Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Taming the Jungle

A jungle in Alaska? Well, almost. Having gone three weeks without care my front yard resembled a jungle when I returned home from my place of employment. The photo above shows the results of three weeks of neglect.

I really prefer my place look as though someone cares, because I really do (care, that is). It's a bit difficult mowing the yard when I am physically nearly 80 miles away, though. Taming the jungle was my high priority task of the day. It actually went pretty smoothly considering I had to do some mechanical work on the garden tractor to get through the process. I think it looks a lot nicer now. At least it looks like someone cares.

Grace's Adventure
Sometime between the moment Casey Little Wolf fed and watered the dogs Monday evening and my return home Tuesday morning, Amazing Grace broke her chain and went walkabout - or more accurately, she went runamok. As I pulled into the driveway she came dashing through the woods to leap into my arms. That's one of her favorite tricks, I think. Especially when she is soaking wet.

I'm not sure where she escaped the perimeter fence. All the gates were closed so I'm guessing she found a spot to squirm under. In any event, she didn't leave the yard until she'd drug the water hose around for a while (no holes in it, thank goodness). Oh, she tried dumping the big trash bin, but it has a handle stuck through a post to prevent dogs from doing just that. She did the next best thing instead, dragging out the liner and then scattering the contents around the yard. I still need to clean up that mess before I can do much more out there.

Once she'd bored with scattering garbage she apparently decided to check out the woods around the yard, and found Potlatch Creek or, more likely, one of the potholes sitting above a permafrost "lens" that is very common in this area. In any event, she was soaking wet when she came dashing home.

I was already fading fast when I got home, so I just brought Grace into the house and let her nap in one of our crates while I napped in the bed beside her. Grace is very well behaved in the house, and is one of the dogs I bring in on a very frequent basis.

Dogs Lookin' Healthy, Blowing Coats

Normally I board my dogs with Mike Green and Lynn Orbison while I'm at work, but Mike is heading Outside for a family visit, and I ended up confusing the dates, so had arranged to have Stephanie Little Wolf's son, Casey, feed and tend to the dogs while I was away. It was really nice not having to transport dogs back and forth to other kennels and I think the dogs enjoyed staying in their own yard. Everything (other than Grace's broken chain) was in great order when I got home. The dogs had plenty of fresh water, are all of good weight and seem healthy and happy. Casey said they were well behaved, even the "kids" of the outfit.

All of the dogs are blowing coat right now, shedding out fur to make room for a nice, thick undercoat that should grow in just in time for the cold weather. Unfortunately, the process looks ugly as sin as big clumps of fur fall out of their bodies, giving them a shaggy and unkempt appearance. I suspect I'll be brushing out dog's coats pretty much the remainder of this R&R.

Circadian Rhythm All Messed Up

One of the issues I encounter when returning home from night shift is trying to "convert" my circadian rhythm back to day-shift mode. Usually I do pretty well, but not this time. I took a nap yesterday, but only a short one. Usually if I get four hours of sleep I'm good just long enough to get the dogs home and fed, get me fed, and wind down a bit to be able to sleep by midnight or so. Not this time. I think after tossing and turning, getting up and down and up and down, and generally cursing the insomnia, I finally nodded off about 4 am or so. I was up at eight and by 9 I had two cups of coffee on board, the garden tractor more or less coming back together, and a bandaid on my right hand from the obligatory blood sacrifice to the machine gods. I can't touch a wrench without sacrificing some blood - it's like a rule or something.

Now it's shortly after noon. I've done the major part of the mowing and really should be picking up Ms. Grace's mess and brushing out dog's coats, but all I really want to do is sleep for a few hours (sigh).

I'll hang tough, though. If I force myself to stay up maybe I can sleep better tonight and get turned back toward a more diurnal schedule.

Update at 1:30 PM - It is Stinking Hot Out

All of the dogs are in shady patches, lying as still as possible and panting. I've just come in from spraying a mist of water over the entire yard, and I'm not sure it helped much. It is just stinkin' HOT. My thermometer is showing 88 degrees, and is showing 96 near North Pole (about 10 miles from here).

Fortunately I got the garbage picked up in the dog yard and most of my outside chores completed. I doubt I'll do much more outdoors until it cools off at least 10 degrees or so. It truly is too hot for beast or man.

1 comment:

  1. As always, I enjoyed your blogs but I especially appreciated the "lawn jungle" photo - I have a smaller version of that and no one to blame but me..this weekend...

    Cheers, AussieAlaskan