Sunday, October 25, 2015

Beach Combing

There's nothing better than a bright sunny blue-sky October day! Charlie and I basked in the sun's rays at Big Eau Pleine today while combing the beach for hidden treasures.

The reservoir is low this time of year, revealing a vast shoreline of giant sparkling quartz rocks and driftwood sculptures.

Charlie chewing on driftwood sticks.

Charlie splashed in the crystal clear water while I watched fish jump in the lake. Cranes, geese and eagles surrounded us and the light breeze rustled the dry cattails.

Charlie in the cattails.

Charlie photobomb streak.

Walking the beach in October is such a different and delightful experience. We had such a good time that Charlie didn't want to leave... I practically had to drag her back to the car (notice the sideways harness in the photo below as I'm pulling her along). Poor kiddo.

Leaving sucks. Do we have to go?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Meet Sally...

A couple of weeks ago, Charlie and I came back from a walk around our neighborhood and found a stray kitten sitting on our front porch. We had seen other kittens of similar size/age in the neighborhood recently and concluded that someone either let them all go when they got to a certain age and couldn't find homes for them or they were just born outside and venturing away from their mama for the first time.

This little black and white kitten walked up to Charlie and wrapped her tail around Charlie's legs and they instantly became friends. So I scooped her up and brought her inside.

I gave her a little bit of softened dog food with milk and she ate ravenously. Obviously starving. Just a tiny little stick figure.

Rain was forecast for that night so we decided that the kitten would stay inside until a decision was made to either let her back out or keep her. We had some leftover cat litter in the garage for oil spills and set up a makeshift cat box for the night.

The kitten snuggled into the space between my chin and my chest and stayed there all night while we slept. She was so content to be warm and fed.

But she obviously had a respiratory infection (kitty cold) since she sneezed and wheezed all night. She couldn't even purr because she was so congested.

The next morning I decided it was a bad idea to keep her and told my mom to let her out during the day after the grass dried from the rain. When I got home at lunch, the kitten was gone.

But 10 minutes later she was sitting on the chair on our front porch looking in the window with her paw on the glass. Charlie ran over and barked at her and this kitten just sat there like, "aren't you going to let me back in now?"

My heart melted.

I opened the door and she ran back in. She won't go back outside now. She knows she's got it good.

So we needed a name. I posted up a picture on my FB page and friends started offering suggestions. I really felt she needed a name from a Tim Burton movie because she looked like one of the character's from A Nightmare Before Christmas plus it's October, the month of Halloween. Finally the name that had been on the tip of my tongue came through.... Sally.

The name fits her perfectly. Petite and dainty with a bit of Halloween mischief. Charlie loves her. Peanut is getting warmed up to the idea of having her. And I'm content with the decision.

And another FB post from a friend informed me that when a stray cat shows up on your doorstep, they were drawn there to protect you. Further research also points out that a stray black cat showing up on your doorstep brings you luck and prosperity. I don't know if that is true, but I think it's pretty cool anyway.

Either way, I'm happy she's here and hopefully she really is a good luck charm!

If you're not already following us on Instagram, here's the link:  HikingWithHeather on Instagram

Sally yawns:

Charlie yawns:

Both show disinterest toward their photographer:

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Being Seen @ Plover River

Can you find Charlie in this photo?

Charlie and I hiked a lot this past weekend. I had some time off work and the weather was crisp, cool and perfect for being active outdoors. We mostly stayed close to our home turf and revisited several of our favorite trails and parks.

The Plover River Segment of the Ice Age Trail is a must-see this time of year. The bugs and ticks are gone and the foliage has thinned out just enough for some spectacular views of glacial landscape and the beautiful crystal clear water of the Plover River.

The only caveat to this little piece of heaven is that it is also home to public hunting and fishing grounds, which means we need to be seen in the woods so we're not mistaken for something to shoot at. Although it's only bow season right now and hunters rarely mistaken people or dogs for deer, it's still best to be safe.

So Charlie and I wear blaze orange. It's not much of a fashion statement, but up here in the Northwoods, it's kind of a wardrobe staple this time of year.