Friday, May 29, 2009


good trip to chicago, good to be home. echo is restricted for 2 weeks, so it's me & halle.

this is henrietta (black with white markings looks like border collie cross), who came trotting around the corner from the pond off leash. i did my normal "please get your dog" and she did not go back to her owner. halle & i kept walking, owner leashed henrietta- well past where she should have been leashed.
this woman turned around & saw me taking her photo. i smiled. i am not trying to be the leash police, but it really annoys me that those of us who follow the rules get hurt by people who don't. plain and simple. it is not that hard to do what you're supposed to do. why screw it up for everyone?

anyway- beautiful morning-
flowers blooming- penstemon, yarrow & bachelor button here-
buckwheat (have i mentioned that's my favorite? :))

bachelor buttons (not a wildflower, probably from gardens with the help of birds, but still pretty)
wild roses.
lots of folks out today! 11 w/o dogs, including 3 groups of bikes and 7 with, most good and following rules.....
happy trails- have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

public service announcement

Idaho Veteran’s Cemetery No Place For Recreation, Dogs

(Boise, ID) - The Idaho State Veterans Cemetery and Ada County remind recreational trail users near the Veterans Cemetery to obey posted rules and stay on designated trails. Ada County and its partners provide over eight miles of recreational trails on County land in Seaman Gulch and at the Velodrome, Big Springs, and Veterans Trailheads.

Some people and their pets have been causing problems by going off-trail and using the Idaho State Veterans’ Cemetery for recreation. People walking past interment ceremonies and loose dogs in fountains and marking headstones desecrate the final resting place of our military veterans. Officials warn that recreational use of the cemetery is illegal and trespassers will be cited.

Ada County and Veterans Cemetery managers request people help honor the memory of America’s fallen heroes by recreating only on open, recreational trails.

For further information, contact John Caywood, Ada County Open Space & Trail Coordinator at 577-4580 or Zach Rodriguez, Veterans Cemetery Manager, at 334-4796.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

may 26

started off the day worried about echo, who couldn't put any weight on his left rear leg sunday or much of monday. slight limp this a.m., enough to keep him to a short neighborhood walk while halle & i did our usual loop.

so i may not have been in the best frame of mind when, after picking up the usual post- holiday weekend opp (2 full veggie bags full between camel's back entrance & the pond- in the on leash part of the trail) i saw a medium sized black dog with prick ears tearing down from the on-leash section above camel's back into the on- leash section of trail that halle & i (and moab & moab's owner- leashed up too) were on.

the dog was running up & down in the brush when the owners came into view with another dog (the one pictured here) who was also off leash, but at least with them. so i asked them to call their dog, mentioned it was the on leash area and that they should have leashes with them they said they'd pick some up at the kiosk (of course they couldn't because they've all been stolen).
the black dog was not in sight of the owners. he did go back to them when called, but as far as i can tell, he was only called because i asked them to do so. this, to me, is like a mountain bike tearing down the hill. had there been much traffic- with people obeying the rules with their dogs on leash- it could have been big fun.

this is why so many dog owners i know let go of their leashes or release their dogs when loose dogs come racing up. otherwise runners can get tripped, bikes are dumped, dogs pull owners down, etc. it's really unfair to those of us trying to keep things open by following the rules. and if a person has a dog who objects to being charged and lets the loose dog know that, the clueless owner is often very offended and upset about the "mean" dog, not realizing that the entire situation is their fault and could have been avoided if their dog was under control.

ok. off the soapbox.

everyone else i met was very polite (actually, so were these folks), pleasant & following the rules.

busy morning- 7 with, 6 without.
and beautiful-

i even managed to run a bit- yay! and so far, looks like echo might recover with a few weeks off. no sign of acl damage at this point. (whew!)
happy trails!

Saturday, May 23, 2009


we had a great hike up 5 mile to watchman this morning. 2 vehicles already in the pullout when we got there before 8 a.m. beautiful morning, tho it was getting warm by the time we headed back.

lots of stuff blooming right now- from shrubs to flowers.

i think that this may be death camas.

this is some sort of legume- possibly a vetch.

not sure about this one- will have to check the shrub section of the plant book. very pretty, though.

there was the most amazing hillside covered in arrowleaf balsamroot glowing in the sun with s few other things mixed in.
some lupine blooming as well.

and the views from the trail are great. it's very open and you can see quite a ways.

there was more bike traffic than foot traffic, tho we did encounter a few runners. the bitterbrush is also still blooming and very fragrant.
we surprised a rattlesnake on the way out- one of the dogs startled it. margie heard the rattle, we called all dogs- who came- and everyone was fine. we were both grateful to have good recall and dogs who understand "off".
didn't see any sheep, did see scat that looked too big for coyote & too wild for dog, but very canine all the same. hmmmm.
have a great weekend! happy trails-

Friday, May 22, 2009

friday morning

another beautiful morning. warmer today.

