{this moment} Mushrooms

A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

Mushroom Hunting

Mushroom Hunting

Mushroom Hunting

Chubby Cubs

They look good. Some of their “chub” is their winter coats but in general, they look like healthy, well fed cubs. They aren’t very hungry. They didn’t tip the barrel over to get to the donuts there and they didn’t clean out the bucket. Their scat (they sure poop a lot) is full of blackberry seeds so they’re filling up on natural food. Sometimes they nibble on donuts and other times they walk through without even sniffing.

Maine Black Bear Cubs

Maine Black Bear Cubs

Bear Hunting Diary: August 10

Maine Black Bear Hunting Diary

August 10, 2014

It’s a late start but it’s done. Steve and I set up the bait bucket and placed the tree stand. The stand is closer than I’m comfortable with but I’ll deal with it. I’ll have to act fast once I get a chance to make a good kill shot. I have no wiggle room, literally. The slightest movement by me is likely to be seen or heard by the bear. I’ll be sitting 25 yards from the bucket.

This is my view. I’m using the white five gallon bucket that hangs between two young birch trees. It’s wired to the trees. The lid sits on top to keep rain out. I wanted to close it but the bucket is stretched out of shape so it doesn’t fit. I might be able to get it on if we have a hot day and the sun shines on it and if I’m there while it’s warm and the sun shines on it, and I stick my tongue out just right.

View from my tree stand

View from my tree stand

Steve’s cutting branches that block my view. The blue barrel belongs to the landowner. I can use it but haven’t decided if I will. We’ll see what happens with the bears. I thought it would be dry and brittle after years of sitting out in the weather, but it’s not.

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Controlled Chaos Begins with Bear Hunting Season

Controlled (sort of) chaos begins in the morning with the first of the fall hunts. Bear season opens in the morning. To fit everything into one day I’ll be up early to start in on the day’s freelance work. I’ll do chores (pig, duck, chicken) and the garden work earlier than usual, then it’s off to check the bait barrel. I’ll be bow hunting for whitetail and shotgun hunting for turkey, grouse and woodcock in October. If I strike out with the bow I’ll be rifle hunting in November. Controlled chaos, late nights, early mornings. I love it!

Bear cub looks at game camera

Hey! What’s that flashing red light? Hello? Who’s in there?

Cubs checked out the game camera six or seven times. I’m grateful they didn’t play with it.

Back at home, I’ll figure out what’s going into the slow cooker or oven for supper and take whatever is needed out of the freezer to thaw. I’ll get some housework done (the housework tends to take a dive by early November), put up whatever vegetables and berries are ready, then settle down to write. I don’t know yet what will get less attention – the blog or book. We’ll see how it goes.

Sow at the bucket

Sow at the bucket

By mid afternoon I’ll be showered in scent free soap, shampoo and conditioner, and wearing unscented deodorant.  No hairspray. I’ve never managed to hunt pretty. I look a wreck by the time I get home.

My hunting clothes have been washed in scent free detergent and hung out to dry. I won’t put them on until I’m ready to go out the door. My camo wardrobe is pathetic this year – one pair of pants that fit, one that is a size too large, and a couple of long sleeved t-shirts. I get cold easily so I need to figure out how I’ll stay warm when the sun is low and the evening air changes. I can’t, or shouldn’t, move to put a warm shirt on.

I’ll spend the last half of the afternoon and all evening sitting in my tree stand, as still as possible. No swatting at mosquitoes, black flies or horseflies; Thermacell will keep me nearly pest free. I’m a little apprehensive about walking the half mile back to the Jeep in the dark knowing that the sow with three cubs could be in the area. I’ll make a lot of noise. The last time I watched a sow with cubs at a barrel I had to text Steve to come get me because she wouldn’t leave. I don’t want to have to do that again! He can’t drive close to this bait like he could that one.

If you’re hunting, safe shooting and stay safe in the tree stand. I can’t leave tomorrow until my safety harness is delivered.

{this moment} Sunset from the Boat

Joining in with {this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, remember. To see more, check out the comments to Soulemama

Sunset on West Musquash Lake

Sunset on West Musquash Lake

Sunset on West Musquash Lake

Black Bears on the Game Camera

After the very disappointing, annoying breakdown of my Primos TruthCam 35 I was very happy to have pictures from the new WildGame Innovations camera I placed at the site yesterday. They’re great photos. They were even pretty good on the Moultrie card viewer. Sometimes name brands don’t play well together but the viewer had no problem.

