Step two, prevent the borzoi from eating the bird seed the starlings don’t want to eat.
We love watching the birds. They entertain us for hours. We’ve been recently overthrown by the European starling society. They are truly beautiful birds and they are quite entertaining to watch, but when they call them bully birds, they are kinda right. The worst part is the mess they make. They have quite a selective palette. And what they don’t like they pick out and throw to the ground.
And, what they throw to the ground is wonderful for the ground feeders, but we aren’t crazy about the dogs consuming the seeds.
It seems like we are always evolving our methods. Tonight we have round fire pit grates covering the openings of the wine barrels. Tomorrow we are switching to safflower seed because that is not part of the must-have starling diet.
This was one year ago. Sage, Glory and Zip running. We had such a lovely winter. Just enough rain, moderate temps.
What gives with this weather? It was beautiful today, 36° and sunny. We have a full-blown winter weather warning. Snow in the morning, ice storm by evening and into Sunday. Banks have already announced that they would be closed tomorrow. The college campus is closed.
We have had below freezing temps for over a week now. We still have snow on the ground from last weekend. That never ever happens in Oregon. When I went out at noon to refill the bird feeders I realized the ground was rock hard. We live on a bed of clay and expect that in the summer, but frozen clay in the winter? Nearly unheard of.
After Megan’s divorce, Lil J became Megan’s knight in shining armor. He got her through the darkest of days, the longest of nights. Last December a friend of mine in Rhodesian Ridgeback Rescue had a ridgie coming back and they also had an Iggy. Megan offered to foster the little guy.
Cooper was 11 years old and the two boys got along perfectly. The foster part didn’t last long, Coop had found his home.
In April Megan was in NYC for a trade show. She came home and said “Mom, I’m moving to New York.” Grand idea I thought. Her job is in Portland and so is her family.
A week or two went by and Megan announced she was flying back to New York for a couple of job interviews. Awesome I thought. She has a job in Portland.
Another week or two passed and she called and said, “Mom, I leave for New York on June 21.” And then, she was outta here.
That is the story of my east coast grand dogs. One day they are on the west coast and the next day they are on the east coast.
So many changes happened around here in the last year, I’m not even sure where to begin. I guess I will start with the happy stories.
We started a garden again. It was, to say the least delightful to watch the plants grow and produce. The tomato bushes went bananas, the pepper plants did really well, the lemon cukes were over the top. The pumpkins were sad, the butternut squash clearly didn’t like where we planted them and the cantelope produced three lovely, very flavorful melons. At least I think all three were flavorful. The grand dogs got into that part of the garden and helped themselves.
We put in a small barn to store some of the garden implements, but I don’t think it will be used for that. Since the end of October when it went in, we have gone out every chance we could get and sat at the little bistro table and enjoyed our coffee. I think we might have to put in a small garden shed. The red barn is now responsible for coffee and photo backdrop.
We had the good fortune to have multiple visits from our grand dogs this summer. Holly added a long-haired blue Weimaraner to her pack. An eight-week old puppy boy came into their lives in February. He needed the acre to stretch his legs and wear off some of that puppy energy.
Mav also learned where the carrots were planted in the garden. No fence is too tall for this little munchkin and he loves the carrots.
Just before Christmas this year we got snow. It was magical and despite the cold, I loved every minute. Once again, the barn provided a perfect backdrop for a winter scene with the grand dogs.
There is a whole lot of magic going on in this photo. Sage the borzoi is our youngest dog and Sara is our oldest greyhound. And, it’s snowing in Salem.
Sara came to us after her owner unexpectedly died. She was almost 10 years old, separated from her sister and devastated. She’s very quiet and never asks for much. To this day I think she still misses her original owner.
She has however, really taken to the two borzoi pups. When they go outside, she is right at the door to go out with them. It’s quite sweet and we if that’s what Sara wants, that’s what Sara gets.
I promised myself I would do a better job with Greyhound Gardens this year. So many changes in the pack in 2016. No new additions, but once again we had a few really tough losses. It took the wind out of my sails for a long time.
As we roll into the new year, all is well. Flocko turned 13 on December 22. He’s been on phenobarbital since 2008 for grand mal seizures and besides getting a little weak in the hind legs, he’s doing really well. He still has the appetite of a horse and when you are surrounded by a few finicky dogs, that is a blessing.