Monday, December 22, 2008

Winter Solstice Animal Celebrations

MORE snow yesterday, on December 21st, Winter Solstice, and Puma and I set out on our morning walk into Schmitz Park with camera in tow. When setting out I had thought about walking all the way through the park, but rapidly discovered that a tough crust on the snow made walking very fatiguing, just like aerobic stair climbers, so we saved the full tour of the forest for another day.

Returning to the park I noticed a black labrador retriever dog running. In his mouth he was carrying a Kong toy with a rope attached. He was so focused I realized it had to be Benny, a dog that lives near the park, and who lives to retrieve. He was there with his person, Laura, who would throw the Kong for him. When he retrieved it he would celebrate by holding it by the rope end, swinging the weighted Kong end from side to side and around and around, before finally returning with it to Laura to be thrown once again.

Benny's black coat stood out in sharp contrast to the snow, and he was having so much fun I decided to take some pictures of him. I swear, as soon as I got out the camera and started clicking away he pulled out all the stops, and I realized that he was showing off! You can view his photos, as well as the rest of the walk on my Flickr site. If you view Benny's in slideshow mode you can kind of get a sense of the action, although only a video could have truly captured that much activity!

Heading back to the house I was just in time to capture a shot of the only cat I have seen out in the snow for days.

Dexter, the cat from two doors down, was trying to navigate through the snow, and failing miserably. You could see his body tense, and then cringe, as with each step he broke through the top crust, miring him in the snow. He looked extremely undignified and graceless, and he radiated disgust with the whole mess with every inch of his body. Robin, one of his people, had told me the day before that since the snows he comes back into the house growling!

It was still snowing when Puma and I returned to the house, and I recalled that I had not seen much bird life around. I had some leftovers from the holiday Open House the day before, so I figured I could see if the birds would like to try some more new and interesting gourmet items. I put out some leftover shrimp, dip and chips, and the bacon drippings from the bacon-wrapped water chestnuts glazed with brown sugar.

The shrimp went first. The crows never got any, one lone seagull just inhaled them. The chips and dip were fun. I had put them both in the same bowl, and the crows would smash a chip into the dip and scoop up a mouthful just as though they were routine party goers!

They were replaced by a flock of starlings who reveled in the bacon drippings. One starling decided to perch on the ledge right in front of the second story window, giving me some great shots. He was unfazed by his closeups, although curious about the flash, making me wonder if all the animals I had seen that day had just been waiting for me to wander by to capture their 15 minutes of fame, or perhaps infamy in Dexter's case!

Rose De Dan
Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing LLC
Animal and Reiki Art:

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