Fancy Fences

Isn’t it wonderful when humans take something perfectly ordinary and make it amazingly extraordinary? Like when they dip your plain old dog treat in some yummy canned food? Or when they drop ice cubes in your water bowl?

My human mommy/blogging assistant and I walk every morning. I’m a creature of habit, so we usually take the same two or three basic routes. It gets a little boring for Mommy. Not for me, you understand, because the smells are always different, always enlightening, and always fabulous. But Mommy’s sense of smell isn’t quite as advanced as mine. Therefore, we’re always on the lookout for something extraordinary on our ordinary daily walks.

We recently found a couple of fancy fences in our neighborhood. How wonderful that our neighbors have taken the time to transform something so very ordinary into something extraordinary for us to enjoy. So, as we enter the long holiday weekend, I hope you’ll take the time to look for the extraordinary in all the ordinary around you . . . and let me know what you find. Cheers!


Spring Tease

My sister, Tallulah Bee, and I went to New Orleans’ City Park last weekend. The last time we visited the park was a freezing cold blustery day in January, so you can imagine our surprise when we saw that spring had sprung while we were away. Now I know that for many of you the snow is just beginning to melt and spring blossoms are still a few weeks away. And I know that you’re thinking that the pretty flower pictures I’m about to share with you are a bit of a “spring tease.” You’re right. But just remember that when I’m seeing all of your fabulous fall photos–you know, the ones with the pretty colorful trees, the dogs romping through the foliage on the ground, and the humans sporting their cozy sweaters–it’s still 90-plus degrees where I live and our tongues are hanging halfway out of our mouths. So, without further ado, my sister and I present to you our spring tease.

 There was a pretty little patch of tulips growing by the big lake. Tulips are tricky in the deep south. We have to let the bulbs rest a bit in the refrigerator before planting because our ground temperatures don’t get cool enough to get them going. And then when they do bloom, it gets so hot so fast that they don’t last very long. So catching them on a beautiful day looking their best is a big deal. Tallulah and I lucked out. As an aside, I had to laugh when I saw that flimsy little rope that was intended to keep the tulips from being trampled. Did the park humans seriously think that little thing would stop Tallulah if she decided to make a mad dash for the ducks in the lake? Good thing Daddy had a tight grip on her.

Can you see our Golden hair blowing in this shot? Tallulah and I spent a lot of time with our noses in the air and our eyes closed, concentrating on every little yummy scent that wafted our way. Fun for us . . . not so fun for or official photographer/blogging assistant/Mommy. Fortunately, she’s persistent and managed to catch both of us sort of facing forward in front of the blooming azaleas. There are plenty of pictures of me posing in front of pretty azaleas, but this is Tallulah’s first, a right of spring passage for all southern girls.

Any idea what might have caused these silly faces?

It was the whistle from this little train that travels around City Park. Maybe next time Tallulah and I can hitch a ride. A girl can dream, right?

Tallulah and I thought Mr. Lion looked so stunning with his profile pose that we decided to copy it. Pretty good, huh? Well friends, this concludes our spring tease. My little sister and I will take a bow and exit the stage . . . but not without wishing you a speedy spring full of pretty flowers, and to our friends in the southern hemisphere a mild and quick winter.


Home Sweet Home

Porch thek9harperlee

At long last, my humans have returned to me. That’s right. We are together again. Home, sweet home.

TicTacToe thek9harperlee

Now don’t feel too sorry for me. While my humans were off trotting the globe, I was spending two glorious weeks with my friends The Big Dogs–Sunshine, Maggie, and Kenai. This is a picture that Miss Gaye sent to my human mommy while she and my human daddy were who knows where doing who knows what. That’s Sunshine at the top and Maggie at the bottom with me in the middle. Kenai was off doing whatever it is that boy dogs do when they leave the girl dogs behind. It is quite possible that seeing this picture of me convinced Mommy to get on the plane and head for home.

