Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Cold & Windy

It was about 15 degrees colder today than yesterday even though we still had beautiful clear blue polar skies and lots of sunshine.  With the wind chill the weather person said it had a real feel of only about 32 degrees! But Mom knowing how much we love this weather pulled on the thermals, layered on the sweaters and donned her thick coat, scarf, gloves and hat and off we went. We didn't do a lot of walking today as the wind was whipping up the sand and we felt we were being sandblasted so we headed off to the rocky breakwater  (which also blocks the wind) and waited for a ship we noticed was coming into the channel. Todays ship was the Tuju Arrow (built in 2010) which sails under the flag of the Bahamas. It is a general cargo ship that is 225 meters (738 feet) long. Mom says if you ever want to see "the face of happy" - just look at the photo of me - dog oh dog that cold wind blowing through my furs felt so good. The dweeb on the other paw was huddled up next to the Mom on the rocks - he enjoys the cold but he doesn't like the wind at all - what a wuz! PPsss - we didn't find a single treasure on the beach today :(

Monday, February 8, 2016

A hunting we did go

We headed off to the beach this morning just after high tide to see what King Neptune had left for us. It was a pretty calm sea but we found a few treasures including some more giant clams shells, a chunk of black sea glass, 3 sand dollars, an angel wing and a tiny moon shell. Now for those that don't know - the sand dollar is a species of extremely flattened, burrowing sea urchins belonging to the order Clypeasteroida. Normally when you see them in the stores they are snowy white (this occurs after they have been put in a bleach solution)  And do you see that strange shellicus canine booticus in the top left of the photo - a very rare find indeed :)

Saturday, February 6, 2016

What to do with our shells

Sweet William asked us yesterday what Mom was going to do with the shells we find. Well some of them we are sending the Sheldon and Beachnut (the crabbie girls) so they can decorate their crabitat. Mom has been looking at all the things she can make with shells on pinterest and has found some wonderful ideas including these zentangle pattern shells. So here is our before and after - Mom followed the natural patterns on the shells to create the designs - what do you think? Just click on the pictures to see them bigger.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Treasures !

It was chilly chilly on the beach this morning but Mom rugged up like a polar bear and off we went to do a bit of beachcombing. The wind was howling and blowing sand this way and that and we didn't hold out much hope of finding anything but guess what - there was treasures! We found a couple of nice big prickly scallop shells, some small fighting conches, moon shells, a lettered olive shell and a skate egg case (skates look like a kind of sting ray). Mom was happy and we were happy because we got to go for a long walkies :) Remember you can click on the photo's to see them bigger.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

A bit of this and a bit of that

It has been raining all day today - heavy pouring rain and lots of thunder - so no walkies.  But as a dog who always has something to say - I thought I would get around to answering a couple of question that have appeared in the comments lately. So here we go.

Question 1 - do we ever dig in the sand or roll on the seaweed at MY beach. The answer is no - we have never shown any interest in digging (have never done it at home either although the Dweeb will occasionally "dig" at the rug to make it more comfortable to lay on) and sadly there has only ever been ONE time at my beach when some seaweed washed up and YES - I did enjoy a good roll on it. For some reason my beach is "too" perfect. Lots of flat white sand and nothing else. Hardly anything ever washes up apart from the occasional jelly fish and it is VERY rare to even find any shells. Mom says it is sunbathers delight beach but not much fun at for  us beachcomber types looking for treasures :)

Question 2 - how does Mom get us to pose so well for our photos. Sigh ! - trust me this is not something we enjoy but we have been doing it for so many years now that the moment Mom says "wait" we know just to sit/lay still and get the photo's over quickly so we can go back to sniffing. Well at least I do....Dweeb just plods along next to Mom's feet and NEVER sniffs anything - there is something seriously wrong with that boy - he won't even pee when we go out on walkies! One other thing - can you believe Mom doesn't even carry treats on our walk so we do all that posing for FREE - isn't this against some doggie modeling rules? 

An update - You may also remember we have had two snake in MY backyard - a brown garter snake and then a few weeks later a  turquoise garter snake - both of which are quite harmless. What is odd is we saw both of them in exactly the same spot by the fence. Well look what I found on Tuesday - the snake skin and you guessed it - it was in exactly the same spot where we saw the two snakes previously. Mom says she has now seen MORE snakes while living here in the USA then she ever did in all her 40 years back in Australia.

We are hoping all this stormy weather will churn up the sea a little and there might be some treasures to find in the next few days - providing we can convince Mom to go out in the cold  - yesterday it was 80 degrees and tomorrow they are only forecasting 50 and that is FREEZING to Mom :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A Happy Triple Birthday

Today on the 3rd of February we are celebrating 3 birthdays here in blogville. First is our Blogville Mayors Stanley and Murphy - they are having their 4th birthday. Then there is Lassie and Benji's Mom - Teresa  and finally there is our Mom - Happy Birthday to all of you. Lassie and Benji's Mom sent our Mom a most wonderful birthday present - a beautiful elephant beach throw and beach bag - we will put that to very good use. And Stanley and Murphey sent Mom a wonderful birthday card - thank you to all of them. Oh and we have a message for Murphy and Stanley - we think you should have 4 treats each for your birthday - one for each year :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Foggy Doggy Day

It was a bright sunny day until we reached the beach and then there was a thick sea fog rolling in off the water. It is hard to tell in the photos but trust us - it was like pea soup! Visibility was down to about 150 feet. It didn't stop us from enjoying our walkies as who needs to see when there is so much to sniff. Mom was a bit disappointed though as we kept hearing ships horns blowing as they were entering or leaving the river but we couldn't see them so no photos of the boats today. On the way back to the car we did notice this cool halo effect and it actually had all the color of the rainbow in it. The sun was  behind Mom when she took this picture so this was the light reflecting through the fog that created it.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Hoggetowne Medieval Faire

