Tuesday, February 28, 2017

"The One Time" ...

Hello, everyone.  It's me, Cam.  Maggie and I had a nice surprise yesterday afternoon -- an unexpected bonus walk!  We had already been on a nice, long morning walk, but Mom wanted to try to do something and Dad said, "Why not go now?", and so off we all went!  We had no idea what was going on, but I saw Mom tuck a bunch of treats into her pocket, so I was all for it!

We walked up to the area around the water tower, and Mom wanted us to sit for a photo.  We sat facing her -- remember, she had treats! -- but she said, "Turn the other way!  C'mon, girls, be Siberian!"  It was really weird.  We didn't want to look away; she had treats.

She got on the other side of us, so we turned, then she ran around the other side again ...

IMG_8897MagsCamOutTake
"Hey, Cam.  What's over there?"
"I don't know ..."

Well, we weren't LOOKING at her!  But I guess she wanted a good shot of our backs.  Showing the harnesses.  Apparently, she was trying to recreate this photo for the good folks at CTC Dog Gear -- our harness makers. Oh. OK. We sort of turned ... and ...

IMG_8901MagsCamOutTake
"Look!  Gravel!"
"Not the best background, Mom."

OK, and I didn't turn quite enough.  Mom kept trying and we kept turning to face her.  It was great fun!

Mom had this idea for Dad to toss a little pebble out in front of us to make a little noise so we'd look that way, but ...

IMG_3913MagsCamOutTake
"What was that?!!?"
"Like I'm going to fall for that one!"

And then there is this one:

IMG_3911MagsOutTake
I have no idea.

Good one, Mom!

There was a city worker guy in a truck who was sticking those "don't dig here" flags all over the place.  We thought we should watch him for a minute or two.

IMG_3909MagsCamOutTake
"Hey, mister!  Whatcha doing?"
"Hello?  No, we have no idea why our mom won't stop laughing."

After that "break", we tried again.  We kept trying to face Mom and she kept running all around the place, trying to get behind us.

IMG_8907MagsCamOutTake
"Wait!  What are you DOING, Mom?!?"
"I'm ready!"
Then Maggie was ready, but ...

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"OK, I'm all set!"
"I'm not!"

And then I was ready, but ...

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"Hang on a sec ..."
"Did you get the shot, Mom?"

Maggie didn't want to look the other way in this one, but Dad did the pebble toss thing again.

IMG_3916MagsCamOutTake
"What the heck is that?  It's not grasshopper season yet, is it?"
"Not yet, Mags.  Is anyone else getting bored?"

We thought we should have another break after that, so ...

IMG_8917CamMagsOutTake
"Tag, you're it!"
"Gonna get you, Cam!"

What?  It's a cool action shot, right?  Showing how strong and durable our harnesses are.  Right?

OK, not what Mom was after.  But then we gave her this:

IMG_3907MagsCamOutTake
"Mom should be happy with this one!"
"I should think so!"

Mom just kept laughing, said something about "the one time she wanted us to not look in her general direction",  and said we'd try it again another day. Works for us -- as long as she brings lots of treats again!

Cammie!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Sew What?

Greetings to all! It's me, Maggie!  Cam and I went back down to Mom's Studio yesterday to help her do some more sewing!  "Sew what?" you might ask.  (Ha roo roo roo - get it?). New leashes to match our cool new collars!!!

We helped a ton by playing with our pickles, then helped even more by playing round after round of Crazed River Otter Games.  It was exhausting, but I helped even more after that!

IMG_8861MaggieHelping
"How's this, Mom?!!?"
IMG_8858MaggieHelping
"Nah, no need to thank me!"

Anyway, because of how helpful we were, Mom had our leashes down in no time at all!

IMG_8877CamMagsNewLeashes
"Look, girls!  We did it!"
"Oooh, very pretty!"
"Awesome, Mom.  Let's go test them out!"

I actually thought we were going to go give them a test drive!  We headed upstairs and out front -- but instead of walking down the street or something ...

IMG_8878CamMagsNewLeashes
"Thanks, Mom!  I love my new leash!"
"I thought we were going for a walk!  Yeah, yeah.  Sit and look at the camera.  What.  Ever."

Anyway, we really do like them!  I'm sure Mom wouldn't have been able to get them done without our help, though!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Fascinated Sunday

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  Since we sort of did Serene Scenery Sunday on Friday, I thought I'd move on to something else today.  We'll call it Fascinated Sunday, though Mom took this last night while we were watching TV.

IMG_2606MagsTV
"Wowzers!"

Frankly, I don't even remember what we were watching, but there was a flock of sheep crossing a street. It. Was. Awesome! I was fascinated!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Ready?

