Wednesday, September 30, 2009

i love fall!

i love the cooler weather, the fall colors, the skies that provide such great sunrises- and the fact that we only saw 2 other groups of people on the trail today! woohoo! one with a dog, one without.
lovely morning

this is not a great photo, but i could not believe how clear and close the owyhees looked!

seems that rabbitbrush photos have taken over for sunflower shots..... but i need to go a little later to get the color better...

beautiful light in the park. but no people! approx. 7:50
happy trails!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

my own private idaho

i love it when the dogs & i seem to be the only ones for miles around! things are slowing down- only 5 with & 4 without this morning, and long stretches without seeing a soul....

in the off leash area, we encountered a gal talking on her cell with a young yellow lab trotting down the trail in front of her. i made sure she saw me leash up. she continued to talk on the phone & made a half hearted attempt to call the dog, who ignored her.

i screwed up- should have kept walking, but i didn't. so i dropped halle's leash when i became clear that the lab was staying loose. halle jumped up to play, the pup grumped, echo & i walked by & the woman said "sorry, sorry"- may have still been on the phone. no problem, but she did know she should have had her dog under better control.

when we got past her i noticed that her sweatshirt had the name of a local dog walking company on it. note to self- never call that company to walk my dogs. not enough attention being paid. (i don't get the whole talking on the cell phone thing while out enjoying nature anyway, but that's just me, and a whole different tangent!)

most of the people in the park have dogs with them.....
happy trails!

Monday, September 28, 2009

monday sept 28

wow- it's almost october! loving the cooler weather & less crowded trails. thanks to everyone who picked up after their dog this weekend- my usual route looked much better than it has the past few mondays. which is probably partially indicative of less traffic.

speaking of traffic- found these on chickadee. not used to seeing horse sign on these trails- for a while i thought i was seeing some odd shaped running shoe heel, but it looks horsey to me.....

beautiful morning!

not sure what these red stemmed things are- probably some horrible noxious weed- but they sure are pretty, especially with the yellow rabbitbrush.

3 with, 3 without. everyone seemingly having a lovely morning.

we've been encountering a guy (and sometimes a guy & a girl) who run with a golden. the dog stays on the trail ahead of them & seems very nice. i'm sure the owner wonders why i dive into the bushes with my dogs when i see them approach.

there are lots of reasons that people get their dogs off the trail. in this case, i know how halle gets when she starts racing around and i don't want her tripping runners. she is a big girl & doesn't look where she's going. 90 plus lbs at perfect knee height slamming around- not so good.

she & echo play really rough- body slam, grab each other's necks, chew on hocks, dash around. another reason i keep them back. when i explain the rough play thing to people with small dogs they tell me their dogs can hold their own. well, maybe not so much if that big heavy paw lands wrong.

i have friends whose dogs have been attacked and are therefore, understandably, a bit touchy. (both the person and the dog) in some cases, the other dog's owner was asked to control their dog, didn't and then professed shock at the result.

my bottom line is that i know and understand my dogs, but i have no idea how a stranger's dog is going to act. or the person for that matter. so it makes sense to me to control what i can. which usually means getting my dogs out of the way & asking the other dog owner to control their animal. after we see the dog & owner a few times that can change.

anyway- been having that conversation a lot lately- about clueless owners who see no reason to control their dogs. it isn't necessary for all dogs to meet & sniff and play. dog parks & doggy day care are well suited for that sort of activity, the trails are not. what's important is to respect each other's space, regardless.

if you're a dog owner who doesn't want every dog coming up to you, don't be afraid to ask people to control their dogs. it's a process of education.

camel's back empty in the morning light.
have a great week- happy trails!

request from a fellow trail user

from the Idaho Outdoors list:

I was hiking military reserve this past week and was very disappointed with all the dog poop not being picked up. I really don't enjoy my hikes much withsmelling that the entire hike. Just a reminder if you have dogs please pick up the poop it makes hikes more enjoyable for everyone. Thank-you!

A very nice, polite request for dog owners to just take care of business. (pun intended). If anyone can help with yet another clean up of MR it would be appreciated.

