Thursday, March 29, 2012

Frying Pan Mtn Hike 3/27/12

My workplace does not allow overtime, so when we have early morning meetings we take "comp" time off.  This past Tues I needed to deliver some items to the Pisgah Inn, a wonderful hotel and restaurant off the Blue Ridge Parkway some 25 miles from Waynesville.  Joe brought Sky to the office for me so she came along for the ride and a hike afterwards, what a treat for us both to get in some time on the trails during the week!

We decided to hike to the firetower on Frying Pan Mountain, the trail begins in the Pisgah Campground (which is not open yet) and follows the Blueridge Parkway to a forest service road, then on to the fire tower and cell tower.  This hike is listed in the best dog hikes in NC book; however, dogs are not allowed to go up into the fire tower.  Since it is on National Park Service land for the first half, dogs are also required to be on lead, but well behaved dogs can be off lead once you reach the Pisgah National Forest service road.

This is a pic of Sky waiting not so patiently for me as I ascend the firetower.  Since I have height issues, this was a challenge for me that I did accomplish, but was queasy the whole way up.

This a view from the top, well worth it!  The other side of the valley was filled with smoke, there was a fire about 20 miles away that had gotten out of hand.

This is a "Sky's eye view" of the fire tower.  After I came back down, I unhooked her lead, she was so excited, and leaned back to take this picture.  My bad, I left my favorite hiking lead attached to the tree!!!  I plan to go back on Saturday and have confidence it will still be there.
Posted by Picasa

Steve White Hard Surface Tracking Seminar 3/25/12

Sky and I attended a tracking seminar hosted by A Good Dog's Life in Asheville NC last Sunday.  Steve, who is from Washington state,  has a system for helping dogs keep their noses down and be successful in real life tracking situations (he trains police dogs), and also to assist with handler and dog teams in other tracking venues.

Here Sky and I are practicing a serpentine on hard surface using water to mark and assist in scenting and the use of very closely spaced food drops to keep the nose on the ground.  It is always good to attend seminars by various instructors to pick up tools for your training box.  I learned several things that I plan to incorporate into my training program, and would recommend anyone interested in tracking to attend a Steve White seminar if he is in your area. Steve was an entertaining and interesting speaker and there was lots of time for "hands on" practice.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spring Walk Mar 24 2012

Today we took a walk in the Cornelius Nature Garden near Lake Junalusaka, Sky found the tweetie birds and squirrels nearly irresistible!

I am not certain what these little yellow flowers are but they were beautiful and abundant. There were also some trillium getting ready to bloom. Although early, it has been a very colorful Spring, luckily we have not yet had a cold snap to damage the blooms.

For those of you who are members of the WCA you may recall the story of Bill Hall's Weim finding his son's lost tortoise. Sky is also cracker jack at locating box turtles of all varieties, but she wants to pick them up and take them home with her. Sorry Sky, this one needs to stay where we found it!

Beautiful point, but not certain if this is another turtle or could possibly be where some wild turkey had been earlier. I watch a flock of about 15 amble up the mountain as we approached, had it not been for the barb wire fence between us and them we would have wandered after them to see if Sky is a turkey dog, not worth the risk though. All in all, it was a lovely day to be out with Sky.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 18, 2012

St Patrick's Day 2012

Spring is coming early in the mountains this year, Sky is enjoying the blooms on our last walk around Lake Junaluska

This is a bonsai Juniper "tree", I'm not sure how they managed to make a shrub like a Juniper into this magnicent shape, but I am glad it is there for all to enjoy.  Juniper berries are used to make gin, another plus lol!

Our mandatory St. Paddies day picture with shamrocks, Sky is not happy, and George came to check her out, he is feeling her pain apparently from the look on his face.  George and Sky are such a pair, they are as close as two peas in a pod!
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 17, 2012

hunt test weekend mar 10 12 Sandhills PBC

 The Sandhills Pointing Breed Club is constantly working to turn the property they own into a first class dog training/hunting facility.  They are well on their way and spend valuable time and dollars every year on improvements so bird dog owners will always have a place to see what our dogs do best!  Thank you SPBC members for all your hard work!
 Thats me on the horse on the back course, with Betta and Janie I believe running their dogs in Master.  Later Senior brace with Ozzie and his ES, Nip.  The dog establishes point, the gunners get ready on either side of the handler so a fair shot of the bird can be made.  Ozzie is moving in to flush the bird.  Nip must not move until the guns are fired.  We had great gunners at this test, pictured above on the left is Bobbi, not only is she a great shot, she judged the next days Hunt Test!
 Fellowship is the name of the game at hunt tests.  We were fortunate to have fabulous weather this weekend.  Participants, judges, workers and all enjoyed home made chilli, your choice of venison, quail or beef.  I ate the quail chilli, ummm ummm good!
 After the judging was over I got Sky out to give her a run in the field.  Betta had some of her pups there so after an introduction we turned them all out for a 30 min romp.  It was great for all concerned.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 16, 2012

Silly Sky!

Sky relaxing at home, the 12" gap between the couch and the ottoman was not going to deter our silly girl!
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Cabin Flat hike Mar 4 12

Ok, I look like I could be a resident of this old cabin, but it was 32 degrees when we started our walk this afternoon. Note the rock work in the chinking in this old cabin.

My buddy Susan showed me this wonderful walk, on a wide, flat (always a bonus in the mountains) logging road that takes you past this old homestead. Her dogs Rissie, Bandit and Sky always enjoy each others company, as I do Susans.

A wonderful view of the old cabin after crossing the creek, you can just imagine coming back from hunting and seeing home so close.

We started out cold but clear, but started snowing just after we had passed the cabin. We decided to turn around and head back, still a nice 3.2 plus romp in the woods!
Posted by Picasa

Lake Junaluska walk Mar 3 12

What is that? If it weren't for this pesky fence I could investigate!

Ah, a young squirrel, better be glad that fence was there or you wouldn't be able to sit so pretty when Sky has you in her sights!

They are filling the lake back up after dredging and testing the dam to see if they can generate power there for the Methodist Assembly. I haven't heard the results of the testing yet, but am glad to see the water going back in. These swans look like they have there own flotilla!

One of the lakeside residents have installed a great wood carving near their woodpile! The assembly folks have installed sidewalks and graveled walking paths around the far end of the lake that borders Hwy 19, so we can take a 4 mile flat walk close by home when weather or time prevents an off lead hike. Sky and I are loving it!
Posted by Picasa