Hello, everyone.  It's me, Cammie.  The other day, Mom wanted to get a shot of us girls out on the front porch.  She had treats, so ... you know.

We went out and sat for her.  Maggie was ready, but ...

IMG_8652MagsCamPorch
"Right, Mom.  I'm all set!"
"Wait!  Let me check my fur..."

I wanted to check my fur in the glass door first!  Once I did, she asked for another shot ...

IMG_8651MagsCamPorch
"Sorry, Mom.  You had your chance."
"Wait.  If you're not going to look at the camera, neither am I."

Sorry, Mom.  It's hard for both of us girls to be ready at the same time!

Cammie!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Our Latest Excursion

Hello, everyone.  It's me, Cam.  As Maggie told you, we made a trip down to the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge on Sunday.  The highlight for us was getting a couple bites of Mom's sandwich; the highlight for Mom and Dad was birdies galore!  Let's take a look at the trip!

On the way down, it looked like this:

IMG_8706_I70InFog
FOG!

We couldn't see anything, so Maggie and I opted to do this:

IMG_8702CamMagsHR-V
"Zzz..."
"Zzz..."

We were called "very good girls" for doing so.

When the fog started to clear, we saw lots of farm fields like this one:

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A fresh crop of Snow Geese!

We also saw a whole lot of hawks on the way down, and at the wildlife refuge.

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Red-Tailed Hawk on the hunt

While Mom was at the edge of a pond, trying to photograph some ducks, this guy kept hopping in front of her camera:

IMG_2193RedWingedBlackbird
Red-Winged Blackbird

Mom does love a cooperative birdie!

Out on the pond, she spotted a "lifer" for her (a bird she's never seen/photographed before) -

IMG_2025RingNeckedAndCanvasBackDucks
Canvasback Ducks (the "lifer" -- with the thin, long bills) and Ring-Necked Ducks

She was quite excited!

The most abundant bird was the Sandhill Cranes. The Quivira NWR people estimated their numbers to be around 7-8,000!

IMG_2450SandhillCranesAndDucks
A few of the Sandhill Cranes we saw!

Mom is working on her video skills (and says she still has a long way to go!) but did manage to capture a bit of the activity:


Please click here to view on YouTube or click here to view on FlickR.

We apologize for the Kansas wind noise.

At times, it was as though they were falling from the sky!

IMG_2531SandhillCranes
It's raining Sandhill Cranes!!!

The other "lifer" bird for Mom was Tundra Swans!

IMG_2477TundraSwansSandhillCranesNorthernPintailDucks
Tundra Swans, a Sandhill Crane, and a couple Northern Pintail Ducks

She was mighty excited!

Among Mom's favorite ducks are these tiny guys:

IMG_2635BuffleheadDucks
Bufflehead Ducks!

She wasn't able to get very close, but it's always fun to see them!

For more photos from our trip, we have a two-page album you can visit on FlickR at this link. We saw all kinds of stuff, to include an Armadillo!

Here's a shot of me waiting patiently at our rest stop on the way home:

IMG_8708CamRestStop
"Seriously?  Would you just go?  So we can go?"

And here's Maggie:

IMG_8730MagsRestStop
"What?  I had to find the right spot!"

Anyway ... it was a wonderful trip - so many birdies, beautiful scenery, interesting wildlife, and the best thing of all -- time together as a family!

Thanks for coming with us; we hope you enjoyed our photos!

Cammie!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Sunday's Adventure

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie!  As Cam mentioned the other day, we had a weekend full of adventure!  We'll tell you all about Sunday's expedition soon.  In the meantime, here's one of our favorite photos from that day:

IMG_8716MagsCamHR-V
"I see you have a sandwich..."
"We like sandwiches..."

More to come once Mom finishes processing her ten million photos!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

PS: Because we know inquiring minds want to know: PBJ, and yes, we did.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Putting The Schmoop in Schmoopy

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  Most of you are aware of my rather energetic, playful, crazed River Otter side.  That's a big side of me.  But there's another part of me you might not be aware of.  Since my mom posted about it to FaceBook the other day, I thought I'd come clean here.  It's my schmoopy side.

We all have one, and the more I do that "growing up" thing, the more I'm revealing mine.  Lately, I like to show my schmoopiness on our walks.  We'll just be going along like normal ...

IMG_8582CamMagsWalk
"Isn't it a great day, Mags?"
"It's AWESOME, Cam!"

... and then I pause. I walk over to Mom, gently put my paws on her chest ...

IMG_8584MagsSweet
"Hey, Mom?"

... look her in the eyes ...

IMG_8585MagsSweet
"Lean in closer; I want to tell you something."

... and then I give her a gentle kiss.

IMG_8586MaggieSweet
"I love you, Mom!"

