Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Down the Road with Smooch ~ July 2011

"Down the Road with Smooch" is a post that chronicles for posterity the who-what-where-when of our daily walk, 
on or about the first of every month.

Date: July 5, 2011

Route: around the fence line

Distance: 1.5 miles

Time: 6 to 7 a.m.

Temperature: 60 degrees

Humidity: 46 percent

Wind: zilch

On the iPod: The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Sparks. I'm gearing up to see the movie "Buck" next weekend, so I thought I'd give this book a listen. I read it many years ago and have seen the movie a few times. This go-round, I'm imagining Buck Brannaman as the main character instead of Robert Redford. The wreck at the beginning of the story when Pilgrim and Grace are injured? Much more harrowing on audio than it was in the movie or in the book. There's no scanning the page or closing your eyes when you're listening to an audiobook.

Attire: Shorts, tank top, socks, sneakers, baseball cap.

Observations: My walks with Smooch are almost always taken in the early evening, but today we headed out at sunrise to beat the heat. The light was gorgeous, so I suppose we should do this morning thing more often.

The two-tenths of an inch of rain that fell on Sunday was enough to tamp the dust into dirt. Walking along on solid ground was a nice change of pace.

Even though I'm a morning person, I'm no match for Smooch's energy level at 6 a.m. Lordy, that dog was busy. Apparently the scents on the ground are stronger in the morning, maybe because the sun hasn't baked them away? Anyway, Smooch had to track every rabbit, pronghorn and coyote that had walked down the road overnight. It took forever to make the circuit around the fenceline.

The coyotes sing their loudest at sunrise, so we stopped often to listen to them ... and take pictures. There had to be a chorus of at least a dozen, and they sounded like they were only a hundred yards away. But we didn't see a one. I suppose that's a good thing.

This picture and the silhouette above were taken just a few minutes apart. 
I never cease to be amazed by light and what happens when I shoot into it and away from it.

Maybe when it's time for the August edition of Down the Road with Smooch, the pasture will be green.


  1. What fun to go on this morning walk with you and Smooch.

    Its been so hot here lately that early morning is the only time to go out and do anything, as even evenings still tend to be uncomfortable. UGH!

    Our mornings are so quiet it's almost eerie, but Wally finds many good sniffs like Smooch does.

  2. It's too darn hot here, too, for morning walks. Right now it is 87 degrees and 80% humidity...UGH! I'll take a walk with you and Smooch!

  3. I don't know what it is about Smooch, but she always seems much larger than she is. Maybe it's just her love of life? Her intensity? I can't figure it out but she's a doll.

  4. Smooch is a beautiful dog. I look forward to your daily post. Enjoy your day!

  5. I'm always torn between the cooler temps/high humidity of the morning, or the high temps/really low humidity of the late evening for walking.

    I thought I was the only one that quickly scanned the part in the book when the wreck happens.

  6. Morning is the only time I can handle a walk here in the summertime. Plus we get the lovely monsoon thunder/lightening/winds in the late afternoon/evening. It looks like your morning walks are much nicer anyway. I am looking forward to the movie 'Buck' too!

  7. Morning walks are absolutely the best no matter where you are. Why is Smooch on a leash? I would think that when you are 7MSN he could run free.

  8. Time of day for a photo can be key. I took many photos outdoors, poolside on the 4th of July and they were all in the full sun of the day. Not happy with any of them.

    Smooch looks alert, but content to be out walking with you. :-)


  9. I love Smooch's muscular little body and her 'bow' legs :)

  10. Beautiful profile shot. I've heard one coyote, I can't imagine a whole pack of them. Must be spine tingling.

  11. I am puzzled by two things. First, how does the grass get green this time of year? In California it is green from Nov.-April and dry the rest of the year. Is it different where you are? Why? OK, that's 3 ??? Second, or 4th, why is Smooch on a leash out there in the boonies? Does she not stay with you?

  12. Kathleen and Jan, I keep Smooch on a leash because the temptation of wildlife is too great. If she saw a jackrabbit, pronghorn, cow, coyote, large bug... she'd run after them.

    And Jan, the grass gets green here when it rains, which it hasn't in any big way since last October. The grass dies off in the winter from the cold, then comes back in the spring if it rains.

  13. Several late comments:

    60 degrees.......I dream of those days :)

    I hated the accident at the beginning of The Horse Whisperer. Hope you enjoy Buck and I hope to be able to see one day!

    Great shots of Smooch, as usual! My dog and I are going to a senior rodeo tomorrow! It will be HOT!