How cute! This little bear and its mother are safe. We don’t shoot sows with cubs or the cubs. That’s not what hunting conservation is about.

Bear cub at a bait site

One adorable bear cub

Two black bear cubs at the bait site

And then there were two.

I came back to the house thinking the sow has twins. We looked at the pics on the laptop and would you look at that, triplets.

Triplet Maine black bear cubs

Triplets!

They are good sized cubs and the sow looks great. You can see the results of a year with a lot of natural food. They didn’t get this big and healthy from bait they’ve visited once or twice. I think they were at the site Tuesday night, and we know they were there Wednesday night.

Bear cub looks at game camera

Hey! What’s that flashing red light? Hello? Who’s in there?

Cubs are mischievous. I hope the don’t decide to play with the flashing red light on the camera. I’ve untangled camera straps and bungee cords from the bushes when cubs have taken them down and played football. There are six photos like this taken at different times.

They’re leaving scat (pooping) at the site before they leave.

Here’s the sow. I saw her before the pics of the cubs. The first pics aren’t obvious but when I saw the first one that shows she’s clearly a sow nursing a cub (cubs!) I swore. This family is safe.  We don’t shoot nursing sows and their cubs.

Black bear sow over a bait bucket

Sow sitting at the bucket

Black bear cub up a tree

Up a tree

Black bear sow

Black bear sow

A Wild Harvest Day

What a busy day we had! Our original plans fell through because of high winds and rough water; no fishing for us. Steve suggested we go out to look for mushrooms and blackberries and since he’s such a smart man, I agreed. We drove along a few backwoods roads to find our bounty.

Wild Organic Blackberries

Wild Organic Blackberries

There are enough berries to make two or three batches of jam. They’re going into the freezer this morning because I don’t have time to make the jam in the next day or two.

Wild Organic Lobster Mushrooms

Wild Organic Lobster Mushrooms

Lobster mushrooms are the dirtiest mushroom we pick. They pick up rocks, leaf litter, twigs and dirt and they hang onto it like it’s gold. I don’t wash mushrooms – except these. A rinse under running water helps a lot. They’ll be washed, sliced and dehydrated today. I’m going to use some of them for cream of mushroom soup.

We picked eight quarts of the blackberries. I ate a cupful or two while I picked, making it my lunch for the day. Ten and a half pounds of lobster mushrooms took less time to pick than 12 ounces of chanterelles. And then there’s this odd looking mushroom Steve found on a dead poplar. We haven’t been able to identify it so I’m sending a picture to a mushroom group on Fb. I think someone there will tell me what it is.

Wild Organic Chanterelle Mushroooms

Wild Organic Chanterelle Mushroooms

There are enough small Chanties growing to give me at least one more pick before their season ends. These will go into the dehydrator.

This unidentified mushroom has us baffled. The green tint comes from the berry box. This is the top of the mushroom. The bottom is nearly identical. Do you know what it is?

We have no idea what this is. Found on a dead poplar.

We have no idea what this is. Found on a dead poplar.

mushroom id 2

Maine’s Biologists Oppose Banning Bear Baiting, Hounding and Snaring

Maine’s Biologists Oppose Banning Bear Baiting, Hounding and Snaring

Bear bait

The cover is pushed in but the bear didn’t eat. Can you see the squirrel?

Maine’s proven bear hunting methods are under attack. Maine’s biologists oppose the citizen referendum that would do away with baiting, snaring and hounding. Our biologists have been studying black bears for 40 years. Their research shows the population is affected by normal food supply, not baiting. As I said here, I can’t make a bear eat anything it doesn’t want to. On June 16 a bear went to my bait, pushed the cover in, and didn’t eat. There are still wild raspberries and the blackberries are ripening, along with other natural food sources. This bear is curious but not hungry.

Forty years of research by people who work hands-on with the bears is being dismissed by people who have a financial agenda, not personal knowledge. They have no responsible plan for controlling Maine’s bear population. You wouldn’t take cooking lessons from someone who doesn’t cook. Do you want inexperienced people taking over the overall health and welfare of our bear population? We aren’t taking enough bears now with our proven methods. Imagine what happens in southern Maine when the population continues to expand into more populated areas.