Berlin, Germany

Berlin, Germany

Meanwhile, my humans were off seeing things like this . . .

Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia

. . . and this . . .

Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden

. . . and this. But enough about my humans and their gallivanting. The important thing is that we are all back home and back together. And things are getting back to normal.

Walking thek9harperlee

That means early morning walks in my neighborhood. So many smells that I missed.

Garden thek9harperlee

And offering my expert assistance as Mommy putters in the garden. So many weeds to pull.

Sleeping thek9harperlee

And of course, catching up with all of you, my friends. But first, I think I’ll just put my head down on this shelf and take a little nap. It’s good to be home.


Black and White Sunday: Remember and Honor

B&W 5-25-14 thek9harperlee

Thank you to the Black and White Sunday Blog Hop hosts Dachshund Nola and Sugar the Golden Retriever.

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Harper Lee from A to Z: R is for ROSES

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Roses are red . . .

R2 thek9harperlee

. . . and roses are pink . . .

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. . . and roses are white . . .

R4 thek9harperlee

. . . and some roses are Golden!

R5 thek9harperlee

Today’s A to Z Challenge rose photos were taken at the BREC Independence Community Park Botanic Garden, where the irises are also in full bloom. Wherever you are and whatever is blooming around you, I hope that you’ll take a moment to stop and smell the roses . . . or the irises . . . or the tulips . . . or the daffodils . . . .

This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. See you tomorrow!

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Wordless Wednesday: Pretty in Pink Petals

WW Pretty In Pink thek9harperlee

WW Pretty in Pink 2 thek9harperlee

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Four Days, Four Walks, Four Parks

Goodwood park thek9harperlee

On Monday morning, we were finally greeted by the most glorious fall weather: cool temperatures, low humidity, and crystal clear blue skies. The weather humans promised four days of this heaven, so my human mommy and I decided to celebrate each day with a different walk in a different park. We started  the week off by staying close to home and visiting BREC Goodwood Park, which is my neighborhood park. It’s a relatively short walk from my house (in fact, the walking path that goes in front of my house leads directly to the park), but lately it’s just been too hot to visit. Not Monday morning.

Goodwood park tree thek9harperlee

As we walked through the park, we noticed our first honest to goodness fall tree. I have to admit that from a distance we thought that our grueling summer heat had killed the poor little tree and that it was covered with dead leaves; but when we got closer we realized that we were actually seeing beautiful fall foliage. Magical.

Goodwood park playground thek9harperlee

And, because no trip to the neighborhood park is complete without a little fun time on the playground equipment, I took a moment to climb up and down the steps (carefully staying far away from the slide because I am not a fan of slides) before heading home.

Park garden 2 thek9harperlee

The next morning, Mommy had to do some silly human things, so Tuesday’s park walk was delayed until the afternoon. This time we got into my chariot and headed to BREC Independence Community Park, which is just a few miles from my house.

Cone flower thek9harperlee

The centerpiece of this park is the Botanic Garden. I have to tell you that I think Mommy might have spent more time sniffing than I did.

Park garden 3 thek9harperlee

It was a little warm by the afternoon, so we cut our walk short . . .

Playground thek9harperlee

. . . but only after I spent a little time climbing on the playground equipment.

City park fountain thek9harperlee

On Wednesday morning, we ventured a little farther to BREC City-Brooks Community Park. We spent some time walking around the park’s central facilities–including an art gallery, tennis center, and labyrinth–before heading out on the walking path that surrounds the golf course.

City park ducks thek9harperlee

Along the way, we spotted these ducks who were enjoying the shade of a big Cyprus tree. After our walk, we watched some ladies playing tennis (Why don’t they catch the tennis balls in their mouths and run around like I do? Silly humans!), and then we headed home for nap time.