Yesterday Mom and Dad abandoned us and went to the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire which is held in Gainsville, Florida. This was the 30th year it has been held and even though they don't allow dogs (shame on them) - Mom said it was still fun to see. Mom of coarse headed straight off to see the horses and fell in love with "Flea" the miniature horse. Then Dad spotted the Scottish Bakery Tent and yes - they stocked up on Shortbread, Eccles Cakes and Bannock Bread. They stopped to watch  Morris Dancers, Jesters and Jugglers and listened to some wonderful traditional medieval music played on ancient instruments before heading off to see the Jousting and Sword fighting. Mom managed to get a few good pictures but got a bit annoyed that VERY RUDE TALL people pushed in front of her and completely blocked her view. To make Mom feel better Dad went and got her a funnel cake (not a medieval delicacy) but it was very yummy even though Dad ate most of it :) - it was the first time Mom had ever tried one. Can you believe they didn't even bring us home any treats  - although we get a little taste of the shortbread :)
Gypsy Van / Clydesdale Cross
Flea - the Miniature Horse
Fresian/Clydesdale Cross 
Fire Breather
Scottish Bakery
Morris Dancers
Sword and Shield Combat
Sword Fighting
Funnel Cake

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Inspire your HeART with StuART

Today is Inspire your HeART with StuART day - a day to remember our Artistic little buddy who now paints rainbows over the rainbow bridge.
We were all challenged to create an Artsy Selfie in Honor of Stuart - so here they are.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Treasures and MORE ships

Dog oh dog - again it has been a busy day at the port entrance today - but lets get to the important stuff first - Mom found "treasures' and finding treasures makes her SUPER DUPER happy and of coarse if Mom is happy she walks more - and that makes us happy :)  So what did she find - not one, not two but THREE sand dollars - all intact AND this most beautiful "Lettered Olive Shell" - Mom found an awesome shelling website and now can identify all her finds!  Mom says the shell was the best treasure but we liked the smell of the sand dollars better.

As for the ships - the first one we saw was the Kaethe P - it sails under the flag of Liberia and is 294 meters (964 feet). As you can see - this one is a container ship and it was HUGE.

The next boat we saw was a tug and this is actually one of the many Navy tugs - all their tugs are orange - This one was actually heading out into the ocean.

The third ship we saw was the Bishu Highway - it sails under the flag of Japan is a car carrier. It is 195 meters long (639 feet) and looks like a big brick floating on the water :)

And finally we watched the USS Gonzalez come into the Navy yard - it was a VERY quick visit - just a half an hour later and then we watched it leave again! It's homeport is Norfolk, VA and it is a Arleigh Burke-Class Guided Missile Destroyer.
Denny The Rock Sitter
Beach Treasures
Kaethe P - Container Ship
Navy Tug - #12
Bishu Highway - Car Carrier
USS Gonzalez

Friday, January 29, 2016

Just a pair of beach bums

Today Mom said we have just turned into a pair of beach bums - enjoying the sunshine and just sitting around doing nothing much at all :) We decided we had better check if that is correct so we went online and looked up the definition of beach bum - The Cambridge Dictionary Online said it is "someone (or some doggies) who ​spends most of their time enjoying the ​beach". Dictionary.com says it is "an idle person or doggie who habitually spends time on or near a beach." I guess that officially makes us beach bums then :) Of coarse as "official" tag carrying Bark Rangers we also patrol MY beaches making sure they clean and tidy and perfect for beach bumming on - it's a tough job but some doggie has to do it - right?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Ships ships and more ships

Oh My Dogness !!!  We arrived at MY beach at high tide this morning and there was almost a line of ships waiting to enter the port - we have never seen so many at one time. The tide was so high - we even had to sit up on the Sand Dune and take photos as the water was lapping all around the rocks where we normally sit.

The first ship was the Venezia - we have seen this one before and it is a container ship and sails under the flag of Hong Kong. This is one BIG ship - measuring 265 meters which is 869 feet! When loaded up - like it was today - it looks HUGE.

The second ship was the "SLNC Corsica" - a general cargo ship and sails under the flag of Antigua - it is only 167 meters long.

The third boat was a shrimp boat called the "Dying Breed". Sadly we understand the meaning behind it's name :(  Many small operators like this can't compete with the big companies.

The forth ship was the "Overseas Long Beach" - an oil/chemical tanker and sails under the USA flag - it is 174 meters long.

The fifth ship was the "Turquoise" a container ship sailing under the flag of Singapore it is 281 meters long (921 feet) - this is the longest ship we have seen to date! Mom says it is hard to get a good picture of the big ships that show their true size as to fit their entire length in the frame makes them look smaller than they are.
Sitting a top the sand dune
The Venezia
The SLNC Corsica
The Dying Breed - Shrimp Boat
The Overseas Long Beach
The Turquoise

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

USS "The Sullivans"

Todays we got to see the USS "The Sullivans" leave port and head out on a 7 month deployment. This ship had been undergoing some repairs after a small fire caused some deck damage back in July 2015.  This is the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the five Sullivan brothers — George, Francis, Joseph, Madison, and Albert Sullivan, aged 20 to 27 – who lost their lives when their ship, USS Juneau, was sunk by a Japanese submarine in November 1942 in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.

Upon researching this boat we found it has had quite an interesting if not checkered past. You can read more about the ships history here. The other cool thing we found - the current Commander of this ship is Commander Jennifer M. Blakeslee, USN. You will also see a flag on the ship (just click on the photos to make them bigger) it is the white one with a red stripe around the edge and has 5 gold stars - the stars represent each of the brothers.