Sunday, February 13, 2011

Finding a name for that land o' mine in Kansas

Red Feather Creek. That's what the previous owners named it. But I want a new name for that land o' mine. It's not as if I don't like the name Red Feather's just that I have yet to see a red cardinal there...let alone one red feather. It doesn't seem like a name that suits it anymore. But I just can't seem to move beyond the one that Meg came up with because it makes us laugh so much. Her idea? To put up a new sign that reads, "Mine. Mine. All of this. Mine!" Can you picture it? We sure can.

Anyway, last year I could not wait to get out to that land after a snowfall so I could see the tracks of all the animals that had visited. What I saw was nothing but Aussie tracks. No other animal tracks, just Aussie's.

This year? Look at this. It looks like a dog Woodstock concert happened while I was away. There were tracks leading just about everywhere.

There were so many tracks, some of them had become established trails. I suppose that land o'mine is not really so much "mine" when it is so obviously "theirs" when I'm not around.

Like last year, I followed the tracks (and trails) to see what those dogs found so interesting. But unlike last year, where it was just me following Aussie tracks (sans Aussie), this time I had five of the dogs who made the tracks go walking with me.

When we go walking, Aussie has the two puppies trained so that one of them has to wait for me while the other dogs get to move forward at their chosen pace. Tilly waited for me at the top of the first hill. When I got to the top, Bo was the one who stayed back with me while Tilly ran ahead.

I sat on a fallen hickory tree at the top of the hill because I didn't know which direction I wanted to go (lots of tracks and trails and no idea which trail the other dogs had taken). Maybe I sat there too long because Bo made some small little sound which all the dogs heard and then they all came running from wherever they were and when they all got to me, they all stood up and started licking my face. I don't know what was the signal to start all of that but Aussie was not happy about this kind of behavior. Dogs are not supposed to jump up on people ever. She was not happy about what was going on and let all the other dogs know it. I felt kind of bad because I didn't want to let her down but dang, those dogs were being extra cute. But Aussie's rules are Aussie's rules so I got up and we started walking on the trail leading southeast.

The older dogs took off and I was left with both Tilly and Bo. They soon got distracted and started to roughhouse on top of my feet.

Bo got Tilly.

Tilly got Bo.

And then Elvis wondered why his two kids were taking such a long time to catch up.

"Gotta go."

Apology kisses to their dad.

Finally, all of us were back on the trail. And I mean all of us. Tilly and Bo walked single file (and undistracted!) with me and the other dogs and we kept walking until we got to a far corner of the property.

Look at that trail. I have no idea what they found so fascinating that they had to go there nearly every day.

But off they go...

Up and up...

Aussie stayed back with me. It was cold and I didn't feel like crossing a frozen creek just to try climbing a really steep frozen hill. Besides, it's very Blair Witchy in that part of the land. I remember one time crossing a creek and then finding myself on the wrong side of it on the way back...I don't know how that happened. How do creeks disappear and reappear like that?

So I stayed put and just watched those silly dogs...

...until I got too cold to stay any longer. I turned back and was soon joined by the dogs after they finished jumping up and down under a tree trying to catch the attention of something.

And as is their habit, after any walk, a dog needs to jump in a creek, even if it's frozen.

I'm not so sure I can put up a sign that reads, "Mine. Mine. All of this. Mine." when it is so obviously theirs, theirs, theirs.

However, I think Aussie would approve of a sign that said "Mine. Mine. All of this. Mine."

Because I know that's exactly how she feels about the land too. :-)


Leenie said...

Keep thinking. Some fitting name is sure to arrive at two a.m. Just make sure you have paper and pencil by your bed when it hits.

At least when you decide to stay you won't be lonely. Looks like your neighbors (or the true owners) are very fun and very friendly.

Dog Woodstock Concert is just a great visual. Sing, everybody! "If I weren't so dowwwwn I'd up and leeeeeve!" (oh wait, that's country western) Have a good one!

Mental P Mama said...

Ummmm. Dogpatch?

Mental P Mama said...

Aussie's Lick.
Rescue Glen.

Give me time.....

Rural Rambler said...

Maria we are cooking dinner and I just checked in and there was a Maria post and I had to read. But CH is in the kitchen mashing potatoes with a metal masher on my brand new Calphalons after 38 years with the old pots and I am freakin'! I want to come back and give that land in Kansas some thought! I will be back!

Rural Rambler said...

Land O' Mine Farms
Land O' Mine Acres
Turtle Creek Farms
Trail Creek Farms

I'm not done yet!

Rural Rambler said...

Frito Feet Farm/Acres/Creek-cause we all know puppy feet smell like Fritos!

Dog Paw Creek

Maria that land in Kansas is very interesting to walk. You have quite a few trees.. Lots of Hickories? You won't ever have another trail on the land with the dogs running all the other critters off. It's a good thing you love having them around. We had to discourage a pack of 4 to 6 dogs from running on our property because they rooted out and killed all our quail and every other living thing that was here. Good as far as some critters went but others not so much. We miss the quail, and we finally got our turkey, turtles, a few rabbits and deer back. The red and gray squirrels are back too-too many of them!