Jennifer Vashon talks about why the biologists are opposed to the referendum. Please take a few minutes, even if you don’t live in Maine, to watch the video.

Bear Baiting 2014

My bear baiting season started Sunday. I’m off to a late start but so far so good. I’m five weeks ahead of last year because last year it took six weeks to draw in the first bear. If we lose the referendum in November this will be my last bear hunt.

Red and White have no choice in what they eat. They have their commercial pellets to fall back on if I don’t bring them the food they want. They’d rather have grass, weeds, kitchen scraps and veggies from the garden. They aren’t in a position to be too choosy.

Red and White, our resident bacon seeds

These pigs have no choice about what they eat.

This bear has a choice. It can eat the donuts in the five gallon bucket or it can walk away to eat mushrooms, blackberries, raspberries, sarsaparilla and anything else it finds. I can’t force the bear to eat anything. It has freedom.

Lean in and squint. I swear there's a bear in the picture.

Lean in and squint. I swear there’s a bear in the picture. The flash failed.

These pigs are being raised for meat. That’s their only purpose. They have no chance of walking away. They are going to die, probably in December. They’ll be taken care of, fed well, kept watered and clean, but they will die. They have 0% chance of survival.

Piggies

Seventy percent of the people who hunt bears in Maine come up empty handed. I’ve walked hundreds of miles to tend baits, put in thousands of hours of driving and walking and tending and looking at photos to decide whether a bear might be a good choice. If I want to guarantee meat on the table baiting is not the way I’m going to do it.

Lean in and squint. I swear there's a bear in the picture.

Lean in and squint. I swear there’s a bear in the picture. The flash failed.

My pigs have no choice. They eat what I give them. Factory farmed pigs have no choices. My pigs are getting some natural food. These pigs are not. Please watch this video. In comparison, is what I’m doing honestly that terrible? Are you causing pigs like the ones in the video to be fed garbage?

Food for thought. Please think long and hard before you bash me. Please keep in mind that even vegans cause animal deaths so that they can eat. If you eat, animals die. Respectful discussion is welcome.

Homestead Groceries: Checking in on the Pigs

These little bacon seeds were afraid of everything and everyone when they came here. I made small goals. Be in the stall with them without them freaking out. Get them to take food from my hand. Touch them. We had a bad experience with five or six piglets one year that lead to catching hysterical piglets, waiting for to struggle to get loose and the eardrum-busting screaming to stop, then injecting them with penicillin. Twice a day. It was ridiculous. I said I’d never have wild piglets again after that. I was mistaken. These piglets, now named Red and White (because I’m creative like that), are a handful. If you startle them they squeal and run. If you’re me and speak to them before they can see you, they squeal and run. Not because they love me. They love the treats I bring them. These little guys aren’t so little anymore.

Raising pigs on my homestead

Tiny piglets, afraid of everything and everyone

They’ve grown a lot. They hated the rain for a while but now Red enjoys a shower from the hose on a hot day. Red is pushy and probably has the potential to be aggressive. I put food in two places so that White has a chance to get enough to eat.  They don’t like commercial pellets so there’s no simple feeding method like dumping food into a container. Pellets will be untouched for days at a time as long as I keep up on providing natural food. They’re ecstatic when I bring kitchen scraps. If they’ve gorged on plants until they’re full they’ll still gobble up the kitchen scraps. They’ll be beside themselves with joy when I start cleaning out the freezer.

Red and White, our resident bacon seeds

Red and White, our resident bacon seeds

They like grass and most weeds, and love comfrey. I’m happy to take bunches of comfrey to them as it’s growing faster than I need it for the chickens and ducks. It could be coincidence, I’m not sure, that the pigs started growing considerably faster about a week after they started eating comfrey. It’s full of nutrients so I’m sure they’re benefiting from it even if it’s not the cause of their increased growth rate. They don’t like cauliflower, broccoli and turnip. It took them a couple of hours to get past the bitterness of the unripe apples but once they got a good taste of them, they devoured them. I toss the apples around the pen, into tall grass and inside in their stall to keep them busy. They love eggs and are given the tiny Silkie eggs each day. White is gentle but Red is so enthusiastic about treats that he’s bitten me twice. He’s gets his small treats in the food bin now.