Yeah.  Just like that.  It's important to let your bipeds know how you feel.  Let them see your schmoopy side!

Of course, I often jump Cam after that, to try to get her to play with me ... but not always!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Monday, February 20, 2017

More Training!

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie!  I hope everyone had a good weekend.  Maggie and I sure did!  My excitement kicked off Saturday morning, when I got to go out to Tuttle Creek State Park with Mom!  I thought we were going to do a little birding, but no!  We went out on another training mission with my Border Collie friends!

Mom and I went on a quick walk when we got there, then saw Beth pull up with the boys.  I showed the puppy Flynt the proper way to greet other dogs --

IMG_8662CamFlynt
"Like this, little one!  Calm, quiet, and a bowed head."

His brother, Moss, didn't want to say "hello", so I didn't approach.  That's part of good manners, too.

We all went on a nice walk together - helping socialize Flynt and get him used to just ignoring other pups. Speaking of ignoring, Mom asked me to pose by Willow Lake, so I did this:

IMG_8663CamWillowLake
"Cam!  Cammie!  Cam?!?!"
"Does anyone hear anything?  Oooh, look - fishermen!"

After that, I posed with the boys.

IMG_8667FlintMossCam
Flynt:  "So you don't have to look at your mom when she's talking to you?"
Moss:  "How could you not listen?  I hang on my Beth's every WORD!"

"Ha roo woo roo.  So much to learn.  So very much to learn!"

Siberians and Border Collies have very different approaches in life! I think Maggie needs to go on the next training mission - she could REALLY show those guys how it's done!

Anyway ... we walked the length of Eagle Pass Trail, which was really fun! There are lots of good smells there, and lots to see and hear.

IMG_8669CamEaglePassTrail
"Look, Mom!  Gooses out on the River Pond!"

The Border Collies did something called "heeling" on our walk -- they walked right by Beth's side. Moss always looks up at her like he's checking to see if he's doing it right or if there's something else she wants him to do.  Flynt is still learning the "heel".  As you can see, I took the point.  As a Siberian Husky, it is in my DNA to be out in front of my biped.  I don't pull, but think "sled dog".  That's in my blood.  Also, mom wants to see if I'm trying to snarf anything.  Actually not me so much in this case (cough, Maggie, cough), but that's just what we do.

Back out on the road, we did some more posing.

IMG_3825CamFlyntMoss
Me, Flynt, and Moss

As you can see, I was very happy. And the sun was in my eyes.

Mom did a closeup of little Flynt:

IMG_3824Flynt
"Hello!"

Is he adorable enough?

I had such fun with him and Moss!

IMG_3829Cam
"What a fun morning!"
"Ooooh, gravel!"

Oh.  Flynt is still at the "everything goes in the mouth" stage.  I really think he and Maggie would get along splendidly!  She could teach him SO very much!  I should talk to Mom and Beth about this!

Another successful training mission in the bag!

Cammie!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Serene Scenery Sunday

Greetings to all! It's me, Maggie, here with Serene Scenery Sunday! This week, Mom and I thought we'd look around our own back yard to see that kind of serenity we could find. Ready to take a look? Let's head out!

IMG_3798MagsPose
"This looks like a serene spot, Mom!"

It was warm and sunny.  I decided to sit and enjoy the moment.

IMG_3795MagsPoseWall
"This is great!  I see some serenity over there, too!"

We headed over to the area under the Purple Ash, by the top gate.  I had a seat ...

IMG_3809MagsPose
"Oh, yeah.  Nice.  I see some serenity over there, too!"

... and soaked it up for a while.  I spotted more serenity and went to check it out.

IMG_3785MagsPortrait
"Totally feeling it!"

I mean, there was serenity ALL AROUND US!  It was awesome!

IMG_3789MagsSerenePose
"So much serenity ... so much beauty around us!  We are so blessed!"

It was so peaceful out there!

IMG_3791MagsPose
"Feels ... so ... good!!!"

I hope you get out and soak up some serenity today, too!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Support Where Needed

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cam.  The other day, Maggie and I were out on the deck with Mom.  We had already played a good, hearty round of Crazed River Otter Games, so we decided to get down to work.  You know.  Guarding Ao4 Headquarters and all.  I went to my command post and Maggie joined me.

IMG_3765MagsCamDeck
"Anybody out there, Cam?"
"No... all quiet so far."

She decided she should settle in to help me keep watch.

IMG_8447MagsCamDeck
"We'd better keep our eyes peeled, just in case."
"Yep.  You never know when a birdie or a squirrel or something will show!"

It's so good to have Maggie's support like that!

And speaking of support ...

IMG_3768CamSnooterRest
"It's nice that the deck comes with a built-in snooter rest!"

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Cammie!