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Wednesday, December 30, 2009


spring flood

Earlier, I was out walking in the woods with camera. Came home, looking at the pictures, this one on the screen, I clicked the negative button and the above happened. To my eye, it looks like flood water flowing through a forest. Or desert moving in taking over a forest. The flow lines I was looking for with the shadows worked to my satisfaction best in this image. I chose to show you the negative because of the flow lines. In fact, the negative is about the flow lines, and the positive is about the trees. In the negative, it looks like it might be in a book I have called Contemporary Japanese Prints, printed in 1985. Usually, I'm disappointed in what comes up when I click on the negative button, so I don't do it much. Today, I wanted to see what it would do with the lines on the snow. Pow.

I'd stepped outside to go to the mailbox and one of Allan's dog's was here, Martha, the rowdiest and most excitable, and fortunately, the smallest, or almost. She's a growing puppy. I put out the leftover catfood for her and she went at it like she was trying to get it all in one bite. She eats like that at home too. She came up the least one of half a dozen, so she had to struggle to get what she needed for herself among the bigger dogs going for what they need too. She's a jumpy, yappy, completely out of control puppy, the kind that jumps on you and keeps on jumping on you, cannot stay down. I put my hand down in front of her nose so she can't jump, and gradually fade that impulse out of her, but then next time I see her it's back like it was, of course.

When I closed the door, I thought, I'm moaning and groaning that it's no fun to walk without a dog, giving that as my justification for not exercising, and lo! a dog is at my door wanting to go out and play. I put on coat and hat, picked up camera and went out the door. A bit of a struggle with the dog's impulse to jump, keeping my hand down in front of her nose until she wore herself out looking for a way around the hand that moved as she moved. She settled down by the time we reached the road. She'd go ahead a little ways, then turn and run to me wanting to jump on me and we'd play that game again. Then she'd go off ahead again, and be back again. The last time, she came jumping and her right rear foot somehow went under where my foot came down from the step in progress. It held her foot a split-second and she fell over backwards. She landed on her back and let out a yelp. She jumped up and the foolishness went out of her. When she came around, it wasn't jumping. From the look on her face when she got up, I had the impression she believed it was done with intent. I didn't have intent, but could have, so I left off apologies.

She became something of a walking companion after that, and I was thinking I'll put food out for her every day and she can come over and we'll go walking. Then she'll start thinking she lives here and that won't do so well. The cats don't accept dogs, any dogs, especially rowdy dogs.
That will have to be whatever it turns out to be. Winter, she'll learn to go home at night where she's let in the house. We could get a good rhythm going with her coming here daily for a walk. Or not. It doesn't matter what happens. She may just come over every once in awhile. That's ok too. As we spend time together she'll settle out of the jumpiness. I enjoyed watching her run about out in front, looking off into the field to our right frequently, looking for something to move that she can chase. I was thinking when we're in the snow will be a good time to get some pictures of her. Martha has the markings of so many breeds of dogs mixed together, all you can say is she's a dog. I thought snow background might bring out her unusual face markings, like white paper around a portrait.

As soon as we reached the woods and the snow, Martha thought she saw something move in the woods. She ran off, head and ears up, tail up, bounding on alert to find out what it was. I thought she'd be back. I went along, taking my time getting pictures. Martha is barking in the near distance, out of sight. Barking, barking. I holler, shut up crazy dog! every once in awhile, to hear my own head roar. She kept it up and kept it up as I began to question if the dog had a possum flopped over playing dead, or a coon up a tree. No, they're night critters. Deer? Probably not, we're too obvious. I kept on walking, going where I wanted to go, snapping a picture here and there, getting shadow lines vertical in some and horizontal in some, looking to see what makes a good shadow on the ground in the woods with snow picture. And the dog continued to bark.

I came out of the woods into the road and saw Martha in front of my house, standing on the snow beside the road, barking into the woods across the road and up the long bank. Her stance said she was ready to run the other direction the moment she saw something move. I had a feeling she got spooked by whatever it was she went chasing when she couldn't find it. I wondered about her intelligence, and assessed it pretty good. When freaked out in the woods, run to the house, the safe zone the wild things stay away from. She is, after all, a puppy. When she saw me, she was jumpy again, and a few times of hand in front of nose discouraged the jumping. She was looking at my eyes and I was telling her with my eyes I'm not mad at her, she's my friend, I like her, and we can have a good time if you'll contain your excitement. I know self-control is a lot to ask of a puppy, and it will take awhile.

Heading toward the door to the house, I was remembering Aster the dog teaching the kittens that are cats now to stay out of the road in their first days of walking. I'd put them outside for a bit to let them crawl around on the ground. Whenever one would look like it was heading for the road, Aster turned it gently with her nose, changing its direction to back where it came from. That was it with the kittens and the road. I've often thought since, there must have been some invisible communication between them, because all I saw was dog turning kitten around, but it took deeper than that.

I believe if the dog and I take walks together the rowdiness will go out of her before long. When she finds she doesn't have to be in my face to have my attention, we'll have a good rhythm together. I imagine she knows when Allan comes home and will go home then. She wants to sleep indoors and be fed her regular meal too. The other dogs need never know Martha had the very best today, catfood.

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