If all had gone as planned the pigs would have gone to the butcher in October. These piglets were late so I think we’ll probably have to keep them until early December, after the butcher is done processing deer. We’ll fill their stall with lots of hay they can burrow into to stay warm and hope for a warmer than usual late fall. It takes a lot of extra calories to keep a pig growing in cold weather.

Raccoons haven’t tried to move into the barn this year, and I think the pigs get credit for that. We had one problem coon before the piglets came and haven’t seen any signs of them being around since. If this is what it takes to keep the little bastar….raccoons away I’m happy to keep raising pigs.

I’m already looking for piglets for next year. If you know of any I’d love to hear about them!

{this moment} Holz Hausen

{this moment} A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see. {inspired by :: soulemama}

Holz Hausen

Holz Hausen

Holz Hausen

Khaki Campbells – All Grown Up

Khaki Campbell -  Young drake

Young Drake

The Khaki Campbells have grown into almost adulthood. I’m very pleased with them. The drakes already have their curly tail feathers and their heads are getting dark. The hens quack and bob, flirting with the drakes. I think one of them is laying already, though I’m not positive. Some days there are four duck eggs to go with three Runner hens, other days only two eggs. Ducks lay very early in the morning so I haven’t seen any of them on a nest.

Six out of nine Khaki Campbells are drakes. It’s disappointing but not entirely a bad thing. We’ll keep two, eat four. A drake weighs four to four and a half pounds, live weight. Hens lay 250-340 eggs per year, so I’m told. I’m counting on it. Next year we’ll let a hen hatch a clutch, keep a few hens, eat the drakes again. They’re turning weeds, comfrey and insects into meat. The do get pellets when I’m not at home to let them out to forage but for the most part they find their own food. They’ll continue to do so to some degree until snow covers the ground.

It’s been a quiet year for predators until this week. I found coyote or fox scat on the road near the house on Sunday morning, and on Wednesday morning the aroma of skunk greeted me at the hen house. Vixen urine smells a lot like skunk. I’m not sure if we have a coyote or fox, fox or skunk, or coyote and skunk. Or all of the above? I’m watching, and keeping Ava outside when the ducks and chickens are out. Predators are the reason I’m keeping two drakes for three hens rather than just one.

If you happen to be local or willing to drive here I’d be happy to have the ducks hatch ducklings for you next year.

Khaki Campbell DrakeKhaki Campbell Ducks

Khaki Campbell Drakes

Khaki Campbell Drakes

Khaki Campbells

 

 

Dear Exposure, Where Were You?

Dear Exposure,

I went to the grocery store today. We were out of milk. I picked up some toilet paper, a box of matches and some toothpaste. When I got to the register the nice young lady said, “Nine dollars and 47 cents.”

“I have Exposure.” She didn’t understand. She’s new at the store and seriously, she must be new in town because she didn’t know me. How could she not know me? I have Exposure. She insisted on Cash. Or Check. If I’d known you weren’t going to pay for a few things at the store I’d have insisted on being paid with Cash. Or Check.

Writing for Exposure

The gas tank was down to a quarter-tank so I stopped at the gas station. I smartened up this time and asked about payment up front. “Fill it, please. You do take Exposure, don’t you?”

Do you KNOW what he SAID? “If you expose yourself here I’m calling the cops.”

My next stop was the doctor’s office. They worked me in. “What seems to be the problem,” the doctor asked.

“Well,” I said, “I’m short on money. I came into town thinking Exposure would pay my bills but it isn’t working out and now I have this pounding headache. Can you give me something to make the pain go away?”

“Do you have money? You have to pay for this appointment, you know.” I suggested she treat me in exchange for Exposure. She kicked me out of the office and told me not to come back without Banking Account or Cash.

When I got home this afternoon I poured myself a glass of iced tea and sat down to pay the bills online.  First up, the power company. I entered my account number and password, hit enter and there was my bill. $67. I couldn’t find you under payment options. Credit Card and Banking Account where there but Exposure, you weren’t listed. I called up the power company. “Hi! This is Robin Follette. I’d like to pay my bill but you don’t list Exposure in the payment options. Can we do this over the phone?”

