Just walking the dog

The days are starting to get longer. The sun no longer sets due south, mere minutes after it rises (also in the south apparently). We now have 10 hours and 20 minutes of daylight each day, and that number is growing daily. Daylight is subjective it seems. Lately it seems much more like dusk although it may be the middle of the day. We have been experiencing windy, wet weather. Nothing like the rest of the country has been clobbered with, so I’m not complaining. Okay, maybe I am.

It has been so wet for so long, poor Gabriel, our LGD (Livestock Guardian Dog) hadn’t had a walk in a few days. Yesterday, even though the wind was whipping, the rain had given us a break just as I finished evening chores. I made a split second decision, not knowing when it would be dry again, we were going to go for it.  If I had watched the weather, I wouldn’t have – apparently there was a volatile storm cell heading right toward us on its way to Mount Vernon from Port Townsend.  We went.

Gabriel and I reversed our normal walking pattern and had a brisk walk. Did I mention it was windy?  As we came down the larger street near our home, poor Gabriel was a wreck. He was certain one of those trees was going to crash down on us. I’m not entirely sure his concern was unwarranted.

We saw a pair of mature bald eagles flying low, by the tree tops. Sometimes they were struggling against the wind, sometimes they were riding it like an amusement park ride. Gabriel was on full alert. Bald eagles are one of the predators he warns us about regularly on the farm.  He even lost his fear of the attacking windy trees to protect me from the flying pair.

Today was a lovely weather day, the wind was normal for our Island home, the sun – well it was almost blinding in its promise of spring. After their morning meal, we let the herd out to mow our lawn in the temporary fence. As they munched the lawn and soaked up the sun, Beth and I worked on cleaning the parlor to get ready for the coming weekend projects.

Evening chores went smoothly and I had enough daylight to spare. Gabriel would get walks two days in a row (something this weather has been prohibiting lately).  We took the same route as yesterday. With the wind calmed down the walk was blissfully uneventful. Usually Gabriel tugs the leash for the first block or two, but today he was in his groove from the moment we left the barn. We did run into a young couple and their baby walking the same loop in the other direction. They loved Gabriel, so it was just a quick pause and pet, not a real interruption.

At the same spot as yesterday, the two eagles appeared, as if on cue. Tonight they flew high and seemed to enjoy their vantage and sweeping perspective.  The nearly full moon was rising and purple clouds raced across the sky.  I thought I would take a picture and capture the breathtaking beauty. Gabriel would have nothing of that. Walking is not the same thing as standing still, he knows this. Every time I would stand and try and snap a shot with my phone, he would tug me on.

So, here, with thanks to Gabriel is the photo I ended up with.



Okay, so it’s not spectacular. But when you look at this face, can you be upset about missing the photo?

Look into my eyes

Look into my eyes

If you can still hold that grudge… I challenge you – unless your heart is stone, you will forgive him after this:

Puppy Gabriel

Gabriel was once a tiny puppy - honest!


About Chief Milkmaid

A former executive, now goatmilker and cheesemaker, I am the Chief Milkmaid of the Little Brown Farm.
This entry was posted in About the Farm, Critters and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Just walking the dog

  1. Anne Belov says:

    Whoa…that puppy picture did it for me! here: Take my cat! – please! Anything you want!
    Bob. T. Panda

  2. Sue T says:

    No shortage of cute furry animals over there eh?

  3. Yeah, we specialize in cute! 🙂

  4. I was caught by what you said about the eagles. My “Great Newfenees” Stella also watches eagles – and ravens – intently. I don’t know how she knows to do that; we have no other (domestic) animals.
    Stella has her own blog, and she talks about eagles in one entry: http://newfenees.wordpress.com/2011/02/07/eye-on-the-sky/ . I’ve never seen a dog that takes the guardian role on so wholly. By that, I mean that she watches everything that’s happening; even when she appears to be sleeping, she’s alert to all that’s happening on land, on the river and in the air.

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