Friday, September 25, 2009

choosing to make a difference

i love ginger's idea below about rewarding desired behavior if anyone does have any ideas on how a program like that might work (send in pics of opp collected?, btd ambassadors handing out tokens when they see someone doing extra scooping?) please leave a comment or send me an email at

here's the opp (and trash- water bottle, power bar wrapper, energy gel packet) that i chose to pick up today. and i do feel much better knowing that the trail is cleaner. this from the trash can at the top of the pond loop to the one by the water "towers".
and these (tho i told myself i was going to stop there, i didn't) from that trash can to the one where chickadee ridge comes down.
it was a beautiful morning. nice & quiet. and the light is just fabulous this time of year.
i guess i never looked close enough at sagebrush to realize that there's a bloom. the bigger yellow flower is rabbitbrush, the smaller is sage. no wonder it bothers people with allergies so much!

the colors are really starting to come out.

we went thru the scary trees this morning. i think that this is tamarisk (please correct me if i'm wrong) which is a horrible evil nasty noxious invasive tree that sucks all of the water up.
one thing i learned this week is that, due to its chemical composition dog poop can encourage the growth of invasive weeds by changing the chemical composition of the soil making it easier for interlopers to grow and less hospitable to native species. other things have an affect too, such as soil disturbance, but this is a big problem with many causes and anything we can reduce our impact on the soil helps.
there were people in the park this morning- at least until they left for their run!

happy trails, and have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Military Reserve 9/24~

Hello!!! Dave and I had an absolutely marvelous walk with our doggies tonight.
Only 1 dork on a mountain biker that barreled down the hill BUT he had a little kid riding behind him so I gave him bonus points for taking his kid out :)

I had this thought while we were out there...
What if, just what if we tried using another approach to OPP. What if instead of negative reinforcement or in conjunction with R to R and Parks and Rec we started doing some positive reinforcement???
What if we had different sponsors - Zamzows, the Falcon, NWBS, anyone who wanted to donate a small but fun type of gift or gift certificate.
My thought was - there would be a team of Boise Trail Dog people that handed out - I don't know...clips, pins something small and not too "OMG" ish...
after a person has accumulated say 3 or 5 of these they can turn them in and get "A FREE BURGER AT THE FALCON" or a beer or a bag of treats from Zamzows or????
You get my idea right? Like a brownie merit badge. I would be more than happy to have something made up and donate them ~ it just seems like we are focusing on having loads of poop. Perhaps my posts will change and my thought process as well to "hey, the trails looked great today!" I picked up 20 OPP's but it was MY choice to do so, no one made me.
And then maybe then energy will be passed on to someone who normally wouldn't have bent over to get the steaming pile and all of a sudden...they bend down right before my very eyes and PICK IT UP!
It is possible. Just a thought...
Our badges or reward system could be done anywhere, not just the trails. It might be a good way to get word out about Boise Trail Dog as well...thoughts? feedback?

another beautiful morning

beautiful morning.......

6 with dogs, 9 without, everyone following the rules & polite. i picked up opp yesterday from camel's back to the pond- one grocery bag full- and need to do the rest of the route tomorrow. i cannot wait until the weather gets cooler and there are fewer people out.

it really is discouraging sometimes how little people seem to care about leaving their trash for someone else to take care of. that includes water and beer bottles, energy bar & paste wrappers, toilet paper, kleenex, etc..... not just dog poop. and i bet a lot of the folks contribute to conservation groups. it's just bizarre.
empty camel's back park.....
happy trails!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


met with parks department to talk about a public service campaign about picking up poop. everywhere all the time. about engaging conservation groups, utilities and dog related groups & businesses.

in preparing for the meeting, i did some googling and found out some interesting things.

the ickiest headline by far was "it's not just on the lawn, it's in your drinking water"

this link is pretty informative, with lots of facts from all over, including:

LIPA USA Reports “3.6 billion pounds of dog waste/year is produced in the United States alone, equaling 800 football fields, one foot high. This is a hidden health issue that no one wants to "touch" as approximately 50 million registered dogs in the United States produces more than 5,000 tons of waste daily.”

one fascinating find was that dog owners in ithaca new york are composting waste from one of their dog parks. if the experiment works they may be able to sell the end product and raise money. read about it here. the seattle zoo sells zoo doo for garden compost. sounds like this may be usable for deep soil work, and in flower gardens.

i found another blog, with a dog owner & stray dog feeder who has set up a dog waste composting station on their property. read about that here.

we talked about adding pet stations, as that does seem to help. i asked for plastic tubes that we can fill ourselves on the trash cans farther in where there are no bags.

if any of you have any great ideas, please pass them on. and in the meantime- doo the right thing!

have a great day!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


the mornings are wonderful! nice and cool and much less busy. now i'm waiting for the opp count to go down accordingly!