She didn’t understand. Again? What’s up with this? She said I could pay by something called Telecheck or go back to the website to use Credit Card or Banking Account. Or Cash. She was willing to take Cash if I drove to the office. I’m really upset with you, Exposure. You let me down three times today. I got out my pocketbook and I’ll admit it, I hooked up with Credit Card. And I’m not sorry.

We’re breaking up, Exposure. I can’t stay with something that keeps letting me down. Where were you when I needed you?

Sincerely,

Robin

Six Months After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

I had gastric sleeve weight loss surgery six months ago today. Six months. Life is very different now.  Gastric sleeve takes the stomach down from the size of a football to a small banana. My stomach holds about three-quarters of a cup of food or liquid now, and that’s it for the rest of my life. Sounds like very little, doesn’t it? I can go from “starving” to satisfied in two bites. Once in a while I wish I could have more of something I really like but that passes in a few minutes when my brain gets the “I’m full” message. I don’t miss anything I used to eat. Some of the things I used to eat now taste gross. People sometimes feel bad about how little I eat, and I can’t figure out how to adequately explain not wanting more. I remember how hard it is to push away from the table when you don’t need more food but want it. The want is gone thanks to my tiny stomach.

I don’t have “a new body.” Same body, new health. I have a new attitude. An improved sense of self-worth. New physical strength that’s pretty freaking cool and a lot of fun. As much as I’d like a new body it’s interesting to watch this one change and mold and adapt. I poke my ribs now and then because they’re easy to find.

The time leading up to surgery and for a few months post surgery were sometimes rough. I cried and was sometimes very angry. I was sometimes defiant and other times submissive. Handing over my life to and taking orders from strangers is hard for a strong-willed woman.

It was worth it. I haven’t taken blood pressure meds since the morning of surgery. My blood sugar was a little wonky last month because of high carb protein bars. I’ve stopped eating them unless I’m doing enough physical work at the moment to use the carbs (kayaking, hiking, walking). I’ll have my cholesterol checked in October. It was around 210 pre-surgery. My knee is seldom hurts thanks to taking 268 pounds of pressure off it. Every pound of weight is four pounds of pressure. I notice a twinge now and then and I’ve had a second shot of Synvisc-One. I might still have to have it replaced some day but not anytime soon.

My most recent photo, and newest “fat” photo. April 2, 2014. Twenty-five pounds ago. I don’t look like this anymore.

I’m no longer obese and will make damned sure that never happens again. I’ve shed 64 pounds and five sizes. I’m down from a size 20 jeans to a 10, and size 2x shirt to a medium or large. I’m grateful that my jeans, no matter the cut or style, don’t make my ass look fat – because it isn’t. I’m still a little hippy. No muffin top.

My arms, hips and thighs need work; some of that work will come from a “plastic” surgeon. You can’t change your body this much at this age (50) without some ugliness left behind. For health reasons more than vanity (a little vanity, I’m self-conscious about it), I’ll have surgery to avoid future issues. Maybe a year from now, or maybe early 2016. It’s going to be expensive and insurance won’t cover it. I’m going to take on new clients to earn the money.

I move with ease. I can’t imagine what moving will be like when I lose the next 24 pounds to hit my goal of 150. It’s so easy now. I’m not a klutz anymore. I’m not sure 24 pounds is going to be enough. I can see at least that much excess fat on my body. I might need to lose another five or ten pounds after that to get to a healthy amount of body fat. I’ll see what’s what when I get there.

I wish I’d gotten my mind into the right place to have had weight loss surgery four years ago when I first considered weight loss surgery, but I’m having a great time getting healthy now. No regrets. I’d do it all over again.

Downeast Lakes Land Trust honors local conservationist

The Downeast Lakes Land Trust’s (DLLT) President and Vermont Poet Laureate, Sydney Lea bestowed the Downeast Lakes Conservation Award on long-time supporter Pete Borden in acknowledgment of his key role in the initiation and continued growth of the Land Trust.

Downeast Lakes Land Trust would never have developed as it has without the able counsel and guidance of Pete Borden. Drawing on his many years of experience in business management, Pete researched the needs of the community and tailored the trust’s existence as a non-profit business entity with the region’s best economic interests at heart. He was a force from the day that DLLT was conceived, and the directors are delighted to honor him as a conservation hero.” said Lea at the DLLT Annual Picnic on July 27th.

