Thursday, December 23, 2010


When I was out on my land in Kansas late September (on the day I learned the dog formerly known as Sassy is really named Mary), I found out that I had accidentally locked Sassy/Mary in the garage the week before. Luckily, Aussie led her owners to where Mary was confined (around midnight, several hours after her incarceration) and they were able to remove the one window in the garage to rescue that annoying dog (and I always do triple dog checks before locking the garage because I know how that dog works!). Oh, Aussie. You are such a good dog because I know how much you despise that dog who is named Mary but who I still think of as Sassy.

Anyway, that was the day Elvis and Sassy/Mary were helping me put together that cart. I had had enough of Mary's sighing for biscuits so I decided we needed to go for a walk. On our way, I stopped to look at this tattered Silvery Checkerspot.

And then this little cross-eyed katydid...

Elvis knew the routine so he politely (and quietly, without any drama whatsoever) sat down and got comfortable and waited. Sassy/Mary also knew the routine so this is probably when she took off and made her way back to the garage to nose out all the undiscovered biscuit crumbs (and then to later get locked up with them).

The air was kind of misty even though the sky at times was made up of white clouds against a brilliant blue sky.

But when Elvis and I got to the top of the hill and then got to the clearing, the sky looked like this...

I don't remember the sky being that oppressive but it certainly photographed that way. It also looked like some of the trees were starting to lose their leaves because they were sailing over our heads... but they never quite seemed to make it to the ground.

When I studied this oddity a little longer, I realized that those tiny black spots in the sky were not fleeing leaves but monarch butterflies on their way south to Mexico.

On my way home a couple weeks ago I had to stop the car because another migration was in progress. They made no sound and they weren't flying in any sort of V formation (but then, it was an exceptionally windy day) but way, way, way up in the sky were thousands of snow geese heading for who knows where. I wish I had a better camera in situations like this because there were just so many of them and I couldn't even get one in focus. Such a disappointing photograph...but what a magical memory.

I suppose there's a migration of sorts that happens every time I show up on my land in Kansas too. The dogs race on over from their yard.

And when it's time for us to all go home, they lead the way back.

Tonight I dropped off Christmas presents and biscuits for all the dogs, even that awful Sassy/Mary. I've had so much fun with them over the past year, I just had to acknowledge that to their owners. Besides, it's always fun to hear more stories about the personalities living in the area who apparently do NOT migrate. Everyone knows everything about everyone because they have all lived there together f o r e v e r. Eventually one of these days, I'll be living out there too (hopefully within two years?) but until then, I am having fun migrating between my present life in Kansas City, Missouri and my future life in the country in Kansas.


Rural Rambler said...

Cool post Maria! The butterflies! How fun to see that. Those pups are gonna be so happy when you are there for good! I been thinking about ya! I could not sleep tonite. Dang.

Maria said...

Pix-Practicing getting good at non-sleeping because Santa is coming tonight? Maybe you'll be so good at it that you'll get to see him. Remember to leave out some celery for the reindeer and a glass of wine for St. Nick. That's what we always did.

Yes, the butterflies were really neat. I didn't know that they flew so high. I'm just used to seeing them flitting around flowers. This coming year I'm going to be growing a lot of milkweed so that there will be even more monarchs in the world. :-)

The snow geese were incredible though. They just kept coming, a never-ending trail of them in the sky.

Maureen said...

I loved geese migrating over Manhattan in spite of the problems they caused. I thought of you while watching 5 or 6 enormous crows try to chase a hawk that was even bigger than they were out of tree, he didn't budge.

Merry Xmas!

Leenie said...

Thanks for posting the fun you have in your future home in Kansas. It looks like a wonderful place in the woods. We don't have woods. We have evergreen forests but they're all up in altitude. Your photos of the flocks of snow geese, and the scary sky are grand. Migrating butterflies are incredible. How they manage to travel so far is remarkable. No wonder the wings look tattered. Merry Christmas!!

Deedee said...

Wow, Maria - great shots. I LOVED the pictures of all the dogs and puppies too. So cute! Yeah, they would give the turtles a run for their money in the garden, I'd bet.
Happy New Year to you.

Maria said...

Maureen! Geese over Manhattan? I just assumed they always took the rural routes. That must be a sight. Thanks for thinking of me with the birds. :-) I like them all, bad ones and good ones. Happy New Year and hope you had a great Christmas in your new digs.

Leenie-It still sounds pretty where you are. I was out in "my woods" yesterday trying to put up birdhouses but dang, it was too darn cold. Too darn cold for climbing up ladders and managing a drill and then of course, the birdhouses. I got exactly ONE up, not what I had set out to accomplish yesterday, but the dogs thought I did a fine job. Happy New Year to you, Leenie! :-)

Hey DeeDee-Nice to hear from you! Yes. Those dogs are going to be something once I start seriously planting. I was out on the land yesterday and noticed the now established trail left by the dogs this past year as they ran from their yard across to mine. Hopefully they'll stick to their same created paths when the plants go in... Tilly is the most enthusiastic gardener when it comes to dog gardening helpers. She helped dig a hole for me when I was planting a sassafras tree Pix gave me a couple months ago. I checked on it yesterday and woohoo, no signs of additional help from Tilly. :-) Hope you had a nice Christmas and will have a great new year.