Dog park sign thek9harperlee

Leave it to Mommy to save the best for last: the BREC Burbank Soccer Complex . . . AND DOG PARK! Thursday morning greeted us with dense fog, but a little fog wasn’t going to stop us because the temperatures were still cool . . . AND WE WERE GOING TO THE DOG PARK! This was my first visit to a dog park, and Mommy and I were pretty excited. Can you tell? We met so many nice dogs and so many nice people (of course the people were nice; they were dog people). The picture above was taken as we left the dog park. Do I look like I had a good time? I did!

Dog park water 1 thek9harperlee

Please pardon the butt shot, but I just had to show you my first water experience. I know, I know. I’m a four-and-a-half-year-old Golden Retriever and I had never ever been in water. Pitiful. I was a little hesitant at first, but Bo showed me the ropes . . .

Dog park water 2 thek9harperlee

. . . and just like that I became a water dog. Once I got the hang of it, it was hard to keep me out of the little pond.

Dog park path thek9harperlee

We ended our dog park visit with perimeter walk in hopes that I would dry off a bit, but I just decided to play chase with the other dogs and roll around in sand.

Post park bath thek9harperlee

That’s why I leave you with this picture of me in all my post-dog-park-bath glory. I hope you’ve had at least half the week I had, and that a wonderful weekend awaits you.


Fall, Finally

Finally Fall 1 thek9harperlee

Fall finally arrived at my house yesterday morning, and I could not be happier. At last we get to enjoy cool temperatures, low humidity, and more time outside. People and pets in my neighborhood are venturing out from their air-conditioned bunkers, and life is slowly but surely returning to South Louisiana. Plus, we’ve dodged what looks like it will be the last tropical threat of the year. Hip hip hooray! Life is good. To celebrate our first finally-feels-like-fall day, my human mommy and I started the morning with a very special walk. I’d love to tell you about it now, but you’re going to have to wait until Friday. I can, however, tell you how we spent the rest of our day. After we got home from our special walk, Mommy took off–without me–in my chariot. When she returned home, the entire back of my chariot was filled with fall plants. It’s a good thing I didn’t go with her, because there wouldn’t have been anyplace for me to sit. We then spent the rest of the day outside, pulling old and tired summer plants out of pots and replacing them with beautiful mums, ornamental kale and peppers, herbs, ferns, and a croton. I was right by my mommy’s side the whole time she was playing in the dirt, and it was glorious.

Finally Fall 3 thek9harperlee

Except for one thing: It appears as if we have been invaded by scarecrows. I’m not really sure what to think about this development. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that scarecrows have surrounded my house. This little one is standing guard by my breezeway door.

Finally Fall 4 thek9harperlee

And she must have called this guy in for backup, because he’s positioned just a few feet away by the garage. I had no idea that crows were such an issue around my house, but apparently they are.

Finally Fall 7 thek9harperlee

Because this little lady is guarding the back of my house. As alarming as the scarecrow invasion is, I must admit that thy seem to be doing their jobs. I did not see one single crow anywhere near my house all day long.

Finally Fall 5 thek9harperlee

It’s too bad those scarecrows aren’t as successful at keeping the mosquitos away. Look at that pesky thing on the tip of my nose. Someone needs to tell him that summer is over, fall is finally here, and it’s time for Mr. Mosquito and all is little friends to move on!


Mommy’s Golden Garden Helper

Garden Help 1 thek9harperlee

I spent most of yesterday morning helping my mommy in the garden. It’s been a long hot summer, but it looks as if Mommy has managed to pull the garden through, and soon–we hope–the cooler temperatures of fall will offer a welcome relief to people, plants, and pets. You may have noticed that there’s a lot of purple and gold happening in this bed (and I don’t just mean my leash and me). This past spring, Mommy planted yellow marigolds and blue salvia with fall football season and the LSU Tigers in mind. The big Mexican sage plants in the background are perennials in our climate and produce beautiful purple blossoms just in time for the start of each college football season. Geaux Tigers!