“It was Pete who put DLLT on the road to accounting and fiscal responsibility.” DLLT Board member Ed McGrath later added. “He designed and supervised the Land Trust’s first study of the economic conditions and potential for development in our region of Washington County.”

The award, a handcrafted paddle made by local canoe builder, Dale Tobey, was accepted for Mr. Borden, by his daughter, Kim Arnold, who is currently the treasurer of DLLT’s Board of Directors. Neil H. “Pete” Borden fell in love with the area as a young boy, summering in the area with his grandfather. He has hosted his own grandchildren for the past 26 years, instilling in them a passion for the area. Until retirement, Mr. Borden held the Richard S. Reynolds Professorship in Business Administration at the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia. He holds a BA from Bates College, and an MBA and DBA from Harvard University.

The Downeast Lakes Land Trust congratulates Pete on his achievement. It is with great pride that the DLLT recognizes him as one of the many people who support its mission of contributing to the long-term economic and environmental well-being of the Downeast Lakes region through the conservation and exemplary management of its forests and waters.

{this moment} Holy Snapping Turtle on a Rock!

Joining in with {this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember. To see more, check out the comments to Soulemama

While kayaking on the St. Croix River between Maine and New Brunswick, Canada. Snapping turtle.

Holy Snapping Turtle on a Rock!

Holy Snapping Turtle on a Rock!

Ava & Sebastian

(Disclosure: this is a sponsored post.)

I haven’t talked much about the dogs since Scooter passed away. We’re almost into a new routine. It’s taking more prodding to get Ava to take on some jobs than I’d like but it’s not unexpected. She’s an intelligent, strong will dog that wants her way and doesn’t like change. Sebastian doesn’t do much at 14. His bursts of energy having him acting like an ancient puppy running around, barking, bumping into people and things because he’s not paying attention , and then he’s done.

Can you see the lump on his right front leg? He’s had it for a long time. I’ve had him in to the vet for an exam and biopsy. It’s on the side of his knee. It would be very difficult to stretch skin far enough to sew the wound shut, and he’d lick it so it wouldn’t heal well. The biopsy says it’s not cancerous. At 14, anesthesia isn’t a good idea. We’ll leave it be and I’ll keep an eye on it. Owning and loving a dog means doing the best you can no matter the situation, and sometimes that means doing nothing.

Ava has started to chase the crows and ravens, a big help toward keeping them out of the garden. The sounds the young ravens make annoy her so she’s willing to bark at them. We’re fortunate that we haven’t had a predator problems now that Ava’s alone to deal with them. We got her because there was too much work for Scooter and we could do the same for her, but we’re not ready for another dog. I don’t want another dog right now. Sebastian is 14 and Ava has epilepsy. That’s enough for now.

Ava’s epilepsy is being well managed with two medications. She’s weighed around 60 pounds but has lost quite a bit of weight by walking with me. Our 2.5 mile walks are hard on her. She gets tired and is usually home a few minutes behind me (the dogs are trained and not leashed when we walk; we live in a remote area with a few cars going by each day). Losing weight has helped her medications work better. She was having seizures every three weeks. Keeping her mentally stimulated and physically moving helps, and while all this exercise was hard on her, it was worth it. She’s now nine weeks between seizures. It’s also possible that she’s outgrowing epilepsy. We’re hoping so.

Nudging Ava outside her comfort zone to experience new things and meet new people has helped her overcome a lot of her anxiety issues. Anxiety contributes to her seizures. She can be a lot of work but I can’t imagine not having her around.

We’ll eventually have another puppy but it will be quite a while and when we do, she’ll be a bird hunting dog.

It’s been a mild flea and tick year so far but we’re not half way through July yet. There’s plenty of time for them to go into overdrive. We took all of the carpet out of the house years ago. It’s impractical on a homestead to have dirty shoes, sometimes boots, and pets on carpeting. That helped control fleas but the dogs still get them.

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of K9 Advantix® II. The opinions and text are all mine.

Trail Ends? Are we sure?

Are we sure the trail ends?

Are we sure the trail ends?

The trail leads through the woods, down the gravel road, into the parking lot, and then reaches the water. Erecting a sign to tell us the trail ends at the edge of the water feels like having a sticker on the hair dryer that says “don’t use this in the shower.”

I have faith (most of the time…) that people are smart enough to realize the trail has ended without being told. They will realize this…won’t they?