungus on a log

But water and mysterious trowels weren’t the only things we saw. There were some lovely funguses.

maple tree and mossy stump

There were even some relatively dry parts. And lots of dead leaves and moss.

Altogether, it was a lovely walk. Or splash. Whatever.

Morning decks

chair and decking

We’re having new decks put in to replace the old ones that were rotting away (which is what happens when the builder uses untreated wood, grrr). They’re not finished, but they’re good to go as far as sitting out in the morning goes. For everyone.

dog lying on deck

Tree trimming

It’s a BIG willow. Very green and willowy.
An enormous amount of it overhung the garden, rendering said garden rather pointless.
Really overhung the garden.
There was a significant difference in light once they finished. Which is not surprising, considering the quantity of debris on the ground.
It’s a LOT of debris.
And that overhanging stuff… isn’t. It looks pretty raw and nasty, but this is a willow. Within a week that trunk will be covered in green.
And from other angles it doesn’t look as bad.
But there’s a lot of willow on the ground. A dog could get buried in it.
But the next morning….
stages of trimming a willow tree
…it was all gone.

Today I walked a new trail.

dog on very overgrown trail

This, however, is not it. This is an old trail that I walked first. It’s, erm, a little overgrown at the moment.


Does Our Dog care about that, though? Nah!

dog foot in moss

Gratuitous photo of Our Dog’s foot in moss, just because both are so pretty.

trail through moss

And okay, here’s a picture of part of the new (to me) trail. It’s a pretty one.

Oh look, turkeys!

dog staring at turkeys in the yard

So the other morning I pushed back the office door curtain and… the feral turkeys. Seven of them, two adults and five poults. Our Dog was already out, and eventually responded to all the warning clucking that ensued when I opened the curtain and they noticed me.

He’s a good dog. He didn’t show the slightest interest in chasing them, though he did eventually trot over to investigate more closely, but what he really wanted to do was just sniff the ground where they’d been, while they all went “Cluck!” and ran off toward the bushes. And then they decided discretion was the better part of valour and flew over the fence; I’m not sure he even noticed that they were gone. Nice to know they were never in danger from him.

Hazards of the trail

garter snake on trail

I’ve been taking Our Dog out for early runs with my bike because he’s ten now and doesn’t do so well in the heat. But this is one of the hazards of doing so: garter snakes that have stretched themselves out across the trail and just lie there, still sluggish with cold. I do NOT want to ride over a snake and kill it, so I’ve come to screeching stops for them several times this year. I generally encourage them to vacate the space (I don’t pick them up to move them as often as I used to because they always seem to pee on me if I do.)

close up of garter snake

This one was particularly sluggish; Our Dog trotted right across it and it didn’t so much as twitch. (Luckily no big golden retriever feet came down on it.) So I was able to stop and take some pictures.

garter snake leaving

Though it did eventually decide that discretion was the better part of valour and do the “I’m outta here” thing.

golden retriever snoozing with daisies

Oh, and bonus golden retriever pic.

After the rain

dog running on trail

It was a bit wet on the trails today—and certainly on the narrow ones you could expect very wet feet from all the overhanging grass. But someone didn’t mind a bit.

wild roses

And the roses looked wonderful.

wild rose against sky

And the arbutus trees looked sexy as always.

arbutus tree trunk with shadows

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