Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Old College Try

My camera is seriously not cooperating with me when it comes to downloading photos so I'll just have to make do with word pictures.

Yesterday morning we started the day heavily shrouded in mist and it felt just like I remember England felt when I was last there. Nova Scotia has a very Soggy Little Island atmosphere some days and I can understand why immigrants not only wanted to stay but encouraged their friends and family to take the chance on a dangerous Atlantic crossing. It really must have felt like home away from home for a lot of displaced Brits. Everything smells damp and aged and it really takes me back to my 'roots' since my parents are British. For them I suspect it awakens long dormant pining for the Old Country.

The dog's senses are obviously awakened on mornings like that, the damp brings out the smells in the woods and brush so much so that they are yanked into the undergrowth as though pulled by an invisible tether.  The misty mornings in particular have something special about them.

On Wednesday, The Squirrel, in his little scolding squirrel suit, saw fit to not only make his presence known but to taunt with circus inspired acrobatics across the canopy of the woods. Raimi spied him easily and followed his progress from tree to tree, smashing and crashing his merry way to nowhere. The leafless trees offered no cover but apparently the squirrel thought this disadvantage immaterial. He has clearly realized that the dogs cannot climb trees.

Leeloo didn't immediately spot him but when she did, Raimi lost track of him because he is Not Very Clever. Good thing too - having two Ridgebacks on your 20 would be un-nerving, even if you are Very High in a tree. Leeloo followed Squirrel across several spans of trees, up branches and down until finally he settled inside the high trunk she could not get close enough to worry him. I allowed them a few minutes of fussing about the base of the tree and then insisted we move on. The dogs all reluctantly followed when I promised we'd return to check on Squirrel on the way back.

And so we did, Leeloo realized we were approaching The Tree and shot down the path to get there first - something she thinks is Very Important. She doesn't know or care that Raimi had basically forgotten about Squirrel and Esme never did know it was there anyway so Leeloo's first was mostly an only.

Once at the tree Leeloo put on her very intense and serious face and set about trying to see where the Squirrel had gone. I stood and watched her a moment, lamenting the absence of my camera, when what do I spy? The squirrel was sitting on a branch in a classic Squirrel Eating Food position, glancing down at frustrated Leeloo every few seconds but otherwise plainly snubbing her. He couldn't care less that she was scrabbling around the base of his tree and moreover, she didn't know he was there. Since he hadn't really moved, she didn't see him, all she knew was that this tree is where she saw him last. 

After I amused myself with this little scene for a few minutes I decided it was time to head home, walks are all well and good but my coffee was waiting and my hands were damp and cold. Now though, that Squirrel is Enemy #1 in Leeloo's books and we cannot go for a walk without galloping into the trees to make as much noise as possible and scare us up some teeny tiny squirrel who has had the upper hand since the beginning of time. That won't stop Leeloo trying though ... and I hope it never does.

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