6 with, 4 without, one off leash in the on leash area, but he sat when his person said to & didn't bother us at all.

the park is back to being quiet and empty as well.
happy trails!

Monday, September 21, 2009

monday morning

someone added their own bags supply to the kiosk in camel's back. probably needed with all of the traffic this weekend! someone did mention to me seeing more out of stock bag dispensers and maybe that being part of the reason for some of the increased poop.

it would be nice if all dog owners carried bags with them, but the reality is that isn't how it works. the easier we make it for people to doo the right thing the more likely they will. i would like to see pvc bag holders added to the trash cans along the trails. we could fill with plastic bags and i bet more poop would be picked up.

beautiful, and wonderfully lonely, morning. the only other folks we saw were ginger the vizsla & her person. a still life in the trail.......

fall colors starting to emerge.
recyclables from hyde park street fair.....

and an empty park, except for hpsf remnants.
the fair was, as always, fun. when i was there (which not not all of the time, so this is just what i observed) i saw a lot of dogs, but very few (if any) problems. i didn't notice a big poop problem, didn't hear any snarling, from dogs or owners (or non dog owners). most all (dogs and owners) seemed well behaved. i do have some vendor friends who saw a "dog fight" in front of their booths, but that's the only bad thing i heard about.
again, that was just my experience, i'm sure that there are plenty of other points of view, which folks are welcome to share.
happy trails!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

sunday sept 20

lovely hike on trail 1 this morning. haven't been up there in a while. almost hit a husky on 8th st driving up. the owner was running, the dog was ahead out of her sight running down the side of the road i was driving on. luckily i was going slow.

dogs always seem happy to be on trails they haven't seen for a while- lots of new smells to investigate.
the city views are great from this trail.
the other thing i like about it is that it's not very busy, and i usually run into mt bikers who are usually quite friendly & nice, as was the case today. 5 bikers/ groups of. one guy riding with his dog. he & i had a nice chat while our dogs visited. he asked if it was ok for his girl to come up to my dogs, which is great.
the parking lot was getting busier when we came back down. including clueless golden owner who set off toward the interpretive trail with 2 dogs. i saw the golden coming back down the trail and wondered if maybe he wasn't with her after all. was about to go check the tags when she came back around the corner calling (to no avail).
there was a couple setting off for a run with their wiemie, and they had to run the gauntlet of this woman and her 2 uncontrolled dogs before they could get started. there was no snarling or grumping, but the golden owner did not have control of her dog.
anyway- happy sunday!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

almost friday!

one of my favorite things about thursdays is looking for photo opps to post on the skywatch friday blog. if you haven't visited skywatch friday, it is a very cool spot with photos of skies around the world.

the sunrise certainly obliged with beautiful colors and cloud formations.

love the rabbitbrush! fall is my favorite time of year, and blooming rabbitbrush (along with golden aspen leaves) means fall.

hyde park street fair preparations continue...... recycle bins being delivered....
and food vendors setting up.....
there were 2 men & a dog in the park this morning. off leash, but well behaved.
another quite morning- 3 with, 5 without, all following rules, most folks very pleasant.
happy trails!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

september 16

beautiful morning. it's getting quieter in the mornings now- possibly b/c we're there later due to later sunrise. anyway- 5 with, 5 without, all following rules & very pleasant.

not many photos today, as most of my time was spent picking up opp. 2 grocery bags full. again. red fox/chickadee loop. i wonder if i do more harm than good by staying on it, but then i read posts like g-dawg's below & think probably not. sigh. at least we're heading into the time of year when trails see less use.

the dogs enjoyed their outing, as usual.

this guy was singing for us on the way out of the park.
getting things set up for hyde park street fair.
so camel's back won't look like this for the rest of the week! but pretty empty this morning at 7:45.
happy trails!