Tag Archives: dogs

Ode to the Heater

Livingstone (full name Dr Livinstone I Presume) came walking into our garden eight years ago. He was a starving piece of skin wrapped around hunched over bones. The only reason the jackals didn’t eat him was that it had been snowing solidly for 36 hours and no self-respecting jackal hunts when it is snowing.

Ever since then he has guarded the two self-feeders with a ferociousness that scares the other dogs. They have to sneak a meal while he’s sleeping. Or while he is gazing lovingly at the heater as witnessed here. The look in his eyes is so soppy that I feel sure he is writing an Ode to the Heater.

Oh Heater, Oh Heater, I love you so

Light glimmering, warming, much better than snow,

My love for you is endless, divine,

I know I’m gorgeous but you’re mighty fine.

Not bad for a dog whose education has been cut short by his time-consuming guarding activities, I guess.


Water Play

Water play was the theme for last weeks photography assignment. I assume they meant humans but that wasn’t going to happen. I only swim during a heat wave and definitely not in a dam.  But mention a walk near a dam to Steph’s ninja swimmer dog Olive and you will have plenty of water play – trying to capture that movement is quite something though – here are my efforts:


Ninja swimmer Olive


Are you mad? Sausage dogs don’t swim!


I can do this!


Not sure if I can!


Proud Mom!


Rest time!


It’s always fun to shake water onto a human!

Photography Catch Up – Road Tripping

I have five photography theme projects to catch up – Warm, Rain, Younger Generation, Spooky and Road Tripping, so here we go – I’m starting with Road Tripping.

img_1489This Taiwanese dog is very clearly enjoying his road trip! It seems to be a common pastime for dogs in the East – they hop on and off scooters without batting an eyelid.  Even the ones that are a little plump….


Let It Snow!

snow aug'12

August 2012

snow in the evening 2011

Evening snow July 2011

Weather men are a bunch of swine (swines? not sure of the plural here!) They toy with us. At the beginning of this week they were predicting heavy snow for Sunday and Monday – HEAVY!! I was picturing log fires and days off work, Old Brown Sherry and many other wonderful things. And guess what? My photography theme for the week is “Snow Play” – couldn’t be more perfectly timed.

Now the swine are back-tracking – maybe some sleet, if we lucky – three flakes at approximately 2am on Monday morning. Dammit!  So now I need to improvise with pics from years past just in case I miss those three flakes.

So here is “Snow Play” from 2007:

snow play 2007

Sherman moving faster than normal….

And here is “Snow Play” from 2011:

snowplay 2011

Kayla exploring the enchanted forest….

From 2012:


Beautiful snowscape….

And last but not least here is Livingstone demonstrating “Snow NON-play”:

snow non-play 2011

You want me to do what in this white stuff? Madness!

A walk with a camera is always a good idea….




If you take running away from a seasoned runner, the consequences can be dangerous.   They often teeter on the edge of insanity.   Such has been my life for the last two and a half weeks.


It started with a cold, then came bronchitis.   Being asthmatic I had to get to the doctor asap for antibiotics and other potions.   Once my chest had cleared I think I caught yet another cold virus.   Often I will run anyway – a gentle run often makes a cold feel better.

It certainly makes your mind feel better.    This time though the doctor struck the fear of God into me with talk of heart damage and untimely death.  Seeing as though I intend to still be running well into my eighties I thought I’d better listen to her.

All these different viruses really piss me off.  Some are fairly harmless while some can kill you.   What is a runner meant to do?   I think a virus should by law have to introduce itself properly.   It would go something like this:

“Hi, I’m the scratchy-throat-runny-nose virus.   I have absolutely no interest in your heart whatsoever.  I’m here simply to entertain myself by irritating you.”   Or:

“Hi, I’m the flu virus.   I may damage your heart a teeny bit just for funsies, but I won’t be here for too long.”   Or:

“Hi, I’m the Swine Flu Virus.   I am the King of Viruses and I will kill you.”

Us runners would then know exactly where we stand.   No unnecessary moping around.

The result of all this unnecessary moping around is that I feel totally bleh and wonder whether I’ll ever be able to cover 10km at a decent pace again, let alone 42km.

I have a recipe for blehness though:  Grab a camera and take the dogs for a walk.   Then go to a salon, have a haircut and change your colour!   My hair is now a little redder than Duke’s and just as glossy!

And they do say red is fast…..




A Quick Hike

We took a quick hike this morning with our seven dogs to limber up for the race tomorrow!



I took my Canon with it’s 50mm f1.8 lens.  I love this lens.   It’s light, fairly fast and so, so versatile.   It’s a prime lens (ie no zooming) so it also makes getting the shot more challenging.  I am an amateur photographer so I am by no means dispensing advice here, but here’s my 2c worth anyway.   If you are just staring out on your photography journey and you have an entry level Canon DLSR (like me), then there are two things you must do.   First take a short course (so many online) in how to shoot in manual.   Once you know this, you will feel you know your camera so much better.   Then go right out and buy the 50mm f1.8 lens.   You will have so much fun with it, you’ll take great shots and it won’t even dent your wallet the way most lenses do.

Back to the hike.   The Hill Commander is all packed and ready to go up to Pietermaritzburg to collect our race packs so this is basically just a quick sharing of moments this morning.


A nice shot of the Hill Commander, looking relaxed.


Oscar, the real boss – and Commander-in-Chief of ALL surrounding hills.


Interested spectators.


Thirsty work.













And, finally, ALWAYS take time to small the flowers.