we went the reverse of our usual walk to avoid some people & dogs. glad i did- i caught this blooming. probably a buckwheat, not sure which variety.

the cheatgrass is starting to dry out, creating a hazard for dogs. if you're not familiar with cheat, please read this article on protecting your pet. having paid to have cheat removed from teddy's paws i can tell you it's nasty stuff. just ask your veterinarian. means it's time for echo's summer cut and daily pad checks.

other than that, another clear blue sky day. i saw my first tanager of the year a few days ago, and 2 smaller bright yellow birds chased each other across the trail in front of us today. maybe warblers?

great walk- til we ran into a flexi head on the way out. smallish female rott or rott mix at the end of an 8- 10 ft flexi, pulling toward us for all she's worth. i went to the far side of the trail and asked the gentleman not to let his dog come up to us. halle & echo in a sit. no problem he says, and heads toward us with his dog still at the end of the flexi, still pulling for all she's worth. he made no attempt to reel her in or keep her on his side of the trail. so i asked him again to please keep her away. she won't come up to you he says. i finally said she's too close, and i would appreciate it if you would respect my request.
why is it so hard for people to put their dogs in a heel (or at least keep them within 3-4 feet) when approaching another dog (or person for that matter) on the trail? especially when asked to keep them away? i don't get it. my friend swears to me flexis are great if used properly. that last is the key.
anyway- a very nice walk, great start to the day and very busy- 7 with (all leashed or not as appropriate) and 5 without.
have a great memorial day weekend, and help keep the trails clean!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

may 21

a bit chilly this morning- even saw some frost.

a public service announcement for my husband, who has a hard time telling yarrow from white top.

this is yarrow. the leaves are ferny, it grows in dry areas, the flowers are bigger and it is usually a plant here, a plant there, not a big patch all together. white top, on the other hand, has solid leaves, smaller flowers, grows where there's more water and will grow in big patches. hope that helps!

penstemon starting to show.

not sure what this shrub/ tree is. it's growing in the scary trees. we went that way to avoid a woman with a small dog on a flexi coming up chickadee. easier that way.

4 of us with dogs- all leashed or not according to the rules. 11 people/groups without dogs- busy morning.

have a great day!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

back in town

back after a great trip to yellowstone & chico hot springs. beautiful morning & the pups were happy to be out, as much as they enjoy spa boise kennels.

as we got into the reserve near the pond, heard voices & saw 2 loose dogs- in the on leash area- running toward us. i put the dogs in a sit & called "please get your dogs". when it became clear that they were not both returning to their owners, i dropped halle's leash.

one dog kept coming. echo was very good, he sat with me, but i finally said "i'm going to let him go." maya's owner finally got her, at which point i called halle back. owner apologized, said she had the same thing happen to her in the same spot a few days ago, she should have leashed up earlier, etc. so hopefully she will do just that next time.

we actually had a very nice conversation. her friends sure gave me dirty looks when they went by, though. one of whom had the other dog with her.
into the off leash section, where a woman is headed toward us with 2 dogs- one a shepherd mix on the trail with her, one a yellow lab bounding through the sage, not often in sight. so we step off the trail and i call "we'd rather not meet your dogs". at which point, she tries to recall the lab, finally giving up and saying "oscar, you're going to get hurt".
well, no he wasn't, but she really should have better control, because in some other situation maybe he would be hurt. and even though it would be his owner's fault for not having her dog under control, the other dog would be labelled the problem. not fair. oscar did end up staying with her and i just mentioned that i am trying to teach my dogs that they don't need to go up to everyone (hint hint).
the arrowleaf are still blooming.

the bachelor buttons are starting. even though these aren't wildflowers or native i still like them.

getting busy- 9 with, 7 without, including a group of mt bikers. i have noticed more bike riders & runners making a point of thanking me for calling the dogs. it's much appreciated.

happy trails!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


another lovely morning. i will probably have to look this one up in weeds of the west- not finding it in the usual reference books. it's all over right now though.
i know what this is, though- white top, a noxious weed.
looks like it's growing near the marshy area too. really hard to eradicate.

a bit of snow on the owyhees in the distance.
nice view of town.
lots of oriole sightings- this one in a russian olive-

this one in the dead hemlock.
saw lots of meadowlarks as well. and of course the blackbirds.
5 with, 3 without, everyone nice, polite, following rules.
what happened yesterday is that we met a woman with her dogs on leash near the pond. they were at the end of the leash- one was on a flexi. i went way right & kept going with the dogs in a heel. her dog came racing across the path charging us and of course mine took exception. i didn't want to let them go and have a big tangle, so i went down. at which point everyone stopped.
the gal apologized profusely and said "it's that leashed dog thing". i pointed out that's why i had my dogs in a heel. if the leashed dogs are kept at a distance it works a bit better. most dogs don't like being charged much.
anyway- she was really nice, we had a nice chat & hopefully she'll think about it a bit. it's just a good idea to keep dogs close until there's a conversation about doing otherwise.
anyway- happy wednesday!