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Photographic Evidence that Goldens Are Very Helpful When Raking Leaves (and Bear Branch Photos)

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"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Photographic Evidence that Goldens Are Very Helpful When Raking Leaves (and Bear Branch Photos)

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This weekend was fairly mild with another dip in temperatures and potentially our first snowfall due for later in the week, so Bobby finished cleaning up the leaves in the yard. Yesterday, I was able to help him: raking up the last of the leaves and putting a good, thick covering on all the garden beds.

Golden Retrievers pretty much know how to do anything handy that you might find yourself doing around the house, and they are always right there and eager to help. Cleaning up the leaves was no exception. For example, it is very helpful if, when you rake up a pile of leaves, a Golden Retriever lays in the middle of that pile because it keeps the leaves from blowing away.

When Phil did that the first time, I responded by raking the next batch of leaves over top of him. He became indignant and got up from the pile. Later, Alex did the same thing, so I thought, "Well, it worked with Phil, so it'll probably work with him too."

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Nope. He actually seemed to enjoy being buried in leaves. He would lose Big Pink in the pile and then root his head under the leaves looking for it.



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At one point, Bobby made a pile of small branches and big sticks that he found in the yard. I told him I didn't know why he bothered since, before we were finished, the Goldens would have those sticks re-strewn around the yard.



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This time, I was not wrong.



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Of course, this did not stop Phil from his unrelenting quest to have Big Pink thrown for him.

Yesterday afternoon, we took the Wilds for a walk at Bear Branch, a nature center outside of Westminster, a change of pace from our usual walks at Charlotte's Quest. We'd never walked the trails at Bear Branch before, but at sundown on a late autumn day, it was starkly beautiful.

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At the end of the walk, we happened on a surprise: a shelter for injured and imprinted raptors. The light was so low by this point in the evening that my attempts to photograph them through two layers of fencing didn't work out very well, and only two photos came out.

American kestrel:

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Black vulture:

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There was also a screech owl (whom we did not see), two barred owls, two great horned owls, two red-tailed hawks, a Cooper's hawk, and a bald eagle. Most of the birds were in their nests when we happened by and came out to see who we were. The black vulture was the most curious and, as the photo above shows, came right down to the fence and peered up at us. This was definitely the most unexpected and delightful thing we've found on a walk in a long while.



This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

http://dawn-felagund.dreamwidth.org/351333.html
  • So many great pictures. I love the ones with leaves on water, the branches against the sky, the grove of trees, and the birds! Wow the Goldens had a lot of competition in this set. They are beautiful though and you captured their personalities.
    • I was really, really pleased with how the Bear Branch pictures turned out. I think the amount and angle of light was just perfect for the kind of day it was. My favorite was the one you called the grove of trees; even though it was one of the first I took (evidenced by the amount of light), I saved it for last for that reason.

      You've been looking at the Goldens for eight years now! :D And I can definitely be guilty of posting endless iterations of essentially the same picture: chewing sticks, begging for Big Pink to be thrown, laying in the grass ... I have probably about 700 pictures of them on my Photobucket.
      • I can totally relate wanting to document a relationship with a pet! I posted pics of Alex today doing nothing more monumental than walking around our house barefoot in his pajamas!
        • It is nice to look back at pictures of [my] Alex before he had so much white in his face ...

          I love your Alex pictures! You capture his energy so well!
  • What great pics! I love your "Golden" work report, they look really hard a work. *g*
    • Oh yes, Golden Retrievers are experts in how to do everything. I will often see Bobby out back, fixing or building something, with two wagging-tailed helpers at his side! :D

      And thank you! :)
  • Love your Goldens. My cats always have to "help" too.
    • I call it animal osmosis: Animals will inevitably flow into the space that is least often occupied by animals. So if I open a room that is usually closed to clean it, you can bet that all the pets will come in! :D
  • Oh, I love these pics! What fun you had! :D
  • How far is this trail from your home? So beautiful! It's great to be able to go trekking in such places close to home.

    I love the photo of Alex smiling under the leaves :D
    • Bear Branch is about 15 minutes away. We live in a gorgeous part of the state: lots of forest (mixed coniferous and deciduous), lots of farmland, and the rolling hills that are the build-up to the Appalachians just west of us. Once I'm done my thesis, I'm going to drive around the county and just take pictures of all the beautiful scenery! :D
  • Those are wonderful pictures! Apart from the dogs, my favorite is the field with the tree on the right.

    The one and only time Magic lay down in a pile of leaves is because I told her to because I wanted pictures. She gave me this look of "I have no idea why you want me here. It's uncomfortable, but I'll do it anyway." And she was up like a shot when I released her from the stay.
    • Awww ... Magic ... My two really like laying in leaves for whatever reason. But they also like drinking weeks-old water that collects in the tarps that cover the firewood, so they don't have the best tastes!

      Thank you for the kind compliment on the photos. :) I like the field myself, although that sky was so much bluer and that cloud so much brighter! :D
  • And all of this so close to home? Lucky you! Do both boys have a Big Pink, or is it all Alex there? :)
    • Yes, Carroll County is a very beautiful part of Maryland. We haven't been touched by the urban sprawl from Baltimore (yet) and so have lots of mixed forest, farmland, and the hills that are the start of the Appalachian Mountains. Bear Branch is about 15 minutes away and right outside our county's only "city" (more a big town).

      There are two Big Pinks, a Big Blue, and a Big Green. But the Big Pinks are their favorites! They have found and dug them out of a meter of snow before!
  • Beautiful autumn photos, thank you for sharing.

    It's lovely of your Goldens to help you with the chores. My foster cat is deathly afraid of domestic tasks and goes and hides under the bed every time cleaning is involved!
    • Thank you! :) The cat helps too. She loves when I sweep the floor especially. Not that I encourage that by "accidentally" poking her with the broom or anything ... ;)
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