Garden Help 3 thek9harperlee

Most of our gardening work yesterday was concentrated in the back yard. Now I will be the first to admit that I am actually more of a Golden garden companion then a Golden garden helper. Mommy likes to have me with her in the garden because she thinks that I will alert her to the presence of any possible snakes. We’ll just let her think that. I like to spend my time in the comfort of whatever shade I can find. Mommy covers herself with sunscreen and wears a hat, so she is protected from the sun, but I don’t want to risk burning my pretty pinkish nose.

Garden Help 5 thek9harperlee

I hope you don’t think that I just sit there looking pretty. I do a little bit of work. Yesterday I searched for bugs and lizards under the elephant ear leaves.

Garden Help 4 thek9harperlee

I can’t begin to tell you how exhausting it is to keep Mommy company . . . I mean help Mommy in the garden. It wasn’t long before I started yawning, and I was so very relieved when Mommy finally put the gardening tools away and I got to go inside and take a very well-deserved and lengthy afternoon nap.


Take a Tour of My Garden

Garden Tour thek9harperlee

My humans spent nearly every second of their Memorial Day weekend getting my garden ready for summer. At first, I was a little unhappy that so much of the focus for the weekend was on gardening and not on me. Then on Monday evening I got a look at everything my humans had accomplished . . . and I decided that I simply must take you on a tour of my garden. My humans have two flags: their Louisiana State University flag and their United States of America flag. Every Memorial Day weekend the American flag goes up and stays up until the first LSU football game in fall, when the LSU flag goes up. I really enjoy spending time with my humans on our front porch, and I am super excited about our blue hydrangeas.

Pink Hydrangeas thek9harperlee

The hydrangeas on the other side of our yard are mostly very pink.. It’s hard to believe that the soil can be so different from one side of the yard to the other.

Coral Vine thek9harperlee

The coral vine in our front yard was full of blooms and very popular with the hummingbirds this spring. It was surrounded by white petunias, but the early summer heat has been a bit rough on the petunias (it’s been a bit rough on me from time to time), so my mommy pulled them up and planted blue daze. The new little plants are hard to see here, but in no time they should fill this space with pretty blue flowers.

Agapanthss thek9harperlee

I’m also looking forward to seeing these agapanthus blooms open. Today, my humans and I counted 21 blossoms, and I’m sure more will make an appearance shortly.

Front Bed thek9harperlee

You may remember this front bed from one of my Wordless Wednesday posts in early April. At that time, it was filled with pansies and snapdragons. It’s gotten a little too warm for those pretty flowers, so my mommy pulled them out and planted yellow marigolds and blue salvia. They’ll both handle our summer heat.

Back Graden 2 thek9harperlee

I didn’t get to help my humans very much while they worked on getting the front garden into summer shape–it was just too hard for them to work and watch me–but I did get to offer my assistance as they worked on my back garden. After all, the back yard is my yard, so it’s only fitting that I should have a paw in its seasonal preparations. My mommy transplanted the begonias on the left from the bed on the right. Believe it or not, they actually made it through the winter. It looked like a late freeze had taken them out, but they managed to come back.

Back Bed thek9harperlee

Transplanting the begonias left a blank canvas in the big bed, so my mommy planted some false heather and the leftover marigolds from the front bed planting. You can’t really see them now because they’re still little, but you can see my mommy’s tricycle from when she was about my age. It used to be hidden in another part of the yard, but my mommy decided to move it front and center to this spot. She’s still trying to figure out how to get a flowerpot to sit securely on the seat.

Red Chairs thek9hrperlee

Our garden tour will conclude in the back corner of my yard. I love sitting back here and chewing on sticks. This is also a prime squirrel-watching location. My mommy painted these chairs a couple of weeks ago. They used to be green. That’s also when she painted the blue chairs on my patio. They used to be plain-old-wood color. My mommy loves to spray paint things. When I see her with one of those cans in her hand, I try to stay out of the way. I don’t want to become a Turquoise Retriever! I hope you’ve enjoyed your tour of my garden. Now that all of the summer preparation is complete, my humans and I are looking forward to many hours of fun and relaxation.