Saturday, August 10, 2013

Nantucket Picture Dump Pt. 7 (The End! At Last!)

This squirrel tormented the dogs through the cottage's glass door for over an hour one afternoon. It would go right up to the other side of the panes and drive them insane, then scurry off to the bird feeder and do slow-motion somersaults off the support beams while the dogs about died of frustration.

Waiting to go out on an adventure:

Caught in a torrential downpour (that same dissipating tropical storm that whipped up the big waves on Tom Nevers as it was coming in):

My camera is not good enough to capture all the detail of the raindrops, but in that picture, the dogs are standing in an ankle-deep river of muddy runoff from a flooding road, and it is raining so hard that neither of them can open their eyes. But they were still perfectly happy to hold Stand-Stays for as long as I wanted to take pictures, because they knew that I'd let them keep running around in the rain if they humored me.

As much as my dogs hate the rain at home, it never seemed to bother them one bit on vacation.

This malevolent seagull, which had been lured close to our table because I kept throwing bread crusts at it, swooped right up onto our picnic table and stole Peter's sandwich. It dumped his sandwich on the ground, ran off with the Saran Wrap, and then threw its head up and screeched at the heavens in frustration when it realized it had grabbed the only part it couldn't eat.

I got a good chortle out of the whole thing.

Later I asked the dogs to pose on a picnic table for no reason beyond that it had been a thing going around my Facebook feed and I wanted to see if Dog Mob would do it.

I really wasn't sure Crooky would get up there, given that he never once figured out how to stand on Pongu's platforms. But they both ran up no problem with very little coaxing and sat patiently while I took my idiot pictures. After doing it once, Pongu started spontaneously jumping up on every picnic table he saw. Fortunately, there aren't too many random picnic tables scattered around Philly, so it hasn't been much of an issue.

Crookytail playing bog hippo:

This is a crappy picture because my camera is no good at distance, but on our last day in Nantucket we came across a group of four big deer, including one six-point buck, lined up on the Serengeti. They're just barely visible as little bitty blurs along the top of the grass line. The fourth deer is behind a bush in this shot.

Naturally Dog Mob sprang off and chased them, and I wish to god I had gotten it on video because Pongu did a BEAUTIFUL recall off all four deer. Turned in a split second, flipped in midair, and raced back to me as fast as he'd been chasing the deer. I'm probably never going to get a chance to tape something like that again.

Crookytail however showed the limits of his recall and did not come back until after he lost the deer. But I can't really blame him. I'd have done the same thing if I were a dog. How often is he going to get a chance to flat-out run after four huge deer across the moors of Nantucket? I think that was just about the happiest moment of his life.

And he did run straight back at top speed as soon as he'd lost them, so hey.

So that was our summer vacation. THE END. I am already dreaming about going back next year.

Nantucket Picture Dump Pt. 6

Gibbs Pond!

This whole day was gray and misty and dreamlike. A thick fog rolled in over the moors and we couldn't see much of anything beyond maybe fifty feet. We saw no other people and hardly any animals for the entirety of this walk -- just a couple of bunnies and two deer, all of which Dog Mob gleefully chased as long as they could.


Posed (and one of my favorite pictures from our vacation):

I made the dogs go through about a dozen permutations of Pongu standing/Crooky sitting, Crooky standing/Pongu sitting, etc. before I finally settled on having them both Down for this shot on the shores of Gibbs Pond. Dog Mob was extremely patient and gracious about putting up with my insane finickiness.

Return to Tom Nevers Beach!

We had the beginnings of a dissipating tropical storm coming in on this day's visit, and the waves were powerful enough to be genuinely hazardous. I was glad that Dog Mob has never shown any inclination to go into the water. It would have been a real risk to their safety if they had. The waves knocked me over every time I went in, and I'm a lot taller than they are.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Nantucket Picture Dump Pt. 5

Sanford Farm!

This walk is listed on the Nantucket Dog Walk blog as one of two "doggy social hours" (the other is Tupancy Links), and it lives up to its name. I left Sanford Farm until fairly late in our trip because I wanted to see how Crookytail did on vacation before I risked him in an environment where his occasional dog-bullying issues might get him into trouble.

But he was fine, he played appropriately with the dogs who wanted to play with him and backed off from the ones who didn't.

Pongu, of course, was his usual unfriendly nerd self and mostly ignored the other dogs.

This young Weimaraner tried to tag along with Dog Mob for probably 15-20 minutes, during which his actual people were nowhere to be found. Eventually they managed to call him back, but for a while I was wondering whether I might have accidentally stolen their dog.

Happy dog days.

Some scenery.

Nantucket Picture Dump Pt. 4

Altar Rock/The Middle Moors

My favorite part of Nantucket!

This is where Larsen Road connects to the Middle Moors. It's about a 10- to 15-minute walk just to reach the interior. Once you do, though, miles upon miles of mostly empty moorland stretch out before you. We hardly ever saw other people on this walk, and even fewer other dogs. Mostly it was just us, Dog Mob, and innumerable bunnies waiting to be sprung out of the bushes.

The Middle Moors are full of edible plants. Blueberries and tiny low-growing blackberries were in season during this trip, and (to Peter's continual consternation) I ate as many as I wanted. The cranberries were beginning to come in too, and there were unripe hazelnuts and wild grapes promising even more foraging fun in the weeks to come.

 Dog Mob wasn't too into the berries, but Pongu was really proud of this dead dried-up snake he found.

Somehow Crooky didn't notice or care about the snake.

Altar Rock, the highest point on Nantucket. You can see the whole island from here.

That day we stayed out on the Middle Moors until well after nightfall, and ended up walking home under the hazy moonlight. Pongu tripped over an unseen snake in the dark, freaked out, and spent the next two days being extremely suspicious of every stick, string, and squiggly mark he came across on the trails.

Nantucket Picture Dump Pt. 3

Fell way behind on updating these. We're back from vacation now so I'll just do a couple of quick photo dumps to preserve my favorite pictures for posterity.

Windswept Bog

The white sign says "BEES AT WORK" which turned out to be extremely true. The bees* chased Peter back to the car shortly after we entered the cranberry bogs.

(* -- not actually bees. We realized a couple of days later that they're actually biting deerflies. I was happier when I thought they were bees.)

Crookytail jumped about eight feet down into a gross mud bog while chasing a goose. He ended up covered in thick black mud, it was disgusting. We added on another short excursion to the Milestone Loop Trail on the way home, just so he could run in dry grass and knock most of that mud off.

Shawkemo Hills!

The next day we hit up Shawkemo Hills. In the early part of the trail, there were a lot of these "tree tunnels" where the forest closed in overhead and filtered the light.

Then the path opened up to big open firebreaks on hillsides.

Made it to the water tower and called it a day. There's a lot left to that walk that we didn't get around to finishing on this trip. It connects back to the Middle Moors at several points, though, so if we'd kept going long enough we would probably have ended up where we went on several other days.