Maria said...

Leenie-I'm going to have to still think. I was out there yesterday and heard, and then saw, one red cardinal and then several red headed woodpeckers. Even so-the new name thinking continues....

I could not get over all those "post-concert" tracks and when I was out there that day....the snow had not been on the ground for all that many days. Sheesh.

Mental- Dogpatch! HA ha. I love that one.

Pix-You're so darn cute. And oh that CH! Well, at least those pots aren't enamel...that exact thing happened with a friend who decided to use my Le Crueset big pot for something similar. And of course it was a spanking new pot too. Errrgh.

Ha ha. Frito Feet (didn't know puppies feet smelled like that until you told me that before). And Dog Paw Creek is right!

Yeah, my big dream of having little wild critters roaming free around me is not going to happen with that pack of dogs. I would love to have quail but that will never happen with those dogs. I'm not even sure what is going to happen when my own pets live out there. Cats? They're going to have to stay inside. Chickens? They're going to have to be behind a big fence. When I get my own dog, how is he/she going to fit into that pack? And gardening? How are plants going to stand up to all those dog feet? At least those dogs pretty much stick to their trails so I can design with that in mind. Oh well. That's the future. Right now I"m having fun with them in the present.

Rural Rambler said...

Well I'm cooking dinner again and the pot from last night shot craps. It's ok. Not important in the grand scheme of things. You will work it out Maria. You will make it golden cause you have a big heart and you are so flexible and forgiving. Just enjoy the present like you mentioned and follow your bliss! Frito feet, kitties too Maria. Specially black feet kitties, Give them a sniff!

Maria said...

Pix-I do not know how you cook and email at the same time......although I'm doing a pretty good job of eating granola while emailing you. Almost the same thing, I guess... :-)

About that pack of dogs....I'm the one responsible for it. If they didn't know about the big box of Costco treats in the car, they wouldn't bother to come over. When I first was out there it was just me and Aussie. I miss those days when the two of us would share a hamburger and then go exploring. Aussie's not fond of those other dogs because she has to constantly remind them that she is the alpha. So when all of them are out there with me, she is constantly growling at all those dogs. They're just happy rolling in the snow and being stupid but Aussie is just too darn smart and likes to keep things organized and in order. Aussie belongs to the son of the guy who lives across the street who lives in a house behind his dad. Does that make sense? Anyway, there are two households. Aussie lives in one house but maintains the alpha thing with the other dogs who live in another house next door. Once I move out there, I'll figure out something...maybe cut waaaaaay back on the treats that are delivered in the treat truck. I could discourage them now but if there are no dogs to walk with, I don't have any fun. Things will work out. I'm not going to fret about it now. So I probably won't have a bobwhite ranch....that's okay. I can plan for a milkweed caterpillar nursery for monarch butterflies. Dogs could care less about butterflies and I have my big dose of wildlife. :-)

Black kitten feet smell like fritos too? Pix, you sure do give your sniffer a workout.

Sorry about the pot. :-/

Country Girl said...

I have to agree with Leenie there.

Although I'm laughing at MPM's idea!

Eve said...

I'm in line with Pix's ideas and MPM's. Aussie Creek. Dog Trot Hill. but I do also like that Land O Mine Acres. I've never read back to find out more about the land Maria. How many acres? are you going to move there? I had 120 acres up north. It and experience to have a piece of land to call your own. We have 12 here and it is a little more managable. Looking forward to hearing what you decde!

Maria said...

Hello Kate! I know, I've got some good ones here but knowing me, it will be left undecided for years. :-)

Eve-I bought this land about a year and a half ago...totally unplanned! I wasn't even looking. It just happened. It's about 20 acres in the country outside Kansas City. I will eventually build but right now I need to pay off one loan before I start thinking of another. I'm hoping to start building within two years. In the meantime, I have time to get to know it and figure out what areas to garden.

You used to have 120 acres? Wow. That sounds wonderful (although 12 acres is pretty darn nice too).

Kimberly said...

Really interesting about how one was designated to be your companion while the others went ahead!

What about Turtle Creek? Too predictable?

Maria said...

Kimberly-I think Aussie has been teaching them the rules of being a good Australian shepherd. One of the pups has to wait for me if Aussie needs to run up ahead. Earlier in the summer I saw her catch a big grasshopper and then hand it over to the pups to play with. She's a good aunt even though I know she isn't too happy about it. That's a lot of dogs for her to remind that she's the Alpha which gets in her way of what she wants to do-which is to be a good working Australian shepherd.

Turtle Creek? That is not predictable at all. I love it! I'm so focused on those dogs, I completely forgot about those turts back at my house in Missouri. I have only seen two turtles out there in Kansas but at least I have seen some! One was a snapper and one was a little box turtle. Hmmm....right now it's a dog creek but once I'm out there, a turtle creek might be a more appropriate way to think of it. :-)

Can't believe I forgot all about those turtles. And they actually got to go outside a couple days ago because it was in the 70s. I just got glares from them. Now THAT is what's predictable. haha